Sometimes you just can’t find the right tool for the job. That’s why these photographers made it themselves—then sold it to the rest of us.
ACCESSORY GRIPS FOR COMPACT CAMERAS: Richard Franiec. Riverwoods, IL
kleptography.com/rf $33 (Canon PowerShot S95 grip)
Professional photographers love their compact cameras—the more stylish the better—because they allow them to shoot without the bulk and weight of a DSLR. One tradeoff, though, is that ergonomics are often sacrificed for pocketability. Fortunately for owners of some of the more popular compacts, Richard Franiec makes handsomely machined aluminum grips, hot-shoe covers and cable-release adapters that turn those models into much more solid, versatile tools.
Franiec originally began creating accessories not for ergonomic reasons but for artistic ones. His black-bodied Canon PowerShot G7 had what he considered a major flaw: The threaded adapter ring for supplementary optics was silver rather than black. For a candid street photographer like Franiec, the contrast drew undesirable attention to the camera—so he had the ring black-anodized. He sent the modified ring to a fellow G7 fan who ran a website originally devoted to the camera (mycanong7.com), and everybody wanted one. That launched Franiec’s career in compact accessories.
Franiec’s next epiphany came during a vacation, when his wife dropped the G7. The obvious solution was a custom grip for more secure holding. Grips are now the mainstay of the line. And as the high-end compact market has evolved, so has Franiec’s product line—meaning that serious photographers’ love affair with the point-and-shoot is likely to continue.