In a workshop I recently attended the presentor had a section on "favorite gadgets and gear" during this he mentioned L brackets as a means of quickly going from horizontal to vertical camera positions on the tripod - news to me! Time was short and he wasn't taking questions so .... what would I need to spec in searching for one? What are the pros and cons? Recommendations re models? Have a D90, Manfrotto 055PROXB with Manfrotto 496RC2 ball head.
Geoff, In the words of one of our members. L-Brackets allow for:
"1. Fast change from horizontal to vertical while maintaining lens and viewfinder to eye-level relationship. 2. Help protect the camera body like a truck grill guard. 3. Keep weight of lens and body over the tripod's center of gravity. 4. Look cool and like you know what you are doing!"
This is the L-Bracket for the D80 and D90 without MB-80 battery grip:
L-Brackets are custom fit to avoid twisting and designed with integrated plates of the Arca-Swiss industry standard type. Your Manfrotto ball head uses Manfrotto proprietary type plates, not compatible with the industry standard.
Manfrotto had a generic (not custom-fit) L-bracket. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name and model.
JRP, as usual thank you much! So, it would seem that I can either stick with Manfrotto and hopefully track down their propriety bracket or change my ball head. Admittedly the Manfrooto seems to be low end and not so smooth to use but it was a budget decision at the time. I think I will strongly consider the ball head change as, knowing me, I may want to upgrade my tripod in the future. Middle of the range ball head recommendation?
Thank you for input. This is going to be off topic but as the OP I reserve the right etc. etc.. First, having reviewed the pinned posts I am now even more confused than before! So, why a lever type ball head as opposed to alternatives? I gather that one has to buy the plates seperate from the L bracket and ball head with potential compatability problems or not? And are there compatability issues between ball head and L brackets? And I thought my original post was a simple question!
The lever-type plate is faster to connect/disconnect, but it does have the potential for compatibility issues (because it's a fixed width, while the screw-type plate is variable: just stop when it's tight).
Personally, even though I have all RRS plates (so no compatibility issues), I prefer the screw-type ones.
Wed 27-Feb-13 05:59 AM | edited Wed 27-Feb-13 06:09 AM by greyface
Thank you for providing the info on the Kirk QRC adapters. I recently purchased a Manfrotto grip action ballhead. My camera L-bracket and lens foot tripod plates are Arca style. Rather than buy a new L-bracket and tripod plates, I ordered the Kirk adaptor.
> I gather that one has to buy the plates seperate from the L bracket and ball head with potential compatability problems or not? And are there compatability issues between ball head and L brackets?
Geoff, First decide on a ballhead, I have the Markins M10 and love it. Its main selling point to me was the "Sweet Spot" which means once you adjust it to the sweet spot, you can change the camera's position without having to turn any knobs on the ballhead.
When choosing a ballhead, make sure it is Arca Swiss compatible, which Markins and RRS are, among others. Yes, you must purchase plates or L brackets separately from the ballhead. An Arca Swiss compatible camera plate or L bracket is needed to be able to mount the camera on the head. Note you need "Either" a plate or L Bracket but not both. I would recommend the L bracket over the plate. This will allow you to quickly change from landscape to portrait, keeping the camera centered on the ballhead, instead of flopping it over into the slot on the head. It also keeps the camera at the same eye level. These are camera specific and I use the Kirk L bracket.
When you buy a ballhead you need to decide if you want the knob release or the lever release. The lever is a few seconds faster but to avoid the possibility of having to make field adjustments if you are using more than one camera, it is better to stay with one manufacture for all plates and L brackets. If you choose the knob release, which I have, you can interchange manufacturers with no problems.
Once you upgrade to a pro head you will never look back.
Good luck with your decision.
Jerry Jaynes Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina