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Thread: Arca-Swiss plate clamp question

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    Arca-Swiss plate clamp question

    Im just sorting through the process of buying my first arca-swiss style ballhead.

    Im having a little trouble understanding the need for different thicknesses of lens plates/rails and the variation in clamp sizes.
    I get the different plate/rail length requirements but why clamp size and thickness variations.

    One site Im looking at with these offerings is Hejnar Photo. http://www.hejnarphotostore.com/inde...ort=20a&page=1
    This was recommended to me by I@M as a source for quality plates that dont charge through the nose prices

    Thanks for your patience and help

    David

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    Hi David,
    Unfortunately even the arc swiss standard varies across manufacturers, some are marginally narrower some a thinner, some clamps have more travel than others in open to closed and some dove tails are deeper than others. I recently had my markins camera plate locked into my rrs clamp, or so I thought , til i was halfway down my stairs and camera & flash slid off the tripod and crashed down several stairs. So it is best to sort of stick with one or 2 manufactures, sorry can't tell you which though . I have rrs and wimberly products and an acratec ball head and so far it is only the markins camera plate that let me down. In saying that it was a lever clamp on an rrs head not screw clamp that failed. Some rails have a grub screw at the end of the rail to slop what happened to me happening, the markins doesn't as it only a short camera plate. I got a conversion kit from Henjar for a manfroto to arca swiss mod and it is ok. I would buy from him again.
    David

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    The main problem with slightly different plate sizes seems to be exacerbated by using lever lock clamps.

    I personally wouldn't have one within a country mile of my gear. All they save you is the two or three seconds it takes to securely tighten the screw type clamp, and for that you run the risk of hooking the lever on a twig, your cuff or whatever, and watching your gear hit the deck.

    I have a Markins ballhead, several Markins plates, a Kirk camera plate and a few off -brand plates, and they are all fine with the screw type clamp.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

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    thanks Kevin & David for your replies ...

    so Im in the process of buying a Arca_Swiss Z1 ... will have to do some more research to find correct plate widths

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidG View Post
    thanks Kevin & David for your replies ...

    so Im in the process of buying a Arca_Swiss Z1 ... will have to do some more research to find correct plate widths
    One little bit of advice. I found out that 'Universal Camera Plates' are not very good when you drop your ballhead into portrait mode, they tend to let the camera twist. I'd suggest you look at a dedicated anti-twist plate to suit your particular camera model.
    Oh, and I had to return a Hejnar camera plate because it didn't fit. The Kirk model I replaced it with fits like a glove.

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    have ordered a 1 piece l-bracket as opposed to the 2 piece kit offerings ...

    should the plate thickness be specified by the manufacture (Arca-Swiss) ??

    I have a look on their website and that is one measurement that doesn't seem to be specified
    Last edited by DavidG; 08-04-2013 at 4:23pm.

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    As I said above, I have had no problems with tolerances in the clamp with plates from four different manufacturers, using the screw-in type clamp.

    I thing we are talking less than 1mm here in the profiles. I do have one lens plate that is about 3mm narrower in width, but it still locks in tight.

    If you stick with Arca Swiss, RRS, Kirk, Markins or Acratec you will be fine.

    In case I've understated it, get the screw type clamp.
    Last edited by Cage; 08-04-2013 at 4:49pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trublubiker View Post

    In case I've understated it, get the screw type clamp.
    Well the head Ive bought is the Arca Swiss Z1 DP lever ... yes lever ... bought it 2nd hand ....

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    there's a chance I may have caught it in time and be able to swap it for a Acratech GP-ss ... twist option

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidG View Post
    there's a chance I may have caught it in time and be able to swap it for a Acratech GP-ss ... twist option
    You won't be disappointed with the acratech if you get it, they are very well made, I have a gv2 and love it, it locks solid and is nice and light. Either way they are both good heads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davsv1 View Post
    You won't be disappointed with the acratech if you get it, they are very well made, I have a gv2 and love it, it locks solid and is nice and light. Either way they are both good heads.
    I did catch it in time and am now awaiting the delivery of Acratech GP-SS

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    Good choice.

    I only chose the Markins over the GV2 because I took umbrage at the way the manufacturer was trying to have a lend of me on pricing.

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    I have an Acratech I have been using for 3 years, it is excellent, and I use it with Kirk, RRS and Chris Henjar's plates all without any issue at all.

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