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'm not sure this question is really specific to the D7000. My response certainly isn't.
My reasons for having L-plates for all of my cameras are:
1) I really don't find it convenient to flop the ball head over. I find it unpleasant to level the camera when the weight of the camera is tending to pull it out of level, which is not the case if the camera is atop the ball head and balanced.
2) Flopping the ball head over into the slot will not allow you to rotate the camera/lens around the nodal point for panoramas.
3) My RRS WPF-1 flash bracket requires an L-plate to work.
In general, I prefer an L-Plate to flopping the ball head because it does not require releveling the camera and you maintain complete ability to reorient the ballhead.
However, on the D7000, and other bodies, which uses the side conenction for the remote release, the L-plate is not as useful because you need to adjust the bracket or get a spacer, making the whole thing an inch or so wider. So far I haven't found a decent "L" connector for the remote release so as to eliminate that problem. The 10-pin connectors on the "Pro" bodies are fat better in that respect.
Sat 05-Jan-13 03:52 AM | edited Sat 05-Jan-13 04:03 AM by hyalite
Years ago I bought two Really Right Stuff Multi-Camera L-Plates. I have used them on my FM, F3, F4(s), N8008s (with a shim for film door clearance), D80, and now on my D7000. The RRS dedicated L-plate for the D7000 allows more room for terminal access on the side, and it has a slot in the base. I plan to buy an ML-L3 wireless remote one of these days.
Sat 05-Jan-13 12:32 PM | edited Sat 05-Jan-13 02:50 PM by nrothschild
I own 6 L brackets, for the 5 cameras I own (an extra for an MB-D10).
I am horrified by the money I have thrown at those L brackets but on the other hand I could never go back.
Most people clearly see benefits, but you apparently do not. If you have an existing straight plate that fits, and you see little or no value in the L then I think you should save some cash, regardless of what you might hear here .
Most (spherical) ball heads perform very poorly when flopped over, having no sweet spot. The elliptical Arca-Swiss heads may perform differently in that way, and are likely better suited for straight plates than spherical ball heads. I haven't had enough time with Arca-Swiss heads to figure that one out. It's been a few years since I have run across one in the field and had a chance to play with it.
There are other benefits to an L bracket, but the sweet spot issue is probably what drove me to spend all that cash over the years.
OK... I've actually used an L-Plate since I purchased my first Nikon DSLR (a Nikon D50). My primary objection was the subsequent purchase(s) for an L-Plate to fit my newer Nikon bodies.
The next Nikon DSLR I purchased was a D90, and the L-Plate for the D50 no longer fit although there's really very little difference in the actual dimensions of the two bodies. I need to compare my D50 L-Plate to the bottom contours of the D90 body, but I think they would each fit an L-Plate that had a slot to locate the attachment screw.
I've now obtained a Really Right Stuff BD7000-L Set for my new D7000, from a private seller. The plate is in mint condition and cost about half the new price. I'm not aversive to the utility of the L-Plates, but I do consider them a "cash cow" for the manufacturers.
So far, the only one I have found in my search off and on over several months was the Really Right Stuff ones. You would want to decide if you want to use the grip or not, as that would determine what bracket you get.
The Kirk one with the grip "Bracket does not allow usage of the left side accessory doors." I use the remote almost all the time (and use GPS when moving around lots). The recommendation to use the IR remote I dislike, as I have found that it is not reliable in releasing when I wish it to, and the more sunlight, the less reliable it is.
I do lots of shots in the portrait orientation when doing panoramic set, and to reduce movement, since I tend to be at 300mm on the lens (450mm when the crop-adjustment is taken into account), not using a remote is not very useful
you can use a remote with the Kirk in portrait orientation if you slide the bracket out. If you want to leave it that way permanently, they sell a spacer. What would make it better is an "L" connector for the remote.
Hi Jim, I do have a D700 and an L plate for some years now, I very seldom use the "portrait" position, Now, In saying that, I'm glad I have that option when I need it I also use a RRS BH-55 ballhead which does have a good option to "flop" the camera over but still not as good as an L Plate A recent anoyance was that I have been using an iPad in the field to do a random check on images when back at the tent, I'm finding that I really need to loosen the plate to make it easy to open the rubber flap to connect cables for uploading to the iPad Not the end of the world I guess and I'm sure mileage would vary with different camera models Lastly, I should state, I have no regrets! Regards, Gary
I used to have a photographic memory but never got it developed
The annoyance with the cable openings has been noticed (My L-bracket came in on Wednesday!) I have been considering making a cut on the rubber cover for the remote connector, as I tend to almost always have something plugged into that one!
Anyone know an easy way to remove the cover from the camera?
I know this is an old thread, but I am surprised no one mentioned the weight/balance issue. That to me is the reason for the L-Plate.
If I have a long, heavy lens and rotate it to the side for the vertical, I have to rotate the entire head 90 degrees so the weight stays mid-way between two of the three tripod legs. I always shoot with the front leg aimed at the focus point as it aligns the body/lens weight evenly. Drop it into the slot and the balance is gone.
A L-Plate is way cheaper than a tip-over, imho...Mike
Because Attitude is Everything ......LiveSTRONG....Mike
Brian...I agree with the first reply that it hard to balance the weight on the side with the ball head because you have to tighten the ball more to make things stay put for the shot which is a focus issue.
I was speaking of the concern that the whole tripod become unbalanced by the weight shift to the side and away from the front support leg of the tripod making the rig prone to a tip over which can be a sizable wallet issue.
Clearly the L-Plate solves both quite nicely and justifies the cost I think....Mike
Because Attitude is Everything ......LiveSTRONG....Mike
One other benefit from L-brackets is they reduce the need to recompose. With most L-brackets you can position the bracket so orientation is exactly the same in vertical and horizontal position. This can save a lot of time in close up and macro work.
Even having an L-bracket, I occasionally use the slot. If you want to drop your camera to the lowest position possible, you can use the slot. With a traditional flat plate on the bottom, that only permits a vertical composition. If you mount the camera vertically with an L-bracket and then move it to the slot, you can get a horizontal composition that is very low.
an L-bracket is sort of cumbersome when you try to squeeze the camera & bracket into a tight camera bag. I find it annoying. And the extra weight is something to consider.
But for me, the outstanding advantage of having it is quick mounting on an Arca QR (on a bullhead) Fiddling with a little brass screw in the bottom of the camera body to mount on a tripod is plain silly.
Others have mentioned the obvious — switching from Vertical to horizontal quickly.
What I don't like about any of them is the fussiness of attaching the bracket to the camera, which in most cases requires an Allen-key wrench. Not a lot of fun out in the field in the dark.
Last year I got an L bracket for the D300 and loved it. I now have one for the D7100 and a couple of the RRS universal ones that fit most MF bodies. And I'm upset that I can't find one for the F4 I just got. There's a universal one on ebay that will fit the F4, so I'll get it. I wouldn't want to shoot with a tripod without an L bracket.
D7100 D300, F4e, N90s, N6006, N2000, N6000, D40, N5005, black F2 eye level, chrome F2AS, black Nikomat FTN
Non Nikons: Pentax 645, Pentax ME Super, Pentax Spotmatic II, Minoltas SRT 102, SRT 202, Maxxums 7000 and 7000i, Praktica LB, Kiev 4 rangefinder, Canons TX, A1, FT QL, EF, EOS 630