Thanks for visiting Enthusiast Photographer! For those of you coming from search engines or links, the post below was my “First Look” review of the DT-01 and DDH-02 setup. Since then, I’ve taken it all over the world and written a full review. Please feel free to read the post below, but click the link at the bottom for the complete story. Also, feel free to follow the blog, “Like” Enthusiast Photographer on Facebook or follow on Twitter if you’d like to join me on my photography journey or just want to read something different once in a while.
I’m not ready to post a review about the Sunwayfoto DT-01 Monopod Head yet, but I learned something tonight. Women can be pretty clever. Either that or Winnie from Sunwayfoto has been talking to my wife…
It all started during some correspondence about my XB-44 ball head review. I mentioned to Winnie that I was going to be taking two trips soon, one to Europe and one to Asia, and was going to buy a monopod to use while traveling. Since my 80-200 plate has a different orientation than the L-bracket on my D90, I was looking for a solution that I could quickly change to accommodate the orientation of whatever I was using. Winnie suggested their DT-01 monopod head and the DDH-02 plate. I’d noticed that head previously (it was on display when I visited their booth at CES) and the DDH-01, which looks similar to the RRS MH-02 setup – a monopod head with an indexing clamp. Honestly, when I looked at the DDH-02 on their website, I thought it seemed too small and a little delicate to handle my 80-200 on the monopod.
Winnie surprised me when she suggested that I have a look at the head with three clamps – the standard DDC-50 screw-clamp, the DDH-01 I’d been looking at and the DDH-02 she had recommended.
The package arrived the other day, and I just had a chance to try out the various configurations. I learned a lesson: Listen to the people who do it for a living.
While I can’t fully speak to the handling and other features yet, I can say this: if you want something more than the standard screw-clamp, the DDH-02 is the way to go. When I fit the larger and more substantial DDH-01 on the monopod head, the whole setup is pretty bulky. This is clearly the reason Sunwayfoto developed the DDH-02 and why Winnie was patiently suggesting that pairing to me.
So when I was failing to listen, Winnie took the direction my wife often does, which is to let me see for myself that she was right. 🙂
Let’s have a look at some photos:
The DT-01 with the standard screw clamp
The DDH-01 and DDH-02 side by side
The DDH-01 panning clamp mounted to the DT-01 Monopod head. I need to try to see if one of the standard screws fits directly to the head, but it doesn’t appear to. Mounting it using the standard clamp worked fine, but the package is bulky.
Last but not least, the svelte and effective DDH-02 panning clamp.
It will take a while to post a full review, but I’ll mention a few basics:
The DT-01 bears some similarity to the RRS monopod head. They both have a pendulum design and an Arca-compatible dovetail at the base of the head. Both are all-metal and stoutly made. Sunwayfoto chose a single-arm base, where RRS has two outboard rails for the swivel base of the head. The Sunwayfoto design appears to be beefier – my guess is they both perform well.
The Sunwayfoto DDH-01 is a panning clamp that offers similar function to the RRS PCL-1 Panning Clamp. I thought that made a nice choice to rotate the clamp orientation for use with my 80-200. As I mentioned previously, it is a fairly substantial clamp, and even directly attached to the monopod it is over-large for good ease of use. It is a terrific solution to use when shooting panoramic shots on your ball-head, however, and the included dovetail makes using it very simple (you can add a dovetail to the RRS PCL-1 for $30).
Then there is the DDH02:
It is small, clamps very securely and has a nifty flip-lever that allows it to rotate or pan in 360°. As soon as I’d mounted it on the head, I knew I had the right solution.
I’m still going to take all three out on my trips so I can see how everything handles, and I’ll write up a full review in a couple of months. But over and above some things I’ve already learned as a enter the world of monopod users, I learned again a lesson for so many of us: Listen. 🙂
The DDH-01 panning clamp is available at B&H, but for now I can only find he DT-01 head on Amazon and eBay. As a new product, the DDH-02 hasn’t popped up anywhere yet…
Update: My full review on the DDH-02 and the DT-01 can be found here. Both products are now available at B&H and Amazon.
UPDATE: I’ve completed a full review! See it by clicking here. Enjoy!
Note/Disclaimer: You might have noticed these products have “SAMPLE” serial numbers. As with the XB-44, these were provided to me by Sunwayfoto for review at no cost. If you’ve read my blog, I hope you believe that I’m a very straightforward guy – I say what I think, I admit what I don’t know and I’d never let anything sway my review of a product: It works or it doesn’t. I like it or I don’t. I hate fiddly stuff and poor design, and I’ll never hold back on those issues. I always try to be fair, whichever way that cuts.