While there is nothing particularly complicated about the 200PL plate, there are a few things you should know.
This plate the most commonly sold and used Manfrotto quick release plate. This is good, because it gives you more choices of heads, monopods and tripods to use, without removing the quick release plate from your camera.
This plate shown to the right is the 1/4 inch screw that universally fits most small film and digital cameras ( Click here for size info) while the 3/8 size ( Click here for size info) will fit some medium format film cameras, view cameras and larger telephoto lenses that use the 3/8 screw. The 200PL is the standard 1/4 screw and includes a 3/8 thread adapter to make it a 3/8 screw. You can still buy a 3/8 plate if you want the strength and piece of mind of not using an adapter screw. Either way, get a plate for each camera and large lens that will fit a tripod. This way you can use the tripod without having to continuously change plates every time you use a different camera. The screw is centered on the plate, there is also an anti-rotation pin that can be removed if not needed. The anti-rotation pin is for video cameras that have a guide hole next to the tripod screw pin the base of the camera.
On the bottom of the plate, embossed into the plate is the word “Lens >” the arrow should be pointing toward the lens on the camera. This makes sure that the lens is oriented correctly on the head. This will ensure that the handles and knobs are all within reach for easy use.
While this may seem a small thing, if you are purchasing and using the Architectural plate with 1/4 inch screw ( See left, or Click here for more) this is important. Because the correct orientation when making panoramic shots, or verticals will ensure that the handles on some heads will NOT be in the way. Some heads cannot be operated because the camera will be in the way if the camera is on the plate wrong. The Architectural plate is also available in a 3/8 inch screw as well.
As you can see to the left the architectural plate has a floating plate with a lip that snugs against the camera so it will not rotate when in the vertical position.
There are replacement screws for the 1/4 Plate or for the 3/8 screw or you can buy the 3/8 adapter which can be used on this plate as well. The 3/8 adapter we sell has more threads than may lesser adapters we’ve seen. This should make the fit stronger and more secure, so the threads in your camera re not stripped or damaged.
As always, we recommend that you zip tie or stow a spare plate inside your camera bag some where, just in case you loose one. Because your tripod is useless without one.
We have a wide selection of quick releases, adapters and parts and pieces on this accessory webpage.