For many years I have been wondering why a pioneering manufacturer like Manfrotto, with great innovations in their account, had chosen to stick in proprietary quick release designs on their ball heads. Although these designs were very advanced at their time, they were not compatible even between them compelling both the users to have a limited choice of accessories and Manfrotto to maintain 3-4 different lines of products.
The continues expansion of the Arca-Swiss® dovetail design between competitors offered a large selection of support gear and accessories with great versatility, putting the once market leader Manfrotto almost in isolation in the ball head segment.
But it's never too late.
Manfrotto designers finally came out with a quite remarkable Arca-Swiss® compatible quick release system the Q6, comprised of an innovative clamp and a camera plate. This Q6 system is offered with the recent line of Magnesium 054, 055, 057, the older Hydrostatic Head, but also as an add-on adaptor.
This adaptor allows you to fit the new Manfrotto Q6 Top Lock quick release system to an existing Manfrotto ball head. According to Manfrotto "The Top Lock system has been developed to offer photographers a fast, easy to use and very secure camera quick release mechanism suitable for heavy pro equipment." A Q6 Arca-compatible plate is supplied with the adaptor, while spare plates can be purchased separately.
The Q6 Top Lock QR Adaptor
|Attachment (top):||1/4" screw|
|Secondary Safety Sytem:||Yes|
|Bubble Spirit Level no||3|
|Weight:||170 gr (0.37 lb)|
|The camera plate clicks into the clamp from above, and as soon as it engages, it triggers a safety pin that stops the plate and camera from sliding out accidentally. Even before the clamp is locked, the camera is securely supported.|
The Q6 Quick Release Plate
|Attachment (top):||1/4" screw|
|Depth/Width:||55 mm (2.17")|
|Height/Thickness:||11 mm (0.43")|
|Length:||70 mm (2.76")|
|Weight:||70 gr (0.15 lb)|
Compatible Manfrotto Ball Heads
However, before I come in a solid conclusion, I would like to make an Arca-Swiss® compatibility assessment with other plates, rails and clamps from other manufactures. At the moment Manfrotto offers only one QR plate to my knowledge. Therefore it would be useful to know the level of inter-compatibility of the Q6 system with the countless rails and plates already in the market.
Manfrotto Q6 Top Lock QR Adaptor Compatibility Assessment
I hope you found the article useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos © Manfrotto.com
Price & Availability:
Price wise the Q6 quick release system is at a very competitive level since the MSQ6 Adaptor sells around US$ 100-112 while a spare plate will cost about US$ 25.
Manfrotto MSQ6 Top Load Adaptor is available from Amazon.com, or from eBay internationally.
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