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04-01-2016, 08:29 PM   #1
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How to adapt proprietary tripod head quick release plate to a common standard?

I have a Vanguard GH-100 head on a Slik 713 CF tripod. I also got a spare QS-65GH quick release plate (one to stay on the camera body and one on the Sigma 400 f5.6 lens).

I am now thinking of getting a light-weight tilt head or ball head for my CF monopod (Induro CM14). I started looking at Vanguard, but it turns out Vanguard doesn't use the same QR plate on any of its other heads.

I also have a Joby Gorillapod (DSLR model) with a ball head that of course has a different head/quick release plate: Ball Head Tripod Mount | Ball Head For SLR-Zoom | JOBY The QR plate has a nice little bubble level built in.

So at the moment I am faced with potentially using three different QR plates, and screwing the relevant one in to the camera body or lens when I want to use a different tripod/monopod.

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but surely there must be a better way? Is there any kind of affordable adapter plate that would let me use the same type of QR plate on the camera bodies and lens, and connect to the different mounts on the heads? Any other bright ideas (short of replacing the tripod heads)?

BTW, any suggestions for a lightweight tilt/ball head for the monopod welcome.


Last edited by Des; 04-01-2016 at 10:08 PM.
04-01-2016, 08:43 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I have the sbh300 vanguard head, it came with a non standard arca swiss type clamp. I replaced it with a Hejnar clamp, 2.375 Inch Clamps

The one I have is 2 5/16 long. The vanguard one is held on by a single screw, Allen key type. It was easy to remove, and the same screw fits the new clamp.

I have a few different lengths of rail for my long lenses, and some plates for the camera. What end up on the bodies are the Peak Design plates that fit in their clips, and they work for the clamps as well.

There are less expensive ones on eBay as well.

If you take the vanguard clamp of you will see the shape of the shaft end, and Hejnar has a variety of clamps that fit the end securely.

I'm not familiar with that specific head, so it may not be as easy.
04-01-2016, 08:45 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Hi Des. The only thing I can think of are these. You just attach them to your current heads or plates and then just use 1 type of quick release plate. I hope they are of help.


323 RC2 System Quick Release Adapter FOR Manfrotto Ball Head 200PL 14 QR Plate | eBay


PS. You can get the authentic Manfrotto parts, but at a much higher price.

Last edited by pjv; 04-01-2016 at 08:52 PM. Reason: add text
04-01-2016, 09:31 PM - 1 Like   #4
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The Arca-Swiss dovetail design is probably the closest thing to a standard QR system*. I have standardized on that for my cameras/tripods with the exception of my hiking tripod where the head is native 1/4-20 thread screw with the option to mount an Arca-Swiss style clamp. The screw to clamp option is the only way I know of to adapt cross-system, but it requires native screw support for the head.


Steve

(...one reason why I don't own Slik or Manfrotto QR heads...)

* Even then, clamp/plate compatibility between brands is not assured. I have a couple of plates that barely engage the clamps I was hoping to use them with.

04-02-2016, 05:54 PM   #5
Des
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Thanks to each of you for your quick and informative responses.

QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
If you take the vanguard clamp of you will see the shape of the shaft end, and Hejnar has a variety of clamps that fit the end securely.
Unfortunately with the model I have, Derek, you can't remove the clamp from the rest of the head. Curiously it has a bubble level in the base of the clamp where you might have expected a screw or bolt to be!

You prompted me to look at reviews of the later models than mine and it seems that with the GH-200, Vanguard changed to an Arca style plate, fixed by an Allen key bolt like you describe in your model. The GH-100 and GH-200 are shown side by side in the third photo in this review: http://www./2012/01/25/vanguard-gh-200-hands-on/

Thanks for the Peak Design reference. I found their site very informative.

QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
The only thing I can think of are these. You just attach them to your current heads or plates and then just use 1 type of quick release plate. I hope they are of help
That is indeed helpful @pjv. I've now got a much better idea of the sort of thing I'm looking for. I guess I'll need to attach the QR plates I have (using the 1/4"-20 screw) to the base of a plate like the one you linked to, and then the new QR plate(s) to the camera/lens.

The plate/mount on the Vanguard looks very simililar to the Oben QRA-R2 http://www.obensupports.com/detail?sku=822445 but I can't find the dimensions of that QR plate, and I guess it is unlikely to be identical.

The Desmond plates look good: https://support.peakdesign.com/hc/en-us/articles/202329558 But I might get away with something cheaper.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The screw to clamp option is the only way I know of to adapt cross-system, but it requires native screw support for the head ..... clamp/plate compatibility between brands is not assured. I have a couple of plates that barely engage the clamps I was hoping to use them with.
Many thanks Steve. What a trap this is for the uninitiated.

I found a wealth of further information here: www.tripodquickrelease.com

Last edited by Des; 04-02-2016 at 06:20 PM.
04-03-2016, 06:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
The Desmond plates look good: https://support.peakdesign.com/hc/en-us/articles/202329558 But I might get away with something cheaper.
I use a Desmond plate as in the linked page. Its quality is very decent and compatibility is good with all but one of the Arca-Swiss type plates in my bag. That one is a small (25mm) plate by UniQBall that may well mate with that company's product, but is too thick below to properly engage with the clamps I own.


Steve
04-03-2016, 06:14 PM   #7
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If you can did you have a look underneath the bubble level, you may find an attachment screw there, just wondering.
04-04-2016, 06:34 AM   #8
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I have four large Manfrotto tripods with the 030 or oxagonal heads and now two small tripods with arca swiss heads. I perfer the larger QR for the large format cameras but to put the large QR on a Holga is a bit overkill. I bought a arca swiss clamp for 20 Canadian mounted it onto my one of many Manfrotto QT and now it I can use all my cameras , including my K5IIs with its L bracket, on either type of tripod. That is if weight permits .

04-04-2016, 04:52 PM   #9
Des
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I use a Desmond plate as in the linked page. Its quality is very decent and compatibility is good with all but one of the Arca-Swiss type plates in my bag. That one is a small (25mm) plate by UniQBall that may well mate with that company's product, but is too thick below to properly engage with the clamps I own.
Thanks Steve. Main point seems to be Arca-swiss compatible with a reasonable size plate.

QuoteOriginally posted by Chris_T Quote
If you can did you have a look underneath the bubble level, you may find an attachment screw there, just wondering.
Yes, there must be something under there, Chris, but I'm reluctant to prise out the bubble level. The whole of that top piece pivots so I doubt it would be a cheap or simple replacement, even if I cracked into it.

QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
I bought a arca swiss clamp for 20 Canadian mounted it onto my one of many Manfrotto QT and now it I can use all my cameras
Thanks @redrockcoulee. It's good to know that a setup like that is proven to work.

The heaviest combination I have at present (K-3 + Sigma 400 + TC) is still only about 2.3kg. The tripod head is rated to 6kgs. I think mounting a reasonably sturdy plate on top of the QR as you have done should be sufficient.

I bought a Manfrotto 234 tilt head (plain version without a QR plate on top) for my monopod and I have ordered some generic Arca-style 50mm plates to attach to the Vanguard QR and Joby plates, and to the new Manfrotto tilt-head. They came with plates too so I got 2x50mm (one for each camera body) and 1x60mm (for the tripod foot on the lens). Not quite as cheap as the Manfrotto RC2 knock-offs, and they have a knob rather than a lever, but I think I feel more confident with an Arca-type connection.

Thanks again to everyone for your contributions.
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