Modding the Beachtek BRM-1 for the BMCC

The Beachtek BRM-1 was the subject of this week’s experiment, proving to fit well on the top of a Blackmagic Cinema Camera/Production Camera 4K body with the substitution of a single screw. However, this early test used all of a single 1/4″ screw to hold the entire thing in place – and that’s with a carrying handle.

As I had to cover a big event on Wednesday, I could not risk a fragile setup, but the 67mm spacing between threads on the BMCC is not standard – you won’t find a cheese plate that will simply drop in and allow you to mount a pair of rails.

Enter the BRM-1 and some MacGyverisms in the form of a drill press:

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The BRM-1 is just wide enough to allow one to drill a pair of countersunk holes on either side of the plate, and have just enough aluminum on either side to ensure a nice looking fit:

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For better or worse though, I ran into an additional snag: The BRM-1 uses rails with a 1/2”/13tpi thread. By comparison, all of my rails have 1/2″ M12 threads – common on the Chinese rails, as most of them are, but also present on a set of rails manufactured in North America (by a DVXuser.com member). Without any other option available to me – and with less than 9 hours before the shoot – I had to drill and countersink a second set of holes to accommodate a Chinese 15mm rail clamp:

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This final combination may look a bit odd (especially with a pair of Chinese threaded adapters hanging out of the BRM-1, which I have still yet to unscrew), but it works like a charm and held up to the abuse I put it through on Wednesday. All things considered, it’s not that heavy – and it is quite workable. One Fotga follow focus unit remains mounted upside down on its rail bracket, but so be it.

Perhaps some of you will find it easier to simply drill out a piece of aluminum stock rather than use the Beachtek BRM-1, but I’m pleased at the way it lent itself to the modification – and if you use 1/2”/13tpi rails, you shouldn’t have to drill anything but the first two holes, 67mm apart.

B&H sells the BRM-1 for less than a Benjamin – so while it may not be the cheapest option for all, it certainly beats the price of any BMCC/BMPC4K-specific adapter made for the express purpose of adapting rails to the top of the unit – instead of the bottom. It certainly keeps the center of gravity lower on my Manfrotto 3066 tripod head.

-Kurt K.

“Man with the 5D”

The BRM-1 shown here was supplied to me by BeachTek. No monetary compensation was provided for this review. The comments above were not screened by BeachTek prior to publication and reflect the actual views of the author’s experience with the product.

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