Earlier this week I received an email asking for advice on an inexpensive quick release system to move a video rig from a slider to a stabilizer. Simply because I would have to first suggest going with a Manfrotto 577 Quick Release system, especially if you're already working with a compatible Manfrotto tripod head. Unfortunately the OEM Manfrotto 577 Quick Release base plate + qr plate system runs anywhere from $50-$60 dollars each (seen here).
Manfrotto 577 Rapid Connect Adapter with Sliding Mounting Plate (501PL)
Here's an old video showing you the alternative from Calumetphoto. The Calumet branded QR system looks exactly and works exactly like the Manfrotto 577, except that it only runs $35 dollars full retail.
If you're ever lucky as i've been in the past, you can apply a Calumet discount code bringing the price down for as low as $25 dollars (complete base + plate). Unfortunately I don't have a discount code available now, but it's still much cheaper than the OEM Manfrotto 577.
[UPDATE] CALUMET COMMENTED ON THIS ARTICLE. USE THE PROMO CODE 'CHEESY' FOR $10 OFF/EACH! (good until Feb 18th Midnight)
About a year ago, I posted about some Calumet QR adapters there were pretty much clones of the Manfrotto 577. They work great, and people have been buying them since. While a Manfrotto 577 can run you just over $50 bucks, the Calumet version runs about $34.99. Not bad savings, but wait there's more! ("You following me camera guy").
Right now they are on sale knocking off an additional $7.00 dollars, bringing it down to just $27.99. Ok, so it's good, but here's the better news. Today Kevin shares the infromation that Calumet is offering $10 off purchases of $20+, so after adding in (3) Calumet QR Adapters to my cart and adding the coupon code 'TENOFF' at the checkout, those 3 QR adapters are totalling $60 dollars cheaper (even after tax + shipping) than if I went with the Manfrotto 577 from Amazon (seen here). [Thanks for the heads up Kevin].
You can find the Manfrotto Compatible Calumet Version QR adapters following the link below. Just remember to use the Coupon Code 'TENOFF' during checkout.
Looks like a Manfrotto 577 Rapid Connect Adapter w/Sliding Mounting Plate right? It sure could be, but guess what - it's not Manfrotto. On sale right now this QR adapter sells for about 40% of the Manfrotto price. The specs over at the Calumet website doesn't state anything about being Manfrotto compatible or as a Manfrotto replacement part. I called the store and they weren't even sure if it was.
I don't know why they don't state it anywhere on the specs of the product, but it does look to be the exact same QR adapter and Plate design. The question I had was 'Is it really compatible?'. So I just put this quick release through the tests and it sure is compatible in every means. If you're looking for a QR adapter for all your Glidecam, Flycam, Sliders, or Jibs, it's a bonus that this inexpensive one is Manfrotto compatible. Right now it's on sale and there's only a limited supply in every store. If you were wondering too, here's the answer..