César Charlone once said, “Cinema is art and that’s why an artist should hold a noble wood instead of a piece of metal or plastic.” Well if you have ever wanted to feel African Sapele wood in your hands, Omeneo has a solution. Wooden hand grips have become a popular choice with shooters in recent years. It really is a case of everything old is new again. Wooden hand grips are not a new concept, and have been used by cinematographers for decades on film cameras.
Omeneo are just one of many companies such as Vocas, Wooden camera and KinoGrip that are making wooden hand grips for modern digital cinema cameras. The Omeneo hand grips are called Apollo, and according to the company, the shape was carefully tweaked to allow balanced grip pressure across the hand surface, assuring optimal camera control in all directions of camera movement while minimizing hand and forearm muscle strain.
The Apollo hand grips are protected with special coating, and the hand grip comes fully assembled with stainless steel Arri standard rosette and aluminum alloy rosette bracket. This makes the Apollo compatible with any camera or rig that uses or has standard Arri rosette mounting options.
The Apollo hand grips are certainly not cheap, and each hand grip is built to order. Different sizes are also available depending on what you need.
I’m a big fan of wooden hand grips and have been using a Vocas one for years on my camera rigs.
The Apollo grips are now available if you have deep pockets. A single hand grip will set you back $432US, and a pair will be $800US. This is very expensive given other competing products are not only cheaper, but also have features like start/stop triggers. Do you use wooden hand grips? If you do, we would love to hear what you are using in the comments below.