Base plates are a camera accessory that doesn’t usually warrant much thought. However, the STC Fogrip does make you stop and think.
Firstly it adds a certain aesthetic flair to your camera’s base, but more importantly, it’s incredibly functional with some innovative features.
Once you’ve used the plate for a while, the features seem obvious, so why has something like the STC Fogrip been done before?
Who knows, but the fact is that the Fogrip enables you to attach your camera to an Arca Swiss style head quickly, extends the grip, better positions the strap lug and still provides you with access to the battery, genius.
Easy to install
Fits Arca Swiss
The battery door sticks out when folded flat.
What is the STC Forgrip?
If you use a tripod or any other camera accessory that requires your camera to be mounted, you’ll have come across baseplates.
Usually, they’re single-function additions that are removed when not needed, with the Arca Swiss style being the most commonly used at present.
However, unlike other baseplates, the Arca Swiss compatible STC Fogrip is designed to remain in place. A unique design that ensures that the Fogrip fits snuggly around the compatible camera model, making it nice and discreet.
As the Fogrip is always in place, you’ll never have to go searching around for where you last left your tripods baseplate. Possibly a major timesaver.
It enables you to attach the camera to an Arca compatible tripod head quickly, features a strap lug, three side accessible 1/4-inch threads for accessories, and an additional 1/4-inch thread on the base; a further base plate can be added if needed.
Then there’s the real innovation which is the battery door. This flips down to give you access to the battery but also extends the length of the grip.
The Forgrip is a baseplate that enhances the design of your camera.
Sony Fit: A7 III and A9 series, A7R IV / A9 II
Nikon Fit: Z5 / Z6 / Z6 II / Z7
Olympus Fit: O-MD EM1
There’s not usually a great deal that you can write about a base plate, they’re designed to hold the camera on your tripod securely, and that’s about it.
Things do get a little more in-depth when that base plate is part of an L-Bracket system, you have fit, access etc. The Fogrip is primarily a base plate but there is an optional L-Bracket accessory that can be quickly bolted in place.
Unlike many other base plates and L-Brackets, the Fogrip is not universal; you need to get the right model and fit for your camera. In the case of this review, that’s the Sony A7 III.
Fitting is quick and easy; bolt it in place like any other base plate and it sits beneath the camera with a snug and precise fit.
On the back is an additional strap lug. Moving the right end of the strap down to this lug does help the camera to sit in a more comfortable position than when using the standard two camera-top lugs.
In use, the Frogrip fits securely in all Arca Swiss tripod heads I tried, including those from Benro, Vanguard and 3LT. It simply worked as you would expect for a standard base plate but with more length.
This is essentially where most baseplates come to an end; however, for the STC Fogrip, this is where the real innovation starts.
Most large base plates will, by their very nature, block access to the battery. Herewith the Fogrip, that’s not the case as there’s a door that flips down, giving easy access.
This battery access door has a dual function, and this is where the real innovation comes in. Flip it down and then move the orange tab inwards, and it smoothly extends the length of the grip.
This flip down section definitely gives more support than the standard grip. Once you’re finished with the extension it simply folds away.
When the battery door is folded flat, the only slight issue is that the orange tab extends beyond the grip line, making it less comfortable to hold—something that you do get used to but not ideal.
The final feature is the three holes on the edge of the grip, one of which is threaded. These enable you to add the L-Bracket plate, which comes in a variety of different colours. While the L-Bracket plate availability is a nice addition, it looks very simple, but an area of the design STC could expand.
The STC Fogrip is an innovative product, and through my time testing, it has proved that it has several different functions that take it beyond most other base plates.
Firstly its core function is as an Arca Swiss base plate, and for this function, there is little to fault.
Then there’s the strap lug, which is low profile and enables a far better start position. The L-Bracket expansion thread and holes are a welcome addition.
The real unique selling point, however, has to come down to the flip-down battery door. This is a real innovation and does improve the handling of the camera.
However, the small tab that sticks out isn’t as comfortable as it could be, saying that it’s been on my camera for months and will continue to be. For a camera accessory that is so simple, it really does enhance the use and comfort of the camera.
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