Upload & Sell: Off
I haven't used the RRS plate, so please ignore this post.
I am normally a huge RRS fan, but their A7/A7r plate seems to be really half-baked, to be generous, and so for the first time ever I have bought another brand of L-plate. The generic RRS plate works, but isn't ideal, and does block downward tilting of the screen slightly, so I went for the generic one offered here:
I do believe that Fred has the Markins plate, and is happy with it. If you want to wait and hear how the eBay cheap plate is, then wait 5-7 days and...Show more →
The plate has arrived. It is an iShoot piece, sold by photoloving.com on eBay.
It came in a plastic bag, in a black flocked bag (the flocking comes off and left residue on my desk; I won't be using it), in an iShoot box, in a compact shipping box. The shipping box was very dented, the iShoot box slightly dented, but everything inside was perfect. I opted for the GLS shipping, which added 50% to the price, but otherwise it may have arrived as late as April. It is still much cheaper than the competition. Note that no hex-key is included.
The general machining and fit of the piece itself is very nice. The surface is matte and feels good, although whether or not it can stand up to rough use is to be seen. The mechanical design is very good. The vertical riser has a cutout, which allows me to open the doors easily. The battery and SD card doors open easily, and without interference. The connection between the two parts is solid. The screw on the bottom is hex-key based, but can also be turned with a penny, which is handy. The screen is a little tricky to grab, but then pivots the full 90 degrees up, and maybe 35-40 degrees down. I think the beveling in the bottom right corner stops it from being perfect, so maybe a little work there would get the full 45 degrees, but for my purposes, this is close enough. The grip extension gives me a place to put my pinky, and I suspect I will leave the plate on always.
Note that I cannot test it for fit with the older RRS lever clamps. I sold the only one I had, once I realised that RRS were making their brackets and clamps the wrong size to be perfectly compatible with real Arca Swiss components, and all my clamps are now screw-type.
Overall, I am very pleased. There are only a couple of very tiny niggles, apart from the slightly encumbered LCD swing: the fit near the front grip is very slightly too large, there is a needless cutout below the SD card door, and the clamp slot on the rear is much longer than at the front, which is completely useless. Perhaps it is just easier to machine that way. The only possible issue would be the longevity of the finish, I would think.
For the price, I can heartily recommend it. I am not normally a fan of supporting Chinese products (politics, freedom, industrial espionage, cracking, Tibet, yadda-yadda), but given how the usual suspects appear to have messed up in various ways, I have made an exception this time.