I love Really Right Stuff. I use their lens plates, L-brackets, and tripod heads, and clamps for all my equipment. They are high quality and have a lot of thought put into their designs. They have released a special L-bracket for Leica’s M8 & M9. These actually replace the bottom cover. The photo above shows the RRS bracket next to the original Leica bottom cover.
Leica’s has worked great for years, why improve it? Why not just screw in a bracket like on all other cameras? Stability. The RRS bracket is very solid and has less flex than Leica’s plate. The fit is tighter and more secure. Leica’s aren’t weather sealed…but I can’t imagine anything squeezing through the RRS bracket once the screw as been locked. It really needs to be felt to understand how much more precise fit RRS got into their bracket.
The bracket is also a 3-piece bracket. The basic bracket just replaced the bottom plate and acts to connect the camera to the RRS clamps. This supports the camera across a larger area versus just the tripod hole. At each end of the bracket there are holes to attach the other pieces.
The second piece is the actual L-bracket. This locks on securely with 4 screws. You can see this in the following image. This also has a strap attachment point at the top. The L-bracket can comfortable support the camera standing upright. Solid.
The third piece is a grip that attaches to the right side of the basic bracket. I was not interested in an accessory grip since most of m time is spent on a tripod. I have used it on others’ cameras before and can say if you like a grip, it is definitely worth it. The grip is smooth and secure. SInce I opted not to use the grip, RRS provides three rubber plugs to fill the holes. As odd a solution as this sounds, it works. It may not be the most elegant, but I have honestly never noticed them after I installed them. You just pull them through until they secure at their widest taper and the cut the bottom off with a blade or similar. These are recessed from the bottom of the bracket so I can’t imagine them getting pushed back through.
The other benefit to the RRS bracket is the centering marks. The rear side of the bracket has a centering mark on the L-bracket as well as the bottom plate. This is ideal for lining up the camera on their other gear for panoramic work. There is a tripod hole on the bottom that is bored right into the aluminum. It is also centered on the bottom plate unlike the Leica original which is too far to the right to be useful in panoramic work.
The RRS L-bracket for Leica M8 & M9 is awesome. It feels just as solid as the camera if not more. (says a lot if you are used to holding Leicas!) Even though the Leica plate is tough and works great, hanging an expensive camera from a single tripod hole scares me a bit. Having a camera off-center on the tripod is also something to be avoided. The RRS bracket gives on-center positioning with stability that is second to none. I highly recommend this for all Leica users if you use tripods.