REALLY RIGHT STUFF BX100 GRIP & TRIPOD PLATE FOR FUJIFILM X100
Let’s start by saying this is not a cheap piece of kit! $190 plus shipping for a grip and tripod plate is not small change by anyone’s standards and if you’re based outside of the US territories it gets worse. If you’re UK based, for example, you’ll end up with a total bill of $306 shipped taxed so this really does need to be very, very good. (click on any of the images below for a larger version)
The BX100 set is modular and comprises three separate components: a base plate, a side plate and the grip and each piece can be purchased separately. The base plate can be used as a standalone and the grip and side plate added later. Hex bolts attach the components to each other and once assembled it’s rock solid with zero give in any of the pieces.
The complete unit then attaches to the camera using a single screw directly into the tripod thread in the camera’s base. Once in place it feels like a part of the camera though it does obviously add some bulk. Really Right Stuff have used high quality materials in order to keep the weight down so whilst the overall combo is certainly slightly heavier it’s not terribly noticeable and won’t trouble anyone who’s eaten in the last fortnight.
The grip is well designed and sits well in the hand. The groove for your forefinger works very well and if you have the Thumbs Up grip on your camera you have an ergonomically winning combo that allows for easy and relaxed one-handed operation. The grip surface is smooth but does have a slight texture that seems to give an added feeling of security in the hand.
Many X100 owners may not feel a need for this accessory as I’d guess that most users hand hold 90%+ of the time. If, however, you’re going to do studio style portraits, macro or low-light shots that require a longer shutter speed and where critical sharpness is vital then you’re going to need a tripod and if you’re going to need a tripod you’re going to need at very least a base plate. When using a camera with a fixed focal length you’re far more restricted than with a DSLR and zoom lens and because of that you’ll find plenty of instances where you’ll want to use the camera in portrait rather than landscape orientation. This is where the side plate kicks in and in my relatively short ownership of both the X100 and the BX100 I’ve already found it very handy.
The base plate is intelligently designed, like all RRS products, and allows quick access to the battery compartment and SD card slot.
There are going to be far cheaper alternatives to the BX100 but as with all things RRS you do get what you pay for. The set can easily be left permanently mounted to camera which will offer you protection for the camera, a very good grip and dual tripod plates to go, all whilst allowing you free access to both the battery/SD compartment and side ports as long as you don’t mind the aesthetics and the extra bulk. If not, it takes seconds to unbolt and throw back in the kit bag. What you can’t do is use the BX100 in combination with any case. The fit is millimetre perfect so it’s not going to slip on over a half case, for example. What you could do (assuming your case has a hole in the base to allow access to the tripod thread) is mount the base plate beneath a case. That won’t work with Luig’s half case, unfortunately, unless you ordered one with access holes cut in it but you could always get one cut, I guess.
So is it worth the wonga (“money” for our US readers..)? To be honest that’s tough to say and depends greatly on how much use you’ll get from it. If you regularly use a tripod with your X100 then I’d have to say “yes” as this will hold your camera as solidly as your tripod and tripod head will allow. If you’re going to mount it three times a year then it’s tough to justify $190 never mind the $306 it’ll cost our European readers. If money is not an issue, however, this is probably as good as it gets.
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