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Which grip & l-plate for E-M5

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by heedpantsnow, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jul 24, 2011
    Hi, everyone, I'm currently trying to decide which grip I should get for my OM-D. I mainly just want it for a slightly surer grip and for mounting portrait-style on my tripod. Right now my main photographic pursuits are kids/family, street, documentary, and some landscape. My only long lens currently is a legacy 135 3.2, but that could change. Here are my options. I would really love some feedback, thoughts, or first hand knowledge.

    Feel free to discuss your own needs and thoughts, or other options I might not be aware of.

    1) JLM's grip/L-plate combo - details here
    Cons:
    Not cheap ($175)
    Pros:
    Seems to be good quality (based on pictures)
    Available now
    Made in USA*

    2) RRS grip/L-plate combo (here)
    Cons:
    Not cheap ($180)
    Heavy (possibly, just looking at the amount of material)
    Spotty availability
    Pros:
    High quality - based on my own experience w/ RRS
    Thinking about buying a new RRS ballhead (really reaching here)
    Made in USA*

    3) Oly HDL6 + generic L-plate
    Cons:
    Higher cost ($300 + ~$65)
    Both made in some factory somewhere in unknown conditions
    Pros:
    I guess decent quality
    More functionality: buttons, shutter, and extra battery
    Possibly lighter - can separate out when I just want the grip or plates
    Available now

    4) Forget it - just go out and take some pictures!
    Free! :rofl:

    *Please note: I'm not a "USA-made" snob. I'm fine buying stuff from EU, USA, wherever. My main issue is I hate buying stuff made in some underpaid sweatshop in Asia or South America. Before you say "you don't know what you're talking about", consider that I've lived in mainland China for 12 years and have seen my fair share.
     
  2. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    965
    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Geoff
    blast

    I wish I hadn't read that because I didn't do my 'due diligence' checks. I am glad you care enough to think the manufacturing conditions are an issue, the more people who care the better.

    I have just bought (waiting to arrive) the generic Olympus grip on the basis that I could buy it locally and I have held one and like it's functionality ... but I didn't think of the people who made it. That must apply to the cameras as well as they are probably (I don't know) all outsourced so I hope Olympus have the right ethical checks in place.
     
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  3. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jul 24, 2011
    Gosh, I just realized how condescending my original post sounded. Sorry I came off like that. I think it's just a personal decision. And I do already own the body and other things that might have been produced in less than stellar working conditions; I just try to minimize it when I have a choice.

    Please let me know how you like your grip. I'm still considering it and like the idea of a shutter button on top of the front extended grip part.
     
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  4. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    I wan that hand wrist grip gs4 but apparently it only works if you have the whole grip for the omd?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    965
    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Geoff
    I didn't read it as condescending, it made me feel better about some of my strange ideas

    As to the grip ...I have been waiting 5 weeks for it now so don't hold your breath but I will try to remember
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    :2thumbs: (I'm a believer in free market economies that are fair for everyone)

    My choice:
    * HLD-6 grip (w/ two Olympus batteries whenever they decide to make them)
    * Generic Plate

    note: My preference of support is a combination of a gimbal head + nodal slider which has some weight in this preference. I currently using just an generic L plate. I like the fact they can be separated when necessary for weight/size AND the HLD-6 is far more functional.

    The only issue here is that I have yet to convince myself that the $300 for the HLD-6 is worth it to me. I'm about to drop $300 on niksoftware and its far more rewarding that a grip.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    Just something to think about:

    If you are considering purchase of a RRS ballhead with quick-release lever (or already use one like me), your only option may be the RRS grip. The reason is that "standard" arca-swiss plates often do not fit this head properly. I know this from experience. - I bought a non RRS arca swiss L-plate for my Nikon D80 and it was too large/tight for the RRS lever to properly close.

    Just something to consider.
     
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  8. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I've got the Olympus grip. I don't use a tripod so I have no experience with l-plates.

    The landscape part of the Olympus grip does give me a better hand position while using the camera though my longest lens is only the Oly 40-150. Where it really makes a difference for me, however, is not when I'm actually shooting but while I'm carrying the camera around as I normally use a wrist strap and carry the camera by my side. With the grip, carrying the camera by my side is incredibly more comfortable. Since I do more carrying than holding the camera in shooting grip, and I can carry it with a much more relaxed hand, my hand is in better shape to hold the camera when I do shoot, and I think that is an advantage to be considered also. In addition, I think the position of the shutter button and control wheel on the landscape grip are better than the position of the shutter and control wheel on the camera body when you're not using a grip. The JLM grip would give you the carrying advantages as well but without having tried one I have no idea what I would think of the actual shooting grip with it and where it places your hand and fingers in relation to the shutter button and control wheel on the camera body. My guess is that the Olympus grip will have an advantage there.

    I did not expect to like the portrait part of the grip but I was surprised. I like the physical handling of the camera with both grips attached and probably the only reason I don't use the whole grip all the time is simply because of bulk. I found I do prefer shooting portrait style with the portrait grip attached but so far not enough to leave it on the camera all of the time. It does add a bit more weight, but I think I gain a little more stability with that. Most of the time, however, I just use the landscape grip which adds little in mass, or in bulk except at the grip point.

    I've contemplated the hand strap but the thing that turns me off it is that you need the portrait grip mounted as well in order to attach it, but it can't be used when you're actually using the portrait grip for shooting in portrait orientation. I find only being able to use it in landscape orientation but not being able to attach it to only the landscape portion of the grip a turn off. I'm not certain what Olympus could have done to make it work with both grips but I do think they could easily have made it attachable when you're only using the landscape grip.

    It's an expensive grip and I can happily use the camera without it, but I do prefer the handling with it. While my original intention was probably to only use the portrait part of the grip, the added functionality of the portrait grip (extra battery, more convenient shutter button and control wheel in portrait orientation) together with the gain in stability I get from the bit of added mass are a much bigger benefit than I thought they would be. I'm very glad I bought it, though I would have liked it to cost a bit less.
     
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  9. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jul 24, 2011
    It appears that's the way it's designed. Of course, you could always use a QR plate with strap lug, a tripod socket screw-in eyelet, etc. to mount the bottom side of the strap.

    Thanks!

    Thanks for the thoughts! I don't use a gimbal head, but I do enjoy looking through a portrait-oriented viewfinder some of the time...helps me to think and compose in a way I don't with it in landscape. I agree with you that the HLD-6 is more functional...just dunno if it's worth the extra $$$$. Also, go for the Nik! I recently was able to get the complete suite and it's pretty awesome!

    That's a good thought; that might actually steer me a little away from RRS ballheads then since I have a variety of other QR plates for other cameras (Kirk, Wimberley, and Acratech if memory serves). My situation doesn't allow me to by a RRS head and send it back if it doesn't work out. :mad:

    Thanks for the thoughts! I often carry mine at my side; often it's just "dangling" on my fingertips (I mean my old DSLR). Your insight reminded me of that. Also, it's incredibly ironic about the design of their wrist strap and how they demand it be attached...
     
  10. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    I couldn't remember the make of the L-plate that was not compatible with my RRS BH-55 head with QR Clamp. But your post jogged my memory. FWIW, it was a Kirk L-Plate.

    It's my understanding that there's no problem with the heads that do not have the QR clamp.
     
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  11. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    244
    Dec 24, 2010
    Cliff
    I have the HDL-6 and a generic l-plate at this point. I got the Sunwayfoto DPL-01 off ebay and it works really well when both parts of the grip are used. It does block the battery door on the vertical grip, but it mounts solidly and does not block the remote release access.

    I looked at the other grip options, but I found I prefer to have both parts of the grip mounted as the camera rests in my hand better that way. That is particularly the case with larger lenses like the Panasonic 7-14mm, 12-35mm, and 100-300mm.

    In terms of the compatibility of plates and clamps, the issues is only that a RRS lever release clamp is sensitive to the plate width that is allowed within the Arca swiss spec. Some plates by other manufacturers were not as firmly clamped as RRS plates. If you choose a screw type clamp that you tighten, then it is a non event. The lever type use spring washers to generate the clamping force, so they are more sensitive. All RRS ballheads are available with either type of clamp.

    Cliff
     
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  12. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Sep 23, 2011
    Colorado
    I already have the Olympus grip, didn't know there were options, but I'm pleased with this one.

    I pre-ordered an L-plate from RRS (over four months ago without a hint of ever arriving) - didn't know there were options. *edit* In the mean time, I'm using a Wimberley P-5 plate - these are the best Arca-Swiss style mounts I've ever seen, short of an L plate.

    Funny how we build up our own "preferred vendors" and don't do our due diligence sometimes.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. MrPhotoBob

    MrPhotoBob Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Jun 16, 2012
    I have two of the HLD-6 grips and I use them on both of my E-M5 bodies. They are nice for being able to use two batteries for each camera, as well as having other buttons for controlling the camera.
     
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  14. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jul 24, 2011
    Thanks, that's useful to know. Sounds like I might need to steer clear of the RRS lever-release clamps!

    That's the exact L-plate I was looking at! Do you have any pictures of it mounted on your camera with & without the portrait grip? I would really love to see what it looks like, and I'm sure others would as well. Thanks for the other info as well.

    Yep, though I sometimes go off the other end of the spectrum and OCD a decision to death when it probably wasn't that complicated (current thread may be an example :biggrin:).

    Thanks, I agree that those buttons would be useful.
     
  15. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    I have John's (JLM) basic grip as I don't use the L plate. But I have to say it's a very well cut chunk of metal. I like that it is compact yet gives me a better grip (the OEM grip looks too large to me, but I'm sure it's still comfortable).

    But it basically boiled down to the battery door access and a centered tripod mount (don't need to buy nodal ninja adapter) for me. And that I wanted it now. The added hand grip attachment was a plus, too, since I don't have to buy a camdapter for it.

    The RSS grip would have probably been close, I'm not too much of a fan of the grip styling, but sure it's great as well. Timing and supporting a camera enthusiast landed me at John's door.

    I will unlikely ever take the grip off at this point =)
     
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  16. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    244
    Dec 24, 2010
    Cliff
    Here you go. Crappy phone-photos as I only have one camera body at this point. I only did the photos of the plate on the full grip as it is not well suited for the vertical grip only (in my opinion). Plus I am too lazy...

    [​IMG]

     
  17. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jul 24, 2011
    Thank you very much for the thoughts!
     
  18. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jul 24, 2011
    I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to do that. That really helps me visualize how it would fit together, and how far up parallel to the lens the portrait side of the bracket would come.
     
  19. oris642

    oris642 Mu-43 Regular

    I posted an article here years ago on modifying a Really Right Stuff generic L-bracket to fit a Panny G1 (this was before they came out with a custom one.) I have also tried it on the OM-D and it works well - the lip on the long side just fits under the hinged LCD screen, preventing the L-bracket from twisting. Of course, one has to take it off to change batteries. I also find that the short side actually makes the camera easier to hold.

    Really Right Stuff - Item Listing
     

    Attached Files:

  20. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jul 24, 2011
    Thanks! I went back and found your old thread; great job!

    For anyone interested, the thread is here.