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Tom Abrahamsson of RapidWinder.com It is almost never that an inventor improves on a Leica product so that it is better than the original Leica product. Tom holds that distinction with his RapidWinder for Leica M rangefinders -- a bottom mounting baseplate trigger advance. In addition Tom manufacturers other Leica accessories such as his very popular Soft Release and MiniSoftRelease shutter releases. Tom is well known as one of the true Leica rangefinder experts, even by Leica. IMPORTANT READ THIS: CWE Forum hosts have moderation powers within their forum. Please observe copyright laws by not copying and posting their material elsewhere without permission.

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Gray softie for M9?
Old 10-15-2009   #1
johnastovall
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Gray softie for M9?

Will we see a gray softie to match the new gray M9?
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Old 10-15-2009   #2
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Luigi has a stainless one... won't that match already?
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Old 10-15-2009   #3
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I did do a series of "gun-metal" grey Softies some years ago. None left, but if the demand is there it can be done!

Last edited by Tom A : 10-15-2009 at 18:24.
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Old 10-15-2009   #4
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How about Tim Isaac's (matchTechnical) bug instead!?

I've got one coming for my M8!

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Old 10-15-2009   #5
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Hmm. considering the track record for Leica's digital efforts. Do you really want to put a "bug" on the top of the camera too!!!!!
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Old 11-18-2009   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichC View Post
How about Tim Isaac's (matchTechnical) bug instead!?

I've got one coming for my M8!

i just got mine today in the mail! looks absolutely wonderful on my m6! it'll look awesome on a m8 as well! lol.

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Old 11-19-2009   #7
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I'd be up for a gunmetal gray softie!
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Old 02-27-2012   #8
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I have heard lot of bad things about this gadget and I never want this one on my cameras. But what is real the advantage of this button over the original function on camera release itself?
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Old 02-27-2012   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyriljay View Post
I have heard lot of bad things about this gadget and I never want this one on my cameras. But what is real the advantage of this button over the original function on camera release itself?
Extra stability
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Old 02-27-2012   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyriljay View Post
I have heard lot of bad things about this gadget and I never want this one on my cameras. But what is real the advantage of this button over the original function on camera release itself?
Got a mini-softie on every camera that will take one, so that makes four right now. Stability and feel. You nestle the softie under the joint of your first knuckle of your index finger, or slightly further back on the underside of your index finger. It allows you to gently squeeze off a shot, instead of poking your fingertip "into" the shutter release button.

For me it just makes the camera feel so much more organic in my hand and smoothes out the whole shooting process. Been using them for about three years now and would never go back.

All mine are made by Tom Abrahamsson, so I can't comment on any of the others.

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Old 02-27-2012   #11
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I've heard bad things about every softie maker besides those from Tom. I have used the Abrahamsson mini version for every M camera and they're great, I can get a majority of my shots at 1/4 sec with one and that number moves up to about 1/15 sec without one (the rare instances when Im using someone else's camera).
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Old 02-27-2012   #12
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In practical use - you gain a f-stop. You can handhold the camera and shoot at a slower speed - and you dont have to hit the relase exactly in the center - even hitting the rim of the Softe will trigger the shutter (and putting it in your bag with the shutter cocked will also trigger the shutter!).
It is just an extension of the regular release button of a camera and the fact that you can release it smoother helps.
I concieved my version of it more than 12 years ago - spent quite some time getting the convex shape right (not too dome shaped - but not too flat either). Some people like it - some dont, but it is much cheaper than switching from a F1.4 lens to a F1.0 anyway.
The difference in mine compared to a lot of the others on the market is the alloy used in it. It is a high strength aero-space alloy - which means that it will not snap off at the thread (some cast ones will do that - and you are stuck with the threaded part in the cameras release) - it is also light which means that it will not trigger the meter on a M6/M7/MP/M8/M9 when mounted on the camera (brass is almost 5 times the weight). Edges are knurled which means that it is easy to remove or put on the camera without over tightening it.
I am probably biased - but all my Leica's and Bessa's/Zeiss have them - and I am working on a design for an improved AR-1 for my Nikon RF's (and SLR's).
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Old 02-27-2012   #13
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As for Grey Softies for Anthracite or grey Hammer tone M9's - If I get enough orders, I can do it. I made some some years ago for my Hammer tone finished M2 and a grey Bessa T 101.
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Old 02-27-2012   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom A View Post
It is just an extension of the regular release button of a camera and the fact that you can release it smoother helps.
Here's a question for you: I've heard that soft releases can put side pressure on the shutter release pin and can sometimes bend it, necessitating a repair. Is that something you've encountered at all? I don't like to give credence to unattributed stories, but that one gave me enough pause to not want to use a soft release if it's at all possible.
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Old 02-27-2012   #15
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Ι've totally destroyed the shutter button assembly on my x100 with a softie (not one of Tom's). Sent it to Fuji, fixed, now I'm using a softie again (a smaller one) with no problems. I suspect it must've got caught somewhere in my bag and it snapped the base of the shutter release.
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Old 02-27-2012   #16
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Since they're aluminum (doesn't take paint well), you gotta get one powdercoated if you want it gray now. I don't think you can get it anodized in that color. Just don't powdercoat the threads. It will cost you--probably more than it's worth.
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Old 02-28-2012   #17
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You would have to hit a Softie hard to bend a shaft - probably hard enough that that the Softie would be the least of your problem. Only potential problem with any softie would be on cameras that have release locks around the collar. If you apply a lot of force on the release it can "lock" the release hard enough to create a problem (I know of one case where this happened).
As for having a Softie anodized grey - it can be done. I made as mall run a couple of years ago, mainly for myself - but some were sold. It is more of a gun-metal grey color than a anthracite/hammer tone color. You can get a whole range of color in anodizing - and the grey is reasonably common (used on high end bicycles).
Powder coating is a pain - it builds up and also creates a "ridge" on any sharp edge. I have had it done and it is not worth the effort. It is also prone to "chipping" edges.
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Old 02-29-2012   #18
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I'm ready to order one, anyone else?
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Old 02-29-2012   #19
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Add me to the list, please.

Tom, any plans for new Softies with any kind of logo? I might have to get myself another Mr. B for insurance after I lost my RFF-logo'd Softie somewhere at Newark Liberty Airport.
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Old 03-24-2012   #20
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yeah must be about time for a new rff softie

any interest or ideas?

I like the ladybug one but it might not be suitable for Toms softies.
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Old 04-10-2012   #21
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I don't mine getting a few if it is produced..........
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Old 04-10-2012   #22
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I have one of Tom`s softies on both my M bodies.
They look good and are useful for those slow speeds too.
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Old 04-10-2012   #23
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I remain unconvinced and would never think of putting a softie on a camera, especially not an M9 or an X100 where I've already got an extra stop or two or more. If I can put up with the limitations of ISO 400 film, manual focus and rangefinder viewfinder I can surely accept the shutter button the camera manufacturer provided. I regularly try 1/4 and think nothing of 1/15 or 1/30 and even if I could do better with a softie I would worry about Spyro's experience and the other problems recorded and I just hate extra stuff on a camera.
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Old 04-10-2012   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom A View Post
Hmm. considering the track record for Leica's digital efforts. Do you really want to put a "bug" on the top of the camera too!!!!!

Good one, Tom!
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