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01-20-2013, 05:45 PM   #1
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World's cheapest Arca-Swiss plate

I have said it before--I love to modify things.
I have an Induro GHB1 gimbal head. (I am so impressed with it that I will be using it exclusively.)
I dislike removing and replacing the plate every time I want to switch lenses or cameras.
Arca-Swiss plates are not cheap--until today, that is.
I also have the "Sunpak Pro Series Compact pistol grip ball head", and a number of "Quick-release" plates for it.
The "Quick-release plates look like Arca-Swiss, but they would not quite fit into my Induro "jaws".
So, down to the shop to find which one of my sanding devices would safely shave just a tad off two of the sides of the Sunpak plate.
I found one, my Jet circular sander. A few adjustments to the tilting table and then carefully taking just a little off two sides of the plate, and done!!
Below is a photo of the stock Sunpak plate (on the left) and the one I just modified (on the right).
Here is the best news: the Sunpak plates are available from B&H at $9.95 each. (B&H # SYQRCPG)
(Your Arca-Swiss jaws might be more forgiving than mine, and accept these Sunpak plates without your modifying them.)
Enjoy.
Jack

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01-20-2013, 05:52 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by pntxjack Quote
I have said it before--I love to modify things.
I have an Induro GHB1 gimbal head. (I am so impressed with it that I will be using it exclusively.)
I dislike removing and replacing the plate every time I want to switch lenses or cameras.
Arca-Swiss plates are not cheap--until today, that is.
I also have the "Sunpak Pro Series Compact pistol grip ball head", and a number of "Quick-release" plates for it.
The "Quick-release plates look like Arca-Swiss, but they would not quite fit into my Induro "jaws".
So, down to the shop to find which one of my sanding devices would safely shave just a tad off two of the sides of the Sunpak plate.
I found one, my Jet circular sander. A few adjustments to the tilting table and then carefully taking just a little off two sides of the plate, and done!!
Below is a photo of the stock Sunpak plate (on the left) and the one I just modified (on the right).
Here is the best news: the Sunpak plates are available from B&H at $9.95 each. (B&H # SYQRCPG)
(Your Arca-Swiss jaws might be more forgiving than mine, and accept these Sunpak plates without your modifying them.)
Enjoy.
Jack
More good news: The modified plates will still work in your Sunpak head (if you have one)--just be sure the locking device on your Sunpak engages one of the unmodified sides of the plate.
01-20-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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Nice mod..but..err...$7.80 with free shipping.

PU 50 Quick Release Plate for Benro B0 B1 B2 J1 N1 Tripod Ballhead Arca Swiss | eBay

With a real arc plate, you get the little stop screws to prevent the plate from sliding off.

Cool mod though.
01-20-2013, 06:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Nice mod..but..err...$7.80 with free shipping.

PU 50 Quick Release Plate for Benro B0 B1 B2 J1 N1 Tripod Ballhead Arca Swiss | eBay

With a real arc plate, you get the little stop screws to prevent the plate from sliding off.

Cool mod though.
Lauren--Where were you when I was down in my shop risking life and limb to make this plate?

01-20-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pntxjack Quote
Lauren--Where were you when I was down in my shop risking life and limb to make this plate?
LOL...waiting, watching. I didn't want to steal your thunder, as I love a good mod now and then!
Basically the PU-50 and PU-60 are pretty good quality from China/Hong Kong - and cheap.
01-20-2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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Your comment reminds me of an incident years and years ago. I wanted a nice cigar humidor, At the time (before Chinese cheap imports) a good humidor cost aout $500. My response? Why should I pay $500 for a humidor when I could make one for myself for $1,250, or so? So off to buy a table saw, etc. I went.
01-20-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pntxjack Quote
Your comment reminds me of an incident years and years ago. I wanted a nice cigar humidor, At the time (before Chinese cheap imports) a good humidor cost aout $500. My response? Why should I pay $500 for a humidor when I could make one for myself for $1,250, or so? So off to buy a table saw, etc. I went.
LOL...yep. I hear you!

I bought a metal mill and lathe because I got tired of asking guys to make things for me. I'd walk into a metal shop, draw things up and explain what I wanted, pay and wait. And wait. And wait.

I even made a recent Arca plate of my own.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/do-yourself/209430-da-300-arca-manfrotto-200pl-plate.html

However, in some cases it is just cheaper to buy it.
01-20-2013, 11:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
LOL...yep. I hear you!

I bought a metal mill and lathe because I got tired of asking guys to make things for me. I'd walk into a metal shop, draw things up and explain what I wanted, pay and wait. And wait. And wait.

I even made a recent Arca plate of my own.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/do-yourself/209430-da-300-arca-manfrotto-200pl-plate.html

However, in some cases it is just cheaper to buy it.
Very nice work. You've even got the stop screws on the ends. Respect I really understand the "I just didn't like it" motivation. Even if the engineering calculations say that something is strong enough, there are times when instinct or something else says that it just doesn't feel or look right. Sixth sense? Survival instinct?

Lucky you with the milling machine and the lathe. I haven't used them since my "compulsory two months in industry" when I was at Uni. I went to Rolls Royce in Crewe, UK and spent a month working in the engine repair shop learning how to build an engine RR-style that will last for a million miles, and a month in the apprentice school learning milling machines, lathes, gas welding, arc welding, etc. Great fun. I would love to have a lathe and a milling machine just in case I needed to make something, but where to put them and what to make?

Richard.

01-20-2013, 11:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Nice mod..but..err...$7.80 with free shipping.

PU 50 Quick Release Plate for Benro B0 B1 B2 J1 N1 Tripod Ballhead Arca Swiss | eBay

With a real arc plate, you get the little stop screws to prevent the plate from sliding off.

Cool mod though.
Hmm. Is that a real PU-50 or a Chinese knock-off? My genuine PU-50 has "www.benro.cn" inscribed underneath the "PU-50".

Doesn't matter. I just bought one for my K200D body. Thanks for the link, Lauren.

Richard.
01-21-2013, 06:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RichardS Quote
Very nice work. You've even got the stop screws on the ends. Respect I really understand the "I just didn't like it" motivation. Even if the engineering calculations say that something is strong enough, there are times when instinct or something else says that it just doesn't feel or look right. Sixth sense? Survival instinct?

Lucky you with the milling machine and the lathe. I haven't used them since my "compulsory two months in industry" when I was at Uni. I went to Rolls Royce in Crewe, UK and spent a month working in the engine repair shop learning how to build an engine RR-style that will last for a million miles, and a month in the apprentice school learning milling machines, lathes, gas welding, arc welding, etc. Great fun. I would love to have a lathe and a milling machine just in case I needed to make something, but where to put them and what to make?

Richard.
I bought the "Fully Assembled kits" from Harbor Freight! When you buy them, you have to set them up and get them into tolerances and do some basic mods. When you get them sorted, not only have you learned the machines, but you understand how to keep them in tip-top-shape. I bought the lathe first, then about a year after that, I bought the mill. The Harbor freight stuff is actually Sieg from China. http://www.siegind.com/
The tooling is what cost the most money - and of course teaching myself!!!
Having a lathe and mill is like having the ubiquitous vise on the top of a work bench - everyone should have one if they have a hobby!!!!

QuoteOriginally posted by RichardS Quote
Hmm. Is that a real PU-50 or a Chinese knock-off? My genuine PU-50 has "www.benro.cn" inscribed underneath the "PU-50".

Doesn't matter. I just bought one for my K200D body. Thanks for the link, Lauren.

Richard.
I bought a couple too, after I found the link!


Last edited by LaurenOE; 01-21-2013 at 07:04 AM.
01-21-2013, 06:58 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RichardS Quote
Hmm. Is that a real PU-50 or a Chinese knock-off? My genuine PU-50 has "www.benro.cn" inscribed underneath the "PU-50".

Doesn't matter. I just bought one for my K200D body. Thanks for the link, Lauren.

Richard.
I think you're starting to talk in the 'meta-physical' knock-off realm! When Benro is probably about 4th or 5th down the line of arca knock-offs, I think we can just stop calling them knock-offs! Not to mention their own website indicates Benro is located in China...now the Chinese are knocking off the Chinese, what has this world come to!
01-22-2013, 12:07 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
I bought the "Fully Assembled kits" from Harbor Freight! When you buy them, you have to set them up and get them into tolerances and do some basic mods. When you get them sorted, not only have you learned the machines, but you understand how to keep them in tip-top-shape. I bought the lathe first, then about a year after that, I bought the mill. The Harbor freight stuff is actually Sieg from China. http://www.siegind.com/
The tooling is what cost the most money - and of course teaching myself!!!
Having a lathe and mill is like having the ubiquitous vise on the top of a work bench - everyone should have one if they have a hobby!!!!
Oh no. Now I have another site that may lure me into spending money. I'm already on the verge of being a compulsive tool buyer and I have to resist the urge to buy new toys. I have a shed-full of tools needed to build A-Class catamarans and build houses and fix cars (doesn't everyone have McPherson strut compressors and piston ring compressors and inside and outside circlip pliers). But these toys look really good.

Luckily I'm distracted by the Hirsch stage 1 tune for my red car. So no more toys until the red car gets its present.

Richard.
01-22-2013, 12:14 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
I think you're starting to talk in the 'meta-physical' knock-off realm! When Benro is probably about 4th or 5th down the line of arca knock-offs, I think we can just stop calling them knock-offs! Not to mention their own website indicates Benro is located in China...now the Chinese are knocking off the Chinese, what has this world come to!
I aim to amuse The idea of one Chinese company doing copies of another Chinese company's copies of the original product appealed to my sense of the ridiculous. There's an "Alice In Wonderland" appeal to the concept. I am easily amused

Richard.
01-23-2013, 06:12 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pntxjack Quote
Arca-Swiss plates are not cheap--until today, that is.
Until you discover eBay

QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Basically the PU-50 and PU-60 are pretty good quality from China/Hong Kong - and cheap.
Indeed. I have a Vanguard acra-swiss head. The plate is permanently fixed on my camera, but I bought a PU-50 plate that is the exact same size as the one on my 60-250 foot. That one is also permanently attached.
01-23-2013, 11:08 PM   #15
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Now all I need to find is somewhere that sells something like a Really Right Stuff or Kirk L-plate for a K-5 for around $9.95 delivered. Don't hold my breath time?

Richard.
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