While I am a new to posting on RED User, I have been reading the threads here for over a year. I am the owner of Camera #270 and am just starting to put the Camera through its paces with my partner. We have been very pleased so far with most aspects of the camera and accessories, but we had a concern we wanted to discuss and get more input from the community and RED.
Being one of the owners of Hill Production Service, a 35mm motion picture camera rental house, I have more than 20 years of hands on experience working with this camera equipment (Arri, Moviecam, Mitchell, Photo Sonics, etc.) From what I have observed from the various posts and from my own hands on use of the Red Base Production Packís base plate dovetail combination, I felt compelled to join the conversation.
The Base Production Pack is a really good deal for all thatís included in the package, however, we have found that there is considerable amount of space between the dovetail and bottom plate. This combined with the locking system (using the pin and offset holes) causes the system not to lock in securely with the brake on when attached to a tripod. When the weight of the camera is added, there is quite a bit of "slop" or wiggle room in the Base Production Packís base plate dovetail combination.
We contacted RED support and we eventually swapped out the parts for a set that was somewhat better, but still loose enough to be considered unacceptable by industry standards. (And we do appreciate the time spent with use by RED support).
At the time, RED just did not have any more answers than to give us a slightly better fitting part, but still with some wiggle room, with just the weight of the camera added to the setup.
I have noticed several other threads on RED User where people have complained about the quality of this one particular piece and felt it was in the best interest of every RED owner to have RED address this issue completely. We certainly do not feel comfortable sending out the Camera with the RED Base Production Packís bottom plate/dovetail in this condition. (We are looking into alternatives)
While there is something to be said for trying to create an inexpensive part for the entry level market, I do not believe this part is up to the standards of the rest of the other RED accessories, and would like put in a request in resolving the issues in this part.
Instead of Red re-designing the entire part again perhaps RED could modify the Base Plate & Dove Tail to make these parts more adequate. I came up with a few suggestions that might help remedy the problem and make the RED dovetail/bottom plate more workable in production use.
1. Add beefy washers on the 4 weak side holes. To prevent an accidental breakage of the side holes. Or screw the plate down from the bottom of the camera.
2. Change the locking mechanism to a side clamping system similar to Arriís side braking system this will allow an infinite amount of lock down positions for a more precise camera balance not just where the hole lines up which is about an inch between lockdown positions. It will also stop the looseness & wiggle room in the current base plate & dovetail gap.
3. Add a safety lock like in Arriís base plate & dovetail so the camera canít slide right off the back or front of the dovetail when the brake is off.
While it may have been designed with shoulder mount operation in mind, we feel it should be much more sturdy and of course, be adequately tight for tripod use.
As stated, we have seen a few other threads with other users having trouble with the bottom plate / dovetail design: (see links)
We would like to note that this is the only part of Redís camera accessories we currently have that we feel is not up to production standards and needs to be reworked. All the other accessories and camera have worked flawlessly & are very well designed, but we also feel this part is a priority and needs to be resolved as soon as possible to keep the Red quality standards superior as are the rest of Reds accessories and cameras.
Thank You, Red, For An Extraordinary & Innovative Camera System!