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.