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Tripod quick release


New Member
I am looking for a new tripod head. I just bought a beautiful cobalt blue 501CM kit, and I also just bought a toyo 45CX large format camera. Due to the size and weight of the 4x5, I need to buy a new tripod head. I have decided to get a Really Right Stuff ballhead that takes arca swiss plates. I am wondering if the standard plate which came on the base of my 501 will also fit a standard arca swiss cl&. Ideally it would, but I do not belive this is true. I need to know if the only way to get my 501 onto an arca swiss cl& is to attach an arca swiss plate to the standard plate on the bottom of my 501. This seems redundant. Any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. David

I just tried my 500CM on my two Arca cl&s. Bad news.
The cl& won't close down enough to grasp the Hassy plate. I have the RRS plate that I bought just for the 500CM. Yes. It's a bit redundant - but it works. The annoying thing about having the RRS adapter plate attached to the body is that the body is inclined to teeter-totter due to the narrow plate.

Advice: when you get the RRS ball head (I notice there's a 4 - 6 week backorder) get it with the lever cl& as opposed to the knob cl&. I just bought their new lever cl& and it's a work of art and much more conenient than the knob cl&. Happy Snapping!
You'll need an Arca Swiss plate to mount to your camera tripod plate. RRS has good plates for this, although it will set you back another $60. I use RRS Arca Swiss plates on both of my 553ELXs.
> as far as I know there is a replacement available where you exchange the quick coupling base of your Haselblad for an Arca Swiss compatible one. Maybe someeone else knows more, else try Google.
Thanks for the information. I thought the Hasselblad plate would not fit the Arca Swiss cl&. Truth be told, I do not mind screwing my cameras onto the head I currently own. The 4x5 is too awkward, so I am thinking the solution may be to buy a new tripod (legs & head) for the 4x5. Thanks for your help. David
Just as an update, the below website sells a plate specificly for Hasselblads that replaces the built in plate. The new plate will fit arca-Swiss type cl&s. This way, you do not need to attach a quick release plate to the standard plate on the Hasselblad body. This is exactly what I was looking for. I hope it helps somebody else. Thanks. David
I'm re-planning my tripod/head/QR system to make it consistent among my gear of XPan, 135, Hassy 6x6 and LF systems.

Since my Hassy gear all uses (the 6x6 bodies have built in Hassy QR feet) the same feet and QR, my thinking is that I should do the same with all my gear - rather than get a new QR system and add bits to Hassy bodies to convert them etc..

I feel the Hassy QR system is compact, easy to use and strong - strong enough to hold a Hassy V series body, back, prism finder and 500mm lens (I'm confident they designed it to securely handle the heaviest Hassy load).

So when I upgrade my tripod (likely a Gitzo CF version) and get a very good ball head (suggestions welcome), I feel it makes sense financially and from the point of view of streamlined components (less parts to the puzzle), to use the Hassy QR.

I have a neat small Hassy QR that I have screwed to my baby CF Gitzo tripod for travelling. I have a nice big Hassy QR with the built in spirit level I can screw to my new tripod's ball head.

The XPan comes with a neat Hassy QR foot with an anti-swing pin that fits into a tiny hole on the body; I can add a standard accessory Hassy foot to my Leica-M for the few occassions when I shoot that on a tripod; do the same on my Canon 1V (on the rare occasions I shoot that on a tripod); and use an XPan QR foot fitted to my Linhof 4x5 (have a tiny hole drilled into it like is on the XPan body).

So, my question is does anyone see a flaw in what I'm planing to do? Do you feel the Hassy QR components are as strong as I think they are? Have I missed something in all of this?

I have been following this pattern and it has worked very well for me. I haven't used it with Large Format, but I do use it with video cameras, a video fluid head, and a gyro.
for SWCM and 500 CM it is ok - for 553 elx it feels a little bit tiny but it is strong eneugh.
I have the pentagon shaped heavy duty QR system of manfrotto on my tripod as it is strong eneugh to carry my fuji gx 680 and LF equipment and then I have a hasselblad QR with a Pentagon adapter underneath so i can use it on the tripod. I have 3 different Hasselblad QR, and the oldest - long version is the one I use with the pentagon - I have modified the tighten/loosen arm so that it is now much longer enabling it to meneuvre without anything getting in its way - I used an l-shaped torx-screv devise :) works great.
Thanks Curtis and Ruben. My "mission is to avoid multiple components - "stacks on the mills" stuff since it can only add to the risk of minute movement and un-sharpness.
I've moved to the Arca-Swiss QR system since I also have non-Hassy cameras. There are several good Arca-Swiss plate manufacturers, including Arca-Swiss, RRS, etc.

My Tripod is a Gitzo 1325 with a 1321 leveling base (essential for landscapes and panoramas). For a ball head, I use a Linhof Profi III, but would recommend an Arca-Swiss B1 as the standard for this.

Since the weather has been bad in the Northeastern US, I made several shots over the weekend under overcast conditions using 1 second at f8 and f11, with superb results, due to the tripod and ball head.
I am using HASSELBLAD Cameras , BRONICA RF645 (great camera) and also a HORSEMAN SW612PRO . All of these cameras i have equiped with the Hasselblad quick shoe plate . ( of course not the HASSELBLAD's , standard there and also not not my 1600F and SW)
For tripod i am using a light and a heavier GITZO carbon with a MANFROTTO 3 way geared head 405 . This is a great head and i prefer it to the ARCA-SWISS B1 as it easier to use .
I have prepared two quick couplings of the manfrotto head to take the Hasselblad quick coupler and the other with a coupling to hold the basic rail of my LF (4x5) ARCA-SWISS . The HASSELBLAD shoe is just not strong enough to be used with a LF camera .
But the Hasselblad quick coupling plate is so small and light that you can easily use it also with a LEICA or as i do with my KONICA HEXAR RF .
So i have 2 couplings : one for my handheld cameras and one for the LF . These 2 in combination with the manfrotto head are very comfortable for me .
I'm re-planning my tripod/head/QR system to make it consistent among my gear of XPan, 135, Hassy 6x6 and LF systems. >

I use the Manfrotto hex-plate system on all my tripods, for MF, 135, spotting and astronomical scopes, etc. I believe they are strong especially the cast ones, (the older plates are cast with cork on the top) (the new ones have rubber on the top) they lock on the body very well, (when torqued properly I have not found one to loosen during transportation, including dirt roads. The lock on the tripod in the correct direction ready for use. The quick release works in the cold even with gloves on.

They also make a grooved hex-plate specifically for Hasselblad cameras.

Good Luck:

Thanks Larry. I think that is the Gitzo I am planning to get if it is the CF version with 3 extensions.

But, I've not seen the "leveling base". Is it more "essential" than having a spirit level version of a QR bracket, or a camera mounted spirit level?

I'm surprised the Linhof ballhead was not preferred as I would expect they would be nothing less than excellent. What was the issue that took you to the B1?
Jurgen, that's interesting. You're doing much of what I plan to do. But, I'm interested that you find the Hassy QR bracket not strong enough for LF.

Currently I use a big Manfrotto tripod (475 I think - has the leg support brackets) with a Manfrotto 410 geared head. This is excellent in-doors and a bit bulky out-doors; however while the 410 is a bit fiddly to use as you find with the 405, the setup is rock solid especially if I have a lot of bellows extension that risks microscopic movement in long exposures.

But I thought the Linhof Technika V has most weight over the head so may be "solid" enough on a big ball head. Also its solid metal construction may make it less prone to micro movements. I think you are telling me it is not "solid" enough an arrangement?

Sure, like you find the Hassy 6x6, XPan, and 135 format stuff will be fine; the question is about the LF stuff. So, I get your point that I'm probably better to keep the bulky Manfrotto setup for LF work regardless.

Of course I'd rather have the bulkier setup knowing 100% free of movement than risk movement with a more convenient setup.
If you are shooting panoramas, the 1321 is essential since you need to rotate the camera on a level base. Otherwise you can skip it. The 1325 is the CF version with 3 sections. The Linhof is good, but my equipment is pretty heavy with a 555ELD, digital back, lens (sometimes the 140-280 Variogon beast) and the head can slip a bit when I carry the whole contraption on my shoulder while hiking. The Profi II is rated for about 25 lbs, but the B1 goes almost to 100 lbs.
Thanks Gilbert. I've seen Manfrotto's hex plates and they look excellent. I think, though, my aim is to avoid adding bits to my Hassy bodies since I feel the less number of components should be more convenient, less bulky and lower risk of any micro movements. If I was just planning a setup for my 135 kit, I see from your comments that the hex plate system would be a good choice.
Larry, thanks for that clarification. Yes that is a significant difference in weight specification. I see that a really great ball head can be a big bonus while a lower spec one can be a real hindrance.
Hello Simon

The "optical bank" of my ARCA consists of actually 2 rails . One long one and a smaller one (this one has two parts) which you slide into the long "heavy" Rail . So the task was , how to fix this onto the manfrotto plate . ARCA has a big cl& as standard on one of their ball heads . Thats the cl& i use . So I have just these two mountings which i can quickly replace by each other . Shure , the 3 way geared head is quite heavy , but very comfortable in use . I also use the 4x5 inch high end vacuum sheet film holder from SCHNEIDER , which is rather heavy and therefore , the big cl& and gearhead is of adavantage .