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Review: Hejnar Photo Manfrotto 494/496/498 RC2 to Arca-Swiss Conversion Set

Overview : Hejnar Photo conversion set for Manfrotto M494RC2, M496RC2, M498RC2, 055 Mag Ball Head. This combination of plate and standard arca swiss clamp will let you use any arca type equipment with this ball head. Clamp can disconnected from plate and use independent on other equipment if needed. It is the best quick release system for tripods and monopods when combined with Arca style ball head and quick release clamps.

All the corners and edges are rounded for the safety to prevent from accidental injuries or damages to the other equipments.

Features :
  • 2.375 inch long
  • Weight 3.6oz (103g)
  • Center socket is countersunk on top but also threaded 3⁄8”-16.
  • Two outside holes are taped 1/4-20 and 30mm apart from each other.
  • 2.6mm deep relief grooves guarantee compatibility with most plates/rails.
  • Relief groove prevents free fall when the clamp is not fully closed and your plate has safety stops.
  • Knob is captive. Knob stops at maximum opening - cannot be lost in the field.
  • Knob is made from one part aluminum. No room for dust or sand.
  • Back side has grove to match some ball heads connection and preventing it from twisting.
  • Precision C.N.C. machined from 6061-T6 Aluminium.
  • Compatible with Kirk, R.R.S., Arca-Swiss, and many other Arca-Swiss style Quick release plates.
  • Stainless steel hardware.
  • Black hard coat anodized surface.
  • Made in USA.

Quality/Usability : I've been using Manfrotto RC2 ball head for quite some time. As of late, majority of the camera plates I've seen or reviewed is Arca-Swiss compatible. Unfortunately, I don't own a Arca-Swiss compatible ball head so at times, I can't review that feature.

That was until I found Hejnar Photo. It is a small company based in the U.S.A. that makes their own plates and clamps. They have a slew of variety and choices ranging from L-brackets, clamps, rails, conversions and camera/lens plates. What caught my eye was their 494/496/498 RC2 conversion set. Their conversion set lets me convert Manfrotto's popular RC2 into a Arca-Swiss ball head in a matter of minutes.

Included with the conversion set is the following:
  • One adapter plate.
  • One F62 Clamp
  • Two 10-32 screws for clamp mount.
  • Hex key for ¼-20 screw and 10-32 screws.

The top of the Arca clamp has ruler markings and there's nothing much on the bottom of the clamp. The knob is also made of aluminum and is very easy to turn.

The adapter base plate is basic as well. One main screw hole in the middle that attaches to the ball head and two smaller screw holes on both sides allows you to attach the Arca clamp. The bottom of the base plate has a groove that fits right into the ball head and keeps it from twisting.

Here, you can see the comparison between the Manfrotto RC2 and the Hejnar Photo Arca-Swiss conversion clamp. *NOTE: We have a full video tutorial on how to swap out the plates below.

Once the RC2 base plate is removed, you can see that the Manfrotto RC2 ball head has a groove where the base plate sits on and prevents it from shifting when turned. Becareful of the ball head screw when removed as it has grease on it. You'll also be reusing it.

Simply place the Hejnar Photo conversion base plate in place of the original Manfrotto RC2 and tighten the screw with the included hex tool. Once the screw is tightened, you're ready to add the clamp to it.

Place the clamp on top of the base plate and take the two screws that was included with the conversion set and place it through the holes. Use the smaller hex tool and tighten the screws. Once it's securely tightened, you're done and its ready to be used.

I have a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, with a BG-E11 grip and a Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L II and the new clamp is able to hold my camera with no problem. If you're new to Arca-Swiss, it doesn't take much to remove or secure your camera. A couple of turns of the knob, loosens the clamp and you can simply slide your camera out. If you want to lift it out, you'll just have to turn a few more times so that the clamp clears the plate. Just remember to hold the camera when removing from clamp since it's front heavy and it will tilt forward. It gave me a scare a few times.

See our video below on how to install the conversion set onto your Manfrotto RC2.

Conclusion : Overall, the Hejnar Photo Manfrotto 494/496/498 RC2 to Arca-Swiss Conversion Set is a must if you're looking to switch over to Arca-Swiss but don't want to buy a new ball head. The quality of their products are top notch. For a small company, the prices are fairly reasonable as well.

Hejnar Photo also sells the clamp that attaches directly to the ball head without the need of the adapter base plate. This plate runs for $70.00 and comes in two sizes: 2.375 inch or 3.25 inch (long).

Manufacturer: Hejnar Photo
Site: Buy from AmazonBuy from Hejnar Photo / Buy from Hejnar Photo (eBay)

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