Kirk versus Really Right Stuff - An Update
I've been a big fan of Really Right Stuff's quick-release plate designs for use with the Arca-Swiss system for a fair number of years. In the past, I've written that I had one of their plates on just about everything I own except my toothbrush. Kirk Enterprises also makes quick release plates but in the past they'd always failed to impress me, often appearing as just less well machined copies of RRS originals.
A lot has changed over the past couple of years though. Kirk's plate designs have improved a lot of late and are now well worth considering. They have done a lot to improve their quality and are now also innovating much more than they used to. Often, they now beat RRS to market with products to support new cameras and lenses. On the other side, Really Right Stuff's weakness historically was their customer service. A phone call to Bryan Geyer, while always helpful, was also somewhat akin to the Monty Python argument clinic sketch (those of you familiar with RRS and Monty Python will know what I mean). Joe Johnson, the new owner is much easier going and also now accepts credit cards. Bet you never thought you'd see that come to pass.
Both companies also make an impressive array of other compatible accessories and I urge you to check them both out before buying. In the end, competition between the two continues to result in better products for us, the photographers who rely on the Arca-Swiss system. You may also be interested in the small but excellent line of compatible products from Wimberly, makers of the famous Wmberly tripod head for long lenses.