Essential Accessories

Protect

Gordys Camera Strap

I’ve tried a few straps and lets be honest there is plenty of choice, so why these? Two reasons really, quality and price.

Gordys Wrist Strap (Lug Mount) I like to keep things simple, black leather with black thread but that’s just me. There are plenty of options available. These straps aren’t overly elaborate, a big plus for me, remember how I like things simple!! The sizes work perfectly and after a few days of use the strap feels like it’s been on your camera for years.

They also do neck straps if that is your preference.

In terms of price they represent excellent value for money, I don’t like to say it but they are almost too cheap!

As if that is not enough there is the awesome Gordy’s guarantee for extra peace of mind if you need it.

You can pick up a Gordy’s Camera Strap from the website HERE

Mr Zhou Half Case

I’ll try to explain how I arrived at the Mr Zhou half case. I’d had half cases before for other cameras so in that respect I knew what I wanted and as my M9 arrived with the Leica Ever Ready case I also knew what I didn’t want…..more like “Never Ready Case”

There are several manufacturers of half case for the Leica’s and as with most things Leica it’s easy to spend a lot of money! Now I’m very protective of my gear but I knew if I spent several hundred dollars on a case I’d have a problem, I’d be trying to protect the case and this would surely be problematic! With this in mind I continued to search until I found the Mr Zhou, priced around $80 it’s reasonable, the quality isn’t perhaps the same as a top end case but it is well made and more than sufficient for your needs. Plus if you scuff it you woun’t be crying in to your beer….

I’ve had these cases on my Leica’s for a few years now and they are still in great shape.

You can pick up a Mr Zhou case from the ebay store HERE

B+W UV Filter

You’ve got your shiny new lens, now is not the time to be a cheapskate, if I buy a lens I always have a filter ready to go on it as soon as it arrives. B+W Filters are arguably the best although there are other great choices.

Lowepro Filter Pouch

I don’t always carry this around but it’s a great way to store extra filters when your on the road or even at home. It holds 6 filters, it’s lightweight and not too bulky. In my case I use it for my colour and ND filters.

Lens Cloth

I don’t alctually use this to clean my lens, I use it to clean the face of the UV filter as and when required. Be careful with these, they can hold dirt and fine particles that will scratch. I tend to buy them in bulk and throw them after use.

Blower

Ideal for removing dust from your filter or inbetween the filter and lens.

Good Practice

Original Batteries

It doesn’t matter what camera you use, in my expereince it’s always best to go with original batteries for obvious reasons.

I get through most situations with these –

Leica M9

  • 3no 1800mAh batteries

Leica M Monochrom

  • 3no 1860mAh batteries

I keep them seperate becuase I heard of some interchangeability issues on release of the Monochrom.

WB & Grey Card

Another inexpensive item that will slip easilly into your bag and save you heaps of time. The Auto WB on your Leica M9 will do an ok job a lot of the time but the truth is it takes just seconds to set the WB manually on your camera and whilst it isn’t always essential it is a good habit to get into.

My cards are on a lanyard that on occasion I may have around my neck, mainly its in my back pocket though.

If your unsure about how to use these cards there are loads of short tutuorials online that will get you sorted.

Branded Memory Cards

Memory is cheap and it’s it’s getting cheaper all the time. There is no excuse for running the risk of using cheap unbranded memory cards, it just isn’t worth it.

Currently I’m using these with acceptable results on my M9 and MM.

Leica M9

  • Sandisk Extreme 16GB 80MB/s

Leica M Monochrom

  • Ultima Pro 16GB 45MB/s

Useful

1.4x Leica Finder

These aren’t cheap, infact they are down right expensive. It does however come in a tiny leather case, one which Italian customs was conviced was where I kept my drugs!!

If you’re shooting focal lenghts 50mm and over I’d really recommend you use one of these. My eyes are still perfect, at least I think they are…. and I find this makes life much easier, it will also improve your focusing hit rate.

JCH Film Case

If you shoot film, be it 35mm or 120 then these are right up your street. Lightweight, strong and the perfect solution to keeping film safe in your bag.

You can order these from Japan Camera Hunter – HERE

LTM – M Adaptors

I get asked about these a lot!!

If you want absolute quality then the Voigtlander adaptors are the way to go, they are beautifully made. The only shortcomming is that they are not really 6-bit codable although you could probably still mark them. I do have a couple of theses.

Cheaper adaptors are a bit of a lottery, I tried a couple of options a few years ago and to be honest it really put me off, one actually got stuck on a camera and I was very relieved to finally get it off safely.

About 18 months ago I tried again, this time I found an adaptor that was inexpensive at around $20, satisfacory quality and had the option to 6-bit code into machined recessed on the back of the adaptor. To me this is perfect, it means you can code the adaptor and leave it on the specific lens, no more forgetting to set the code in camera.

VC Meter II

An excellent metering option that I use frequently on the M3 and M2, it takes a little bit of extra concentration, it’s easy to foget to set something…..but once you get going with the flow it’s only a little more cumbersome than an inbuilt meter and much better than using a Gossen Pilot which I used to do.

Soft Release

Personal preference I guess but for me the Leica’s don’t feel ergonomically complete without the addition of the soft release, they are widely available, you can pay as much or as little as you like for one. Mine are mid price and small in size, most recently I’ve been buying them from APDIGI on ebay. You can find the soft release – HERE. I have to say┬áI’m delighted with them.

Rangefinder Shade

Improve the visibility of your focusing patch in backlit situations with this simple and inexpensive addition, more information – HERE