|The GABALE L-Bracket for the Nikon Z6 and Z7|
One of my more recent aquisitions is a Nikon Z6 which isn't to replace my D850. But which will be a nice companion and an outstanding tool for my video work.
I decided to post here because things on the L-bracket side of things are a bit confusing for the Nikon Z6. Esp. a claim made by Ricci (@nikonricci and yt RicciTalks) that the 3-Legged Things Zelda works in conjunction with the Nikon WR-R10 wireless transceiver made me decide to blog my experience.
Unlike Ricci, I found that the Nikon WR-R10 does not fit with the Zelda. It can be made to fit, but then it slightly tilts and puts stress on the port. Not good. I am not alone in my finding. The Zelda may be a great bracket, esp. a lightweight one. But it doesn't fit my bill the way it is.
I found it surprisingly difficult to come by solid information about what brackets do actually work with the Z cameras. Therefore, I decided to try my luck with the GABALE L-Bracket.
The GABALE bracket isn't easy to come by. It is well described on a Chinese web site. I purchased it via an ebay seller for 52€ and it came from China. Fortunately, it got preempted from customs processing. The box, as seen above, says GABALE but nothing about Nikon. But it is the real thing, made to fit the Nikon Z6 or Z7. As Gabale reports on weibo.
The first impression is rather positive. Well made, fits snugly, with thin rubber patches to ensure a nice grip. Let me run a view images to show you:
It has an Allen wrench magnatically attached to the bottom which is nice. It lacks the positioning pin which helps to lock and align the bracket in place. Not surprsingly then, it sits ever so slightly turned. However, at the position of the positioning pin it has a go-through screw hole. So, it is possible to screw a lock pin into the bottom, if desired. It just doesn't come with one.
My measurememt on the scale is 115 g or I don't know, 9375937254.844587084 oz ;)
The weight is w/o the Allen wrench, 122 g with it. The plate bottom thickness (i.e., adding to the camera's height, w/o rubber pads) is 9.975 mm. The distance from the tripod screw hole to the front edge is 11.25 mm; you may want to know this to check if your release clamp fits with the FTZ adapter mounted. Other measurements are 146.7 x 85.6 x 63.9 mm (W x H x D) and 12.5 mm thick at pinky bump. That's slightly smaller and lighter than SmallRig's version; like ~6 mm thinner and ~35 g lighter; but it lacks a few screw holes.
Overall, it pretty much looks like a SmallRig clone. However, it lacks the fixed positioning pin, or the attachment screw holes for the FTZ-adapter plate (i.e., you can't attach the SmallRig FTZ plate to the Gabala bracket). However, it has the same extra screw holes as has the SmallRig.
Compatibility with the Nikon WR-R10 transceiver
The GABALE bracket does fit the WR-R10. No tilt or stress, can be removed and attached with the bracket in place. Also, the doors can be opened easily.
Compatibility with the Nikon FTZ adapter
The FTZ adapter has been an issue for many in combination with a bracket or Arca-Swiss plate.
I found that there is just enough room horizontally to operate the FTZ adapter with the L-bracket attached. They don't touch. Moreover, there is enough room vertically that an Arca Swiss quick release clamp may actually work with both the bracket and the FTZ adapter attached.
|Vertical clearance between GABALE L bracket and FTZ adapter|
I found that a combination of GABALE L-bracket and the NOVOFLEX QPL1 Arca-Swiss plate and NOVOFLEX Q-Base Arca-Swiss tripod quick release does just work, for the most part. NOVOFLEX is Made in Germany and isn't cheap. But it is quality and I like to work with their products.
|The long edge of the clamp overlapping the FTZ adapter. There may be less than 1 mm of headroom left ...|
|The short edge of the clamp overlapping the FTZ adapter.|
|The NOVOFLEX QPL1 Arca Swiss plate attached to the FTZ adapter, with the L-bracket still attached too.|
|The FTZ adapter with the NOVOFLEX plate when un/mounting. It does fit when attached!|
More cumbersome is the question if the FTZ adapter can be removed with the L-bracket still attached to the Q-Base quick release plate. Well, sort of. It actually is removable if the quick release plate is mounted with the short end pointing to the front and if mounted 12 mm (or more) off axis. If aligned exactly on axis, the FTZ adapter touches when turned to unmount. This is due to the round design of the NOVOFLEX Q-Base which protudes most in the center. A different, square release plate may allow for the release plate to remain mounted on axis to the GABALE L-bracket when un/mounting an FTZ adapted lens - provided it has a thin enough design. I have no recommendation to make though. As I would only clamp lighter F-mount lenses to the L-bracket rather than the FTZ adapter directly, I have no problem to mount the camera slightly off axis and are ok with the Q-Base plate as it is.
I hope you enjoyed to accompany me on my bracket ride today :)