No camera plates for the F4 ?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by johnw63, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. I am looking into purchasing a ball head for my tripod and , through surfing, I found that most of the good heads require a separate "custom" camera plate to mount on the ball head. My D7000 seems to be OK. My F4 is not. AcraTech doesn't have one for it, but have one for just about every OTHER Nikon from F2 forward. Same with Kirk. The Real Right Stuff folks have one, but it's for the F4S ( bigger battery holder version ) and not the F4.
    What's the issue ? I would have thought F4 owners would be more likely to need a camera plate than the lighter bodies.
     
  2. Probably no demand. Most F4's shipped with the larger grip/battery holders.
     
  3. There's bound to be another plate from Kirk or RRS that will work fine with an F4 in its MB-20 configuration. Maybe writing to the companies would yield a suggestion.
    When I bought into the Arca-Swiss style system nearly 10 years ago I bought a Kirk PZ-17 for my FE2. It works fine on a lot of other cameras I have. It almost fits perfectly on my F4 with MB-20. Good enough to call it usable. If it had just one more millimeter of adjustment to slide toward the back it'd be perfect.
     
  4. For the F4 (with MB20), I use a 4cm x 7cm plate, more a lens plate, off ebay. It has 3 elongated thread holes, which adjust - two short and one long, four directions - and rubber interface; screws in with a coin.
    I don't think enough F4 cameras were sold in the USA for there to be many used QR plates floating around. The F4S (with MB21) was the standard version of the camera (there is an MB21 plate on KEH now). There has been an F4/MB 20 Kirk plate in stock in the UK Warehouse Express shop for a while, probably still there because it is so expensive (42 GBP plus shipping), if you really must have one.
    I have the MB21 plate and I find you need it because of the added weight and extra torque leverage (?) to stop the camera twisting on the plate. With the lighter MB20 arrangement (lithiums as well), a larger generic plate with rubber interface works just fine and I am on my second ebay version (I forget why). I am using an Acratech QR. The plate sticks forward of the camera base but is flush or recessed with the rear, where it matters.
    Edit: sorry, they are calling it an F4s plate for the MB20 on the Warehouse Express site. Typical.
     
  5. Sorry, it is the PZ-13. There is a PZ-7 on the same Warehouse site, even cheaper. The PZ-13 is the one for the F4 with MB20 grip. Clear as mud.
     
  6. When I had multiple F4 bodies I used the Bogen Pro QR system (#3273). I used them with a Linhof Profi III and a Gitzo 410. I have two camera plates and one base in like new condition. PM me if you want more information.
     
  7. The Kirk PZ-17 plate fits the F4 with MB-20 grip perfectly. It's what I use on my F4. Despite what Kirk says on their page for the PZ-17 ("This camera plate is manufactured specifically for the Nikon...") it isn't. If it was "specific" it would not have a slotted attachment hole.
    It's a bit odd that Kirk does not include the F4/MB-20 in the drop down list on their site. But if you select any of FM, FM2, FE, FE2, etc from the drop down list it will lead you to the page for the PZ-17.
    RRS has a similar style "universal" plate: BP-CS Multi-camera plate.
    I'm not aware of a custom fit L-bracket for the F4/MB-20 configuration. RRS makes a universal MC-L Multi-Camera L-Plate that will fit the F4.
     
  8. The dedicated Kirk PZ-13 plate is discontinued, so I guess that's why Kirk doesn't include the F4/MB-20 on their site. If you troll eBay long enough, you might find a used one for less than the UK based Warehouse site. If not, the readily available Kirk PZ-17 or RRS BP-CS work almost (99.9%) as nicely as the dedicated plate. :)
     
  9. Here's a photo I took awhile back during some correspondence with my brother on the F4. It has a Kirk PZ-17 mounted to it. (My wife is still asleep so I can't be banging around to put it together again and set up a photo of the rear interface.)
    00ZdAB-417221684.jpg
     
  10. Really Right Stuff. MC-L: Multi-Camera L-Plate
    Michael provided the link above.
    Used to be listed as the Universal L Plate. I have used it for years on my F4 with the MB-20.
     
  11. Eric,
    I did send e-mails to AcraTech , Kirk, and even the US dealer for PhotoCalm. They pointed me to generic plates. I assume the camera body specific plates did a better job, and the generic ones were a second best solution. I do have the larger battery holder, but I changed to the smaller one so I could find camera bags that it would go in. That extra size ruled out a lot of smaller , non back pack style bags.
    My largest lens is not that big, AIS 300mm f4.5 , which weighs in at 2lbs 9oz. Hopefully a generic will hold properly.
     
  12. "My largest lens is not that big, AIS 300mm f4.5 , which weighs in at 2lbs 9oz. Hopefully a generic will hold properly."
    You should really be using a lens plate on the tripod collar for that lens anyway, so the camera body plate should not come into play. FWIW, with the rear lip of the PZ-17 snugged against the back edge of the body, it locks very securely in place and at least in my experience shows no tendency to twist when the camera is in vertical orientation.

    Rear view of the Kirk PZ-17 mounted on F4...
    00ZdEE-417301584.jpg
     
  13. Kirk still shows the PZ-17 on their web site, if you do a search for it. $55. Sheesh.
     

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