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How I Made a DIY Universal Tripod L-Bracket for Under $5

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So what is a “Universal Tripod L-Bracket”? Well, I’m not sure, because I couldn’t find another on the market quite like it. Some tripod manufacturers make L-brackets specific to their own tripod, but I found nothing universal.

Well, since that did me no good and I’m an inventive fellow, I set out to make my own. Results: way simpler and cheaper than I thought.

The goal of having an L-bracket is to be able to mount your camera in portrait orientation on your tripod.

I have a ball head tripod and, when mounted standardly, I can tilt it all the way into portrait orientation, but it gives me less control and the camera is too heavy for the ball head to hold perfectly level most of the time. Plus, it’s just more cumbersome and difficult to get your perfect composition.

By being able to mount the tripod head on the side of the camera, I can still have the full rotation possibilities of the ball head and it balances much more naturally. I can easily compose my shot the way I want without the frustration of limited movement.

How I Made My Own

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Step 1 – Run to your local Home Depot or Lowes and pick up 3 items.

  1. Some 1/4″ nuts and bolts
  2. Some washers for the 1/4″ bolts
  3. An L-Bracket of the appropriate size for your camera and needs (these also were in the Hardware isle)

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Step 2 – Assemble.

Put a washer, nut bolt through the L-bracket where it will screw into the tripod mount on the bottom of your camera.

The reason for the nut being on ‘the wrong side’ is because the bolt was too long to screw into the camera tightly. Since I wanted the L-bracket flush with the camera bottom, I used the nut as a spacer to ‘shorten’ the length of the bolt. A simple fix compared to cutting it shorter.

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Step 3 – Attach tripod mount.

On the opposite side of the L-bracket, screw in your tripod mount and place a nut on the opposite side to hold it in place.

Step 4 – Attach to camera and enjoy!

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About the author: David Wahlman is a full-time outdoor and active lifestyle photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. You can find more of his work and words on his website and blog, or by following him on Facebook and Instagram.

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