View Full Version : Quick release plates Pilot & 5D mkII

Jim Froom
February 16th, 2010, 10:21 AM
Manfrotto has two assemblies,
1. 577 which uses the 501 and 503 plates and slides .8 " or 20mm
2. 357 with 3" of travel.

I know the 577 base plate is 3.5" in length. Called one dealer and Manfrotto and nobody knew how long the 357 base and plates are.

I'm going to be using the 5D and 7D for now on the Pilot and my 3 tripods. I don't currently have a 501 or 503, so that isn't a factor.

I know the 357 is long and would look a tad goofy on the 5D and 7D, but it has the 3 " of travel instead of the .8" .

Does any one have some experience they'd like to share about the two different quick release systems with Steadicam / 5d or 7d setup?

I just got my Pilot and to the person who said they balanced and got it to spin in 15-30 minutes, you are a genius. I'm still trying to get dynamic balance and am failing miserably at it.

I'm off to watch ANOTHER " how to balance" the Steadicam to see if I can pick up some more info to help speed up the process to get dynamic balance.

Paul Kellett
February 16th, 2010, 11:22 AM
The 357 is also a wider plate, same receiver as the 577 but if you look closely you'll see that the 357 has a smaller locking block,(the block which presses up against the plate) to allow for the wider plate.
You'll also notice that the 577 plate doesn't fill up the receiver.
I've got a few of both.

The Pilot, i've got one of these aswell, i can set it up ready to go in any configuration, (with or without wireless audio reciever, with or without video sender) in way under 15 mins, easy, that's unpacking the bag to wearing the rig, i've done away with the velcro though, i now have buckles all round.
That's now, with practice, the first time i spent about 2 hours.
The trick is marks, along the bottom spar i've engraved marks with numbers. I removed the spar, taped a tape measure to it and made marks every half centimetre, from the middle outwards for the centre post and for the battery and monitor adjustments.
I now know that the monitor goes all the way to the end and the battery goes on mark 3 and a half always regardless of what configuration i have up top.
I set the top stage to the middle, slide the camera on (357 plate) lock it when the camera is as good as i can get it balanced, then i micro adjust with the stage adjusters.
Spin, and 9 times out of 10 it's almost there, i may have to micro adjust the battery and stage a bit, but that's it.


Jim Froom
February 17th, 2010, 01:42 PM
Paul, thanks for your answer.

I still haven't pulled the string on buying the quick release plates.

I'm guessing from your answer, you can't use 1 plate in the 2 different receivers.

For some reason the 577 is about $8 more expensive. Pro's, it works with the 501 and 503 head (which I don't own, buy may some day) . Cons, it has .8 inch travel vs 3 inch travel.

Cheaper, longer, I don't get it.

Paul, you mention you have both. Would you venture some advice if you were going use one model, which one would you choose? I'm going to using them on 2 tripods, 1 slider, a Merlin, and pilot. One Vinten 3 head, and two Manfrotto 701hdv's. Sold my video cameras (for now) and using 5d and 7d for video. Is the 357 going to be too long and just plane butt ugly on the dslr? Can some length be cut of it and still work?

Sorry for the twenty questions, but I called Manfrotto and they didn't know and promised to get back to me but I haven't heard anything from them.

Thanks again.

Paul Kellett
February 17th, 2010, 02:56 PM
How close in size is the 357 plate to the vinten plate ?
Do you know if the vision 3 and 3as use the same plate ?
I own a vinten vision 3as and the 357 plate is about 1mm slimmer than the vinten plate.
Where the angled sides of the manfrotto plate meet the angled side of the tripod receiver there's about a 1mm gap, a slither of something like a plastic ruler fills this gap.
So, try the manfrotto 357 plate in the vinten tripod, you'll see what i mean, if it's a close fit then buy more 357's, put a slither of something on the vinten tripod head, put the manfrotto 357 plate on your camera and put 357 receivers on the steadicam, shoulder support and anything else you use.


Joe Lawry
February 18th, 2010, 01:40 AM
I'd get a Zacuto mini baseplate to go with a 5D or 7D combo.. gives you option to add a wireless follow focus later on as it has rails.

Im wondering if i can get a 5D with a prime and a basic zacuto baseplate setup along with a follow focus on a Pilot.. it should stay within the weight range.. Might need to mount it way back and sling the motor for the FF under the rails..

Jim Froom
March 12th, 2010, 11:25 AM
I ended up buying buy the longer 357 units. Have 5 and I'm not sure I'm 100% satisfied. They are very stable, but the extra length is a pain with the 5d and 7d. I have issues depending on what I'm doing.

When using a hood loupe, the extra length to the back of the camera gets in the way.

When I have the extra length up front, it gets in the way of adjust the lens.

I do like the extra length for the steadicam Pilot and my larger Vinten fluid head.
It's a little overkill on the smaller tripod heads I use, hdv501. May upgrade those to larger units someday anyway, so not a big issue.

Workable, but not perfect. I may cut the plates down on the two HDSLR's, but holding off for a while.

Chas Hill
July 11th, 2010, 12:39 PM
Sorry to dig up this thread from the dead - but I am in a similar situation, and new to this.

I have a Steadicam Pilot and a Manfrotto 701RC2 head on a tripod... I would like to quick-swap my xha1 between these two.

Would either the Manfrotto 357 or 577 work just as well? (I've reposted links to both below) I've read that one of them might work better, as it release both to the front and rear (wish I could remember which one). It looks like that in either case, the knob on the right of the quick release would not be able to turn when I have it mounted on the Pilot's this a problem? (what does that knob do? Just fore/aft fine tune?) Is there a certain quick-release that would work best for going between the Pilot and 701RC2 head using an XHA1?

Also - just to make sure I'm on the same page - I would have to buy TWO complete quick-swap units, and mount one on the top of the Pilot stage, and one on the top of the Manny head, correct?

Thanks in advance for the help!

Manfrotto 357 Pro Quick Release Adapter with 357PL Plate 357 -

Manfrotto 577 Rapid Connect Adapter with Sliding Mounting 577 -

Charles Papert
July 11th, 2010, 02:51 PM
The best QR plates for the Canon DSLR's are the ones made by Really Right Stuff, because they are custom made for the individual camera (different ones for 5D, 7D etc). Very nice build quality and a variety of receiver bases available with different types of locks. Note that unlike most QR plates, the camera has adjustability to the side rather than fore and aft. What makes these plates unique is that they prevent the camera from rotating since they wrap the body slightly. Because none of these bodies have any kind of locator pin, you are relying on a single 1/4"-20 tiedown point and rotation can occur. Where you will really see this is if you are using external motors for lens control, the torque of the motor can cause the camera to rotate around the tiedown. While that technology is still pretty exotic for many users of the DSLR's, we are on the cusp of seeing less expensive versions of this concept emerge in the marketplace and it's likely that in a year or two many of you will be moving into wireless lens controls (which really makes the DSLR's useable for Steadicam), so it will be something you can protect for now by using the RRS baseplates.

Chas Hill
July 12th, 2010, 10:15 AM
Hey Charles,

Thanks for the input, but just to clarify - I will be swapping a Canon XH-A1 (not a DSLR). Alas, you might have just been responding to the original post. I perhaps should have created my own thread, but I didn't want to clutter the forums.

Charles Papert
July 12th, 2010, 10:59 AM
I should have read closer myself, even still it stands for others who may be interested in the original discussion.

As far as the Manfrottos: the fore/aft knob is designed so that you can reposition the handle by pulling it out, so it doesn't need to go through a complete revolution (which as you noted may be hard once it is mounted on the stage). In normal use you only need to move it through a quarter turn which is doable when mounted, you just have to have it set just so.

Either of the links you noted will work, the difference is the longer plate which is good to have, more travel. I have both and I don't recall that they have other differences such as reversibility. I'd have to look at them to determine that. You would need at least two of the bases as that is what lives on your tripod and Pilot. This would leave you an extra camera plate, which is good in case you lose the first one...! Or if you ever need to swap between a second camera body on your platforms.

Dave Gish
July 13th, 2010, 05:47 AM
I like the shorter 577 plate. When moving from tripod back to the Pilot, it's nice to be able to put the plate back at the same exact position. The 577 plate is the same length as the adapter base, so I can quickly line it up with my thumb and finger, and then tighten it right there with my other hand. Takes like 2 seconds.

The Pilot stage moves forward and aft a little with the thumb screw, and if I need more than that, I can screw the tripod adapter back one hole on the Pilot's top plate. All of the Sony camcorders I flown (EX1, EX3, Z1U, FX1) seem to require the adapter to be moved 1 hole back on the Pilot in order to get good dynamic blance.

And as Charles says, it's a really good idea to have an extra plate. You can buy the plate separately.
Manfrotto 501PL Sliding Quick Release Plate with 501PL - B&H

Chas Hill
July 20th, 2010, 08:38 AM
That is interesting - I was under the impression that once you set the sliding plate at a desired position, you could then swap back and forth, and upon reattaching, the plate would snap back to the position you had previously set it (a must for the Pilot). So I guess this is incorrect, and you need to reset it each time...the method Dave described seems like it would work...and I should get the shorter plate.

Since I would buy two complete units, I would have two plates, so I would already have two plates (to use for hot swapping two cameras between two things (tripod and steadicam)