This will be — without question — the single most boring post in the history of blogging and suitable only for the most discerning gear head. But if you use a magic arm, I might be able to save you a little time.
A Manfrotto Magic Arm is just that. Want to mount a camera on a basketball backboard? You need a Magic Arm. Hang a camera from rafters? Magic Arm. Tuck a flash up near the ceiling? You know it.
The challenge is the connecting clamp. I moved to Arca-Swiss style plates a long time ago. Each camera has one mounted on the bottom. Which means if I wanted to use my 244RC arm, I needed to stack a Manfrotto plate on the bottom. Inconvenient for sure, but also unstable.
So as I started thinking about the Olympic trip, I thought about replacing the clamp with something Arca compatible. And that, my friends, proved more difficult that you’d imagine. The Magic Arm has an “anti-twist” flange that sits in a groove on the clamp. Works great, but it also means that — for patent reasons or otherwise — most 3rd party clamp heads don’t work. I tried a couple from Amazon with no luck. Asked the kind folks at B&H and they didn’t have any suggestions. Ditto with Really Right Stuff.
Then I found Chris of Hejnar Photo. And quick email exchange later, I bought this clamp. Fits perfectly.
Chris doesn’t call out the 244RC in the copy — which I hope he charges — but if you’re looking to replace a magic arm clamp, this is the way to go.