Camera Tripod Mounting Plate Styles

There are three basic body plate styles: Conventional, special, and bidirectional

Conventional plates

Typically rectangular in shape and have contoured flanges that hug either the rear of the camera body, or the front, or sometimes both. All L-plates are also conventional plates (except B49L which is bidirectional). The dovetail on these plates runs parallel to the film plane or digital sensor to allow left/right adjustments. All conventional plates (but not L-plates) feature safety stop screws to prevent free-fall when camera is flopped over into the drop notch for vertical aspect. Orient the clamp channel side-to-side.

Special fore/aft plates

Usually a dovetail running in a front/back orientation, and have a flange that mounts to either the front or rear of the camera. They’re generally more suitable for medium format cameras that present a deep (thick) profile. All fore/aft plates feature safety stop screws at the rear. Orient the clamp channel fore/aft.

Bidirectional plates

Square (1˝" square) and the dovetail runs the full perimeter of the plate (all four sides). This feature allows a bidirectional plate to drop into the clamp no matter its orientation. Bidirectional plates are not compatible with safety stops.

Arca-Swiss 35mm Mounting Plate
Arca-Swiss 35mm Mounting Plate


Prices below were obtained from average internet prices and may have changed from the posting date

Arca-Swiss 35mm Anti-Twist Quick Release PlateArca-Swiss 35mm Anti-Twist Quick Release Plate (Small) with 1/4" Screw - for 35mm Cameras. This Arca-Swiss compact 35mm quick release plate has a 1/4"-20 camera screw, and features Anti-Twist tabs. The camera screw position can be adjusted to accomodate cameras of different thickness. Also compatible with the many other Arca-type quick release systems, e.g. Acratech, Foba, Graff, Wimberley, etc. Internet price $49.95.

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