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Z plate

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Zou, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Saw the use of a Z plate recommended for when trying to avoid getting tripod legs in shot. Seems like a good idea, but how tight/steady can they hold the camera? Reliable, or just another weak point in the search for stability? For reference this is how much tripod I can get in the shot.

    [​IMG]
    Rail
    by Zou san, on Flickr
     
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I’d never heard of them but there seem to be lots around. AP review of one in 2017 wasn’t that complimentary but assumed the reader knew what one was. I’d have thought that, if you want to point an extreme wide-angle downwards, you’d be better using a tripod with a tilting column and counter balance so the camera can be well away from the legs.
     
    Zou likes this.
  3. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    That's what I was wondering. I'd only use the plate for the pinhole cameras, but as I'm still in the market for a new tripod I'm trying to decide if traditional style + plate or the flexible (position) column style is the way to go. Don't want to go over £100 all in.
     
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I don’t know how sturdy you get for £100. I think I paid something like that back in the 1990’s for a basic Manfrotto.
     
  5. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Only needs to hold a kilo tops, usually way less.
     
  6. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    How about a boom arm for existing tripod
     
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I think £100 buys quite a bit of stability these days - I've been pretty impressed with the cheap Chinese tripods I've seen at shows in recent years, down to about the £60 mark. Where I'm always left doubting is in the area of longevity - how will they hold up to regular use and abuse? Now if you're only working with light kit, and not carrying it up mountains or worse, through airports, I suspect they'll last at least 5 years.

    As to Z plates, not found anything from anyone I know, but this video seems quite helpful:
     
  8. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    If I had a tripod which wasn't knackered, that'd be the simplest option. But as 2 of the 3 legs have issues I am going to take the opportunity to replace the tripod. After umming and ahhing for a few days I have decided that the £130 Vanguard with multi-angle centre column is just too heavy at 2.5kg ish; I previously had a Slik at about that weight and whilst it was great (until it got knicked) it was heavy enough to usually leave at home. Chinese OEM horizontal column style tripods aren't much cheaper either.

    Finally plumped for a Cullman Rondo; nice and compact, so good for sticking in backpack or pannier when cycling, can do low angles, and if I need the additional versatility of a Z plate can add that later; a boom arm may add too much weight. The cameras I will use the most are my pinholes - 6x12 under 300g and even the 4x5 with double dark slide comes in under 400g, so I'm well within the 3kg limit for the Rondo, can't see stability being an issue. Even the weightiest camera I'd put on it is under 750g with lens. It's not an often-reviewed product, but what I have seen is very positive, even with DSLRs mounted.
     
  9. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    upload_2021-4-12_18-53-3.jpeg
    I was actually thinking about something like this where you could use the removable centre arm although probably something more lightweight than the manfrotto one shown.
     
  10. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Yes, those were around £100 from a couple of the OEM 'brands'. Very mixed reviews though.

    Weird that I can't see your message at all aside from the image, but when quoting it's there...
     
  11. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    I’ve got the manfrotto 055MF4 and found it really good, I’ve had it about 15 years now and never had a problem.
     
    Zou likes this.
  12. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I think if I were a heavy user (pun semi-intentional) the 055 makes a lot of sense. In reality I've not been shooting much so having the tripod removes a mental barrier/excuse. Will next have to fret over the cost of film these days...
     
  13. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    Intensional semi pun
     
  14. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Tight joke.
     
  15. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    Very
     

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