I’ve bought many digital camera accessories during several decades as a photo enthusiast. But I’ve never been more excited about any one in particular than I am about Richard Franiec’s custom grip for the Canon s90!
Here’s the reason.
The s90 isn’t the easiest or most intuitive camera to hold. In fact, it can be downright awkward until you adapt your method of holding it. And you most likely will need to adapt.
The s90 is small and its tiny dials and buttons are close in proximity. As mentioned elsewhere in this Blog, the rear Control Wheel in my experience is a pain. [Learn why]
All this changed after installing Richards grip.
A place to grab
The grip gives you something to grab onto. In fact, it’s alleviated my problem with the Control Wheel while taking photos.
When grasping the grip there is less need to press my thumb down tight on the back of the camera to hold it securely. Most of the pressure goes onto the grip itself with the middle finger. As a result, my thumb now rests more lightly on the thumb rest located on the back of the camera just below the Mode dial. In fact, my thumb now arches naturally and it no longer inadvertently hits the Control Wheel. Yippee!
The grip also makes carrying the camera in your hand easier when not in use. I don’t, however, solely rely on the grip because of its size. I always use the wrist strap.
Much improved ergonomics
Richard’s grip has significantly, and I mean significantly, improved the ergonomics of the s90, making it easier and more secure to hold and use. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the grip to anyone who owns a s90. It’s high quality and the color matches the camera perfectly. It hardly looks like an add-on.
Installing the s90 grip
Installation is quick and easy if you follow the instructions included with the grip. It’s important to take a few “dry runs” before removing the backing material from the tape.
Simply clean the area with rubbing alcohol, remove the backing material and then carefully position the grip in place. In a half hour, the camera is ready to use and full bond takes effect in a couple of hours.
Richards grip is a much appreciated, worthwhile and wise investment. I’ve gone from liking my s90 to loving it because I can now concentrate on taking photos rather than worrying about the free wheeling control wheel.
Even under heavy use, the grip will stay on the camera indefinitely. However the grip can be removed if you want to by using dental floss.
How the s90 grip is manufactured
According to Richard, like all his accessories, the s90 grip is manufactured in limited numbers. What makes the grip special is the process itself of making it.
It starts with handling a camera and scrutinizing every aspect of its feel in the hand in relation to placement of the controls and overall comfort using it. This step is performed by several people and everyone’s feedback is carefully analyzed.
The biggest challenge
The biggest challenge for the s90 grip is to find the right balance between the size of the camera and the grip itself. The goal is to not compromise overall good looks of the camera or the effectiveness of the grip.
Several step process
The machining process consists of several steps in different set ups and is performed on a CNC milling machine using ball nose tool and 3D machining method. The bottom of the grip is machined from solid block of aluminum to fit the special fixture for subsequent operations. Next the grip is mounted bottom side down and sculpting process of the top surface is performed in several more steps.
After machining is done, the grip is tumbled in a vibrating machine using special stones, then it is glass bead blasted to uniform finish.
Next, the grip undergoes anodizing process to match the color of the camera and improve surface toughness. Final inspection follows and adhesive is applied.
The current version of Richard’s grip fits on both the s90 and s95.
Richard makes grips for other camera models, as well as hot shoe covers, remote cable releases and other specialized camera accessories. For ordering and other information click here.