If you are the type of photographer who has their camera on a tripod more often than not, then listen up. You need an L-Bracket.

There, I said it!

An L-Bracket looks exactly how it sounds. It’s a tripod plate attached to the bottom of your camera, like any other. Except, it’s shaped like an L which means it wraps around one side of your camera as well as the bottom.

There are numerous companies making L-Brackets including Manfrotto, Three Legged Thing, Really Right Stuff and many others.

So if you think all L-Brackets are too expensive, you’re not exactly right. Sure, you can spend $200 or more on one, if you want. But you don’t have to. Getting a more universally fitting L-Bracket will cost far less than one custom for a specific camera.

With that said, I personally use L-Brackets from Really Right Stuff and will continue to do so because of their quality, and that they’re made in the United States. Their customer service is top-notch too, which is a plus.

The advantage

There is one huge advantage of an L-Bracket over a standard tripod plate … balance.

With a standard plate, if you want to go from landscape to portrait, you have to adjust the tripod head, putting your camera off-center and in turn, reduce the effectiveness of your tripod.

l-bracket-advantage

While this may not be essential for some photographers, if you photograph anything that requires precision, then it’s a must. If you’re a long exposure photographer, it’s a must.  If you photograph panoramas and want precision, then it’s a must.

With an L-Bracket, you remove the camera from your tripod while in landscape, and mount it on its side, in portrait. That way the camera is still centered.

The disadvantage

With anything, there is a disadvantage and in this case, it’s bulk. An L-Bracket will surely weigh more and will add more bulk to your camera. It might also interfere with other accessories. For example, some L-Brackets may not have an extra screw hole at the bottom which means you may not be able to use a sling strap. But others do offer that. I use Spider Holster products 100% of the time, so I actually have their Spider Pro Clamp which will connect to my L-Bracket and allow me to hang my camera from my hip quickly and easily on the fly.

l-bracket-disadvantage

So while there is a disadvantage, there are also ways around it.

So I encourage you to try out an L-Bracket. Go to your local camera store and try it. Go to a trade show and try it. See what you think!

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