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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 5, 2011
Hi photo enthusiasts

Usually I am lurking in the Mac related forums but I could need some quick help regarding the new tripod my wife got for Christmas. Please forgive any „mistakes“ and lengthy explanation since I am clueless regarding photography, I only use my iPhone ;) It is this one (I even looked it up at B&H for you mostly American guys):

Manfrotto element traveler carbon

so it comes with a ball head and also some sort of „quick release“ to attach the camera to, but not what my wife wants it to be. she plans to use it with different cameras and wants to keep the adapter attached to each camera. Apparently there are other sorts of quick release where you can simply click the camera into place and not have to slide the plate in in and then screw it thigt. I ordered one (by Manfrotto) but it could not be attached to the ballhead (there is some sort of groove on the underside of the stock quick release)

could please someone point me to the correct / fitting product? Maybe there is a Manfrotto pro or somebody with the exact tripod here ;)

Thanks in advance

Laird Knox

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2010
That looks like a pretty standard Arca-Swiss plate. Most of Acra-Swiss style holders use a screw like that. It is designed that you can loosen it without the plate detaching. You have to pull the knob out while turning for it to fully release. This is a safety feature so your camera and lens don't take an accidental trip to the ground.

There are some holders that accept the Acra-Swiss plate but use a lever style release. These also have a pin in them that you have to push to fully release the plate. This is a similar safety feature to avoid an accidental quick release.

I've only have the screw style release but have used the lever type. Personally I don't find it much different in the time spent attaching or removing the camera. I like the lever style but the brand I standardized on use the screw style.

Here's some info on the Arca-Swiss system:
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macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2008
Nashville, TN
I had to replace a ballhead that was no longer supporting the weight of my camera with the Manfrotto below. I have mixed feelings about quick releases but have been fairly happy with it. Fortunately, I also found a great deal on an old Gitzo ballhead like the picture below that I love.



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Clix Pix

macrumors Core
I've been using Arca-Swiss for years and it really is a very convenient system. My A7R IV camera body has an Arca-Swiss plate attached to it, so when I need to use my Really Right Stuff (RRS) ballhead on a Gitzo tripod I'm ready to go. The plates are reasonably inexpensive and simply fit on to the camera bottom connected with the tripod mount hold there without interfering with hand-holding the camera body if that is one's shooting style. One can purchase "universal" plates or can get them specifically for the camera body model.

My other Gitzo tripod is fitted with a Wimberley Gimbal head (I use this for shooting birds), and both of the long lenses that I use for this purpose are fitted with Arca-Swiss style feet so that I just slide the lens foot into position on the Wimberley and I'm good to go.

Some people prefer to use an "L" bracket which fits on to the camera body and and easily be positioned in either landscape or portrait orientation. This, too, has built-in Arca-Swiss functionality.
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macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2007
Another fan of Arca Swiss. I use a D4 geared head with my monopod and tabletop tripod. The adapters your wife speaks of are quick-release adapters and they can be fitted to each of your cameras for quick mounting.
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Erehy Dobon

Feb 16, 2018
No service
Here's the legacy Manfrotto plate:

The biggest disadvantage with this style is that's really bulky.

The link you provided is to a tripod with a ballhead with an Arca-Swiss type mounting system which is basically an open-jaw clamp. The standard Arca-Swiss style plate can slide into the jaw either direction (look at the photo of the bottom).

If you tilt the tripod head to the side, there's a small chance that the camera can fall off the tripod head if it is not screwed down tight enough.

Really Right Stuff addressed this shortcoming in the Nineties by adding a safety stop screw on one side to only allow the plate to be mounted on the tripod head one direction.

Note the slim profile of the RRS plate. It doesn't extend beyond the SLR body's depth. A soft neoprene camera cover can be used on this combination. The large legacy Manfrotto plate often requires the plate to be removed from the body for storage.

At least in the old days, a lot of the RRS plates used hex screws for mounting so experienced photographers carried an Allen hex key with their gear (or maybe on their keychain).

RRS plates have other features like the registration pin, anti-twist flanges, etc.

The simplicity of the Arca-Swiss mount design allows for some really small knobs which can be positioned in front of the camera or to the back.

The spring-release Manfrotto quick-release mechanism is decidedly bulky. Even if you have a compact, lightweight travel tripod, you're still stuck with a system that must accommodate a large mount plate.

By contrast, with the Arca-Swiss style system, you can have really small mount plates. I have one of these:

a plate that I have moved around from camera to camera for over twenty years. Today it currently resides on one of those cheap smartphone clamp mounts.
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