RoHu Photography Creativity & Gear: Our kit includes experience, experiments, equipment and expertese

Anti-Gravity Grip:


"Dad, did you make the camera lighter?"

No, but my son pretty well summed it up after I put the J.B. Camera Designs grip on my RX1R for the first time; the camera just handles better now. 

While gearing up for professional work again I chose the smaller size and weight of the newest digital cameras to compliment my shooting approach, but the RX1R was almost too small to hold for extended continuous use.

I was an early adopter of ergonomic designed cameras, buying a Canon T90 as my first professional level one in the 80's. So looking for some improvement to my Sony I contacted J.B. late last year about their base only grip and he asked me if I would give him feedback on a new design he was working on. Through e-mailed photos of his prototype and holding wooden dowels on my camera I gave some feedback, however the final grip is so much better than I expected.

And for full disclosure, J.B. sent me the grip free of charge, but I like it so much I have written him a check for his great work. As well Photo Pro in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I am a manager and instructor, will soon be carrying J.B. Camera Designs' grips for the Fuji X100's, X-T1 and the Sony RX100's because we liked what we saw.

The Premium Wood grip for the RX1 & RX1R is very, very surprisingly lightweight. It is made from Peruvian Walnut which J.B. says is extremely durable. He chose wood as the texture "provides a nice gripping surface even when oils from your hands remain on the surface." He goes on to say "anodized aluminum and rubber silicone grips get slick with use from hand oils and moisture." And the hand oils should over time add more character. There is a metal post on the inside of the vertical part for strength. I like that in general the vertical post also acts a bit like a protection bumper.

More protection is provided on the back side where the base sticks out so when the camera is on its back it protects the LCD screen. I find the indentation on the back below the dials and buttons is perfect for my right palm to rest in. The left side is the only place where the comfort is a bit edgy. That corner just digs into my hand, however my son who has more meat on him says it feels fine to him. No worse than the naked camera, just the one part that does not work as well as the rest of the improvements for me. Perhaps it could be curved up like the T90's left side. There are openings on the bottom to access the battery/memory card compartment, as well as a cut out for the speaker.

When held vertically the post is a reassuring sturdy hold for my right hand, while my left hand is working the aperture or moving to the macro or focus rings on the lens. 

Along with these being hand made by a small operation in Oklahoma, another nice detail is J.B. supplies two of their custom tripod attachment screws with each grip. After I first put the grip on I sent a short e-mail to J.B.: "Received the grip . . . . it is: BRILLIANT!" And after using it over the last couple months I know mine will not be coming off anytime soon.

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