4 Reasons Why You Need an L-Bracket for your Camera
Landscape photography is all about composition and taking a steady image. And carbon fiber tripods are often included in the conversation. But there is one camera accessory that is as important as a sturdy tripod - the L-Bracket.
Camera L-Brackets are a piece of equipment, usually made of metal, that attaches to your camera. It makes it easy to switch from landscape to portrait orientation while shooting.
But sometimes, beginner photographers would ask themselves, "I can just loosen my tripod head and flip the camera to portrait mode. Why do I need an L-bracket?"
That is without a doubt a viable option. However, there are several advantages to using an L-bracket for your camera. These advantages are not exclusive to landscape photography and applies to other genres as well.
Same composition from landscape to portrait
When turning the ball head to shoot from landscape to portrait, you are changing your composition. The camera hangs to the side and you will have to move your tripod to get to the same composition.
It might be a few centimeters. But it adds to the time you spend composing your shot.
Besides, shooting landscape images are time-bound too. If you are shooting in the golden hours, you only have a few minutes to set up your camera and take your shot.
With an L-bracket, you loosen your tripod clamp, flip your camera to the side and mount it again. It's that simple. No tripod adjustments needed.
Shoot better panoramas
Using an L-Bracket for your camera makes better panoramas. Basically, it makes the camera pivot on the right spot. Then, it is easier to stitch photos afterwards.
Shooting without an L-bracket misaligns some of the photographs due to the camera's pivot. This makes it harder to stitch the photos later on. It is doable, but using a camera L-plate saves you some time.
Take sharper images
An L-plate secures the camera better especially when shooting portrait images. Without one, you are relying on your tripod head that is leaning to the side.
However, the camera's weight may slowly move the ball head and will lead to softer images.
With an L-bracket, the camera sits properly on the tripod head and is perfectly balanced. This reduces the chances of camera sag and will lead to sharper images.
If you have a custom-camera L-plate from ProMediaGear, then it is better. It hugs the camera tightly and reduces any chances of the camera from moving.
Protects your camera
L-Brackets wrap around the left and bottom part of your camera. It serves as a protective armor that is useful for accidental drops.
Despite protecting only two sides, it is better to have it this way than to have your camera completely naked.
Moreover, you may also put your camera down on uneven surfaces without worrying of scratches.
Who are camera L-Brackets for?
In the end, not everyone needs an L-Bracket or L-Plate. For photographers that shoot portraits or if you always shoot handheld, then this is not for you.
There are photographers such as Kohki Yamaguchi, who uses an L-bracket while shooting portraits. But that does not mean that it will work for your shooting style too.
An L-plate is better suited for photographers who shoot with a tripod regularly.
How to choose an L-Bracket for your camera?
There are two main options when choosing an L-bracket. A custom L-bracket or a universal one. Here's what you need to consider.
A universal L-bracket will work with the majority of cameras out there. For example, the ProMediaGear PLX3x Universal L-Bracket fits cameras without a battery grip.
But that does not mean that it will fit all cameras out there. Some cameras will have a tighter fit, while others will not.
The best option is a custom L-bracket for your camera. Before getting one, you may search for an L-bracket for your specific camera. If there is one, it is highly suggested that you get those.
ProMediaGear makes custom L-brackets for several camera models. This L-plates hug the camera tightly and fit better compared to universal ones.