Many customers send us photos of their cameras with Thumbs Up attached. Here are a few. Thanks to all of you!
Above: Peter Walker's Fuji X-E2 with the Opera Act 1 soft release and Thumbs Up EP-9S
Andrew Lairds M9-P with the Thumbs Up EP-3S, E-Clypse Mag 1.25x 34 mm and a Fish Boop
Above: Spyros Palamaras sent this image of his Fuji X-Pro-1 and the Thumbs Up CSEP-2
with a Fish Boop
Above: Denis Santos' M9 with Thumbs Up EP-1S and Red Bug
gorgeous M9-P with Thumbs Up CSEP-1S & Gold Dragon Boop
Above: Long P Vo Fuji X-Pro-1 and Gold Dragon Boop
Above: Marek Łańcucki's M9 from Sopot, Poland
with the discrete TU-EP-1
Above: Steve McEnroe's Fuji X100 Black with the Thumbs Up EP-5S & Red Bop
Above: Michael La Grassa's M6 with Silver Bug and 34mm E-Clypse EyeCup
Above: Torsten Gauls Leica X1 with Black TU-CSEP-2
Above: Andy Hearn's Nikon FE with Red Bug
Jean-Marc Ferriere's M8 with a Thumbs Up model 3, Boop
and a Nikkor 200mm PL and an E-Clypse Mag 1.25X 34mm
Above: Michael LaGrassa's M8 with Satin Red Beep and 34mm E-Clypse EyeCup
Andy Hearn's Marvelous Nikons on display
Also, there are several forum threads that describe the experiences of Thumbs Up and Coder Kit users, some with photos. For example:
• RangefinderForum.com: "Thumbs Up received!"
• RangefinderForum.com: "As for the Thumbs Up Model 3..."
• L Camera Forum: "Thumbs Up No. 2..."
Rich Cutler wrote a report on his climb up Mount Etna with his M8 and Thumbs Up, and kindly gave us permission to reproduce it. From his website (RichCutler.co.uk):
Review: Tim Isaac’s Thumbs Up by Rich Cutler
The Leica M8 can be a little awkward to hold, and the slippery faux leather covering doesn’t help to instil confidence. There are various solutions, such as replacing the base plate with Leica’s handgrip or using a half-case.
A less intrusive solution is Thumbs Up, manufactured and sold by Tim Isaac, which provides a rest for your thumb.
Thumbs Up is machined from brass and finished in gloss black lacquer. There are two versions: Model 1 is the short version, for people with large hands, Model 3 is the long version, for those with smaller hands. Although Thumbs Up was designed specifically to improve the handling of the Leica M8, it will fit other M-series cameras (the M6 (but not the M6 TTL) and the current MP).
Thumbs Up fits snugly in the hot shoe, and doesn’t stress the camera: your thumb rests on this accessory, and what little force is used to grip the camera is directed into the camera body, which is well able to resist this, and not into the hot shoe. If you are unfortunate enough to snag Thumbs Up on something, the resulting stress on the hot shoe is well within the camera’s design limits: snagging a flash unit puts much more force on the hot shoe, since flashes are far larger than Thumbs Up.
I ordered Model 3, and it arrived in a very attractive presentation box (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Original Thumbs Up model 3 from 2007
I was just about to leave on a trip exploring Mount Etna and other volcanoes in the Aeolian Islands, so this seemed an ideal opportunity to try out Thumbs Up.
Thumbs Up makes a huge difference to the handling of the Leica M8, greatly improving its stability. I was extremely impressed by how much more ergonomic such a simple addition made my camera: without it, holding the Leica M8 felt slightly awkward, but with Thumbs Up, the camera has perfect poise and balance, with all the controls falling easily to hand – the camera can even be held steadily and safely in one hand (Figure 2). The Leica with Thumbs Up simply becomes an extension of your eye – it’s that good!
Figure 2. Thumbs Up in use.
So, are there any downsides? The first is obvious: use of the hot shoe for other accessories. I was a little concerned that swapping Thumbs Up for my flash unit would be a chore, but, in practice, it was no bother whatsoever, and soon became automatic. I also noticed Thumbs Up prodding me gently in the ribs from time to time, but I think that this is a fair price to pay for the improved camera ergonomics.
As I mentioned, I was using my camera under particularly harsh conditions, and it was subjected to several days of wind-blown, abrasive volcanic ash. By the end of my trip, the black chrome on my Leica was scuffed, and the tough paint had worn through on the edges of Thumbs Up to show the underlying brass – which actually looks attractive in its own way (Figure 3). I’m sure that in normal use the paint on Thumbs Up would prove more durable.
Verdict: Thumbs Up gets a thumbs up, and will live permanently on my Leica M8.
For the record, I have no association with Tim Isaac – I just like Thumbs Up!
Figure 3. My Leica M8 looking less than pristine after being scoured by volcanic ash.
Figure 4. Steam and sulphur dioxide on the summit of Mount Etna.