Reall Right Stuff E-M1 Grip

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by OzRay, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I finally received my Really Right Stuff (RRS) grip for my E-M1: There were only two aftermarket grips available for the E-M1 and I had no interest whatsoever in the Olympus grip, as it came across as an overly large addition to the E-M1 and would only have been useful had I still been doing sports (for the extra battery life). It’s undoubtedly a good grip, but I just wanted something that added a little more to the height of the body for better purchase, as my pinkie finger was somewhat lost for something to do when holding the E-M1.

    The alternative grip available for the E-M1 is the JB Camera Designs grip,, but after seeing a review of the grip, I was rather put off with the design. Some may see my views as minor quibbles, but aesthetics is an important aspect to me and there were several things I didn’t like about the JB grip. The first being the fact that it didn’t conform neatly to the camera base design and it had an odd cut-out on the right hand (looking from the front), which I couldn’t find any reason why it had been designed that way. The second thing was the brushed aluminium look, which I found very out of place when compared to the finish on the E-M1.

    The RRS grip, on the other hand, comes with a very nice finish that matches the camera well. I was a bit dubious of the RRS branding on the front, but it’s actually fairly subtle in reality vs the website photos. The grip also conforms to the shape of the base so much better, with the body actually sitting inside the grip, meaning that it’s far more secure (more on that later) and for someone who didn’t know, it looks like a factory part of the camera. An additional excellent feature is the Arca Swiss compatible base that goes the full length of the grip. For anyone who uses Arca Swiss compatible mounts, this is an excellent idea, in that you don’t need to attach a secondary mount that invariably becomes a hindrance when you don’t need the mount. For anyone into stereo photography, the mount makes for a perfect slider.

    The underside of the mount has also been well thought out. The screw that attaches the grip to the camera body is separate to a second screw hole that allows you to also affix the camera to a standard tripod screw head, which is centred on the lens axis. This is a nice touch that provides some flexibility to the grip (the JB grip just used the knurled knob to attach the grip to the camera and I’m not sure how well this would take an Arca Swiss mount). Battery access is easy, so nothing really to discuss here. The grip also comes with a slot that lets you attach a strap or the like for those who don’t like camera straps (this is something the JB gip didn’t have) and with the way the camera sits inside the RRS grip, if you do use a strap, all the weight is not taken on the mounting screw, but through the entire grip. This makes strap attachment so much stronger. There is also another slot and screw hole on the opposite end that allows you to attach a vertical plate.

    That’s the technical details out of the way, so how does it actually feel on the camera and in the hand? Very good to be honest and, as this is the first RRS item that I’ve ever bought and having read excellent reviews of their gear, it’s now clear why RRS gets such good reviews; the quality, fit, finish and ergonomics are really excellent. It’s not as tall as the JB grip, but I no longer have an errant pinkie finger, as it’s able to rest against the grip and I’m not sure that a taller grip would have been any better. While the E-M1 was a nice size, I found it just a little too small and now it feels just right. It’s too early to say if there are any niggling issues with the grip, but I certainly can’t find anything to nit-pick at the moment. So if you have been pondering an additional grip and have been tossing up between the two mentioned, I can confidently recommend the RRS grip.
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  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Since there are few closer up images of this grip available on the web, I thought I'd add a few to illustrate how the grip sits on the camera and some of the features mentioned:



  3. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
    I’ve had lots of RRS gear over the years and never had an issue with any of it.
  4. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    As a further note, I sent an email to RRS suggesting that perhaps they could design a strap ring that you could attach to the vertical plate mount (the third photo), as this would allow you to carry the cameras with the lens facing backwards and, when you reached for the camera, you'd be able to grab the grip without interference from a strap on the grip end. It would be a lot more comfortable than having the strap attached to the tripod mount and it would also be a lot stronger, as the forces would be distributed along the entire grip and camera base, and not just at the tripod mount.
  5. 350duser

    350duser Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, QLD
    I would second OzRay's comments about the RRS grip.
    Have been using it since I bought the EM1 and a similar grip on EM5.

    Word of caution if you purchase the L bracket for the EM1:
    Access to the multi connector port to attach a shutter release is a bit awkward.
    In the EM5 the port is at the top of the side panel but in the EM1 it is at the bottom and opening the rubber cover with the L bracket in place is a fiddle.
    The L bracket is great to go from Landscape to portrait mode keeping the lens axis lined up.
  6. mcrosa

    mcrosa Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Miami, Florida
    Mike Crosa
    So true. I broke a fingernail on it.
  7. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I just did a quick test of my theory about attaching a strap to the grip, by using a regular neck strap with one end attached to the factory ring and the other to the loop provided by the RRS grip. I'm more convinced than ever that this is the way to go. I have no idea how RSS will take to my suggestion, but I'm going to see if I can find a way to add a loop to the other side of the grip. Attaching the neck strap to the existing loop isn't ideal, because the top of the camera falls against your body and the grip is on the wrong side, but the way the camera hangs on the strap is excellent.
  8. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    I use a small Kirk clamp at the end of my Black Rapid strap which attaches to the L side of the RRS bracket. Hangs better (IMHO), doesn't interfere with the landscape mode tripod, and comes off in an instant if I need to shoot portrait. Also makes it easy to move the strap from one camera to another.
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    its almost worth a thread looking into ways we've dealt with straps. My solution so far was some release straps which were intented for a rifle strap. They allow me to quick release the neck strap (which I sometimes like) and just put the camera on a tripod or hand it over to someone faster


    and if I want to clear it up more the little dangly remainders can be unclipped quickly too ... cost $20 from a gun shop.
  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa

    I'm a tad confused ...
    but I've looked carefully at the RRS page and answered my questions ... sorry can't delete this
  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I received a reply from RRS regarding my idea and they were utterly confused, thinking that I wanted them to put a strap ring on the end of the L bracket that attaches to the base. I went back to them and tried to clarify what I meant but, in the mean time, I decided to make my own. It was pretty easy and only took about half an hour after I found a 1/4"-20 UNC bolt. The results aren't factory perfect, but it works as intended.

    I have also found that the positioning of the strap in this way really does work well. When you put the camera over your left shoulder, which is what I always do, the camera positions itself just to behind the left hip, but where you can still hold the grip if walking about etc. When you lift the camera to take a photo, there is no strap on the handgrip side to interfere with your hand. I quite like this and it affords much more strength than just attaching the strap to the tripod mount. I could see that this woud also work for anyone that likes just a hand strap, freeing the grip for better access.

    Here are a couple of photos of the finished product:


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  12. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    I just used a BackRapid fastener - it worked but after some time the concept did not fare well with me. So I tried a strap from the camera lug to the RRS plate strap lug, then to the other camera lug and just last week moved the strap back to both camera lugs. I'll probably just move back to the BlackRapid Metro strap.

    I do really enjoy the RRS BOEM-1 plate, it has not been off the camera since I got it. I'm still amazed at the difference the added 3/8" in height makes.
  13. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I just have this paranoia about attaching $4000 worth of camera and lens to the tripod mount of the camera and with a swivel clip, and quick release plastic clips are the devil's own creation. Looking at some of the BlackRapid photos, they seem to put more effort into the straps than the mounting point. This I do not trust:


    The strap didn't work for me when using the camera lug and the RRS plate lug, but does with the mod I've made.

    Just a small update: I sent photos of the finished product to RRS and they like the idea and have sent the photos to their design team. Who knows, maybe more refined versions will appear in their store.
  14. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    I understand the concern. I did a lot of research before I bought my first Black Rapid strap. I checked with insurance company to see if the equipment would be covered if the strap failed in any way - and they said they would cover the equipment in case of a strap failure.

    I used the strap with a D800 and 24-70 or 70-200mm lenses for over a year. So when I got the E-M5 and considering the weight difference - my concern is a lot less, even with the E-M1 and 50-200mm lens. I do give the strap and fittings a good once over before using it and often check to make sure the fastener has not loosened and the screw lock on the swivel clip is still tight. My checks seem to be unneeded - but I know what will happen the first time I decide not to check those things!

    Glad you followed up with RRS - if they came out with something I'd likely give it a try.
  15. RKTodd

    RKTodd Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 6, 2012
    Randall Todd
    The owner of RRS loves and shoot an EM-1, so there's a good chance that that product line will increase/improve.
  16. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Always put RRS Lplates on all of our DSLRs. Have one in shipment for the EM-1.
  17. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    I made a really nice quick release setup using a QD swivel
    Used for rifles good enough for soldiers to hold there gun in combat good enough for my camera kinda thing
    Comes on and off super quick etc...

    Agree I have a BR setup not a fan of the clip setups