I look at different issues to try to justify some 300% difference in price, between a standard and an “L” plate. I know that a lot has been discussed about them plates but one detail I didn’t find answered anywhere, so, here it goes. With the camera on a tripod, when you change camera’s position from horizontal to vertical, with the “L” plate on, is the centre-sensor view in the same spot or had shifted, requiring another adjustment?
Good L brackets such as those from RRS and Kirk are completely centered and there is no need to adjust the bracket to stay centered. Just curious, but how do you arrive at a 300% difference in price between a standard and L bracket?
The perfect optical center of the lens isn't maintained with every L-bracket if you switch orientation. But any small shift is tiny compared to the shift you get when you flop the ballhead.
There's about 1/4" difference in the center-to-base distance on the D200 standard L-bracket's vertical and horizontal spacing. The difference is greater for the L for the D200+MB grip combo. The L-bracket is designed to fit closely to the body and that means the lens centerline to dovetail distance varies.
The only way you'll shoot in vertical and horizontal orientation without some shift is using lenses that have collar mounts. Actually, you could buy a non-custom L-bracke that you could adjust for even centering, but you'd have a large and clunky apparatus compared to a custom L.
Also consider that flopping the ballhead (or flipping the platform on a 3-way head) not only requires a lot more re-framing, but it also puts your camera body off-center and makes your tripod less stable.