Varavon Mini Armor – DSLR Cage

At first glance most Varavon products take unusual routes in designing camera gear. One example is how they opted to design their ViewFinder with a pop open door and mirror for low angle shots. Unusually I find myself using this feature quite a bit now. This time they've designed their Armor (cage) to not look so 'cage like' when compared to all the other square or rectangular boxes on the market. Varavon sent over the Armor [Thanks Varavon] and it looked like a weird contorted frame, but that's all designed to make your camera still feel like a camera. We didn't really notice this until mounting the 5D Mark II and using it as we normally would hand held. The frame is very lightweight, but it's far from flimsy. Not exactly sure what's it's made from but it feels more like steel not so much aluminum.

varavon-armor-mini

Since most DSLR cameras have the hand grip placed on the right side of the body, I guess Varavon figured you'll be focusing with your left hand and supporting the camera with your right. For this, they provided some 15mm standard stubs only on the right side of the Armor body and include a well crafted wide grip handle for support. Instead we tested different things from Shoulder Pads to Target Shooter style gunstocks mounted on the stud. You can use this 15mm mount for a variety of things, but if you build up too far, you might have a tough time getting on and off a Tripod head.

varavon-armor-mini-pics

The Armor comes with a mounting base, which is already designed to accept the Varavon View Finder. I have one for the 5D Mark II, so it fit in place perfectly. The entire package together really works, but it has it's 'cons'. The quick release is still a propriety system. The View Finder I have is only for the Canon 5D Mark II, so this won't mount correctly if i'm using a 7D, 60D, T2i, T3i, GH2, etc. For people who own multiple cameras, expect that you'll only be using it for one. Another thing I found was the many many threaded holes around the cage. It's nice if you're mounting a direct 1/4-20 bolt directly. But I tried mounting a hot shoe adapter and it continuously positioned the wrong way. This is due to the threads not allowing a bolt to spin freely before locking it down. I may have to drill a few of these out to remove the threads. For most people Varavon products haven't been competitive in pricing, but that could be contributed to quality. Also, tools like the Varavon ViewFinder and Cage don't exactly fall under 'Future Proof' designs if someday you choose to change cameras. All in all, in the time i've had a chance to use Varavon products, I've been really impressed. They make excellent quality ViewFinders, Sliders, and now this Armor Cage. More information on the Armor can be found at their website (click here).

Varavon has very limited distribution, but you can usually find their products via B&H Photo (click here), or mostly via eBay following the link (click here)
armor-mini-cage
visit-button Varavon Products on eBay



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20 thoughts on “Varavon Mini Armor – DSLR Cage

  1. Kamran F

    Emm, I own Canon 5D Mark II currently Battery grip already attached to it.
    Obviously, it's good idea to have more battery power always, have a question to ask "Could I mount the camera with battery grip to this Cage?"

    I plan of buying the Zacuto z-finder Pro 2.5x also with battery grip Mounting plate will that all fit correctly?

    Where I get this cage in UK London? And Price?

    Thanks.

  2. Paul H

    Emm, is it possible to use a z-finder with the gorilla plate with this unit instead of the varavon loupe? I already have a z-finder and don't want to buy another one just for this cage.

  3. Chris

    @Emm
    The HD Handle looks great and with 59$ it´s very affordable for US citizens I guess, but shipping to Germany is 79$ and I still rather think Varavon should offer an upgrade, there design seems very thought through, but the handle seems to have slipped quality control...
    Anyways, thanks for the advice, I´ll wait for feedback from the retailer...

  4. Chris

    @Emm
    Yes, the handle locks down fine, but the handle itself is a bit too "instable" for my taste, you now where the pinkish Allumium rings meet the rubber part, those elements have play against each other.
    The clamp attaching the handle to the cage is perfekt though.
    Hmm, maybe its just me, but I´d prefer a grip that feels solid as a rock...

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Chris - The handle seems to lock down fine with mine. You can also relocate the stud, and use other 15mm accessories.

  6. Chris

    Hey Emm, did you get the handle with the armor cage? I just found your site through a search, because there isn´t much info about the Armor on the web...

    I´ve been using mine for a week now (coincidentely also adapting the Wonland gunstock with it) and I really don´t like the grip.

    It´s build out of various elements and just isn´t stable in itself - the grip is the least part of a rig I wan´t some movement/play.

    If you´ve experienced the same, maybe we can point out this issue to Varavon...

    BTW: Awesome site! Cheers from Berlin, Chris

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @JonF - You cannot remove the stubs, but there are plenty of 1/4-20 threads everywhere so that you can attach rod clamps and build up from there.

  8. JonF

    "Hi Emm, is it possible to unscrew & reposition the 15mm stubs (e.g. to the left side or top plate)?" That would be killer. I like the look of these cage/rigs a lot! Can they be adapted to use rods with them?

  9. Thierry

    Hi Emm, is it possible to unscrew & reposition the 15mm stubs (e.g. to the left side or top plate)?

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @ryan - I found usind the gun stock is better for me, and my hand is still placed to control aperture.

  11. ryan

    It's a sweeeeet rig. My one issue with this thing is when you put the handle on, its really hard to change aperture/shutter settings. you gotta hold it with your left and adjust it or cross your left arm over to do it.

    @Emm you find a good way to tackle this?

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