Is this quick release plate right?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by michael_harris|14, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. 8F98F840-038D-4519-9DCE-7FDCD17E5FF7.jpeg A0EBA7E3-F27E-4EA7-B9BF-1E8EB7EF9C7F.jpeg 9EC333EE-8DAC-4F28-92F3-14A916247578.jpeg I recently purchased a tripod second hand that was fitted with a Manfrotto 141rc head, but missing the quick release plate, so I did what any cheapskate would do and bought one on eBay. Methinks perhaps I have cheaper myself too much. Is this “right” and I’m doing something wrong, or are the manufacturing tolerances too far off here?
    First two pictures show the plate installed on the tripod, in either direction. Should the lever close further than it does? I don’t know that plate orientation on the camera really makes any difference, but it actually closes further when the plate is installed “backwards,” that is, the lens arrow would be pointing back towards the lever. The two sides are shaped slightly differently.

    The last picture attempts to show the plate flat across the bottom when it is installed on a camera. The little floppy half ring you use to tighten it won’t fold down all the way flat, unless I’m doing something wrong.
    Can anyone advise?
    Basically, is this usable, or do I need to suck it up and buy the real Manfrotto plate?
  2. AJG


    Get the real one--it will fit properly.
    michael_harris|14 likes this.
  3. Manfrotto themselves didn't do their users any favours by making at least two designs of virtually identical looking rectangular QR plate. One has two little shallow prongs, and the other has a single protrusion one on edge. Both will almost - but not quite - fit their non-corresponding heads.

    So you have to ensure you're getting the correct plate for the head model.

    As for the many cheap clones; they can fit poorly in about 6 million different ways. If the plate is the right shape, then the key on the locking screw doesn't fold flat, or is too big..... etc. etc.

    Life was a lot simpler before QR plates became fashionable. You only had to worry whether the hole in the bottom of your camera had a 1/4" or 3/8" thread. And in less than twenty seconds your camera could be firmly screwed to almost any make of tripod.

    Now it takes three times as long to remove the 'quick' release plate from the tripod, screw it to the camera, and then hope you don't fumble aligning the plate with the tripod head or catch your finger in the spring-loaded bear trap that attaches the plate to the tripod.
    .... Unless you're one of those perverse people that likes having an ugly extra lump of metal permanently stuck to your camera.

    P.S. The snail cam should close further than shown for secure fastening.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  4. I got the real one. The major problem of the d ring sticking out to much when a camera was mounted is totally taken care of. Manfrotto designed it right, the knock off doesn’t even try. Strangely though, it still fits onto the head about the same as shown in the two pictures. And it still clamps down more when mounted “backwards” that is to say when the “lens” arrow on the underside points to the back of the tripod. I’m fairly confident that I have the correct plate—it’s the same one they show for the 141rc on their web site.
    Is that second pic clamped on enough?
    I can’t think that it makes any difference if I put the plate onto the camera backwards, allowing me to get that more solid clamping—am I missing anything?
  5. AJG


    I just took a look at a couple of the Manfrotto QR systems that I have that are older but pretty much the same as yours--on all of them the gray lever closes all the way to the body of the mechanism with the plate mounted. If the plate is firmly attached and the safety (brass pin) is engaged your camera should be safe. Whether or not it is able to shift a bit on the tripod head is another question that only you can answer. I've owned and heavily used these QR plates for 20 years and they have worked well for me.
  6. I have collected a lot of QR plates over the years. Mostly I use Arca-style QR, but not exclusively. Some seem to fit, but not necessarily securely. Now that I'm shooting mostly video, it gets even more confusing.

    I find it useful to mark various devices with a paint pen. It's like a marker, but with opaque lacquer in many colors, available from an art store. They're particularly useful on black or dark things like power supplies (and QR plates) which tend to get separated from the corresponding device. I mark the wide side of USB connectors, to save time and potential damage - anything which requires a certain orientation.
  7. If the latch closes enough that the safety pin engages with the locking lever, then that's secure enough. If not, then it should - with the right plate.

    As I said, it seems that Manfrotto deliberately set out to confuse, by making at least two designs of head that take slightly different designs of QR plate.

    FWIW, I too ended up with a couple of knockoff plates that didn't fit. It was hardly worth the trouble of returning them, so I took a grinding wheel to the incorrect chamfer and scalloped out a couple of recesses to make the plates fit the head. Ugly but serviceable!
  8. I may end up doing that too. In the meantime I did what I should have done in the first place but for some reason didn’t occur to me: I went to an honest to goodness camera shop. They looked at it and said it all seemed secure enough to them, and that there was no reason against using it “backwards” since my model head will allow that (current ones don’t, apparently that was a characteristic of the period when mine was made). I was fully prepared to by yet another plate if they said there was one that was more correct, but they advised that I was fine as is. It will be a sad day when these places all close and we’re stuck with Amazon or whatever Best Buy it Walmart stocks.
  9. Hmmmm. The two designs of Manfrotto QR plate that I'm familiar with definitely aren't fully reversible. One design has a single large protrusion on the front chamfered edge, and the other design has two smaller lugs on the forward chamfered edge. Neither of them are symmetrical front-to-back.

    WRT the standard of advice got from bricks'n'mortar photo shops: "variable" is about the best description I could put to it. I've heard some really lousy advice handed out to customers, as well as some very knowledgeable wisdom. But I'd question the knowledge of anyone that claimed it didn't matter which way round you inserted any of Manfrotto's horrible little rectangular QR plates.

    The knockoff plates can be inserted either way round, but then again they don't fit properly either way.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  10. The first guy I talked to was surprised that I was able to put the plate in backwards at all, in fact he got a Manfrotto head from the display and showed me that you couldn't even insert my plate into the head backwards. It just wouldn't go in at all. He called another guy up from the back who said that when my model first came out you could do that, but there was a slight design change fairly early on making it impossible. I just have one of the early versions.

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