Jul 182011

ARCA SWISS mini L-Bracket with Leica M9

Field Test from Tanna

Just as I was writing out my packing lists, ARCA-SWISS sent me an email about their new mini L-Bracket for the Leica M9. They decided to send me one of the new brackets to review during my project on Tanna. In just a few days I will be flying to the tiny Pacific island of Tanna, in the chain of Vanuatu. The landscape is mixed with tropical forests, plateaus, and one of the most active volcanos in the world. Smokey old Mt. Yasur is in the southern part of the island, hopefully on its best behavior.

It seems like the only time I take landscape images are on the road. Very rarely do I pull out a tripod in NYC. But I love waking up before dawn to take landscape images in first light. Landscape work needs to be scouted out in advance. I look at the angle of the sun and how the light at dawn will bring out the natural landscape.

Working in the dark, it is super important for my equipment to be easy to use and all in the right place. Trying to make tiny adjustments or searching for little accessories in no way to work in the dark. Everything needs to be predictable and reliable, so the natural light can be captured.

The bracket allow for you to switch between portrait and landscape, while keeping the center of gravity in the middle of your tripod.

The Mini L-Bracket

The Arca Swiss bracket arrived the other day, but I have not had a chance to try it out yet. At first glance the biggest advantage of the quick release plate and the bracket, is the ability to switch from “landscape” to “portrait” while keeping the weight centered on the tripod. I am hoping it is a seamless product to use in the dark and will streamline the field work. The tripod I use is a Gitzo Traveller 1550T, which is super light weight. It is the lightest tripod in the line up and full extended it is not the most sturdy. But what it sacrifices in stability it makes up for with its light weight. Once the 5 section legs are only opened to 4 sections, there is no problem. But in heavy wind, fully extended it might move a tiny amount. The mini L-Bracket will keep the M9 or M6 completely centered and balanced on the tripod as a wait for the rising/setting sun.

The mini L-Bracket is compatible with other compact cameras too

Your Opinion

  • What are your tripod preferences?
  • Do you shoot landscape work as often as you shoot street?
  • How often do you use a tripod?
  • Is a bracket like this of interest?


I think these are all important questions, because it looks as if ARCA SWISS really wanted to make something for Leica photographers. Based on the pictures, do you think they hit their mark or they are way off base?  I would love to hear your thoughts as I am testing this bracket.

ARCA SWISS Press Release

ARCA-SWISS presents the first X and Y variable mini L-bracket adaptable for compact cameras. The new mini L-bracket from Arca-Swiss complements the monoball®Fix lineup perfectly and is compatible with the current monoball®Fix quick releases. The mini L-bracket works with the range of compact cameras such as the Olympus E-PL1 and E-PL2, Samsung NX-100, Canon G series, and Lumix LX series.
Furthermore, the latest smaller DSLR ºs from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Sony, and the Leica M8/M9 cameras, will now have an L-bracket more in line with the physical size of these cameras.

Along with the currently available monoball®Classic and monoball®Fix accessories, the mini L-bracket extends the versatility of the line. It is the answer from Arca-Swiss for the specific needs of compact camera users.


  2 Responses to “ARCA-SWISS”

  1. I definitely think it is a great idea. I get a little finicky when I shoot landscapes and once I have the horizon level it is always a bit of a trick to quickly set my camera my for a vertical shot and this little device would work wonders!


    • Its really does solve the issue of having a rangefinder on end for vertical images. And like most of the ARCA SWISS products it is very well made. No cheap pieces of plastic here.

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