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Thread started 25 Aug 2011 (Thursday) 17:04
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Considering swapping to Arca Swiss, want to weigh up costs

 
The ­ Ran
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Aug 25, 2011 17:04 |  #1

With Arca Swiss not having their own website this is quite a hard task, there are literally hundreds of websites I'd have to look through to find what I need so figured I'd ask the people that have already bought the stuff.

Now, what I'm after is;

-AS L plate for a gripped 20D
-2 normal plates if they're cheap enough, otherwise just 1 and I'll switch when need in which case it'll need a screw that doesn't take any tools to remove (would be preferred even if I get 2, but if the ones needing tools are any cheaper I'll go for that)
-Some sort of AS ballhead, I assume I'll need a screwing clamp on it to make sure it'll work with different brands of plates. I'd like separate panning, friction, and release knobs, weight capacity needs to be about 4 kilos (not weighed my heaviest setup but that's what my current head is rated for and it works fine).

Bear in mind I'm rather cheap, my current setup only cost me about £25 so I'm really after the cheapest stuff that will fill my needs.


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Jon
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Aug 25, 2011 18:18 |  #2

L plates - Really Right Stuff or Kirk. Figure on between $150-$180 per body; the ones for a gripped body are more expensive. For a 20D, you might be able to find a used one.
Regular plates - RRS sells plates for specific bits of gear (bodies or lenses). But Adorama's FlashPoint line (they'll ship overseas; maybe drop Helen Oster an email she's a member here, and can probably suggest the best way to specify shipping to the UK) has generic plates for a good price. The FlashPoint F-3 head's not a bad one for a relatively low price, and includes a plate which most A-S heads don't seem to. No friction control, but a fair bit of control with the release knob. It's the second head from the left in this shot:

IMAGE: http://jonbarrettphoto.smugmug.com/photos/611214942_BwfiN-L-1.jpg

Others are Flashpoint F2, Manfrotto 486RC2 and Manfrotto 488 with RRS LRII clamp.

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The ­ Ran
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Aug 25, 2011 19:33 |  #3

Thanks, the F-3 sounds about perfect price and feature wise and the included plate is a nice bonus. I was afraid the L plate would be so expensive, but it's also the reason I want to make the switch. I think I remember hearing about some sort of generic plate, would that be any cheaper and would there be any downsides to going with it? I'm not too bothered about getting access to all the ports and I'm capable of taking a chunk out to get to the remote port.


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Jon
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Aug 25, 2011 19:39 |  #4

"Generic" L plates? Don't recall hearing of any. RRD and Kirk machine their plates to fit flush to the individual camera models (and grips, if you so stipulate) so there's absolutely zero wiggle room, but you can use a remote release even if you're in Portrait mode.

The access to the ports is a matter of the thickness of the connector - you couldn't take a bite out of the L plate to let you fasten a remote release if the remote release connector is (random numbers, I haven't measured, but they'll make the point) 10 mm while the plate clearance is 9 mm. You'd have to shift tie plate somewhat.


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The ­ Ran
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Aug 25, 2011 19:53 |  #5

Yeah I've seen the plates that fit like a glove, curving round the grip and with appropriate cutouts to access all of the ports. I was wondering if there was something more like a long plate that's bent at 90 degrees which in theory would be cheaper. As for connecting the remote I wasn't on about removing material to fit the plug in between the plate and body but rather making a slot around the port.


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Indecent ­ Exposure
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Aug 25, 2011 19:59 |  #6

The Ran wrote in post #13000515 (external link)
Yeah I've seen the plates that fit like a glove, curving round the grip and with appropriate cutouts to access all of the ports. I was wondering if there was something more like a long plate that's bent at 90 degrees which in theory would be cheaper. As for connecting the remote I wasn't on about removing material to fit the plug in between the plate and body but rather making a slot around the port.

A problem with generics is that you have to mount the vertical side of the plate farther away from the body to accommodate the ports. Custom plates can be flush up against the body. This increases stability and decreases packing space required.

As a bonus, if you stick with "big name" L-plates, unloading them is much easier and for less money lost, not to mention the quality of the build.


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Jon
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Aug 25, 2011 20:02 |  #7

There aren't any generics that you could "make a slot". Either it's already there or you'd need major alterations. You want to see an L that could be adapted, look at Manfrotto's (external link).


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The ­ Ran
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Aug 25, 2011 20:24 |  #8

Yeah I've seen the Manfrotto, would mean I get to keep the rest of my setup but I won't be able to use the battery grip with that huge hunk of metal in the way. It would be rather easy to mod a plate to accept the remote, however only if they were solid metal instead of having the huge cutout in the corner as it would mean cutting off the rear support.

IMAGE: http://i.ebayimg.com/18/!BrqVLwgBWk~$(KGrHqEH-DsEvCJUvkzcBL0p8)hzmg~~_12.JPG

I can get one of those for around £70 on Ebay and hope I can find some way for the remote to work (either put it far enough away from the body for the plug to fit or hope it will go through the cutout), the only other option I've managed to find is the RRS plate which is £110 and then likely an absurd amount for shipping on top of that.

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SteveJa
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Aug 25, 2011 21:26 as a reply to  @ The Ran's post |  #9

I have this ball head (benro b2)

http://www.ebay.com …ain_0&hash=item​4aade0d520 (external link)

and this L bracket (Kirk for 7D with grip)

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …_L_Bracket_for_​Canon.html (external link)

yes the L Bracket cost alot of money, but after my trip to Colorado... I would buy it over and over again. I used it a ton... and loved it...


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The ­ Ran
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Aug 25, 2011 22:13 |  #10

Hmm, that Benro is a bit more expensive however I like that it has a bubble level, friction control, and the bigger plate would be more suited to my macro rig and also has the sliding tripod thread. Do Kirk make a plate for a gripped 20D? Their site only goes back to the 40D.


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SteveJa
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Aug 25, 2011 22:18 as a reply to  @ The Ran's post |  #11

you will never use the level, as your camera will block view of it the moment you place it in the ballhead bracket.


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klr.b
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Aug 25, 2011 22:29 |  #12

Both Acratech (external link) and Kirk (external link) make universal L-brackets. They are more expensive than ones made for specific bodies, though. You can imagine that costs for machining the universal plate is close to the cost of a body-specific plate. Then add in the cost of a clamp, and you can see why they're more expensive.


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Aug 25, 2011 22:37 |  #13

If you're really on a budget there is this L plate.... SUNWAYFOTO® brand Arca-Swiss compatible Universal L Plate (external link)


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The ­ Ran
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Aug 25, 2011 22:47 |  #14

SteveJa wrote in post #13001224 (external link)
you will never use the level, as your camera will block view of it the moment you place it in the ballhead bracket.

I'd likely have the knob at the front, that's how I have the lever on my current head.

EDIT: Was looking at prices for the B-2 on Ebay and came across the Triopo copy for about half the price. Rather tempted to save some money but it means losing the level, comes with a smaller plate, and doesn't have the 3 year warranty and free replacement parts, however it does have the safety button. Then again I never used the level a great deal and not for anything critical and I won't be using the plate as my main one and the smaller size should be fine, also my really cheap head has gone 2 years without a single problem so I think I'll probably go for that.


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phreeky
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Aug 25, 2011 23:49 |  #15

The plates for the body are the real problem. L-plates need to fit well, and the flat plates you don't want to rotate and so the better ones are matched to the shape of the base of the body. I have a cheap plate (not an L-plate) for my 7D and it's great.

I have one Jobu clamp and 6 cheapo clamps. If doing it again I'd just buy the cheapo ones, they're great. Ebay they were about $25 each, I think the set of 5 were about $100. The plates (other than the 7D one) consist of some fairly average ones plus a few nice ones for tripod collars on my larger lenses, for which I've bought "kiwifoto" ones from ebay.

Only issue I've run into was that Jobu plates must be a bit wider and the Jobu clamp didn't clamp down quite tight enough for some of my plates. I pulled it apart and filed some material off to make it clamp down tighter.

For ghetto rigs, like macro rails, you can actually take a piece of 40mm wide ~3mm thick aluminium and file/grind the edges at 45 degrees and it fits the clamps ;) Dodgy, sure, but for stuff in the backyard like long rails it's great.

edit: My ballhead is a Manfrotto 488, and I replaced the original RC4 clamp with the Jobu mentioned above




  
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Considering swapping to Arca Swiss, want to weigh up costs
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