View Full Version : Grip or Half case or nothing?

09-17-2007, 09:08
Do you use a side grip, a half case or nothing or something else, when you shoot. I use a sidegrip but sometimes I miss a lovely leather halfcase.

mike goldberg
09-17-2007, 09:46
Great idea for a poll, Akiva. I'm not comfortable with half cases; I want to feel the body... especially of a Leica.

Since the Bessa R [used] came with a sidegrip, I use it.
Cheers, Mike

09-17-2007, 09:47
Luigi halfcase with built-in grip. Best of all worlds - nice leather case, ready access to shoot, nice "grippability" for hand carrying, still relatively small form factor.


09-17-2007, 09:51
It depends.

For some lenses the grip feels better, like the 50/1.2 is awkward to remove
with a half case.

For some lenses using a grip makes my fingers go in the picture, like
small 21 or 15mm lenses.

If possible I use a grip, if the lens allows, a Luigi built-in grip case.



09-17-2007, 10:21
One or two of my cameras seem to work better in a half case (the Konica IIIA springs to mind), and my Bessa R3A has the trigger winder with grip, so that's what I use with that; usually I just carry the camera in my left hand, with a wrist strap to stop me dropping it.

09-17-2007, 10:48
Well, why don't include a softie in the list?

The question is what is the purpose and which is the camera, as we are not going to develope cults for sub-devices too.

If the purpose is feeling good, then cada chancho a su rancho. It is personal.

If the purpose is silencing, cushioning and stabilizing the camera as much as possible, then all the already mentioned means are suitable and help. How much each of them helps ? It depends on the specific camera.

Thus for example, the panoramic Horizon with a light plastic side grip "Kaiser", achieves an enormous advantage than without it.

On the other hand, a Yashica Lynx 14 cannot be further silenced by the use of a half case, as most of the shutter sound is projected TTL outwards.

For a Contax or a Kiev an original old half case will do the job.

OK, I leave now as there is no much point for generalizations, unless this is an Eureka Luigi thread. Not that he doesn't deserves it, but let's do it by the front door.

Be aware of your particular ergonomic issues and original in your own solutions. "The truth is always concrete".


As for Mike Goldberg prefering the metal over the case, the issue is that none of you have an idea of Mike's height and the size of his hands. :)

And he still manages to manipulate the tiny Oly RC :bang:

09-17-2007, 10:55
Ruben, Always good to have a philosopher on board.

09-17-2007, 11:32
As for Mike Goldberg prefering the metal over the case, the issue is that none of you have an idea of Mike's height and the size of his hands. :)

And he still manages to manipulate the tiny Oly RC :bang:

I'm sure I can compete with him :)

I mostly agree with you, Ruben. And I'm not favoring Luigi, necessarily.
There are several good sources for half cases.

But to take your point from the reverse perspective: lots of Leica
users highly value the quietness and ruggedness of their camera, but conversely
shoot "naked", when a half case makes a Leica, Bessa, ZI and
others (except for TTL shutter-based cameras) much quieter and even more "rugged" :).


09-17-2007, 12:12
Since buying a Luigi half case for my M6 I wouldn't want anything else on a Leica.

On a plastic bodied DSLR I am still very happy with the simple wrist strap since the camera is fairly impervious to minor dings and has a substantial handgrip as part of the body design.

09-17-2007, 12:18
My only complaint - I'm talking about BESSA - was shutter noise ... it was a big suprise when I realised that Kiev is quieter, and as we know both cameras has metal shutters ... than many people suggest me a half case - ordering one for 50 Euros ( I don't know is it correct price ) was too expensive for me,
so I decided to ask a frind to make something like cases that you use on RFF.
When he asked me why I need it, I siad about shutter noise problem. He took
an old case from Zorki 4 and said : try with this. That case was slightly larger
than body - I've pressed the shutter realise - and I didn't notice any changes
about shutter sound :confused: .
That why I like only one accesory : wrist strap :) ( original de luxe neck strap
is too short , when I try to put camera on eye, it blocks viewfinder).
With wrist strap, I can always hold camera in hand, ready to shoot. It's also
less noticable, with camera on neck I'm more ''visible''

09-17-2007, 13:37
Love the side grip on my Bessa... Feels good and nice balance.

09-17-2007, 13:47
But would love to have a nicer covering (thinking "cameraleather") on my M6.

09-17-2007, 16:04
In may case, silencing the camera is ussually the most important, although not the only issue.

For my kievs, which i wear with their first model old cases, i have dedicated lots of time thinking how to cover the empty front space at the self timer side. The problem there is that if you manage to stich a rectangular piece of the same material, you will be loosing the grip of the finger destinated to sustain the camera below the yellow patch window...

Incidentally, Luigi came with a nice solution, covering diagonally half of the rectangle. Unfortunatelly, on the other hand, symetric design led him to design the same diagonal for the other side too, thus uncovering what was previously covered. But design is design, beauty is beauty, and who I am to denny i love the Kievs very much for their superb external beauty ?


09-18-2007, 08:14
Used various 35 mm cameras -- a Canonet, an M3, a IIIc, two SLRs -- without case. Obliged to use a half case with Zorki 1C, which has no strap lugs.

09-21-2007, 23:10
While I love the grip the winder gave me on my Bessa Ts, I do not have the same (a grip) on any others. Never used a case, half or full. I've grown quite fond of Gordy Wrist Straps lately. I find that they give me a great handle on my Nikons (RF and SLR).

B2 (;->

10-31-2007, 13:39
I'm using my M4-P naked because I'm saving for the real deal, a Luigi half-case :D

10-31-2007, 14:23
I keep one canon P in the half case, and the other with a GMP side grip.

The Side grip one I use most. It is more comfortable, and the grip gives added support when using the 50 1.2 and other large lenses.

The half case camera I keep loaded with high speed film, and wide angle lenses - I mostly use it for more "point and shoot" purposes - the difference in case also helps me remember which camera is which, so I know what film speeds I'm dealing with.

10-31-2007, 16:40
I rotate film too quickly to use a halfcase, I really like them and I really would love to have my cameras in them but they are just too inconvenient for me to actually use. I really like the Luigi M7 case for a Motor-M and the Leicavit case.
I use a sidegrip because its highly practical, I use it with a Sling and a Gordy Strap, and it means that I can rewind, pull off the baseplate and stick it under my arm when loading and have no fear of it falling out from under my arm because the side grip is as much an anchor when its off the body as to when its on the body.

10-31-2007, 16:45
I've been using the M grips for a long while, and just got a grip from Tom- amazing! I absolutely love it. Much better in my arthritic hand. Another is soon on the way!

10-31-2007, 18:57
I bought a black Leitz Ever Ready Case years back for my M4-P and it really helps keep it in good condition as well as providing a more comfortable grip. (The half case is probably even better in the grip department because of how it is designed.) Most times I only use my ERC as a half case in nay event, and find that when out shooting it not only provides a better grip for hand holding the camera but I do not need to obsess quite so much about minor bangs or scrapes. So, long story short - I would go for the half case. Having said that I have now just bought a grip to try with my M3 which has no case.

10-31-2007, 19:49
When I bought my first M, I tried out Leica's own grip and found it wanting (too small for my large hands). in fact; I had abandoned the idea of adding a grip to my Leica. However; Last week, on an impulse, I decided to try one of Tom's Rapidgrips and I've already decided that I'd not care to shoot without it. For me, the Rapidgrip transformed my MP from what I felt was a slightly awkward and eccentric feeling piece of kit into a more serious tool. Not only can I now comfortably carry my M with one hand but I can also confidently adjust the shutter speed dial and, provided that I have remembered to pre-focus, shoot entirely with one hand as well. This has been of great benefit when I have been out street shooting as I have found that people pay less attention to me it I am able to shoot without raising my weak hand to the camera. Thanks Tom!


11-01-2007, 06:05
Half case. Allows my largish hands to keep a much better grip on my Bessa. Came home from a recent trip without it, so I need to go shopping. Without the case, I usually hold the camera in my left hand with the thumb running vertically up the left side, the index finger braced along the right side of the lens, and the other fingers gripping the right side. My right thumb runs along the bottom of the camera.

11-01-2007, 06:21
I've just started using a side grip on my M6, and I really like it - I use a Gordy wrist strap (I don't like a camera around my neck or over my shoulder - I prefer to have a bag over my shoulder with 2 or more cameras in), and the grip really prevents the slight muscle strain I get from carrying the M6 around one-handed.

I do fancy trying a Luigi case, but the only thing that puts me off a bit is having to remove it every time I change film - I probably will try one though, but it will have to wait until I'm a bit wealthier than I am at the moment.

11-02-2007, 08:34
I work with the sidegrip and sling.

11-02-2007, 10:11
I tried the grip and tried the half-cases. In the end, I sold them all. I have big hands and always assumed that a grip or a case would improve my handling of the cameras. But I definitely prefer the M bodies as they are. Go figure.

11-02-2007, 12:18
Once you get used to a side grip it's tough to back.....so I have the best of both worlds, a Luigi's half case made to fit a Leica with the plastic side grip fitted.
I go to his site to drool over the black croc case........must......resist......

Ronald M
11-04-2007, 14:55
Why a half case? Nothing protects the the most vulnerable part, the top. Then when you are done, it feels like a football instead of a camera made to fit your hand.

Grips are nice especially when pulling a camera from a bag as it gives you a nice handle instead of a pinch grip. But then it takes away from the slim ergonomic body we paid so dearly for when it is time to make photos.

11-04-2007, 15:26
Command-O with my Canon 7.

11-04-2007, 15:30
Naked is the bestest.

11-11-2007, 13:56
I've been using the M grips for a long while, and just got a grip from Tom- amazing! I absolutely love it. Much better in my arthritic hand. Another is soon on the way!Glad to hear that you finally got one Bob - you were talking about this a while back. I find mine essential for a carry-round. Recently I got a Gordy wrist-strap to go with it and that seems to work really well too.

Philippe D.
11-11-2007, 14:05
I can't do without a grip.
I found the best ones are the Motor M for Leica M.
The only body which have no grip is the M2, he have a Leicavit instead.
But please, no pyjama, even half of it !

12-12-2007, 19:00
Given I photograph people candidly and very close, I frequently shoot without looking through the finder. With the weight of a Leica M + 35mm Lux its much easier to shoot from the hip by flipping the camera upside down and you need a grip to do that with any control. and for how I shoot, a case of any sort just wouldnt work; I need the tactile feel of the camera in my hand

12-12-2007, 19:37
Never used a grip, so can't comment on it. The only camera I use with a half case is a Zorki 1, which has no strap lugs. But sometimes I use it out of its case too.

12-13-2007, 05:00
I don't travel in the exalted circles of the Leica, but I do have a handful of Canonets, a Konica Auto S2, and a Vivitar 35ES. I have half-cases that fit everything except the 35ES, and swap 'em around as needed. If I'm only gonna carry 1 camera on the shoulder, I tend to put on the half-case. If traveling a long distance, I'll use the full case, strip off the top when I'm at the destination.

I use the case to protect the body. I hate corner-dings, and I've occasionally been very happy that I had the protection. Nothing worse than going around a corner and hearing a metallic scrape...

When I'm wandering around with my 2-machine camera bag, they're naked inside the bag, then I wear the camera around my neck. TMI, eh?...


12-13-2007, 05:01
Both I guess.

I have found a grip on a Bessa is best for me and in place in my R4a.
Half case for the heavier Leica. I have one of TA's grips which I also like and use, but I think case is better for my Ms.

12-13-2007, 15:03
I use a half case, usually Luigi's. The reason: to hold the film tab from the box of film so I can remember what it's loaded with. How's that for a $250 solution to a Leica design flaw!


12-13-2007, 22:54
Midcity camera in philly had a bin full of Leica never-ready cases at one point, and I grabbed a few. I like them, because I can throw the camera into my messenger bag with books, laptops, etc, and feel a little better about it. Most of the time I'll leave the bottom half on the M2 while I'm using it. If I anticipate the need for a fast reload, I'll let it go naked.

Best part? I paid ~ $5 for the M case, $2 for a LTM case that I thought would fit my dad's IIIf + leicavit. Turns out it's a case for a SCNOO, not a SYOOM. Damn.

12-13-2007, 23:59
So far I didn't like half cases but now it is getting really cold and the half cases give a better grip when wearing gloves. Nice side-effect, the shutter sound becomes more quiet and I can stick the film tab into it.

12-15-2007, 06:59
I admit it. I'm a fan of side grips. So much so that I modify existing ones and add a wooden piece. The link below will take you to my flickr site that show a modified Photo Equip FM Grip with custom made Koa wood handle.

Click here to see my grip (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2091/1781864699_02a1eefe88_m.jpg)

Nice grip!

BTW, did you drill that shade out or did it come that way? Is it still effective? Reminds me of what we used to do to our bicycle parts in the '60s!

12-15-2007, 11:59
SLRs are always commando. Luigi half-case on my IIIc, with a Gordy wrist-strap. My M7 has a Abrahamsson grip and a SLING, and I'm trying to decide on my newly-acquired M2. I have large hands, and don't like anything too small and fiddly. A naked IIIc is right on the limit for me.



12-16-2007, 19:44
My cameras are tools for taking pictures, and nothing more. They're not icons of worship, pieces of jewellery, investments or status symbols. They're not babied, fondled or adored, but rather just treated with the common sense that is required of all pieces of precision equipment, and serviced as required. However, they are Nikons SLR's and rangefinder so they are made to stand up to hard usage and keep on working. So no, I don't use any of those ever-ready cases or cute leather half cases, as they get in the way and are a waste of money.

12-16-2007, 20:37
...I don't use any of those ever-ready cases or cute leather half cases, as they get in the way and are a waste of money.

Couldnt agree more... Although I have original Leica straps on my Ms, I find even these can get in the way. Most of the time I have the strap wrapped around my wrist just to keep it out of the way; thats when a side grip becomes invaluable.
Even with my Mamiya 7ii I have (with a lot of working out how to, and cutting up the original neck strap) fitted one of those "slip your hand into it" leather hand grips.

For anything remotely documentary in shooting style, naked and in your hand is the only way....

12-16-2007, 21:42
I dislike grips and half-cases. I don't understand their true purpose. The Case transforms a Leica into a fat obtrusive thing and the Grip transforms it into a fake SLR. Yuk!

back alley
12-17-2007, 08:06
the half case is nice in very cold weather, it allows for thinner gloves.

12-17-2007, 08:07
Me too Ned. I like the feel of the cold brass in my hands, leather would transform it into something else. I do have a $3 junk-bin never-ready though. I put it in that when it gets packed in a suitcase so it doesn't get poked with a toothbrush or something.

12-17-2007, 08:31
The M8 falls far short of the film M where grip is concerned. Without purchase for the thumb and with the covering used it is a pain to hold securely.

I never liked the M accesory grip on the film M and didn't care for it on the M8 when I tried it. I got a Luigi case with grip and that was a workable solution. It was the first I ever considered a case as the film M's worked fine out of the box without the need for add ons. For those who are afraid of being mistaken for a Leica effete with your fancy Italian case I suggest scruffing the case up and while your at it put a few scratches on your M8 as well so you will look like you have been shooting in the mountains of Afghanistan instead of your backyard:)

I recently discovered the Griptac offered at Camera Leather. I tried a piece and it works really well. So I sold the Luigi half case and am going to change the camera cover to Griptac. It solves the grip problem without the added thickness of a half-case and no need to remove the case for changing cards and batteries. It's a very industrial material which I like but if you are into black paint and brass it might not be your cup of tea, in which case I would suggest the Luigi M8 case with grip.

12-17-2007, 12:39
I use a custom Luigi half-case with a cutout for my Thumbs Up Model 1.

01-20-2008, 15:52
Naked is the bestest.

Hey - I was going to say that...

01-20-2008, 23:12
A half case (Luigi), especially very convenient when the weather is cold and of course, it partially protects the camera.


01-20-2008, 23:23
When I first got my M3, it came with the bottom half of the original case. I used it for a while to protect the camera, but it became too inconvenient for loading. Sure my camera has some scratches and is missing some vulcanite it wasn't before, but it wasn't anywhere near mint when I got it, and I'm not afraid to to go out and shoot with it.

01-21-2008, 00:21
When I first got my M3, it came with the bottom half of the original case. I used it for a while to protect the camera, but it became too inconvenient for loading

Please don't tell me that ANY M is convenient in loading.

Even my Yashica Mat 124-G is quicker in loading..... :rolleyes:

If you need a quick loading (and unloading) camera you will be much better of with a Canon or Nikon SLR prof. film camera. It can be done within 5 seconds.

12-10-2008, 15:51
I prefer a half-case for Canon RFs mostly because they have sturdy attachment to the straps, and do not rely upon camera lugs. Seems more secure to me, and I can place the camera on the ground,rocks, gravel without having to be concerned about scratching the baseplate.

12-10-2008, 16:02
In-house and in-situation my O is naked. In-transit it's in full case or in-pocket. (The 'Standard' size w/collapsed 50 Elmar rides comfortably and securely in jeans.) Naked in-hand is a tad risky what with no neck strap, but fiddling with a wrist strap is too busy with this camera's antique functions ... so I try not to drop it.

So far so good.

12-10-2008, 16:28
I'm going to be getting to use a luigi half case on my MP again.

I liked the case but not the grip on the case I had before. Clean start.

Gary E
01-07-2009, 10:00
My M usually is either used plain or with a Leicagoodies sling. Tried to use the grip but didn't like it, and never used a half case but would like to try; worried about extra bulk added.

01-08-2009, 09:54
I use my MP with a rapidgrip and sling combination - it will never get dropped:D. The M6 has a shoulder starp which still don't like after all these years but it's jusy convinient when carrying them both.

01-09-2009, 09:35
On my Olympus 35-S I use the bottom half of the original case...it has lugs for a strap and I like the way it looks and protects the body...

I also use the back half of the case on my Yashica Mat 124...it's too pretty and I needed something to prevent it from getting scratched or dinged up while using it...
The case doesn't hinder any knobs or levers so it doesn't get in the way of normal use other than reloading it...