PNL-D600

Specifications

From the manufacturer:

  • Custom L bracket for Nikon D600 Body PNL-D600 Model: PNL-D600
  • Length: 118.6mm
  • Width: 58.3mm
  • Height: 75mm
  • Net. Weight:99g
  • Mounting Hole: UNC1/4″-20

Out of the Box

I bought this L bracket to use specifically with the Sunwayfoto XB-44DDH2 Ballhead.  It’s fully Arca compatible, so you should be able to use it on any Arca compatible ballhead.

The Gold Standard of mount systems are ‘Arca-Swiss compatible’, meaning they are designed to accept all Arca-Swiss type plates. ~ LensRentals.com

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The L Bracket

Machined out of a single piece of ‘aircraft quality aluminum,’ the L bracket is light, but feels solid in the hand.  Here’s my first photos out of the box.  As far as aesthetics alone, it’s anodized matte finish and clean lines make the machinist in me very impressed with the craftsmanship.

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Testing

First things first, my initial concern was flex, but even moderate attempts to find some give were unsuccessful.  Prior to using this system, I had never felt that an L bracket was all that necessary, and the systems that I tried didn’t meet expectations.  All ballheads have a drop notch for switching to portrait mode, and that pretty well served the purpose that I needed for shooting portrait compositions.

Landscape

Using the L bracket in landscape mode wasn’t much different from using any other bracket.  It slipped in easily to the ballhead clamp, and never felt loose or had any wiggle in either the camera or the ballhead.

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Portrait

This is why we buy L brackets; for portrait shooting.  The tolerance between the portrait groove and the landscape groove machining was spot on.  I would loosen the clamp just enough to get the bracket out of landscape, and the portrait side would slide right in.

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The Fit

The best part about this bracket for me has been the fit to the camera.

  1. It hugs both the front and back faces, to make it snug in all directions.  I’ve used cameras with L brackets before that didn’t form to both the base and one other direction, and they always felt sloppy when I was trying to make fine adjustments.
  2. It has enough room for me to access the camera.  One accessory that I always use is a GPS unit, and mine happens to hook up to the side of the camera that all L brackets are designed for.  Luckily, the PNL-D600 has just the right design to be able to access those ports without being bulky or intrusive.

Here’s the bracket with the port in use for my GPS unit.

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And in the field, perfectly fit with the XB-44.

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Extras

I’ll be honest, I have one feature that really doesn’t mean a whole lot, but that I really appreciate.  And I didn’t even realize that it was a feature until just recently!  It’s the extra slot for your camera strap.  Why you ask?  Because of how the camera will hang.  In that ‘oh so right’ sort of way, out of the way, but ready.

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Final Thoughts

Yes, an L bracket is more expensive than a standard base.  In my opinion the benefits of being able to have the flexibility of using all of the ballhead’s intended range of motion while in portrait mode has made this small investment a very justifiable one.  I am more likely than ever to change my composition now because of the ease of switching between one and the other, and I’m more likely to be able to exactly capture what I had intended when doing so.

2 Comments

  1. Jens

    Hi, do you have to move the bracket a little away from the camera to get access to the ports?
    Even on the first picture of your review it looks a little like if there’s a little space between the camera and the bracket. I have this problem with the kirk bracket – if I attach it as designed, I cannot open the gps door properly.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • William

      Hello Jens! I personally use this bracket a little way out from the camera, partly because it is easier to access the ports, but also because it becomes a nice handle to hold on the the camera easier. If the bracket is directly up to the camera, the ports are still accessible.

      Reply

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