I suppose it is inevitable with any activity be it fishing, golf or photography that attract the male participant, there is a market for “add-ons” and embellishments of one kind or another. By this I mean not the main bit of hardware but rather more the lesser bits and pieces that may well be totally optional rather than essential, relative to the activity.
With photography the two main items I have in mind which are fairly essential under various circumstances are camera bags and tripods. Most photographers are likely to have a collection of both, I certainly do. One of the things you learn early on with both these items is that you don’t buy at the cheap end of the market, there is definitely a reason why the more expensive versions cost the price that they do. This lesson is normally learnt only after a few impulse purchases turn out to be total ‘pups’ and get consigned to the darkest storage cupboard you have.
A Bit of Forward Planning
In using my Tilt Shift lens and photographing Cathedrals I will most certainly be always carrying a tripod. My go to tripod due to its simplicity and sturdiness is my Manfrotto 055XPROB which is a 3 section aluminium one for which I have a number of different heads. The downside is that it is neither small nor light to carry around with you whilst walking or cycling so a couple of years ago I bought a Manfrotto ‘Be Free’ travel tripod which is a much better travel proposition.
The only downside and fairly common with this type of tripod, is that it doesn’t have a changeable head, it came with a video head which is what I intended to be mainly used for, video shooting and now I might want to use an ‘L’ bracket. So what to do ?
So I started browsing the web for another suitable travel tripod though part of me is reluctant to have ‘another one’ plus such are the design compromises involved in making a travel tripod, you may well end up being no better off. After watching a whole number of video reviews on YouTube which bought no further enlightenment, I decided to take a different tack.
Instead of a new tripod, I searched for something that could adapt the mounting plate on my existing travel tripod so that I could use an ‘L’ bracket on it. Much to my surprise, I found two possible solutions and both on Amazon so for a princely £28 I got a suitable adapter which seems to work fine and bolts directly onto my existing mounting plate.
Regardless of this, where I can which rather depends on how I travel to the location, I will favour using my heavier tripod because the weight does help with how steady the tripod as a platform is. However and having found this solution, it most certainly gives me a viable and far lighter tripod option should I need it.