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Arca-Swiss Cold Shoe ?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by ijm5012, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Has anybody come across an Arca-Swiss Cold Shoe mount that's reasonably priced? I'm looking for something that I can use to mount some flashes to a ballhead & tripod.

    I see RRS has one with their FA-CS3, but at $32 a pop, the price seems a bit steep for what you get. Granted, RRS items have never been cheap, which is fine when talking about something like a tripod or ballhead, or maybe even an L-bracket for a camera if it's integrated well. But this? This is a simple 1" cube of aluminum that gets run through a CNC unit and then the powdercoat booth.

    I'm all for supporting a company that does something innovative, as I've purchased a Peak Design Capture Clip and two RRS EM1 base plates (as apposed to their Chinese knock-off counterparts found on Amazon/eBay for a fraction of the cost), but I really don't see $32 worth of value in something like this.

    Has anybody come across something that's similar (preferably identical), at a more realistic price?
     
  2. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    I should be easy to put a cold shoe onto an Arca plate, mix and match parts from the Chinese options on eBay. $5 probably gets it done with slow shipping, under $10 with e-packet service.
     
  3. gpburdell

    gpburdell Mu-43 Veteran

    248
    Jul 16, 2014
  4. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Yeah, that'll certainly work (and I agree that it'd likely be better with a PU40 plate). I was just kind of surprised that there wasn't a single, integrated solution like what RRS offers. I mean, there are 8,000 copies of RRS' base plates all over eBay and Amazon, but nothing like this.

    I wonder what the margin is on that RRS piece. It has to be absolutely insane...
     
  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Yes. They are very clever marketers, beginning with the company name. That said, they do invest to develop very niche-y products like L-plates and bases for almost any serious camera body. That costs money and involves market risk. It is also beneficial to the photographic community as a whole. So I am kind of on the fence about their high prices/high margins.
     
  6. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    For some of their high end equipment like their ball heads or tripods, or customized gear like baseplates (I love the two I have for my E-M1's) which are countoured to the camera, and incorporate features like the Arca-Swiss mount and hand strap loop, I'm OK with the higher price because there was actually some design effort that went in to it.

    But that cold-shoe flash adapter? That's something I would whip out of Solidworks in 5 minutes, is extremely generic, and has no real "thought" put in to it. I have an issue with paying $30+ dollars for something that costs them a mere fraction of that. That's why I'm surprised there aren't any knock-offs floating around on eBay or Amazon.
     
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Once the product commitment is made, pricing becomes an exercise in maximizing gross margin dollars. For example, if cutting the price from $32 to $16 was forecast to double their unit sales that would not be a good idea because gross margin dollars would be less. If unit sales are halved at $50 that would probably also reduce total margin $. So considering that they are first to market and that this is somewhat of an arcane product that the Chinese might not copy immediately, they came to the conclusion that $32 was the sweet spot. It really has nothing directly to do with the design effort.

    (It's all circular of course because achieving the return on investment hurdle rate that causes the product to be authorized is based on the gross margin dollars generated by an initial pricing assumption. All in all, it's kind of like astrology with numbers instead of constellations.)
     
  8. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    They are probably high priced expecting to sell few of them. With small production runs, the cost of set-up and time on a CNC could easily keep prices fairly high.

    With cold shoes as inexpensive as these or as expensive as ones that will fit both 3/8 and 1/4 threads, I've had no reason to buy comparatively expensive arca swiss clamps to put on my light stands. On the few occasion when I needed to use a tripod as a light stand - I just removed the ballhead.