Cullmann Clamp as camera mount

For some time now, I've been using the Cullmann clamp to mount the video camera in my M Coupe for track days. Every few months someone seems to ask what a good method for mounting the camera is, and I recommend the Cullmann Clamp. However, I've never actually taken pictures of it mounted. I figured I'd do that.

First of all, at the top of the clamp there is a little round peg that is screwed into it. Not sure what this is for, but it needs to be removed in order for the camera to clear the top of the column. Next, move the top clamp to the top of the column, and unscrew the top tightening clamp all the way. Now just kind of eyeball where to put the bottom clamp so that when you insert it over the center tray, the plastic compresses just a little bit. The clamps have some protective lining on them, but I always also put a bit of cork on all contact surfaces. In order for the bottom of the clamp to clear the bottom of the center tray, you kind of need to bring it in at an angle. Once it's on, you can compress the top clamp all the way.

You can see how the clamp actually is inside the bottom lip of the tray. That's why you have to kind of attack it from an angle as you're sliding the clamp over the top of the tray. The top of the tray is angled a bit, but once you clamp it down, the mount holds very well. You can now screw the camera onto the top of the clamp:

With my clamp, when the clamp is cinched down all the way, and the camera is all the way tight against the mount, the camera is off center. Obviously this will be the case. Just be sure that the camera is tight against the mount. The clamp is compressing the plastic a fair bit, so even if it's not cinched down, it generally will stay put. I did notice that on certain tracks (counter-clockwise ones, come to think of it) the clamp would tend to move a bit. You'll notice this on my Thunderill lap. Notice how the camera is farther to the right at the end of the video than it was at the start. You can solve this by putting a bit of thread tape (the kind used in plumbing) on the threads of the upper clamp. Before I bought my own clamp, I borrowed a friends and his threads were just naturally tighter, so the tape wasn't necessary. Also, before each session, be sure that the clamp hasn't begun to come forward at all. Otherwise, this will happen! Other than this time, the mount has never come loose at all, and I've checked it before each session. The video was taken my first day ever with the clamp, so I may not have clamped it down properly.

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David Paris
Last modified: Mon Jul 12 08:45:44 PDT 2004