REVIEW: Tilta Hand Held Grips

I’ve been looking for a set of handheld grips are customizable and are suitable for both my heavier cameras and my lighter cameras – to be more specific: DSLR shooting and Alexa/Red shooting (even though my DSLR rig is becoming just as heavy as a Red rig would weigh).

Tilta Handheld Grips

The TILTA HAND HELD GRIPS seemed like a good option.  I’ve borrowed them before from a friend and it seemed to be great.  Looking online, they were pretty affordable for what it could support.  So I went ahead and purchased it for $300USD on eBay via best offer.

When this arrived at my place, it came with no middle part (the part that connects to the rails), but it did come with a set of two aluminium rails instead – they let me keep these and sent the middle part – this was awesome, but it prevented me from using it for a shoot.

Red Epic M | Tilta Hand Held Grips | SmallHD AC7 SDI | Redrock Micro Mattebox | Red Pro Primes

Red Epic M | Tilta Hand Held Grips | SmallHD AC7 SDI | Redrock Micro Mattebox | Red Pro Primes | Cinevate Folowfocus

So I finally got to use it with a Red Epic kit with Red Pro Primes and what it comes down to really is customization and personalization as to how you like the grips to sit.

The full aluminium construction is pretty impressive with the steel roseta connectors; this makes the possibilities of customizing it pretty awesome.  HOWEVER, it is a pain in the ass to try to adjust it to your likings because the Roseta pitches get caught and you have to loosen it pretty far to turn it (at least when adjusting with the camera on your shoulder, cause thats when you’d do fine adjustments anyway)  You’d probably want your assist to help you out with that.

There is a single tightening screw thread on the bottom to lock the rails in place and this is the weakest link.  Maybe I got a faulty one, but it didn’t loosen properly and was pretty difficult to turn.

Reasons why I did not like these:

  1. Did not come down low enough
  2. Difficult to mount the monitor to the grips, infact those holes are not mounting threads (see picture of me with grips)
  3. Didn’t fit snug on 19mm rails, LW 15mm rails were perfect.
  4. The area the grips took on the rails was pretty cumbersome; mattebox and follow focus was SUPER tight, especially if you have a swing away mattebox or smaller lenses.

Reasons why I did like these:

  1. Customizable on width
  2. Pretty comfortable
  3. Sturdy construction

I ended up selling these for $210 after using it ONCE and purchased the Zacuto Beefy Grips instead (which I love)  It’s excessively more expensive, but I got a good deal on them used from a friend of mine.  I guess I should have dished out the money to start and saved that $100 “rental fee”

if you’re just shooting with LW 15mm setup, then this might be the thing you’d want to get.  It can support some pretty heavy weight (the epic rig was about 35lbs), and it’s a great price.
Again, I wanted something that would work on EVERYTHING, that means: 19mm, Light Weight 15mm, and studio 15mm – Zacuto Beefy Grips do that.

Zacuto Beefy Grips with Red Epic M

Zacuto Beefy Grips with Canon 5D3 Rig

Hope this helps, I’ll be writing a “How to” guide on making handheld setups easier so you can shoot full days.  Also – please let me know via email or comments what you liked, didn’t like or would like to hear more about on these reviews.  I do these because no one did them for me – and I hope this helps people.



I'm Cinematographer in Toronto, Canada - just trying to learn as much as I can and share it all. Also the owner of Spectacle Media Inc.
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