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09-25-2012, 05:31 PM   #1
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How to stop tripod plate creep?

I always had this problem where after framing things, letting go of the camera causes it to creep a very small amount. At first I thought it was the tripod I was using (more specifically the ball head). However on close inspection it is not actually the ballhead the moves, but rather the camera from the QR plate. The only way I know of to stop this is to move the camera from the base (ie movie it below the plate). This stops the creep after letting go but it is quite inconvenient. Has anyone else had this problem and what ways did you solve it?

09-25-2012, 06:00 PM   #2
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Verglace,
I can't understand your explanation of how to fix it.

The creep i've experienced is a camera/lens combo that is not balanced equally around the axis of the ball head. Telescopic lenses without their own lens mount are a problem this way, e.g. the DA 50-135 does not have its own lens mount, while the DA300 does. 50-135 tends to drift a little bit from its original location until the ball head develops enough resistance to counter the torque. It's always more of a problem with the camera in portrait mode. I have the Giottos MH 1301 ball head. I've often thought that getting a stiffer ball head would help. The Giottos QR plate has 2 plastic stops that rotate up to stop the camera from twisting on the QR plate. There may be sturdier QR designs, i don't know.
09-25-2012, 06:03 PM   #3
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That is what gear-heads are for, the final last tweak ?,

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 09-25-2012 at 06:09 PM.
09-25-2012, 06:28 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Verglace Quote
it is not actually the ballhead the moves, but rather the camera from the QR plate.
If I understand you correctly you are saying that the QR plate connection to the camera allows the camera to slip. If that is true your problem is the QR plate. Without knowing brand or model it is difficult to make positive statements but I have used tripods where the plate did not tighten enough to the camera. In this case no matter what you did the camera would slip around a bit.

The solution is a better plate, which depending on your brand might mean a new tripod, or a new ball head or both. In my opinion the best QR connectors are Arca-Swiss or compatible. They are also not cheap but you get what you pay for. I use a plate designed for the k-5 which has a metal lip that wraps around the camera enough so that no twist is possible. This relieves the strain on the connection screw which no matter how tight can turn if the weight of the lens is against it. I also do not like the "lever" QR plates, I use the ones with the knob that screws the mount together. That way I know it is tight.

09-25-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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Interesting. I just had a similar experience with my 6.1 Lb telescope attached to a Manfrotto 410 Jr. gear head on carbon fiber tripod. Carrying it through the forest preserve, there was rotation of the scope around the 410PL mounting plate. I wonder the same thing, how to keep the scope from rotating and having to adjust/tighten it during my field activity. I was thinking of taking the used 410PL plate and adding (super-gluing) some sort custom-fit wood or metal rails to the plate to keep the scope rail from having any chance of rotating. Of course, this would negate the manfrotto plate from being used for much anything else, since cameras would not fit on it anymore, just the one scope. New plates are only $15.90 at B&H, so it is easy to get a replacement. What do you think as an idea?? Is that useful for your problem?? The 410PL plate is much larger than the QR plate, I believe, so that is a factor to think about.
09-25-2012, 08:28 PM   #6
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I don't know what system the OP has, but I had similar problems with a Manfrotto head with the RC2 quick connect plates. I found a solution that works very well for me, but had to spend a few bucks to get there.

I have a Manfrotto 468MG Hydrostatic ball head that I really like - it came with the RC2 quick connect system.

I found a vendor who makes a conversion plate for certain Manfrotto heads to make them arca-swiss compatible. They also have one for the 410 geared head goldenarrow:

Manfrotto Adapters : Hejnar Photo Store, Serving Your Professional Photography Needs

Very high quality equipment - very happy!

Then I bought a couple Mestos camera plates which have a ridge or lip to hold the K-5 secure - they make one for the K-5 body only and one for the grip:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-field-accessories/187763-me...available.html

These items plus a couple acra-swiss long lens plates and I have a very nice mounting system now.
09-25-2012, 09:40 PM   #7
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I have noticed this phenomenon as well, and thought about how to tackle it. My solution was to add locking washers. I actually researched the different kinds and came to the conclusion that split washers:



are ineffective. The theory behind them is that when tightened down, the tension that is created in the compressed spring (as these are simply small sections cut from a spring) keeps the screw from undoing itself. I read countless testimonials, including from NASA engineers (don't know why they weighed in on this, but it helped nonetheless) that said split washers have minimal effect on preventing self-unscrewing.

Then I looked at the different types of "biting" washers. There are three types:

Internal Lock

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External Lock

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Internal-External Lock
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The theory behind these is that they "bite" into whatever you are fastening together as the "teeth" on the inside and/or outside are angled. When tightened down tight, they grip into the material. Because I don't want to have a circle worn out of the baseplate of my cameras, my intent is to put it under the QR plate between the bolt head and the QR plate. I will experiment and see what works best.

I made sure to get the 1/4" thread washers, as that is the size of the tripod bolts.

Mine are still in the mail - I don't have access to hardware stores so my grandmother mailed them to me in a package - so I have not been able to test them and see their effectiveness. I had her send me a couple each of the External and Internal-External. I assume the total damage came to about 50 cents.

The last thing I looked at were rubber washers, but decided against them. Not necessarily because I didn't want to try them, but I had decided on the lock washers as "probably" more effective (I could be wrong), and I didn't want to make my request to my grandmother seem overly anal with specifics of requiring three different and very specific types of washers. I'm not 100% sure I will get the two that I asked for as it is

Just an idea - mine won't get here for another several weeks, so you can definitely try this out and report back before I ever could.

Hope this helps.

-Heie

09-25-2012, 11:06 PM   #8
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Good you did your due research on the lock washers first Heie especially because of their availability to you.

Actually, the slit lock washer probably wouldn't work anyway as their mere thickness when uncompressed would be too much to allow the thread to even get started in the bottom of the camera. I had a similar problem when mounting my off-brand gimbal head onto my tripod and used the split type which left me just enough thread on the end of the bolt to get it started.

Depending on the style of your QR plate, I fear that even the split lock washers might be too thick and shorten the threaded bolt enough that you might have a problem with the threaded portion ending up too short. I guess a lot will depend on if the outside diameter of the washers will be small enough to fit into any recess that the head of the bolt might fit into. Also, if I remember my Manfrotto RC2 plates, I would probably have a heck of a time getting the bolt to unscrew from the plate since it is held there by a small c-clip (so the bolt will not drop/fall out of the plate) - I'm not very good with working with really small stuff like that......

I hope it works for you!
09-26-2012, 05:50 AM   #9
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Heie's is similar to what's being used for Gitzos from naturescape.

http://www.naturescapes.net/docs/index.php/articles/365
09-26-2012, 08:25 AM   #10
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I use a rubber washer between my quick release plate and camera body. It provides extra friction to prevent the camera from rotating. Just pick one with the center hole slightly small than the mounting screw so it doesn't fall off easily.



I've also read somewhere that auto parts companies having sheets of rubber gasket material that you can cut to size to match your mounting plate. I've haven't looked into that option though.

Tim

Tim

Last edited by atupdate; 09-26-2012 at 08:38 AM.
09-26-2012, 09:41 AM   #11
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In looking at all the responses, aside from the need to know what actual hardware you have, not all quick release systems are created equal. I have no issue with the Manfrotto 486 ball head and quick release I use, however one thing I do, with a heavy lens, or with the camera mounted and supporting the lens is to force the locking lever further than the spring return pushes it, to insure a solid lock.

There are , however other issues once off balance, with lens "shift" and the slack in the entire system. that is where gimbal heads come in because they balance the entire thing through the center of mass so things stay put when you let go, but that is another issue
09-26-2012, 02:38 PM   #12
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I think OP is talking about the nose-diving or sagging of the camera (base-plate flex) and not creep, when he lets go of it after composing. Not camera rotation around the mounting screw. A balanced setup on gimbal would be ideal. Gear-head next best IMO.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 09-26-2012 at 02:55 PM.
09-28-2012, 12:55 AM   #13
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Hi, yes I think nose-diving is the best term to call it. The plate doesn't actually rotate from the camera. Rather the camera is lifted a mm from the plate while adjusting, and so when I let go of the camera it moves down a tiny bit. Adjusting it from the base stops this (ie I adjust from the head without holding the camera) but it's very inconvenient. I take it from the reply that this cant be stopped on a ball head and a gear-head would be better? Gimbals are too big for me.

edit: also I am using arca-swiss compatible heads.
09-28-2012, 01:01 AM   #14
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Maybe get an L-bracket? They seem a lot more secure
09-28-2012, 09:24 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Verglace Quote
Hi, yes I think nose-diving is the best term to call it. The plate doesn't actually rotate from the camera. Rather the camera is lifted a mm from the plate while adjusting, and so when I let go of the camera it moves down a tiny bit. Adjusting it from the base stops this (ie I adjust from the head without holding the camera) but it's very inconvenient. I take it from the reply that this cant be stopped on a ball head and a gear-head would be better? Gimbals are too big for me.

edit: also I am using arca-swiss compatible heads.


I know that my Giottos sells longer QR plates, and i bought one when i purchased the tripod. I'm going to see if it will help balance the camera CG over the tripod. Thats not why i got it, but its worth a try.
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