This might be well known to many, but thought I'd share it anyway.
I've been frustrated trying to take vertical format shots with the 300/4.5
tripod mounted. I rotate the tripod head from horizontal to vertical
format, which is easily done, but the centre of gravity shifts and things
get off balance. More annoying still is that the camera slips on the
screw. The camera/lens can of course be rotated in the lens tripod ring, but
that is a PITA to do quickly and accurately.
I also use a focussing rail + macro lens a fair bit -- same problem.
The tripod is a Manfrotto 190 PRO B with an 029 head (3-way, spirit levels).
Hex plate. Very nice to use, mostly.
The tripod head rotates to the left, so in vertical format the weight of
the lens encourages an anti-clockwise rotation of the camera/lens unit on
the tripod screw, tending to loosen the tripod fitting. The head won't
rotate to the right, which would give the camera a clockwise rotational
tendency, thus tightening rather than loosening on the tripod screw.
Overtightening the tripod screw is not a good solution, so I just
kept an eye out over time for something that might help.
Looking through the Manfrotto catalogue a couple of weeks ago, I spied an
elbow bracket (cat no 340) comprising a hex mounting plate as usual, with
another hex plate attached at right angles to allow quick and easy
switching to vertical format. This can be used so that the unit mounted
on it moves clockwise under gravity, so the camera doesn't slip on the screw.
There is also an anti-slip device that can be positioned to restrain
a camera from rotating.
The re-positioning also keeps the centre of gravity over the tripod
head, and doesn't move the lens very much from its horizontal
At $A90, this thing isn't cheap, but I'm finding it to be very useful
indeed -- one of the better little toys I've thrown money at.
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