While we usually cover major brand accessories available from large retailers in this section, recently we’ve also taken to looking at some more esoteric products. One such is this iShoot quick-release clamp that’s available from UK Highland Photography. It’s designed to attach to your tripod head, perhaps replacing an existing quick-release system, and while it might look like any old Arca Swiss pattern clamp, its selling point is that it also accepts two types of Manfrotto plates. These are the popular small rectangular 200PL plates for RC2-type quick-release heads, and the larger and less common 410PL plates.
So why would this be useful? Until recently, Manfrotto’s RC2 system was probably the single most-used type of quick release, but the Arca Swiss dovetail has recently surged in popularity due to its simplicity and strength. Indeed, many CSC manufacturers now include Arca Swiss pattern plates on accessory grips. With a clamp such as the iShoot you can use both types of plate on the same tripod head.
The iShoot IS-JZ50III multifunctional quick-release plate clamp is pretty well made from aluminium alloy, with its skeletal design keeping weight down. It can be attached to a tripod head using either a 3/8in thread or a countersunk bolt, and has anti-twist slots in its base. An unusually long locking screw should clear many camera bodies, making them easier to attach.
All my various Arca Swiss plates attach securely, as do older metal 200PL plates, although Manfrotto’s new plastic ones won’t fit. However, I’ve had some problems with the iShoot’s sliding jaw jamming against Manfrotto 410PL plates and not releasing properly when the clamp is released. Despite this, if you want to use a mixture of Manfrotto 200PL and Arca Swiss plates, the iShoot IS-JZ50III quick-release clamp certainly looks like a useful accessory.