Nothing is a small as a Leica thumb support, and yet, nothing can improve the camera as much as this small accessory. The good news is, there is no shortage of this wonderful little accessory. Here’s a compilation of the best ones for your Leica.
What is a thumb support?
A thumb support is a piece of metal that goes over your hotshoe and provides a resting area for your thumb. It is also called a thumb rest or thumb grip.
Do you really need one?
There’s only two kinds of photographers in this world: Those who know how such a small accessory (Amongst others) can change the handling of the camera, and those who don’t. It’s really a hard thing to describe how some extra piece of metal can really transform your camera into a whole new beast if you haven’t used one.
It is one of the 3 must haves of any camera: grip. soft release and thumb rest that improve your camera, no matter which one it is. If you think about physics, when you hold the camera and grip the front grip, the camera will tend to pivot up front.
That is why there’s usually a little area in the back of the camera to counter that. But these pale in comparison with a good thumb support.
They have a large slope that makes the whole camera way more comfortable to use, and since it is elevated you will not accidently change a setting. And for the more pragmatical, if you are afraid of dropping your Leica the thumb support makes your grip more secure, reducing camera shake in the process.
Some even come with a little level so that you can know how straight you are keeping your camera.
Thumb rests are unique
While technically many are interchangeable and can fit on other cameras, it is better to stick to one made for your specific model. A lot of thumb rest are molded with the shape of the camera in mind and even the generic ones might not fit your Leica. Because some cameras have weird shapes in the back or dials that the thumb grip can simply block. So there are no universal thumb supports.
Leica thumb support list
Below are the thumb supports for Leicas. Leica isn’t too prolific in this area so it’s mostly populated by one of the best manufacturers of high quality non Leica thumb supports: Match technical.
Leica Thumb rest
|wdt_ID||Camera||Manufacturer||Thumb Support||Coldshoe||Get it|
|Camera||Manufacturer||Thumb Support||Coldshoe||Get it|
The problem with thumb grips
For how good thumb rests are there is a huge issue: It takes over the hotshoe. There’s two issues with this: No viewfinders and no flash.
Many Leicas have built in viewfinders but if you want to add an external viewfinder, you can’t. And a lot of modern Leicas omit the flash. If you never use a flash it is not an issue but if you use one it is a problem.
In the list above I have provided a coldshoe column to determine if one of the thumb rests has it.
A hotshoe has connections and can trigger the flash but a coldshoe is just to hold the flash. You will have to trigger it another way, either with a cable or in slave mode. A coldshoe however will work with optical viewfinders, albeit your sight will be slightly off.
So while you probably need a Leica thumb support, if you need your EVF or flash, it might be an annoyance more than a big help.
There you have it, a list of available Leica thumb supports. If you are thinking of getting one, don’t, just get it. You will kick yourself for not getting one sooner. Leicas, especially the M line are pretty flat in the front so will get a huge boost if you add a grip and a thumb rest to them. Not only they improve the camera’s ergonomics, the stronger grip also provide you with less camera shake for that tack sharp photo with the Leica glow.