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Just Converted My Manfrotto (Bogen) to Arca Swiss

ballhead arca swiss

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#1 Rebel


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Posted 03 December 2015 - 06:42 AM

I wanted the convenience of using Arca Swiss across most of my tri and monopods. The problem is that ballheads are expensive bits of equipment and I didn't want to get new ones. Well, as I was browsing the internet I discovered that it's possible to convert your old ballheads relatively inexpensively.  


If you have a ballhead with say a RC2 quick release plate and you want to switch to Arca Swiss then you can buy an Arca Swiss adapter clamp and put it on your old ballhead.


I went with the FotoPanda FP-AC01 (This is the Desmond FP-AC01 in the States). This isn't the cheapest option but I read the good reviews so I thought I'd go for it. The price here in the UK is £14.99 posted on eBay. There are cheaper options such as the Andoer branded model at half the price. Maybe I'll try getting a cheap one later just to see how it is.


Anyway the FotoPanda (Desmond) one is excellent quality and represents good value for money. It's well machined and screws onto my Manfrotto head precisely. There's no play or looseness at all on either the ballhead or when the camera is mounted. 


The picture below is the one I bought but the seller has quite a few other models that have slightly different features. This is probably the most basic.



You can mount it to any 3/8"-16 post or 1/4"-20 (using the included 1/4" bushing adapter). So you can actually mount it directly onto a tripod without a ballhead or onto a quick release plate from a different manufacturer if you really wanted. 


If you're thinking of doing this type of conversion I found a good tutorial on this page: http://www.scvphotoi...arca-clamp.html


The above article gave me in inspiration to give it a try.


One reason I really wanted to go Arca Swiss was because I use a Peak Design Slide strap and didn't want the hassle of removing the Peak Design plate when I'm quickly trying to get my camera onto a mount at events. I often want to quickly swap between monopod for stability and hand held. I really don't have time to unscrew and screw on mounting plates.


If I have time I'll do a mini review of the Peak Design Slide strap too. It's a great strap and the best I've ever used. You should check their straps out if you haven't already. 

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#2 james23p


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Posted 03 December 2015 - 02:11 PM

Looking forward to your peak review.


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#3 Herman


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Posted 04 December 2015 - 07:02 PM

I'm using a Vanguard Tracker III for my lighter cameta/lens combinations. The tripod head used is a Vanguard SB-300 which I have also converted to accommodate the Arca Swiss adapter clamp (Wimberley C-12).

I've always been very pleased with the Arca Swiss standard.

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