I haven't heard of them, and I'm definatly no expert, but I did give them a look on the ebay site and they don't appear to have any antitwist capability other than some rubber pads and a captive screw. I put up with that on some Bogen plates until I got an M10 and put on a Markins generic flanged plate so the camera could not rotate (twist).
This one feature made me feel quite follish for using the others as long as I did. Now I'm looking into using the Kirk/RRS dedicated plate because even the generic plates don't EXACTLY fit my D100 and I can see/feel a little bit of play/wiggle when the camera is mounted. My Markins lens plate however is a perfect fit on my 120-300 f2.8 Sigma.
If I'm off base on this I would appreciate JRP or BJ to step in here.
I have a couple of the Newtech 3" plates for bodies/lenses I do not use frequently. They aren't as nice as the Kirk/RRS plates, however, they are very good value for the money. They have rubber feet on the botton to help prevent twisting and I have not to date had any problem with them. Like I said, the Kirk/RRS plates are better, however, cost a lot more.
Also, their customer service is the best of any vendor I have ever dealt with. So, if you are on a budget or just need a couple plates for equipment you do not use often, Newtech is the way to go!
I'm thinking about picking up a couple of them for odd jobs. They don't have any real anti-twist capability but I don't think I'll need that. The one thing I wish they had was an additional threaded hole on the bottom like a Kirk or (presumably) RRS camera plate. This allows you to keep the plate on at all times, even when you want to mount a monopod or other non-QR attachment. But again, for the money they seem quite good.
I have had two for about 6 months a year can't really remember. The lack of flange is correct, however for the price they can't be beat. I have had no twisting problems at all. I have an Acratech plate with a flange and have seen no difference in twist/lack of between them at all. I think in the long run the question is how long will the rubber last before oxidizing and falling out...a test in the works? mike
Sorry to come back to this thread a bit late, but I am planning to order some Newtech plates and I was wondering which sizes did you have? They sell their plates in 2', 2.5' and 3'. Obviously the larger plates would be better for lenses, but which one did you choose for the camera body?
I got my Newtech plates in the parcel today. I am REALLY pleased and surprised with the look and quality of this hardened aluminium plates!. The black finnish is so cool!
I fitted them immediately into my gear (D100, F100, FM2n and three lenses with tripod foot: Nikkor 70-200/2.8 VR, 300/4 and Sigma 500/4.5). I tested the strength and stability of all the gear over the Gitzo 1228 and....it is rock solid!
The only plate that might be slightly marginal is the 3' plate for the 500/4.5 because it has only one attachment point and the lens has three. However, the plate has enough space as to drill another hole for adding an extra screw if I feel that the safety or stability of the lens require this.
The whole package (6 plates) was US $118.50 (including shipping and handling to the UK). This would have been the cost of ONE or TWO of the Wimberly, RRS or Kirk plates!. Amazing!
This is what people in the UK call "good value for money, indeed!".
I am a happy man!
Thank you guys for the advice and input on this!
Manuel Weber, DVM
Note: Edited because I realize that the price of Newtech plates was actually wrong.
Before ordering my Newtech plates, I initiated another discussion thread in photo.net and one guy recently posted a warning note for those using Really Right Stuff clamps and Newtech plates. This might be important/interesting for those of you using RRS clamps BEFORE planning to order any Newtech plates.
I think the Newtech plates may be an option for gear you don't use that often, but based on years of use I'm a big believer in getting dedicated plates for things you truly use regularly. Compromises such as the rubber pads to cushion fit rather than true metal to metal fit, potential twisting and potential issues with the angle of the bevel decreasing the certainty that it will clamp correctly are issues not to be ignored after investing in a quality tripod head to use the plates with.
Photo-vet, thanks for the link. However, it seemed to have as many or more qualified posts that said they were good and with exactly the same angles as more expensive plates. It is always hard to know which post is the most qualified and therefore correct.
I'll gladly report on mine when they arrive, both a plate and a clamp. But I can only compare them to Kirk plates and clamps since that's all I have.
On a different note, I don't think it quite fair to compare them with custom fit, anti-twist plates. Everyone should know that that is not what they are buying. I too would love to always have custom fit plates but I think there comes a point of diminishing returns. I'm thrilled that Newtech is at least here to give Kirk and RRS some minor degree of competition. I've never complained a bit about the price of a high quality head, but the racket on these plates is simply amazing.
But I'll hold final judgment on these parts until I've mounted them and used them. Sometimes cheap is simply cheap.
I totally agree with you in particular with the part: "there comes a point of diminishing returns".
Photography is an expensive hobby and for an amateur, like me, Newtech provides the possibility to have a good quality product at an affordable price and save the extra money to be able to actually practice photography (travel, film, etc..). I think most people would prefer the custom fit RRS or Kirk plates over the Newtech ones but in my case I just can't afford the US $450 or 500 and Newtech is a brilliant alternative.
As I said in the referred link, my plates fit OK over the Universal Gitzo dove-tail clamp (BTW, the only clamp in the market that can take all kind of quick-release plates including Gitzo, Manfroto and A-S) and are rock solid (no twisting whatsoever)on top of my Gizto 1378M ballhead.
I will test them in a short trip to Santorini, Greece in two weeks and will be reporting soon about real-life performance in the field.
I can't speak to the quality of the plates, but I've been using a pair of their Arca-style clamps for a couple of years now and they mate to my Kirk and RRS plates perfectly (no slip, rock, skew, etc). My only complaint is that I didn't put enough Loctite on the threads when I mounted it to my ballhead, but that's a user error.
I just got my Newtech QR clamp and one 3" plate. The machine work appears excellent. The finish is not nearly as nice as the Kirk plates and clamps I own, but its perfectly acceptable. The knob on the Newtech plate is either very lightweight aluminum or plastic and the tightening action isn't as smooth as my Kirk.
In terms of fit and function I can't find any flaw in the two products. They are as easy to operate as anything else and seem perfectly sturdy. I've mounted Kirk plates on the Newtech clamp and vice-versa. I can see no significant difference in the way they mate, but I may be uncritical in this observation. When locked there is no play or laxity. Nothing moves, slides or gives even under considerable force.
With the 3" plate mounted on the (awkwardly positioned) mounting hole on the MD-15 of my FA (an AH-2 is on the way), there is no movement when the unit is in the vertical position, even with the 80-200 2.8 mounted for test purposes. Those little rubber feet may wear out but for now they hold far better than any other generic plate I've used.
I wish Newtech would make some 'semi-custom' anti-twist plates with a simple flange on the back and a slotted screw hole.
George, Send them an email--they usually respond very quickly. If their business gets better, I believe that they would readily add plates based on demand. After looking at mine and thinking about the Newtech people--I am sure we could get replacement rubber if they should fail for some reason. Anyway, so far (1yr) so good! mike
I already e-mail them and yes they respond fast. They told me this:
"I am glad that some finally realizes that when my products are compared to RRS and Kirk that there is a huge price difference. My clamps and plates are just a start. They will improve and I will add more products to my inventory. I am currently working on a panning Ball Head. It is very hard to do any kinda proto-type work because I can't keep up with the stuff I am selling now".
Ryan Newsome, the owner of Newtech, is a very nice guy. He was happy to know that some friendly discussion about his products is taking place at Nikonians and elsewhere (e.g. photo.net). He even ask me if I would like to field-test a prototype of his panning ball-head that is in the making...and of course I said yes!
I am sure these guys at Newtech have a very promising future if they keep making good quality products at more affordable prices than the competition.
Manuel Weber, DVM
Ps. BTW, I haven't got a chance to try my plates in "real life" situations but I agree with all what George said. I'll try to report more on them in a couple of weeks when I came back from my Greek holydays.
I am writing as promised to report on the performance of the Newtech plates back from my trip to Santorini, Greece. I tested the plates in most of my lenses (with the exception of the 500/4.5 that I did not use in this trip) and all the plates performed flawlessly. The cameras (F100 and D100) went to verticals with heavy lenses mounted with no twisting whatsoever and the lack of anti-twist rigs is not a problem (it seems that the rubber pads really make its job here).
Only thing I missed in a couple of times was the lack of an attachment point hole for the monopod, but most of the time I was using my Gitzo tripod so it is something I can live with.
So, in conclusion, I am very, very pleased with my purchase of these plates and I would like to thank all of you for your comments and advice on these great products.
Hi, The Newtech plates come in three sizes only (2´, 2.5´ and 3´ unless they have updated their stuff since last time I visited their web page a few months ago). I use the 2.5 inches plate for my D100 and my guess is that it will also fit the D70. They are not custom made plates so do not expect a perfect fit such as that from RRS. Hope this helps