Quick lens swap like Leica Lens Holder

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by szanda, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. szanda

    szanda Mu-43 Regular

  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The original one came from Benser made in the 50s for the Leica M3. I have two. One was adapted for a new digital leica. Here is mine which was adapted to a newer Leica body:



    The one you pictured with a single lens holder was a later incarnation direct from Leica. It wasn't too popular for two reasons:

    * Increased the size of the camera body
    * It was actually slower and more cumbersome to use than simply using a shoulder bag and dropping lenses in the compartments.

    If you imagine at the time you change lens, you end up with a problem. First, unmount the lens on the camera. Now you need to unmount the lens on the holder but your hands are full.. where do you put the first lens??? So you put the lens in your pocket. Unmount the second lens on the holder. Mount it to your camera. Now you need to reach in your pocket and take the first lens to mount it to the holder. At that point, why didn't you just drop the lens into a small shoulder bag?

    This is the reason why my Benser modified one has two lens mounts.

    1) Unmount the first lens.
    2) Mount underneath
    3) Unmount the 2nd lens from the holder
    4) Mount the camera.

    Its very fast.... faster than digging into a shoulder bag and positioning the lens in hand. I often use this system without a shoulder bag. Unfortunately, its a royal PITA to get to the battery compartment... so I only use it on a "light" shooting day. (oh and it won't work with lenses that have protruding rear elements.. pretty much anything less than 35mm)

    I see three reasons why this may not work for us micro 4/3 users. Having two mounts would add a relatively good amount of weight and many of the lenses (except for a few pancakes) are actually large compared to the size of the body. Also the same problem as I have with my Benser, battery compartment or SDcard compartment is usually from the bottom.
  3. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    oh.. and a word of warning for DIY'ers. There is a reason why "real" metal mounts are used....

    I've seen some DIY rigs that use rear caps that have been drilled and screwed into the bottom tripod mount. Those rear caps were never designed for that frequent use and never designed to handle weight. Furthermore, they don't engage the lens locking mechanism. Over time, the plastic caps get looser and looser and even more loose. Then one day, BAM! lens hits the pavement.
  4. szanda

    szanda Mu-43 Regular

    Thank you for the information, love that early design even more. I wish something like this will someday be for m4/3 lenses. 14mm and 45mm always ready :)

    Edit: I am actually using omd with hld6 battery grip all the time, so I don't mind covered battery compartment.
  5. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Real Name:
    IIRC, someone had the idea of attaching rear lens caps with Velcro to the (inside) bottom of the camera bag, with one empty.

    You then unscrew the lens on the camera, screw it onto the empty rear cap, unscrew the new lens and mount it.
  6. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    The other reason may be that since Leica uses a screw-mount, there is much more in contact with all of the metal bracket than with most other systems (other than M42). On m43 you only have 3 points of engagement (roughly 50-60% coverage) due to the three flanges. With a screw mount, all 100% is engaged in holding it in place. Makes it easier to have overlapping coverage (aka, one flange is weak on m43, you just lost 20% of your coverage, vs 5% on a screwmount). Also, I am guessing it makes it easier to machine for DIY'ers (no different than thread tapping), vs hand-filing to fit the flanges.
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The lens holder was designed for M leica lenses which are bayonet mount not Leica screw-mount.

    It might be interesting for a DIYer if they can get their hands on some old non-functioning 4/3 cameras to cannibalize their mounts and test their machining skills.
  8. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    Nevermind, then my idea about relative supports just flew out the window....

    I am guessing selective work with a dremel (sanding the inside of a pipe below the flanges, and a cutoff wheel and file for the flanges) could work. Personally, I have done enough pierce-work with files to not want to mess with it. On the Panasonic, the mount is held in by 4 screws. Maybe you could order the part from Pana or Oly seperately to mount?
  9. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Just for discussion purposes, (not presented as a debate) ... one part of me sees the under-mounts as a keen idea for a certain type of photographer, the Sunday shooter, the Gentleman Photographer, but not all that great for a working photog.

    I dunno about the twin being fast. I've seen these puppies in the field when I was working news, (can't remember if they were the single or twin). They never seemed very fast as the act of mounting is a specific movement dependent upon a specific alignment. So now one has to align a lens twice, as opposed to once then an easy drop into a bag.

    God made armpits for storing lenses during a switch (nicely padded, convenient, flexible/adjustable to any size lens and sometimes stinky). News is all about speed, the fastest lens change for me was to grab a lens out of the opened bag (while working my bag typically was opened), toss the new lens into my armpit rear cap out, remove rear cap and shove into mouth, remove camera lens and toss into bag, remount new lens from armpit, remove rear cap from mouth and mount to lens or just toss into a side pocket for a more convenient time.

    For news, you'll lose or break a lens every 30 days.

    It makes more sense for a digital than a film camera, because one will still need a bag for carrying film (working photog). I always carried at least four rolls with me plus the film in the cameras. These days I rarely find myself changing cards in the field (using 16gb cards).

  10. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dont know many working photogs that work without a bag. Also, its a pita to get to the battery and card compartment for digital AND the film compartment of the M3 it was designed for.

    I found it even faster than he armpit trick... Perhaps i should practice but i certainly dont expect these things to be a staple for the working photog. .

    I use it when i go out with a bag which isnt too often. Maybe i will post a vid. But if you always position your hand in the same manner, he lens just falls into place naturally.

    But agreed... Its not really something that would attract a working photog.