Well – if you've visited before, you know I've been curious about the new offering from Really Right Stuff (RRS) in the L-bracket department – specifically, one for the Canon EOS 50D. It got one ordered last week and it arrived today – right in the midst of me swamped trying to head out of town for a short notice “day job” meeting. I did take a break long enough to pull the CNC machined piece of aluminum glory out of its plastic zip-loc bags (yes plural – parts in bags in other bags – can't have anything get scratched en route!); mount it to the 50D (which and made it up to the office for just such an occasion) including the poorly explained strap lug thing. The problem was I had to get back to work, hop in the car and drive to Austin.
After finishing up the prep for the meeting, I was able to take a closer look and get some photos taken.
Suffice to say (go figure) that this L-plate is well designed and the machining and finish are impressive. After getting the RRS L-plate for my 40D and getting great service from it, there was no doubt I was going to go with RRS for my 50D. I could go on about the stuff that is carried over from the 40D, but a summary will do – the same great curved base to prevent spinning on the bottom of the camera; a nice balance between material needed for a stiff bracket and the need to save weight; curved corners that fit the hand comfortably when the camera is not mounted on a tripod; and so on… oh – and let's not forget the "captive" screws that won't fall out when you remove the plate from the camera.
Okay – so what will you prattle on about Will? What's new – of course!
They've re-worked the bend in the bracket – it is now wider and looks like it will do a better job of protecting the battery grip from those accidental bumps. If you are like me, you don't take your L-plate off the camera once it is mounted… For me it adds to the comfort/size of the grip when in the vertical position. They've also worked on squaring off the opening for the cable connections, and even my ham-fingers can easily get in there and open the rubber covers. I can't tell you how glad I am that I've been able to move my 40D plate back over to my 40D… it was a bit odd to continue to use my work-around for the 40D plate w/ the 50D.
That Strap Thing:
Okay – it's the only thing that I felt that RRS didn't do a good job of showing off on their product page here, nor in their "no-copy" photo only setup instruction sheet. Now – don't get me wrong - an L-Plate is a chunk of aluminum that you bolt (literally) onto your camera… how hard could it be? I'm not expecting a nice 36 page manual with a table of contents and an index or anything, but the pics were all a longer shots with no real detail or info about the function of the "thing". On the RRS site, the new BGE2-L50 page just says "Strap mount boss at top of plate helps stabilize the camera with battery grip."
Essentially RRS uses the screw on bit to anchor the end of the L-plate to the body by using the metal tab that is normally used to attach the strap to the camera. When you mount the plate to the camera, it snugs up and you pretty much can't leave the strap attached to the camera directly… Then you take the spare screw and the "thing", thread the screw into the threaded end of the slot on the "thing" and then screw it into the end of the L-plate. There is a little tab on the bottom of the "thing" that will drop nicely into the slot in the camera strap tab on the side of the camera… Just attach your strap to the loop-o-aluminum and voila! You're now ready to roll.
You can get Shifty too!
As we all know who have them, the Canon remote trigger plug is far from short… it is a few millimeters taller than the L-plate is thick. This is not a problem when you are shooting in landscape mode, but when looking to mount the camera in portrait mode (you know – the reason you got the L-plate in the first place – grin) you can't do it… well – not without shifting the plate on the camera. This is where the new version of the plate shines, in my opinion. The screw openings in both the base and in the "thing" are slotted, meaning that you can loosen the two screws, slide the camera, and then re-tighten the screws. With the tab on the "thing" holding onto the slot of the camera strap tab, it does a great job of stabilizing the camera when the plate is not snug up to the side of the camera.
Overall – I like the look and configuration of this new L-plate, and I'm looking forward to using it soon.
Thanks for reading!