August 28, 2011

Fotopro QAL-500 Quick Release Clamp with P60 Quick Release Plate Review

Fotopro QAL-500 5cm Quick Release Clamp
The Fotopro QAL-500 Arca Swiss® compatible clamp has been mentioned in many of my posts and reviews, therefore I decided to make this more detailed review and present all of its characteristics for reference purposes.

It is a simple and low cost clamp and can be found sold as a singe unit, in batches or even accompanied by an Arca Swiss® compatible dovetail plate.

The QAL-500 QR Clamp

Fotopro QAL-500 5cm Quick Release Clamp box
My copies of Fotopro QAL-500 came in a white box inside a small self closing nylon bag, accompanied by an 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 converter bushing.
Fotopro QAL-500 w/ bushing top
The clamp's dimensions are 5 cm (1.97") long x 4,8 cm (1.89") wide and the knob extends 2,35 cm (0.93") for a total width of 7,15 cm (2.81") and weighs 88 gr (3.1 oz). There is a 3/8"-16 threaded hole in the center and two safety stop relief grooves on each side 2,2 mm deep.
Fotopro QAL-500 bottom
The bottom side is almost flat with two shallow, 1cm wide grooves across the length one passing over the center hole and one close to the front.
Fotopro QAL-500 screw-knob bubble level
The diameter of the screw knob is equal to its length 2,35cm (0.93") and has an embedded bubble level. There are few cases this bubble level would be useful and that is only when the clamped camera/lens is turned in portrait position with the knob on the side.

The P-60 QR Plate

Fotopro P-60 QR base plate top
In one of my purchases the clamp came together with a Fotopro P-60 camera plate.
The P-60 Arca Swiss® compatible Quick Release plate, weighs 41gr (1.45oz), measures 60x38 x10 mm (2.36x1.5x0.39"), has a double dovetail, three convenient captive slots for attachment on cameras or lenses, six thin rubber pads with rough surface to prevent it from twisting and comes with one 1/4"-20 captive screw.
On the top dovetail there is a small center mark at each side.
Fotopro P-60 QR base plate bottom
On the underside we can see the two M3 stop screws near the edges and that the 1/4"-20 captive screw, which may be tightened either with an Allen hex keys or with a flat screwdriver or even a small coin.
I prefer to tighten with an Allen key since it can exercise the maximum torque and results in a solid contact with camera base (needless to say not to over tighten captive screws).
Fotopro P-60 QR plate on QAL-500 centered
The P-60 plate fits nicely on the QAL-500 clamp...
Fotopro P-60 QR plate on QAL-500 off-center
...letting an adequate side movement within the limits of the safety stop relief grooves for proper camera/lens centering or balancing.



Using the Clamp...

Fotopro QAL-500 QR clamp w/ bushing fitted
The included 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 converter bushing makes the clamp even more versatile for use with 1/4"-20 thread screws.
Triopo RS-3 ball head w/ Fotopro QAL-500 QR clamp+bushing aside
By utilizing the 1/4"-20 converter bushing...
Fotopro QAL-500 QR screwed on Triopo RS-3 ball head
The clamp can be mounted on any ball head with an 1/4"-20 stud converting it to an Arca Swiss® compatible head.
Fotopro QAL-500 QR aside Benro MA-96EX monopod
Without the converter bushing,  it is very easy to mount the clamp on a 3/8"-16  monopod stud like the one found on the Benro MA-96EX pictured above...
Fotopro QAL-500 QR screwed on Benro MA-96EX monopod
...giving again a versatile Arca Swiss® compatibility for quick exchange of gear.

You can find more information about this clamp in the Relevant Articles below :
Thank you for viewing.
All Photos: © 2010-2011 S.C.Vlachos

Availability:
Discontinued

Referenced Articles:
Triopo RS-3 Ball Head Review
Benro MA-96 EX Monopod Review

Relevant Articles:
Create an Economy Nodal/Macro rail,
Create a Single Row Panorama Head,
Create a Multi Row Panorama Head,
Using a Multi Row Panorama Head,
Benro HD-38 3-Way Head Review
Benro MA-96 EX Monopod Review
Giottos MH-680 VR Sliding Plate Review

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