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01-03-2016, 07:01 PM   #1
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L Bracket With Ball Head or No L Bracket

I have a K-5IIS that I have a Pentax 16-85 lens mounted on. I may be purchasing a ball head soon for it to shoot long exposures. If I have a 55 lb. capacity ball head, can I move my camera from shooting landscape to portrait position in the drop slot area without the need of an L bracket? I am assuming I will not need an L bracket and can just lock the ball in position there. The ball head has an Arca Swiss type plate and is aluminum. Any opinions are welcome.

01-03-2016, 08:08 PM   #2
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Ball heads will allow you to change to portrait without L-brackets, but I prefer an L-bracket. Without one you'll need to drop the ball into one of probably two positions to shoot portrait. This makes adjustments a little more complicated (not a lot, but you have to rely on the pan knob more). It also makes the whole set up eccentrically loaded, and being a structural engineer I have a natural aversion to eccentric loads. Still, a ball head with 55 lb capacity should be OK unless you'e using a really long, heavy lens (think FA 250-600).
01-03-2016, 08:08 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
I have a K-5IIS that I have a Pentax 16-85 lens mounted on. I may be purchasing a ball head soon for it to shoot long exposures. If I have a 55 lb. capacity ball head, can I move my camera from shooting landscape to portrait position in the drop slot area without the need of an L bracket? I am assuming I will not need an L bracket and can just lock the ball in position there. The ball head has an Arca Swiss type plate and is aluminum. Any opinions are welcome.
Yes, you can. With an AS plate on the bottom of the camera, and the camera sitting on top of the ballhead, you will be able to move the camera from the top of the ballhead into the slot. The camera body will rotate 90 degrees - from the landscape orientation to the portrait orientation.

If you had a L bracket you could move from the top of the ballhead (using a ballhead like an Acratech GP with the panning table mounted on top of the ball) into the slot and then reorient the camera body back to the landscape orientation. This makes panning vertically very easy for stitching vertical panoramas, and having the wide part of the frame parallel to the horizon.

01-03-2016, 08:15 PM   #4
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I have never used or desired an L bracket.

01-03-2016, 08:22 PM   #5
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The nice thing about an "L" bracket is that the camera can be changed between the horizontal and vertical orientations without changing the tripod's adjustments. In other words, that portion of the subject that is in the exact center of the VF will be in the exact center of the VF after the camera is rotated 90* on the "L" bracket.
01-03-2016, 08:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I have never used or desired an L bracket.
I love mine.
01-03-2016, 10:56 PM   #7
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Thank you to all of you for your input/advice.

I have found some quick release L bracket alternatives on EBay and Amazon that are inexpensive. They look like they would most likely handle the "top of tripod" vertical shooting task if I really need to resort to it.

I appreciate all of your generous help.

01-04-2016, 04:25 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
I love mine.
Good. The added weight and bulk has never appealed to me but I have never tried it so I could be missing out.
01-04-2016, 05:02 AM   #9
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See here.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/174187...lots-pics.html


Not just a L-bracket, macro rail is a must.
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