Fuji X-E2, RRS and Kirk compatible grip and L plate ~ mini review

The newly designed bracket has fabulous contours that sit comfortably in my big hands. The X-E2 is now a delight for me to use.

01. The newly designed bracket has fabulous contours that sit comfortably in my big hands. The X-E2 is now a delight for me to use. The snug fit is millimetre accurate around the existing Fuji hand grip.

I have just been trialling the new grip, base plate and L bracket for the Fuji X-E2 supplied in the UK by Photo Madd. The grip is a great improvement on the X-E1 model widely available on Ebay. Here are my findings

02. The access all areas design is a joy to use. The apertures and cut outs on this plate allign perfectly with the sockets and battery door of the camera.

02. The access all areas design is a joy to use. The apertures and cut outs on this plate align perfectly with the sockets and battery door of the camera.

Some X-E1 users took a file to their X-E1 plate when they upgraded to the X-E2. It only needs the removal of a small piece of aluminium to avoid the X-E1 base plate from pinching the LCD screen on the X-E2. A permanent marker soon covers glaring silver aluminium revealed. However I found the original E-X1 design with multiple finger notches in the grip rather uncomfortable to use. This upgraded design utilising the single fore finger notch is so much better. The RRS grip on my X-Pro1 is a single notch design and it works just fine.

03. The finish on the aluminium from the machining is very good indeed. The final components are then anodised and sent flat packed with an Allen key ready for assembly.

03. The finish on the aluminium from the machining and anodising processes is very good indeed. The final components are sent flat packed with an Allen key ready for assembly.

The old X-E1 plates were a slightly loose fit in the RRS lever lock heads but this new model is spot on with just the right amount of tension on the locking mechanism to keep everything firmly in place.

04. The RRS lever lock system is amazingly fast to use. Open the lever half way and the plate can slide to be adjusted. Open the lever completely and the plate can be lifted out. This is so much faster than using screw knob locking mechanisms. I switch from landscape to portrait orientations so fast on a shoot that I just don't even notice it. It's like changing up a gear in a car.

04. The RRS lever lock system is amazingly fast to use. Open the lever half way and the plate can slide to be adjusted. Open the lever completely and the plate can be lifted out. This is so much faster than using screw knob locking mechanisms. I switch from landscape to portrait orientations so fast on a shoot that I just don’t even notice it. It’s like changing up a gear in a car.

05. I have two RRS heads, one on my Gitzo 35551 carbon monopod and the other on an old Manfrotto tripod that I bought in the early 90s. My tripod is ready to be replaced and I'll do that before my Cambodia trip in July and August 2014.

05. I have two RRS heads, one on my Gitzo 3551 carbon monopod and the other on an old Manfrotto 55c tripod that I bought way back in the early 90s. My tripod is ready to be replaced and I’ll do that before my Cambodia trip in July and August 2014.

These wonderful X-E2 camera plates and grips are available in the UK from here. Prophotonut users can get a 10% discount by entering the coupon code “lovegrove10″ on all orders in February 2014. PhotoMadd endeavour to keep them in stock but the demand is very high at the time of writing so there might be a small delay in early February. It’s worth the wait though because this L plate is spot on. You can request custom anodising if you wish because the plates are hand finished here in the UK.  When they are in stock you can have them next day without the hassle of having to pay the UPS man import duty, VAT and a handling charge.

Question: What tripod should I consider buying to accompany my Fuji X-T1 kit with primes? I want it to go near eye height without resorting to using the centre column. I’d like it to be lightweight, rust proof and to last me the rest of my life. Make with model suggestions are welcome.

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About Damien

Damien Lovegrove learned his trade as a cameraman and lighting director during 14 years at the BBC, working on programmes such as the Clothes Show, Top of the Pops and Casualty. Fifteen years on, Damien has become one of the foremost trainers of photography and entrepreneurial business strategies in our industry. A published writer and regular columnist, Damien has travelled the globe sharing his knowledge and expertise. “Photography fascinates me” declares Damien. "Much of my photography is inspired by a burning enthusiasm within me” explains Damien. “Picking up a camera gives me such a rush that I’m instantly driven to create pictures.”

17 thoughts on “Fuji X-E2, RRS and Kirk compatible grip and L plate ~ mini review

  1. Frankly the Manfrotto 55 is probably good enough for the Fuji otherwise you want a Gitzo GT2542LS for about £600 or an equivalent RRS for even more money. Keep them out of salt water and they will last forever.

  2. Hi Martin, My 55 has all but seized on one joint. The springs in the lever latches are rusty and it’s far heavier than I’d like to carry. I’ll check out the Gitzo GT2452LS when I’m at the photography show. Thanks for your suggestions. Always valued (and acted upon) I bought my RRS heads on your recommendation and they are fab. :)

    Regards, Damien.

  3. G’day Damien

    I really like the Feisol CT-3442 Rapid. It’s a very sturdy Carbon Fiber tripod that folds up nice and small and weighs around 1Kg without a ball head. It fits into my carry-on suitcase. Mine has spent many hours in salt water with no ill effects. It’s cost effective too, for the quality of materials and construction.

    Cheers

    William Cowan

  4. Thank you William,

    I’ve never heard of Fiesol CT-3442. I’m definitely going to check it out as the spec sounds perfect.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

  5. G’day again Damien

    It was the overwhelmingly positive reviews that initially caught my attention. Have a look at the customer reviews at BHPhotovideo or Amazon.

    If the CT-3442 is a bit short for your needs, there are others in the range that are a bit taller. The Rapid leg locks are well worth the money. One twist and I’ve undone all the locks on one leg, great time saver when setting up.

    Cheers

    William Cowan

  6. Hi Damien,
    I can wholeheartedly recommend the Fiesol. I have the CT 3472LV. Yes my X1 pro looks silly mounted on top of this, but I do use it for heavier gear also :). I took it to Italy last year, and I have no regrets. At least you would be able to view the XT1 without raising the column.

    John D

  7. Hi Damien,

    I have a 3leggedthing Brian – really like it, it extends to about 7ft so makes a handy last resort light stand as well! The screw off leg which acts as a monopod is genius too…

    Fraser

  8. Hi Fraser,

    I looked at the 3 legged thing at the Photography Show but I preferred the build quality and functionality of the Sirui.

    Cheers, Damien.

  9. Hi Chris,

    I use a couple of RRS heads but I don’t know the model numbers. I use a smaller one for my monopod and a larger one for my tripod. Neither have the separate friction lock. I’m sorry I’m not more use in this matter.

    Damien.

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