August 12, 2013

Desmond DPL-60 / 70 / 85 Lens Plates Review

Desmond DLP-60 / 70 / 85 Lens Plates -overview
As mentioned in the presentation of the longer Desmond lens plates in the Desmond DPL-100 / 115 / 150 / 169 Lens Plates Review, the whole line follows the same design pattern.

However, the difference in the mounting screw as well as the lack of any tools in the box of the shorter models ranging from 60 to 85 mm, made me separate them from the batch and review them according to their common characteristics.

Packing & Contents

Desmond DLP-60 / 70 / 85 Lens Plates and boxes
Once again the standard Desmond packaging, all DPL Lens Plates come in a small, plain, white box with a model and code sticker, wrapped in a zip-lock nylon bag.

The DPL Lens Plates

Manufacturer Specification:
Model :DPL-60DPL-70DPL-85
Length  :60 mm70 mm85 mm
Height :10 mm10 mm10 mm
Width :38 mm38 mm38 mm
1/4"-20 Screws :1 D-ring1 D-ring1 D-Ring
Weight :45 g (1.58 oz)52 g (1.83 oz)59 g (2.08 oz)

Desmond DLP-60 / 70 / 85 Lens Plates top-vew
Laid side by side from longer to shorter DPL-85, DPL-70 and DPL-60 are displayed above. All plates share the Double Dovetail design, Twin Ridge backstops and Flash Bracket mounting holes, much like their longer siblings.
Desmond DLP-60 / 70 / 85 Lens Plates bottom-vew
Following the same design, the bottom side is almost hollow with only a small strengthening brace around the flash bracket mounting holes. All plates are equipped with removable M3 safety stop screws at both ends.
Desmond DLP-70 D-ring screw detail
And that's where the similarities stop. The shorter Desmond plates, instead of the one or two hex-socket stainless steel captive screws, have a black anodized D-ring 1/4"-20 captive screw. This screw head features also a long slot for a flat screwdriver or a coin.
I can assume that as these lens plates are intended for shorter telephoto lenses or for users that like to exchange plates between their gear, the choice of a D-ring screw is more convenient.



Using the Plates

Desmond DLP-70 w/ lens collar
For this illustration I chose the DPL-70 lens plate as support for the optional collar for the Canon EF-100 f/2.8 USM Macro lens.
Desmond DLP-70 attached on lens collar
The lens plate fits very tightly under the collar-foot and the D-ring screw secures the plate quite well. There is still adequate space in front of the foot to clamp a flash bracket as shown in the top right photo. Further, the separated back stop ridges fit seamlessly the back end of the collar-foot depriving the plate from twisting under side loads as in the bottom right photo.

Lens Compatibility Table
For reference purposes I quote the recommended lens plate length for various brands of telephoto lenses.
Note: The compatibility table recommendations allow for adequate plate headroom in front of the lens-collar foot for the attachment of a variety of flash brackets.



DPL-60DPL-70DPL-85
CanonMount Adapter EF-EOS-M After market lens collarsEF 70-200 4.0L ***
EF 100 Macro ***
EF 300 4.0L
Nikon

70-180 Micro
80-200 2.8
80-200 2.8 AS-S
80-400 VR
200 4.0 Micro **
300 4.0

Minolta
70-200 2.8 **
80-200 2.8
Sigma



70-200 2.8
80-200 2.8
100-300 4.0
135-400 5.6
170-500 5.0
180 Macro
300 4.0
400 5.6
Tokina
AT-X 80-200 2.8
AT-X 100-400 4.0
AT-X 300 4.0
AT-X 400 5.6
Tamron70-210 2.8 ***
180 2.8 Macro
200-400 5.6
200-500 5.6-6.3

** Requires optional longer 1/4"20 screw
*** With optional Collar

Pros
Exceptionally good machining and finishing quality for the price.
Excellent fitting with very small tolerances.
Good quality metal 1/4"-20 and M3 screws included.
Lightweight.

Cons
Not easy to find something against these plates.

Conclusion
Although I'm a dedicated fan of hex socket screws for reasons I have explained many times in the past, the large D-ring screws are quite strong for lower mass equipment, adding the tool-less exchange of the plate.
Maybe I'm wrong but I can only question the purpose though. At this price level who would need to exchange plates rather than get one for each lens or other device?
Given the Desmond quality and the approximately half price than competition, I can once again declare the DPL plates excellent Value for Money!

I hope you found the article and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2013 S.C.Vlachos

Price and Availability:
Current prices for the Desmond DPL 60-70-85 plates range from US$ 15.97 to US$ 17.97 (+shipping where applicable).
Desmond DPL Lens Plates are available from Amazon.com

If you are interested in the product(s) please consider using above link(s) to make your purchase and help support this site.

Relevant Articles:
Desmond DPL-100 / 115 / 150 / 169 Lens Plates Review

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