Tripod plate that won't rotate camera in portrait orientation


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 14:36
Could someone please advise me on how to attach securely my K-5 to a tripod for use in portrait orientation?

I'm currently using a Redsnapper RSH-61 ball head and the plate doesn't seem man enough to prevent the camera rotating with respect to the plate in portrait orientation. The design of the camera and the head invite you to drop the camera to the left of the tripod (as viewed from the rear) but this means that any droop at the front will act to loosen the screw. Perhaps I should always drop the camera to the right - is this what you do?

I've used a screwdriver to tighten the plate fixing screw as much as I dare (a lot further than I can manage by hand). Perhaps I need a head with a larger plate to provide more rotational friction. I see no point in upgrading to the heavier duty RSH-12 head as it uses the same Arca Swiss style plate.

Video cameras seem to address this problem by using a locating pin to prevent rotation. Why don't stills cameras adopt this simple solution?

I suppose an L-plate would be the answer. Is it possible to obtain L-plates for the K-5?


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 15:30
If I'm understanding you correctly (and it is possible I'm not!) it sounds like the RS ball head plate just doesn't have a locating pin. Do you mean a partially retractable pin that slots into a second hole at the bottom of the camera?

My Giotto ball head has one of these and it seems to stop the camera rotating when on it's side.

Do you mean something like this?

You will only prise my 43Ltd from my cold, dead hands...


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 15:45
WobblyGoblin, I mean exactly that.

The trouble is, there's no "second hole" on the bottom of my K-5. I wish there was. What camera are you using?

I also have a Giottos pan & tilt head. I removed the retactable pin because it's liable to scratch the base of the camera when the plate rotates.

Notice that link calls it a "video locking pin". Why aren't stills cameras made with that hole? I'm almost tempted to drill one in my camera, but fear I might hit something vital!

This L-plate may be a solution, althought its universal design makes it look complicated. It also seems to lack the bevelled edges for the locking pin that make the Redsnapper so quick and safe to attach.

L-plate 1

This is a much more expensive plate but cleaner looking.

L-plate 2
Last Edited by WaypointCharlie on 21/10/2013 - 16:19


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 17:06
Hmmm, it definitely slots into a hole in the bottom of my K5. I will check when I get home but it may be the recess for a screw. The position of the main screw on the Giotto plate is adjustable so I can line up the pin too.

I'll report back this evening...
You will only prise my 43Ltd from my cold, dead hands...


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 17:31
L-Plates are great. The camera/tripod is less likely to
topple over when using one.

I use the Novoflex version which has other uses link
It's got a threaded hole at the top of the upright
to take a tripod thread stud. I often attach a
flashgun to it.

Can't you get a piece of rubber between to camera and shoe
to stop it slipping.

Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Last Edited by Algernon on 21/10/2013 - 17:39


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 18:00
I find it a bit extraordinary how poor the system is. When using a tripod the plate to camera body fixing has to be the weakest link.

I may give this L-plate a go



Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 18:30
Ha, I wondered what the pin on my 15 tripod was for. Unfortunately my 400 K-r doesn't have any recess to take advantage of the pin and would rotate in portrait mode, as you describe.

Sometimes I'm serious and sometimes not, but I consider sarcasm an artform. Which is it today?


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 18:51
I use a Kirk QR on my K5ii. It uses an Allen key to tighten it and it stays put just fine.
L plates are great but a pain for changing batteries if you don't have a model specific one, and afaik no-one makes them for Pentax.


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 19:38
Ha, funny reading this post as I was thinking this just the other day.
--> why don't they put a hole in here for the tripod plate pin like they do on video cameras?


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 19:46
Gwyn, good point about changing the battery.

I haven't found the dimensions yet but it looks like this may do the job and be narrow enough to permit access to the battery. Some of the others look too wide.

Fittest FK5L


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 19:47
Gwyn wrote:
I use a Kirk QR on my K5ii. It uses an Allen key to tighten it and it stays put just fine.
L plates are great but a pain for changing batteries if you don't have a model specific one, and afaik no-one makes them for Pentax.

I read somewhere the other day that its best to use L Plates with a battery grip. 1/ because you can load it with two batteries, so unlikely to change a battery 2/ not a problem if the battery grip loads from the rear or the side opposite the L plate.


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 20:54
Well my K5 has no recess for the video pin to locate into. The base of the camera is completely flat around the tripod socket. Nor has my K10 or any other of my still cameras,including the Micro Technical 5x4 given me any trouble. I have a mix of manufactures heads and plates.

I just do up the screw on the plate and it works! Have you got a rubber or cork surface on the plate, where it is in contact with the camera? I think all mine have and I wondered if yours has got this missing.
Last Edited by doingthebobs on 21/10/2013 - 20:56


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 22:05
No problems with the Manfrotto plate. Camera is rock solid with no pin, just rubber top.


Link Posted 21/10/2013 - 23:04
Never had a problem with my Calumet plate - the top is faced with textured rubber.


Link Posted 22/10/2013 - 12:34
Strange, the pin fits into the little screw recess at the front of the K5 for me. It's not deep but definitely goes in. Maybe it is the combination of this and the textured rubber that stops it slipping.

I've never had a problem. The heaviest lens I have used this way is probably the f2.8 A100 macro (all metail construction and fairly heavy) or the f4 50-135. I've also used the Sigma f4 100-300 but this has a tripod collar so the weight is not front-loaded.
You will only prise my 43Ltd from my cold, dead hands...
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