View Full Version : Suggestions for a safe quick release system?

Paul Schilliger
25-Sep-1999, 15:23
I am currently using the Manfrotto hexagonal base quick release system. It is r ock solid and handy, but not as safe as I would like. Would anyone recommend a s afe system that can be screwed on a ball head thread ?

Larry Huppert
25-Sep-1999, 15:43
Real Right Stuff (RRS) has an adapter which allows various tripod heads to be adapted to the Arca Swiss base plate system. RRS also makes customized base plates for a wide range of cameras. The adapter connects via a 3/8" thread. By itself, this adapter isn't "safe" (meaning its difficult to accidentally drop the camera off tripod). RRS makes another piece which they call "LOC" which attaches to adapter which does make this quick release "safe" (assuming you use LOC as they indented). The one problem you will have to solve is finding a good way to attach the RRS adapter to your tripod head. If you just attach their adapter to the Bogen quick release plate, you might be compromising "safety" and absolute rigidity. You might want to bolt the Bogen quick release plate to the tripod head by having a machinist drill a threaded hole through both members to assure it can't be easily removed.

Sean Billy Bob Boy yates
25-Sep-1999, 17:08
This has been my biggest gripe against Bogen/Manfrotto! I lost a Wisner 5 X 7 to a Q.R. that r'd at a very in-opportune moment. Being overseas with no way to assure shipment both ways, I had to get a local carpenter to make the repair, voiding the warranty.

Some of the B/M heads have a lock which keeps the spring-loaded Q.R. "release arm", for lack of a better term at the moment, in place so it can't be opened/released. I'm thinking here of the newer 3047 and 3039 heads. It's essentially a brass bolt. You might be able to get a good look at one and then modify yours. Otherwise, call the company in New Jersey and explain your problem. Maybe they can modify the head or ship you a replacement with the lock in place already.

Another option would be the anti-theft hex plate they sell. It has a steel lanyard for attaching to the tripod and a place to put a common lock like a Master or similar model.

I have been reduced to using the biggest baddest rubber bands I can find to pull back against the Q.R. arm, effectively holding it in place. One of these days I'll get a Ries or Mahjestic head and then it'll all be moot.

Jeff White
25-Sep-1999, 23:25
I like the release system on the Bogen 3275. It takes two movements in opposite directions to release. I tried one evening to make the thing release by "accident" and I couldn't hit it from any angle or wedge it into anything and make it release. A big improvement over their older style.

Doremus Scudder
26-Sep-1999, 07:57
Here is something to think about: Does a quick release really save all that much time, when considered in the total time taken to set up, compose, meter, etc., and are these extra few seconds worth the risk of an unsafe QR system that might just release when you least want it to?? I've become fairly quick at getting my field camera on to a normal 1/4:20 tripod screw, and, once it's secured, I am c ondident that it's not going anywhere without the entire tripod attached. If you need quick, shoot handheld! Otherwise, why bother with the extra weight and the extra risk factor? Just a thought. ;^D)

Robert A. Zeichner
26-Sep-1999, 10:57
I've been using a Cambo Ball Head with Quick Release for a few years now and this arrangement seems to be the best for me. It consists of a dovetailed plate which has an Allen capscrew protruding downward. The capscrew engages a hole that prevents the camera half of the dovetail from sliding, should the locking knob "accidentally" get loosened. I can attach the camera in the dark and feel when everything is properly aligned, it's that positive and simple! I've not had any close calls with this arrangement. A picture is worth a thousand words so go here and you'll have both! http:// www.calumetphoto.com/default.taf?arg1=home&_UserReference= 63511ACEC74A71E13758850D

J.L. Kennedy
26-Sep-1999, 20:24
I 2nd Doremus Scudder's response. Well said.

Ellis Vener
27-Sep-1999, 13:30
I use the Arca Swiss system and findit superior to bolting the camera directly to the tripod for the following reasons.

1.) Safety: Eliminates getting the tripod screw and the thread aligned while I am wresting with the camera and the tripod.

2.) Eliminates torque & thread stripping problems.

3.) All cameras are fitted with RRS plates. I use multiple LF cameras: Arca Swiss F-line, Canham DLC, and V-Pan 617, not to mention a 35mm system, having all use the same attachment format makes life less complicated.

Paul Schilliger
28-Sep-1999, 08:52
Thanks to all for your valuable input! I have now food for thought and will try to find the way that works best for me. I would like to spare the quick release, but it's hard to sc rew a large format camera directly on a large ball head. I have to see my Manfrotto rep. sometimes and will ask him if he has a fix. Otherwise, I might be tempted by the Arca Swiss system. The Cambo s ystem looks as good but I don't know if it is sold separately from theire heads. Thanks again!