Rowena Sunset

About four years ago, while on a short trip to Moab, I can clearly remember an incident that nearly cost me my camera (and lens, for that matter). I was placing my tripod with camera attached to it into the back of my car, and just as I was about to set it down the camera detached from the tripod head! I was holding the cable release at the time and that (miraculously) kept it from crashing to the concrete below without being unplugged. It was at that moment I knew that I needed a better tripod head system, and as I started to photograph landscapes more and more (with a tripod) then I wanted something I could trust.

Eventually I found my way to the L-Bracket system for cameras. An L-Bracket is an L-shaped mount that is fitted to each specific camera model, and mounts securely to the camera. There are also specific types of tripod heads to use with this system that lock the camera in to the tripod very well. The reason it is L-shaped is so that you can easily photograph both horizontally or vertically without having to tilt your tripod head completely sideways.

The reason I am such a fan of this system is because I know that my camera is securely attached to the tripod. I can hold my tripod over my shoulder while walking on trails without worrying if the camera would fall off the mount. I can also very quickly switch between vertical and horizontal without straining my tripod, which makes it much easier to work with. It is also very easy to get to the battery compartment, which is great if you are set up for your shot and need to quickly change out your battery.

I would definitely recommend this setup (L-Bracket and tripod head) for anyone who uses a tripod on a regular basis. The “disadvantage” of this type of gear is that the L-Bracket is semi-permanently attached to the camera; you can remove it, but it takes an Allen wrench to get it off, and it is made to stay attached to the camera. I also use my camera off-tripod as well, and for me it does not get in the way, but it does add some noticeable bulk.

BTW, I use the Really Right Stuff system for my camera L-Brackets and tripod equipment and love the quality of their products. There are also other affordable alternatives out there as well. 
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Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. could you possibly list the item number for the l bracket you have? I have never used one and can’t quite tell what you’re using from the photos

    Reply
  2. I have an L-bracket on my D90 from Kirk. I bought it when I got a good Induro tripod and it works with the standard ball head. Switching from portrait to landscape keeps the center of gravity and makes the tripod more stable.
    It does make the camera a bit more bulky, but it also adds a layer of protection, in case the camera takes a dive.

    Reply
  3. You failed to mention one other valuable benefit of the L-Bracket and that is that when switching your camera from landscape to portrait using the L-Bracket, your camera remains centered on the subject of your image. If you had to tilt the camera using the tripod head it will always require repositioning the camera and/or the tripod on the subject again. I find this benefit of the L-Bracket to be a BIG plus.

    Reply
  4. […] hard to handle without a housing or steadicam. A lightweight (or mid-weight) tripod with a suitable L-bracket would be the ideal permanent residence for this camera. In the image below we can see why, this […]

    Reply

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About Nicole S. Young

Photographer, author, entrepreneur. I love photographing food and landscapes, and have written several how-to books on Photography, post-processing, and creative inspiration. You can find more about me on my blog, online store, as well as on Google+ and Twitter.

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Photography

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