Ultralight Camera Solutions


How did Ultralight get started?

Around 1992, the only company making parts with 1″ balls was Oceanic. The balls were pinned into the arms and you only had one joint in the middle of the arm. At the top was a mount for Oceanic strobes and at the bottom was a TG mount for the T-plate that was on a tray that they sold. When Tom Campbell broke his Oceanic arms, he brought them to a machinist, Roy Schrader to fix and Roy told him he could make something much better. This is how Technical Lighting Control (TLC) arms were born. They were very heavy with holes in them and they did not have the O-ring in the ball.

About a year later, Roy got into an argument with Tom and started making his own arms. This is when Ultralight became into existence. Afterward, Tom took his arms to another machinist in Santa Barbara to be built, and eventually, TLC was purchased by Nikon and eventually became owned by Aquatica.

Roy had ULCS for about a year or maybe a little longer when Terry Schuller and Dave Reid bought ULCS from Roy and his partner. The O-ring that is in the ball mounts started with Roy and his partner while they owned ULCS. They also made upgraded clamps with an O-ring in them for those who wanted to keep using TLC arms but wanted that friction.

For many years it was just ULCS making 1″ arms with the O-rings in the ball ends. As time went by, other manufacturers added O-rings to their ball ends as well as, designing their products to look very similar to other Ultralight Camera Solutions parts.

What makes Ultralight products so great?

Ultralight Camera Solutions is in the business of manufacturing sturdy lightweight machined aluminum camera, video, and monitor accessories such as arms, clamps, trays, base adapters, handles, monitor mounts, assorted brackets, and more. ULCS products have been made, manufactured, and assembled in the USA with US materials since 1995 and we believe in sticking to what we know best.

What are your parts made out of?

Most of the parts are aircraft-grade aluminum (6061), each piece is machined from billet aluminum, polished, and then hard anodized to government specifications. At Ultralight, we anodize all of our parts to make sure they will hold up to the harshest environments. All of our black parts have Type 3 hard anodizing and our colored parts, in green, red, and blue has Type 2. The main difference between Type 3 and Type 2 anodizing is that Type 3 has a thicker anodized coating, is more durable, and has higher corrosion resistance to dissimilar metals than Type 2. All of our other parts are stainless steel and nylon.

How can I purchase Ultralight parts?

You can either purchase Ultralight parts through your local dealer or by ordering directly from us by requesting a quote and adding direct sale to the additional information text box during check out. Either way works but we do suggest trying to support our dealers first.

Are Ultralight products made only for underwater photography?

No, Ultralight products are excellent both above and below the surface. We have been selling to the cinematography industry since 2005. Our products have been used to make many TV shows and movies that you may have seen.

Are Ultralight parts easily adaptable when it’s time to upgrade my camera system?

Yes, Ultralight products have been manufactured with flexibility in mind and we offer an array of products to go with almost every camera system out there.

What is the best way to determine what I need and how long the arms should be?

This is all a matter of preference and the type of photography you will be doing. Do you plan to shoot macro, wide-angle, both, or video? Will you be using strobes, lights, or both? How powerful are your strobes and lights, the more powerful they are, the longer the arms can be? Contact us anytime, we would be happy to help guide you in setting up your camera system.

What is the purpose of the O-ring at the ends of the balls?

This allows a photographer to adjust the amount of clamping force for their needs. This allows the strobe or light to stay in place, but still, be able to make fine adjustments. Without an O-ring in the ball ends, the clamp tends to bind when tightened due to metal-to-metal contact. Ultralight was the first company to add an O-ring to the ball end for this purpose.

What is the difference between the buoyancy arms and the regular arms?

Both our small and large buoyancy arms are tubular aluminum with glued ball ends. Because of this, they are buoyant in the water due to the air that is held in the arms. This is not true with our regular arms that are machined from a single piece of aluminum. Another side note is our buoyancy arms have been tested to a depth of about 700’ feet.

Do you offer any types of dive trips for underwater photography enthusiasts?

We don’t, but the owner of Ultralight Camera Solutions Inc., Ken Kollwitz does this through his other business, Channel Islands Dive Adventures. CIDA runs local SoCal dive trips, camping & diving trips plus warm and cold water dive vacations. Check them out at www.channelislandsdiveadventures.com.

Do you have any informational or how-to videos about Ultralight products?

We do and you can find the current ones on our YouTube Channel. To keep posted when we have a new video available, please subscribe to our Ultralight channel.

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