Thumb rest, is it really necessary?
Old 10-28-2018   #1
robert blu
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Thumb rest, is it really necessary?

When reading the recent discussions (not only on RFF) about the thumb rest in form of a wind lever on the Leica M 10-D I'm curious to know if I'm the only one who after one and half year using the M10 do not absolutely feel the need of an additional thumb rest.
I feel the camera perfect in my hands as it is, maybe because I have small hands
Just curious, each one is entitled to his opinion, needs, way to use of course!
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Old 10-28-2018   #2
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I don't see it as needed but I see it as "useful," Robert.
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Old 10-28-2018   #3
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I've been using the advance lever for a thumb-rest, camera steadier, since my first SLR back in the 1970's. For me it just feels good. Probably a "security blanket" kind of thing.

When I got my first digital Leica (M8.2), it did feel a bit unsteady in my hand, until I found one of those Thumbs-Up attachments. Have used them on my digital Leicas ever since.

I'd like to hold the new Leica M 10-D and see how that faux-advance lever feels. Not sure it will give the same feeling of either a real advance lever on a film camera, or the Thumbs-Up attachment on a digital.

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Old 10-28-2018   #4
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If winding film had been accomplished by a different means, then people would not have become used to using it as a thumb rest and would never have developed the habit. It does nothing to steady the camera if you hold the camera correctly, and, not surprisingly, sharp photos are made every day without it. I have not used the wind lever as a thumb rest in my 45 years of shooting. Obviously Leica agreed it was unnecessary, and with the introduction of the M8 in 2004 did away with it. It wasn't until late 2018 that Leica deemed it essential again, as cover for the faux film crowd predilections. Every other digital camera with the exception of the RD-1 did away with it decades ago. Thumbs Up addressed the same habit, mostly for the crowd that likes to pimp out their cameras with gee-gaws like exotic wood grips, elaborate lens shades, ornate soft shutter releases and hot shoe covers, expensive colored neck straps, and the like.
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Old 10-28-2018   #5
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I use(d) always the advance lever as thumb rest, feels more comfortable to me when carrying the camera around in one hand, so has nothing to do with stability or any other needless pimp comments, not sure if this is really good for the camera, but unitl now it works on my F3 and did so on my M6. Haven't hold the M10 yet, but anyway, can't see why there is such a big fuss about the M10-D 'thumb rest', if you don't need it, simply don't use it.

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Old 10-28-2018   #6
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Never once used the wind lever as a thumb rest, myself. It has always been in the wrong position for my hands. It's usually in the way for me, when open. I have medium large hands (typically fit XL size motorcycle gloves) with longish fingers.

Only one camera ever got it exactly right ... the Leicaflex SL ... and there it's not for its use as a thumb rest but for being able to stay open and be out of the way, ready for me to use it to wind on to the next frame.

My thumb almost invariably ends up laid against the upper back edge of the camera, not trying to steady the camera through putting pressure on a film advance lever. On nearly all cameras with film advance levers, I end up folding them to get them out of the way so I can hold the camera steady.

So: No, for me the thumb rest is not only unnecessary, it's typically something I have to get out of the way.

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Old 10-28-2018   #7
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I like it on my film Leica’s, don’t miss it on my Barnacks and determined to manage without it on my digital Leica’s, still of the CCD generation. I did miss it on those. If I get the strap wound correctly I can hang the cameras in my right hand with much the same weight on my fingers as I can achieve with a slightly offset M film advance lever. I view this new development as a good if odd advance, pardon the pun. The faux addition I would rather see is a redundant frame line illumination window, which would restore the face of the Leica M.
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Old 10-28-2018   #8
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I used the accessory grip on the M8 for years and found it made carrying the camera more comfortable. While that didn't have a direct impact on shooting or the sharpness of my pictures, it did help to ensure that I had the camera with me.

I recently got the M10 and decided to get the admittedly expensive thumb grip accessory. It has a different effect on handling than the grip but does make carrying the camera feel familiar as I'm used to with a film winder. For me that lends a sense of comfort as well.
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Old 10-28-2018   #9
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On the m240 I find the bare body somewhat uncomfortable to hold. I have large hands and I end up more pinching the body than gripping it. With the weight of that body this doesn't feel very secure in hand and gets tiring after awhile. I find a thumb grip, the Leica grip or a half case with built in grip makes the camera feel more secure in hand and more comfortable to hold as it spreads out my hand to wrap around the body more. Right now I'm using a Luigi half case with rear cover and I like how that feels in hand as the extra bulk works for my long fingers. I've left the thumb grip off for now, mainly as I am sometimes using OVFs and remote flash triggers so I want to be consistent.

FWIW most digitals are different than film cameras where you can put you fingers/hands just about anywhere on the body. With most digitals you are more limited on the back panel due to not hitting other buttons and also potentially needing to have your thumb in position to activate a button.

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Old 10-28-2018   #10
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I'm with Godfrey in not using the Leica wind lever as a thumb rest since getting my M2 in 1967. Just doesn't feel comfortable, though indeed some kind of built-in or auxiliary grip is useful. I have tried the Thumbie on an M9 and it was OK, but when it fell off I left it off. I find the side/front grips to be most satisfactory, and have them on my Leica bodies, including the Q.
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Old 10-28-2018   #11
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It is a personal preference or lack of it.
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Old 10-28-2018   #12
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Like Godfrey, I've never used the advance lever as a thumb rest. With all my film cameras that had advance levers, I usually kept the advance lever pulled outward with my thumb between it and the camera body. Thus held, it was quick to advance the film to the next frame.

I don't own a digital Leica. With my Fuji cameras, I find the Lensmate thumb rests I use to be nearly indispensable. I have fairly large hands and the cameras are fairly small with numerous buttons. A place to put my thumb keeps my fat digit out of the way of these buttons unless I intentionally want to push them. After using a thumb rest on the Fujis, I realized I was also using it as a means to hold onto the camera. My grip on the camera felt more secure. Cameras without thumb rests now feel strange to me.
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Thumb rest, is it really necessary?
Old 10-28-2018   #13
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Thumb rest, is it really necessary?

I tend to carry the camera hanging down from one hand by my side, as I find this is quite a discrete way of holding it, and the winding arm was always a good surety against dropping it if the strap slipped. For me it had nothing to do with steadying the camera when shooting. With my M262 I can still manage if I wrap the strap around my wrist just right, as others have commented, but I do miss the extra comfort of a physical 'hook' to hang on. I think my only real issue with the M10-D thumb 'rest' is the way it looks like a winding arm - it just feels too 'styled', but then it's difficult to know where they would have gone with it otherwise. The idea of thumb hook that folds away so it doesn't catch on bag inserts and clothing is decent enough though.
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Old 10-28-2018   #14
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A thumb rest does seem to stabilize some cameras - especially those with a slick back like a Leica M which makes the grip feel a bit insecure. I especially like it when using a wrist strap as in those circumstances the camera tends to dangle from the right hand when not in use (the wrist strap being mainly a back up precaution). I also like the accessory thumb rest rest on some other cameras - those with lots of buttons and dials on the back, which the thumb might otherwise interfere with when the camera is turned on.
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Old 10-29-2018   #15
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Many interesting answers, thanks.
Of course personal habits and hands size are part of the game!
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Old 10-29-2018   #16
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To me it is another grand turizmo gizmo.



I'm flash user and I wear camera just like GW, HCB and every other professional photog I have seen.
Film or digital Leica doesn't matter. Neck strap. I don't need something pocking to my body.
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Old 10-29-2018   #17
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I have a request. Can someone post a picture of how the film advance lever is used as a thumb rest? I cannot find any comfortable way to use the lever, so much not know how it is done.
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Old 10-30-2018   #18
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I have a Thumbs Up on my M, not as a necessity, but as a convenience, especially with heavier lenses. I went many years with just the bare M3, M4, M6 and so forth in blind ignorance of a thumb rest.
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Old 10-30-2018   #19
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Put me in the favorable camp. I (think) I have normal sized palms and ridiculously long fingers. Always preferred modern SLR's built-in grips or cameras with a bit of a palm (thumb?) shelf on the back. I find that the M5 fits my hands perfectly, since it's wide and thin, with plenty of room for fingers.

My second M8 came with a ThumbsUp and I absolutely love it. The M8 seems a bit squat to me, and I don't know if the newer digitals are the same thicker shape, but it feels like I run out of room to palm the camera without my fingers hitting the lens.

Mostly, I find it more comfortable carrying and bringing it up to the eye than stabilizing during actual shooting. Likewise with a soft release—it's more of a comfort than practical thing.

Often I carry my Bessa without a strap since it fits in a jacket pocket, and the advance lever is a little extra security while palming it at rest. The ski-jump shape of the ThumbsUp doesn't give the same leverage, so I wouldn't risk it wit the M8.

Oddly enough, never felt the desire for one with the X100, but it does have a bit of a bump on the back and a much grippier texture on the body wrap.
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Old 10-30-2018   #20
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A half case on my MP240 makes the camera comfortable to hold and helps protect an expensive camera. I have never used a case on my film cameras and only use the film advance lever when I want to take a series of quick exposures.

I think that the film advance lever on the M10 is pretty bogus as Leica is trying to capture the "nostalgia" market. Why did not they design it for something useful although I have no idea what that would be.
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Old 10-30-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
A half case on my MP240 makes the camera comfortable to hold and helps protect an expensive camera. I have never used a case on my film cameras and only use the film advance lever when I want to take a series of quick exposures.

I think that the film advance lever on the M10 is pretty bogus as Leica is trying to capture the "nostalgia" market. Why did not they design it for something useful although I have no idea what that would be.
The pretend film advance lever could use it to recock the shutter. Which would save power and extend camera shooting time between battery recharges. That could potentially be useful. As it is though, while I like the idea of using a thumb grip as it does help me hold the camera firmly and steadily the idea of a pretend film wind lever that only does this sounds a bit as if they are trying too hard.
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Old 10-30-2018   #22
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For me, I find some cameras very uncomfortable to hold in one hand for any length of time, and it's mostly to do with its shape or covering, rather than its size. Digital Ms are too fat, mostly, and the skin and shape too smooth. RX100s are too small to hold, but you can always slip it in your pocket.

Having said that, I have never used a thumb rest and have never thought to hold a camera by its wind lever. i can't imagine it's good to hold a kilo of camera by a metal casting and one cog.
Half-cases help sometimes. I had to put one on my digi CL.
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Old 11-02-2018   #23
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I don't use thumb rests.
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Old 11-02-2018   #24
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I have been shooting SLRs since 1973 and have never used the wind lever as a thumb rest. I don't miss not having a wind lever on my digital cameras either. Somehow Leica thought the wind lever was unnecessary from the introduction of the M8 in 2004 through the M10-P in 2018. It is only with the introduction of the M10-D that all of a sudden it became necessary. It is ridiculous, and therefore worthy of ridicule.
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Old 11-02-2018   #25
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You are not alone. I used cameras w/film advance levers long before autowind & digital bodies (still do), but never relied on wind lever for gripping the camera & have never "missed" them on a digital M. Then again, I also used, & still use, knob wind cameras.

I also don't need a pistol grip on the body as I primarily use my left hand to hold the lens/camera combo, as I was taught back in the '70s (to hold a camera + lens like a small rifle or shotgun, not a pistol).

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
When reading the recent discussions (not only on RFF) about the thumb rest in form of a wind lever on the Leica M 10-D I'm curious to know if I'm the only one who after one and half year using the M10 do not absolutely feel the need of an additional thumb rest.
I feel the camera perfect in my hands as it is, maybe because I have small hands
Just curious, each one is entitled to his opinion, needs, way to use of course!
robert
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Old 11-02-2018   #26
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Different feelings here. I have found digital Ms as slippery as soap bars since the M8.2. The worst camera bodies i have ever owned in 30+ years from this standpoint, whereas my R-D1 and R-D1s were much easier to handle thanks to their advance lever which worked the same way as that of my M3 DS more or less. The Match Technical's Thumbs Up and the Leica's Thumb Support have fixed this issue for me fortunately but Leica is the only camera maker forcing me to buy accessories tu use its gear and it is true also for the digital CL. I'm not interested in the M10-D but i do hope the M11 will have some decent thumb rest be it a faux wind lever or anything else.
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Old 11-02-2018   #27
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Where's the poll?

I prefer a decent grip on front, like the Rapidgrip. Wish there was a digital M version of that.

I used a Thumbs-up for a time, but got sick of it sticking me in the belly.
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Old 11-02-2018   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
I've left the thumb grip off for now, mainly as I am sometimes using OVFs and remote flash triggers so I want to be consistent.
As an update... I just received a Thumbs Up CSEP-10S. This is the thumb grip that also includes a cold shoe as part of the design. For use with an OVF that is fantastic as the cold shoe can have its tension adjusted for whatever is slipped into it. Most of my OVFs are very loose in the m240s hot shoe to the point that I was worried about the Voigtlander 21/25 falling out easily. With the CSEP-10S I can adjust it to hold the finder tightly.

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Old 11-02-2018   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreed2006 View Post
I have a request. Can someone post a picture of how the film advance lever is used as a thumb rest? I cannot find any comfortable way to use the lever, so much not know how it is done.
You just hook your thumb inside the advance lever when it is pulled out as far as it goes with the film wound. After you press the shutter, any pressure against the lever will start it on its way to begin winding the film. Sometimes that catches me off guard. But I don't usually put any significant pressure on the lever.
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Old 11-02-2018   #30
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As long as this camera is a good camera overall, such features don't annoy me in any way.
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Old 11-02-2018   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
When reading the recent discussions (not only on RFF) about the thumb rest in form of a wind lever on the Leica M 10-D I'm curious to know if I'm the only one who after one and half year using the M10 do not absolutely feel the need of an additional thumb rest.
I feel the camera perfect in my hands as it is, maybe because I have small hands
Just curious, each one is entitled to his opinion, needs, way to use of course!
robert
I use an M9, not an M10. With my M9, or the M8.2 that preceded it, I have not felt the need for the thumb grip/thumbs up. I seem to adapt to holding the camera without the grip or the winding lever. Probably an accessory grip on the front would serve me better than the thumb thing. I do like having a leather half-case on my film Leicas, so maybe one is in my future.
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Old 11-03-2018   #32
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I have never even held the M10, but itís hard to imagine the thumb rest would be necessary.

I have used the thumbs-up on the M8, and it sure can be useful. Itís also annoying at times and takes up the hot shoe. An integrated thumb rest that gets out of the way is a better solution to a problem that is there for some people. Anyone who claims otherwise is looking at their own use or preference only.
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Old 11-03-2018   #33
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Quote:
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I'm with Godfrey in not using the Leica wind lever as a thumb rest since getting my M2 in 1967.
So, you guys just would wind the shutter, put the lever back in place before each photo, and not be ready to wind again quickly in case something is happening / changing before your eyes?
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Old 11-03-2018   #34
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Like Godfrey, I've never used the advance lever as a thumb rest. With all my film cameras that had advance levers, I usually kept the advance lever pulled outward with my thumb between it and the camera body. Thus held, it was quick to advance the film to the next frame.
Hmmm, maybe that answers my question above. Interesting.
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Old 11-03-2018   #35
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I hated using a thumbs up... it just poked me in the chest way too much.
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Old 11-03-2018   #36
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Yeah, that's why I don't understand how the new Leica's faux film advance lever can be considered a thumb rest. Is it stationary? If so there ain't much there upon which to rest one's thumb. Do you pull it out like an advance lever and put your thumb behind it (like I've always done with manual advance film cameras)? If so you really are not resting your thumb on the lever, are you?

The thumb rests I've used like the Lensmate and ThumbsUp are curved platforms on which you place your thumb and use as a gripping device. Maybe Leica's device is a "thumb hook" where you can dangle the camera off your fat digit.
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Old 11-03-2018   #37
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The lever has a short stroke like those of the M3 double stroke or Epson R-D1.

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Old 11-03-2018   #38
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There is an antsy and unnecessarily foul mouthed YT video describing part of this problem.

All that apart, I got to agree about his hyping an older well known classic Japanese RF digital camera, the maker should issue a modern FF revamped version of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfSb9zGKU1U&t=915s
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Old 11-03-2018   #39
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Thumbs Up addressed the same habit, mostly for the crowd that likes to pimp out their cameras with gee-gaws like exotic wood grips, elaborate lens shades, ornate soft shutter releases and hot shoe covers, expensive colored neck straps, and the like.
Hmm. With my oddly long fingers and thumbs, a thumbs-up or, much better, one of Steve Barnett's unobtrusive thumbies, has allowed me to carry M bodies in the hand for hours. Without this gee-gaw, I'd be uncomfortable in minutes. To each, their own pimpage, I guess.
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Old 04-25-2019   #40
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It's funny how I never felt the need for anything like a thumb rest with all my film Ms but now with the digital ones I find myself enjoying having them. Particularly useful for vertical shots.
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