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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Accessories 
Thread started 29 Nov 2012 (Thursday) 15:51
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RRS/Kirk vs generic Ebay QR plates

 
Scrumhalf
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Nov 29, 2012 15:51 |  #1

I am looking to get QR plates for my new 7D and my 100-400. Looking at the prices, I can get a RRS or Kirk plate for about 60 bucks each or generic Arca Swiss QR plates off EBay for 8 bucks each.

Now I know the general adage that you get what you pay for, but that is what I would like to objectively know. Do the RRS or Kirk plates fit the clamps better, or do they last longer, or are they custom designed for the camera and lens to fit better, ormachined better and won't ruin the camera or lens finish, or what? I know that the RRS plates for examples have other things like lugs for attaching straps which presumably require more machining, and have other intangibles like being US made.

Bottom line is, what is the $40+ premium getting me with RRS or Kirk?


Sam
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vsg28
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Nov 29, 2012 16:06 |  #2

All I can say is my cheapo FoTopro lens plates work no differently from the Kirk ones I have. Can't comment on body plates as I have none.


Canon 7D w/grip, Canon SX30 IS (modified for IR), Rokinon 14mm, Canon 24-105 L IS, Sigma 50mm, Canon 70-200 F/2.8 L IS II, Canon 100mm L IS, Kenko 1.4x Pro DG, Canon 2x II extender, Yongnuo YN-565EX, Induro CT414 with Induro BHL-3 and GHB-A

  
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NU27D
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Nov 29, 2012 17:16 as a reply to  @ vsg28's post |  #3

I can only comment on my L plate. It's an RRS. I would not venture in cheap stuff when it comes to an L plate but can't speak to the cheaper QR plates.




  
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dodgyexposure
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Nov 29, 2012 19:57 |  #4

Body specific plates are generally machined to fit a particular body (or line of bodies), while generic plates (by definition) have a less specific shape (usually flat). This means that the specific plates should hold the camera better when torsional forces are applied, than the generic plates. That has been my experience, anyway.

That being said, I have some generic plates for other uses (tripod collar plates, focussing rail) and the quality of the material itself seems comparable to the big brand name plates.

One thing to consider is that using the same brand plates as clamps means that any extra fittings (pins, mainly), and size/shape will be compatible.


Cheers, Damien

  
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Hot ­ Bob
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Nov 29, 2012 20:05 as a reply to  @ dodgyexposure's post |  #5

I have a RRS L-plate on my 5D2 and it is very nice. I have inexpensive flat plates on my lens collars and they are also perfectly functional. They are actually better than the much more expensive Giottos plates that I replaced them with. I think they are Sunway or something like that.

Bob


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johnf3f
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Nov 29, 2012 20:30 |  #6

I have plates from Wimberley, Kirk and a bunch of Chinese cheapie ones - issues = zero. If you are using heavy lenses (over 3.5 Kilo) then the branded ones inspire more confidence but in my experience - if they are of the same design then they work the same. After all it is only a lump of alloy.
However if you are not confident then buy the branded ones, they are not that much money and if they make you happier then why skimp?
I cannot comment on L plates as I have none.


Life is for living, cameras are to capture it (one day I will learn how!).

  
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Tanglefoot47
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Nov 29, 2012 20:57 |  #7

What a rip off the prices the name players charge I see no difference in the plates




  
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sonnyc
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Nov 29, 2012 23:08 |  #8

I have 2 generic plates from ebay and they both work fine on my Kirk clamp and the Markins Clamp...fit perfectly too.


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Scrumhalf
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Nov 29, 2012 23:55 |  #9

I don't know if the price for the name-brand players is justified or not, since I have no idea what it costs to run a precision machine shop in the US and make, essentially, jelly beans.

However, I do know that I am reluctant to drop $55 plus $7 shipping on a RRS plate when it does not seem that there is some unique IP, quality or skill buried into the name-brand widget and I can get a generic PU-60 or PU-70 A-S compatible plate off Ebay or Amazon for $8 and free shipping. I have no problem paying for something if the end product is superior but paying 5X the price when, as the responses indicate, there is little or no difference in final functionality if not quality, seems crazy to me.


Sam
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If I don't get the shots I want with the gear I have, the only optics I need to examine is the mirror on the bathroom wall. The root cause will be there.

  
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rick_reno
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Nov 30, 2012 00:26 |  #10

I only have RRS L brackets, haven't had anything else for a long time. They're expensive, but they do work and I've never had my camera fall off one.




  
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flowrider
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Nov 30, 2012 01:42 |  #11

People forget R&D costs money and figures into the end cost to the consumer. The cheap plates are just copies and thus cheaper. That being said for a chunk of metal (assuming it's not crap metal), I'll take the cheaper one.


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NU27D
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Nov 30, 2012 01:57 |  #12

flowrider wrote in post #15307264 (external link)
People forget R&D costs money and figures into the end cost to the consumer. The cheap plates are just copies and thus cheaper. That being said for a chunk of metal (assuming it's not crap metal), I'll take the cheaper one.

On some items I agree!
But I'm not willing to risk my camera and lenses to "assuming it's not crap metal"!
There's more than a few examples posted on POTN of inferior metal which failed.
But hey life's a crap shoot...I'll just not shoot it on crap!




  
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gakoenig
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Nov 30, 2012 05:30 |  #13

People forget R&D costs money and figures into the end cost to the consumer. The cheap plates are just copies and thus cheaper. That being said for a chunk of metal (assuming it's not crap metal), I'll take the cheaper one.

Having just designed and started production on an ARCA plate, I can honestly say that making a generic (i.e. non-fitted to a specific camera) on a CNC mill is a Machinist 101 level job. As far as the metal, certified 6061-T6 aluminum (the aircraft grade stuff everyone at Kirk, RSS and Apple uses) is running a whopping $1.30 a pound in plate form. A basic ARCA plate, in production volume, is about $4 in machining, $0.25 in material, $.40 in anodizing and about $0.40 for the die cut gasket with the pressure sensitive adhesive applied. Throw in $0.09 for the screw and $0.10 for an alan key and a quarter to throw the gasket on and throw it all in a zip lock bag with a business card size insert.

I love me some RRS gear, but those guys are making a killing on generic/flat fitted ARCA plates.

Now, if you are running big gear, in a tough environment - get a fitted plate. The pricing dynamics are different because there is some more R&D involved, the production volumes go way down and you now have a very niche SKU to manage. Still though - it isn't exactly rocket ship building.

An L Bracket is an entirely different beast with a lot more machining and a lot more opportunity for the design to go pear shaped, *especially* on the L brackets that are highly fitted to a specific camera.


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hollis_f
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Nov 30, 2012 06:06 |  #14

I have Kirk plates for all my expensive gear. I've also got some generic Ebay plates. When I bought a monopod head with the RRS lever-clamp I was dismayed to find that the Ebay clamps just didn't work at all. The Kirk ones were perfect.


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peter_n
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Nov 30, 2012 09:29 |  #15

@ gakoenig: a very revealing post, thank you. I'm only using RRS L-brackets but I have a variety of inexpensive plates that fit my 35mm, medium format and panoramic film cameras and I've never had a problem with any of them.

$5.25 for a generic plate means that everyone (not just RRS) is making good money on the universal plates.


~Peter

  
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RRS/Kirk vs generic Ebay QR plates
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