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Thread: Review: ProMediaGear Arca compatible clamp for Manfrotto heads

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Smile Review: ProMediaGear Arca compatible clamp for Manfrotto heads

    Full disclosure, I was curious about promedia's clamps since I did not see them reviewed anywhere and asked if they would care to send a copy for a review.

    Higher res images without aliasing:

    Manfrotto tripods and ball heads are pretty reliable, but I've never been a fan of their clamps, not even their new arca compatible ones. Unfortunately, they make it hard to throw on a new clamp by inverting the typical stem/plate interface.

    The most common solution to this is to get a boss adapter that slots in the Manfrotto stem and adapts it into the universal anti-twist boss, sitting sandwhiched between the clamp and the stem. There are also a couple manufacturers out there that offer direct fit replacements that are Manfrotto specific, with Manfrotto itself now offering two clamps (MSQ6T is new) as well, though there are reports of many arca plates not fitting the official manfrotto ones.

    Promedia rather has a unique design on their clamp to accept a couple anti-twist pins that fit into the manfrotto slot while the clamp body rests directly on the top of the stem without introducing fitting tolerances of the boss adapter.

    I was curious whether the pins would fit flush in the slot, as otherwise one would be able to wiggle the clamp, and was relieved to find that they were indeed so flush as to not allow a speck of dust in there.

    Fitting them in the clamp itself was a little more challenging, I actually had to mallet them in there so that they would sit flush with the clamp. The pins are steel, so they did not mind.

    With the pins in, I undid the thread adapter on the clamp (has loctite, get your biggest flathead screwdriver) and was a little skeptical about the size of the chamfer that meets the head of the original manfrotto screw. Putting skepticism aside, I was able to tighten the manfrotto screw flush, and the clamp felt like it was one solid part with the rest of the assembly.

    It's not the large chamfer that the screw sits in but the edge of the first thread

    Having said that, the interface for the manfrotto screw is one of my only criticisms I have of the clamp, I think it would feel much better if it either had a fully chamfered 3/8" adapter, or to come with a chamfered and 3/8" threaded body with a 1/4" bushing like other clamps. Conical chamfers help better center and distribute load. I don't think it is going to affect the load of a DSLR, but I did not feel good about tightening that screw against what is actually the top thread for the adapters, there isn't a real flat chamfer for the screw to fit against.

    With the adapter on, the clamp fit my RRS D850 plate well with the security pin able to do it's job. The tightening thread pitch is on the large side so a quarter turn is all it takes to secure/unsecure it in sliding. The scale is easy to read and the bubble is good enough to give you a rough idea before you get your camera on there.

    In terms of build quality, I can see some machining marks here where the cnc went a hair deeper that you can see in the photo. Inset areas are not as well finished as the outermost surfaces. The knob finish, feel and knurling is a bit on the simple side (ie. not bead-plasted precision knurled RRS level). Otherwise the fit is fine, the spring tensioned clamp moves freely and the knob is well fitted with a metal o-ring.

    All in all, I'm happy with it so far. It is a pretty decent value with their current pricing for a USA manufactured clamp with a good warranty. My one gripe, as I mentioned above, is the minimal chamfer for the screw. I hope they add a chamfered 3/8" adapter or machine it straight in for a 3/8 with 1/4 bushing to better match the manfrotto screw.

    * Solid but lightweight with a relatively slim profile
    * Locally built and supported

    * no real chamfer for the manfrotto screw
    * knob could be better machined
    * could use measures on both sides so one can mount with knob away from face.


    Last edited by pinktank; 7th February 2020 at 12:58.
    Thanks 2 Member(s) thanked for this post

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Re: Review: ProMediaGear Arca compatible clamp for Manfrotto heads

    I have a couple clamps from Hejnar Photo on the way as well, will post comparisons

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