As part of our arm review series, today we will be taking a look at the LanParte FANS 10″ arm and the company’s new mini quick release system.
We have already looked at LanParte’s RF remote for Sony cameras and this time around we will be checking out a new arm and quick release system by the company.
The FANS is a pretty straightforward 10″ magic arm (actually it is 10.5″ or under 27cm tip to tip). It is lightweight at just under 9 ounces (or about 250 grams) and it has a single wing with a built-in ratchet mechanism and the two tips are 1/4″ 20 which is all pretty common (although as we shall see in a second it does have a little twist).
LanParte FANS Magic Arm – solid & affordable
The unit has an official payload of 4kg or almost 9lbs (which is actually higher than the beefier Manfrotto 244 mini which we also been testing here). In practice, the arm should hold a decent amount of weight from our tests and it also comes with an interesting looking hex wrench for securing it without twisting (a less elegant but much cheaper solution than the Manfrotto 244 micro anti-twist mechanism). This wrench also doubles as a bottle opener by the way.
For us, the most exciting product is not necessarily the arm (which is very decent but not that special) but the new mini quick release system which LanParte calls efficiently “tiny v” quick release because of the similarities to how a full-size v-mount battery connection works.
The LanParte ingenious mini-v quick release system (connects just like a real size v-mount battery)
The tiny v is small – about 1.5″ over 1 and 3/4 inch (or 3cm over 3.5cm) and is fully metal and feels very nice in the hand. It has a nice reassuring click to it when it locks into place and the aesthetics of the green lock button is actually quite pleasing.
There are currently two versions of the tiny v that we are aware of with more probably arriving later on. The original MQR-01 which is gray, angled with a 1/4″ 20 thread at the base and designed mostly for holding monitors, and the newer MQR-03 which has a flat base and it comes with an additional cold shoe that attaches using 4 tiny screws with an Allen key.
The tiny v can also accommodate different plates. We only have the straight ones with the tip to prevent a monitor from turning unintentionally but LanParte has or is currently working on a tiny v that is completely flat for other types of accessories such as recorders or lights (although we are not sure about the availability of these plates).
The LanParte 10mm wrench (also a cool bottle opener)
For us, the tiny v is exactly what we have been looking for when it comes to quick release systems for accessories such as monitors, recorders, small lights, and mics. We have been using Manfrotto’s RC2 system for our cameras and our accessories for a long time and although we still love it for its extra security, low price, and availability, there is definitely something to be said for the extra small size of the tiny V and we wish the system will continue to evolve and become more readily available (at the time of writing, getting a hold of one is a bit of a challenge and we are not aware of a way to get an extra plate with no base).
As for pricing the LanParte FANS 10″ magic arm cost just under $80 which is very reasonable compared to some of the competition, with a kit that includes the MQR-01 tiny v quick release system, selling for just over $100 (on its own the tiny v – MQR-01- cost about $30).