• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Adapt Manfrotto/Gitzo/Sirui clamp to accept Arca-Swiss plates (1 Viewer)

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
I recently learned that the Desmond DGZA-1 is no longer available. It is my favorite adapter for using Arca plates in heads that are meant for sliding plates of the Gitzo type C/Manfrotto/Sirui variety. The similar but much more expensive Gitzo GS5160CDT adapter is likewise gone from the market.

Yikes! What happened? I can't understand why these adapters aren't more popular than they apparently are. These super-useful adapters allow me to put nice Arca-Swiss type non-rotating plates on my gear and then use heads of either standard. Both standards are common among better quality photo and video heads that take sliding plates, and sometimes (as with Sirui and Gitzo) different heads from the same manufacturer use different of these two standards. I'd rather everything be Arca-Swiss standard, but some otherwise excellent Gitzo and Sirui heads use the other standard, so it's nice to be able to switch equipment between then without much thought.

Anyone know of alternatives for adapting Arca-Swiss plates to the other sliding plate standard?


Kevin Conville

Couldn't you just affix an Arca clamp to a Gitzo plate using flat head screws and counter sunk holes?
Use the main hole in the Arca clamp, 1/4"-20 typically, and add another drilled and countersunk hole in the plate and drill and tap a corresponding hole in the clamp, for anti-twist.

Leave the assembly on the head and use with Arca plates.
Reverting is as easy as taking the Gitzo/Arca plate assembly off the head and any Gitzo plates you have will go right on, if desired.

I've modified a Manfrotto 3130 (now 128) by simply making a plastic block that filled the cavity where the Manfrotto plate went and bolting an Arca clamp through it and the head.
Voila! An Arca mount Manfrotto fluid head.

See photo#2 and substitute the Gitzo plate for the plastic block https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=249059
Last edited:

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast
United States
Kevin, thanks for the thoughts. I've done that sort of thing for other "less standard" Manfrotto plates, none of which I use anymore (except, very rarely, the 3157 type).


maybe not as good as the ones mentioned... but here's some Shanghai special...



Oh, I'll bet it's every bit as good! There's not much to this style of adapter. Very simple and carefree to use. Thanks!


Swampy Mike

Active member
Just a thought... I like the locking mechanism on the Gitzo ā€œcā€ type heads, but none of the Arca heads seem to have a lock.
I therefore use Manfrotto 501pl type plates, as these seem to work exactly the same as the Gitzo ones. With the added benefit of getting cheap ones off auction sites....

Users who are viewing this thread