Inevitably, when a new camera comes on the market, accessories are not always available immediately. Such is the case with the new Nikon Z9. Fortunately, the third-party technology moves quite rapidly and eventually those tools that work in tandem with the camera become available. Some may take a bit longer than others, but they always seem to get done. In my style of photography, especially for landscapes and time lapses, I require an L-Bracket. For those not familiar with an L-Bracket, it allows you shoot both vertical and horizontal while keeping the cameras center of mass over the tripod head making it more stable and avoiding potential tipping of the tripod.
Many of the main manufacturers have not made one for the Nikon Z9 but have something in the works. I have not doubt they will be well made but with that comes expense. I discovered a company called SmallRig that had exactly the bracket I needed at a competitive price. Unlike some of the more well known brands, this was unique as the side bracket can be removed so it can become a simple ARCA style quick release plate. This is really a clever idea as I don’t always need to go vertical so I can remove it and still shoot horizontal.
The bracket is very streamlined and is form fitting to the camera body so it does not add a lot of bulk to camera. I often leave the base plate on and it still remains comfortable shooting hand held. It is locked into the bottom of a camera via a 1/4″-20 screw and an anti-twist screw, fitted with a silicone pad to prevent scratches and deflection, and can be disassembled into an Arca-compatible base plate (used separately) and side plate, both with lens center mark.
The L-Bracket does not block ports, buttons, card slot, battery door, and 4-axis tilting LCD screen. The base plate features mounting points such as 1/4”-20, 3/8″-16 threaded holes and wrist strap support to attach Quick Release Plate. They even had the foresight to allow for the addition of additional accessories like monitor mounts and cold shoes for mics to the bracket for future expandability.
The L-Bracket does not block ports, buttons, card slot, battery door, and 4-axis tilting LCD screen. A must have if you are trying to connect cables for charging, video or HDMI or even the ethernet.
To review, here are the main features this bracket has to offer and priced at $70 USD this seems like a steal.
1. Arca-compatible side plate and base plate enable quick switch between horizontal and vertical orientation shooting;
2. Secured via a 1/4 screw and an anti-twist screw at the bottom;
3. Replace the battery without removing the L-Bracket;
4. Extendable side plate leaves room for cables;
5. Built-in mounting ports, such as 1/4″-20, 3/8″-16 threaded holes, wrist strap holes, satisfy multi-scene shooting;
6. Not block ports, buttons, card slot, battery door, and 4-axis tilting LCD screen
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