Reviews |3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates

3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates

3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates

Our Verdict

Pure innovative simplicity is the only way to describe the new 3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates, available in four different lengths: 150mm, 200mm, 250mm, and 300mm. At their core, these are simply baseplates.

However, there is more to them. The design of each plate enables a bit of organization, counteracting the usual mess of cables and accessories. The small notches, threaded holes, and cold shoe mounts all contribute to making life easier for photographers and videographers.

When used with the Canon EOS R5 C, the 250mm plate fits snugly and firmly underneath, with the microphone mounted on top of the camera and the monitor to the side, while the end cable tidy helps keep things neat. The baseplate is primarily designed for mirrorless and DSLR cables, but when rotated around, the longer 300mm plate with the rear cable tidy is a great addition for larger camcorders such as the FX6.

What’s great about the Ultra Plates is that there are four different sizes depending on the kit you want to use. Keep things tight with the smaller 150mm or give yourself space with the longer 300mm. All fit the standard Arca Swiss fitting and, therefore, the vast majority of stills tripods. What could be better?

What are the 3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates?

The 3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates are a new range of base plates designed to enhance the functionality of this simple accessory, taking it beyond merely attaching a camera to a tripod.

The Ultra Plate is available in four lengths and is designed to cater to different cameras, depending on physical size and how the camera is used. For example, a macro photographer may need additional space for a light or monitor, while a videographer will definitely need space for a light, microphone, and monitor. Usually, the option is to use accessory arms, but the Ultra Plates offer a fast and easy way to mount these accessories.

Each plate features an Arca Swiss compatible base, a cold shoe for accessories, a cable hook, and accessory threads. Additionally, they are available in different lengths and in two colors: Copper (Orange) and Darkness (Black).

Build and Handling

Each of the plates adheres to the distinctive 3 Legged Thing design principles, with the bright orange, or Copper finish, and the more subdued Darkness, Black for a discreet look. As with other products from the company, the Ultra Plates are CNC machined from Magnesium Alloy and anodized with a hard-wearing finish.

Upon inspection, the usual high quality finish from the company is evident, with nice touches like measurement markings along the length, a 3/8-inch thread under the cold shoe, and a selection of additional 1/4-inch threads on either side designed for attaching further accessory arms.

At their core, these are indeed fancy base plates, but practicality has not been overlooked, evidenced by the selection of rubber triangular pads running up the length to ensure a decent grip to the base of the camera when attached.

In use, the Ultra Plates simply bolt to the base of your camera, providing ample room for adjustment to ensure the correct position. Once the camera is in place, you can load up the accessories, with a microphone easily slotting into and fixing to the cold shoe. If using a flash, it might be wise to insulate the metal against the contacts as a precaution, but in our tests, the Godox V1 Pro for the Sony System slotted in and worked without issue, as did the ZHIYUN M20.

When accessories are bolted in, if you’re shooting tethered or need to secure an HDMI cable running to a monitor, the cable hook at the back works well. Its design is open but notched, so it catches the cable and keeps it secure yet easy to remove when necessary, a small but very clever detail.

Overall, the build quality is excellent, and the handling ensures that it enhances the usability of your kit to a point that it becomes unobtrusive.


The 3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates, while fundamentally base plates, are imbued with a range of features that enhance their utility. Primarily, they are offered in four lengths, from 150mm to 300mm, and are available in two colors: 3LT Copper and Darkness, which can be thought of as orange and black, respectively.

In addition to standard compatibility with Arca Swiss-style tripod heads, each plate includes a standard 1/4-inch bolt to attach to any standard camera base. Along the length of each plate, there are a series of 1/4-inch threads for mounting accessories. Furthermore, there is a cold shoe with a larger 3/8-inch thread in the center for additional mounting options, and at the end of the plate, a cable hook with another 1/4-inch thread in the center to round off the features.

An important aspect of the design is the Arca Square at the end of each plate, allowing for a 90-degree rotation on most Arca-compatible tripod heads, particularly those from 3 Legged Thing. However, it should be noted that this feature may not be compatible with 3 Legged Thing’s larger video tripod heads, despite its utility.


Mounting various equipment like the Sony A7 IV for stills or a larger FX6 for video, the Ultra Plates have become an essential part of my day-to-day kit. The cable management hook, in particular, proves invaluable for organizing HDMI cables.

It’s impressive how a simple piece of equipment can quickly become a staple in your everyday kit. While some gear comes and goes, these Ultra Plates consistently meet the need for flexible shooting setups.

I frequently switch between stills, video, and teaching, and having a base plate that allows smooth adaptation to different tripods and scenarios is extremely useful.

As for compatibility, there’s no issue—it’s Arca Swiss, so it fits all Arca Swiss-compatible tripods, including those from 3 Legged Thing. For stills shooting, the setup is straightforward, though I’ve occasionally mounted a monitor to aid with focus, utilizing the cold shoe mount.

When transitioning to video, I prefer mounting the light onto the camera’s hot shoe, then attaching the mic or monitor, or both, onto the longer 300mm Ultra Plate. It takes some initial adjustment, but once accustomed, the setup flows well and efficiently utilizes the available space.

Having examined all four Ultra Plates of various lengths, I’m impressed with the additional functionality they offer. In terms of performance, these sophisticated base plates streamline the workflow. They integrate so seamlessly into daily use that it’s hard to imagine a time before them.

In conclusion, these plates are a fantastic asset for photographers and videographers alike. While there are minor issues, like the 90-degree rotation limitation with video heads, these are negligible compared to the flexibility and system expansion these plates offer for your workflow and camera setup.

Final Thoughts

The 3 Legged Thing Ultra Plates stand out as more than just base plates; they are a transformative addition to the photography and videography toolkit. Their integration into daily use is so seamless that it’s easy to overlook the substantial impact they have on the workflow.

The range of sizes and the thoughtful design, including the cable management hook and multiple mounting options, cater to a variety of needs and setups, ensuring flexibility and convenience.

While there are minor drawbacks, such as the limited 90-degree rotation with certain video heads, these are overshadowed by the overall utility and adaptability of the plates. Whether for stills, video, or educational purposes, the Ultra Plates have proven to be indispensable, making them a highly recommended investment for any photographer or videographer seeking to enhance their equipment’s functionality and efficiency.