June 30, 2014

Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp with Strap Bosses & Dovetail Review

Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp
Among many new items recently, Desmond released a tiny but nonetheless innovative quick release clamp, maintaining Arca-Swiss® compatibility both on top and bottom.

Desmond DAC-25 is a multipurpose mini QR clamp featuring three Strap Bosses according to Desmond (or simply Strap Loops) and an extra dovetail at the bottom.

Package and Contents
Desmond DAC-25 comes in the common to all Desmond clamps and rails, small, plain, white box with a model and code sticker. The QR clamp travels within a zip-lock nylon bag and is accompanied by a good quality 3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20 reducer bushing.

Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp package

The clamp

Manufacturer Specification:
Height:15.25 mm (0.60")
Width w/ Screw Knob:78.0 mm (3.07")
Jaw Length:25.0 mm (0.98")
Center Mounting Hole Thread:3/8"-16
Metal Conversion Bushing:3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20
Weight:37 gr (1.3 oz)
All Metal construction:Aluminium

Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp top view
Top side view shows that the DAC-25 features two strap bosses / loops on the sides and one along the steady jaw of the clamp. There is a countersunk but also threaded 3/8"-16 center hole and laser engraved decimal scales on both jaws. The scales are incremented in 1 mm marks and digits every 5 mm counting from the center outwards. The screw knob is thin and short matching the minimal size of the QR clamp.
Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp bottom view
The bottom (back) side view of the clamp reveals the elongated alignment grooves across the center hole an the Arca style dovetail that runs parallel to the clamp jaws.
Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp top and bottom front-side views with and w/o bushing
Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp top and bottom angled views with and without the provided 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 bushing. The angled view makes the existence of the bottom dovetail more evident.

Fitting the QR clamp on a Ball head
Although the strap bosses / loops and the dovetail on the bottom suggest a different role for the DAC-25, the clamp can also be mounted on a ball head. Depending on the ball head design it can be mounted on top of the ball stem, of a rather small ball head, either using a pass through M6 or 1/4"-20 screw or by screwing it directly on a 3/8" or an 1/4" stud (via the provided conversion bushing).

Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp aside Triopo RS-3 ball head
When the ball head ball-stem is equipped with anti-twist bosses and a threaded hole like the Triopo RS-3 ball head pictured in the above illustration together with an appropriate M6 hex socket flat-head screw and a 4mm Allen hex key.
Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp attached on Triopo RS-3 ball head
Then, the DAC-25 may be easily attached using an M6 in this case, or an 1/4"-20 flat head screw with a hex socket and then just tightened with the 4mm Allen hex key.

Using on a Small Pod

Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp aside Fotomate V-Pod S table top
With the aid of the included 1/4"-20 to 3/8"-16 conversion bushing screwed on the DAC-25 it may be combined with the Fotomate V-Pod-S (Review)...
Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp asideon Fotomate V-Pod S table top
...in order to facilitate the quick mounting and dismounting of a small camera or a flash unit on top of the table top tripod.
Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp aside Fotomate V-Pod S grip
If you intend to use the V-Pod-S as a Grip...
Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp on Fotomate V-Pod S grip
The DAC-25 clamp can also be mounted directly on top of the pod via its 1/4"-20 stud using once again the 3/8'-16 conversion bushing.

Using with DLR-2502B Multipurpose Rail
Nevertheless, the real purpose of the DAC-25 is to facilitate clamping and adjusting Arca Rails over and under. In the following example the Desmond DLR-2502B (preview) Multipurpose rail and the DAC-25 QR clamp are the base for a Long Lens Support Bracket.

Mounting Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp on Desmond DLR-2502B seq.
The Desmond DLR-2502B Multipurpose rail is either sold separately or as a bundle with the DAC-25 exactly for this purpose. Among the accessories included with the DLR-2502B are already two dowel pins with M3 thread and a 1" long 1/4"-20 flat-head hex socket screw. These are exactly what' s needed to align and attach the small QR clamp into the hole on the side of the rail. The DAC-25 can play now the role of a vertical regulator on the LLSB.
Desmond DAC-25 Mini w/ Desmond DLR-2502B and DBC-50 Dual clamp
The Desmond DBC-50 50mm Dual Subtend QR Clamp (Review) comes to complement the structure of the Long Lens Support Bracket as a lens foot horizontal regulator.
Desmond DAC-25+DLR-2502B+DBC-50+Sunwayfoto YLS-01 supporting Canon EF 100-400 IS USM
With the addition of a Yoke like the Sunwayfoto YLS-01 (Review) shown above we have a fully adjustable Long Lens Support Barcket holding the Canon EF 100-400 L IS USM zoom lens.

Plus a Shoulder Strap

Combining a Desmond DAC-25 Mini w/ DLR-2502B MPR and carrying strap
The combination of  the Desmond DAC-25 Mini's strap bosses / loops with the strap loop found on the other end of the DLR-2502B MPR provide anchor points for a shoulder strap on both sides of the Lens Bracket for a balanced carrying.

Using with a Shoulder or Sling Strap on a Camera
Last but not least we come to justify the purpose of the strap loops on the DAC-25 fully. One solution is the use of the two side strap loops with a camera shoulder strap, while a second solution can be to use the front strap loop with a Sling strap instead.

Combining a Desmond DAC-25 Mini with shoulder strap
Using the two side strap loops we can attach a camera shoulder strap on the DAC-25 for quick connect / disconnect of the strap loop on the camera L bracket as is the case in the photos above. Besides that, the camera can still be mounted on a ball head featuring an Arca style clamp via the bottom dovetail of the DAC-25 without having to disconnect the strap at all.

Arca-Swiss® Compatibility
The DAC-25 mini quick release clamp was tested with various camera plates and lens plates, as well as with multipurpose long rails of various thicknesses and widths. Plates / Rails tested were from Benro, Desmond, Kiwi Fotos, Fotoporo, Marumi, Hejnar PHOTO and Sunwayfoto, without any issue whatsoever.
For the readers that like numbers, I hereunder quote detailed measurements of the clamp Jaw and the clamp dovetail dimensions. So as anyone can decide whether this clamp is compatible with the dimensions of their plates or rails.

Clamp Jawmm
Jaw Length25.00
Steady Jaw Height05.00
Moving Jaw Height05.10
Min Jaw Lip Opening32.09
Max Jaw Lip Opening37.14
Min Base Opening39.17
Max Base Opening43.83
Clamp Dovetailmm

Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp closed and opened jaw detail
Desmond DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp top and bottom views with closed and opened jaw.

Dimensions of jaws fall within the average limits, consisting the clamp compatible with all variations of Arca-Swiss® type plates and rails. On the other hand the existence of a lower dovetail adds another compatibility parameter, but as the numbers declare it is also well suited for most Arca-Swiss® style quick release clamps.

Lightweight and innovative multi-functional design.
Very good machining, finishing and anodizing quality for the price.
Very good fitting with small tolerances and smooth operation.
Good quality metal 3/8"-16 to 1/4"-20 conversion bushing included.
Excellent value for money.

None found up to the time of this review.

This miniature DAC-25 clamp can find numerous implementations in a photographers arsenal of support gear. It is a very good machining example, combined with the proven by now Desmond quality standards Considering the very low price tag, I can recommend it for low to medium weight gear, DSLR or ILC cameras.

Note : The DAC-25 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 ©2014-2015 S.C.Vlachos

Prices & Availability:
Current price for the DAC-25 Mini QR Clamp is US$ 19.95 while for the Desmond DLR-2502B + DAC-25 Combo is US$ 49.97. Both items are available from Amazon or from eBay

If you are looking after a quick connect Sling strap, there is also a large selection of Camera / Sling Straps starting from US$ 5.99 from Amazon or from eBay which may fulfill the purpose.

Referenced Articles:

Triopo RS-3 Ball Head Review

Fotomate V-Pod-S Table Top Tripod Review

Desmond DBC-50 50mm Dual Subtend QR Clamp Review

New Desmond DBH Tension Control Ball Head

Desmond DLR-2502B Multipurpose Rail Review

Sunwayfoto YLS-01 Y-Type Long Lens Support Review

Relevant Articles:

Hejnar PHOTO F60 1" Quick Release Clamp Review

New Improved DDC Series QR Clamps from Sunwayfoto

Long Lens Support Bracket Articles

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