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Author Topic: L Plate Maddness  (Read 7301 times)
macgyver
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« on: December 10, 2005, 04:45:27 PM »
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Excuse me if this is a poor question, but what is the primary advantage to an "L Plate" type thing as opposed to simply tilting the ballhead.  I'm about to buy a new tripod/head in the next month or two and just want to make sure I do a good job with my cash.

Hope I phrased that right, rebuke me if needed  

-mac
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2005, 05:01:29 PM »
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Viewfinder is higher.  Weight of the camera doesn't hang off the side of the head.  More "wiggle" room than when the head is slotted off to the side.
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lbergman
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2005, 06:07:24 PM »
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Excuse me if this is a poor question, but what is the primary advantage to an "L Plate" type thing as opposed to simply tilting the ballhead.  I'm about to buy a new tripod/head in the next month or two and just want to make sure I do a good job with my cash.

Hope I phrased that right, rebuke me if needed  

-mac
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What DarkPenguin said, plus: flipping camera around by the L-bracket is much faster than flipping the ballhead over to it side and recomposing (the camera stays pointing in exactly the same direction with the bracket).
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2005, 07:09:20 PM »
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Try it - you'll like it  
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2005, 08:28:24 PM »
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The main advantage of the L-Plate is that it minimizes the amount of recomposition needed from changing between Landscape and Portrait, because the lens remains in the same position. This is explained in a tutorial on ReallyRightStuff's website.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
macgyver
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2005, 08:37:35 PM »
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Thanks guys, that's about what I thought, but I just wanted to make sure I had all bases covered before I start looking to buy anything.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2005, 06:08:27 AM »
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Once you play with one you will forgo new bodies and lenses to afford it. I wouldn't even consider a camera which didn't have an L plate available, I preordered the RRS L plate long before the camera itself!
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2005, 09:21:54 AM »
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Another fan here, just go for it!

Wondering if they will make one for the Mamiya ZD... I hope that they won't, that would prevent me from thinking of buying that one...

Cheers,
Bernard
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2005, 10:32:10 AM »
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Another minor reason for using an L-plate:  Structurally, having the camera hanging off to the side (instead of straight over the tripod) is less stable and can allow worse vibrations.

Lisa
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francois
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2005, 10:54:20 AM »
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Another minor reason for using an L-plate: Structurally, having the camera hanging off to the side (instead of straight over the tripod) is less stable and can allow worse vibrations.

Lisa
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And some combinations of camera/tripod/BH can't be easily configured for vertical shots...
« Last Edit: December 11, 2005, 10:54:30 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2005, 11:16:06 AM »
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And some combinations of camera/tripod/BH can't be easily configured for vertical shots...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=53233\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Like my Contax 645 on a RRS BH-55 b/h atop a gitzo 1548. Without either the gitzo 1321 leveling base or an L-bracket, when I tried to go "portrait" orientation by tilting the b/h into its drop-notch (getting that where you want it is a hassle anyway) the camera would bump onto the tripod's broad shoulders. the leveling base solved the problem but its additional weight is not for everyone.

I wouldn't have bought a conventional plate for the contax if i'd known at the time an L-plate was available.
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michael sebastian
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macgyver
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2005, 06:46:00 PM »
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Sadly it doesn't look like they make one for the 300D w/grip.

Oh well.
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2005, 07:00:26 PM »
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Sadly it doesn't look like they make one for the 300D w/grip.

Oh well.
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Check out [a href=\"http://www.kirkphoto.com/lbracketsc.html]Kirk[/url] - they make one for the Rebel with BG-E1
« Last Edit: December 11, 2005, 07:00:56 PM by Tim Gray » Logged
jani
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2005, 10:04:41 AM »
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What DarkPenguin said, plus: flipping camera around by the L-bracket is much faster than flipping the ballhead over to it side and recomposing (the camera stays pointing in exactly the same direction with the bracket).
This is the most important aspect of it for me.

If the camera is level in landscape mode and I flip to portrait mode, it's still level. There is no risk of a one-degree error just because there was something preventing the ball head for flipping completely over, and so on.

I was so irritable when switching compositions earlier, but after I got the L bracket for my 20D, it's been so incredibly easy every time.

In addition, I find that it provides a nice extra grip; I don't use the BG-E2.

The downside is that if I wanted to use the BG-E2, I'd need a second L bracket, and there would be lots of hassle switching between using and not using the BG-E2.

The same problem goes for the 5D and the BG-E4, of course.
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Jan
macgyver
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2005, 10:32:27 AM »
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Thanks for all the responses guys, but right now it's sort of a moot point anyway.  My budget for a new tripod will be in the $200 USA range, so another $160 for an L plate alone is out of the question.  At least at the moment.  I'll probably get that L plate about the same time I get a 1D Mk II N and a 400 f/2.8
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2005, 12:20:08 PM »
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Don't waste your money on cheap crap. If you buy a <$200 tripod, you'll soon find that it doesn't really do what you need and you'lll end up buying a better tripod anyway. Save your money and get it right the first time; you'll spend less money in the long run.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2005, 12:46:08 PM »
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Don't waste your money on cheap crap. If you buy a <$200 tripod, you'll soon find that it doesn't really do what you need and you'lll end up buying a better tripod anyway. Save your money and get it right the first time; you'll spend less money in the long run.

Agreed!  Been there, done that, learned my lesson.  

I had too many shots ruined by vibrations on breezy days with my first cheap tripod, and got a better one.

Lisa
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macgyver
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2005, 02:10:07 PM »
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Well, if I had $600 for a tripod I would spend $600 on a tripod.  However, since I'm a dirt poor college student that's not an option.  Plus, while 200-300 isn't a whole lot of money I've used tripods in that range and know that they will work for what I want/need.  I'm not primarily a landscape photog, I shoot with a tripod probably 5% or less of the time.  Currently I've been trying to use a 30 dollar Wal-Mart tripod that will barely hold up my 70-200.  Compared to that just about anything is better.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2005, 02:12:36 PM »
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$200 is an odd price.  It is either too little money or too much money to spend on a tripod.  (Not that you asked but for that kind of money I'd buy the slik 700.)
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2005, 02:26:30 PM »
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If you are using it so little and you have a budget constraint, something will most likely be better than nothing for what you want to do. Under these circumstances I would suggest buying it from a retailer that will let you exchange it within a 30 day or so time period. Test whatever you can get within your budget at the store with the heaviest stuff you will put on it, and see whether it seems sturdy enough. Then take it home, put it out on the street on a windy day, take some pictures and see whether they come out sharp enough. In other words, do your best on your budget by allowing some flexibility with the purchase arrangements and trust your own judgment about the results.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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