fbpixel

Moderators: E.J. Peiker, Greg Downing

All times are UTC - 5 hours

  
« Previous topic | Next topic »  
Reply to topic  
 First unread post  | 11 posts | 
by mortsgah on Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:44 pm
mortsgah
Forum Contributor
Posts: 39
Joined: 14 Aug 2005
Location: Washington
For most of my cameras and lenses I have gone with either Really Right Stuff, Kirk enterprises or most recently Pro Media gear when getting an ARCA swiss type plate or L-bracket. They have all been excellent in terms of fit and function, but they have become more and more expensive over the years. I notice that there are now many cheaper overseas manufacturers offering specific camera L-brackets at a much lower price.

So my question to you all is have you tried any of these other sources and found them to be of high enough quality to make the switch from the obviously well made standard work horses? I have an a7rIII on order and looking at a price of $175 US for an L-bracket. Which compared to the already silly high price for the camera, isn't significant, but still. Are they worth nearly $200?
 

by DavidSutton on Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:18 pm
DavidSutton
Forum Contributor
Posts: 112
Joined: 13 Jun 2009
Location: New Zealand
In the past people have found that the cheap L brackets work, except that you may not be able to change the battery or card without removing them.
I wouldn't buy one without also checking that I could attach stuff like a remote or usb.
David
David Sutton
Website: http://davidsutton.co.nz/
 

by Neilyb on Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:27 pm
User avatar
Neilyb
Forum Contributor
Posts: 2561
Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Location: Munich
Take in to account that the cheaper Chinese knock-offs are made (most likely) from lower quality materials. Possibly raw materials mined by children in third world countries. I did see a great video on this, cannot remember the company. But basically the cheaper variants are non-fair trade, if you like and many are copies of the brackets developed close to home. While they work perfectly well they might not be guilt free.
 

by Mike in O on Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:45 pm
Mike in O
Forum Contributor
Posts: 2026
Joined: 22 Dec 2013
Neilyb wrote:
Take in to account that the cheaper Chinese knock-offs are made (most likely) from lower quality materials. Possibly raw materials mined by children in third world countries. I did see a great video on this, cannot remember the company. But basically the cheaper variants are non-fair trade, if you like and many are copies of the brackets developed close to home. While they work perfectly well they might not be guilt free.


I don't think aluminum is mined by poor children; bauxite ore is mined by big power shovels and then shipped to a place with cheap and abundant electricity to separate the aluminum from the ore. 
 

by Neilyb on Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:12 am
User avatar
Neilyb
Forum Contributor
Posts: 2561
Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Location: Munich
Yes I exaggerate some but there is some merit in a company researching their suppliers, checking working conditions being sure their raw materials are ethically sourced.
 

by archfotos on Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:01 am
archfotos
Forum Contributor
Posts: 36
Joined: 04 Jan 2015
Location: dc
Back to the original question,  I can't comment on wether a $200 L-Bracket is worth it, for me it wasn't so first I made my own, then bought a cheapie.  It is very true that the materials are not the same and after many years of use it really shows. (It's a behind the lens object - so I personally don't care) I also have never 100% trusted the cheap L-bracket but I learned the hard way never to trust any critical mounting system and always watch it.    

While I would love to say buy America or buy local or from the original designer (whatever).  $200 for a piece of metal bent 90˚ seems like less of a design accomplishment and more like the photographer's tax.  For me I know that no one design to the L-bracket will work in all scenarios sometimes I want the open one, sometimes I want a longer L if it's going on the motion controlled unit, etc.. 

Would I recommend the cheap one I bought, no, but I won't suggest you need to spend $200 for one either. 
 

by mortsgah on Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:31 pm
mortsgah
Forum Contributor
Posts: 39
Joined: 14 Aug 2005
Location: Washington
Archphotos,

Appreciate the observations you made. These are along the same line as my thought process. I do share concerns over the robustness of the extreme cheap-o knockoffs. I have seen that there are some brands that are in the mid range price wise and when I have looked at them on others cameras they appear well made and not a copy.

Thanks.
 

by signgrap on Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:30 pm
User avatar
signgrap
Lifetime Member
Posts: 1454
Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Location: Delaware Water Gap, PA
Member #:00424
My only experience is with my own kit. When RRS first came out with the B-55 ballhead in 2005 I got it with a lever clamp (I'm still using it). I totally trust the lever clamp to hold securely when clamping around a RRS Arca-Swiss style plate because of their strict manufacturing tolerances. But would hesitate to trust it with another brand because of the differences in manufacturing processes/designs that might make the clamp fit a bit more loosely. Considering that the clamp is the only thing that holds very expensive camera and lenses, I believe it is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Yes I agree that RRS is overpriced but when you consider its high standards and small volume, I can see why it is so expensive. Just take a look at how many different L plates and lens plates they make. Each one is custom made to make sure that the camera and all its doors and dials work without encumbrance from the L plate. It seems each new camera squeezes more into less space which requires a redesign of the L plate even though at first glance the camera appears the same as its preceding model.
Dick Ludwig
 

by Primus on Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:39 pm
Primus
Lifetime Member
Posts: 787
Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Location: New York
Over the years I've bought the 'real' stuff from Wimberley and RRS as well as the 'cheap' stuff from Chinese makers. Overall I do not see much of a difference as long as it fits the camera body and does the job. Yes, the expensive ones do look sturdier but if all you are using is L-plates, lens plates and rails of different kinds, there is, IMHO little to be gained by spending over three times as much. I had to buy RRS plates for my Sony cameras because they fit much better, but for my 1DX and 1DX2, Sunwayfoto worked just fine.

The other benefit (though may not matter to many) of the cheap brands is that they are usually much lighter, saving you some ounces in travel.

Ball-heads and such are a different class, requiring much more precise engineering.

Having said that, the Chinese are now quite capable of engineering things as well as if not better than anybody else in the world. You only have to visit the country and travel in their bullet trains, subways, see their airports, security systems etc. Having just returned from a two week trip I can testify that they have come a long way and the NY MTA can certainly learn a thing or two from them

As far as the question of ethics is concerned, we often say it but we don't walk the talk. If we were truly concerned about 'fair trade' and humane treatment of workers in these factories in the developing world, we would stop wearing modern clothes/shoes or using any electronics. The world is not ideal or just, never has been.

Just my 2c.

Pradeep
 

by mortsgah on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:46 pm
mortsgah
Forum Contributor
Posts: 39
Joined: 14 Aug 2005
Location: Washington
I was looking at exactly that, Sunwayfoto L-bracket my my soon to arrive (I hope) Sony A7rIII. Was the problem on your Sony bodies the battery compartment door or the side ports? I had a pro media gear L-bracket for my A7rII and found getting to the side ports a little tedious. Doable, but a little tedious.
 

by Primus on Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:19 am
Primus
Lifetime Member
Posts: 787
Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Location: New York
mortsgah wrote:
I was looking at exactly that, Sunwayfoto L-bracket my my soon to arrive (I hope) Sony A7rIII. Was the problem on your Sony bodies the battery compartment door or the side ports? I had a pro media gear L-bracket for my A7rII and found getting to the side ports a little tedious. Doable, but a little tedious.




If I recall correctly, the original Sunwayfoto did not fit the clamps I had, it was just a tad too narrow. I then got one from ProMedia Gear and found that it was too fiddly, cumbersome and heavy. I also had trouble with the vertical part - removing and attaching it was a pain. 

Finally got an inexpensive L-bracket from Neewer, does a good job on the A7Rii. 

However, for the Rx1R2 and the A9 I got plates from RRS (nothing was available from other sources in time for my trips). The A9 plate is quite well designed, and needs to be installed carefully but then allows access to the battery compartment. Since I almost never put the A9 on a tripod for a vertical shot I did not get the vertical part. 

Don't think Sunwayfoto has a plate for the A7Riii yet. RRS do say that the same plate for the A9 will work although they are taking pre-orders for  the new model. It is going to be $200 or so for the full L bracket, that's a lot of money IMHO for a camera plate!

Pradeep
 

Display posts from previous:  Sort by:  
11 posts | 
  

cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group