When I look at Leicas or Fuji X-series cameras, I often fall in love with their stunning image quality wrapped in the allure of the tiny rangefinder-esque bodies. They are unobtrusive, inconspicuous, and non-intimating; three things that are perfect for street photography. Let’s not forget that the cameras themselves are drop dead gorgeous with their retro-inspired controls and classic looks. These looks have inspired cameras like the Nikon Df and the Olympus OMD series (something that hipsters everywhere will be thankful for).

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The one detail that I love the most about these cameras is the threaded shutter release. These were originally meant to attach a remote release cable. They are now antiquated with the inclusion of IR sensors and Wifi in the newest cameras, but a high contrast shutter button still possesses the romantic appeal of the film age.

[REWIND: Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F/4 ZA OSS | Review]

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Size comparison to Artisan Obscura Soft Release

Soft-release buttons serve a utilitarian purpose under their pleasing aesthetics. High-end cameras have a rubber o-ring under the shutter that gives a softer feel. The purpose is to provide a compression barrier between your finger and the firing mechanism. Adding a soft-release spreads pressure over a greater area allowing you to have more control when you activate the shutter. With the added benefit of reducing shake blur, soft-releases allow you to build up tension in a more organic way instead of mashing your finger onto the button, like so many point and shoots.

Lolumina-Soft-Release_shutter-release

Few modern cameras have a threaded shutter release; even Fuji didn’t add one to their flagship X-T1. Companies like CustomSLR and Artisan Obscura have provided options for soft-releases. In my opinion, gluing a piece of wood or silicone to your shutter doesn’t give you that level of feedback that a true soft-release would (especially in lower end cameras). One company I came across that offered a suitable option was Lolumia and their series of soft-releases.

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Waiting for the glue to ‘cure’

Like other products on the market, the Lolumia button mounts to your camera via semi-permanent adhesive, but that is where the similarities end. Instead of offering a one piece solution, Lolumia’s button has two stages. The base is a threaded shaft that sits on your shutter, a rubber gasket, and the button itself. The modular design allows for various designs to be swapped out.

Lolumina-Soft-Release_Complete-kit

Each kit contains two bases (one curved and one flat). Make sure you use the appropriate base for your camera. My EOS-M has a rounded shutter and cameras like the Pentax Q, or Sony A7R would required the flat base. The adhesive will “cure” fully in about 24 hours and will be semi-permanent. If you decide to remove the base, some dental floss can be used to remove it easily. Also in the kit is an alcohol prep pad, and extra o-ring, the soft-release and a handwritten, personalized ‘Thank You’ note.

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EOS-M 28mm f/2.8, 1/15 Second exposure hand-held
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100% Crop

At around $12, the little button can help steady your camera so you can concentrate on getting the shot. I feel less like I am mashing the shutter and more like using a precision tool, making my camera more enjoyable to use. I chose the concave button for my camera (I like a place for my finger to rest on), but if that isn’t for you, Lolumia also offers a convex option in a myriad of colors and sizes on their website here.