February 6, 2014

Desmond DLVC-50 Skeleton Lever Release Clamp Preview

Desmond DLVC-50 Lever Release Skeleton QR Clamp
I don't know how they manage to do it at Desmond, but they keep on releasing good quality and innovative products at astonishingly low prices.
This time they came out with a hot product, an Arca-Swiss® compatible Quick Release clamp with an adjustable Lever-Release just below $30 !

And that's only part of the story, as the new Desmond DLVC-50 design is based on the successful DAC-X1 Skeleton QR clamp reviewed last October, weighing only 70gr (2.5oz) !!

The clamp
Manufacturer Specification:
Height:14.0 mm (0.55 ")
Jaw Length:50.0 mm (1.97 ")
Metal Converter:3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20
Weight w/ Bubble Level:70 gr (2.50 oz)

Much like the DAC-X1, the DLVC-50 is made totally out of Aluminium with no rubber parts. A very elaborate design with curved beams instead of the usual flat surfaces, two safety-screw relief openings on the sides and a countersunk hole in the center which is also threaded 3/8"-16.
Both clamp jaws feature laser engraved decimal scales with short lines in 1mm increments. Longer lines with digits are set in 5mm increments. Zero (0) defines the center of the clamp and numbering increases from the center, outwards.
The clamp is equipped with a quite large removable bubble level held in place with two M3 screws.

Desmond DLVC-50 Skeleton QR Clamp - Lever Release positions
The Lever Release has three rest positions: closed, half open permitting lateral adjustments and fully open which enables inserting or removing an Arca compatible plate or rail from top.

The bottom is indicative of the carving performed on this clamp in order to minimize weight. Whatever could not be removed completely it was hollowed out. Across the center hole exist cross type alignment/anti-twist grooves.
With this type of anti-twist grooves the clamp may be easily re-oriented by 90° increments on certain heads especially monopod heads and some multipurpose rails with matching anti-twist bosses.

Desmond DLVC-50 Skeleton QR Clamp - Bottom view
The DLVC-50 Skeleton QR Clamp Bottom view revealing the cross type anti-twist grooves and the nut socket responsible for the lever adjustment.

Innovation comes with the Lever Release design. The clamp jaws are user adjustable with a provided Allen hex key via a hex socket screw in order to meet the widths of any Arca style dovetail while the screw is captive safeguarding from accidental complete unscrewing and loss of parts.
Further, the release Lever may be easily re-oriented for left / right hand use. And furthermore but very important, the Lever itself is designed cleverly, its rounded edges and shape embrace the clamp's side, in this way any straps etc will slip off rather than catch on it and open the clamp accidentally. On the other hand the large hole gives ample grip for easy opening / closing of the clamp even wearing gloves.

Desmond DLVC-50 Skeleton QR Clamp - Lever Release adjustment
Desmond DLVC-50 Skeleton QR Clamp Lever Release innovative design. Size and shape designed for comfort and safety.
Desmond DLVC-50 Lever Release Skeleton QR Clamp - Accessories
The DLVC-50 is accompanied by two Allen hex keys appropriate for the Lever-Release adjustment and the bubble level screws and a metal 3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20 conversion bushing.

Desmond DLVC-50 is proof that innovation can be affordable from everybody. As soon as I have a production sample I shall try to elaborate more and evaluate its functionality. So stay tuned.

I hope you found the information useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos by courtesy of Desmond Photographic Distributors © 2014

Price & Availability:
Current price for the DLVC-50 Lever Release Clamp is US$ 29.97 (+Free Shipping in the US) and is available from Amazon or from eBay Discontinued !

Referenced Articles:

Desmond DAC-X1 Skeleton Quick Release Clamp Review

Relevant Articles:

Desmond DAC-01 50mm Quick Release Clamp Review

New Desmond DBA-2 Manfrotto RC2 and Arca Compatible Clamp

Desmond DAC-04 Arca/Slidefix Quick Release Clamp Review


  1. Why is this clamp not sold anymore? is there a better replacement?

    1. Desmond who had originally introduced this clamp, was forced to withdraw it from the market, due to legal action by RRS who consider that any lever release design infringes their lever release clamp patent.
      Unfortunately, even if not true, the sum required to bring the case in court is enormous compared to the profits ever to be made from a QR clamp or similar items. Therefore, it would be unwise to continue.
      For the same reason, you won't be seeing any lever release clamps introduced in the US market until RRS patents expire.
      Anyhow, if you are still interested I have updated the availability links in the post above, where you can find some on eBay.

  2. That's a pity about the alleged patent infringements. I modified my Manfrotto 498 ballhead with one of these clamps so I could use an L-bracket and not mess around with other so-called "quick release" twist clamps. It works and absolute treat, hasn't failed me on 2 trips into the arctic back to the australian desert. Maybe if RRS didn't charge so much...

    There is a similar unit by iShoot currently available on ebay.

    1. Thanks for the feedback.
      Unfortunately it requires great effort and cost to prove that a patent holder for a particular design does not necessarily hold the rights for the whole concept. It is a very generic interpretation.

      However, it's time to exercise my bragging rights a bit concerning the design of the lever of this clamp. Since after it was withdrawn, there was no point of publishing the full review, I haven't had the chance of mentioning.
      The size and shape of the lever were carefully calculated, to make it easy to operate. It requires less force to open or close while its very difficult to catch on straps avoiding accidental opening.

      Regarding iShoot products I have a reservation concerning their materials, since very cheap Chinese products use forged aluminium vs CNC machined from aluminium blocks. I hope I find the time to present the information in a future article.