December 12, 2013

Sunwayfoto YLS-01 Y-Type Long Lens Support Review

Sunwayfoto YLS-01 on a LLSB assembly in the field
Some of the older SCV Photography Ideas readers may recall a series of articles engaged with solutions for the stabilization of long telephoto lenses via Long Lens Support Brackets (LLSBs).

The Ideas for a Long Lens Support Bracket (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3), and especially the article A versatile Long Lens Support Bracket idea for push-pull zoom lenses (Part 4) were based on Hejnar Photo components.

On the other hand Sunwayfoto has been offering a Yoke aka YLS-01 Long Telephoto Lens Support Bracket for sometime now as well.

As YLS-01 came later into the market, I thought it was just another iteration of a Yoke until I received a copy for evaluation and a closer inspection revealed its hidden design qualities that lack documentation and promotion in the web.




Packaging & Contents

Sunwayfoto YLS-01 Y-Type LS box
The YLS-01 comes in the usual by now shrink wrapped recycled-carton box branded with the Sunwayfoto logos. A large label shows the enclosed product photo, model number, main specification and ASIN barcode.
Sunwayfoto YLS-01 Y-Type LS box contents
As usual all parts are nested in pre-cut foam sockets that protect them during transport, while an extra layer of foam bellow (thicker) and above (thinner on the lid) are there for even better protection from scratches.

The Yoke / Bracket

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:YLS-01
Width:41 mm
Length:110 mm
Thickness:8.5 mm
Total Thickness w/ wheels:16 mm
Support Length*:61 mm
Wheel Diameter:30 mm
Mounting screw:1/4"-16 UNC
Adjustment Height:26-110 mm
Weight:91 gr
* Distance between wheel  centers

Sunwayfoto YLS-01 Y-Type LS front view w/ mounting screw
The YLS-01 follows the usual Sunwayfoto sturdy but fine Aluminium structure derived from a very high quality CNC machining and finishing. The Yoke is deeply grooved on the front with a captive slot almost as long as the yoke itself in the middle, which allows for ample vertical adjustment as we shall see later on. The front surface ends to a 39 mm wide Arca style dovetail that starts from the bottom and stopping just below the wheels.
The 30 mm wheels are covered with rubber O-rings and their centers sit on the the top surface of the yoke.
The included 1/4"-20 captive mounting screw has a proprietary large head, which makes tightening / loosening a breeze without the need of any tools.
All parts are hard coat anodized in a matte-black color, even the mounting screw.
Sunwayfoto YLS-01 Y-Type LS front rear side w/ mounting screw
The rear side of the YLS-01 is smoother with only a shallow groove near the middle captive slot. The rear side is slightly wider at 41 mm while the edges are convexed for a very good reason as we shall also see below.

Sunwayfoto Design Innovation

Sunwayfoto YLS-01 mounting screw entry thread
First innovative attribute is the hand driven mounting screw which has an entry threaded point in the captive slot at the bottom end of the slot. This means no tools required.
Sunwayfoto YLS-01 rear side convex edges detail
Second innovative attribute is the rear convexed edges which embrace the side curvature of the long multipurpose rail, in this manner aligning and immobilizing the yoke on the rail sides. There is no need for any other aligning components, thus simplifying the whole LLSB structure.  

Required Components for a Long Lens Support Bracket
As many times debated in past articles, a Long Lens Support Bracket, besides the Yoke needs a Long Multipurpose Rail with a front or rear tapped hole as minimum prerequisite and at best a dual subtend quick release clamp.

Sunwayfoto YLS-01 aside Sunwayfoto DPG-2416 and Desmond DBC-50
Shown above are the Sunwayfoto YLS-01 Y-Type Long Lens Support, the Sunwayfoto DPG-2416 Multipurpose Rail which sports the required tapped hole on the rear side (considering the bubble level side to be the front) and a Desmond DBC-50 50mm Dual Subtend QR Clamp (Review) as readily available in my arsenal. Nonetheless, Sunwayfoto has also available the DDT-53 Subtend clamp and the DDB-53 Bidirectional clamp that would equally fulfill the task.

Alternatively...
On the other hand, although a little more complicated and more expensive the Dual Subtend or Bidirectional QR clamp can be exchanged with a Sunwayfoto DDH-03 Panning Clamp (Review) + DDY-58 Discal QR clamp (Review) combo. This solution will prove favorable for those who require the existence of both clamping orientations (i.e. Subtend = in line and Bidirectional = perpendicular to the main rail). Therefore, you can have both by turning the DDH-03 accordingly, that is to either accommodate for a Lens plate or a Camera bracket which is usually perpendicular.

Sunwayfoto YLS-01 aside Sunwayfoto DPG-2416, DDY-58 and DDH-03

Attaching the YLS-01...
Independent of the YLS-01 attachment method on the DPG-2614, the M3 Safety stop screw set below the rear 1/4"-20 tapped hole (at the side opposite to the bubble level), has to be removed in order to clear the mounting hole threads.

Sunwayfoto DPG-2416 rear M3 safety screw detail
This can easily be done using the appropriate 2.5 mm Allen hex key included with the DPG-2416 multipurpose rail.

...Directly on the Multipurpose Rail
Obviously this is the simplest, easiest and cheapest solution as it takes advantage of the innovative design characteristics of the YLS-01 and requires no tools whatsoever.

Sunwayfoto YLS-01 convex edge fitting on DPG-2416 side detail
Just by screwing the YLS-01 into the rear hole of the DPG-2416 rail, it becomes clear how it matches and embraces the rail.
Sunwayfoto YLS-01 mounted on DPG-2416 full
The YLS-01 is automatically aligned and can be adjusted up-down without any possibility of sliding / twisting on either side.

...Via a Quick Release Clamp
Although direct attachment is quick, tool-less and perfectly aligned, there is always the possibility that the YLS-01 is used with a long multipurpose rail from another manufacturer, so its convex edges will not match the width or the radius of the rail edges.
In this case, the Arca-Swiss® compatible dovetail present on the YLS-01 may be used in order to align and adjust vertically the Yoke via a small quick release clamp.

Sunwayfoto YLS-01 aside DPG-2416 w/ Desmond DAC-25
The Sunwayfoto DPG-2416 is shown above with a Desmond DAC-25 mini QR clamp that was handy. More details for the attachment of the QR clamp may be found in the Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp with Dovetail & Strap Bosses Review.
Sunwayfoto YLS-01 clamped on DPG-2416 via Desmond DAC-25
The Sunwayfoto YLS-01 has to be turned so the dovetail on its front side can be clamped on the Sunwayfoto DPG-2416 Multipurpose Rail via the Desmond DAC-25 mini QR clamp.
However, there is a drawback in this solution since the dovetail stops lower than the center slot, therefore the lowest position that the Yoke can be adjusted is by definition higher but also depends on the jaw length (height in this orientation) of the regulating clamp.



Assembly of the LLS Bracket
After the attachment of the YLS-01 on the DPG-2416 rail, what remains is to mount the horizontal regulating clamp.

Assembly seq. of LLSB fet. Sunwayfoto YLS-01 + DPG-2416 + Desmond DBC-50
The Desmond DBC-50 Dual Subtend QR clamp as described in the first case.

Alternatively...

Assembly seq. of LLSB fet. Sunwayfoto YLS-01 + DPG-2416 + DDY-58 + DDH-03
The Sunwayfoto DDH-03 Panning Clamp combined with the matching Sunwafoto DDY-58 Discal clamp.

Using the Long Lens Support Bracket
During a recent outing recorded in the article On Assignment at the Olive Groves I had the chance to use the Sunwayfoto Yoke for he first time on the field, combined with other Sunwayfoto Pano gear. Thus actually the idea of a horizontal regulator for the LLSB utilizing a panning clamp like the Sunwayfoto DDH-03 (Review) merged with its sibling the DDY-58 Discal clamp (Review). These came in handy as they are an integral part of the Pano-3 Multirow Panoramic head, playing the role of the vertical rotator.

Sunwayfoto LLSB with YLS-01 + DPG-2416 + DDY-58 + DDH-03 front view
Sunwayfoto LLSB with YLS-01 + DPG-2416 + DDY-58 + DDH-03 side view
Sunwayfoto LLSB with YLS-01 + DPG-2416 + DDY-58 + DDH-03 rear view
The assembled LLSB featuring Sunwayfoto parts in the fields (literally). Sunwayfoto YLS-01 + DPG-2416 + DDY-58 + DDH-03 mounted on Sunwayfoto XB-44 low profile ball head and supporting a Gripped Canon EOS 7D with an EF 100-400 mm IS USM.
Sunwayfoto LLSB with YLS-01 + DPG-2416 + DDY-58 + DDH-03 full tripod view
Finally Sunwayfoto LLSB with YLS-01 + DPG-2416 + DDY-58 + DDH-03 mounted on Sunwayfoto XB-44 low profile ball head on Triopo GX-1328 CF classic tripod and supporting a Gripped Canon EOS 7D with an EF 100-400 mm IS USM.
Sample Photos
Photos taken from the terrace of the small chapel of St. Nickolas (A Small Chapel in the Olive Groves) in distances ranging from 500 to 3000 meters away, may be a good proof of the extra stability given to the lens.

Olive picking far in the groves
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 100-400L IS USM, Focal Length: 400mm (620mm)
ISO: 100, Exposure: 1/160 sec, Aperture: 9.0
The bay of Hydra from above
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 100-400L IS USM, Focal Length: 100mm (160mm)
ISO: 100, Exposure: 1/200 sec, Aperture: 9.0
TAXI speedboat coming from the Island of Hydra
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 100-400L IS USM, Focal Length: 400mm (620mm) cropped by 50%
ISO: 100, Exposure: 1/320 sec, Aperture: 9.0

Pros
Lightweight and innovative multi-functional design.
No tools or other components required if used with a matching rail.
Ecellent machining, finishing and anodizing quality for the price.
Excellent fitting with very small tolerances and smooth operation.
Excellent value for money.

Cons
None found up to the time of this review.

Conclusion
Sunwayfoto YLS-01 is an innovative Y-Type Long Lens Support sturdy enough to handle large and heavy lenses. It requires no tools when used with a matching rail to its curves.
It maintains the Sunwayfoto quality despite the recently reduced price which add en extra attribute making it an excellent value for money.

Note: The YLS-01 Long Lens Support Bracket presented in this article was kindly offered by Desmond Photographic Distribution, USA, for evaluation and review.

I hope you found the article and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2013-2015 S.C.Vlachos

Price & Availability:
Currrent price for the YLS-01 Long Lens Support is US$ 39.00 (+Free shipping in the US) and is available from Amazon.com
If you are interested in the product please consider using above link(s) to make a purchase and help support this site.

Referenced Articles:
Desmond DBC-50 50mm Dual Subtend QR Clamp Review
Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp with Dovetail & Strap Bosses Review
Sunwayfoto DDH-03 Panning Clamp Review
Sunwayfoto DDY-58 Discal Quick Release Clamp Review
Sunwayfoto XB-44 Low Profile Ball Head Review
Triopo GX-1328 Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod Review
Sunwayfoto DPG-2416 Multi Purpose Rail Review

Relevant Articles:
Create a Heavy Duty Long Lens Support Bracket
Ideas for a Long Lens Support Bracket (Part 1)
The basic Long Lens Support Bracket idea (Part 2)
A versatile Long Lens Support Bracket idea (Part 3)
A versatile Long Lens Support Bracket idea for push-pull zoom lenses (Part 4)

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