So… What is “Pro” a code for?

Every group has it’s own terminology.  For most purposes in the photography world one assumes that Pro means suitable for use by those who make a living doing photography. For most purposes.

Recently I’ve been looking at support systems — tripods, heads, L-brackets, lens foot plates as I’d got really fed up with tilt the tripod head 90° re-adjust the height and balance, take a couple of shots, reverse the sequence.  A better solution was needed, and the answer appeared to be an L-bracket allowing one to unclip the camera, swing it through 90° and use a second attachment point on the side.  This would mean that the eyepiece would stay roughly at the same hight, and the weight remain firmly centred above the intended support point on the tripod.  In fact it should work better with appropriate short lenses, than when one swings a long lens round  in its ring mount, as the eyepiece will not move so much.

So why did all the ads describe the L-brackets as Pro? It turns out that Pro means compatible with Arca-Swiss type fixings, and with no second 1/4-16 screw-hole.

Or to put that another way, Pro means

  • Arca-Swiss / Arcatech
  • Foba
  • Giotto
  • Induro
  • Jobu
  • Kirk
  • Markins
  • Really Right Stuff
  • Wimberly
  • 3-Legged Thing

heads but not either Gitzo (though there is a converter), Manfrotto, Trek-Tech or Velbon who seem to dominate the tripod market.

Isn’t marketing-speak confusing?   But it does also point out that there is a quasi-standard that one might be well advised to go with.

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