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Archive 2012 · Universal L-Bracket?
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Universal L-Bracket?

I only ever use Arca-Swiss plates on my lens collars but I might have an upcoming need to use it on my camera bodies and wanted to ask about the use of a 'universal fit' L-bracket. Has anyone used a universal bracket and swapped it between several bodies? Again, this wouldn't be my most used or common set-up...it would be for limited & occasional use, so I'd hate to purchase three different L-brackets for the very limited use I will give 'em but I'd have to balance that against how functionally useful a 'universal bracket' will be.

As always, all thoughts, experiences, & suggestions would be appreciated.


Jul 29, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Universal L-Bracket?

A universial fit L bracket has a big issue of possibly rotating and coming loose while in use, especially if your camera is in the portrait orientation. To "avoid" the rotation issue, some people may tighten the mounting screw extra hard to try to clamp the bracket on better, and possibly may overload and damage the bottom of the camera. Custom fit brackets have surfaces that project up above the bottom of the camera and cradle it, and those surfaces provide the secure good fit that allows you to only use "normal" tightening of the screw.

In additon, a universial fit L bracket may end up blocking access to your battery compartment, either on the bottom, or on the side of the camera. And also, the universial fit L bracket can easily block connectors on the side of your camera. I for one use a remote release very often for tripod mounted cameras, and very much appreciate the custom L brackets I use that provide for that.

You might want to focus on just one camera, or perhaps two of your three cameras, and go for a custom L bracket. You can likely get one used in some on line way to save money, and can perhaps sell things after you need is over.

Another compromise is to just get a bottom only custom plate or two, and then use the side slot in your ball head to get to portrait orientation. A third way to go is to get a bottom only multi fit plate that has a ridge to help prevent rotation. The Really Right Stuff BP-CS plate is such a plate. You could then move that from body to body as needed for your three bodies. And a bottom only plate obviously has no interference issues with the side of your camera.

The need for a good custom fit L bracket will always depend on your shooting style and how often you want to use a tripod with non collared lenses, but I know I could never be without one for 70% of what I shoot. Getting a nice custom fit L brakcet for each camera I buy is just part of the way I do things, and I would never consider going back to the old days when I struggled with tripods and mounting systems.

Jul 29, 2012 at 07:03 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Universal L-Bracket?

I use a universal bracket, but opted for the cheapest one as I await a custom one to me made. It works well, but as Roland says the sockets get blocked by the side plate... and you do have to watch how tight you screw it on.

That said, there are a couple of outs..... The side bracket is removable, so if mounted by the bottom plate the sockets can be easily accessed. If mounting by the side or bottom bracket, you also have the option of simply moving the camera out further on the L to gain access.

In addition to the removable side, some universal brackets also have an adjustable bottom slide that you position against the camera to ensure there can be no rotation.


Jul 29, 2012 at 08:47 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Universal L-Bracket?

Anyone have experience with the one from Camdapter?

Jul 31, 2012 at 10:26 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Universal L-Bracket?

This one from Arca-Swiss looks nice for being a Universal L-Bracket


Jul 31, 2012 at 06:06 PM

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