I have a Kaiser ball head and the NorthStar quick release system and I am very happy. I have tried many others including Bogen, Kirk, Really Right Stuff etc. and never felt that my equipment was secure. NorthStar is different. They use a side clamp,as do others, but in addition they have a very simple but elegent detent system. It is great. You can find them at www.northstarusa.net Happy shooting
Very interesting system. I have a Kirk (not too) quick release clamp and a Markins ball head that also uses Arca compatible plates. Do you know if the Northstar stuff will handle an Arca standard plate? How does the quick release work? Does the lever have a cam action like a bicycle quick release? I like the flexibility of the Arca standard system, but the quick release adapters out there aren't very quick compared to cam-locking plate systems like Manfrotto/Bogen's.
I agree, the cam locking system used on Manfrotto head is the fastest I have seen. I have always felt the QR was strong enough to hold my F5 with any lens combination I own; in either vertical or horizontal positons. Doug
Do you use the big hex plate and/or smaller rectangular plates? I do like the anti-twist feature of custom fit aftermarket Arca plates. On my smaller "universal" Manfrotto plates, I sometimes have problems with twisting using a heavy camera/lens combo. The only Manfrotto plate with anti twist that I know of is one of the big hex plates.
BJ, My 3047 use the large hex plate, and my mono head uses the smaller rectangular plate. The only problem I have with the hex head is when the F5 is mounted vertically with a large lens such as the F/2.8 28-80 Tokina. The cork tends to lose grip with the hex plate and slowly moves, causing the camera to slowly rotate downwards because of the weight of the lens. Do not have this problem with the 20-35 or with any lens with the tripod mount attached to the lens. I am not worried about the camera itself disengaging from the plate or the plate disengaging from the head. It is just a pain, in that I forgot to really crank the locking knob tight enough, until it slips a once while taking a picture. (Really gives a strange affect makes the photo look like it was watercolors that have run.) You mention that they offer an anti-twist plate for the hex plates. This would be great. I use an anti-twist plate on my Stroboframe PRO-RL bracket, and it works great. In fact, the F5 anti-twist plate works fine for the F5 as well as the F100 and my old N90s when I still owned it. I was considering making my own anti-twist plate for the hex plate. I know a guy at work who runs a Bridgeport and other boring and cutting equipment and I'm considering designing something and asking him to produce it. However, if they already sell one, I will save some valuable time. Doug PS Just received my insurance check for my other F5 that had an unfortunate run in with my car tire (run in or run over). Check was for what an F5 would cost locally. They took an average from two local stores and that's what they paid. They wanted three stores, but only two stores (chains) in the Nashville area carry F5s. Being local, amount they paid was OK with me. )
Wouldn't it be nice if cameras came with a 1.5 inch (38 mm) groove in the base, maybe 1/16th inch (1.6 mm) wide and deep just behind the tripod mounting screw to keep it from slipping?
Then tripod manufacturers could sell both types of plates.
Doesn't the anti-twist plate push up against the rear of the camera base. Haven't used one, but it seems to me as if the older manual cameras with 90 degree angles at the base would work better than the newer rounded af cameras. Just a thought. I could sketch it out but I'm not sure how to post it.
Doug: glad to hear you can "replace" your dearly departed f5! Now that I'm a homeowner, I'm looking at an insurance rider for my gear.
I highly recommend a camera rider if you have extensive camera equipment. I would have been out about $2k without the rider. Now, I'm debating whether I'm going to replace the F5 or not. I seem to believe I can get along quite well with one F5 and the F100. I noticed last night on Manfrotto's web site that they offer a plate that has what looks like an anti-twist plate. I wrote them, and hopefully, they will reply. DD
Perhaps it's because video cameras came along so recently, but they've adopted a standard to use an anti twist pin along with the standard 1/4" screw thread mount. If still camera makers would simply add the same pin hole, everyone could benefit from this common standard.
You may want to look into the new version of the hex plate that Bogen/Manfrotto has out now. I recently bought one so that I could keep a plate on my camera and on my 80-200 for when I'm switching lenses frequently. The new plate doesn't have cork on it, instead it looks to be some type of rubber with a texured surface. It seems like it has a better grip on the camera body than the cork does.
It sounds like you found the Manfrotto plate that I saw... I haven't used it personally but you can probably buy it from B&H or Adorama. Look like it's worth at try since it's probably reasonably priced.
Kirk makes a hex plate that has a clamp to fit Arca compatible plates... it's spendy but the stuff is rock solid.
Another feature I like with the Northstar system is it is impossible to have that twisting that you mention and is so common. The plate that is mounted on the camera is set into the mount so it sits in its own seat.
The plate >that is mounted on the >camera is set into the >mount so it sits in >its own seat.
Not sure what this means. Does the camera sit in the mount? Or is it like you said in the statement? The only twisting I have is between the QR hex plate and the base of the camera body. Basically, the cork, is twisting between the hex plate and the camera base. It stays firm against the camera base. Other than that minor problem, the plate is held very securely in the tripod head, and as long as I remember to give the locking nut that extra half-turn, it works fine. Someday I will sit down and design an anti-twist plate or purchase one of they have one for sale. DD
BJ Just received a Manfrotto 90 Degree Alignment Mounting Plate (#3267). It is the large hex quick release plate with another plate mounted to it with bend in it to prevent the camera from rotating while in vertical position, mounted to a tripod. The plate is dovetailed into the Hex quick release plate on two sides so it can slide back and forth to accomodate any size camera. I will be adding some cork or rubber to the piece that fits against the front or rear of the camera body to prevent any possible scratching it could cause. This may be what you were talking about and in a week I'm heading up to NY and W. Virginia, hopefully, for some fall colors, so I'll let everyone know if it works as it appears it will.
Guess I forgot to update the results of using this mew mounting plate. It works, what more can I say. The camera no longer twists on the plate, in vertical position with a long lens attached to the camera. (A long lens such as the 28-80 Tokina, which does not have an attached tripod mount.)
--Take only photographs, leave nothing but footprints-- And carry plenty of FRESH batteries...
The Northstar VERY QUICK release consists of a plate which has beveled sides that fit into the holder. You thus have atraditional dovetail fit. However, the unique part is that the system has a detent system. A stainless steel pin is inserted into the release plate and stay there until you easily remove it. At that point my 400mm on a F4s will not fall. But that was not enough for Northstar. You lock the whole thing together with a side clamp. Your equipment is solid. I now walk down a trail with everything over my shoulder without worry. It is well engineered. I do not know if thay adapt to arca plates. I do know that the release base is designed to accommodate Kaiser, Kirk, Foba,, abd Arca Swiss ball heads. They are very nice people. The phone # is (253) 838-8435
Thanks for the details. I'll contact Northstar for the compatibility specs. I'm betting they were clever enough to make the bevel shape and width compatible with plates people already own. The interlock pin may not work with Arca plates, however. I like the side-actuating lever and have wished that Kirk or Really Right Stuff would produce a true quick release. Sounds like Northstar beat them to the punch.
Excuse me for being so direct, but since you don't have a profile and seems to be new around here, plus that your account name is, er, pretty biz oriented, maybe you could let me know if you're affiliated with this company in any way? If not, howcome do you know them?
Your direct and fair question deserves a direct answer. My name is Raleigh Harmon and I am a very happy customer of NorthstarUSA. I am not in any manner associated with the people at Northstar except as a paying customer.
I use healthybiz to keep things simple. I am on the net in a variety of photo pages and rather than try to remember if I am Raleigh @ Moose or healthybiz @ Grizzly I decided to use healthybiz at all of them. I do have a business but it is not connected to photograhy which is my real passion and has been for 40 some odd years.
I am also new to the computor world having never been on the net until recently. Therefore, I do not know all of the protocal. However, I will take your gentle advice and complete a profile today.
Morrie at Northstar sent me some additional info by email:
>>First, thank you for your interest in our Quick Release System. Now to your questions:
Sorry, our base does not accept the Arca style plates nor any of the many other plates on the market. Our base and release plate use a detent design to absolutely retain the connection. Therefore, any combination of other product parts would not guarantee the same connection and would not be a positive lock.
By virtue of a spring-loaded, retractable pin in our base, when inserted into any of the notches in the release plate, the lock-up is completed. The side clamp, just performs a tightening function. Removal is simply a half turn of the clamp handle and then a simple retraction of the locking pin.<<
I have been using my Northstar system with my F4s and 500mm 4P lens. That is the big-old-great-one. I find that nothing slips or twists as I walk down a trail with everything on my aching shoulder. Everything is very secure.
I am posting this, in part, because someone sent me an e-mail but for some reason I could not contact. I hope this helps and answers your questions,Don.