Kessler Kwik Release System Review

May 28, 201311 Comments

Stills photographers have had the Arca-Swiss quick release systems for years. Many different companies offer their version of this proven way to mount a camera on a tripod. My favorite is Really Right Stuff. High quality and expert craftsmanship.

For use video guys we pretty much were stuck with Manfrotto quick release systems. A much less elegant way to mount your camera to a tripod. Sure they work and aren’t very expensive but I just never liked the way they worked. On a DSLR the plate was way to long and stuck out the back and front of the camera. I have at least five or more for Various systems that I want to mount my cameras to. Sliders, Jibs, and other tripods that I might need to use. They all need a quick release on them.

Kessler Kwik Release On My Miller Head

Kessler Kwik Release On My Miller Head

Kessler Kwik Release popping into clamp

Kessler Kwik Release popping into clamp


At NAB this year I saw the Kessler Crane Kwik Release System for the first time and new I had to get one. The system uses the same proven Arca-Swiss 2″ wide camera plates that pop into the  clamp instead of sliding into the channel. I like that. You lock it in with a nice big arm on the back and your camera is secure. To take the camera off you just pull the arm to unclamp and press the red button and the camera is released. No sliding in and out. Super fast and secure. The plates have a safety pin on them so when the camera is in the channel it can’t slid out just like Manfrotto’s do to prevent the camera from crashing to the floor. Simple. Clean and works very well.

Kessler Kwik Release Camera Plate

Kessler Kwik Release Camera Plate

The camera plates come with two 1/4 20 screws. One has a flip out thumb lever for toolless tightening. Works pretty well. No guide type pin on the plate to prevent the plate from shifting so you have to tighten it down very tight to prevent that from happening. I left the other screw in but it wont help with keeping the plate from shifting.

Kessler Kwik Release With Camera Plate

Kessler Kwik Release With Camera Plate

  • Kwik Release Receiver
  • Your Choice (if selected) of Camera Plate (None, Mini Camera Plate, Short Camera Plate, Long Camera Plate, or Utility Plate) w/ Tool Kit
  • Tool Kit for Receiver
    • – (2) 1/4″-20 Countersunk Screw
    • – (2) 8-32×1/2″ Socket Head Cap Screw
    • – (1) 5/32″ Allen Key
    • – (1) 9/64″ Allen Key

Kessler Kwik Release Utility Plate

Kessler Kwik Release Utility Plate

Kessler makes several different plates for cameras as well as utility plate that works with practically all of kesslers products from jibs to sliders making mounting to tripods a breeze.

  • Kessler Kwik LONG Camera Plate – Dimensions: 2” x 6”
  • Kessler Kwik SHORT Camera Plate – Dimensions: 2” x 3.5”
  • Kessler Kwik Mini Plate – Ideal mounting option for both DSLR cameras and the Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler.
  • Kessler Kwik UTILITY Plate – For mounting Kessler sliders, the REVOLUTION Head, High Hats or even mount accessories like monitors, microphones, lights, etc. via the many 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 thread holes.

One System For All My Cameras.

GH3 with Really Right Stuff plate and clamp on the left works with Kessler Kwik Release. One System For All My Cameras.

A cheese and angled mounting plate is also available. Since the system uses the Arca-Swiss standard if you have other plates they will also work. I tried my Really Right Stuff GH2 plate that also fits the GH3 and it works perfect on the Kessler Kwik Release. Now my GH3, C100 & C300 cameras all work together with one system that can be used with so many different plate sizes. This is wonderful! The quick release system is also backed by a lifetime warranty. Can’t beat that.

Description From Kessler Crane.

The Kwik Release System is a unique, patent pending mounting system featuring solid billet aluminum and stainless steel construction. With a one hand drop-in instant latching and push button drop-gate release, this mounting system is strong, secure, fast and easy to use.

Once the mounting plate is snapped into the receiver, the plate can be adjusted but it cannot slide out of the receiver thanks to the secure safety stops. We also built in an ultra-strong cam lock that, once tightened, will secure the plate with absolutely no slip. We have designed the Kwik Release System to be as modular as possible with mounting plates available for cameras, sliders, motion control heads and more.

Kessler Kwik Release.System. A New Addition

Kessler Kwik Release.System. A New Addition

The only issue I have with the clamp is now I want to buy a bunch of them! I already bought two and will be buying more as needed. If your looking for a better solution to mounting your camera or other stuff the Kessler Kwik Release System is about as good as it gets.

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About the Author ()

I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

Comments (11)

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  1. Tim says:

    Hey Erik, using the RRS GH2 plate in the Kessler Kwik Release, does it still prevent the camera from falling out if the clamp loosens or is that feature only with the Kessler camera plates?

  2. Hi again Erik,

    I’m trying to visualize how to use this QR system with the Zacuto C-shooter so that I can go from handheld to tripod (easy I imagine) and then separate the body from the C-shooter quickly and plunk the C100 in a rig like the Fig Rig to fly it around. One issue for sure is getting the handle re-re-located, and I’m blanking on whether a QR can go between the body and the Zac studio plate. I’ll figure that out when I have the C-shooter in my hands, but wondering if you’ve solved this one yet…


    • Erik Naso says:

      I haven’t tried that configuration out. I did see someone put the Kessler QR clamp on so the clamp is on the side instead of the back. This makes sense if your rig is long and cant get access to the clamp.
      Adding anther clamp tho the C-Shooter might make it heavier but I dont see why it would work. The rail height aren’t standard anyways. Give it try!

  3. Hi Erik,

    I found your website today after watching an Alister Chapman video in which he had a Sony F3 on a Tilta shoulder mount base plate, which got me thinking, and I then found your video on this baseplate system (

    I have a Sony FS700 as my primary camera and would love an option to shoulder mount it with minimal parts.

    Like yourself, I have various camera support systems – Kessler slider, Steadicam / CMR Blackbird, Sachtler Tripod – and I have already invested in the Kessler Kwik release system for all of these and it works brilliantly and saves a load of time when switching supports.

    So I was wondering if there is a way to use the Kessler Kwik release with the Tilta shoulder mount without having to stack it on the Tilta quick release mount? Is it possible to swap out the Tilta quick release for the Kessler Kwik Release Receiver somehow to help keep that centre of gravity low(er)?

    Any thoughts on this or if you’ve tried it yourself, what you found, genuinely appreciated.

    Many thanks for your time.

    • Erik Naso says:

      Hi Jamie.
      I’ve been meaning to try this out for a while now. The reason I haven’t is because the C100 and C300 work very well without a rig I just haven’t found a reason to put it on the Tilta base plate yet. The FS700 is a different story since it’s not very ergonomic camera.
      I’ll have a look at it next week for you and see if any of the holes line up on the top of the plate for the Kessler QR clamp. The other issue is that the Tilta uses the Sony broadcast camera quick release. The Kessler plate wont work to mount the Tilta’s bottom side of the palate to mount to your tripod, so you’ll still need to swap out your tripod plate to the Sony style.

      • Thank you Erik, that’s very kind of you, and thank you for the very quick response!

        At the moment I wouldn’t need to mount the Tilta on the tripod directly, just use it as an additional support option for the camera (i.e. tripod, Steadicam, slider or shoulder pad).

        So Tilta to tripod would be: unlock the Kessler Kwik Release on the Tilta; remove the camera; drop the camera into the Kessler Kwik Release Receiver on the tripod.

        If it became a problem in the future, I could always buy another Sachtler plate and attach a Sony receiver so I can choose which system is on the tripod easily enough.

        I don’t fancy a Sony broadcast release on my Steadicam / CMR Blackbird setup though, it could tip the weight limit too high, plus it would raise the centre of gravity in a bad way to have all that making the camera taller.

        • Erik Naso says:

          Okay! I tried it out and have some good and bad news. Don’t you hate it when people say that! 🙂
          I took it apart and it wont work as is, but if you move the Kessler QR clamp forward and drill and tap two new 5mm holes it will work with the Tilta screws. Check out these pictures I posted to Flicker here.

          Hope this helps!

          • 🙂 Wow – thanks for the photos, they really helped me understand what you were talking about. I found this with the Kessler – all those holes and it’s often close but no biscuit and you have to get creative with a file or whatever. I had to extend some of the holes on the CMR plate to get the Kessler to secure to it properly. I’d have to find a man with a tap, I don’t have one, but it’s good to know what would be required. Thanks again. Jamie.

  4. Alison S says:

    I have RRS gear, and have now added a DJI Ronin gimbal. It has an integrated clamp that takes what looks like a bigger arca swiss plate. I have to continually take off that plate to move my camera from the Ronin to a tripod. I double-mount the plates, meaning I leave on my RRS plate, then screw the DJI plate on to that. Requires a hex wrench. PITA. Is this Kessler clamp a bigger version of the arca swiss clamp? If, so, does anyone know if it can clamp in the camera plate from the Ronin?

    • Erik Naso says:

      The Kessler Kwik Release is a Arca Swiss type system. You can use RRS plates with it if you want. I do. I have both RRS clamps and even other lesser brand camera plates that are also Arca Swiss type that work. I used the Ronin last week with a Sony A7s and had issues mounting the camera with the Sigma 18-35. The lens is fat and goes past the bottom of the camera. I attached a cheap Arca Swiss clamp on the Ronin’s plate to help make the camera taller. It worked so if you wanted to add a Arca Swiss type clamp to the Ronin’s plate it’s doable but the Ronin’s plate isn’t Arca Swiss compatible. It’s a lot wider.

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