Quick-Release Tripod Plates

The tripod quick release allows you to quickly separate your camera from the tripod. Learn more features to look for when buying a tripod to take digital photographs in this free photography lesson from an experienced photographer.

Using a quick release system can greatly simplify your photographic life, making it easier to work more quickly and efficiently in the field. They also offer improved stability and security as well as making it easier to use your tripod. If it’s easier to use your tripod, you’re more likely to use it. If you use a tripod, your photos will greatly improve.

There are basically two types of quick release systems, the kind that capture a plate in a matching cavity, like those used by Bogen, or the dove-tailed plate and clamp style pioneered by Arca-Swiss and now simple called the Arca-Swiss system.

Both work. The Arca-Swiss system will be more expensive to get into but it offers greater flexibility, convenience, and stability/security.

When using a quick release system, you’ll want to have plates on all your camera bodies and all lenses that have a tripod collar. If you need to swap plates between bodies and lenses, then it’s not a quick system at all.

Before deciding, be sure to visit a well-stocked camera store to try out the different kinds of tripods, heads, and quick release systems available. If there’s a local photo club, consider joining one of their outings and asking members what they prefer and why.

Manfrotto 200PLARCH-14 Quick Release Plate
Manfrotto 200PLARCH-14 Architectural Anti-Twist Quick Release Plate with 1/4" Screw

A Quick Release • Bolts to the bottom of camera • Allows camera to be quickly mounted to tripod • Eliminates sagging when shooting vertical • When shooting vertical with a regular tripod screw mount, the camera wants to rotate

Quick Release Types • Arca-Swiss – Highly recommended – Strong solid dovetail – Used by several manufactures • Arca Swiss • Really Right Stuff • Kirk Enterprises

Custom Quick-Release Plates • The best plates are custom designed for your camera – Perfect fit – Anti-rotation flanges

Quick-Release L-Bracket • Keeps lens balanced above the ball when shooting vertical • Keeps lens position in approximately the same position when switching between horizontal and vertical

Lens Quick-Release • Lens plates allow lens to be mounted to the quick release clamp  

Select from 35 Brands of Quick Releases from 3 on-line Super Stores

  • 0lik
  • Acratech (69)
  • Adorama 
  • Arca-Swiss (26)
  • Benro
  • Bogen
  • BOGear
  • Bush Hawk (1)
  • Cantoni
  • Culmann
  • Davis & Sanford
  • DMKfoto
  • Dolica
  • Flashpoint
  • Giottos
  • Gitzo
  • Hakuba
  • Impact
  • Induro
  • Janco
  • Jobu Design
  • JTL
  • Kirk
  • Linhof
  • Manfrotto
  • Miller
  • Novoflex
  • Sachtler
  • Sima
  • Slik
  • Smith-Victor
  • Stroboframe
  • Sunpak
  • Vanguard
  • Varizoom
  • Velbon
  • Vinten
  • Vortex