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Archive 2012 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?
  
 
duronboy
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


If you need to remove the plate or bracket for any reason, you HAVE to have an allen wrench. Kirk, RRS, Wimberly, Markins, and I'm sure others use allen screws. I got this generic plate from China, and you've got 3 ways to remove it. You can use the fold down thing and not have to use any tools. You can use a flat-blade screwdriver(WAY more common than an allen wrench of the exact size you need), or if you don't have a screw driver you can use a coin. If those first two methods fail it's screw is hex shaped so you can at least get pliers on it.




Sep 25, 2012 at 01:35 AM
sjms
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


oops!

Edited on Sep 25, 2012 at 02:06 AM · View previous versions



Sep 25, 2012 at 01:42 AM
duronboy
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


No, no, no, I'm talking about the 1/4" screw that goes into your camera or lens foot.


Sep 25, 2012 at 01:44 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


Well, if you are happy about the Chinese copy, then so be it. I support Kirk, Wimberley and RRS. They include an L allen wrench with each camera/lens plate or piece of hardware that uses it. It is easier to carry in the camea bag than a bulky screwdriver that may slip out of the slot and cause damage.

EBH



Sep 25, 2012 at 02:04 AM
sjms
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


simplicity
security
strength
svelt

i have been using the exact same system since 1991. i rarely take them off once on and in place. i also have enough of that particular size to start selling them back. it's in my camera toolkit. it is about the most minimal weight you can use to attach the plate to a known hardpoint on the body.

Edited on Sep 25, 2012 at 02:14 AM · View previous versions



Sep 25, 2012 at 02:08 AM
umgrizz
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


EB-1 wrote:
Well, if you are happy about the Chinese copy, then so be it. I support Kirk, Wimberley and RRS. They include an L allen wrench with each camera/lens plate or piece of hardware that uses it. It is easier to carry in the camea bag than a bulky screwdriver that may slip out of the slot and cause damage.

EBH


Yup, they do provide Allen wrenches which are easy to lose. And you can never buy just one to replace the lost one. (You have to buy a set to get one Allen wrench.) On the other hand, I almost always have a coin in my pocket, unless it is the day before payday!

Curt



Sep 25, 2012 at 02:13 AM
sjms
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


you can easily always change it out for the design of your choice. i haven't needed to.


Sep 25, 2012 at 02:15 AM
vsg28
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


I honestly don't mind the Allen design so long as the metal does not lose shape. Some cheap plated I had had the hex hole become circular after a month or so


Sep 25, 2012 at 02:35 AM
duronboy
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


sjms wrote:
simplicity
security
strength
svelt

i have been using the exact same system since 1991. i rarely take them off once on and in place. i also have enough of that particular size to start selling them back. it's in my camera toolkit. it is about the most minimal weight you can use to attach the plate to a known hardpoint on the body.


simplicity? How is it simpler to require an extra tool that has no other use in the studio or gear bag?

security? From what?

strength? If you need a stronger screw than what's on the China plate, I feel sorry for your body/lenses.

svelt? You know what else is svelte? A point and shoot camera. Sooo much sexier.

EB-1 wrote:
Well, if you are happy about the Chinese copy, then so be it. I support Kirk, Wimberley and RRS. They include an L allen wrench with each camera/lens plate or piece of hardware that uses it. It is easier to carry in the camea bag than a bulky screwdriver that may slip out of the slot and cause damage.

EBH


I'm not trying to say I don't support those other companies. I have all RRS plate stuff with the exception of the China plate. I came across it when an emergency came up and I needed a plate next day. I used Amazon Prime's $4 shipping to get it. I didn't pay attention to it's country of origin or even it's superior screw on the bottom until it arrived. I just felt like starting this thread because it's so surprising to me that something from China would be superior in any way to anything name-brand. The fact that I got it shipped next day, including shipping, for less than half what an RRS plate costs before shipping was ridiculous, I thought.



Sep 25, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


Actually the last RRS L-plate that I bought, have the allen wrench inside the plate. So you don't have to bring an extra tool in your bag. And you don't have to bring a coin in your pocket either


Sep 25, 2012 at 05:14 AM
 

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JBPhotog
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


A flat bladed design is hardly superior, I guess you have never striped a flat bladed screw? An Allen key puts the torque on a number of surfaces and at the centre of the rotating axis, flat blades don't.

Any photog who doesn't keep all their kit together only has themselves to blame, you do remember to take batteries with you right? All kidding aside, an Allen key is hardly a burden to slip inside your camera bag, in fact RRS send them in small heavy duty zip-lock bags which stow perfectly in a zippered pouch. But I don't take my plates off so having the tool in the field is a nonissue.



Sep 25, 2012 at 06:06 AM
duronboy
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


Lars Johnsson wrote:
Actually the last RRS L-plate that I bought, have the allen wrench inside the plate. So you don't have to bring an extra tool in your bag. And you don't have to bring a coin in your pocket either


I like that. When I upgrade bodies and plates I'll enjoy that nicety.

JBPhotog wrote:
A flat bladed design is hardly superior, I guess you have never striped a flat bladed screw? An Allen key puts the torque on a number of surfaces and at the centre of the rotating axis, flat blades don't.

Any photog who doesn't keep all their kit together only has themselves to blame, you do remember to take batteries with you right? All kidding aside, an Allen key is hardly a burden to slip inside your camera bag, in fact RRS send them in small heavy duty zip-lock bags which stow perfectly in a zippered pouch. But I don't take my
...Show more

I have indeed stripped part of a flat bladed screw, when I used a blade that was too small and the screw was torqued in at maximum strength. But, there are almost endless options for finding something rigid and large enough for that slot, if the folding thing ever comes off. Any coin or house key, even a fingernail clipper would work.

I say any photog who hasn't ever wished he had less kit to haul around hasn't been collecting gear very long. Any number of things could be labeled as being "hardly a burden" to carry around. Pretty soon you're fishing for memory cards and batteries like a woman with a large purse holding up the line at the supermarket.

I'll admit, taking the plates and brackets off isn't something I do very often, either. But, when I do, I don't want any BS. Like last week, I needed to remove the L-bracket on my main body so it could go on a car rig. Well, luckily I had my back-up body because that L-bracket wasn't coming off. My bad for forgetting the allen wrench, yes. I'm not a certified rememberer.



Sep 25, 2012 at 06:59 AM
sjms
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


simplicity- a single screw that works. yes you put it on using a particular wrench but thats it.

security- using a simple bolt assy w/o a loop or one that is easily removed (and can be gacked up with any flat edged tool) just adds to the potential for certain individuals to do what they do.

strength- the screw supplied is of high quality and always has been

svelt- simple small light and completely effective put the appropriate wrench in an loosen or tighten w/o slippage of the tool. appropriate or inappropriate torque can be easily applied.

beyond this is the fact that generally it is system based. i have enough clamps to do a job with the proper tools to build or modify to do what i need using the system to attach it. as someone who works with equipment all the time you learn rapidly that a small toolkit is required for your gear. be prepaired for failure and hope to have it not happen. my first day on the job as an AC back in the late '70s taught me a whole lot about proper planning and responsibility. oh, i failed that day and it cost me.

my tripod has allen bolts/screws. guess what? the sizings are the same along with a few other things i have and use.

but then again its you choice, you can change it to whatever you wish to use. you can create your world the way you want it.

just remember in the end its down to the 5P principle: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance







this contains all i need for minor maintenance and then some. 6"x6"x2" and weighs 6oz. the plastic bag has all the wrenches and spare parts i feel i might need.

oh if you ever buy a newer Gitzo tripod they use a different type of head on there screws and bolts. its called Torx. some call it star. yet another tool to add to the kit









Edited on Sep 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM · View previous versions



Sep 25, 2012 at 12:09 PM
S Dilworth
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


I largely agree with sjms’s comments, but I’d add that low weight and small size are very important features of my camera plates, since they’re usually on my camera even when I’m not using a tripod.

There’s no way you’ll convince the competent engineers at RRS, Wimberley, and Markins to replace their allen bolts with clumsy multipurpose contraptions that risk rattling, getting stuck, impeding entry into the tripod clamp, etc. The Chinese guys do it because they’re more concerned with superficial feature-counts than good engineering. Most of them are competing on features and price, not quality. (That’s slowly changing, of course.)



Sep 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


The hex socket screws that are used on Really Right Stuff and other Arca Swiss compatable plates and brackets are a great solution, and I am very glad they are a standard. There is no need to repeat all the reasons why that are listed above. And I have lots of the required hex wrenches, and have them spread around with all my gear.

In addition, I always have another source of the right hex wrench with me except when I am away from my checked gear flying on an airline. The Victorinox CyberTool series of pocket knives have an interchangeable bit system as one of their tools, and one of the sizes available is the metric 4mm hex bit, which fits well in the 5/32 inch socket. So for me that is one additional way to attach or remove my L plates. The CyberTool is also very handy for all sorts of "stuff" that comes up for photography and the rest of life.

And if you find your self with not enough 5/32 inch hex key wrenches, you can easily buy high quality versions of them one at a time from RRS at $0.50 each, so that you can loose more of them. I admit to having lost a few, but still have plenty to go around.



Sep 25, 2012 at 02:12 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


I like the hex wrench, too. The only problem I ever had with an RRS hex wrench was when one of them was confiscated by airport security in Ottawa. What's up with that?

Third-party hex wrenches can be a different matter, as shown by the attached "good tool goes bad" image, where I turned a soft-metal hex wrench into a piece of licorice...







Sep 25, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Ruahrc
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


sjms- You forgot the last 2 "P"'s; proper prior preparation prevents piss poor performance

Norman



Sep 25, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Charles Gallo
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


umgrizz wrote:
Yup, they do provide Allen wrenches which are easy to lose. And you can never buy just one to replace the lost one. (You have to buy a set to get one Allen wrench.) On the other hand, I almost always have a coin in my pocket, unless it is the day before payday!

Curt


You can't buy just one?

http://www.travers.com/skulist.asp?r=s&n=||UserSearch1%3Dhex+key&q=block+id+98914+and+class+level3+id+28798

Besides, I usually have my Leatherman with me, and the hex set has a nice hex key there (Allen is a brand name, like Xerox or Kleenex)

Besides, who takes them off (well, I did recently - I was pulling the grip off my 7D to use it without grip, and had to put on the gripless plate, and then take it off end of trip (didn't want the extra weight of the grip)



Sep 25, 2012 at 05:21 PM
duronboy
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?



sjms, that's a cute little bag, and I'm glad it works out for you. While I don't agree with the arguments for simplicity, security, strength, and svelte, I'm glad that allen heads are not a problem for ya.

Neat alliteration. I just made one up for ya: excessive equipment embarasses engineers

I'll admit that my alliteration doesn't make any sense. And, it's probably the opposite of reality! Most people I know are proud of their massive gear collection.

Seriously, while I agree with the sentiment, I'd be surprised if you told me you never wished you had something additional in the field.

And yes, I have a Gitzo pod. Never needed to disassemble it, however. Surprisingly enough, the one Gitzo plate I've seen actually used flat-blade screws.



Sep 25, 2012 at 05:28 PM
DGC1
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Why do so many release plates come with allen screws?


Your average, ham fisted, fumble fingered photographer is less likely to cause damage to the screw head with an allen wrench (me included)!


Sep 25, 2012 at 07:32 PM
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