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02-21-2018, 09:24 AM   #1
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L Plate Alternatives?

I'm just wondering if anyone has come across an accessory or interesting tripod head/plate that can essentially mimic what an L Plate bracket can accomplish.

I own two cheapish (universal) L Plates, and whilst they do the job fine I find myself thinking the following things. The idea behind an L Plate is to essentially leave it on the camera body at all times, being Arca Swiss design it involves a semi quick insert and release system. However, having the L Plate on all the times means;

a) that you lose the lower profile and comfortability of the intended design of the camera body
b) there is additional weight on the camera
c) there is additional bulk on the camera
d) you lose access to certain compartments (should the L Plate be generic, such as battery compartment).
e) considering I take 80% shots in my hands, 20% tripod and then fewer in the actual portrait orientation, it's really making me question the convenience pay off

I also have the standard small Arca Swiss bottom plates which although lacking the portrait mode option do however feel like a much better compromise to leave on permanently, they hardly add weight, do not get in the way of comfort/grip or compartments and add little bulk. Should you go down the road of the Peak Design Capture Clip way, the single Arca Swiss style bottom plate is still compatible also.

So I'm coming to the conclusion to just pack an L Plate with me for those walks where I suspect a Portrait tripod shot is plausible, unfortunately that seems to mean I will have to remove the small bottom plates off the camera bodies I work with first, unless there is a way to fit an L Plate on top of one?

And then I just pondered if there was a system that attached to a tripod head which gave the versatility of allowing the camera with a standard bottom plate already fixed in place (on the camera) to be mounted in portrait fashion, but I'm finding searching for such a thing (if it exists) hard.

Anyone understand what I'm getting at here?

TIA!

Bruce

02-21-2018, 10:26 AM   #2
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I usually keep my L Plate on the camera if I plan on possibly using it for tripod use or after using it on the tripod. Having something else on the tripod to adopt a regular camera (bottom) plate would seem overdoing it (packing space) for me.

I guess it is a matter of user preference.

Last edited by C_Jones; 02-21-2018 at 11:04 AM.
02-21-2018, 12:14 PM   #3
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I don't have an L-plate, but I also don't use a tripod that much, so I would not leave the L-plate on my camera. Maybe if you're likely to go on a walk where you think you will need the portrait tripod position, put the L-plate on ahead of time just for that walk?

Perhaps get an L-plate that has an easier removal mechanism so it is less of a hassle to put on and off? (Not sure what the L-plate attachment mechanism is, are they usually Allen wrench screws?)
02-21-2018, 01:32 PM   #4
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I like L-bracket because it gives better support. I almost do not sense the weight of L-bracket at all. Probably because I am used to carrying sliders for panorama and they are bit heavier. In general try to optimize the things that gives more yield.

02-21-2018, 01:35 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
I usually keep my L Plate on the camera if I plan on possibly using it for tripod use or after using it on the tripod. Having something else on the tripod to adopt a regular camera (bottom) plate would seem overdoing it (packing space) for me.

I guess it is a matter of user preference.
QuoteOriginally posted by leekil Quote
I don't have an L-plate, but I also don't use a tripod that much, so I would not leave the L-plate on my camera. Maybe if you're likely to go on a walk where you think you will need the portrait tripod position, put the L-plate on ahead of time just for that walk?

Perhaps get an L-plate that has an easier removal mechanism so it is less of a hassle to put on and off? (Not sure what the L-plate attachment mechanism is, are they usually Allen wrench screws?)
These are both my current scenario, however applying the L Plate before I leave on say a bush walk where I think there might be a strong possibility of a portrait tripod shot still presents an annoying problem in terms of bulk and storing the camera, both my bags that house my equipment get pushed to the limit with an L Plate attached. It's really odd and slightly frustrating because its not the lens, I can have my DFA 100mm attached, or the thicker larger Sigma 10-20mm, or I have a really small pancake lens attached such as the DA40mm XS, it's actually the L Plate that causes the zippers or closing mechanism to struggle.
I could upgrade all my bags but I feel that's a massive waste of money when I previously outline all the other issues I have with the L Plate (frequency of use, comfort etc)... so it's definitely the lesser of two evils to just leave it off and bring it out of the bag when the shot requires. A slightly longer set up time then seems the only way forward.
And if I go down the Peak Clip Capture route as well, it really does suggest doing away with L Brackets at least 90% of the time.

So yeh, back to the original question... is there something already that exists to allow a standard camera body with a basic arca swiss small bottom plate to somehow connect to a tripod in portrait fashion (that doesn't involve turning the tripod ball 90 degrees parallel to the floor and thus making portrait panoramas not possible or dangerous from weight/tipping over)?

It almost feels as tho I want a 'reverse' L plate, that is docked with the tripod, but that you could connect a camera with an arca swiss bottom plate to it... I don't think that will work out very well tho lol.
02-21-2018, 03:00 PM   #6
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I use this one. It fits snugly to the k1 and works as advertised when in portrait mode.

It often stays on the camera for a couple of weeks as i find hand shooting with it to be less obtrusive than the single arca style plate.

Genesis Base Plateau en L PLL-K1 pour Pentax K1
02-21-2018, 07:07 PM   #7
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I think I basically came up with a solution, based along the ideas seen in this page here. They illustrate a very large L bracket here, I think we call these 'full size' L Brackets resembling more of a pure Right Angle than an L (equal length both sides). If you could have this mounted to the Tripod either via clamp or remove the clamp and replace with the L Bracket, then mount the clamp direct to the camera body. It might seem ridiculous but you're kinda just reversing everything, if you can get a small clamp to fit onto the bottom of the camera, something with a quick release lever rather than a twisty knob, that might work fine.

Honestly I'd try and have a test run here but my only tripod ball head with a arca clamp is unbelievably solidly fused, I cannot get it (alan key) to twist either direction even a mm!
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