Arca Swiss’s “Quick Link Set” is a duo of lightweight plates that will go between your tripod and your tripod head, letting you connect and detach the head quickly. I’ve been using the Quick Link Set recently plus wanted to cover my impressions in today’s review.
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The Arca Swiss Quick Link Set consists of 2 plates: a disk that attaches to the bottom of the tripod head, and a recipient base that attaches to the top of your tripod. They look like this:
As soon as you’ve attached these two plate designs to your tripod and mind, using them is a matter associated with rotating the base to the “open” position, placing the tripod head on top, and rotating the base to the “closed” place.
The recipient base weighs 103 gary the gadget guy (3. 6 oz), as well as the disk weighs 36 g (1. 3 oz). These are compatible with any tripod and head brand, not just those from Arca Swiss. Every receiver base costs $116, and each disk costs $115, although both together sell for a slightly discounted $212.
Plenty of photographers always use just one tripod with one head, and they rarely need to separate the two. If that’s your circumstances, there’s no reason to obtain the Quick Link Set, specifically considering the price. But there are a few situations where the Quick Hyperlink Set (or something comparable from other manufactures) is good value for money.
The first is simply if you find yourself swapping tripod minds frequently. Maybe you’re a dual stills/video shooter with one tripod but 2 heads: a standard ballhead with regard to photos, and a pan-tilt head for videos. Unscrewing them each time can be a slow process and may cause you to miss an attempt. With a Quick Link storage on each tripod head and a receiver base over the tripod, you can swap between heads in a matter of seconds.
Another reason to use the Quick Link is if you would like to pack your tripod head away easily for take a trip or hiking. Personally, after i go hiking, I find that a heavy tripod can drag my backpack in an uncomfortable way. Maybe the tripod hangs off the side of the backpack, twisting my backbone in that direction, or maybe this hangs off the back, producing the tripod feel two times as heavy. Either way, the weightier the tripod head, the bigger the problem – and I’m currently shooting with a heavy geared tripod head that could be uncomfortable to carry. With the Fast Link Set, I’ve been detaching the head and keeping it inside my backpack in a better spot to hold. Other photographers shooting along with big geared heads, pan-tilt heads, or larger ballheads like the RRS BH-55 may be in a similar boat.
Finally, you may want to use the Quick Link Set in case your tripod head doesn’t do well in the elements, such as dirty and sandy conditions. This is especially true of a lot of geared brain, which often have their gear mechanism exposed to the outside world. It’s a problem to unscrew the tripod head each time you’re accomplished shooting, but I know of some geared head shooters who do exactly that will in order to avoid damaging their expensive equipment.
The particular Quick Link Set has excellent build quality. The open/close mechanism is smooth and intuitive after using it just a couple times. Also, the extra hex-key screw (pictured below) means that the plates will not go anywhere once they’re attached – a nice advantage over some tripod mind that can loosen or unscrew themselves if they’re not locked tight.
Another important factor to consider is weight. While the Quick Link Set is reasonably lighting, it’s still a bit weightier than you may want. The basic established (which includes one drive for your tripod head then one receiver base for your tripod) totals 139 g / 4. 9 ounces. Basically, it’s a bit lighter than two Nikon EN-EL15 electric batteries. Whether that’s an issue or not depends on your own situation. If you’re going on a difficult backpacking trip and rationing ounces, I’d recommend against taking the Fast Link Set along. Otherwise, it’s probably not an issue.
A concern with tripod attachments like this, a minimum of in theory, is stability. Rather than one pivot point between the tripod and the head, nowadays there are three: between the tripod/base, base/disk, and disk/tripod head.
To test the Quick Link Set’s stability, We set up the largest and most unwieldy camera I have access to, an 11×14 camera that procedures roughly one meter (three feet) long when prolonged and weighs about 9 kg (20 pounds) most told. As you can imagine, a camera like that is prone to move even on a stable tripod and head, and it’s very sensitive to lack of stability. I put the laser pointer on top of the particular camera, pressed down tough on the back standard, and let go. I then timed just how long the laser pointer’s wobble lasted on a wall, duplicating the test for a total of 10 measurements without the Quick Link and then 10 exams with it.
Not having the plates, the wobble lasted for an average of 4. 87 seconds. Choosing the plates, the wobble actually averaged a curly hair shorter at 4. 81 seconds. However , these beliefs are so similar that they are within my setup’s margin of error. Overall, to the extent that I’m in a position to test it, I found no meaningful loss of stability when using the Fast Link Set compared to going without it. Considering that my camera setup for this test had been sensitive to very small variations in stability, photographers with a regular DSLR or mirrorless digital camera should find it even less of a concern.
The caveat is that you have to tighten down the Quick Link Set all the way, including using the secondary hex-key screws. In case you attach either plate loosely – or you don’t slide the receiver base to “closed” with sufficient force – you’re at risk of including some wobble.
I have not examined any alternatives to the Arca Swiss version of the Fast Link Set, but I’ll briefly cover the ones that exist on the market today. First, Leofoto sells a similar-looking knockoff version called the QS-70 which is about half the price of the Arca Swiss set, plus smaller sized variations called the QS-60, QS-50, and QS-45. At the time of posting this review, they’re just sold as a special order at B& H but are in stock at Amazon . Since I haven’t tested them, We make no claim about their quality relative to Arca Swiss. I have used a couple Leofoto products in the past without issue, but there’s also zero denying that they “take solid inspiration” from Arca Switzerland (to put it nicely) on some products, including this one.
The other option is different. Rather than a circular plate and clamp, you could just attach a standard tripod dish to the bottom of your tripod head, then a standard (or panning) clamp to the top of your tripod. It looks like this:
Again, I haven’t tested this for stability and am just letting you know what else exists. My initial reaction is that the set up above doesn’t look since stable as the circular Arca Swiss or Leofoto items whose clamps hug the entire disk. But if you already have the necessary supplies to put together the particular setup above (i. electronic. an extra tripod plate and clamp), or you’re on a budget and want SmallRig’s inexpensive version , it may be the way to go.
Conclusion and Suggestions
Is the Quick Link Set a worthwhile accessory, or is it simply an expensive product in search of the need? It all depends on how you tend to use your tripod. In case you’d find it useful to exchange out your tripod head rapidly, it’s worth getting (or at least worth looking at the knockoff Leofoto if the Arca Swiss is over your budget). But if you’re shaking your head from that, don’t buy it.
I ended up purchasing a set and have found it helpful for my landscaping photography. When I’m hiking, I can remove and stow my heavy geared mind in a comfortable spot within my backpack rather than hanging it off the side of the bag. It also lets me avoid exposing the targeted head to the elements – not really the head’s strong match, especially in sandy conditions. But my situation is pretty specific and matches the Quick Link Set’s strengths very well.
Other than that, it’s no surprise that this type of tripod accessory isn’t a common view. The Quick Link Established is fairly expensive and adds weight without solving any commonly occurring problems in photography . Sure, it is very stable and well-built, but is it necessary? A s I realize it, the Quick Hyperlink Set is one of those “if you need it, you know” sorts of products. If it fits your situation, there’s little in order to complain about aside from price. But for many photographers, it just doesn’t offer features that are especially relevant.
- You can purchase the Fast Link Set for $212 from B& H or Arca Swiss , or directly from Arca Swiss’s USA representative Rod Klukas
- You can get extra disks (for multiple tripod heads) for $115 from the same resources: B& H , Arca Swiss , and Rod Klukas
- You can get extra receiver angles (for multiple tripods) intended for $116 from those sites as well: B& H , Arca Swiss , plus Rod Klukas
Arca Swiss Fast Link Set
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