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Richard Franiec to Produce Custom Grip for Olympus E-PL3 and E-PM1

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Some of you may already be familiar with Richard Franiec's custom grips for cameras such as the Olympus XZ-1, Canon S95, and Sigma DP1. Richard's highly-regarded grips are individually machined from aircraft-grade aluminum and finished in black.

    I'm pleased to report that Richard just informed me that he will be producing a grip for the Olympus E-PL3, his first grip for a Micro 4/3 camera. His choice of camera is an excellent one as I have read many comments from prospective E-PL3 owners expressing a desire for some sort of grip on that camera.

    Here's an image of the E-PL3 with Franiec grip taken from Richard's site:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    For sake of comparison, here is the same camera without Franiec grip:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    For more information including pricing and availability, visit Richard Franiec's Camera Accessories
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I should have said something sooner - there was a thread about this on DPR and Richard posted a bunch of photos (which all essentially show the same thing from different angles...). I'm looking forward to it - I think this camera really needs this or something similar. The only slight concern I have is that with a fatter lens (one that flares out from the lens mount - the 20mm and all larger Pany lenses do), the clearance between the grip and the lens might be kind of tight. Regardless, I plan to buy one (he estimated mid-September availability) and I'll test it out before permanently installing it...

  3. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    The Franiac grip for the Canon G9 was fantastic... it made my G9 much nicer to work with. If I had an e-pl3 I would definitely check out this grip.
  4. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Yeah, I too have his grip on my little G9. Love it. But I want one for my EP-3. I know there is supposedly one out there somewhere but the only ones I've seen are from HK and ridiculously expensive. At least with Richard you'd get a decent grip for your money. Not just a little piece of plastic. :biggrin:
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    SAWEET! Wow, what a tiny and functional camera that E-PL3 could be. ;)  This actually does make it a lot more likely for me to upgrade my E-PL2 for an E-PL3 and probably not even bother with the E-P3 which is as clunky as my E-PL2 (kidding, my E-PL2 isn't clunky... but I wouldn't mind a slimmer body if it can be held practically).
  6. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    It is surprising that Olympus didn't design the e-p3 and e-pl3 with integrated finger grips.. they seem to be an important aid in handling, especially with such small cameras which can mount larger sized optics. Good on Richard for doing what camera manufacturers should have done in the first place.
  7. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I've used Richard's grips on at least three Canons, and they are just super! Turned slippery little bricks into usable compacts - magic!
  8. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I think Olympus intended that because the E-PL3 has no grip, you'll buy their Olympus branded leather cases for another $100! :wink:
  9. littlefish

    littlefish Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 22, 2011
    Glos., UK
    Seconded. Richard' product, service and instructions are excellent. His grip for the Canon S90 has helped make it the most used camera I've ever owned (with the possible exception of my Halina Paulette Electric).
  10. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    So let's see what we have here...
    - E-P3 has grip & touch screen
    - E-PL3 much cheaper, articulating screen, and a faster sequential shutter speed

    E-PL3 definitely *should* be the highest seller....
  11. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Of course, this makes the E-PL3 more marketable, which I 'm sure Olympus can deal with.
  12. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I wonder if Olympus will do a Pen pro to go against the NEX-7? Integrate the E-P3 touch screen, swivel screen of the E-PL3, a built in VF, Panasonic's 16mp sensor and with m43s combined lens line-up, I could see Olympus with a real powerful camera! I wonder if Panasonic or Olympus will be up to the challenge?
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Richard Franiec

    Richard Franiec New to Mu-43

    Aug 28, 2011

    The clearance between the lens mount and the top ridge of the "S" shape is approximately 20mm (.8 of an inch) in the narrowest spot. This gives plenty of room (about 1/4 of an inch) between my middle finger hooked around the curve and kit zoom lens. My hands are of average size.

    Best wishes

    • Like Like x 2
  14. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA

    Thanks for the fast response.
  15. bongestrella

    bongestrella Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 2, 2011
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I wonder if this will be useable on an e-pm1 as well? Or would the dimensions differ between these two cameras causing this grip to not be compatible with e-pm1?
  16. cherrywood

    cherrywood Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2010
    Flipbac Grip on Canon S95.

    Some photos showing the Flipbac Grip on the Wife's Canon S95. the Grip is made of Silicone and is very easy to install. Same 3M adhesive as Richard Franic's Grip of aluminum.

    Makes the slim S95 much more secure and nicer to hold. The Grip is approx 12USD as compared to 34USD. The RF Aluminum is more "chic", than the FB but........the FB does the same job, so now we have a couple of nice options for cameras that do not have a nice grip.
    Highly Recommended.
  17. eolake

    eolake Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 21, 2009
    Lancashire, England
    You said it, my man.

    I have the grip for my S90, and I've ordered the one now for the Pen Lite. I'm a big fan, not the least because they are so beautiful.
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I got Richard's grip in the mail today. As expected, its a very nice piece of work and both looks and feels like a fully integrated part of the camera. I think its the last piece needed to make the EPL3 a really great camera. Its still not quite as perfect as the EP3 to hold, but now its close enough! And I tried it with the wider Pany lenses and even with the 100-300 there's plenty of clearance for your fingers.

    FWIW, I also ordered a Flipbac before Richard's became available to order and figured I'd see how I liked that until I could get one of Richard's and then I'd be in a position to see which I preferred. Well, it came today as well, so I never got to do that. But I can tell you that after holding them both in position on the camera and playing around with them, it was an easy call to put Richard's grip on it. First of all, its a good deal thicker, probably half again, and gives more to grip. Second, the Flipbac is flat edge to edge so you have to avoid the curve of the camera and, best I can tell the grip part would have to be about a quarter inch or so closer to the lens. Might be better for some people, might be worse for others, but it was clear that the Franiac grip was gonna be the better fit for me. The rubber material of the Flipbac feels pretty nice, though, and they look just as well made, but Richard's is made specifically to fit these cameras and the Flipbacs are one size fits all, so I'm set...

    • Like Like x 1
  19. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Am i correctin believing that Franiec's grip is not rubberized? Seems like it would be somewhat slippery... I have the flipbac on my PM1 and it is very nice but a touch small. I also had to get it as far out to the edge as possible to leave comfortable clearance when the 45-200 is attached.

    Honestly, Olympus.
  20. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    No, not rubberized. More like the integrated grip on the gf2 or G3 - same basic feel as the camera body. It's more about the shape than the material.

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