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I've been considering whether to buy the 701HDV or the 502AH.

I've pretty much settled on the 502AH for its superior drag quality, but one thing a lot of people do not consider is the type of Quick Release (QR) plate they use.

The 701HDV and 501HDV both use the 501PL-type plate. The 502AH on the other hand uses 504PLONG plates, which are significantly bigger.

I have found out that you can use short plates on a "long" head by looking here, but I'm not sure if I can put long plates on a "short" head.

The reason I ask is that I have a few short plates left over from an older tripod that should fit in the 502AH, and if I buy a non-Manfrotto-branded QR adapter for something else, I can only find short plates.

So, can I use the long plate that comes with the 502AH with a short head or short QR adapter?

From looking at photos I can't see why not, but there's always a chance that it doesn't. Does anyone know for sure?

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Did you try contacting Manfrotto directly? Here is their contact page: – Bart Arondson Jan 6 '13 at 22:52

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