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  1. #1
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Custom Build of OM Camera Grip 1

    As the title states, I made my own custom version of the Olympus OM Camera Grip 1.

    For people who don't know what the OM Camera Grip 1 is, it is an accessory that was sold in the past that screwed onto the right hand side of the camera. It was designed to give the user a better grip on the camera body, and aid in camera handling. But they are not too common, and the prices of them are really high like $90-100 USD online.

    I decided to make one tonight as I had some materials on hand for it. The main component necessary to make the plastic grip is a product called Instamorph (like $10 for 6oz).
    It is a moldable plastic that is heated to soften up and then when cooled it becomes very hard. It also allows you to reheat and reshape it many times.
    The other parts are a small screw that can fit the camera body, and a washer. I also added a small split spring washer too, but it is also very tight without it.

    All you have to do it heat up the Instamorph to 140-150F in some hot water, and mold it against the camera carefully avoiding going over the hinge of the camera back, or the silencer/selftimer lever, as well as giving enough clearance for the strap mounts.
    Use enough to fit your fingers/hand shape to make it comfortable for you.

    Then you carefully poke a hole through with a sharp needle to match the area where the screw hole is.
    Widen it with progressively thicker screwdrivers, to make a slot for the screw. This is very easy when its soft.
    Then you sink in the screw and washer combo and lock it into the camera and let cool a bit.
    When its a bit harder you can now take it off and let it cool fully in the air, or by dunking it in ice water.

    I proceeded to wrap mine in tape to give it some grip. You can paint it as well. My next version will probably be made with coloring agents so the color is embedded in the plastic.

    The end result is a custom shaped grip that is molded to my fingers/hand perfectly. The tape makes it a bit rough looking, but again this was a first trial.

    Here are some pics.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Holy carp, I didn't realize the $5 accessory I bought with my OM-4 was worth so much these days. They are a tad smaller than what you made. I don't even use it any more, it gets in the way of my winder 2, which makes an even better grip. Ya know, you can get winders for about what you paid to build your grip.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  3. #3
    erikg's Avatar
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    Those grips were expensive when new, and now it's just nuts. Great job making your own. I had a similar idea with a different camera, making a grip with Sculpy plastic, this is stuff that you mold and bake. Here is a pic of that:http://www.flickr.com/photos/egould/6813311581/

  4. #4
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I actually looked at large pictures of the original grip when making it but decided I wanted something a bit larger to mold into my hand. So you have to take it off to get the winder on.

    I have a winder 2 and I agree that it adds on a nice hefty gripping area. But I like a smaller and lighter setup when walking around. As I tried in the past using a winder without batteries too lol.

    Might be a nice side business to make camera grip 1 replicas lol with those crazy prices. Not sure if they are going to users or collectors out there.

    Also there is another material called surgu which is silicone based. It's a bit more pricey. I think it could be used in combination with instamorph to make a softer grip area.

  5. #5
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Erik that is one beautiful camera. I think that grip looks really slick with the color matching nicely.

    I will have to get black dye for the next one I make.

    But it goes to show that there are materials out there people can use to make a camera that much more comfortable to use without breaking the bank.



 

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