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03-29-2012, 04:27 PM   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chicago suburb, IL, USA
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My Arca compatible plate for the Q

Hi All,

It's taken a while, but I've finally gotten my Arca compatible plate for my Q functional.

The plate is a model D010 1" plate from Hejnar Photo on Ebay.

1" P&S camera plate 4 Markins arca swiss wimberley acratech foba benro kirk | eBay

It has to be modified (I used a Dremel with a 1/2" sanding drum) to clear any lens that might be mounted on the Q. The 02 zoom is the largest I have, and it's about the diameter of the SS mount plate on the camera, so I just ground just enough to clear this. The tripod socket location and width of the mounting holes will only allow the lip to be placed to the front of the body. Mounting the lip at the back of the camera body would be a bad idea anyway since the LCD cover glass extends down almost to the bottom of the body, and I can imagine cracking it when tightening the plate down. I plan to polish the metal out and maybe throw some paint on it, but it's easier to see the modified area this way. Excuse the focus errors, these are good enough to get the idea.





I needed a way to attach my Camdapter CamStrap, and thought of a couple of other ways to mount the plate where I could get this, but the iShoot Hanging Adapter Screw is really my best option. It not only allows a QR attachment of my strap, but also allows me to attach a neckstrap attached to the same kind of miniature S carabiner (I got a pack of three of these from REI for $2.95 IIRC)







I have to detach the bottom strap to mount the camera on a tripod, but it only takes a second, and the strap remains reasonably functional, though unnecessary when the camera is mounted to a 'pod.

Here's the camera mounted on my lightweight travel tripod and ballhead (3.3 lbs including the head). It's more than is needed for the Q, but it is rated at over 17 lbs for the legs (and 40 lbs for the head), so it can easily support even with the K-5 and a 300/2.8 class lens on a Wimberley Sidekick (@ 9+ lbs total). I'm anticipating using this setup as my primary (even for the DSLRs), though until it proves itself in the field, I'll also have my heavier legs and head in the trunk of the car. In the first shot, you can see that the 02 Zoom just barely clears the notch I ground in the plate's lip. I don't anticipate needing to grind more, but it really depends on Pentax since the adapters I have so far are smaller than the mount plate, so Pentax Q mount lenses would be the only ones that might be larger.





This plate and the Q's lens mount are definitely sufficient (IMO) for lighter lenses like the DA 50-200, DA 55-300, or D FA 100 macro adapted to the Q. For heavier lenses like the FA*300/4.5, Sigma EX 180/3.5 Macro, or heavier, I'll be using the tripod mount on the lens. I considered swapping the clamp on the head with a narrower one, but decided against this since I'll be using this head with heavier DSLR gear.

For anyone interested, the legs are Fotopro MGC 584N. They're 8x carbon fiber, rated at over 17 lbs, have 4 section (non-rotating) 3 angle position legs, legs that rotate 180 for transport, a retracting screw on the bottom of the 2 piece center column for a weight hook, and one leg detaches and can be used as a monopod. It weighs 2 lbs 8 oz and folds down to @ 17" and extends to over 60" (with about 10" of extension from the center column) It's essentially the same as a Benro Travel Angel Transformer, but was over $100 cheaper. Unfortunately, I think I bought the last one available in the US, but I got it from OEC Camera on Amazon if they decide to get more. For the price I paid ($164), it's an outrageously good tripod (fingers crossed -- we'll see if it lasts).

The head is a Vanguard ABH 120K. This is a surprisingly good head. It features separate controls for unlocked tension, ball lock, and the panning base. The ball is very smooth, the pre-tension can be set very precisely (though it takes a little getting used to) and the ball locks very securely without any droop and with little effort. The ball is elliptical, so when the tension is set correctly, it helps prevent the camera/lens from crashing if you take your hand off the camera with the ball unlocked. The panning base is very smooth, and remains so, even if significant weight (10 lbs) is offset to one side. It's Arca plate compatible, and the clamp allows you to drop the plate from the top instead of having to line it up and slide it in the side. It weighs about 13 oz and supports over 40 lbs. The last time I looked, this head was on special from Adorama for $95 -- a great deal for such a lightweight head of this quality, but don't confuse this series with the cheaper SBH series heads which look like, but are not Arca compatible. I have a drawer full of ballheads that seemed like good deals, but were found significantly wanting in performance compared to this head.

Scott

03-29-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2009
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I love those S carabiners! and nice shout out to hejnar, he makes great stuff. Why not just mount the plate the other way? did it interfere with the LCD on the backside?
03-29-2012, 07:17 PM   #3
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chicago suburb, IL, USA
Posts: 1,535
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
I love those S carabiners! and nice shout out to hejnar, he makes great stuff. Why not just mount the plate the other way? did it interfere with the LCD on the backside?
Hi pxpaulx,

I mentioned in the post that it won't fit the other way because the tripod socket is too far towards the front, and since the LCD cover glass goes pretty much all the way to the bottom of the body, I would have feared breakage anyway. IMO, this is really the best way to mount it though it takes some mods.

Hejnar is great, and can custom make just about anything you could imagine for Arca users. Browsing the stuff he catalogs has given me all kinds of ideas for the things I like to shoot. Sunwayfoto also makes a lot of interesting Arca compatible stuff at reasonable prices.

Scott
04-01-2012, 05:14 PM   #4
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Snostorm, thanks for the QR info. Never heard of Hejnar before. Always need more QR plates so I will be doing business with them. They are much more affordable than other brands.

If I understand correctly the ridge you Dremeled is the anti- slip edge that normally grabs the back of a camera? Looking at Hejnar's web site there is now a #11 plate with the same dimensions as #10, minus the anti-slip edge. If I am reading this clearly, it could save others a date with the Dremel.

Wow, 55-300 seems big to hang off the camera tripod socket. Has the tripod foot on the your lens adapter given up the ghost? Mine has been retightened once. Hope I am wrong about the scheduled release of the Pentax made adapter. Could use it now.
thanks
barondla

04-01-2012, 08:30 PM   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chicago suburb, IL, USA
Posts: 1,535
Original Poster
Hi barondla,

Also take a look at OEC Camera on Ebay and Amazon for Sunwayfoto Arca compatible plates and accessories and Rainbow Imaging on Ebay for very good prices on Arca compatible plates and clamps. The Fotopro plates are of good quality and very inexpensive, especially for the long lens plates.

You are correct about the #11 plate without the lip. When I was looking, this was not available, and this flat one would have been my first choice as it would have allowed a bunch of different ways I could mount it to the Q to meet my needs without any grinding.

I think the DA 55-300 is about the limit for lenses that I'd use with the camera body tripod socket. It's only a bit over a lb, and not especially front heavy, even when extended out to the long end. I happen to have a tripod ring that will fit this lens, and that's the way I'd normally mount it, but I'd use the camera plate to mount this camera/lens combo if I didn't have the ring with me.

The tripod foot on my RJ gave up quite soon after I received it (mine was one of the first sent out). I e-mailed him about it, and it's possible that they made some modifications to those shipped subsequently. but I don't know. . .

I certainly hope that the Pentax adapter is released soon. I'm pretty much holding off on starting serious macro work with the Q because I hope the OEM adapter will make a lot of flash work arounds unnecessary. I don't mind work arounds, as they force me to think outside the box, but it's just better if I don't have to worry about them.

Scott
04-02-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Thanks for the thumbs up approval of QR plate #11. Putting that on the must have list. My Arca plates are as big as a Q.

My Pentax contact has told me about the next DSLR ( and approx delivery time) but hasn't heard anything about the adapter coming to this country. Was even told to keep ordering the RJ adapters for people. Fear it may not make the main macro season here. Bummer.

Just got in 6 RJ adapters. The tripod socket looks the same to me. Still little screws. The adapters were for Pentax, Canon EOS, and Nikon.Wish they would build the tripod foot to say on permanently. Can't see any reason to remove it.

thanks
barondla
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