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Photography Question 
Carol Sexton

Tripod Head for Quick Landscape to Portrait?

I am looking for a tripod head that will enable me to switch from landscape to portrait very quickly. Anyone have a recommendation?

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10/21/2007 7:06:26 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  What's wrong with the head that came with your tripod. They adjust on three planes, horizontal (landscape) vertical (portrait) and panoramic left to right. Or maybe a ballhead and quick release plate are more your style. There are only a million of those available that will do everything a regular head will do except without the large handles to get in your way.
Take it light.

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10/21/2007 7:39:01 PM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  Hi Carol, do you mean switching from landscape to portrait without tilting the camera sideway? I don't think there is such a tripod head.

One solution is to use a flash bracket that rotates the camera, the one that you see most wedding photographers used. I used the Stroboframe camera flip. There is a hole in the bottom of the base that I can mount it on a tripod. I even bought a quick release plate for it so I can put it on and take it off the tripod fast. Another good thing is I can keep the flash above the camera. Here's the link for the Stroboframe:

I used this set up for a while on my trips. The bracket is light weight but it does not store well in my camera bags. I also have to carry the sync cord with me if I want to use the flash. I then found the Elbow Bracket. Here's an example:

The elbow bracket solution is better than just rotating the tripod head because you do not have to reposition the head and keep the weight of the camera directly over the head. Although there are a few companies that made the elbow brackets, these brackets are tripod head specific. The one that Manfrotto made can only be used on Manfrotto's head (or you have to buy a Manfrotto quick release assembly). Also there is no benefit of using flash on the camera because the flash rotates with the camera.

Hope this helps. If someone know of other alternatives, I would love to hear it.

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10/22/2007 6:45:02 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  3-way pan heads and ball heads all will quickly adjust from horizontal (landscape) to vertical (portrait). However, when in vertical the camera and lens are no longer directly over the center of the tripod and can be less stable, especially with heavier camera/lens. The solution is to (a) use a tripod mounted lens collar that allows the lens to rotate without adjusting the tripod head, or (b) use an "L-plate" on the camera. The L-plate fits on the bottom and left side of the camera and incorporates a quick-release plate on each side. See, for example, The L-plates are designed for specific camera bodies and quick-release system. The elbow bracket Andy linked is to can used more generally with any camera have any quick release mount attached to them.

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10/22/2007 7:01:31 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  unintelligable last line. ;-)
Ignore. I thought the elbow bracket that Andy linked to would accept any type of quick release mount, but I was mistaken.

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10/22/2007 7:06:06 AM

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