A Photographer’s Story:

As a photographer who likes to shoot outside, I was tired of carrying my heavy camera and lens combinations around my neck with the standard camera strap. So, I bought my first sling-style shoulder strap. I liked that it allowed me to carry my camera at my side, removing the weight from around my neck. However, I quickly discovered that the screw-on attachment loop for the shoulder strap interfered with my ability to use my Arca-Swiss tripod quick release plate. Both devices utilized the ¼”-20 accessory hole on the bottom of the camera. This required me to screw the loop into the camera when I wanted to use the strap, but then remove the loop and switch to a separate quick release plate when I wanted to attach the camera to the tripod. This clumsy set-up was proving difficult for me, as I like to switch between my shoulder strap and tripod often during a shoot.

For example: once I was in a field of tall grass attempting to capture an HDR photo of a tractor close to sunset, and the light was fading quickly. I wanted to put my camera onto my tripod to capture the shot. In the haste to remove my accessory loop, I dropped it into the tall grass. Luckily I found it but it lead me to think, “There has to be a better way…” Right then, the concept of the Fusion Plate started to take form.

Discussing the idea of a quick release plate with a deployable attachment loop with my father (a toolmaker for 10+ years and manufacturing engineer for 25+ years), the concept was refined into engineering drawings and then prototypes. We built several different iterations of prototypes while refining the design to its final form presented here.

My father has a hobby machine shop at his home with various manual machine tools, including a mill and lathe, that were used to make the prototypes. Realizing that our design was a very good idea that needed to be shared with other photographers, we bought a CNC milling machine to be able to manufacture our project more effectively to keep the cost at more reasonable levels.

Kickstarter Fundraiser

In April 2013 Fusion Photo Gear launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money necessary to begin full production of the Arca-Style Fusion Plate. Through the outstanding support of 374 backers we raised $25,806 in 30 days, which more than tripled our original goal of $7,500.

When the campaign ended in May, we set out to manufacture and deliver rewards to backers. Our delivery deadlines we set for September and October. As a result of good planning and hard work we began shipping Fusion Plates to our backers in early August and had completed fulfillment of all our rewards by the first week of September. This was a proud achievement for us as historically very few Kickstarter projects delivery on time!

Kickstarter Video