Saturday, 29 August 2009

DIY Justin Clamp

As part of my collecting/hoarding mentality I always thought the Manfrotto Justin Clamps (model# 175F) were a cool little tool but the 45GBP price always put me off.

I knew that Manfrotto made a spring clamp (model# 175) that didn't have the ballhead/hotshoe (which seems to be a Manfrotto 492 micro ballhead) so I wondered how easy it would be to be a Justin Stailey (without McNally).

I then came across Dave Honl's post and thought screw it, lets see how if I can McGuyver it and here we are:
  • Calumet MF6822 spring clamp (own brand 175) ~ 11GBP
  • Ebay'd miniball head that takes 1/4 thread ~ 3.80GBP
  • Ebay'd stroboframe clamp ~ 5GBP
  • 1/4UNC (not Whitworth) x 1/2 bolt + 1/4 metal washer + 1/4 rubber washer ~ 1GBP

Total ~ 23GBP

A drill with a #7 drill bit is required to widen the hole for the bolt to secure the ballhead. After this simple adjustment, it's just to slot the bolt with the metal washer through and to tighten the ballhead on the other side. Due to the grooves on the top side of the clamp, the rubber washer is used so the ballhead can be tightened without it starting to spin (we've essentially flattened the rubber washer such that we have a flat surface for the ballhead to sit)

And thats a 1/2 price Justin clamp.

The ballhead I used will not be as good quality as the real thing but its solid enough for me.

NB ballheads: I initially tried using a taller ballhead, similar to the cheap umbrella adaptors, but found that the additional height a problem leading to the flash sagging even when clamped.

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