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07-19-2015, 03:54 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
Thanks Jay. I do plan to buy the next Pentax offering provided continuous autofocus is brought up to current standards. I have every confidence Ricoh will improve AF when they announce both the FF and K# follow on camera. Not sure which I would buy but knowing RRS has L plates for Pentax is encouraging. A year or two ago when I looked they did not have one. I appreciate you posting this information.
I had talked to one of the owners of RRS around early 2011 when the K5 had been out a few months. Because it was the same as the K7 they had an L bracket. But they stopped making the flat plate and any plates for the battery grip. He said it was unlikely they ever would start up again, as they just didn't sell enough. I was actually surprised to see the K-3 bracket because I got the definite impression that they were planning on not making any more new Pentax brackets going forward.

My point is they are making fewer and fewer Pentax brackets, down to 1 now, and I would not necessarily depend on them going forward into the future. I would like to find out what happened to Mestos. RRS will, however, respond to demand. But it is us camera owners that have to generate the demand.

Perhaps if we all asked Ricoh to make their own brackets...

07-19-2015, 04:26 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by evilcartman Quote
I had talked to one of the owners of RRS around early 2011 when the K5 had been out a few months. Because it was the same as the K7 they had an L bracket. But they stopped making the flat plate and any plates for the battery grip. He said it was unlikely they ever would start up again, as they just didn't sell enough. I was actually surprised to see the K-3 bracket because I got the definite impression that they were planning on not making any more new Pentax brackets going forward.

My point is they are making fewer and fewer Pentax brackets, down to 1 now, and I would not necessarily depend on them going forward into the future. I would like to find out what happened to Mestos. RRS will, however, respond to demand. But it is us camera owners that have to generate the demand.

Perhaps if we all asked Ricoh to make their own brackets...
Not sure who to contact at Ricoh. My dealing with Ricoh/Pentax USA in Colorado have been a waste of time. It might make us feel better dealing with Ricoh/Pentax USA but it is like shouting into the wind.

It isn't just L Brackets it is all third party items, most importantly lenses. Prior to Ricoh purchasing Pentax I had little confidence in a Pentax resurgence. With Ricoh I have a feeling Pentax is doing OK and will likely gain ground when the next DSLR's to replace the K3 and start the FF line are introduced. Pentax has offered more bang for the buck than either Canon or Nikon. I feel the new cameras will maintain that leadership.

While I have a lot invested in Pentax, buying into a new full frame line puts me back into brand evaluation mode again.
07-19-2015, 04:26 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by evilcartman Quote
They are one and the same actually. MadForCamera is simply the webstore run by the manufacturer of Mestos.

This indeed doesn't bode well at all. I sent a letter to Ricoh suggesting they manufacture their own QR plates and L brackets because nobody else will but I doubt anybody's going to care.

I've actually spent more on tripod gear than camera and I'm with the guy who said no bracket no body. But what really surprises me is the really small response around here. I guess nobody uses these which I just found quite shocking. Or maybe people are happy with the sort of generic little sliding the slot screw plates. Which at least explains why nobody makes these things, there's not near of a market for them as I thought.

I couldn't I couldn't live without my plates. I mean I never take them off the camera. Once installed they live there, permanently.

Mestos was it, except for one exception, the really right stuff K3L bracket. Which of when looking at it is I literally half the bracket the K5L bracket is. I don't like it. It's almost generic and only cradles one side of the bottom which means you're not distributing the stress along camera body anymore. It's not really custom "fit" but more of a custom aligned.

To this extent I'm considering ditching to both of my K-3'(ii)s and pick up a pair of K5iis.

One thing I suspect but cannot confirm until my K-3 gets back from service is that it's not identical and body shape to the K3ii. Which means my L bracket may actually fit on the K-3. But not my K3ii.

Or seriously look again at switching back to the evil Empire.
I posted a thread a while ago about MadForCamera site not being able to check out , you could place your order through for Lbracket but it wont direct you to paypal. I've sent several Emails and each time I recieved a reply "we will respond to you shortly" Didn't happen.

Are there any other options for custom Lbracket for K5 and grip besides Mestos that wont cost my kidneys?
07-19-2015, 04:36 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by evilcartman Quote
Perhaps if we all asked Ricoh to make their own brackets...
That is not a bad idea and would be sort of a first for camera makers. To the best of my knowledge tripod QR plates have been primarily made by the companies that make tripod heads. Since body contours change with new models (and rightly so), this would be a very valid accessory offering that might even be bundled in much the same way as grips are today.

Ricoh/Pentax does not actively monitor the Pentax Forums, but their people are actively engaged on the Ricoh-sponsored forum (see Ricoh USA's support page). A suggestion made there might gain some traction.

-- or ---

Perhaps some enterprising Pentaxian might make it their mission to provide reasonably-priced custom L-brackets to fit Pentax cameras. I wonder what is involved in design and fabrication of such an item and whether there is sufficient market to provide reasonable ROI?


Steve

07-20-2015, 06:00 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote

and whether there is sufficient market to provide reasonable ROI?


Steve
Well, apparently RRS doesn't really think so, but they may not be a good example because even though their margins are high so are their costs.

As far as the manufacturing, if you get decent cad files from Ricoh, one could AutoCad a dxf file for a bracket in about 10 minutes. Take that to a CNC shop and get aluminum laser cut to spec.

It's the anodizing and the coatings that I have no idea about. These things are done really well. It's hard but smooth coating to the metal and they don't scratch your gear and they take a beating and you still see nothing but black. There are many kinds of aluminum and I'm not sure what they typically use.

I don't know if the aluminum is cast or stamped or drawn.... I'm sure these things and probably be found out.

I would love to see Arca Swiss bundled with the cameras. I'm not sure Manfrotto would be happy about that:-)
07-20-2015, 07:28 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jake21209 Quote
RRS now has the L Plate for the K3. While a RRS K5 L Plate, which I have, will work on the K3, it is not totally accurate. With the correct L Plate for the K3 you have access to all of the connection port openings as opposed to a partial blockage resulting when you use a custom K5 Plate on the K3. If you only use the plate to lock on your ball head, then just a basic plate will suffice. The advantage to the L Plate is that you can change from landscape to portrait mode without having to recompose. The current RRS catalog lists the K3 conventional plate which is modular for $150.00 (US).

Jay
There's a machine shop not too far away that I can ask if they can copy my Mestos.

Last edited by tabl10s; 07-21-2015 at 01:04 PM.
07-20-2015, 09:31 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by tabl10s Quote
There's a machine ship not too far away that I can ask if they can copy my Mestos.
There is another thread about L Plates. RRS has a K3 available for about $150.
http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/Shop/K-3/BK3-L-L-plate-for-K-3.html
07-20-2015, 09:44 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by RockvilleBob Quote
There is another thread about L Plates. RRS has a K3 available for about $150.
L-plate for Pentax K-3
That is the part about all of this that sort of confuses me. The RSS plate is priced competitively to the Mestos and features square plates top and sides. The Mestos has a cut-out for the connection flap that is missing on the RSS. That might be a deal breaker for some. I don't believe anyone makes a custom plate for the K-3 grip.


Steve

07-20-2015, 10:29 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by evilcartman Quote
As far as the manufacturing, if you get decent cad files from Ricoh, one could AutoCad a dxf file for a bracket in about 10 minutes. Take that to a CNC shop and get aluminum laser cut to spec.
OK, so the initial investment would include:
  1. Laser mapping the K-3 and grip side and base contours (CAD files from Ricoh? )
  2. Purchase of CAD workstation and AutoCad software
  3. AutoCad training
  4. 3D printer time/materials for prototyping
  5. Camera/grip rental
I would expect the total to be at about $15,000 with no allowance for wages. For 1000 units (500 of each type of bracket), I would anticipate a contract cost for a limited production run to be about $20 per unit* initially, bringing the startup expense to $35,000.

So...the $35,000 question is market size, anticipated penetration, and rate of sales within the market window (sales taper off when the K-3/K-3II reaches EOL). I am thinking that a production run of 300 (200 body/100 grip) would be more realistic, bringing the startup cost to $21,000. A sellout of all 300 units in the next six to nine month at $100 per unit allowing an additional $10 per for packaging and overhead would result a full amortization of start-up and initial production expense and a net of $6,000.

That is not bad. Of course, all of the above assumes no wages or debt service and minimal overhead (accounting, warehousing, shipping/receiving).


Steve

* On further reflection of the steps required to produce a well-finished product, I suspect the production costs would be closer to $50+ per unit for a short run, but who knows. Custom work is custom work and that carries a premium price.
07-21-2015, 03:59 AM   #25
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Lol. I know who to call when I start a business. BTW I got 1 through 5 covered except for 4. And there are printers all over town. You don't even need a laser to map the thing anymore , you can actually do it with a tiny $90 camera to an astonishing degree of mechanical accuracy.

And I always want to flat plate option for both the camera and the grip. Because sometimes maneuvering around that side is a real pain in the you know what. A good flat no twist plate solves two problems at once.

Then when I know I'm doing a lot of verts with the tripod, I will slap the L bracket on, but typically I would have the flat plate be the one to permanently live on my cameras and grips.

I may have mentioned this before, but the guy from RRS said they needed a guaranteed sale of 150 to make a run worth their while. And they weren't even sure they were going to make the L bracket that they sell now.

Man, if Ricoh just hadn't have changed the body shape...
07-21-2015, 06:38 AM - 1 Like   #26
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Since there is no L bracket available for the Pentax K-3 with grip, I decided to fashion my own from a combination of a Mestos plate designed for the K-5 (which requires some "padding" to make it fit the contours of the K-3 grip) and an Acratech universal L bracket. Works like a charm.



Michael
07-21-2015, 09:38 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by evilcartman Quote
Lol. I know who to call when I start a business. BTW I got 1 through 5 covered except for 4.
Let us know when you have a prototype for testing

QuoteOriginally posted by evilcartman Quote
I may have mentioned this before, but the guy from RRS said they needed a guaranteed sale of 150 to make a run worth their while. And they weren't even sure they were going to make the L bracket that they sell now.
Gulp! I hope that is not an indication of market size!


Steve
07-21-2015, 01:03 PM   #28
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O;

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Let us know when you have a prototype for testing



Gulp! I hope that is not an indication of market size!


Steve
Tell you what, just call them over at Really Right Stuff. They are as friendly as can be, probably knows much about the market is anybody.

I know there's some really experienced people that spend as much on tripods as cameras because they know better, but I have a sneaking suspicion, just because of my lack of responses on various Pentax forums on QR, that this end of the equipment market is not a really visited very much by typical Pentax Customers.

My very first photography professor on the very first day of class asked us with the best lens was. ( I said a pin hole? Hey man, no glass to get in the way and muck up the works) The answer of course was a tripod, a good one. Of course, Geoff Winningham had a bag full of Leicas.

For what it's worth the BG5 without a battery weighs 227 g in the generic Neewer version weighs 205 g so that's how much stuff is missing besides the weather seals, but it does fit the Mestos plate perfectly.

As a further bummer, I just talked to someone at RRS and they said the sales of the Pentax Plate are sluggish at best and they are unlikely to do another run when they sell out of these they currently have. There are no plans to make anything for the K3II

Last edited by evilcartman; 07-21-2015 at 01:17 PM.
07-23-2015, 04:28 PM   #29
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Well, that kind of stalled out this thread.

I noticed someone selling a RRS K5 plate on ebay for a steal. No one has even bid on it. I guess that shows where the market is.

QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
Since there is no L bracket available for the Pentax K-3 with grip, I decided to fashion my own from a combination of a Mestos plate designed for the K-5 (which requires some "padding" to make it fit the contours of the K-3 grip) and an Acratech universal L bracket. Works like a charm.

Michael
Michael, thanks for your solution. That actually might work for me.It still allows my Mestos to "live" on the camera, and when I am out, throw on the Acratech. It may be a bit bulky but allows for a no-twist custom solution. But what I am really interested in is how you lit your camera for those shots. Nice detail without washing out the blacks. The catchlights in the lens look like windows, but the overall effect looks like studio lighting. Care to share?
07-23-2015, 06:13 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by evilcartman Quote
There are no plans to make anything for the K3II
Probably not needed since, IIRC, the bottom and left side are unchanged from the K-3.


Steve
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