Affordable Leather Cases for SLR's - Myth or reality?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by holmburgers, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hi everyone,

    So you've probably seen Luigi's leather half-cases at Leicatime.com that all the Leica snobs (just kidding) have. Well, I'll be damned, but I want one. However I couldn't possibly justify the cost, and I'm guessing a fair share of you wouldn't either.

    Also, I don't have a rangefinder, which is what this market seems almost exclusively geared towards. And although they do make SLR cases, they never pop up on the used market.

    I also ran across the cases at Japanexposures.com. Also fairly nice, and more reasonably priced. But again, rangefinders.

    What is an SLR guy to do? I know these companies offer custom jobs, and leicatime definitely does a Canon F-1 (which is what I'm looking for), but I want more options. Don't you!? :D

    If you know some resources, please list them,

    Thanks!

    P.S. I actually have an EF, but it's the same body as the old F-1. And I have the half-case, but as with all of the old Canon cases, they deteriorate badly. Plus it's bulky as all get out. Did they ever make a sleeker half case for the F-1/EF?
     
  2. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    I had the same problem with my Nikons, but found the fix by purchasing an M7 last year ;-)

    Some time ago, I was looking for leather cases for my Nikons (FM3A and F3HP). For the F3HP, I settled on Nikon's own reddish eveready case, which if not supple leather, feels pretty good and form-fits the HP finder. Never found anything really nice for the FM3A, but sold the camera anyway.

    Did Canon make a dedicated case for the F-1? You might like it if you found one.

    I think you'll find the general consensus among SLR users here is that they carry their cameras around wittout the restrictions of a case. Good luck.
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Yeah, I did get a case, but like I said it has deteriorated badly. Plus, it's vinyl over some hard form, which is incredibly bulky & just cumbersome. Furthermore, I don't really need a tripod socket which just adds more bulk & makes it hard to set it on a flat surface.

    I admit I'm not gonna be switching systems also. My AE-1P came with a nice, light & soft leather half case that I have all the time. It makes handling more comfortable and adds a little padding.

    So, if I could find something like that for the F-1/EF, I'd be happy.

    Thnx!
     
  4. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Have you thought about a Zing, Neoprene case http://www.tiffen.com/results.html?search_type_no=27&tablename=zing&family=Zing+Designs&for your EF ?, I use one for mine because as you write the original case started moulting, I like the Zing fine because the case front goes in my pocket and it's very water and shock proof.The standard SLR size will fit it
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2010
  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Well, I'm interested only in a half case. I want something with a pleasing tactile quality that assists in gripping the camera, i.e. leather. An action grip would be bonus points.

    Also, to be vain for a moment, I want something of beautiful leather that will age nicely & complement this beautiful mechanism.

    Thanks though, cheers!
     
  6. Yeeski

    Yeeski Member

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  7. Galah

    Galah Member

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    This may not appeal to you, but it does work:

    I was in the same boat as you, but with an Olympus OM2: the vinyl half-case had deteriorated badly and no replacements were available at the time (though, later, I did find a couple of -used, but in very good order- genuine leather replacements).

    What I did was to go to one of those craft places that caters for the ladies by selling all things to do with sewing, soft furnishings etc etc. (There are two such chains in Oz: "Spotlight" and "Lincraft".

    They have a wide selection of felt pieces in a large variety of colours and in several thicknesses, also "craft" glue, which sets quickly and can be used as a "contact adhesive".

    I picked out some felt in a suitable colour, and cut it to size and shape (several pieces of differing size and shape needed to be made up in order to cover the entire job). Then I applied a generous coating of the craft glue both to the deteriorating surface of the half-case and to one side of each of the felt shapes in turn (as used). I then waited for the glue to go tacky and carefully fitted the felt to the half-case, working it into place firmly with my fingers. The beauty of felt is that it will both stretch and shrink, as required, to fit beautifully where needed.

    At this point, the felt was already firmly in place but, just to make sure, I used clothes pegs as clamps around the edges to make sure they would continue to stay in place until the glue dried out overnight.

    This has resulted in a one-of-a-kind, lightweight, springy, almost indestructible half-case in a pleasing colour and texture, which is still in use despite my having acquired two genuine replacement leather Olympus ever-ready cases to be used, when needed. It feels very good in the hands.

    When I applied the felt to the original form/case I cut out holes (in the felt) so the original press studs from the rest of the ever-ready case (the flap or hood, which was still in pretty good shape) were still operational. So, I can (and do) still use the whole thing as originally intended.:smile:
     
  8. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I have been making my own half cases for Leicas, but it shouldn't be too hard to make a nice case for an SLR. I'm still working on my Leica case, trying to fine tune the pattern. I am not out to ace Luigi or Mr. Zhou, they put out some nice stuff, but I like hand tooled leather, usually with Western designs, I have been working on some tooling patterns, hope to have something ready to tool this weekend. I'll post a photo when I have it completed. A few friends have asked me to make cases for their Leicas, so I will probably do theirs first.

    Here is a rough example of one of my cases, this was my prototype case for an M2:
    [​IMG]

    Criticism always welcomed


    m
     
  9. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I think if I had this problem I would try to learn the required leather working skills tools and materials to make one myself.
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I remember thinking those "neveready" cases were such a nuisance when they were commonly available. The top part was kind of gangly and occasionally tipped up in front of the lens while taking a picture and just got in the way for verticals. If you didn't bother with the top part, the bottom section had to be unscrewed to reload, and even when there was that metal screw base with its own tripod socket, it wasn't the most stable way to support the camera on a tripod.
     
  11. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    I don't know your budget but these look like fine gear but, at least to me, pretty expensive. But if they last for a long time? then the cost per day could be low and if it prevents an oops then replacing the camera could be much more expensive. Thought I would show the link as I haven't seen anything quite like these:

    http://www.skytoptrading.com/

    Have a wonderful weekend!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2010
  12. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    thanks for the input everyone. Damn, www.skytoptrading.com, and I tought Luigi's cases were expensive!!! Did I read $850 correctly?

    However, having a western style holster for my (thirty)-SIX Shooter would be pretty cool. :wink:

    And mhcfires, I think your case looks nice, but just not as 'refined' as Zhou or Luigi. I think that a snugger fit, cleaner edges & lines that aren't symmetrical, but more accommodating to the levers/buttons, would take it there. The leather looks great, good color.

    I might be interested down the road. I'll let you know!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2010
  13. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    update...

    Ok, so I did some comparisons of the various Canon SLR's and their dimensions (actually, also checked out Nikon & Olympus). Easily enough, the New F-1 has the exact dimensions as the EF, except for 1mm taller, which obviously isn't a problem.

    PLUS, they apparently made a half case w/o the tripod socket, which would've been a problem since the socket on the EF is off centered.

    So basically, I can get a New F-1 half case and call it a day.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  14. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    Those prices are unreal!, Nice stuff, though.
     
  15. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    Thanks. That was my "M" Prototype. I have a nicer one on my M2 at present, it is cleaner, still not fitting right around the strap lugs, but I did finish the edges. I want the thing to not only fit well, but I want the tooled design to look good. To be honest, I did the first one for my IIIa as a lark to see if I could do it. I have that one on my IIIf at present. I'll post pix of the case when I finish it. :smile:
     
  16. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    please do... who knows, maybe you could make some money for yourself. Afterall, as we've discovered no one is really making nice leather half cases for the SLR's. Seems like a huge market if you ask me!
     
  17. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I am still working on my model for the Leica M camera. The thought of a half case for an SLR is intriguing though. It might actually be easier to make since SLR's are by nature, larger than the typical RF camera. I think that it is the main reason I carry the Leica. It is so much lighter, and I can carry it in pocket with the lens collapsed.

    Thank you for the encouragement.