Sony A7rii grip rubber replacement DIY
UPDATE: I have since sold off all of my Sony gear and moved to Nikon. As with any DIY project, unfamiliarity with tools and process can lead to damage so this post should be construed as theoretical advice only. If you are at all uncomfortable or inexperienced working on DIY electronics projects, please reconsider doing the job yourself. By using this website, you agree to indemnify Sung Park ("the Company") for any and all claims, damages, losses arising out of using the information in this website. The materials on this site are distributed "as is" and appear on the site without express or implied warranties of any kind, except those required by the relevant legislation. In particular the Company makes no warranty as to the accuracy, quality, completeness or applicability of the information provided.
I've put my main A7rii body through a lot this past year, and apparently my somewhat acidic skin doesn't help much. A big chunk had come out of the thumb pad area on the back of the camera body, which proved to be incredibly annoying.
Thankfully, unlike the mark 1 A7 bodies (which had the rubber portion integrated into the back plate), Sony made the smart decision to make the rubber portion a separate part number that is surprisingly cheap at about $35 plus shipping: https://www.encompassparts.com/item/10855597/Sony/X-2591-929-3/Grip_Assy_(795),_Rear
Important: It appears that the back plate and rubber grip is slightly different on the A7ii versus the A7rii. Make sure that you order the A7ii rubber grip part, not the A7rii one as there appear to be subtle differences between the two. The A7rii has more magnesium alloy bracing on the back plate, whereas the A7ii does not seem to have the alloy on the back plate. Also the A7ii grip rubber seems to be attached with a few dabs of epoxy based on the photo I was sent, whereas the A7rii grip rubber does not have epoxy and instead is held on with 3 plastic tabs and the two screws. Perhaps the magnesium alloy on the A7rii back plate offers enough stiffness that the plastic tabs are able to hold it in position better?
Here is a pic of an A7ii back plate with integrated rubber grip alongside an A7r2 rubber grip. If you look closely at the A7ii back plate, you'll see that the rubber grip is held on with semi-permanent plastic rivets that appear to be melted or glued to attach the grip. If you compare it with the A7rii back plate later in this post, you'll see they are different as the A7r2 rubber grip is attached via a couple tension clips and screws and is not permanently mounted to the back plate.
Here is the new A7rii grip rubber compared to the tatty old one:
And now the teardown.. First though, I'd like to say that do no try to attempt this unless you are comfortable working with extremely delicate electronics. Basically the steps are as follows:
1) Remove bottom plate, tripod mount plate, and battery door
Remove side screws on both sides (a couple are hiding under the usb/hdmi port covers)
Remove EVF cup, four screws that hold the piece below it in, as well as the adjustment screw. I'd recommend holding the adjust knob with your finger as you unscrew it as it probably isn't a good idea to torque against the internal stop of the adjuster.
And now the hardest part, and the part where it's easy to screw things up - remove the LCD. You also need to remove the two plates covering the ribbon on the arm, and if you want more slack, loosen the dab of glue holding the LCD ribbon onto the pivot arm. I did not completely disconnect the LCD ribbon as just removing the plates gave me enough slack to remove the back plate of the camera, but proceed with caution if you are doing this yourself as you can easily damage the fragile LCD ribbon in this process. To clarify, when I did this repair, I kept the pivot arm attached to the LCD screen, and just removed the pivot arm + LCD screen assembly from the back of the camera body.
Once you have the LCD and pivoting arm off, very very very carefully remove the back plate of the camera. There should be almost no resistance at this point. If you meet resistance, then STOP. It means you are snagging something vital, or haven't removed enough of the screws.
The reason why you have to remove the back plate is because the rubber grip is attached to the camera back plate from the other side with two screws. As you can see, the ribbon is still in place, so I've carefully positioned the rest of the camera on a little pad to keep it from moving around. Aside from the two screws, there are three very small tabs that hold the grip in. You have to lever the old rubber grip piece out, and the new one in, and then snap the little tabs in carefully because otherwise the new grip won't sit flush.
And then re-assembly is the reverse process again taking care not to bend anything vital. And now my A7rii feels good as new for only $35, and I've avoid the $250 minimum cost to bring it into a sony service center.
If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, if you found this post useful and it helped save you a couple hundred bucks sending it into Sony service, a donation of a few bucks is always appreciated via paypal.