It was back in September 2012 when Desmond Photographic Distribution had introduced their first dual function quick release clamp the Desmond DBA-1 Bogen (Manfrotto) / Arca Clamp which merged the worlds of Manfrotto® RC-2 system and Arca-Swiss® compatible clamps.
The success of that clamp led to the release of another dual function solution, this time the QR clamp serves for mounting both the Arca-Swiss® Classic and the Slidefix® sized dovetail plates/rails.
The DAC-04 QR clamp is not unique in design as its DBA-1 sibling but is the first low budget solution accommodating both systems.
|Width with Screw Knob:||83.0 mm|
|Jaw Length:||60.0 mm (2.36")|
|Metal Converter:||3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20|
|As most Desmond products, DAC-04 comes in a small, plain, white box with a model and code sticker. It is wrapped in an air-bubble bag and is accompanied by a good quality 3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20 reducer bushing.|
Fitting the QR clamp on a Ball head
The clamp can be mounted on top of a ball head stem either by screwing it directly on a 3/8" (or an 1/4" stud via the provided reducer bushing), or...
|as most ball heads nowadays have a threaded hole and anti-twist bosses, by aligning and placing it on the bosses then using an M6 or an 1/4"-20 flat head screw, tighten it securely with the appropriate Allen hex key.|
|The clamp is perfectly aligned and fixed in place as shown in the photo above.|
Using with an Arca Classic compatible plate.
Using with an Arca Slidefix® plate.
Thinking positively, the great benefit of this clamp is that you may use plates and/or rails of both Arca dovetail widths.
As shown above the clamp accommodates Arca-Slidefix® plates on the lower deck, clamping them securely by its narrower jaws.
The DAC-04 quick release clamp was tested with various camera plates and lens plates, as well as with multi purpose long rails of various thicknesses and widths. Plates / Rails tested were from Benro, Kiwi Fotos, Fotoporo, Marumi and Hejnar PHOTO with very good results in general, except with some very thick rails with wider dovetail edge radius.
Due to the double deck nature of the QR clamp, in my opinion the designer has reduced a little the jaw height in sake of the overall height.
For the readers that like numbers, I hereunder quote detailed measurements of the clamp Jaw dimensions, so as they can decide whether this clamp is compatible with the dimensions of their plates or rails.
|Clamp Jaw dimensions||A mm||B mm|
|Steady Jaw Height||03.26||03.16|
|Moving Jaw Height||05.84||05.84|
|Min Jaw Lip Opening||34.82||23.78|
|Max Jaw Lip Opening||38.96||27.92|
|Min Base Opening||40.35||28.86|
|Max Base Opening||43.94||33.21|
The yellow figures in the above specs are quite lower than 5 mm which is considered the middle of the dovetail V cut that may prove an issue with some thick rails. Even so, the clamp jaws are very strong and due to the very small tolerances there is no play or deformation of the moving jaw as with some really cheap clamps. The jaws can still clamp a thick dovetail securely, just need caution with very thick rails to tighten the knob well for safety..
All other dimensions fall within the average limits, consisting the clamp compatible with a large number of Arca-Swiss® Classic type plates and rails and of course the Arca-Slidefix®.
Dual, Arca double deck design at a very low price.
Exceptional machining, finishing and anodizing quality for the price.
Excellent fitting with very small tolerances.
Very smooth operation.
Good quality metal 3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20 conversion bushing included.
Not compatible with safety stop screws which needs cautious use. (As all double deck QR clamps).
A small issue due to the low jaw height that may be of importance for some potential buyers.
Desmond DAC-04 offers a very low budget solution for users of both Arca-Classic and Arca-Slidefix® plates and rails. Although, this is a limited market, there are many Arca-Swiss® Ball head owners that would like to exchange their old type or worn out quick release clamp, and many more others that would like to use the very broad Slidefix® series of accessories. If you are one of them, then this might be a nice solution for you.
Nevertheless, while it has a low price tag, it maintains the same Desmond good quality standards and excellent Value for Money!
Note : The DAC-04 Quick Release Clamp presented in this article was kindly offered by Desmond Photographic Distribution, USA, for evaluation and review.
I hope you found the article and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2013 S.C.Vlachos
Price and Availability:
Current price for the DAC-04 is US$
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Desmond DBA-1 Bogen (Manfrotto) / Arca Clamp Review
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Desmond DAC-02 60mm Quick Release Clamp Review