D700 tripod problem...
With the L bracket the camera is in portrait orientation BUT sits on top of the head just like it normally does in landscape orientation. There is NO twisting or creeping like before in portrait mode.
In other words, the L bracket mounts the end of the camera to the tripod, not the bottom of the camera as before.
No substitute for a good head,
RRS BH-55 and Markins
How to use an L plate
The RRS BH-55 has slots for portrait position but I would opt for the L bracket
RRS has a few good videos as well
A screw only 'unthreads' in one direction. When switching to portrait orientation use the side that causes the screw to tighten if the lens is in a upward position. However, another thing to check is the length of the tripod screw. If it bottoms out in the hole on the camera it won't hold the camera in position. In that case, just file a little off the end of the screw.
Good thread here on a very similar issue to the one you describe - if you read through you'll see good recommendations for solving the problem: http://www.flickr.com/groups/thephotographyforum/discuss/72157625908135298/
Fine Art Photography Website: http://ianbramham.com/
I understand the argument, absolutely, and it's my general philosophy when purchasing most anything. However, when faced with the decision of starving my family or buying all top quality camera gear...well, you know what i'm saying. If I was making a living as a wildlife photographer, certainly it would be a different story. I have to cut corners somewhere, as much as I hate to.
I think for now, my Manfrotto setup will work fine with a D800 and
Buy a Gitzo, a good ball head, and an L-Bracket - I prefer RRS, but Kirk and others are probably just as good - up to $1,000 out the door. You don't actually have to spend quite that much, but you get the point.
OR, buy a cheap tripod. Then buy a more expensive tripod, perhaps with a proprietary quick release mount. Then a better one. After a while you will have spent $1,000, and you'll still be unhappy. THEN buy a Gitzo and a good ball head with an arca-swiss mount, etc. You'll have spent $2,000, and have a bunch of left over parts no one wants. I know just how it works. Anyone want to buy a bunch of old tripods? Some have cracked plastic heads, and some are just junk, but I'll let them go cheap.
We have read this advice over and over again, and admittedly it's a pain to cough up the cost of a good carbon fiber tripod, a good ball head, and a series of L-Brackets as we keep upgrading our cameras. But, once you make the decision you aren't trying to decide what to buy over and over again over the next 10 years.
After checking the suggested products and their prices, I decided to try my own DIY solution. Here is what I came up with and after a couple of tests I can declare it is working fine. It is not perfect but it will do for now, until I will be willing to spend that amount of money on a tripod head/mounting plate. I am not a pro so this is more than enough for my needs.
What you are looking at in the first image is a spare shoulder strap rubber padding. It is cut to fit the tripod mounting plate and the D700's bottom edge profile. Then the cut rubber was glued with super glue (the liquid instant glue you find in dollar stores) on the mounting plate. Super glue usually melts rubber and that is why when you glue two rubbers together (the mounting plate has rubber on its surface) they usually bond really well as it seems they melt and mix together.
If super glue doesn't do it for you, then drill holes through both the rubber piece and the mounting plate and using regular thread to attach them together. Then you can use glue between the two piece and even on the thread--the thread will become hard instantly. Just remember that the thread cannot be protruding too much from the bottom of the mounting plate as it needs to fit in the tight profile of the tripod head.
Total cost is less than $1. No cumbersome extra gear to carry. The only downsize is that if you need the mounting plate for another camera (video camera, lenses with their own tripod mount), then you will have to buy another standard tripod mounting plate which shouldn't cost more than $20; still much cheaper than an L-bracket. Just remember when you do use your camera in the portrait orientation to place the tripod legs in a safe and stable orientation to prevent the tripod from flipping due to the weight of the camera plus lens offsetting its centre of gravity.