EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break at DVinfo.net

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Old June 27th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #1
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EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

Hello fellow EX1/3 users!

I just wanted to share a story in order to potentially save you a lot of money and headaches.

Broke one of my EX1s recently. After shooting a show in a movie theater, some joker kicked over my tripod and it fell, hitting the back of a theater seat. The base plate (part that you screw in the tripod plate to) broke and the camera hit the cement floor hard. The screws that held the plate in, stripped the holes in the frame, so I couldn't just replace the plate. I have a protection plan at B&H that was sold as "No questions asked" that covers everything luckily.

Well 2 months later I got my camera back. It turns out that the lens, front frame, and mic assembly needed to be replaced as a cost of 2,700.00. I didn't have to pay because of the PP, but man I was without my camera for 2 months, and you just don't want to deal with any of this. These plates break easily, and when they do you are screwed.

Anyway I found a solution: Juiced Designs EX1 base plate replacements. They are much more solid than the stock plate and even allow for an optional accessory arm to attach whatever to your camera.

juicedesigns.com

Here's a little video I made about the experience, in hopes that you may find this and save yourselves some major headaches.

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Old June 27th, 2011, 08:34 PM   #2
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re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

This is a well known and well documented issue with the EX1 and EX3's. Just do a search for cracked base plate and you find several threads.

The Juice Designs plates are nice, I have one on my EX1R and used to use one on my EX1. For the EX3 there are plates from DM Accessories and Olof at Westside Studios as well as others.

A more substantial tripod may have helped prevent the whole incident, the one in the image looks way to small (and thus unstable) for a camera the size and weight of an EX1. I would also say to anyone never to leave tripods un attended in public areas, people are clumsy and will knock them over, on top of that you run the risk of getting sued if you create a trip hazard that someone then falls over and gets injured as a result. Always try to keep the tripod legs surrounded by something such as seats, flight cases, tape or other barriers to prevent accidents like this.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

That tripod was for illustration purposes only. I have Sachtler fsb8 head and Gitzo 6x carbon fiber legs that are appropriate. It was part my bad for having the tripod unattended. I was asked a question as I was tearing down, and stepped 3 feet away. Also the theater stupidly didn't bring up the lights between acts, so it was very dark. And though I knew about the issue, I figured I'd just be careful... Well you can't do that 100% of the time! Lesson learned.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 05:44 AM   #4
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re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

This is why I always put my tripod in the seat rows instead of the aisle. I don't care if I am off center. I just adjust it. One leg of the tripod goes in between the folded seat and the seat back. The other two go up against the back of the seats of the row in front of the tripod. If I need to I hang a weight from the center column.

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Old June 28th, 2011, 06:36 AM   #5
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re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

and a great free advert for the manufacturers :-)
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Old June 28th, 2011, 02:37 PM   #6
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Re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Peterson View Post
One leg of the tripod goes in between the folded seat and the seat back. The other two go up against the back of the seats of the row in front of the tripod.
John,
A couple of things to watch out with this tripod positioning system -- Many of the Broadway houses (particularly ones with newer seats) frown on this, since tripods that have pointed bottoms can often do damage going through the tight clearance between seat and cushion. In some theatres we've taken the opposite approach: tie back the seat in front of you and send a tripod leg over the seat to straddle the two rows. It seems to work best in some of the houses with the least room between the rows.
Also, remember that any time your tripod touches a seat, it may be affected by body movements by persons sitting in nearby seats in the row. Be particularly careful with comedies (laughing movememts) and music shows (some audience members litterally bounce in their seats.) In older theatres, when someone of substatntial size moves in their nearby seats, I've seen seat movement of as much as 1/2", so I always try to have more clearance than that.
Best,
Dave S
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Old June 29th, 2011, 09:01 PM   #7
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Re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

"send a tripod leg over the seat to straddle the two rows."

That's how I had mine. I have rubber feet though. It worked fine, and I had room to stand behind my camera. I just had one leg on the outside with the 5 inches on the bottom sticking a tad into the isle while I was tearing down. Just enough for the guy to kick when he was finding his way around me as I dealt with the other guy asking me questions.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #8
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Re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

you're right... I should have specified running a ground spreader under the seat to lock in the legs. Though not 100% safe, it does help maintain stability if the tripod is bumped or kicked, especially if used in conjunction with a sand bag.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 08:47 AM   #9
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Re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Sperling View Post
John,
A couple of things to watch out with this tripod positioning system -- Many of the Broadway houses (particularly ones with newer seats) frown on this, since tripods that have pointed bottoms can often do damage going through the tight clearance between seat and cushion. In some theatres we've taken the opposite approach: tie back the seat in front of you and send a tripod leg over the seat to straddle the two rows. It seems to work best in some of the houses with the least room between the rows.
Also, remember that any time your tripod touches a seat, it may be affected by body movements by persons sitting in nearby seats in the row. Be particularly careful with comedies (laughing movememts) and music shows (some audience members litterally bounce in their seats.) In older theatres, when someone of substatntial size moves in their nearby seats, I've seen seat movement of as much as 1/2", so I always try to have more clearance than that.
Best,
Dave S
Thanks,

I'll try that next time.

John
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Old July 16th, 2011, 04:04 PM   #10
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Re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

Glad the camera is up and running again Chad!!

I've only had my EX3 for a few of weeks and I was looking for a robust solution. An ENG colleague, Dan Chung, suggested the tripod plate by Westside A V.

I cannot speak highly enough of the service I received: all options (shoulder bracket, nanoflash & battery mounts) were discussed with Olof on a skype video call and the unti was shipped to me in the UK, in less than a week, for a great price.
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Old July 23rd, 2011, 04:37 PM   #11
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Re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

I am in the same situation but my EX3 plate is not completely broken....yet; although, it is cracked thanks to my Zacuto shoulder rig and my assistant moving the camera by the EX3's handle without holding it from the bottom :(

Does anyone know the part number for the EX3 base plate because Sony's website shows the plate for an EX1 and Abel Cine cannot seem to find anything other than what Sony shows. FYI, the EX3 has 2 threaded holes and the EX1 has only 1 threaded and 1 non-threaded.

I have the VF Gadgets plate but cannot figure out how to screw it into my EX3. Part of the reason is that no screws were included as it was given to me for free and I cannot find a manual.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #12
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Re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

We use the Chroziel plate with rods for our EX3. It's not a flat plate, it curves and fits the bottom of the EX3 perfect. We haven't had any issues and we've mounted A LOT of stuff to it. (teleprompter, Steadicam, wireless mics, etc...) We actually bought the kit that comes with their matte box as well. Not cheap, but it's holding up great after 1.5 years of use.

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Old August 6th, 2011, 05:42 AM   #13
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Re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

We rightly condemn poor service so I think it's appropriate to post this report of first class service. I was attracted to the concept of adding an additional plate to my EX1R that would spread the load more evenly as a precaution against possible damage as described in this thread. Since we already have J-rod supports to sling the gun and radio microphone receivers near the front of the lens, I ordered only the basic plate from Westside.

When it arrived I realised that it did nothing that my existing tripod plate - the Manfrotto 501pLong does already, in fact the Manfrotto has two bolts plus an alignment lug whereas the Westside plate has merely two bolts.

Since it was an International purchase it wasn't covered by the UK Distance Selling Regulations which would have permitted me to return the item for a full refund. Accordingly I reported my disappointment to Westside and resolved to sell the plate on eBay and put the inevitable financial hit down to experience.

I was surprised when Westside responded extremely positively. expressing their disappointment at my unsuitable purchase and immediately refunded the full cost and the return purchase to them.

I'm sure neither of the owners want to get into this situation again so let me first suggest that if your need is simply for a stronger plate the Manfrotto item will do as good a job at a fraction of the price. It's mass produced, certainly not as fine a piece of engineering as the Westside item but it does exactly the same job.

Second I'd not hesitate in recommending the company's business ethics - rare qualities, difficult to earn, easy to lose.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 11:28 AM   #14
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Re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

But doesn't the manfrotto just attach to the existing EX1 base late?
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Old August 6th, 2011, 12:04 PM   #15
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Re: EX1 / EX3 Tripod Plate VERY prone to Crack or Break

Yes, exactly as the Westside product does.
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