on July 21, 2014

Shutter Island: Why you need a soft-touch shutter button.

Lolumina Shutter release

Often when I look at Leicas or Fuji X series cameras, I fall in love with not only their stellar image, but also the romance and allure of tiny, rangefinder-esque cameras. Perfect for street photography, they are unobtrusive, inconspicuous, and they don’t cause people to get nervous they way an DSLR might. The Olympus OMD series and the NIkon DF also follow that retro-inspired tradition.
They are also perfect for hipsters who eschew anything modern or “Tech”, and want to walk through life with an Instagram filter on.

But the detail that I really love is the soft-touch shutter release.
The Leicas and Fuji series feature threads on the shutter for attaching a remote shutter release cable .
Although I use and IR remote if I need a remote release, a high contrast shutter button still has a romantic appeal to it that I coveted.

But more than just aesthetics, it serves a utilitarian purpose. HIgher end cameras have a rubber o-ring underneath the button that gives a softer feel. The purpose of this ring is to provide a “bumper”, or compression, to the firing mechanism, so that you aren’t mashing your finger into the button, like so many point and shoots. This allows you to load up tension in a much more organic way, and the nerves in your finger can gauge exactly when to pull the trigger. Without this, the camera shutter is a binary equation- it’s either on or off, and spring tension in your only guide. I’ve often gotten around this by shooting in burst mode when i’m walking around with my tinier cameras, but it’s a little too “spray and pray”. I like to capture the EXACT moment.

That’s when I found the Lolumina Shutter button adapter. It was $15 with shipping, and it is a small screw with adhesive that attaches the the shutter button. It’s non-destructive and not permanent, so you can always change your mind later, and they have an assortment of colors, if you feel like customizing your camera.

Before

Before

The instructions are simple: decide if you have a rounded or flat shutter button, and choose the right adapter from your kit. Clean your shutter button with the included alcohol pad.

Naked Shutter

Naked Shutter

Wait for it to try, and apply the screw mount. After it sets, you screw on your shutter button, and: voila!

Hipstermatic

Instant Hipster

It’s an inexpensive mod that will greatly increase your enjoyment of your camera. Your shutter finger is how you interface with your camera, and you want it to be an extension of you as much as possible. The more enjoyable that point of interaction, the more you can concentrate on your shot, and not the camera. For $15, it’s a great little add on.

PS. One of the most surprising and enjoyable moments of the purchase was the handwritten, personalized thank you note that came wit the order. I know it seems small, but little touches like this are lost in the era of online ordering, and it’s very nice to have personalized service like this. Bravo, Lolumina.

Thank you Note (!)

Thank you Note (!)