D800 L bracket.. safety screws?

Started Sep 22, 2017 | Questions thread
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dizzwave Junior Member • Posts: 28
D800 L bracket.. safety screws?


I just bought a used Kirk BH-1 and it feels smooth and solid. Very happy to attach it to my new-to-me 5 Series Gitzo legs (yes.. I just did a major upgrade from my old Slik aluminum).

The BH-1 came with the Kirk QRC-3.0 clamp, and a cheapo no-name plate that I'm uncomfortable trusting with my D800. (It looks like one of those $3 eBay plates.)

So I'm shopping around for a plate and wondering.....

1) How badly do I want an L-bracket? I think I'll probably want one, since I see myself getting into panoramas, now that I have a more solid support setup. I think I could get by using the "notch" on the BH-1 though.... right? I've read the opinions on it, and I tend to think I might be able to work around the shortcomings of using the notch for portrait mode. Any strong feelings otherwise?

2) Do I need safety screws? They seem like a good idea, but if it means choosing an otherwise inferior plate just because of screws, maybe I just try to be careful. I'm not the type to sling the tripod over my shoulder with the camera still on it, anyway. I asked Kirk customer support if they were planning to put safety screws on L plates, and they said they used to but customers complained about them! RRS plates also don't have them. I found in another thread that their customer support said: safety screws are for when you drop into the notch; if you're using an L bracket, you're not going to accidentally drop into the notch while loose. (shrug.)

3) If yes and yes to 1 and 2, how is Sunwayfoto? They seem to have the best reputation of the L brackets with safety screws. I've read that some of their builds don't fit with the screen protector, etc... But really, like many others, I don't feel like spending $130 after I just broke the bank to get these legs and head. I thought I was done!   I'm fine spending another $50 or whatever to get a "decent" off-brand plate.

Any insights from you more experienced folks? Thank you!


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Nikon D800 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED +1 more
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