September 25, 2016

Sunwayfoto Custom L Bracket PCL-80D for Canon EOS 80D Preview

Sunwayfoto PCL-80D on Canon EOS 80D side-rear view
Following the recent release of the Sunwayfoto Custom L Bracket PCL-1DXII for Canon 1DX MK II (preview), Sunwyafoto's line of custom L Brackets for the Canon EOS family of digital cameras, has been further enriched with another member.

This latest model is intended to fit and support the Canon EOS 80D in a somehow awkward style.

The Sunwayfoto PCL-80D is mainly coherent with the modular design of the rest of Sunway custom Canon L Brackets, a skeleton base plate with convex edges and a removable vertical side plate. But here's where similarities stop.

Firstly, the most obvious differentiation in design is the peculiar positioning of the side vertical plate, which is quite offset to the front in relation to the base plate dovetails.
And secondly the not so obvious differentiation concerns the way the bracket side moves away from the camera side for tethered shooting in portrait mode.
But lets see these one by one later on.

The PCL-80D Bracket

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:PCL-80D
Length:105-123 mm
Width:78 mm
Height:88 mm
Dovetail Width:39 mm
Mounting screw thread:1/4"-20 UNC
Net Weight:156 gr

PCL-80D matching Sunwayfoto standards is CNC machined from aircraft-grade aluminium with high quality surface finishing and hard coat anodizing.
Convex edges both at the front and the back sides of the base plate are meant to embrace the curves at the bottom of the camera acting as an anti-twist mechanism.

Sunwayfoto PCL-80D L Bracket front view
Sunwayfoto PCL-80D L Bracket front
Apart from the laser engraved Sunwayfoto logo and model name on the front side of the base plate, the rear side shown below sports the usual Φ lens center marks which are laser engraved on the base and vertical plates enabling the user to center the camera on a clamp, in both landscape and portrait orientations.

Sunwayfoto PCL-80D L Bracket rear view
Sunwayfoto PCL-80D L Bracket rear lens center marks
An angled front view though, shows the almost by one length offset side plate towards the front. Due to this greatly offset position the vertical plate is equipped with an S shaped brace, while it widens near its mounting point in order to transfer the loads effectively towards the base plate.
Besides the eye catching offset side plate, the base plate features a hand strap loop as well as an extra pod mounting hole threaded 1/4"-20.

Sunwayfoto PCL-80D L Bracket angled front view
Sunwayfoto PCL-80D L Bracket angled front revealing offset side plate
The vertical plate with the S shaped brace is retained by two small hex socket screws on a slider, so it may be removed from the horizontal plate if desired, leaving the slider on the base plate.
Otherwise, the user may remove both the vertical side and the slider via the slider fixing screw as we can see next. Although it may sound redundant, this two part design (vertical side / slider) is more cost effective to manufacture instead of a right angled one part.

Sunwayfoto PCL-80D L Bracket angled rear view
Sunwayfoto PCL-80D L Bracket rear showing side mounting screws
A dismantled view, shows clearly the bottom structure of the base plate with its deep carvings and the side plate slider, which is held in place by its mounting/ adjusting screw and permits it to move outwards away from the camera body, while the base plate remains still
It is also clear that there are two M3 safety stop screws on the edges of the vertical Arca Swiss® compatible dovetail, one near the base plate edge of the strap loop and one hidden below the vertical side mounting point.
Sunwayfoto PCL-80D L Bracket components
Sunwayfoto PCL-80D L Bracket components and hardware
The package except for the parts of the PCL-80D L bracket, includes as usual all hardware, that is: 4 x M3 safety stop screws, 2 x longer M3 vertical side connector-screws, 1 x 1/4"-20 captive camera mounting-screw plus 1 x  1/4"-20 captive slider fixing screw and finally 2 x Allen wrenches appropriately sized for the hex screws included.



Mounted on the Canon EOS 80D
Looking at the attached L bracket on the EOS 80D from the front seems like any custom L Bracket with a standard design with the base plate fitting tightly on the camera bottom.

Sunwayfoto PCL-80D on Canon EOS 80D front view
Sunwayfoto PCL-80D mounted on Canon EOS 80D front view
Most of other manufacturers L Bracket designs have a vertical side plate positioned a little offset to the front to allow for full opening of the EOS 80D articulated LCD screen to the left. So does Sunwayfoto PCL-80 L Bracket, but its excess offset positioning made me wonder the usefulness...


Sunwayfoto PCL-80D on Canon EOS 80D rear view
Rear view of Sunwayfoto PCL-80D on Canon EOS 80D with LCD screen opened.
Until I realized the ability of the PCL-80D not only to allow for the LCD opening but also full tilting up-down 180° when opened.

Sunwayfoto PCL-80D on Canon EOS 80D with tilted LCD
Sunwayfoto PCL-80D allows full exploitation of  articulated LCD movement
Nevertheless, this is a feature the potential user has to consider, taking into account the awkward placement of the vertical side which for some might cause frustration.

Besides that, Canon has decided to place the EOS 80D side connectors quite apart from each other grouped under different weather sealing covers, making it difficult to be used behind an L Bracket side plate.
Therefore, the awkward offset placement of the vertical side of the bracket permits the use of all connectors at once without the need of removing the bracket.

Sunwayfoto PCL-80D on Canon EOS 80D side view with cables
Sunwayfoto PCL-80D offset positioning allows full access to side connectors
Nevertheless the PCL-80D L bracket does have the ability to move away from the camera side, under a different realization from the previous Sunwayfoto L brackets. As mentioned previously, the side plate is mounted on a slider that permits it to move outwards keeping the base plate fit on the camera bottom.

Sunwayfoto PCL-80D on Canon EOS 80D side extended-rear view
Sunwayfoto PCL-80D on Canon EOS 80D with side extended waya from camera body
In this way large plugs extending out of the camera side can be accommodated even when the camera needs to be clamped in portrait orientation.

Sunwayfoto PCL-80D on Canon EOS 80D side extended with cables
Sunwayfoto PCL-80D on Canon EOS 80D shown extended with large plug cables
Last but not least, comes the PCL-80D length, that covers all EOS 80D bottom plate leaving the battery compartment free for easy battery replacement.
This view also shows both bottom M3 safety screws, one on the base plate edge mentioned above and one below the vertical side mounting point.

Sunwayfoto PCL-80D on Canon EOS 80D bottom view
Bottom view of the Sunwayfoto PCL-80D mounted on Canon EOS 80D


I hope you found the information useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos used by permission © 2016 Sunwayfoto.com

Price and Availability:
Recomended retail price for the PCL-80 L Bracket is US$ 59.95. The bracket is currently available in the UK from eBay.com.

If you are interested in the above product(s) or any other product please consider using the relevant link(s) to make your purchase and help support this site. Your support is needed and greatly appreciated.

Referenced Articles:

Sunwayfoto Custom L Bracket PCL-1DXII for Canon 1DX MK II Preview







Relevant Articles:
New Sunwayfoto Specific Plate for Canon 5D Mk III
New Sunwayfoto Specific L Bracket for Canon 5D Mk III

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