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Thread: Query about L-Plates

  1. #1
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    Query about L-Plates

    Hey All,

    I have been putting more effort into using my tripod of late and am running into the unfortunate problem of being 'stuck' in landscape mode.

    I was considering getting the majorly expensive 'optional' tripod collar for my 70-200mm F/4L IS but just can't bring myself to do it when it doesn't help for any other lenses. Naturally a bit more research has lead me to look at L-Brackets.

    For reference the tripod I have is a Manfrotto knock-off but it does the job pretty well. The only annoying thing is that I got a 3-way head so would like down the track to get the 322RC2.

    For L-Brackets the consensus seems to be for the Really Right Stuff (RRS) models. So I had a few queries:

    1. When on the tripod I pretty much always use a remote trigger, which is the Phottix one. Will this get caught when changing orientation?

    2. I don't have a battery grip. Will I regret buying an L-Bracket that only fits the 50D without the grip, or would I be better served saving to afford both? (My thought is that if I use a remote trigger then it shouldn't matter too much).

    3. How easy is it to change orientation with the bracket installed (i.e. can it be done 'on the fly'?)

    4. Is there any other method of changing orientations I should consider?

    Thanks,

    Kieren

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    Hi Kieren,
    1. The newer RRS brackets are designed "thicker" on the side where you plug the remote in to give sufficient clearance. I think there's also a "spacer" available for this purpose.

    2. The RRS are model specific, so if you buy the 50D version it won't fit 50D plus grip!

    3. It can be changed in seconds, that's their primary purpose.

    4. Buy a different tripod head!

    Most basic tripod heads (ball or 3-way) will let you tilt the camera 90 degrees, are you sure your current one can't already do that?!
    The main advantage of the L-Plates is that the lens alignment stays the same when the camera is rotated. When tilting a tripod head the camera/lens moves a few centimeters to one side meaning you have to re-align the tripod or subject. Not a major problem unless you are doing an urgent high pressure model shoot...

    Please note the RSS plates are designed specifically for use with Arca-Swiss type clamps so if your tripod head isn't set up that way you will need a new one as well. I believe Manfrotto also make a "generic" L-Plate that is compatible with the 'frotto clamp. However it's not a "custom" fit and doesn't address point 1. above.

    Some also find the L-Plate a nuisance when subsequently hand holding the camera. While the RSS are as good as it gets they still "stick-out" and add weight to the camera.

    Hope this all helps.
    Cheers
    John


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  3. #3
    Ausphotography Regular junqbox's Avatar
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    hi Kieran,
    I use a Kirk L-Plate with a RRS attaching plate on top of a Manfrotto 322. I found the 322 didn't go 'forward' enough when swung into portrait mode so the answer was to leave it in landscape and re-orient the camera using an L-Plate. The system works really well, although you can't tether with it in portrait mode.
    the added benefit is it acts like a 'roll cage' for the camera body providing additional insurance against knocks
    The reason I went with the combination between the two brands above was the RRS plate only fits on their release plates (unless they've modified them in the interim) but the Kirk L-plates will fit all Arca type release plates. The Kirk plate was cheaper.
    If you intend to buy a grip, save the money and it as a double, or buy the appropriate one now and update later if you get a grip.

    Hope this helps.

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    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the replies. Wobbles - I definately am not up to scratch regarding modelling shoots so the timing is not such an issue. The tripod head can rotate to portrait but I have been hesitant to do it as I am worried it will drop my camera+lens, or topple over. I should be able to get a small weight (i.e. camera bag) to centre the balance over the other side though which will be a lot cheaper than an L-Plate.

    I found a youtube showing the RRS model - looks pretty awesome but I didnt realise I would need either a new tripod head or atleast quick release plates for it to work. I think the best solution may be to try in portrait mode with my current tripod and play around to make myself content it is 'safe', and put the money towards a better tripod head.

    Thanks again for your insight.

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    I know the original Canon tripod mount is expensive, but there are many China made knock-offs available through many of the grey market sites.

    They are only around the $20 mark, so very affordable, and pretty well as good as the original.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.

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    Hi Bennymiata,

    I have heard that but stuggled to find a milled aluminium one that I was confident of on eBay etc. It appears there are a lot of plastic ones spreading the market now and I read some bad reviews of them. It also appeared that the same product on eBay could be either $7 or $20 which didn't fill me with confidence as to what I would be getting. When looking at them I got very indecisive to the point I made no decision at all (other than the decision not to make one).

    If you (or anyone) knows of where you can get 'good' equivalent tripod mounts from I would definately be interested.

    Thanks,

    Kieren

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    Try Dino Direct.com or TopBuy.com.au

    They are cheap and reliable, although Dino is a bit slow, but they don't charge you postage.

  8. #8
    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    I like to procrastinate too,(that's if this is what you have done) and find that there is so much information I am in overload mode. Best to bite the bullet and just buy the $7 to $20 one and if it does not work not much harm is done. cheers Brian

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    Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated.

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    i have a kirk l plate for each of my bodies

    they're the bomb
    Thanks,
    Nam

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