How to Remove Quick Release Plate for Tripod (Most Brands – EASY)

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To know how to remove quick release plate for tripod you must first of all know what exactly you are trying to achieve. Are you?:

  • Trying to remove the quick release plate from the Camera. Or,
  • Trying to remove the quick release place from the tripod.

There are two separate procedures depending on your issue. I will outline these below:

How to Remove Quick Release Plate FROM THE CAMERA

How to Remove Quick Release Plate for Tripod
Quick Release Plate adapter for cameras with a 1/4 inch thread

This can sometimes be tricky depending on the type of mounting screw that is attaching the quick release plate to the camera. The standard screw size that attaches the quick release plate to a camera is 1/4 inch thread, however this screw can look different between tripod brands.

How to Remove Quick Release Plate for Tripod - Metal Grip
Example of a Quick Release Plate that only has the metal gripper.

How do you remove a Manfrotto quick release plate?

  1. The standard Manfrotto (and many copy-cat brands) quick release plate will have a screw head that has a metal ‘flap’ that you can flip out, and use to gain grip.
  2. Once you have flipped the gripper out, you can turn the screw anti-clockwise. This will allow you to release the tension and unscrew the quick release plate.

Thats it, thats how to remove quick release plate from the camera if you are using a manfrotto (or similar) type of tripod.

Quick Release plate with a Slotted Screw

How to Remove Quick Release Plate for Tripod
Example of a Quick Release Plate that has both the slotted screw AND the metal gripper

On other occasions you will find that the screw will have a large ‘notch’ out of it – similar to a regular flat head screw driver type.

If this is the case, and you’re wanting to release it quickly, there is a good chance you wont have a screwdriver handy. Instead, I like to use a coin to slot into the gap, and turn the screw anticlockwise.

Quick Release where Plate is Attached to the Camera Tripod

In the example here, you can see that the ball head is attached to the quick-release plate. In this case all you need to do is:

  1. Ensure that the ball head is tightly screwed in place and is not allowing any movement.
  2. Tightly grab the rounded plate at the base of the screw with one hand, and grab the camera carefully in the other
  3. Rotate the whole camera clockwise, while rotating the tripod in an anti-clockwise direction.

What if I have a tripod plate stuck on camera?

The easiest way to get the plate off is to either use the provided ‘flip-out’ lever to unscrew the screw that attaches it to your camera. If there is none provided, you may have a wide slot like a regular flat-head screw driver. In this case you could use a coin of some kind to put in the slot and rotate anti-clockwise.

What do I do if I have a Manfrotto Head stuck on Tripod?

The trick here is to tighten all of the other components as much as you can before you try and rotate the entire head off the tripod. This will generally mean that the only thing that can move will be the actual head. It should then rotate off.

How to remove the quick release plate FROM THE TRIPOD MOUNT

How do you remove the plate from a tripod?

There are a few different versions of how to do this, so it may take a little playing to get it to work for you. I will start with the method to remove SOME manfrotto Quick Release plates. Specifically, this one is a fluid head tripid with a long plate that attaches. You can see in the animated image below that you must do the following:

  • Turn the ‘wingnut’ screw anti-clockwise until it is quite loose, but not yet removed from the plate mount
  • push down on the screw to lift the mechanism and release the plate from it’s position.
  • Rotate the camera (and plate) away from the screw and it should release into your hand. Be sure to have a good grip on the camera in this situation.

How do you attach a quick release plate to a tripod?

In the case of a Manfrotto tripod (seen below), to attach the quick release plate to the camera, you make sure that you follow the guides on the bottom of the quick release plate that state which direction the lens should go. If there are two arrows, you want to follow the one that points to the ‘longer’ side of the rectangle.

Once you have successfully attached the quick release plate to the camera you then need to attach it to the tripod. This can sometimes be tricky.

In the case of the ball head above, you would first need to pull back on the grey lever on the right hand side. You will note that ther is a small ‘gold’ or ‘brass’ semi-circle in the image below. It is a safety lever that will ensure your camera will not accidentally release if you bump the grey lever.
You will need to make sure you pull back BOTH levers at the same time to shift the grey lever into the full ‘unlocked’ position, ready to receive the camera and quick release plate.

Now that you have the grey lever in the open position you will need to attach the camera by tipping it forward and putting the front of the quick release plate to the front of the receiving head.
You can then level out the camera and you should hear a solid ‘click’ sound as the grey lever locks in place.

At this point I always give the grey lever a good press to ensure that it is fully locked in place, as over time, the mechanisms can sometimes loosen and cause issues. You definetly do not want your camera to accidentally fall off the ball head.

Lastly give the camera a good ‘move about’ to ensure that it is successfully locked in place.

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