Lightnings taking a ride

by ceinmart

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To save bulk I have been interested in the Acratech GP-ss ballhead lately. It takes a quick-release plate which has to be selected according to the camera. This is problematic for me because I use 5 to 10 different cameras each month and want something generic.

Manfrotto recently released the Q6 plate which is also Arca-Swiss type but is universal and actually very reasonably priced around $25 USD per plate which I would get 3 or 4 of.

Among press materials I found a statement saying the Q6 clamp accepts other Arca-Swiss plates but my question is the other way around, do other Arca-Swiss clamps accept Q6 plates? The design is similar but the wide top-part makes me doubt.

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I think this is too broad: "...do other Arca-Swiss clamps accept Q6 plates?" All AS-style clamps are not equal, and some only work with same-manufacturer plates. –  Dan Wolfgang May 1 at 18:06
    
@DanWolfgang - Sounds like you know more about this! There is no information saying that the plates and clamps are not designed to be interchangeable, which is easy to imply by how they are named. Perhaps you can contribute details as an answer? –  Itai May 1 at 19:54

2 Answers 2

Reviews I have read say the Q6 plates will fit most, if not all Arca-Swiss clamps.

Here is one detailed Manfrotto Q6 Compatibility Assessment: Manfrotto Q6 Compatibility Assessment

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The clamp does make a difference; not all Arca-Swiss compatible clamps will work with all Arca-Swiss compatible plates. Really Right Stuff notes this especially with their lever-style clamps. My experience backs this up: I couldn't use a RRS lever clamp with an Arca-Swiss brand universal plate. It would clamp but not quite tight enough -- with force, I could slide it. A close look at plates showed that the Arca-Swiss universal plate had slightly rounder corners; perhaps just enough to not quite grip right?

I've heard of caveats with Markins and Graf plates, and Benro clamps, but have no first-hand experience. A helpful table of compatibility: http://www.afximages.com/stuff/arca-plates-xref.html. Unfortunately, no mention of the Q6 clamps.

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