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From what I understand the L-plates and the camera specific anti-twist plates are only made for the Arca Swiss quick release system. Am I right? Are there no anti-twist plates or L-plates that are compatible with the Manfrotto system?

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2 Answers 2

Someone else has already mentioned the Manfrotto L-plates. Therefore a little more general advice:

Read this before you start investing significant money in camera support. Afterwards try to play around a bit with ReallyRightStuff, Kirk or similar quick release equipment. After that you probably don't want to touch most of your Manfrotto stuff again. The dovetail precision equipment is just so much better, functionally and stylistically.

Most high-quality camera support will outlive many camera body iterations (though probably not the camera specific L-plates), and tends to be a good long-term investment. If you sell the stuff again at some point it will still be worth quite a lot.

Personally I like the endless combination possibilities of ReallyRightStuff equipment, and its even inter-brand compatibility. As an example, here is a picture of an extra L-plate used to point the camera downwards without tilting the ballhead by 90°:

Camera on tripod with some dovetail equipment inbetween

Bottom up this consists of tripod, ballhead, quick release plate, L-plate, two back-on-back mini quick release plates to connect to the camera L-plate, camera. Very sturdy, very adjustable, and a joy to set up... If I don't do improvised product shots like this, basically the same equipment serves me well for nature, landscape and panorama photos.

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+1 for linking to Thom's support article! And yes, once someone handles some quality gear like RRS, the pitfalls of other manufacturer equipment become much more obvious. –  Dan Wolfgang Dec 14 '12 at 16:08

Manfrotto has L-plates: http://www.manfrotto.com/l-bracket-q2 (a few varieties).

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Wow! So they do have their own L-plates! The reason I asked is because all of the L-plates I have seen are A: camera specific and B: they always use the Arca Swiss QR system. The Manfrotto L-plates are generic, they are not camera specific, like for example the Kirk L-plates. But it's better than nothing! And besides, since they are L-plates, this should prevent the camera from rotating around the tripod screw, right? The other option would be a regular straight camera plate, but to prevent rotation this would have to be a camera specific or universal anti-twist plate, right? For Manfrotto QR? –  sammyg Dec 13 '12 at 12:14
    
An L plate itself won't prevent rotation unless it fits tightly against the camera -- so tightly that there's no wiggle room at all. That would require more than just one point of contact and a completely flat area on the side of the camera, with no curve whatsoever. I doubt you'll find a camera that will take the plate that tightly. –  Dan Wolfgang Dec 13 '12 at 13:44
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I think that's why they make camera specific L plates. It fits the contour of the camera perfectly and tightly, I assume. As opposed to a generic L plate where the camera would slide because of the extra spacing on the side of the camera, especially with a heavy lens. Whenever you mount a camera on a tripod in the landscape orientation, regardless of QR system in use, it will not slip and slide or twist around the tripod screw. This problem occurs only in portrait orientation. It is a flaw in the camera design itself due to lack of a second mount point in the camera body. –  sammyg Dec 13 '12 at 14:04
    
Have a look at this picture: kirkphoto.com/images/QRLBTg.jpg It's a Canon camera on a universal (generic) L plate by Kirk. In the landscape orientation that camera will not twist around the screw. But if you were to mount it on the left side there's a good chance it would start to slide downwards due to gravity, especially with a heavy lens in front pulling it down. Which is why you need to adjust the left side so it bites to the camera, like this: kirkphoto.com/images/QRLBTf.jpg –  sammyg Dec 13 '12 at 14:08
    
And now you can shoot like this: kirkphoto.com/images/QRLBSe.jpg This should not be a problem now because the camera is resting on the side plate. But you should get even better result with a custom plate for the camera, like this 5D mk2 plate: kirkphoto.com/images/BL5DIIc.jpg –  sammyg Dec 13 '12 at 14:17

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