Manfrotto Heads with RRS Plates Video

Podcast 239 : Manfrotto Video Fluid Heads with Really Right Stuff Plates

I recently figured out how to mount my cameras and lenses fitted with Really Right Stuff plates, to my Manfrotto 519 Pro Video Fluid Head, and today share my secrets with you. The video below is really all you need to watch, but I also recorded an audio section for...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
    Posted at 06:40h, 19 April Reply


    Really enjoyed the video. You did a great job explaining how you rigged your equipment for shooting video. I only wished the video loaded faster on your website or that I could see it embedded in the podcast on my ipod touch. Keep up the good work!

  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 10:04h, 19 April Reply

    Thanks Brenda,

    The speed of the video load depends on how loaded Vimeo servers are and your internet connection, so I have no real control over that.

    As for viewing on your iPod Touch, the episode that I released before the audio Podcast is the video, so if you grab that, you should be set.


    Posted at 07:55h, 20 April Reply


    Thanks for your response. I tried downloading the link for the Manfrotto Video both from your website and through iTunes but was not successful. It seems to be a repeat of the Meguro River video (also very nice). Could you check that the file link is correct?

    I really enjoy your podcasts which have been tremendously helpful to me this past year. I especially liked your archival podcasts #23, 24, 32 and 33 concerning telephoto lens, tripods, teleconverters, and reducing camera vibration. Your advice really helped in my purchase of the Canon 500mm f4 lens and accessories last Fall. Looking forward to more podcasts!…….Brenda

  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 08:18h, 20 April Reply

    Doh! I messed up the filename when I switched the audio for the video in my feed. Thanks for pointing that out Brenda! I fixed it now.

    I’m very pleased the Podcasts have helped. Congratulations on the 500/F4 too. Very nice lens! ๐Ÿ™‚


    Posted at 11:46h, 05 May Reply


    I really appreciate being able to view your videos on my iPod Touch! They look great! The video about your setup for using the new Canon 5D Mark II cameras to shoot video was very informative and well done. Thanks for the hands on approach!……..Brenda

  • jeff johnston
    Posted at 00:32h, 05 June Reply


    Rather than the second plate and clamp, did you consider attaching a Wimberley M8 plate to the bottom of your camera? It may provide the connection you were seeking at a reduced cost.


  • Rod Prouty
    Posted at 03:25h, 05 June Reply

    I enjoyed the video and information on the 519 fluid head and RRS plates. I’m new to this but would like to have something that I could use with my MIV and 800mm lens. Thanks again for taking the time to put this together.


    I did this last year in Yellowstone and it’s obvious that I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t even know how to shut off the sound recording so I wouldn’t sound like an idiot…:-)

  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 14:34h, 05 June Reply


    The M8, as far as I know, is just another Arca Swiss style dovetail plate, which don’t fit into the Manfrotto Fluid Head’s quick release system. This is the point. Unless I am missing your point.


    I’m glad this was useful.

    Cool video too! I would not have turned the sound off as such, rather just edited it out later if I didn’t need it. In most video editing software you are able to reduce the volume or simply remove the entire sound track later if you don’t need it. My philosophy is capture whatever you can when shooting, and then decide whether or not to use it later. If you’d turned it off and the wolves started baying, that would have been a shame. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Michiel
    Posted at 11:33h, 08 January Reply

    Hi and thanks for the idea !

    I also have invested in Really Right Stuff and i can confirm that their stuff is really right.

    It brought me to an even better solution which i have implemented. I was about to buy an additional clamp and an additional lens plate for my 70-200. At the last minute i had a brilliant idea. I already had everything to solve this problem. I have a RRS Ballhead with a PCL-1 rotating clamp. It doesn’t have a lever but believe me; i have both and it is just as easy and just as fast.

    It is somewhat more expensive than the Kirk-solution but the PCL-1 can be rotated in any degree you like, not just in 90 degrees increments. And it is as sturdy as can be. Rock solid !

    Works perfect for me and i was lucky to keep any additional money in my pocket.

    You can check it out here;

    If it helps i can post a tweetpic.

    Let me know !

    Michiel from Amsterdam, Holland.

  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 18:28h, 08 January Reply

    Aah, yes. I can see that would be very useful. Thanks for sharing Michiel!


  • Morden
    Posted at 20:02h, 22 June Reply

    Great idea. I’ve used this technique on my video head too after seeing your video and it works a treat. I’ve had my 500mm lens mounted like this as it has an RRS replacement foot and this also works fine.

  • Steve
    Posted at 22:51h, 05 August Reply

    Hey there, do you think this will also work with Manfrotto 502HD? I have one on order and I’ll be needing a solution to allow it to integrate with my RRS legs and heads. Thanks!

    For reference, I’m currently using a BH-40 head with L bracket for my 5D

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 22:57h, 05 August Reply

      Hi Steve,

      I can’t see why you wouldn’t be able to mount an RRS Quick Replace plate to the Manfrotto 502HD, and once you have the plate on, your L bracket will drop right in. There are better options available now though. I’d probably just go for an RRS video head instead now. My Manfrotto video head is great, and I still use it, but I bought it and came up with this workaround when there was nothing else available.


  • James
    Posted at 00:46h, 12 August Reply

    the video link for downloading dos not work & your email dos not work also when watching the video it freezers but you can here it but cant watch it

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:40h, 12 August Reply

      The video plays fine here, and on Vimeo, and the download links work fine too, so it’s probably a local network problem or a Vimeo restriction for your location James. If you still can’t download, I suggest contacting Vimeo.

      Which email are you referring to? Either way, if you want to contact me, please use this form:

  • Geoff Miasnik
    Posted at 15:06h, 17 December Reply

    Martin, I came up with a similar and I think simpler solution to adding an Arca Swiss Clamp to the Manfrotto Fluid Heads. I use a Really Right Stuff PC-LR Panning Clamp. This allows 180 degrees of rotation of the clamp on the fluid head and uses two fasteners at the base to keep it from twisting on the Manfrotto Plate. Also I can very simply use this with a L-Plate on a camera (perpendicular alignment) or a Lens Foot (parallel alignment) without taking anything apart or purchasing extra sets of plates and clamps.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 15:46h, 17 December Reply

      Sounds great Geoff. A lot has changed in the almost five years since I used this workaround. If I was buying this stuff now, I’d just go for the Really Right Stuff video head, which all just work. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • John Ellsworgt
    Posted at 05:58h, 30 April Reply

    Excellent, Martin. Innovative. And as a commentator suggested, a panoramic-clamp configuration would be a good alternative. Many thanks.

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