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Thread: L Plate vs. L Bracket

  1. #1
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    L Plate vs. L Bracket

    In shopping around for a tripod and ballhead, I've become interested in an L plate. Or is it an L bracket? I've seen both terms used to describe a device that accomplishes the same function - that of making it easier to shift between shooting the same scene in both landscape and portrait mode.

    But I can't figure out if they are one and the same thing, or are they two different things? Thanks much.

    Lon

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: L Plate vs. L Bracket

    One in the same thing. However, "L" Plate is a more specific description and as far as I know is only used for an L shaped plate which allows the camera to be attached to the tripod head either in the landscape position or portrait position withe the camera remaining directly over the tripod head as opposed to cantilevering the camera over to the side of the head when in portrait position and thus making the setup off balance.

    If you do a Google search for L-bracket, you will also get hits on various flash brackets.

    Really Right Stuff identifies their "L" attachments as L-Plates while Kirk calls theirs L-Brackets. Many if not most L-Plates or Brackets are designed for Arca Compatible Quick Release Systems however, there are some manufacturers such as Manfrotto who supply L-Plates for their proprietary quick release systems.

    Besides the Arca Compatible and other type quick release L-plates/brackets, there are also two general categories. Plates/brackets which are designed for specific camera models and generic plates/brackets. The advantages of specific camera plates/brackets is that they conform to the contours of the cameras for which they are designed and usually also have cut-outs for battery changing as well as for the various cords which can be attached to the camera such as remote release cords. The advantages of the generic plates/brackets is that the photographer doesn't need to buy a new plate when upgrading a camera to a new model. However, I have just found that the L-plate for my 40D will do a fairly decent job supporting my 7D, It is not a perfect fit but, will do until I can get 7D L-plate.

    The new version 7D L-plate has the capability of a strap being attached so that the camera can hang from its straps in the normal horizontal positional or in a vertical position. I am thinking that when using my OPTECH Dual Harness, it would be convenient to hang the camera wearing my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens camera in the vertical position.

    IMO, the L-plate/bracket and Arca Compatible quick release system is the absolute best (albeit expensive) way to mount a camera on tripod or monopod.

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/WebsiteInfo.aspx?fc=80
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 25th April 2011 at 02:41 AM.

  3. #3

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    Re: L Plate vs. L Bracket

    Hi Lon,

    "What Richard said"!

    Basically though, just get one - they make the camera a lot more stable than just hanging a normal base plate vertically (if your head supports this).

  4. #4
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: L Plate vs. L Bracket

    Thanks very much for clearing that up, Richard. I had seen the Joe Johnson video but still was confused, but no longer. The RRS lineup is verry tempting - but don't feel guilty, I was already tempted before you assisted me .

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: L Plate vs. L Bracket

    I use a Kirk MPA-1 Swivel Head on my monopod. This is basically a Manfrotto swivel head with a Kirk Arca Compatible quick release. Using my RRS L-plate on my camera, it is really quick and easy to frame a portrait configured shot. The L-Plate keeps the monopod directly beneath the camera which provides excellent support without the camera hanging over to the side. RRS also has two versions of this type swivel; medium and heavy duty...

  6. #6
    jeffmoll's Avatar
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    Re: L Plate vs. L Bracket

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Basically though, just get one…
    I'll say the same. Once you've shot with one you'll never shoot without it again. The added stability plus the added convenience are well worth the price. However if they look a little pricey you can often times get them close to half price on ebay (second hand of course but in excellent shape).

  7. #7
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: L Plate vs. L Bracket

    Well when three people smarter than you tell you to do something, it must be time to do it - so I did. Since I'm getting all new gear and researching online is really getting tedious (especially when all the information is new), I decided to get everything from the same place (tripod/ball head/L plate). I went with Really Right Stuff. Their reputation for quality appears to be unassailable, and when I called with questions, the phone rang once and was answered by a real person who not only had all the answers but gave me several bits of information I didn't know that saved me some $ and also directed me to more appropriate products.

    Of course it's pricier than all getout but at my age I will avoid "gear creep" at all (well almost all ... ) costs and have to make sure that I don't fight with my gear.

    Wish me luck! I will let you know how it goes. Happy trails.

    Lon

  8. #8

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    Re: L Plate vs. L Bracket

    For what it's worth, RRS are pretty much the gold standard for this kind of thing. I still remember phoning them (from New Zealand) when I needed something urgently -- and was told in a follow-up call that the wife of the owner had taken it to the post office personally for me.

    I'd call that pretty good service!

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