Leica is the eccentric German camera maker that photographers love to love and love to hate. Say what you want about Leica but you can’t say they don’t try!
You be the judge! Are these Top Six Weirdest Leica Accessories examples of innovative industrial marvel or whacked-out bizarre toys for rich armchair photographers?
Either way, you are sure to be entertained if by nothing else than the funky 5 letter nonsense names!
Weird Leica Accessory Number 6, Leica OSBLO
The Leica OSBLO is not a verb or an insult, so what is it? For around $100 USD you can be the proud owner of this nifty bakelite rear lens cap for screw mount 50mm and 90mm lenses. But wait, what is this window in the center of it? Oh, of course, the Leica OSBLO actually converts your vintage Leica lenses into tiny little telescopes! I mean hey, if you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars on 70 year old handcrafted German lenses, why not also use them to spy on the neighbors too? The Leica OSBLO magnifies a 5cm (50mm in today’s photographic terms) lens 3.5 times and a 9cm (90mm) lens 6 times.
Weird Leica Accessory Number 5, Leica NOOKY
This is the weird Leica accessory that photographers did it all for, the NOOKY!
If the name wasn’t wacky enough for you, have a look at the device itself. Macro attachment for a rangefinder?! Say what?! Who does macro photography with a rangefinder?! Well, Leica shooters of the 1930’s did and they did it with their NOOKY. This oddball accessory screws into a Barnack Leica, then an Elmar lens screws into it, effectively increasing the lens’s focus throw down to 18 inches. The device also limits focus to 3 feet at the far end. So forget about keeping the NOOKY on your Barnack for regular shooting. Still, the NOOKY is an inexpensive way to amplify that creamy bokeh of your Elmar. Don’t have a 5cm Elmar? Look no further, NOOKY comes in a variety of flavors! The NOOKY HESUM variant accepts Hektor, Summar and Summitar 50’s. And if you happen to be the cool kid on the block shooting with a Summicron, forget the NOOKY and go straight for the SOOKY!
…And if you’re okay with cheating on Leica with third party products, who could go wrong with the oh so promisingly named Pleasant Auto-Up Super NOOKY?!?!?! The line between sexual suggestion and just being awkwardly forward has been crossed!
Weird Leica Accessory Number 4, Leica Soft Release Button
Sexual innuendos aside, or maybe not? The Leica Soft Release Button proves that not all weird Leica accessories are vintage; the company is still just as crazy as they ever were. This is a new Leica product, released only a few years ago. You might be thinking, “okay, soft shutter release button, why is that weird?” Screw this accessory button onto your Leica camera’s existing shutter release button and you have a larger surface to help gently squeeze the shutter with precision timing and comfort. Adds a bit of style to your camera too. The funky thing about the new Leica Soft Release is that it doubles as a lapel pin! So if it doesn’t accidentally come unscrewed from your camera and get lost during a shoot, you can always show off your expensive taste in cameras by proudly displaying brand loyalty on the collar of your blazer! The perfect accessory for camera fetishists attending cocktail parties that they were not hired to photograph!
Weird Leica Accessory Number 3, Leica Lens Holder M
Current Leica M lenses range in price from about $1500 USD to over $10,000 USD. When you buy a Leica M lens, you want to get your money’s worth. For only a couple hundred more, you can turn your second lens into a handle for your M series camera. The Leica Lens Holder M is a lens mount that screws into the bottom of your Leica M rangefinder allowing you to mount a lens, not just in the taking position of your rangefinder, you know, to take photos with, but also on the BOTTOM of your rangefinder, you know, to use as a handle. A REALLY expensive handle with a bunch of rotating rings on it and an expensive cap on the bottom. Makes sense, right? Even better, Leica suggests that this rig may even be used as a tripod. Just what I’ve always needed, a glass-filled multi-thousand dollar tabletop monopod whose every scratch devalues it by hundreds. REALLY?! I’m sure film changing when removing the bottom plate is completely streamlined by the presence of this product!
Weird Leica Accessory Number 2, Leica Day Bag
In my best Mae West: “Is that a Leica in your bag or are you just happy to see me?” This is the perfect Leica bag to deter all those hip street photographers who slap electrical tape all over their Leica M’s in order to conceal their association with elitist snobs! To their point, nothing screams “amateur” and “steal me” like a camera bag with an expensive camera brand proudly emblazoned on it. I guess that’s good business for Leica though, after all, if someone stole My M6 TTL, I’d have no other choice than to walk right into the Leica Store and upgrade to the MP for $4,000. To boot, this lovely calfskin case features a very special protrusion designed specifically for shoving your Leica hard-on in the faces of passengers seated in crowded subway cars as you stand before them looking dashing in your suit, adorned with your official Leica lapel pin. The Leica Day Bag‘s protrusion is also a great way to clock your Summicron on every hard object you pass in a hurry to the big photo shoot you’re late for due to being thrown out of the subway for being just too devilishly handsome.
Weird Leica Accessory Number 1, Leica GEWEHR
Hey, did you get that SHOT?! Yeah, Dan Tamarkin got it! How could he miss with his Leica GEWEHR camera rifle?!?! What’s there to say about this really? RIDICULOUS Leica, ridiculous! The shutter release is coupled to the trigger on this Leica rifle and of course you’ve got to mount your favorite Visoflex accessories for the full effect. Oh yeah, by the way, your rangefinder is an SLR now!
Oh hey, Dan, is that Ernst Hemingway’s IIIf you’re wearing? I have a soft shutter release I’d like to sell you!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this strange journey through my top weirdest Leica accessories. Let me know if I’ve missed one in the comments below! Thanks for reading!