What is Arca Swiss?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Ellis Vener
Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 14,347
Re: Update: What is Arca Swiss?
2

I meant the the width of the dovetail portion of the plate, the part that goes into the clamp.

the size and shape of the portion that is above the clamp has no relevancy beyond how it fit fits a camera’s base.

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Ellis Vener
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Mark B. Forum Pro • Posts: 27,615
Re: Update: What is Arca Swiss?

Ellis Vener wrote:

I meant the the width of the dovetail portion of the plate, the part that goes into the clamp.

the size and shape of the portion that is above the clamp has no relevancy beyond how it fit fits a camera’s base.

Exactly.  As long as the dovetail on the underside of the plate can be clamped onto the head such that it doesn't move once tightened, it fits.  That's the compatibility, not the dimensions on top that mate with the camera.

Vunite Contributing Member • Posts: 712
Re: What is Arca Swiss?

pforsell wrote:

BidinTime wrote:

I hit Post prematurely and you replied (quickly) so I couldn't edit. Thank you.

Here's my complaint:

I have two tripod-ballheads by different manufacturers. Both say they are Arca compatible. But the QR plates are not interchangeable. So, being Arca compatible is kind of meaningless. Is that the proprietary standard that you're talking about?

Is the only way to have compatible QR plates to swap out the ballheads, so they have a common manufacturer (and plate)?

First world problems, I know.

If you only buy clamps, heads, plates and foots made by reputable companies like Arca-Swiss, RRS, Kirk, Acratech, Wimberley they always fit.

If you buy $2 plates from China all bets are off. They can call them compatible with whatever, but most likely they haven't even seen the Arca-Swiss specs ever, only a cell phone photo of some other manufacturer's ball head.

I wouldn't buy "compatible" spare parts from East Asian eBay to my car, either.

That said I have at least 20+ chinese Arca Swiss products off aliexpress, ball heads, plates, large rails, L-Brackets etc and they all fit perfectly, no issues at all. They all have the thumb screw fitting, and come with the little fall off stopper screws on the ends.

Kev_24 Forum Member • Posts: 95
Re: What is Arca Swiss?

The Arca-Swiss quick release system is based on a two-piece mechanism. The first piece, generally referred to as a “plate”, is attached to a camera or a lens (or any other device). It comes in a standard, “arca-style” 35mm wide form with a 45° dovetail and can vary in length.

The simplest of all Arca-Swiss plates is the “base” plate, typically a single-piece CNC-machined component that gets mounted on the bottom of the camera. ... However, camera-specific plates often cost more, and cannot be reused with another camera body.

Not all quick release plates are the same, unfortunately. At one time, practically every tripod maker used a different system, but there has been a degree of standardization since then, thankfully. The most popular and hence desirable type today is the Arca Swiss compatible type, often abbreviated to 'Arca Swiss'

To summarize: all Really Right Stuff plates and rails will work in all screw-knob versions of Arca-Swiss style clamps. This includes screw-knob versions of Arca-Swiss style clamps from Markins, AcraTech, Arca-Swiss, and Kirk.

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