How to Determine the Best Lens Plate
Why is a longer lens plate recommended for my lens when the lens foot is much shorter?
While a longer lens plate may not initially look to be the optimal choice for your lens because the lens foot is much shorter than the plate, it is the plate we recommend for mounting a particular lens for a few different reasons. The length of a lens tripod mounting foot has no significant bearing on the length of plate we recommend for a lens. Selecting the proper lens plate for use on a gimbal head has to do with the balance point of the lens, located at a specific place along the foot. The balance point takes into account the weight of the lens and camera body combination. The lens plate needs to be long enough to allow the user to position the lens/camera combo and balance it properly for optimal performance. The lens plate we recommend may be slightly longer than necessary if you are not using the lens on a gimbal head, or ball head.
All of our quick-release lens plates have a threaded end in the center screw slot that allows for the insertion or removal of mounting screws depending on how many mounting holes your lens foot has. The P-10, P-20, and P-30 plates have anti-twist nubs at the back of the plate. These help to keep the plate from twisting if it is mounted with only one fastener. Also, the P-40 and P-50 lens plates actually do have an anti-rotation mechanism. This involves mounting two safety stop screws in the smaller holes on the top side of the plate. The screw heads protrude upward and can be seated flush against either end of the lens foot to prevent the plate from twisting if it is mounted to a foot with only one mounting hole. This is an important feature to use when mounting the lens on the Sidekick. This feature is explained in the lens plate product instructions.
If the lens is mated with a different camera body, or a teleconverters or flash bracket is added to the lens plate, the balance point can change dramatically. Each set up is different, so we recommend a plate that will be suitable in the majority of scenarios. If the lens is going to be mounted on a ball head and not on a gimbal head, then a much smaller lens plate can be used because balance is not an issue. Our plate recommendations are general and are meant to cover most lens/ camera combinations and use of added accessories.
The lengths of our lens plates are listed on our website and in our product catalog. Contact us if you have a question about what plate is optimal for your specific set up. If you should happen to order a plate that is too short and you cannot get your gear to balance, or it is too long and interferes with your lens hood, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you in finding a solution.
NOTE: If a fairly long plate is needed for a particular lens, there is always the possibility that the plate will interfere with the lens hood when the lens hood is reversed. Unfortunately this cannot be helped and may mean that you will need to remove the lens plate from the lens foot prior to storage of the lens.
Posted on February 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm