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12-22-2020, 02:43 PM   #1
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tripod Z adapter alternative

I've been looking for a hinged right-angle adapter for my tripod ball head, the objective be to allow vertical compositions without losing as much height as is typical with a ball head. An L-bracket would work, but you need one for every camera, they usually block access to parts of the body, and they add more bulk than necessary. Incidentally I think having a second tripod socket on the side of the body would be an excellent solution - just throw another QR plate on and done. But in the meantime...

I can't find any simple right-angle hinged adapters. I can find Z adapters, which are more complicated than I need. I did find one Z adapter with locking levers, but most of them seem to require a tool to lock/unlock the hinges. Does anybody have one of these adapters, and if so, how do you practically use it without locking levers? I mean for general use, not a fixed studio application.

12-22-2020, 03:21 PM   #2
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something like this would work as would another ball head, but stacking on starts building a lever/weight multiplier so you'd need to factor that in as to whether what you're using now could handle it.

https://www.ebay.com/i/324413770982?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-11718...RoCYWEQAvD_BwE
12-22-2020, 03:35 PM   #3
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That's an interesting device; I hadn't seen one of those before. I do understand the leverage issue, but I'm guessing that needing less center column, plus having the camera end up closer to the centerline of the tripod (vs. the camera hanging off the side as in the case with a typical ball head), would more than offset any disadvantage from a solid hinged device.
12-22-2020, 03:58 PM   #4
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Look for tilt head for monopod:

Oben VH-A30 Tilt Head for Monopods VH-A30 B&H Photo Video

Then Mount the gear 90 degrees from the example so it tilts the way you need.

12-22-2020, 04:42 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
Incidentally I think having a second tripod socket on the side of the body would be an excellent solution - just throw another QR plate on and done. But in the meantime...
As on the 645Z.
12-22-2020, 06:59 PM   #6
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I was looking for something similar and finally just put two rails on the body. I picked these up on Ebay . The reason that I chose these is that both ends of the rail are closed. This allows me to slide the camera left or right slightly when needed, as when taking a macro shot. And I can't accidentally slid off the rails. The two are joined at the end with cap screws making it very secure.
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12-22-2020, 08:05 PM   #7
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The only problem I see with a hinged adapter is keeping the camera's center of gravity positioned directly over the tripod for max stability. Like you can with a L bracket.

12-22-2020, 08:42 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
As on the 645Z.
Exactly. It seems like that would be a popular differentiating feature for Pentax given that the cameras seem to be more oriented toward landscape and thus tripod use.

---------- Post added 12-22-2020 at 09:44 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DWS1 Quote
The only problem I see with a hinged adapter is keeping the camera's center of gravity positioned directly over the tripod for max stability. Like you can with a L bracket.
But remember you're comparing it to the camera hanging way off to the side of the head as with a traditional ball head with a slot or two for the ball to drop into. the hinged adapter would be at least twice as close to the centerline. The main lack of appeal of most L-brackets for me would be blocking access to parts of the body, and the fact that if I have 3 bodies I'd need three of them, vs. just sticking one hinged adapter on my tripod and leaving it there. The L-brackets would always be adding to the size and weight of the bodies.

---------- Post added 12-22-2020 at 10:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Look for tilt head for monopod:

Oben VH-A30 Tilt Head for Monopods VH-A30 B&H Photo Video

Then Mount the gear 90 degrees from the example so it tilts the way you need.
Thanks for the suggestion. It does approach having two ball heads, though - which would accomplish the goal of not losing height, but with a little more bulk/weight than a simple right angle adapter.

Last edited by tibbitts; 12-22-2020 at 08:48 PM.
12-22-2020, 09:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
Exactly. It seems like that would be a popular differentiating feature for Pentax given that the cameras seem to be more oriented toward landscape and thus tripod use.

---------- Post added 12-22-2020 at 09:44 PM ----------


But remember you're comparing it to the camera hanging way off to the side of the head as with a traditional ball head with a slot or two for the ball to drop into. the hinged adapter would be at least twice as close to the centerline. The main lack of appeal of most L-brackets for me would be blocking access to parts of the body, and the fact that if I have 3 bodies I'd need three of them, vs. just sticking one hinged adapter on my tripod and leaving it there. The L-brackets would always be adding to the size and weight of the bodies.

---------- Post added 12-22-2020 at 10:34 PM ----------


Thanks for the suggestion. It does approach having two ball heads, though - which would accomplish the goal of not losing height, but with a little more bulk/weight than a simple right angle adapter.
The model I showed you is one of many many versions. But itís bigger than some. The manfrotto 3232 is closer to size at least the older versions. But maybe this is what you are looking for?

CAMVATE Right-Angle Dual ARRI Rosette Extension (Black) C2131
12-22-2020, 10:12 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The model I showed you is one of many many versions. But it’s bigger than some. The manfrotto 3232 is closer to size at least the older versions. But maybe this is what you are looking for?

CAMVATE Right-Angle Dual ARRI Rosette Extension (Black) C2131
Yes, I guess my thinking on the hinged model was that I'd leave it permanently attached to the tripod, and it would have minimal impact using landscape mode, just adding less than an inch to the height of the tripod. I'd attach my QR female adapter on top of the hinged plate (even if the plate was Arca-compatible, I'm somewhat heavily invested in a different system.) So I wouldn't be switching something in or out for verticals, I'd just flip the camera over. Part of the motivation is to avoid the loss of height, particularly with my shorter "travel" tripod, but also to get the camera a little closer to the center line to hopefully minimize vibrations.

I'm really just thinking about the plastic panhead that was included with my old Slik U212, which basically had the hinged flip function, as I know some other panheads do. I'm not a fan of what's usually the extra bulk of panheads, so I'm trying to add this panhead-like feature to my ball heads. This page at B&H has a photo of the head.

Last edited by tibbitts; 12-22-2020 at 10:24 PM.
12-22-2020, 10:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
Yes, I guess my thinking on the hinged model was that I'd leave it permanently attached to the tripod, and it would have minimal impact using landscape mode, just adding less than an inch to the height of the tripod. I'd attach my QR female adapter on top of the hinged plate (even if the plate was Arca-compatible, I'm somewhat heavily invested in a different system.) So I wouldn't be switching something in or out for verticals, I'd just flip the camera over. Part of the motivation is to avoid the loss of height, particularly with my shorter "travel" tripod, but also to get the camera a little closer to the center line to hopefully minimize vibrations.

I'm really just thinking about the plastic panhead that was included with my old Slik U212, which basically had the hinged flip function, as I know some other panheads do. I'm not a fan of what's usually the extra bulk of panheads, so I'm trying to add this panhead-like feature to my ball heads. This page at B&H has a photo of the head.
Look up the manfrotto I mentioned it is quite small and doesnít have a quick release to add bulk.
12-26-2020, 07:08 PM   #12
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I went with this for now. It's temporarily using 2 QR plates (male & female) because to attach the Z-bracket directly to the tripod I'll have drill into the new bracket and maybe get a new screw.
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