How to step up your landscape photography equipment for about 10 bucks
Today, I want to talk about L-Plates. Until quite recently, I had no idea about who or what they were. So if you feel like the unenlightened me, this article is for you.
I’m not going to bore you with a loooong wikipedia-like description of what it is. I would never use a sentence like: “L-Plate (also called L-Bracket) is an L-shaped piece of metal specifically designed for photography that replaces the quick release plate for your tripod and can be turned 90 degrees up the side of the camera so you can attach the side or bottom of the camera to the tripod”. I mean, no, I would never write such a lengthy balderdash. Ever.
I would rather say something like: “If you’re a photographer (and use a tripod), go out and get one! NOW!!!”. Seriously, an L-Bracket is one of the best investments you can do. And compared to other photography equipment, it is r-i-d-i-c-o-l-o-u-s-l-y cheap. The prices start at about 10 bucks and trust me – it is highly likely that you won’t need anything more expensive than that.
If I haven’t convinced you yet, here are 5 reasons why you should get one:
1. It is so damn fast to fit it to your tripod.
No more of that stupid-screwing-to-the-tiny-plate-and-fitting-it-to-the-ballhead nonsense. Leave the old quick-release plate home.
2. Shooting vertically like a maestro
My personal reason for buying this thing. If you have a heavy camera and a long lens, try shooting vertically without an L-Plate. What happens is that your camera WILL slowly sink until it kind of unscrews and ruins the picture or itself. No matter how hard you fasten your camera to the ballhead. L-Plate’s solution of this problem is sublimely elegant.
3. Better balance of your camera set-up
Because you can slide your camera on the ballhead a bit, L-Brackets will give you a wider range of fitting positions on your tripod. As a result, you can achieve a more stable set-up. Especially important, if you use a small light travel tripod.
4. Camera protection
If you’re still laughing about the L-shaped piece of metal, think about this. Your thousands-of-dollar worth camera augmented by an L-shaped piece of metal. Like Robocop.
5. You can use it as a self-defense tool (= boomerang)
Hey, still laughing? Then you’re lost, bro. Eat this: