One of the best reasons to own a Leica camera is the wealth of accessories that you can get for them. Here are the best Leica accessories that are a must have that enhance the camera’s ergonomics, function and more.
The 3 Non negotiables accessories for any Leica
For every camera I have I always get 3 accessories: A grip, a thumbrest and a soft release. No matter how great the camera, these elevate the ergonomics to the moon.
Why the Leica handgrip is a must
If there is something against Leica cameras it is probably that mostly all of their cameras lack a grip. Not talking about the SL2 which has one of the best in the business, but mostly all of the others, the front is a bit…flat.
That’s why one of the best Leica accessories you can get is a handgrip. Why would you want one? Two reasons: first it makes the camera better to use because your fingers hold something in the front and the second more practical reason is it helps your hands keep the camera steady.
Yes a handgrip helps grip the camera, keeping your hands steady, allowing you to shoot slower shutter speeds then if you didn’t have one. There’s a security factor too, it feels great that the camera won’t accidently fall from your hands.
On the flip side, most of the grips will cover the battery and card compartment, so if you want to use them you will need to remove the grip first. But since changing the battery or dumping the memory card is only done once in a while, and removing the grip is easy it is only slightly annoying. Check out our list of Leica Handgrips for your camera.
One thing to note is that Leica goes above and beyond for their Panasonic-Leica partnership cameras and make accesories specific for their branded versions, including grips, and it is one of the reason to go for the Leica versions rather then Panasonic versions.
Optional: The Leica Fingerloop
If the best Leica accessories are grips, this makes grips even better. This little loop gets screwed on the grip itself and provides a strap-like experience while not being a strap. It makes the grip even more secure because with the loop on, you can open your hands and your camera would still be secure. This is one of the best Leica accessories that some of my friends wish Fuji and other cameras had.
Unfortunately not all of Leica’s grips support this, check out the Leica handgrip database and check the “Loop” column to see if it is supported.
Why Thumbrests are awesome
Called by many names: Thumbgrip, thumbrest or thumbsupports these are a little piece of metal or plastic that go in the back of the camera and provides a resting place for your thumb. Because of the raised profile this ensures not only a better grip but also ensures that the thumb doesn’t inadvertently hit a dial or button.
If you add a grip in the front and a thumbrest in the back, it creates a vice like grip that is hard to get back from. Once you use a Leica or any camera with both a grip and a thumbrest, you feel the difference when they are not there.
Check out the Leica Thumb Support page for the correct one for your Leica
The humble yet mighty Soft release
Sometimes I pull out my camera and shoot, only to feel like something is OFF. And most often what is off is that the soft release fell out in my bag. The soft release is simply a little mushroom looking thing that gets screwed over your shutter release to raise it. There’s multiple reasons why they are great.
First they add some degree of customization, like charms or a case to a phone. Second they raise the profile of the shutter button so not only your index finger does less work, there’s less stress on it because the shutter release is often inside of a crease.
But even if you don’t care about this, the more practical reason to get a soft release and why they are some of the best Leica accessories is the fact that they reduce vibration. When you shoot your finger emits micro vibrations to the camer and if your shutter speed is slow enough your image will end up blurry. This vibration is canceled with a soft release so no blurry images.
Coupled with a thumbrest and a grip, you are as steady as you can be. Check out about Leica soft releases here and to check your camera’s combability because not all support it.
The Best Leica accessories that are optional
The 3 accessories above are non negotiables, at least for me and many Leica shooters. The ones below are some of the best Leica accessories, but are more on the optional side as not everyone needs a flash for example.
The trusty Leica viewfinders
Viewfinders are some of the best Leica accessories to have, and a staple of Leica photographers for decades. Why? Because of the limitations of the rangefinder systems. While you can have any lens and see what you are going to shoot on a DSLR, this is not the same with a rangefinder that has maximum frame lines of 28mm.
If you have an odd focal length, a telephoto or something even wider than 28mm you will need to use a viewfinder. There’s one for every focal length and they attach on top of the camera. These are called OVF or Optical viewfinders.
Ever since the Leica D-Lux 5, there’s also been electronic viewfinders that are essentially little screens, these are called EVF or Electronic viewfinders. One of the best advantages of the later Leica M cameras is their support for an EVF. So while you can use the integrated viewfinder as intended, you can also use the Visoflex and use it as a sort of DSLR with live-view.
For compatibility and to get the right viewfinder for your focal length, check out the Leica viewfinders database. Definitely one of the best Leica accessories.
Leica Flash: Light when you need it
Most Leicas don’t have a flash built-in, not even a small one like on most DSLRs. So you will need a flash. It gets a bit complicated but the reason for having a Leica flash on a Leica camera is because of the TTL (Trough The Lens) function, or automatic function. Leica flashes can talk the same language as the Leica cameras and can pass the settings trough the hotshoe.
Click here to check out the best Leica flashes.
Leica bags: Transport in style
Leicas are some of the best looking cameras in the world and also deserve to be transported in style. There’s lots of choices and here’s a list of the best Leica bags to chose from, for Leicas of any size.
The other usual suspects
That’s it for the best Leica accessories, these are the best ones that turn your camera into an even better one. Some accessories are the necessary kind, if you need one check out our database of: