I've always wanted to do landscape photography, but due to lack of time I've focused more on birding and wildlife photography and even then not so much. Now that my kids are grown up and heading off to college, I'll have enough time to pursue all the photographic passions as I please, including more time to landscape. With that in mind, I recently purchased a couple of tripods and paired them with RRS ballheads. I've never had a need for an L-bracket in the past, but knowing that it's essential to landscape photography, I decided to look around for one. After researching various L-brackets for the past couple of weeks, I decided on the ProMediaGear (PMG) for my Canon 5DIII. I’ve recently purchased their Tomahawk gimbal sidekick and a couple of plates, and I really liked their innovative designs, high quality, yet prices that are more reasonable than some of their better known competitors.
PMG L-Bracket for 5DIII: http://www.promediagear.com …s-Type-L-Plate_p_122.html
Prior to getting the L-bracket for my camera, I had the SpiderPro Holster plate as well as the Cotton Carrier Vest plate attached to the camera, along with the Herringbone hand strap. My Blackrapid Curve Breathe strap was then screwed tightened onto the SpiderPro Holster plate, and thus I had my own camera system that worked for me really well. The SpiderPro Holster allowed my hands to be free when I’m working in my home studio, and the Cotton Carrier Vest system allowed me a quick access to my camera when I’m shooting while hiking or otherwise active in outdoors – without having to change out the plates. The Blackrapid Curve Breathe not only worked as a shoulder strap but as the safety tether, as well.
Of course, overhauling the camera plate system to the L-bracket meant having to give up on both the SpiderPro Holster and the Cotton Carrier Vest plates, and I really hated to lose them as they were so convenient and effective. But, this is where the modular and innovative designs of PMG L-bracket caught my attention. It comes in two pieces, the bottom horizontal plate that can work by itself with any Arca Swiss standard clamps, and the vertical plate that can be attached to the horizontal bottom plate. But, hold on, there are additional modular adapters that can also be attached to the L-bracket to serve greater functionality. The additional adapter that I decided to get in order to build my new system according to my specific needs is PASL3 Bracket Plate Adapter for Straps or Camera Carrying Devices.
PASL3 Brackt Plate Adapter for Straps: http://www.promediagear.com …rrying-Devices_p_188.html
Unlike other L-brackets, the PMG’s has a plug hole on the bottom of the horizontal plate along with a 1/4"-20 female thread (there are four additional 1/4"-20 in each corner of the vertical plate, as well). Into this plug hole goes in their Quick Connect Plug (QCPlug), which is their shoulder strap connector which, with the press of the button on top, instantly attaches and detaches the shoulder strap.
Quick Connect Plug: http://www.promediagear.com …ctor-for-strap_p_307.html or the OP/TECH style PMG strap that comes with it: http://www.promediagear.com …-Quick-Connect_p_300.html
The purpose of the design is so that you can carry your camera on your shoulder strap and when you need to use your tripod, you can simply press the button to free the camera for tripod use. Don’t care to even press the button to attach or detach the plug connector? With the aforementioned PASL3 Bracket Plate Adapter for Straps, which comes with an additional plug hole and a 1/4"-20 female thread, you don’t even have to detach the strap from the camera at all. The PASL3 adapter is designed so that, if you prefer to have the strap on at all times and still able to use the L-plate without any hindrance, you can -- either with their QCPlug or whatever the strap you already have.
Here's the view of the horizontal bottom plate with the PASL3 Bracket Plate Adapter for Straps attached (please excuse the quality of iPhone images). In the main part of the plate, the QCPlug or any 1/4"-20 male threaded connector can be used. The only difference is that the action is instantaneous with the QCPlug. What the PASL3 offers is the off-centered QCPlug or male threaded connector points that allows the main plate to be free for tripod while having the strap connector or sphere ball stud (for SpiderPro Holster) or even CC Vest connector on at all times. I opted to reserve the PASL3 space to plug in the QCPlug that's connected to my BR Curve Breathe strap. The QCPlug does not interfere with the battery compartment at all. When I received the QCPlug, I was expecting a plug the diameter of a dime, so I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this little stainless steel "tank" of a plug. The beauty of it is that most of the PMG plates are made with a hole to accept this plug, so you can connect whatever your strap to any of your PMG plates.
Here's a closeup view of the QCPlug. Pressing the button on top attaches and detaches the strap:
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/HLtLb7
And the view of how it's connected to my BR Curve Breathe Strap. There are several ways to connect the two, and I chose to make a good use of a set of OP/TECH Utility Loop from my previous strap system that's been sitting around just collecting dust. I could have just connected the carabiner connector to the QCPlug, but I didn't like the idea of constant grinding of the steel to steel. I'm very satisfied with this solution:
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/24x8vZ6
You'd be surprised to see how strong this QCPlug really is, as demonstrated in this video. These guys aren't exactly small and slim:
The following side view of the vertical part of the L-plate shows how it's designed so that access to cable compartments are not interfered with. It's also designed with four 1/4"-20 female threads on the side and one on top, as well as safety stop screws as with the bottom horizontal plate. After experimenting with the best location for the sphere ball stud so that my camera, when hung from the strap to the side of my hip in the SpiderPro Holster, feels natural and with the lens pointing sideways, I screwed the sphere ball stud (I just got it off from the SpiderPro plate) where you see here.
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/24yd83Z
The back view. The bottom horizontal plate, as well as the PASL3 adapter, comes with a loop, so you see here my Herringbone Hand Strap, another part of my camera system that I really didn't want to let go of, connected to it. Absolutely no interference with the battery compartment.
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/HLtL1C
The front view. For some viewers, the sphere ball stud sticking out to the side might be an eye sore, but I actually like it very much. I think it looks pretty cool.
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/HLtLoG
Lastly, the following image shows the camera system sitting on the tripod with the BR Curve Breathe strap on. It's my choice to have it on at all times, and i really like that, when I do want to take it off, it's instantaneous with a simple press of the button on top of the QCPlug. I was initially a bit concerned about any possibility of the button being accidentally pressed and therefore a security risk, but after playing with it awhile, I no longer worry about it. The pressure of the pressing action has to be significant enough and I just don't see how I'd manage that accidentally.
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/24x8vJM
So then whatever happened to my CC Vest plate? Initially, I was able to accommodate the CC Vest connector on the female thread section of the PASL3 adapter and made it work. However, I objected to it from an aesthetic stand point, so I chose a different assignment for the connector. Unbeknownst to me (because I had never gave it a thought since I wasn't using any Arca Swiss style clamps in the past until recently), the CC Vest plate actually turns out to be Arca compatible with its dovetailed bottom. It sure clamps nicely on my RRS and Sirui clamps. So, it's now attached to my 70-200L lens collar foot since this is the lens that I almost always use with the CC Vest.
I'm very happy with this new camera system where I feel like I have it all at instantaneous connectability: L-plate, SpiderPro, BR Curve Breathe Strap, Herringbone Hand Strap, and even the CC Vest connector if I choose to, without having to remove any one for another.