Arca Swiss L-Bracket (Plate) Options for the Nikon D7000…

I’d originally written this about a month ago and planned for something for my D7000 – now I’ll have to restart my research for the D600 🙂

I’d been thinking of getting an Acra Swiss style L-Bracket (L-Plate) for some time now and am thinking of purchasing one and seeing how it goes.

First up to set some expectations:
– I have a Nikon D7000 (and a D90 which I don’t use much :)) and I guess in future I may upgrade the body (D600 maybe :))
– I often shoot landscapes/seascapes (& macro) and do shoot quite a few verticals so the L-Plates prime ability to switch orientations without having to flop over the ballhead is attractive
– I often use a wired remote release (even my wireless one still plugs a dongle into the wired side port) so I *need* to still be able to open and access the small lower side door of the camera (don’t really care about the large upper door). I’m presuming that even with the door open and the cable in I can still mount the camera vertically more towards the edge of the arca clamp with the cable going past the clamp edge
– Note when I say I want to be able to open the side door with the plate on I don’t mean open the door first and then put the plate on (which all can do) but rather leave the plate on and open and close the side flaps whenever I want
– The intent would be to use the L Plate as per expected and leave it on the camera almost permanently (unless I mount the Battery Grip which is like maybe twice a year)

I’m aware of at least the following L-Brackets which should fit the D7000 (in decreasing order of price):

Kirk BL-D7000 US$130+Delivery
– has filed semi circles in the side rail right where the door flaps are presumably to assist opening those doors – but it’s web site says – “We recommend the use of the Nikon ML-L3 Remote Controller with this bracket” – which to me basically says you can’t open the doors with the plate on, and no stop screws

ReallyRightStuff BD7000-L $US120+Delivery
– people I know with this plate say you cannot open the side doors with the plate on and no stop screws

Sunwayfoto Universal L Plate Wide Base DPL-04 (or DPL-03) US$89+33

Hejnar Photo D7000 L Bracket US$90+20
or his Universal L Bracket for the same price
– is also D7000 specific but doesn’t look to be body hugging as other D7000 model specific plates and no stop screws

ProMediaGear PLND7000 US$90+13 (via eBay store)
– also has filed side rails where the door flaps are – however a reviewer indicated he couldn’t open the door flaps with the plate on, has stop screws on bottom and side rails

The upside for most of the D7000 model specific plates are they fit like a glove on the D7000, the downside is that they basically can’t be reused on other camera bodies and there appear to be issues with most models where you can’t (or it’s extremely difficult to) open the side doors in the field (and if so could be a deal breaker for me)

An upside with the two part plates is you can use the lower plate by itself (like a standard arca plate)

The upside for the universal plate (and even some model specific two part plates) is you can often use it on other bodies and most also allow you to slightly offset the side plate further from the body allowing you to open the side door – however you don’t get a snug fit and having the side plate offset quite a way (one or two cm) from the side of the camera is likely to be crap in practical every day terms

I also recently ordered the Sunwayfoto DLC-50 50mm Duo-Lever Adjustable Arca Clamp and the Sunwayfoto 56mm Camera Body Arca Plate DPG-50U to try (hasn’t arrived yet) – trying both the brand and the idea of using a lever style clamp (hedging my bets here because this clamp can be used either as a lever style or traditional screw type (which my existing one is)). I have multiple tripods/monopod and only one is currently Arca compatible and I plan to convert all to Arca and add plates to my cameras and lenses.