When it comes to comfortable and beautiful-looking handles, Aaton wood grips always come to my mind. While a lot of options are already available on the market, a new company from the Netherlands called Element Gear has released a set of wooden handles for budget-filmmakers. Let’s take a look!
Element Gear Handgrips
When putting a camera on your shoulder and operating it, it all comes to down to preferences. Some people like rubber handgrips, others will prefer leather ones, and some will go with wooden ones. Over the last years, we saw a new hype around wooden handgrips, and there are reasons for that. They are a comfortable, great looking, solid piece of equipment, and you feel a bit of warm nostalgia when operating with them.
Wooden handgrips come in all sizes, mounts, and shapes. If you need an additional point of contact to grab your camera firmly, you can go with a ball/sphere handgrip. Or, if you need something more comfortable to operate for hours and even have the possibility to control your camera, you can go with a traditional handgrip.
Grips Born Out of Frustration
It all started with frustration and handgrips that were either too small, too pricey, or not ergonomic. A few months ago, Ruben de Boer – founder of Element Gear – decided to design his wooden grips. It took him three months to design, prototype, and achieve what felt right to him.
Three models are available: Element Sphere, Element Grip, and Element Grip with rec/stop trigger. The beauty of it is that, since Ruben is doing everything on his own, you can customize your handgrip as much as you want. Want to engrave your logo or name? No problem. Want a different size or type of wood? Yes, sure. Need a 15mm rod mount instead of an ARRI rosette? Yes, he got you.
The handgrips from Aaton and ErgoCine inspire the grips from Element Gear. All Element Gear products are CNC machined out of walnut wood and finished with a beeswax and linseed oil coating. They are made to order, and you have to send your hand measurements in to make sure the grip will perfectly suit your hand. It’s not your traditional standard handgrip.
Pricing and Availability
All Element Gear products are available right now. As these are made-to-order products, depending on your order, it usually takes between two to four weeks to get your handgrips done.
In terms of prices, the Element Sphere retails for €95 VAT included, the Element Grip sells for €275, and the Element Trigger is set between €350 and €425, depending on your needs. If you live in Europe, I think these are fair prices.
In comparison, the Zacuto Zarn is around $90, the Zacuto Wooden Handgrip is $190, and the Tilta Trigger Grips are $230. Of course, there are tons of other options available, more affordable ones from Smallrig/Camvate for example, at a similar price like Zacuto/Wooden Camera, and more expensive ones from Cool-Lux/KinoGrip/Shape.
If you want to learn more about Element Gear or place an order, here is the website.
What do you think of the Element Gear handgrips? What kind of handgrips do you use? Let us know in the comments!