September 9, 2013

Sunwayfoto GHA-01 Bi-directional Adapter Plate Review

Sunwayfoto GHA-01 Bi-directional Adapter Plate overview
Another useful gadget among the Sunwayfoto line of accessories is the GHA-01 Biderectional Adapter Plate Adapter.

Its main purpose is to enable a quick release clamp to sit upon and be clamped by another QR clamp, enabling the user to change the orientation at will by 90 degrees.
This proves helpful when someone would like to mount a camera on a Gimbal head, as it is illustrated later on, but this not the only application.

Packaging & Contents

Sunwayfoto GHA-01 Bi-directional Adapter Plate box
The Sunwayfoto GHA-01 Bi-Directional Adapter plate comes shrink wrapped in the usual by now Sunwayfoto recycled-carton box. A large white label shows the content photo, model and main specification.
Sunwayfoto GHA-01 Bi-directional Adapter Plate in box foam
All parts are nested in pre-cut foam sockets that protect them during transport, while an extra layer of foam bellow (thicker) and above (thinner) are there for even better protection from scratches. The plate is small for the packaging, but there is ample space for the accessory tools as well.

The Bi-directional Adapter Plate
Manufacturer Specification:
Height:11.5 mm
Width:39.0 mm
Length:39.0 mm
Total Length of 2 Bosses:20.6 mm
Weight:19 gr

Sunwayfoto GHA-01 Bi-directional Adapter Plate box contents
GHA-01 is CNC machined from aluminium, finely finished without any hard edges and is hard coat anodized in a satin black color. It comes together with a flat-head 1/4"-20 hex screw and a 4mm Allen hex key.
Sunwayfoto GHA-01 Bi-directional Adapter Plate top-view
This simple plate is small with an Arca-Swiss® compatible, 39 x 39 mm half dovetail at the bottom, thus quite universal. Its top surface is deeply carved with a longitudinal brace featuring an 1/4"-20 threaded hole in the center and two anti-twist bosses aside the hole. Any quick release clamp that has anti-twist grooves at the bottom, beside their center hole, equal or greater than 20,6 mm in length, can accept it transforming it to bidirectional clamp.

Mounting the Plate

Sunwayfoto GHA-01 w/ Sunwayfoto DDH-02 and tools
All you need to attach the plate, via its 1/4"-20 threaded top hole, under a QR Clamp, is the flat 1/4"-20 hex screw and Allen hex key, which come together with the plate anyway. The Sunwayfoto DDH-02 compact Panning Clamp chosen for the illustration above, lacks any bottom mounting holes 
Sunwayfoto GHA-01 on Sunwayfoto DDH-02 bottom-view
The GHA-01 anti-twist bosses fit snugly into the relevant anti-twist grooves at the bottom of a Sunwayfoto QR clamp.
The bottom side of the Bi-directional Adapter plate is almost flat, with a laser engraved logo and model number.
However, where it differs from similar products is that the 1/4"-20 center hole thread becomes a 3/8"-16 thread at the bottom side. This feature will enable a QR clamp with no threads in the center hole be attached on a ball head, pole oe stand with a 3/8"-16 stud on top.

Sunwayfoto GHA-01 tightening on Sunwayfoto DDH-02 top-view
Insert the flat-head 1/4"-20 screw in the QR clamp center hole from the top, tighten with the Allen hex key and you are done.

Using the Plate
In order to illustrate the ability of changing the orientation of fixed QR clamp, as is in 99% of the cases on a Gimbal head, I have chosen my version of a Heavy Duty HDR Multi-Row Panorama Head equipped with Sunwayfoto DDP-64S Panoramic Indexing Rotator as vertical rotator and a custom Cradle Clamp so don't look for similarities with known brands. :)

Sunwayfoto GHA-01 w/ Sunwayfoto DDH-02 on HDR-MR-Pano head/Gimbal
In the photo above the Gimbal head is equipped with a large QR clamp which is oriented to accept Long Lens Rails for a fore-aft adjustment and balancing of the camera/lens combo.
For the occasional, direct attachment of a camera equipped with an Arca-type base plate, which has a dovetail usually parallel to the camera bottom; then another clamp equipped with GHA-01 bi-directional plate can easily change the orientation without other major changes. Even better if the top clamp has a panning function as the Sunwayfoto DDH-02 pictured above.

Universal use.
Excellent machining, finishing and build quality.
Very tight tolerances between the plate bosses and Sunwayfoto QR clamps.

Adds 11.5 mm of height between the two quick release clamps.
A little heavier than similar solution reviewed in the past.

Although it is an accessory with a rather specialized use, it proves very useful when someone wants to change a clamp orientation otherwise impossible, like on a Gimbal head.
On the other hand it is a must have device, as a bottom Arca mount for the Sunwayfoto DDH-02 panning clamp, if you want to use it sporadically on top of an existing Arca-style QR clamp.
It may prove a smart solution in any case you would like to change a QR clamp orientation or add a 3/8"-16 thread to an un-threaded QR clamp.

Note :
The GHA-01 Bi-directional Adapter Plate presented in this article is a complementary copy, kindly offered by Sunwayfoto, 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 & Availability:
The current retail price for the GHA-01 Plate is US$ 29.50 (+Shipping where applicable) and is available from Amazon or from eBay worldwide.

Update July 2014
Special limited time offer at US$ 9.95 ! Expired!

Referenced Articles:

Sunwayfoto DDH-02 compact Panning Clamp Review

Sunwayfoto DDP-64SX Panoramic Indexing Rotator Review

Relevant Articles:

Hejnar PHOTO Clamp Adapter Plate Review

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