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Archive 2018 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?

  
 
molson
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p.6 #1 · p.6 #1 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


1bwana1 wrote:
What I found on mine was that because the screw on the RRS clamp was not flush it pushed the plate up. That makes L-bracket base seem like it doesn't fit and clamp will not close exactly as you describe.

Try offsetting the L-bracket in the clamp and see if it closes.

To confirm that this was the issue on mine, I just ground down the screw so that it fit flush. The L bracket now works perfectly.

The L-bracket is perfectly flat in machining, so this really looks like a RRS issue to me.


The issue is the angle of the dovetail cut in the base of the L-bracket - the RRS plates and brackets appear to have a slightly lower angle on the cut, and this allows the jaws of the clamp to travel slightly farther before locking on the RRS plates. With some of the Chinese designs, the jaws of the RRS clamp contact the sides of the dovetail sooner, so it takes more force to close the clamp - sometimes a great deal more force is needed, to the point where it feels something is going to break.

In examining my two RRS lever clamps, I noticed one of them has a shaper transition on the cam portion of the lever - this is the one that is much harder to close on the off-brand clamps. The other clamp has a more rounded cam profile, so the application of force is more progressive so it doesn't feel like something is about to break before the clamp closes. It looks like this is an RRS quality control issue, and I think a very light touch with a file on the cam profile would fix the issue.

The clamp on the right has the abrupt cam profile which makes it very difficult to use the Gabale and other third-party plates; the one on the left has the more rounded cam profile which makes it a bit easier to use with the non-RRS plates.





RRS Lever Clamps




Mar 19, 2019 at 11:47 AM
1bwana1
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p.6 #2 · p.6 #2 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


I see what you are saying. Mine had a different issue and now work well. I do find that I have to be careful on positioning as the cut for the rails on the L-Bracket are a little short on the right side. If I am over too far the lever gets hard to close.


Mar 19, 2019 at 12:09 PM
Dave Sanders
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p.6 #3 · p.6 #3 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


I'm a bit late to this thread...but as someone who has had multiple L brackets from multiple companies for everything from an EM5 to an EM1 to an RX1 to an A7R to a D810...RRS are easily worth the price. Fit, finish, service, fit...did I say fit? I don't even think about it anymore...luckily I've been able to pick up most of them used to save a bit. I put a $2k lens on a $3k body mounted to a $1k tripod...that's a lot of hard earned money for me, I'm not rich, so I'm not gonna sweat the $100 or so to make it all work properly.


Mar 21, 2019 at 12:49 AM
molson
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p.6 #4 · p.6 #4 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


Dave Sanders wrote:
I'm a bit late to this thread...but as someone who has had multiple L brackets from multiple companies for everything from an EM5 to an EM1 to an RX1 to an A7R to a D810...RRS are easily worth the price. Fit, finish, service, fit...did I say fit? I don't even think about it anymore...luckily I've been able to pick up most of them used to save a bit. I put a $2k lens on a $3k body mounted to a $1k tripod...that's a lot of hard earned money for me, I'm not rich, so I'm not gonna sweat the
...Show more

RRS L-brackets are nice, but it's too bad they can't pay the same attention to detail on their other products, like their lever-release clamps... unless that was a conscious decision to make it more difficult for customers to use other brands of plates and L-brackets...

Your costs for RRS products are a little out of date, too... for an A7R III L-bracket the landed cost in Canada is now north of $300 if you buy from B&H and get "free" shipping (which as of the beginning of March now comes by DHL, with normal delivery times of 30 to 45 days...).

If you buy directly from RRS, the cost is well over $400 since they have implemented a rip-off shipping scheme of their own.

I guess that's just peanuts for you rich people... but now that I've figured out how to fix the design flaw in the RRS clamps, I can use the better/faster/cheaper alternatives.



Mar 21, 2019 at 10:19 AM
offtraildog
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p.6 #5 · p.6 #5 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


I purchased 3 RRS L-plates for my last 3 Sony bodies. Now I am interested in trying a competitor's product. I have no problem paying more money for a product that offers something to me to justify the additional cost. In the case of the L-Plate for my A7R3, the Fotomix appears to provide the exact same functionality I need as the RRS so the RRS logo is not worth an extra $180 + shipping

Is it possible for the Fotomix to be the same fit and finish? Yes - last job I had, I sourced machined aluminum parts from Asia that required a high degree of precision and finish. Will the fit and finish be the same? .. TBD. At least one person on this forum is happy.

My Fotomix arrives Friday and I'll post my findings. I still have a RRS plate for my long-gone A6000 for comparison for finish and I had the RRS for my A7R2 so I know how the RRS plate fit on essentially the same body body as the A7R3.



Mar 21, 2019 at 11:05 AM
Ziocomposite
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p.6 #6 · p.6 #6 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


Dustin Gent wrote:
no problem. The wait is worth it! Here are some photos of the plate


Thanks for the pictures Dustin. It looks like you decided to keep the battery door on the camera. I'm assuming you'll have to remove the plate to take the battery out or charge via cable?



Mar 21, 2019 at 11:28 AM
Dustin Gent
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p.6 #7 · p.6 #7 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?



Ziocomposite wrote:
Thanks for the pictures Dustin. It looks like you decided to keep the battery door on the camera. I'm assuming you'll have to remove the plate to take the battery out or charge via cable?


Yeah, I will have to take the plate off to change the battery, but moving the battery door wasn't appealing to me - leaves room for dirt and stuff to get in there



Mar 21, 2019 at 11:31 AM
Ziocomposite
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p.6 #8 · p.6 #8 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


Dustin Gent wrote:
Yeah, I will have to take the plate off to change the battery, but moving the battery door wasn't appealing to me - leaves room for dirt and stuff to get in there



Just purchased it so will be coming in around early April. Thanks for the suggestion/link! Planning to re-attach the door to plate then find something similar to this - https://youtu.be/2o3u9Pd5j4Q?t=162



Mar 21, 2019 at 12:22 PM
Dave Sanders
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p.6 #9 · p.6 #9 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


molson wrote:
RRS L-brackets are nice, but it's too bad they can't pay the same attention to detail on their other products, like their lever-release clamps... unless that was a conscious decision to make it more difficult for customers to use other brands of plates and L-brackets...

Your costs for RRS products are a little out of date, too... for an A7R III L-bracket the landed cost in Canada is now north of $300 if you buy from B&H and get "free" shipping (which as of the beginning of March now comes by DHL, with normal delivery times of 30 to 45 days...).
...Show more

Their lever release clamps are also impeccable, IMO. Arca Swiss isn't a standard per se, more a set of design specs that some follow more closely than others, hence no company claiming compatibility with any plates other than their own. RRS's specs are posted on their website and any company who wishes to design compatible products can follow them. I've got RRS products going back a decade and there have never been compatibility issues, they're always machined to within a very narrow variance. That, I think, is not the problem you've been facing, though.

The issue is, do other manufacturers follow RRS's specs to guarantee compatibility? No. Indeed, it looks like American manufacturers like RRS, Acra-tech, Kirk, etc. follow one spec, Eastern manufacturers another. My over-engineered (but oh so nifty) FLM clamping system prefers a thinner plate and doesn't work with my RRS or Kirk plates. I contacted them and they told me, like others have, that their clamping system is 'Arca-like' and they can't guarantee compatibility with any plate but their own. I also found only marginal fit with my Sunwayfoto plates in my FLM.

As for RRS and cost, yes, they're pricey. But, as I mentioned, I've had great luck getting my L-plates and grips used. Where in Canada are you located? Vancouver has a very active photo community on Craigslist and I've gotten all my stuff there or on eBay. I paid $100 for the L-plate for my D810 on CL; just picked one up for my A7RII for $120 on eBay, LN- condition and free shipping from a Canadian seller. I have found, over the years, that pricey accessories are bought and sold frequently and usually at a substantial discount. My RX1 plate and grip, I got for $90. My EM5, $110; EM1, a screaming deal at $80. All RRS, all heavy duty, flawlessly machined. I went through a cheap alternative for my EM5, EM1 and RX1 and all of them were lighter, fit worse on the camera and sometimes didn't fit at all with my clamps. I couldn't resell them, so I gave them away when I sold the cameras. If you're some place where those things are inaccessible, lemme know, I'm always happy to look here and hook up a fellow Canadian photo enthusiast.

I'm a teacher so let's say I'm far from a rich guy...we could compare T4's to see who is the poorest haha...but I have figured out over the years that I should buy quality and buy once. If you buy quality and it's used, you can generally sell it for what you paid if it doesn't work out. I have tried hard to not learn that lesson, believe me But I think have finally internalized it. I have spent a lot of money on gear that works for me and I spend hundreds and hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars every year to get myself into position to take meaningful photos. As someone who routinely shoots long exposure landscapes, my camera goes on and off my tripod all the time, almost every time I go shooting, so it really doesn't seem worth it for me to choose to save money on what is possibly the weakest - and therefore most important - link in my image capturing chain.



Mar 21, 2019 at 01:25 PM
molson
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p.6 #10 · p.6 #10 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


Dave Sanders wrote:
Their lever release clamps are also impeccable, IMO. Arca Swiss isn't a standard per se, more a set of design specs that some follow more closely than others, hence no company claiming compatibility with any plates other than their own. RRS's specs are posted on their website and any company who wishes to design compatible products can follow them.



Look at the photo I posted above. Two RRS lever release clamps, but manufactured to very different tolerances on the locking cam. What are other manufacturers supposed to do, when RRS apparently can't even follow their own "specs"?



Mar 21, 2019 at 01:50 PM
Dave Sanders
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p.6 #11 · p.6 #11 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


molson wrote:
Look at the photo I posted above. Two RRS lever release clamps, but manufactured to very different tolerances on the locking cam. What are other manufacturers supposed to do, when RRS apparently can't even follow their own "specs"?


The specs are for their dovetail plates. Lever variation is another thing. Does this cause a difference in how they clamp RRS plates? Have you emailed them this? I would, they're a very responsive company.



Mar 21, 2019 at 02:01 PM
Dave Sanders
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p.6 #12 · p.6 #12 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


molson wrote:
Look at the photo I posted above. Two RRS lever release clamps, but manufactured to very different tolerances on the locking cam. What are other manufacturers supposed to do, when RRS apparently can't even follow their own "specs"?


I just paid attention to the fact that you're in the Gulf Islands...nice! Amazing spot to be in this weather. Anyways, like I said, I'm just across the pond, let me know if you ever find something on Craigslist here and want it.

I suspect RRS has a reason for increasing the clamping force on their clamps with that little extra nub, but I'd send that off to them and ask them what the deal is. They've made their rep on their service...maybe make them feel bad for you and have them send out a screw-knob plate



Mar 21, 2019 at 02:17 PM
molson
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p.6 #13 · p.6 #13 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


Dave Sanders wrote:
I suspect RRS has a reason for increasing the clamping force on their clamps with that little extra nub, but I'd send that off to them and ask them what the deal is. They've made their rep on their service...maybe make them feel bad for you and have them send out a screw-knob plate


Why would I bother? For the prices they charge, they should spend a bit on quality control. Besides, I don't like supporting companies that pander to the wealthy urban assault rifle crowd...



Mar 21, 2019 at 04:02 PM
Dave Sanders
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p.6 #14 · p.6 #14 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?




molson wrote:
Why would I bother? For the prices they charge, they should spend a bit on quality control. Besides, I don't like supporting companies that pander to the wealthy urban assault rifle crowd...


I'm wealthy urban assault rifle enthusiast? Interesting. I'll admit that I've yet to see my fellow RRS users here in Vancouver with assault rifles hanging from their shoulders. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough.

Anyways, like I said, has it affected the clamp's function with your RRS plates? I'm guessing it's not a quality control issue, but an intentional design modification. If they work fine with RRS plate then your issue with the clamp is that it doesn't work with inexpensive off brand plates. Not their issue.




Mar 21, 2019 at 04:13 PM
vdo1
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p.6 #15 · p.6 #15 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


For those with expensive taste, Gitzo makes an A7RIII / A9 L bracket too....


Mar 21, 2019 at 04:43 PM
offtraildog
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p.6 #16 · p.6 #16 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


Got the Fotomix today.

TLDR - The RRS has more features and likely a better fitting battery door.

1. Works with my Markin Q3i-TiQ w/ lever release perfectly.

2. The finish is nice and the L-plate secures snug to the A7R3 so the fit to the body is good. The battery door functions as expected and the battery easily slides out and in.

3. The battery door inset is machined properly but the cutout for the door latch is slightly off so the door is proud of the baseplate by approx 1/50". I can easily press the door flush and when I release my finger, it stands proud.

4. There is no mark on the plate to indicate where the attachment point is to the camera. On the back of the plate on the left side, it is etched in white with "A7R III/A9"

5. This plate is not designed to hold the allen wrench.

6. Not cable cutout on the L-component.

7. The L-component is not recessed.

The Fotomix cost $29.88 and the RRS would cost approx $235(w/ tax & shipping). I am more then happy to spend the money I saved over the RRS on dinner and drinks tonight ($205) and feel good about this purchase since only #3 is unexpected but still trivial to me.



Mar 22, 2019 at 05:07 PM
Dustin Gent
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p.6 #17 · p.6 #17 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


offtraildog wrote:
Got the Fotomix today.

TLDR - The RRS has more features and likely a better fitting battery door.

1. Works with my Markin Q3i-TiQ w/ lever release perfectly.

2. The finish is nice and the L-plate secures snug to the A7R3 so the fit to the body is good. The battery door functions as expected and the battery easily slides out and in.

3. The battery door inset is machined properly but the cutout for the door latch is slightly off so the door is proud of the baseplate by approx 1/50". I can easily press the door flush and when I release
...Show more

good to hear you like it! I looked for a used RRS L plate, but hard to find. I am happy with this Fotomix. Heading on a week long canyoneering trip tomorrow, and will report back how I liked the performance



Mar 22, 2019 at 08:25 PM
Dave Sanders
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p.6 #18 · p.6 #18 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


Dustin Gent wrote:
good to hear you like it! I looked for a used RRS L plate, but hard to find. I am happy with this Fotomix. Heading on a week long canyoneering trip tomorrow, and will report back how I liked the performance


Sounds like seriously good fun! If you get any great photos, it would be cool to see them as well. Where are you off to?



Mar 22, 2019 at 10:23 PM
Dustin Gent
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p.6 #19 · p.6 #19 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


i will! we are heading to Robbers Roost, outside Hanksville


Mar 23, 2019 at 06:24 AM
jschn372
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p.6 #20 · p.6 #20 · A7R III L-plate...cheap/solid or buy/cry?


I tried it, it's tough to use the L component with the Sony cable release attached. Returned and got RRS. They should've let the grooves run to the edge of the bracket

Fred Miranda wrote:
The SmallRig L-Bracket is getting great reviews and it's only $59

https://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-l-bracket-for-sony-a7iii-a7m3-a7riii-a9-2122.html




Mar 23, 2019 at 02:29 PM
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