L-Bracket: what is it and benefits of using it

In today post I’d like to discuss very small and very useful photography accessory known as L-Bracket, sometimes also referred to as L-Plate.

If you, like me, take photos both in landscape and portrait orientation then you probably know that switching orientation of the camera when using it on a tripod is cumbersome and takes time because:

  1. Each time you want to change orientation of your camera, you need to make adjustments to tripod head. This can take a lot of time what is a great waste when conditions are changing quickly (eg. during sunset).
  2. After changing orientation to portrait, the weight of the camera is no longer directly over the center of a tripod what makes whole setup potentially unstable, especially when using heavy camera and lens combination. In some extreme cases this might result in tripod tripping over.
  3. After you change the orientation of the camera, composition is heavily altered because position of the camera changed.

Solution to all 3 problems mentioned above is to use L-Bracket. Basically it’s a more advanced tripod plate that looks like the one below. It has two quick-release tripod plates located at the bottom and on the side. This allows quick and secure switch from landscape to portrait orientation.

L-Bracket

Here are main benefits of using L-Bracket.

  • You can quickly switch between landscape and portrait orientation while maintaining center of the frame. If the light or conditions change very fast you don’t waste precious time.
  • Weight balance remains unchanged. Tripod is stable all the time.
  • Taking panoramas in vertical orientation is easier. Of course it’s better to you dedicated panoramic head but that’s a different story.

L-Brackets come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different camera models and tripod systems. I use L-Bracket manufactured by Manfrotto and really like it despite the fact it’s very heavy. But at the same time it’s very solid.

Also here are the photos showing how camera mounted on L-Bracket looks in portrait and landscape orientation:

l_bracket_horizontal L-Bracket - camera in portrait orientation