Amateur Photographer verdict

Versatile and well-made, the 3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates allow you to attach a camera and multiple accessories to a tripod easily at the same time. They’re relatively expensive, but very effective.
  • Well-made and durable
  • Versatile design
  • Available in 4 lengths
  • Arca Square is a bit fiddly to use
  • More expensive than some other long plates

In essence, the 3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates are very simple. They are long quick release plates that can be mounted in an Arca-Swiss-type tripod head (including 3 Legged Thing’s) instead of a standard plate. Their extra length and additional fixing points mean that you can mount things such as lights, microphones, monitors or scopes onto the plate, as well as your camera. 3 Legged Thing has launched the Ultra Plates on Kickstarter, and there are 25% savings to be made on the retail price if you pledge support before 22nd April.

3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates at a glance:

  • From £38/$39.99 on Kickstarter, or £52/$54.99 when they go on general sale
  • Arca-Swiss compatible
  • Available in four lengths
  • Available in Copper (orange) or Darkness (matte black)
  • Made from anodised magnesium alloy
  • Measurement markings
  • 3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates Kickstarter page

3 Legged Thing makes the Ultra Plates in four lengths, 150mm, 200mm, 250mm and 300mm. They’re constructed from anodised aerospace-grade magnesium alloy and the shortest one weights 81g while the longest is still only 143g. They all feel very strong and I’m unable to bend any of them, even the longest, when using my full strength.

Each plate has a screw slot that runs for most of its length, enabling precise positioning of whatever camera kit you’re mounting. This positioning can be guided by the measuring marks on each long side of the plates. Helpfully, the zero point is at the centre of the slot, which makes it easier to ensure that weight is evenly distributed for better balance.

The Ultra Plates have a scale along the edge to aid with positioning accessories. Credit: Angela Nicholson

3 Legged Thing supplies the 250mm and 300mm plates with two 1/4”-20 stainless steel camera screws in the slot, while the 150mm and 200mm plates have just one. But it’s possible to add additional screws or remove the existing ones if you want.

3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates key features:

  • Four lengths: There are fours lengths of Ultra Plate available: 150mm, 200mm, 250mm and 300mm
  • Accessory threads: There are multiple 1/4”-20 thread holes down each side of the plates for mounting accessories
  • Cold shoe: Each plate features a chamfered cold shoe mount for attaching a flash, microphone, light or other accessory
  • Cable hook: An integrated cable hook helps keep HDMI and other cables tidy
  • Rubber pads: Rubber pads give extra grip on anything you mount

Either side of the screw slot, each plate has a series of 1/4”-20 threads for mounting accessories. These can be mounted directly or via an arm. There’s also a cold shoe at one end of the plates, which could be useful for holding a flash, or anything else with an appropriate mount. This shoe has a 3/8”-16 thread at its centre, adding to the mounting point options.

3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates cold shoe and cable hook. Credit: Angela Nicholson

Next to the cold shoe, there’s a cable hook, which is useful for keeping cables neatly to one side of the camera. That’s especially helpful for videographers who may have a bunch of cables protruding from their camera, but it could prove handy for flash cables too. 

At the opposite end of the plate, there’s an ‘Arca square’, which enables it to be mounted at 90° to the standard position. I found it’s possible to mount the plates securely, but I’d be inclined to remove the small security screw in the bottom of the plate so it sits properly in the tripod head.

3 Legged Thing Ultra Plate in use with two cameras. Credit: Angela Nicholson

3 Legged Thing Thingy

3 Legged Thing has also introduced the Thingy (£50/$54.99), which connects with an Ultra Plate to create a more stable shooting platform when using a long lens with a tripod foot. It connects to a plate via the 3/8”-16 thread and has an angle adjuster that enables it to be mounted onto the base of a camera.

3 Legged Thing Thingy in use. Credit: 3 Legged Thing

3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates: Our Verdict

3 Legged Thing’s Ultra Plates are more versatile than the average long quick release plate. They’re also extremely well made with a very durable build, lots of mounting options and rubber pads to help keep everything in position.

Amateur Photographer Testbench Gold

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