June 5, 2017

Desmond Index Stop Bars Review

Desmond Index Stop Bars overview

Index Stop Bars are included in Desmond's arsenal for quite some time now but missed appropriate attention up to now. As expected from a brand like Desmond they meet good quality standards addressing the budget minded segment of the photographic support industry.

The DISBs as their acronym describes are Desmond Index Stop Bars following the soft nylon screw design. Meaning that a soft nylon screw on the side of the Index Bar is responsible of immobilizing the bar at the desired position on any Arca-Swiss® compatible dovetail, without damaging the dovetail edge by the screw tip.

The Index Bar

Manufacturer Specification:
Length (with screw knob):58 mm 
Width:10 mm
Jaw Width:41 mm
Thickness/ Height:10 mm
Weight:9 gr

The DISB is lightweight, adding only 9 gr to the total mass of the rail it will be attached.

They are CNC machined from Aircraft grade Aluminium as most Desmond other products and then finished and anodized to prevent scratches and corrosion. All surfaces are flat with rounded vertical lines.
This type of Index Bar needs to be slid on the top surface of a rail from the side and then secured by its nylon thumb screw.

Desmond Index Stop Bars top angled view

The DISB dimensions stand between other models from other manufacturers we have seen in the past, being 10 mm wide, standing 10 mm tall. Nonetheless, the use of nylon screws requires a little wider profile, but its convenience and ease of deployment break even.
The thumb screws are smooth in turning and allow for compatibility with dovetails of different widths.

Desmond Index Stop Bars lock knob detail

Using On a Rail

DISB can be tightened at the desired position on the top dovetail of any double dovetail rail. The nylon screw knob may be attached on either side according to users convenience.

Attaching one or more Index Bars on a Nodal Slide Rail is most recommended. After we determine the Non Parallax Point of our lens(es) we can mark the position by inserting one Index Bar for each on the top dovetail of the Nodal Slide rail. Fixing it in place is easy with the nylon screw knob.

Desmond DISB on Desmond DNR-120 Nodal Rail
Desmond DISB attached on Desmond DNR-120 Nodal Rail as an Index Bar.
Same applies if you want to mark a position on a horizontal rail on a Panoramic Head after the determination of the exact position of a camera / lens combo above the pivoting axis of the panoramic rotator.
In such a case the DSIB will act also as a Stop Bar for the Vertical Rail on either side of the on-end QR Clamp of the vertical rail.

Desmond DISB on Desmond DLR-2002 MP Rail as stop bar
Desmond DISB attached on Desmond DLR-2002 Multi Purpose Rail acting as an Index and Stop Bar for the Desmond DVC-220 vertical clamp.

Desmond DISB used as stop bar on DLR-2002 Rail
Closeup on Desmond DISB used as Index Stop Bar on DLR-2002 Rail for the DVC-220 Vertical clamp.

You may find more information for the application of this and similar bars in the reference articles mentioned bellow.

I hope you found the review useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2016-2017 S.C.Vlachos

Price & Availability:
The retail price for a single DISB is US$ 6.95 or US$ 9.95 for a pair (+Shipping where applicable) and as all Desmond products are available from Amazon or from eBay

Reference Articles:

Create a Heavy Duty Multi-Row Panorama Head

Create a Multi Row Panorama Head Ver. II

Using Mutli Row Panorama Head Ver. II

Create & Use a Single Row Panorama Head

Create an Economy Nodal / Marcro Rail

Referenced Articles:

Desmond DNR-120 Nodal Slide Preview

Desmond DLR-2002 Multi Purpose/Vertical Rail Preview

Desmond DVC-220 Vertcal Rail w/ QR Clamp Review

Relevant Articles:

New SSB-01 Index Stop Bars from Sunwayfoto

Hejnar PHOTO Index Bars Reference


  1. Thank you for always having a great review.

    It is a good product at a reasonable price, but
      Due to the large difference in tolerances, it is difficult to align both sides.

    1. Thank you for the kind comments.
      Being universal, the Index bar has larger tolerances with a jaw 41 mm wide so it fits any Arca style dovetail usually ranging between 38 to 39 mm.
      One trick is not to loosen the thumb screw completely and second place the bar on the desired position and pull the screw while tightening so the opposite side sits flat on the dovetail without moving.
      This can be done single-handedly and is easier than you think.