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DIY grip for E-P5

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by budeny, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    My only complaint with EP5 is that camera relatively heavy and default grip is a bit inadequate.
    I don't like L-plate and especially half-case as they add unnecessary bulk, weight and cost quite a bit.
    So, here we go, lets make our own grip with some simple tools and supplies.



    1. Remove lens, put on body cap and wrap camera side with Press'n'Seal - it's thin, flexible, durable and won't slide from OEM grip.
    2. Cut ~1.25 inch from stick of JB WaterWeld epoxy putty - knead it thoroughly (I suggest some plastic gloves) until uniform in color. It has 25 min set time, so don't rush too much.
    3. Now lets sculpt our new grip. Putty is quite sticky, so keep your hands and tools wet with water all time. Use some round pen to roll curves and press with plastic card to make nice even sides.







    4. Let putty to cure for 2 hours, then remove. Here it is:




    5. Now get some medium and fine grit sand paper and work over curves, sides, corners and etc. It won't take you long as material is very easy to work with.
    Make sure you left some space to use floss when you want to remove the grip (see p.7 below).
    Here is our grip ready to be painted:





    6. After 2 coats of black textured paint - it's good match to E-P5 paint.
    Primer coat is not necessary here.






    7. Now let the paint dry for 2 days and get some 3M VHB Transfer Tape - same type used on Richard Franiec's grips.
    I ended up on ebay buying 9473 grade tape - I guess 9469 and 9460 grades will work too.
    Before putting transfer tape on the grip, make sure you thought ahead how you will remove the grip when you don't need or want it.
    Same as with Richard Franiec's grips you will need to run dental floss under grip, so make sure it's possible BEFORE you put it on!

    And here is the end result. Feels very sturdy and comfortable up to the being able to use both control wheels and hold EP5+75mm lens by ONE hand.
    Sorry for so-so pic - it's mirror made selfie.
     
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  2. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    772
    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Frank
    Very impressive, but few of us have your DIY skills. I'm disappointed Richard Franiec hasn't offered a grip for the ep5. Maybe you could sell him a mould. Or have you considered selling grips? That's the way Franiec got into business in the first place.
     
  3. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Thank you, Frank. I had RF's grip on my EPL3, S90 cameras and it was high quality and looks like it was made with industrial grade tools - my work has no chance to match his level.
    But my grip costs little, takes about 2 hours to make and doesn't really require handyman skills - so may be people will give it a try :))
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    772
    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Frank
    I'd like to send Richard Franiec a link to your thread, to encourage him to offer a machined version of your design. Do you know how I can contact him?
     
  5. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Sent you PM.
     
  6. perpetualjon

    perpetualjon Mu-43 Veteran

    226
    Oct 30, 2013
    Southern California
    LOL!!! Awesome job!! Simple and effective.
     
  7. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Herbert
    I will try this with an E-PL3. Honestly this hobby is so expensive that I stay away from the accesorizing part of it. Been tempted a lot by Franiec grips but don't want to shell out the dough. This I think I can do. Mucho thanks!


    Sent from my iPhone
     
  8. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    I got transfer tape couple days ago and attached grip to EP5 - feels and handles great. Also posted final picture.
     
  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Nice job budeny. I've seen some other DIY grips that look more like the work of Frankenstein than Franiec.

    Is the final product basically hard plastic?
     
  10. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Yeah, I've seen such one couple years ago :))
    And yes, it's plastic - epoxy resin with whatever filler JB put in it.
     
  11. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Excellent job! There are two things I don't like about the E-P5, the grip and the price. This would solve the grip problem and I bet the price comes down before too long.

    Does your new grip affect the WiFi? I had heard that the reason why Olympus didn't use the swappable grip from the E-P3 is because the WiFi antenna was right there.
     
  12. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Yeah, initial price for EPx series was always a bit out of touch with reality.. But recent used prices dropped a lot. I got EP5+17mm+VF4 combo and after selling lens and vf my EP5 body cost came to under $400.
    As for WiFi, I didn't notice any degradation within 10-15 feet. Because it's plastic it shouldn't interfere a lot.
     
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  13. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Since Olympus was so kind to upgrade EP5 firmware with zero antishock feature, so I decided to treat my camera with upgraded DIY grip:


     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
    • Like Like x 4
  14. MikeyLNG

    MikeyLNG New to Mu-43

    2
    Sep 30, 2013
    I sent an email to Richard Franiec and this was the response:

    Sounds like he won't be pursuing it, which is disappointing. I'm really curious to give this a go though. How secure is the tape? With small cameras like the RX100 or Canon S192 etc., there's no concern over weight because they're all one size and not heavy at all. Obviously with the E-P5 being an interchangeable lens system, it's a relatively heavy camera as it is, and of course some lenses will be heavier than others.
     
  15. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Tape is quite secure, imo. When I was removing smaller version of DIY grip it didn't give up easily.
    Plus the way camera held do not really put the strain on the tape.
    But this all true for VHB tape, don't try it with double-sided tape that is sold in Home Depot..
     
  16. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    Does the textured black paint provide a sure fit for extended hand holding? If so could you tell me details of which kind of paint to get? I found a UNX Grip on ebay and it fits perfectly except the grip itself is smooth black finish and in our humid environment it gets a little slippery after a short while outside. I'll soon start an E-P5 grip museum!
    Thanks,
    Bobby
     
  17. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Paint is as smooth as oem EP5 body paint (black). If I would be after traction then I would mix paint with some media, e.g. walnut or sand blasting.
     
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  18. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    I found a great product online called "SUGRU", it's a self adhesive rubber that would work in your already successful grip design and at the same time resolve my grip problem in a much simpler way. It's just very versatile. The product comes in a foil envelope that's air tight. Once you cut open the package you can work the play-doh like material into any shape you want and then let it cure for 24 hours. In my case I simply covered the finger grip portion of my UNX aluminum grip with a thin covering of black SUGRU and smoothed it over with a wet finger then when no seams were showing I took something called "Gun Tape" and wet it with soapy water then rolled the face of the tape over the entire exposed SUGRU coated finger grip pressing into the play-doh like material which left a grainy leather like rubber gripping surface. I now have a solid non-slip surface on my UNX Grip! The SUGRU will adhere to itself so you can build it up in layers on layers for a super custom fit. I have also done some experimenting with WI-FI while this aluminum grip is attached to the camera body. So far the WI-FI works just fine in the largest room in my home which is 26' long. So the aluminum grip might interfere with WI-FI but not enough to hinder me. I am a happy camper!
    WARNING, this SUGRU makes a permanent bond so to remove it would will have to cut it off (it's rubber) then sand off the rest. Or you could make it as "budeny" did, let it cure, then use tape for the attachment to the body.
    PS, Thanks budeny!!!
     
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  19. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    772
    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Frank
    How about a picture of your creation, Bobby?
     
  20. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    Please forgive my poor tablet photography, I'm still mastering the wonderful EP-5.
    [​IMG]
    I hope this displays my image.
    Bobby
    Flickr doesn't like me!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][/url]EP5 by zensu333, on Flickr[/IMG]

    [​IMG][/url]EP51 by zensu333, on Flickr[/IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 1