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Richard Franiec DP2 Merrill Custom Grip

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I had a Richard Franiec grip on both my DP1 and my DP2s Cameras (And a little device to allow the use of a cable release that mounted in the hot shoe) - Accessories that really added to those cameras usability, and general feeling of substance.  (I also like the 'stealth' effect it added by concealing the Sigma brand).  

They were well made and a thoroughly well finished products and so I was delighted to read that Richard was making a grip for the DP1 & DP2 Merrill and I ordered one as soon as they were announced.

Richard Franiec grip on the old DP2s

Richard Franiec grip on the old DP2s

The Richard Franiec grip on the Sigma DP2 Merrill.  (Pictured next to the Sigma DP1.) Picture taken with X-100.

The Richard Franiec grip on the Sigma DP2 Merrill.  (Pictured next to the Sigma DP1.) Picture taken with X-100.

The grip was delivered within a few days of an email advising me of it's dispatch. It's a service that really inspires confidence.  The website experience is a bit odd as it seems to be a branch of another business altogether (See here for details) and the ordering process is similarly a bit odd - (You have to have a paypal account and send funds to an address with a note about what you want)  I've used it three times now without any problems at all.... but it does take a leap of faith if you're used to more conventional e-commerce.

The Franiec grip is stuck to the camera using some very high-tech double sided tape from 3M.  It is called VHB tape (Very High Bond)  I can vouch for it's durability and practicality.  The advice from Richard is simple:

1. Do a dry run before removing the backing film from the sticky tape.

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2. Open the battery door and slide the grip down until it's flush with the edge and flush with the side and note the position.  It's important to get this right as you cant slide the grip into place - you've got to lower it carefully and accurately first time.... so practice is helpful / essential

3. Clean the camera with Alcohol or mild dilute detergent and dry thoroughly.

4. Remove the backing film from the grip and position above the fitting location.  Lower it carefully into place, very gently (in case you need to reposition it)

5. If you're happy with the position - press it firmly towards the camera in several different places on the grip, and then leave it for thirty minutes.

It takes longer to type this than it takes to do it perfectly...

The result.

I'm absolutely delighted with the result.  If anything this grip adds more to the Merrill than it did to the old DP2s.  The camera feels distinctly more secure in hand and somehow more rounded as a product.  It's almost like the grip makes the DP2 feel closer to the 'high-end' workhorse that it is.  You also get the added benefit of stealth mode as before with the shiny Sigma brand being concealed.  

Black finishes can sometimes be difficult for accessory makers to get right.  Getting the right texture, level of sheen and of course, colour is a tricky balancing act.  In each of these respects the grip is a good match for the factory finish of the Sigma. I think even if you have quite  keen eye, you'd be hard pressed to see the grip was not part of the original design and from the Sigma stable.  

Aesthetically (at least to my eye) and Ergonomically it's a really sound addition to your DP2 and I am about to order one for my DP1 too.  

Excellent.  It's a great way of improving a great camera - it's $36.95 + $4.95 outside the US.  Read more about it on Richards own website here:

Chris Bampton1 Comment