hi, it was a "flip of the coin" between the RSS and Kirk. I picked Kirk for my F6, liked it and picked the Kirk for my D300 and D800. Very good quality, as I am sure the RSS is also. I picked the regular plate, because it can be left on the camera without much notice and most of my pictures are in landscape mode. Good luck on your decision.
I have the Kirk L plates on my D200, D700 and now D800E. I find it real convenient for switching between landscape and portrait mode and have no issues with the plate extending along the side of the camera. Buying the L plate also avoids the regrets later of spending money on the bottom plate and then wishing you had spent a little more for the L plate.
I always go for the L-bracket. The first time you are shooting on a tripod and can't figure out whether to shoot portrait or landscape, it'll be worth the money.
I always use Kirk L-brackets. Why? My favorite brick and mortar store sells Kirk, I got one many years ago, and I've always liked them. They've given me no reason to even try anything else, so I haven't.
Frankly my experience with RRS has been that they're excellent too, and my guess is that if they had sold RRS instead I'd probably have the same story with the names changed.
At this point I have Kirk L-brackets for five of my cameras, as well as Kirk lens plates for five lenses.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
I owned both Kirk and RRS L-plates. IMO they are equally good. Sometimes one will have a plate for a model or configuration the other doesn't. If I was forced to rank them I would say the RRS versions are SLIGHTLY more nicely finished. I prefer the L-plates for versatility and the extra protection they provide the body. I do not care for L-plates that mount to the optional vertical grip on bodies that lack one. There is always a tiny bit of movement between the grip and body and the L-plate makes it even more noticeable. But YMMV.
Kirk brackets are easier for me to get in UK as RRS only deal direct. I've tried both however all my brackets and lens feet are from RRS despite the hassle.
There isn't a lot of difference really. The RRS items just feel slightly and only very slighty better. One thing that does mark the RRS apart from Kirk is the centre line markers. On Kirk products the centre of each axis is marked by a notch on the bracket body, on RRS it's normally an etched marking. It's a miniscule little detail but I just prefer the RRS etched marking to the Kirk notch. But to be brutally honest, it's very difficult to choose between them and they both do an admirable job.
If you shoot in portrait orientation at all, I would recommend getting an L-Bracket. Once you try one you will not buy another camera plate. I have L-Brackets on 7 of my 8 DSLR's and two of my film bodies. I also have a Kirk Universal L-Bracket that I use with the remaining bodies that just have camera plates.
As for brands, I have both RRS and Kirk L-Brackets, Plates, and Lens feet. They both make excellent quality products. You can't go wrong with either one. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
As soon as I ordered my D800e, I ordered the L-plate from RRS. In fact, I received the plate well before the camera came in (great service from RRS). I have the RRS L-plate on all my cameras. And since I have the RSS BH-55 ballhead on my Gitzo as well, it was a no-brainer. My only real decision was to get the L-plate for either the camera alone or with the Grip. I decided not to get the grip (I have it on my D700) so went for the camera only version.
As with all said, L-brackets are necessity for me. I had ones from Kirk on 2x D700's and now for D800E's. When I had Kirk L-braclets on D700's, I had difficulties opening and closing the side rubber flip door (where you access to USB port etc), But ones on D800E's, I do not have any problems.