I'm not a fan of big, bulky cameras and the last thing I thought I'd want to do is add a bulky aluminum Arca-type L-bracket to one of my cameras. But then we saw the light. During the 2nd Nikonians Photo Adventure at Moab Utah, Nikonian Photo_phil showed us an L-bracket that he had crafted for his F100. After fighting clearance problems with my F100 and its single plate with the wide platform on my Gitzo G1348 tripod, I saw the L-bracket as a real convenience.
Really Right Stuff B50L bracket for F100 without MB-15 power grip
With the L-bracket it's much easier to work with your ball head and you have much more range of motion with the camera in a vertical position.
Shown in use on a Markins M10 ball head, now substituted with the improved Q10, see how the vertical and horizontal camera positions with the L-bracket are centered over the tripod, having two integrated Arca Swiss type plates.
The point of view hardly changes from either position nor the axis of the center of gravity.
You can see on this right side image how I have to slide the plate up to provide camera clearance with the ballhead flopped to 90 degrees.
Also note how far off-center the camera is when flopped over. That off-axis position is terrible for shooting tiled panoramas and its not nearly as stable.
Yes, the bracket is expensive, it adds weight and is cold hard metal instead of the nice F100 working surfaces. But for our needs now that we use the tripod for the majority of shots, the L-bracket is worth the cost and the bulk.
Both Really Right Stuff and Kirk make ones worth checking out. It is never idle to note that either L-bracket requires an Arca Swiss type quick release clamp, whether knob type or lever type.
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