Review: Custom Brackets C-Plate Camera Plate for Sling Strap/Holster & Tripods

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To be honest, there are many ways to carry your camera and many accessories to go with them. Not all of them are good. However, something comes along and makes me take a pause because it is just what we need or want. That is where the C-Plate comes in. I was introduced to the product at Photo Plus earlier this year then was sent a prototype from their Kickstarter project and I have put it through its paces.

There is still time to get in on the KickStarter Project as well. There have been some backer upgrades as well. Check them out.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Flexible and customizable
  • Strong
  • Has its own internal allen key, which is held in with a spring.
  • Light
  • Hand strap attachment point built-in

Cons

  • I wish the plate was slightly wider. However it fits perfectly on my 3LeggedThing Brian. I got used to my Really Right stuff plate that has overhung on each side .
  • Because of the way the Nikon D5100 is designed one of the Anti twist arms did not reach camera body if the plate was straight. You have to put it on a slight angle

Tech Specs

From the C-Plate KickStarter

Camera screw: Captive ¼”-20 screw (uses allen wrench stored within the C-Plate).
• Main plate: Aluminum, tumbled, and hard anodized (type III).
• Anti-twist arms: Aluminum, tumbled, and anodized (type II).
• Anti-twist arms available in colors: black, green, or red. Green and red are only available on Kickstarter (update coming soon with pictures). The arms are adjustable with allen wrench stored within the C-Plate.
• Anti-twist posts are machined from Delrin® acetal plastic to prevent any scratching of the camera body.

Arca-Swiss style compatible:
• C-Plate AS1 (For Spider Camera Holster™ & Carry Speed™)
• C-Plate AS2 (For Black Rapid™)
• C-Plate AS3 (For Sun Sniper™, Custom SLR™, & Joby™)

Manfrotto™ RC2 Series compatible:
• C-Plate M1 (For Spider Camera Holster™ & Carry Speed™)
• C-Plate M2 (For Black Rapid™)
• C-Plate M3 (For Sun Sniper™, Custom SLR™, & Joby™)

Gear Used

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I tested the C-Plate on a Nikon D700 with and without the grip. The funny thing is that the C-Plate made the D700 with grip extremely comfortable. I shot for about three hours straight with it at my side. On a Nikon D90, the C Plate Felt good, and the body fit almost as well as the D700. I took this on my daily trips. I walk with a camera out most of the time. On the Nikon D5100, which has a slightly curved body on the bottom, the C-Plate is okay. This was the prototype and revisions are being made.

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I also tested the C-plate on film cameras like Nikon FE, Nikon EM and a older MFT the Olympus EP1. I know they are not DSLRs. The Anti Twist Arms do not reach the body, but the cameras were secure on the plate. They are light enough not to twist.

All these cameras were on a BlackRapid Yeti. The C-Plate was in and out of a Lowepro Event Messenger 150, a Caselogic SLR Back Pack, a ThinkTank Urban Disguise 60 and a Think Tank Accelerator. I put the plate on my 3Legged Thing Brian and an Ultrapod II.

Ergonomics

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I have the C-Plate AS2 for the Black Rapid. The camera connects easily and securely. Usually with most plates, you have to take the camera strap off to use a tripod. This takes time and effort. You may miss the shot. With the C-Plate the strap never has to come off. Enabling the photographer to get to their tripod shot quicker. In certain situations it also provides a tether. If you are worried about your camera being blow over or if you are worried you might have grab your gear and run.

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The screw that connects the camera has a nice thread and fits securely. You don’t have to worry about the plate coming off. Once its on, its secure and you need the allen key to get it off. It adds a sense of security to holding your camera.

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The allen key  has its own home within the C-plate. Many of the other people I showed this to all agreed this is one of the best features. When you want to change something or move the plate to another camera, you don’t have to sit there and look for it. It’s there, conveniently. This comes in handy for me. I change cameras every few days, depending on the project.

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For my Nikon body, the red and black are a nice touch. The C-Plate has a spot to screw in a desk top tripod. In the places where tripods are not allowed this opens many possibilities. The camera does not have to come off the strap and you can still secure it for a long exposure.

Build Quality

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The C-Plate is extremely strong. Everything is put together nicely, and it is durable. The arms that stop the plate from twisting have strength to them.

 Ease of Use

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Configuring the C-Plate for your camera was extremely easy. You are not taking this on and off your camera. Once it’s on, it stays on. You configure the individually moving anti twist arms to your camera and the camera is set. I clicked in my Black Rapid strap and I was off.

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Using the C-Plate takes a little getting used to at first. When you first hold the camera, the C-Plate holds the strap to the side of the camera.

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The best feature was not having to take off the strap with putting the camera on a tripod. If you have to walk in an areas where a tripod was not allowed , like many places in New York. You can put on a desk top tripod like an Ultrapod II and mount it to a railing.

Conclusions

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I walked around for hours with this plate. On a photo walk in NYC. On an event shoot. And just in my general work. The Custom Brackets C-Plate really works. Using something speaks louder than just reading about it. Strong construction, great looks and functionality. It is absolutely what I needed. Even though it’s a prototype, I was extremely happy. I can’t wait for the final product.

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Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.