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Thread: Best Arca-Type Clamp for the Old Arca Base Rail?

  1. #1

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    Best Arca-Type Clamp for the Old Arca Base Rail?

    I came upon a good old Arca with the fat base rail, whose profile allows you to place it along the track of an Arca-Swiss compatible clamp. In years past I had a B1 ballhead and it worked like a charm.

    But nowadays I rather use a pan-tilt head and just mount the clamp to the tripod screw. And rather not pay $100 for just a clamp. But I remember some off-brand Arca-style clamps did not clamp the Arca base as well as the old B1 head did - their angles were off slightly.

    Of all the cheaper eBay-Chinese knock-offs, which clamp holds the OEM Arca base rail the best?

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Best Arca-Type Clamp for the Old Arca Base Rail?

    Make sure to get one with a screw lock, as opposed to a lever lock. The screw ones have a greater range. I have a giotto version, and it's ok. The finish isn't as smooth as on the more expensive one, but it works fine.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

  3. #3
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    Re: Best Arca-Type Clamp for the Old Arca Base Rail?

    Kirk. You can find them on Ebay. Several sizes available at different prices. Or direct from Kirk. I think they have free shipping this weekend.
    Keith Pitman

  4. #4
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Best Arca-Type Clamp for the Old Arca Base Rail?

    The Kirk's are better than the Giottos. With the Kirk I have, the clamp bar, the part that get's screwed in to hold the rail, isn't as thick as the main clamp. This allows the whole thing to sit flat on a head and still be used. With the Giottos, the clamp bar is flush with the rest of the clamp, which means that if the clamp is fixed to a flat surface, the clamp bar will drag on the surface. I had to make a spacer bar out of aluminium stock so that the Giottos would work on my panoramic rotator.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

  5. #5
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Best Arca-Type Clamp for the Old Arca Base Rail?

    See: http://www.giottos.com/MH-3.htm for the giottos. I have the MH 658 (As well as one Kirk and one Really Right Stuff. Yes, I'm a fan of Arca style clamps.) In the picture of the MH 658, there's a part labeled "Arca Swiss Standard". That the part that I referred to as the "clamp bar." On a ball head, there's nothing under this, and so it's bottom being flush with the clamp body isn't a problem, but if you try on mount the clamp on a big flat head, such as a Gitzo RS5 pan/tilt head, you'll have to fashion a spacer or you won't be able to use the clamp, since the force holding the clamp body to the tripod head will also hold the clamp bar frozen in place.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

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