We often have customers ask if they can use their Bogen / Manfrotto quick release plates in an Acratech quick release clamp (Acra-Swiss style).Unfortunately the Bogen /Manfrotto plates will not work in an Arca-Swiss style quick release clamp. Here's why....
The Bogen on the left and the Arca-Swiss style on the right don’t appear to be much different other than the length, but length does not matter in an Arca-Swiss style clamp.
So now let's examine the differences between the dovetails.
The angle on the Bogen dovetail is approximately 25 degrees as where the Arca-Swiss style dovetail is 45 degrees. So the first issue is that Bogen / Manfrotto plate has a different angle than the Arca-Swiss plate.
Looking at the dovetails shows that the width is different too.
The Bogen on the left measures 1 5/8” (41mm) wide and the Arca-Swiss on the right measures 1 ½” (38mm) wide. With the different angle and the different dovetail width the plates will not work in an Arca-Swiss style quick release clamp.
Let's take a look at some of the other differences between the plates.
The Bogen on the left has a wing screw fixed to the center of the plate. The wing screws can be difficult to tighten enough to keep your camera from spinning on the plate. The Acratech plate uses an Allen Screw. The Allen screw will allow you to properly tighten the Acratech plate onto your camera.
The Bogen / Manfrotto plates use rubber or cork to prevent the quick release plate from rotating on your camera body. This might be OK with smaller, lighter cameras. At Acratech we design camera specific plates that have a lip or other feature to positively prevent the quick release plate from rotating on your camera body.
Hopefully we have been able to shed some light on the differences between the quick release plate systems.