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Author Topic: Arca-Swiss L-Bracket - Classic 802306: review  (Read 7725 times)
Ellis Vener
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« on: May 22, 2012, 11:22:26 AM »
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After recounting up how much I have spent over the years on proprietary, form fitting body QR plates and L brackets, I began looking for alternatives for my new cameras. I found this one by Arca-Swiss. Here are impressions

- The top of the base plate is covered with a grippy rubber surface. Unless you mount a heavy long lens like a 70-200mm f/2.8L or 300mm f/2.8L on the camera and use the camera as the tripod mount for the lens (in which case you have other problems) instead of the lens' tripod collar I really doubts that any twisting of the body on the plate will be an issue.
 
The base and slide plates, as advertised, are adjustable for centering the plates on the lens axis. Either plate can be mounted to the camera but only one screw is included and it is in the base plate. The screw tightens with an included hex key  (AKA Allen wrench) that appear to be a metric size. One is included with the 802306. If I didn't already have a metric set of hex wrenches I'd pop down to my nearest hardware store and buy a couple of spares. The screw bolting the plate to the camera is in a fixed location in the plate. The plate is also tapped on the bottom for a heavier duty 3/8” tripod screw.
 
There are a couple of features to the base clamp to note:
- There is a lug for a tripod strap (black rapid /sun sniper strap fans rejoice) on the opposite end from the lever.
- A small optional pin is included in the package. The base plate is tapped in three places for three cameras: The Canon 5D / 50D; Nikon D700 / D300; and Sony Alpha 900.  Presumably the pin location matches up with the registration pin for these camera’s accessory vertical grip / battery holder. With regard to the 5D I don’t know whether that includes both the 5D Mark II, and I but if this is the case, then Canon has moved the position of the pin for the 5D Mark III accessory grip.  In any event the 802306’s base plate is not long enough for the pin receivers on the base plate and camera body to line up.
 
 
When the plates are positioned where you want them to be each has a lever to lock them to the rails of the "L".  The levers are strong and not easily nudged out of the locked position.  Although you can turn them to face in the opposite direction, the levers face the bend in the L.  Presumably this is a safety feature to prevent accidental snagging. The L itself is a solid piece of work.
 
Clamp compatibility:
I have a number of clamps (don't ask, it is a long story) from Arca-Swiss, Foba, Graf, Kirk, and Really Right Stuff (4 RRS screw drive clamps of various sizes including two PCL-1 panning clamps plus an FAS lever-release clamp for macro work), and Sunwayfoto. 07-17-2012 EDIT:The only clamp the Arca-Swiss L-Bracket is not compatible with is the RRS FAS lever-release clamp. This appears to be due to The outside of the edge of the FAS clamp a having a straight flat shape  while other RRS lever-release clamps have a curved outer edge allowing the clamp to close down more. With all others, including the RRS screw drive clamps: full compatibility.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 01:29:17 PM by Ellis Vener » Logged

Ellis Vener
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 04:04:51 PM »
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I switched to this plate system recently and quite like it so far. Very strong and hasn't twisted on the 5d3.

The additional anti rotation pin fits the 5d2.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 05:28:26 PM »
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Link to B&H listing for Arca-Swiss L bracket classic: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/723386-REG/Arca_Swiss_802306_Universal_L_Bracket.html
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Ellis Vener
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Rod.Klukas
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 03:02:57 PM »
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A new base is in the works to accommodate the 5d Mk III, and Nikon D800.
An announcement will be made when available.
Rod
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 03:25:59 PM by Rod.Klukas » Logged

Rod Klukas
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Arca-Swiss Digital Camera Solutions including R-series Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras, and Ballheads D4, D4m, P1, P0, Z1 & Z2.
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 10:33:32 PM »
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how does the camera carry with this bracket compared to dedicated brackets?, looks like the ends of the rods may get hung up

after leaving the RRS brackets on all the time, i've found that i'm now taking them off for carry with Blackrapid if i'm not usint the tripod

given the number of obsolete L-brackets that i've given away or essentially trashed, a universal solution is appealing, but since Arca Swiss has to modify it for the 5D3, maybe it's not quite so universal after all (although with an end mill i was able to turn a 5D RRS L into a 7D)
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 11:04:57 PM »
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q) how does the camera carry with this bracket compared to dedicated brackets?, looks like the ends of the rods may get hung up

after leaving the RRS brackets on all the time, i've found that i'm now taking them off for carry with Blackrapid if i'm not usint the tripod

given the number of obsolete L-brackets that i've given away or essentially trashed, a universal solution is appealing, but since Arca Swiss has to modify it for the 5D3, maybe it's not quite so universal after all (although with an end mill i was able to turn a 5D RRS L into a 7D)
I've had no troubles with the ends of the L bracket getting hung up or tangled in camera straps or clothing. One advantage of the Arca-Swiss L-bracket design is that you can change the spacing between the vertical part of the "L" and it's plate (which like the base plate is also removable from the L) so that it is either right up against the camera or far enough away that cables attached to the various ports on the left side of a body  are very easily accessed and used.  To set up for shooting tethered I slide the camera and base plate off of the L,  connect the cables and then slide the L back into position.

There are two slightly weird ways to exploit the way the base plate and side plates are removable from the L. One  is to reverse it so that the vertical piece points downward. This can be of help in getting  the camera into an awkward position in a remote mounting situation. The second way is if you really need to you can have the L come in from the right side of the camera. The third way (I haven't done this but I know it works is that if you have base plates on two cameras you can use both legs of the L to  support two cameras without need for an intermediate adapter.

The best option I've seen bandied about for using the Black Rapid or SunSniper slings and the like is clipping the sling to  the bend in the L of the RRS brackets. I don't use single point attachment slings so I can't comment on how that might work with the Arca-Swiss L-Bracket.

I hear you about obsolete L brackets. One thing I discovered is that the RRS L bracket for Nikon D3 models also fits the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III and Mark IV bodies like a glove except that the bracket needs to be removed to switch batteries. I've thought about have a machine shop mill out a tiny corner of the battery opening in the RRS D3 bracket so the battery can be changed without removing the bracket but haven't bothered.

The base plate of the Arca-Swiss bracket has small holes in  that can be used with a small post that, if there is one, fits into a receiver on the base of some cameras (my assumption is that the hole is there to help orient accessory vertical grip / battery packs) . I contacted  Rod Klukas that the location of the pin receiver on the D800 is a little further away from the tripod socket than it is on D700 and D300 series bodies. He then asked me to make a life size scan of the D800 base and email that to him. I presume someone else did the same thing for the 5D Mark III. That was about ten days ago and is the reason Arca-Swiss is in the process of making a longer base plate to accomodate these cameras .

(The above has been edited for clarity but it should probably be completely rewritten)

I found a video from the Robert White dealer in the UK explaining the bracket  better than I can: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr8D410dieE
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 07:40:42 PM by Ellis Vener » Logged

Ellis Vener
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 07:18:00 PM »
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I'm using one of those with my D4 geared head.
No complaints from me here,after using RRS brackets in the past.
I actually prefer the Arca-Swiss L bracket.
Willem.
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2012, 10:27:14 PM »
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Hmm, glad I found this thread. I just purchased the Arca Swiss 802306 L-bracket for my new Nikon D800e, and I too found that the registration pinhole location does not work with the D800. Considering I spent $229.00 for this L-bracket at B&H photo I'd have liked to know about it. Rob, please keep us posted on when the D800 modifications are available. Should I return my current bracket and re-order when the D800 version is ready, or will you replace it free of charge?

thanks!
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2012, 10:29:49 PM »
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Clamp compatibility:
I have a number of clamps (don't ask, it is a long story) from Arca-Swiss, Foba, Graf, Kirk, Really Right Stuff (4 screw drive clamps of various sizes including two PCL-1 panning clamps), and Sunwayfoto. The only clamps the Arca-Swiss L-Bracket is not compatible with are the RRS lever clamps.  With all others, including the RRS screw drive clamps: full compatibility. The problem with the RRS lever clamp is that it is sized strictly for RRS proprietary wider implementation of the Arca-Swiss design. I am not a fan of lever clamps in general and this only adds to my dislike of them.

My Arca Swiss 802306 L-bracket fits perfectly in my RRS lever clamp! Fits as well as my RRS brackets in that clamp. Odd...
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2012, 10:25:52 AM »
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My Arca Swiss 802306 L-bracket fits perfectly in my RRS lever clamp! Fits as well as my RRS brackets in that clamp. Odd...

I based my comment on the  Arca-Swiss L-bracket's plates not fitting (they fit, but they don't lock down) in the only Really Right Stuff  Lever-Release clamp I own, an  FAS Fore-Sliding Clamp:
http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=FAS-Clamp&type=0&eq=&desc=FAS-Clamp%3a-Fore-Aft-sliding-clamp&key=it

I just tried it again to confirm the mismatch. it is kind of snug but definitely not secure if you don't fold the lever flat against the moving jaw of the clamp.

It could be that either Arca-Swiss has changed the width of the foot or RRS has changed the width of the clamp's tolerances. My Really Right Stuff FAS was purchased early last year and the Arca-Swiss L-Bracket classic in mid/late April 2012.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2012, 10:32:55 AM »
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Hmm, glad I found this thread. I just purchased the Arca Swiss 802306 L-bracket for my new Nikon D800e, and I too found that the registration pinhole location does not work with the D800. Considering I spent $229.00 for this L-bracket at B&H photo I'd have liked to know about it. Rob, please keep us posted on when the D800 modifications are available. Should I return my current bracket and re-order when the D800 version is ready, or will you replace it free of charge?

thanks!
I will check with Rod Klukas of Arca-Swiss to find out when the replacement plate will be available. I had no problems that I recall with the D800 or the 5D MArk III bodies twisting on the plate but with a long enough & heavy enough lens mounted on the body ( like an 85mm f/1.2L / 85mm f/1.4 or maybe a 135mm f/2 ) I could see that being a possibility.

In any event as I am sure you have noticed the plates themselves are separate from the twin "L",   so you may not need to return the entire rig, just exchange the plates.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 10:44:29 AM »
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given the number of obsolete L-brackets that i've given away or essentially trashed, a universal solution is appealing

I've been able to sell my old l-plates on ebay for $80-$100 used. Now I only have 1 camera (+backup) so I don't need a whole bunch of these, but reselling does help reduce costs.
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2012, 12:49:48 PM »
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I based my comment on the  Arca-Swiss L-bracket's plates not fitting (they fit, but they don't lock down) in the only Really Right Stuff  Lever-Release clamp I own, an  FAS Fore-Sliding Clamp:
http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=FAS-Clamp&type=0&eq=&desc=FAS-Clamp%3a-Fore-Aft-sliding-clamp&key=it

I just tried it again to confirm the mismatch. it is kind of snug but definitely not secure if you don't fold the lever flat against the moving jaw of the clamp.

It could be that either Arca-Swiss has changed the width of the foot or RRS has changed the width of the clamp's tolerances. My Really Right Stuff FAS was purchased early last year and the Arca-Swiss L-Bracket classic in mid/late April 2012.

Ok, this is the clamp I have, purchase about 1 year ago.
http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=B2-AS-II-1/4-20&type=3&eq=&desc=B2-AS-II-clamp-with-1%2f4-20-screw&key=it

The L-bracket I just got from B&H last week. My clamp closes fullly, the lever folds just as flat as it does using RRS made brackets...
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2012, 01:16:49 PM »
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Ok, this is the clamp I have, purchase about 1 year ago.
http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=B2-AS-II-1/4-20&type=3&eq=&desc=B2-AS-II-clamp-with-1%2f4-20-screw&key=it

The L-bracket I just got from B&H last week. My clamp closes fullly, the lever folds just as flat as it does using RRS made brackets...

Mystery solved! The outside of the FAS has a flat sided movable jaw while the B2 AS II's movable jaw is curved, allowing it to close on a smaller width foot. Look at the differences in the gap between the body of the clamp and the jaws  of the FAS and B2 AS II when the clamp is closed. The images are from RRS's website.

I have edited my initial report in this thread to reflect that.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 01:30:58 PM by Ellis Vener » Logged

Ellis Vener
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2013, 08:31:10 AM »
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I'm planning on a new head for my tripod, & the AS P0 is what I'm likely to get. The question is, a standard QR quick set flip lock, or the Monofix/slidefix version? Secondly, the L-bracket - the Quickset Classic, which would fit my D700, or the L-Bracket Monoball Fix (based on the possibility of a future D800)?
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2013, 11:55:55 AM »
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I'm planning on a new head for my tripod, & the AS P0 is what I'm likely to get. The question is, a standard QR quick set flip lock, or the Monofix/slidefix version? Secondly, the L-bracket - the Quickset Classic, which would fit my D700, or the L-Bracket Monoball Fix (based on the possibility of a future D800)?
How much do you have invested in "classic" width Arca-Swiss designed QR gear?

I prefer screw mechanism QR clamps as they work with plates made by every company I've tried (A-S, Benro/Induro, Foba, Hejnar, Jobu, Kirk, RRS, Sunway Foto) over lever lock designs. The A-S lever lock is width adjustable but if you loosen it too much it can come apart in the field.  RRS decided to make their "arca-Swiss based plates a tiny bit wider then the Arca-Swiss standard w and they make their lever locking clamps to fit their plates. it keeps you in the cult of RRS -I've tithed thou$and$ to it and think they make some great gear but c'mon.

   
The Slidefix stuff works great even with big cameras but it is going to awhile if ever before a company besides Arca-Swiss makes plates for different cameras. The standard SlideFix camera plate for 35mm format based DSLR camera bodies has a built in anti-twist lip and fits every cameraI've tried it on including the D800.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2013, 01:15:25 PM »
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I've nothing invested in Arca Swiss (or compatible) gear, but wanting to shoot panos, I do need a better head & an L-bracket. Like as not, this will be the only set-up I'll use, so once a L-bracket is fixed to the camera, if it doesn't stay there as a permanent fixture, it'll be what I use nonetheless.

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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2013, 02:12:17 PM »
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I've nothing invested in Arca Swiss (or compatible) gear, but wanting to shoot panos, I do need a better head & an L-bracket. Like as not, this will be the only set-up I'll use, so once a L-bracket is fixed to the camera, if it doesn't stay there as a permanent fixture, it'll be what I use nonetheless.


The Arca-Swiss p0 is a good head for this but the p1 is better as it is larger.  I like the Arca-Swiss L bracket over the dedicated body designs from other makers as I use it on different bodies, take off the upright  and L part if I don't need it and use the upright and L bracket on a second body if it already has the base part which is available separately.
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2013, 02:28:17 PM »
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Well the lighter the better - it gets strapped to the side of my pack when walking in the mountains. I suspect the P0 will do. Still not sure what form I need. I've had some advice from a vendor, namely "... I would suggest that instead of using the Monofix/slidefix version, that you buy the Quick set flip lock.. this will save you money on  the L bracket, and will also allow you to remove the base section of the L bracket classic, to use it as a standard QR plate... The L bracket classic  even has a location pin to attach directly to the base of your D700"

Question is, if a D800 is a reasonable prospect, is it the best advice, or would I be better off getting the other AS bracket?
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2013, 11:47:46 AM »
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That advice looks reasonable to me.
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Ellis Vener
http://www.ellisvener.com
Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
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