September 19, 2012

Create a Heavy Duty Long Lens Support Bracket

Heavy Duty Long Lens Support Bracket at beach overview
The benefits of a Long Lens Support Bracket (LLSB) were explained extensively in my article Ideas for a Long Lens Support Bracket (Part 1) in the past.
Although the LLSB I had presented then, was and still is sufficient for the load of my lenses, having the new Hejnar PHOTO F51 Dual Clamp and thicker  Hejnar PHOTO G16-80 Multi Purpose Rail in my hands, was somehow inevitable not to try assembling a more robust and sturdy LSSB for evaluation.

The Components

Hejnar PHOTO G16-80 rail + LSB-R2 + F61b QR clamp + F51 subtend clamp + accessories
The declaration of this LLSB as a heavy duty one, is based on the characteristics of the quite new Hejnar G16-80 5/8" thick rail. Its sturdiness and lack of any torsion under heavy loads is exemplary.
The other components needed to build the LLSB are also from Hejnar PHOTO. One mini F60 1" QR clamp to be attached on the front of the rail via a flat-head 1/4"-20 screw using a 5mm dowel pin for alignment. The clamp will act as a versatile vertical regulator of the LSB-R2 Y bracket.
And last an F51 dual Subtend QR clamp, which will act as a regulator for the fore-aft movement as well as connector of a lens plate.

The characteristics and specs of all above items, as well as their assembly instructions are already described extensively in their individual reviews. Therefore, I'll avoid repeating them here and would suggest a visit to the Referenced and Relevant Articles section at the bottom of this article.

Heavy duty LLSB w/ G16-80 rail + LSB-R2 + F61b QR clamp + F51 subtend clamp assembly
By combining G16-80 rail with F60 clamp, LSB-R2 Y bracket and F51 clamp, the result is a very sturdy and stable Heavy Duty LLSB
Canon EF 100-400L IS USM w/ lens plate on heavy duty LLSB
Hejnar F51 dual subtend clamp is a marvel clamping and holding rails from different manufactures and specs. In the photo above it clamps on the Hejnar G16-80 rail below and the Kiwi Fotos LP-100 lens plate above. Compared to the earlier F50 subtend clamp, F51 is more functional as it can remain clamped on one rail while permitting minor adjustment of the other.

Trying out the LLSB
The trial took place in a secluded beach last August. At this time of the year, despite the high temperature that creates a lot of haze the most important thing is the North / North-East wind blowing with a force of 6-7 on the Beaufort scale (or speed of 39-61 km/h - 25-38m/h). That is according to the weather forecast during those days.

Heavy Duty Long Lens Support Bracket at beach overview
Pictured above is the heavy duty LLSB holding Canon EF 100-400 L IS USM extended at 400mm, which by the way is not so famous for its sharpness at 400mm. You may judge from the camera strap positioning the strength of the wind.
Spetsae Island at a distance of 6 nautical miles
A sample shot of an opposing island at a distance of 6 nautical miles. If you magnify the photo, despite the prominent haze you may see the small houses clearly without any blur.

Dokos Island at a distance of 4 nautical miles
For comparison here is an early morning shot with less haze and a light breeze. The edge cliffs of another opposing island at a distance of 4 nautical miles show even better detail.
Heavy Duty Long Lens Support Bracket at beach ground position
The gear sunbathing down low on the sand getting ready to shoot a sequence of splashes.
Wave splash detail

To be honest I cannot really tell the exact difference between my LLSB solutions presented in the past and the Heavy Duty LLSB solution presented in this article as a proper test with measuring devices should be conducted first. Further, my lens needs are quite lower than this LLSB can offer strength-wise, as it can stabilize far heavier and longer lenses.
However, I can tell that the combination of the G16-80 rail with the F60 clamp is more suitable for a long lens support than the G13-80 rail with same clamp. Since G16-80 is thicker, the clamp is mounted closer to the rail surface leaving more headroom for the regulation of the LSB-R2 Y Bracket up/down. Owners of long lenses with short collar feet would appreciate this.
I'll be back with an update of actual data as soon as I have measurements from a vibration meter.

I hope you found the article and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2012 S.C.Vlachos

All individual components are available from the Hejnar Photo online Store.

If you are interested in the product, do check the Recommended Sellers page for a valid Hejnar Photo discount coupon before ordering.

Referenced Articles:
Hejnar PHOTO G15-80, G16-80 and G15-60 Multi Purpose Rails
Hejnar PHOTO F60 1" Quick Release clamp
Hejnar PHOTO F010A and F012 Quick Release Clamps Review
Hejnar PHOTO F51 Dual Subtend QR Clamp Review

Relevant Articles:
Ideas for a Long Lens Support Bracket (Part 1).
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)

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