The All-Purpose Pony Clamp

The universally all-purpose gaffer’s tape aside, when it comes to studio photography I can’t think of anything more generally useful than a Pony clamp. You may not know the name, but I’m sure you know the clamp. Like Kleenex or Xerox, the brand name has become synonymous with the product—in this case, a simple spring loaded hand clamp. It’s a simple design, a lot like a clothespin, but made of steel and much bigger. The standard around my studio is the model 3202, otherwise known as a #2 clamp, which opens two inches at its widest. The one-inch model is also useful, and larger clamps come in handy as well. A common application, for instance, is turning spring clamps into a holder for fill cards and reflectors, as pictured here. Really, for anything I need to hold fast, I reach for a Pony clamp first. It’s easy to think of them as studio tools, but they’re just as useful out in the real world as well. If you don’t already own a few, make the small investment. I’m fairly confident you’ll thank me.

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