Magic Arms and Arca-Swiss Clamp Heads

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.


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