View Full Version : Phillips Compact II and quick release plates for Arca Monoball

7-Jan-2004, 10:56
I have a Phillips Compact 8x10 in order - and have a question for the experienced Phillips users:

On all my other cameras I have been able to find a generic plate from Really Right Stuff (or Kirk) that fits the different bases - connecting to the Arca monoball quick-release system. These plates all have one screw that fits the hole in the camera together with an antitwist rim that prevents twisting of the plate itself (while mounted). This system has proven extremly rigid together with my other medium and large format equipment - and I would like a similar setup for my new 8x10.

I am wondering if anyone knows off a generic plate that would fit the Phillips Compact II in its standard version, or if I would have to ask mr Phillips to drill an additional 3/8 hole in the camera base in order to place a RRS plate with double 3/8 screws?

Thank you in advance.

tim atherton
7-Jan-2004, 11:30
There isn't really much point in buying an ultralight 8x10 camera and then adding a tripod plate that's long enough to have an anti twist rim and would probably weigh close to 1lb or so.... :-)

On mine I have a small 1 1/2" by 2" or so RRS plate that just has the one 3/8# hole - screw it down nice and tight and it's fine. I carry mine over my shoulder a lot and I've never had a problem with it. I guess if you had it racked out to full extention with a heavy lens on the end you could toque it enough to unscrew, but I rarely do. Although I often use wider rather than longer lenses, I've had no problems like that reularly carrying it with a 12" Ektar on.

Ted Harris
7-Jan-2004, 11:35
My experience mirrors Tim's.

Sal Santamaura
7-Jan-2004, 11:47
When I bought a Compact II from Dick Phillips around five years ago he recommended that any tripod head have at least a 4" square contact area with the camera's bed. Wanting to use it with my Arca B1, I purchased a plate from Kirk that was exactly 4" square and included a single 3/8" screw in a slot. It was constructed with a thin, very dense ribbed rubber pad laminated to the aluminum. When it's screwed securely to the camera, I've never had difficulty with twisting. This is the only Kirk item I own; Really Right Stuff, in my opinion, produces superior products, and all my other plates are RRS, but they didn't offer anything of this kind for the Compact II. Kirk's Web site listings no longer include the 4" square plate. I don't know if it's discontinued or just not shown. Model number is at home and I'm not, so ask later if you need that information.

As an aside, I was not satisfied with the B1/Compact II combination. Although light enough to be more than adequately supported by Arca's small head, when significantly extended the camera provides such leverage that even slight incidental hand pressure can move it out of position against the 'locked' ball. I substituted an Arca B2 for the B1. In addition to the drawback of its 3 1/2 pound weight, the larger Arca could only resist lever force in the fore-aft direction. Its smaller, nested "ball" for lateral tilt was no better than the B1 in that regard. Next I tried a Gitzo 1370M, sacrificing quick-release convenience, but found its lateral tilt incapable of smooth movement when attempting small displacements. Recently I have gone back to the Kirk plate and am finally happy with the combination of a Burzynski ball head + RRS lever-lock quick release clamp. This head, which elegantly drops right into the yoke of a Gitzo 1325, and weighs just over 2 pounds (not counting the savings from taking out Gitzo's flat plate, which I haven't weighed), adjusts smoothly and locks with enough force to resist any pressure I can put on the camera's extremities. There is no US importer for Burzynski. I ordered directly from a German dealer, Isarfoto. It was an easy and glitch-free transaction; delivery occurred six days after faxing an order. Should you decide to take this approach, act quickly as the dollar continues its decline against the Euro.

7-Jan-2004, 12:14
The Acratech head has superior holding power than anything else I've used, and weighs < 1 lb.

Jim Bright
7-Jan-2004, 14:54
Hi J.S., I have the setup you are interested in. My compact II came with two tripod holes already since a cancelled order before me wanted them. So I called Joe at RRS and he went through his inventory and couldn't find a longish plate that matched the holes. So he elongated one of the holes in a leica telephoto plate. It cost extra but not much. It is great. I can tighten the ballhead just about anywhere along the base of the camera. And it doesn't weight much. It took a few months though. I don't like having a plate that can twist. If you want to know any of the specifics just email me. Best Regards, Jim

Michael Jones
7-Jan-2004, 15:50
I've had the same experience as Tim and Ted; no problem with either the Phillips 8x10 or 11x14 secured by only one screw to a Ries head.


tim atherton
7-Jan-2004, 15:54
I've not had that problem with the Arca B1 and the locked bal - if mine is locked tight, it pretty much seems to be locked tight. Though I would second the Acratech - lighter and seemed to lock down at least as tight as the Arca - in fact probably tighter - that is until my Father appropriated it when his ball ehad broke on vacation - and I haven't seen it since!

Mark Nowaczynski
7-Jan-2004, 20:52
The RRS B40 plate may be the correct choice as it uses two 3/8" screws. This would give excellent rigidity and protect against twisting. As described on the RRS website:

"B40 Special style (fore-aft) plate for the Linhof Technikardan. Uses two 3/8-16 screws."


Ellis Vener
9-Jan-2004, 07:01
I realize that i was not being there Sal, but my thought is that you didn't have either the b1 or the inner ball of the B2 adjusted for the load you were putting on it. i have two B1 heads (one is approx 8-9 years old (I bought it used0, and a new '2002 version, and also a B2 head --which I also bought used. It was about two year before I discoverd that it was possible to adjustthe tension on the B2's inner "ball.

Sal Santamaura
9-Jan-2004, 10:42
Ellis, Arca's thumbscrew adjustments only set a lower limit on ball tension; they don't restrict how hard one can crank down on the main knobs. If you're referring to rotation of the number scales, yes, I am aware that they should be set to match the camera load attached. However, no matter how hard I hand-tightened main knobs, neither head could resist leverage of a physically large camera as described above. Perhaps using a pair of pliers on the knobs would have generated enough force, but that's not something I was willing to try.

I believe this is simply a matter of ball diameter. I find Arca superb for 4x5 and smaller, and still use a B1 in those situations. The 8x10 would likely have been handled perfectly by an Arca B1G with its larger ball, but I was attracted by the Burzynski's lower weight and method of attachment to my Gitzo's yoke.

Ellis Vener
9-Jan-2004, 11:29
Sal, the knurled collar on the inner "ball" of the B2 adjusts the stiffness of tension on th lateral tilt. The heaviest large format rig I have used on a B2 is an Linhof 5x7 Technica with a Canham 6x17 back, and I had no problems with locking the head down and the camera staying where I put it. But that was just my experience. And no I didn't use a wrench.