July 19, 2013

New Improved Sunwayfoto DDH-02i & DDH-03i Panning Clamps Preview

Sunwayfoto DDH-02i Panning Clamp top

Earlier this month Sunwayfoto has announced the release of the Improved (as denoted by the i at the end of the model names) DDH-02i and DDH-03i Panning Quick Release Clamps.

Both Clamps retain the size and the lightweight characteristics of their predecessors, (which were fully previewed and reviewed in the past) with some changes that promise to improve functionality and durability.

These changes lead to some visible alterations in the design of the Panning Clamps as well as a hidden but substantial one.

Most prominent literally, is the new screw knob with elongated shaft adopted on both clamps. The original models in favor of compactness sported a very short, actually nonexistent, screw knob shaft which has proven dysfunctional when hidden bellow very wide camera plates or larger camera bodies so it had to change. The new screw knob is made out of one piece aluminium and has thinner groves than the older.

The next obvious change, is the top surface of the clamps which now is more flat giving a better support and combined with the sloped edges allows the unobtrusive slide in of plates and rails.

Sunwayfoto DDH-02i Panning Clamp jaw detail

However, the hidden attribute of the Improved DDH-02i and DDH-03i clamps is the complete redesign of the moving jaw mechanism. Aiming for stronger clamping and better stability the flat tongues that guided the moving jaw of the clamp, have been replaced by two stainless steel bars that we can see exposed in the photo above.
I will only be able to comment on the effectiveness of this change after a hands on test, though.
Nevertheless, these changes had a minimal effect on the weight of the clamps as we shall see further.

The DDH-02i Clamp

Sunwayfoto DDH-02i Panning Clamp side-top

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:DDH-02i Panning Clamp
Top Base Diameter:52 mm
Pan Base Diameter:51 mm
Height:16,75 mm
Weight:78.6 gr
Max Load:18kg
Bottom thread:3/8"-16 UNC

Apart from the forementioned changes /improvements DDH-02i Panning Clamp has now a more functional panning scale ranging from 0° to 360° instead of the controversial 0° - 90° - 0° - 90° found on its predecessor and common to ball head panning bases. Otherwise, just for the record, the height was reduced by 0.15 mm and the weight increased by 8.6 gr.

The DDH-03i Clamp

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:DDH-03i Panning Clamp
Top Base Diameter:58 mm
Pan Base Diameter:57 mm
Height:21.6 mm
Weight:121 gr
Max Load:20 kg
Bottom thread:3/8"-16 UNC
Bottom Plate:AM-02

In regard of the DDH-03i clamp there are not any other worth mentioning changes, but a little decrease of the weight by 5 gr.

Sunwayfoto DDH-03i Panning Clamp - bottom Arca mount
Otherwise, it still carries the removable AM-02 Arca Mount plate at the bottom which can be mounted in two positions.
For a comparison with the currently available models you may visit the relevant DDH-02 and DDH-03 preview and review articles listed below.
I hope you found this article useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos by courtesy of Sunwayfoto © 2013

Price & Availability:
DDH-02i and DDH-03i panning clamps will maintain the US$  99.00 and US$ 122.00 price respectively.
The improved DDH-02i and DDH-03i panning clamps is estimated to be available in the stores by the end of August 2013 are available from Amazon.com

Update Aug 2013
The improved DDH-03Ni panning clamp without AM-02 Arca-Mount is also available at US$ 112.00 from Amazon.com

Sunwayfoto DDH 02i and DDH-03i have been discontinued and replaced by newer and cheaper DDH models which may be purchased new from eBay worldwide

Update Jul 2014
Sunwayfoto DDH-03i Panning Clamp Reduced Torque Capacity

Update Oct 2014
Sunwayfoto Revised 2014 version DDH-03i Panning Clamp Review

Relevant Articles:

Sunwayfoto DDH-03 Panning Clamp Preview

Sunwayfoto DDH-03 Panning Clamp Review

Sunwayfoto DDH-02 compact Panning Clamp Preview

Sunwayfoto DDH-02 Panning Clamp Review


  1. Hello, is it possible to tighten the panning knob when a large camera plate is used that is overlapping the panning knob? Thanks for your detailed reviews, Thierry

    1. Hello Thierry,
      I understand that the small size of the panning lock knob will not be very convenient under a large camera plate. However, it has a very short travel of 180°. It actually needs 1/4 of a turn from unlock to lock firmly position.
      On my samples the teardrop-shaped knob is factory installed to start from left horizontal (unlocked) position and turn 180° clockwise ending to right horizontal (fully locked) position. In this case the knob's edge will interfere with a large plate above.
      On the other hand the knob is screwed on a hex SS shaft. Using a 1.5mm Allen wrench you can unscrew it, pull it out and relocate it on the shaft so when turned it won't interfere with the plate.
      Thanks for your felicitous comment.
      Regards, Sotiris.

    2. Thanks a lot for the info & solution. Best regards from Germany, Thierry