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Thread started 10 Jan 2014 (Friday) 09:05
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First Impression: Desmond 60mm Arca-style clamp and plate

 
jt354
Senior Member
401 posts
Joined Oct 2010
Location: Michigan
     
Jan 10, 2014 09:05 |  #1

For most of my tripod photography, I use a Cullmann MB6 ballhead, which retails around $160, is made in Germany, and performs exceptionally well for the price. Unfortunately, the head ships with a QR mechanism (MX445) that is absolute junk. The tiny square plate included with this system does not grip my 60D securely with a standard zoom lens, and I imagine would perform even worse with a full-frame camera. Cullmann also includes a standard "screw platform," but this tends to loosen itself from the ballhead and is difficult to to attach to the camera.

Several manufacturers sell aftermarket Arca-style clamps. Really Right Stuff and Kirk are among the best, but a clamp and plate from either company runs well over $100 and the Kirk units are incompatible with anti-rotation bosses used by several ballhead mfg.'s including Cullmann. An inexpensive alternative is the Desmond arca-style clamp, which goes for about $30 on Amazon or B&H. I decided to give this clamp a try based on positive Amazon feedback (admittedly a risky proposition).

Having used the product for an "entire" two days, I have to say I'm impressed so far. The clamp seems solidly made and holds the $12 Desmond plate securely. The plate itself has a d-ring for easy camera mounting, rubber pads to grip the DSLR body, and "safety screws." The clamp also includes a fairly useless removable bubble level, which I promptly removed. Time will tell regarding this clamp's durability, but it does seem well-made and is much more secure than proprietary mounts such as Cullmann's and Manfrotto's 200-PL.

IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3709/11871634093_12db6fdbca_b.jpg

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flickr (external link)
Gear: Canon 60D / Canon G12 / Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 / Canon 35mm f/2 IS / Canon 85mm f/1.8 / Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 / Speedlite 430 EXII / Slik 700DX legs / Cullmann MB6 head

  
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sawsedge
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Jan 10, 2014 10:12 |  #2

Good to know. I spotted these on Amazon while seeing if they had any lens plates. Very inexpensive. I suggest you get a plate with an anti-rotation lip though. If desmond doesn't have any that fit, try Hejnarphotostore.com.

Can you post photos of the cullman stem and the underside of the desmond clamp? Is is the same mount style as the A-S Z1? What size screw does it use?

BTW, Kirk does make a clamp for the B1/Z1. I just didn't like it and returned it.


- John

  
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jt354
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401 posts
Joined Oct 2010
Location: Michigan
     
Jan 10, 2014 13:14 |  #3

Yeah I can post some in a bit. The Cullmann stem takes a 3/8" x 16 screw and has two "tabs" to prevent rotation. The Desmond plate has a + shaped recess on the underside, allowing these tabs to fit. The recess is a bit larger than the tabs though, so I suppose it could rotate a bit. TBH I don't know how the Z1 clamp mounts. The Kirk clamps I've seen are flat around the threads, so I'd have to get creative with a dremel for it to fit.


Zenfolio (external link)
flickr (external link)
Gear: Canon 60D / Canon G12 / Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 / Canon 35mm f/2 IS / Canon 85mm f/1.8 / Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 / Speedlite 430 EXII / Slik 700DX legs / Cullmann MB6 head

  
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mainbyte
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Jan 11, 2014 08:07 as a reply to  @ jt354's post |  #4

Thanks for the info. They also have one that is both arca-swiss and bogen compatible. I may have to try one now since I use both.

http://www.amazon.com/​gp/product/B00GVCYWY6 (external link)

btw..one of the product photos on amazon shows the underside of the plate.

Thanks,

Ron


Canon 6D | Canon 7DII | 17-40 f/4L | 24-105 f/4L | 70-300 4/5.6L |100mm f/2.8L macro | 50mm 1.4 | 580exII | 2 - 430exII |

  
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Ray33
Member
118 posts
Joined Jun 2012
     
Jan 11, 2014 18:43 as a reply to  @ mainbyte's post |  #5

Igot one of these Desmond plates for Christmas. I wanted to use a spare Manfotto 48RC2 ball head and needed Arca compatibility. I needed to buy a longer screw to attach it to the stem and it works great.


His: 60D | 15-85 | Luma Cinch
Hers: 40D | Tamron 17-50 non-VC | Luma Cinch II
Ours: ∑ 30 f/1.4 | Canon 40 | Tamron 70-300 VC | 430EX II | Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 w/ Arca Swiss Z1 Head | Billingham 445

  
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First Impression: Desmond 60mm Arca-style clamp and plate
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