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Is a camera L-Plate really that useful for the D7000?

pimadude

Tucson, US
61 posts

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pimadude Registered since 28th Nov 2012
Fri 04-Jan-13 03:47 PM

I purchased my Nikon D7000 recently, during the "Black Friday" sales, from B&H Photo. It's a great camera, with an obvious learning curve required to completely "master" the camera's numerous features.

I'm just curious how many Nikonians really consider an L-Plate to be a necessary, or particularly useful accessory for this camera (or any other DSLR)? Since buying my first Nikon DSLR, a D50, I've now bought two camera L-plates, one for the D50 and the next for my subsequent D90.

This lack of interchangeability between the various camera L-Plates for Nikon DSLR's, which could have been easily accommodated by having a slot to fit the screw mounted to the camera's base, has obviously been a boon to the manufacturers of these plates. It does begin to beggar the question of these plate's utility.

I happened to have a camera plate from the very first camera that I used with the Arca-Swiss type tripod head, a Nikon F3HP (with the MD-4 motor drive). This plate perfectly fits my new Nikon D7000. This plate predated the advent of the L-Plate types that seem to have become ubiquitous in subsequent years.

It's really very easy to orient a ball head, like the Arca-Swiss model (I have an Arca Swiss Monoball B1 type), for a vertical shot simply by "flopping" the head over in the slot provided. In many ways, this is less cumbersome than having to demount the camera from an L-Plate horizontal's plane and remount the camera in a vertical or portrait orientation.

There also is a question, in my opinion, about the utility of the camera L-Plate that arises when many of the newer Nikon models are being used for video production. This has required the feature of a slot (which I would have liked from the beginning) to slide the base plate over to allow the connections for an external mic.

I'd be interested in your comments.

Jim

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