If you are a professional photographer who likes nice things and you've been alive for any of the past 3 decades, chances are you've heard of Really Right Stuff (RRS for short).
Based just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, RRS is the long-time market leader in designing and building pro-quality plates and L-brackets designed to perfectly fit specific camera bodies. They do a lot more than that, and we recommend you check 'em out, either on their website or at just about any camera shop in the world.
RRS compatibility with the Peak Design Travel Tripod
We launched the Travel Tripod in 2019, believing (through our own testing) that it was compatible with nearly all RRS plates and L-brackets. In the summer of 2020, we became aware of a potential compatibility issue. A few Travel Tripod users reported that their RRS plates were horizontally sliding in the Travel Tripod head, even when locked all the way down with the cinch ring.
Our engineering team consulted with RRS's engineering staff to get to the bottom of the issue. We're currently working on a solution to it, and you can signup here to be notified when it's ready. Otherwise, read on to understand the issue and how you can mitigate it.
How to check your RRS plate for compatibility with the PD Travel Tripod
RRS plates and L-brackets are ever-so-slightly smaller than Peak Design plates. They also come in several different shapes. For assessing compatibility, it’s useful to look at the cross-sectional profile of your RRS plate and check the dovetail geometry on both sides:
Per the image above, RRS plates typically have 0, 1, or 2 "closed" dovetails (we're using quotes there because it's a term we made up for the sake of convenience).
If your plate has 2 closed dovetails, you likely will not experience compatibility issues. You should be good to go.
If your plate has 1 closed dovetail, you may experience compatibility issues in some configurations. Specifically, you will experience horizontal slippage when the closed dovetail is not pointed towards the camera release tab on the PD Travel Tripod. To mitigate this issue, insert your camera so that the closed dovetail is pointing towards the camera release tab and cinch the locking ring all the way down.
If your plate has 0 closed dovetails, you will likely experience compatibility issues in all configurations. We do not recommend using this type of plate with the PD Travel Tripod. If it's all you got and you need it to work in a pinch, you can place 1-2 layers of masking tape on the tripod head directly beneath where the plate sits. This will act as a shim, filling in the gap beneath the plate and enabling a more secure grip.
In each of the above scenarios, leaving the 2 PD tripod head pins installed will help prevent a camera drop catastrophe. The PD Travel Tripod has removable pins to allow use with longer 3rd party tripod plates and L-brackets. But many plates and brackets have detents in the bottom that allow them to be used with the pins installed. The pins can prevent the tripod plate from slipping too far in either direction, so keeping them installed is a recommended failsafe.
For many folks, the above advice is not a sufficient long-term solution, and we certainly acknowledge that. And that's why we're working on a better fix:
That's right, we're working on a fix.
RRS plates are ubiquitous in the photography world, and RRS is a brand we admire and strive to offer full compatibility with. Our engineers are actively developing a solution to this issue. Fill out this form and we'll notify you when a solution is available.