Manfrotto 488 ball head – Swiss Arca conversion

I have a 488 ball head, which is quite decent. However the mounting plate is not, it’s big and clips together in a rather clunky manner, furthmore it dosn’t feel too secure. The bottom plate attaching to the camera is far too large and has to be removed to access the battery so something had to change…

Manfrotto model 488 ball head – Amazon UK -complete with clumsey proprietory mount plate

After a search on Amazon I discovered a decent looking Arca Swiss clamp that looked like it might be a good replacement. The clamp on the 488 is secured to the ball head by a 6mm countersunk allen screw which looked fairly easy to remove and I suspect other ball heads employ a similar mounting screw arrangement.

I undid the screw which was extremely tight and removed the old clamp, be sure to select the correct fitting allen key as it needs a fair amount of force to undo. Once the replacement Arca Swiss clamp arrived, I just needed to remove the threaded insert to fit different threads (see pic below) In order for the clamp to accept the original securing screw to the counter sunk hole and tighten firmly to secure the new clamp:

This works much better than the old clamp and plate, it also fits the Arca Swiss foot on my Tamron 70-200 G2 lens removing the need to fit proprietory plates to the lens foot.

I used the matching camera QR60 mounting plate which fits my camera neatly and works perfectly.

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