Soft Release Buttons - Options, Ideas, & Reviews
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    One benefit to the Fuji X100's threaded shutter button is the ability to attach accessories like a soft release button. If you're not familiar with soft releases, they simply create a larger shutter button with more leverage that can be pressed faster and easier, with less camera shake. The added stability can allow you to potentially shoot handheld shots at slower shutter speeds or smaller apertures than usual, while still capturing a sharp image.

    The only potential downside to a soft release is that the shutter button may become depressed when in your camera bag, which could burn through your battery if the camera is not turned off. Some X100 users report preferring the smaller sized releases, as the larger size exaggerates the 'wiggle' of the X100's shutter button.

    I'd like to try using one with my X100 and see if it helps with my low light photography, or if it just feels 'snappier' during everyday use. There are a number of soft releases on the market, in a wide array of sizes and quality, so I thought I'd compile a list of some of the more popular options available.

    Affordable

    The most affordable soft release I've seen is Adorama's own house brand, available for $2.49 USD: Adorama Soft Touch Shutter Release Adapter

    Adorama Soft Touch Shutter Release Adaptor in silver

    Here's a photo of one on an X100: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5714270684/

    High Quality


    Tom Abrahamsson's soft releases are highly regarded as being some of the best, available in both 15mm and 8mm diameters, with 6 different colors, for $20 USD. They're machined out of an aluminum alloy. Available at PopFlash

    Tom Abrahamson soft release button

    Match Technical's Beep, Boop, Bip soft release buttons offer a more polished finish and offer both concave (Boop) or convex (Beep & Bip) shapes, sized 15.5mm (Boop & Beep) or 10mm (Bip). They're made of solid brass and come in a myriad of finishes, including the popular 'lady bug.' Prices start at $16, available at PopFlash or £15 at Robert White in the UK.

    Match Technical Beep soft release button

    Zhou Camera offers brass and enamel painted soft releases in both 15mm and 10mm sizes, with 6 colors to choose from. They're only $12.50 USD + $2 shipping on eBay.

    Zhou Camera soft release shutter button

    Leicatime's soft release buttons are made of stainless steel and have a 16mm diameter. Both concave and convex versions are available, depending on your preference. They're priced at €20, http://www.leicatime.com/a000-leitz_accessories.htm

    Leicatime soft release button

    eBay also has a myriad of other soft releases available, even some vintage ones that may be compatible with the X100. Take a look, you might find a good deal or something retro.

    Have any experience using soft releases? Share your advice here!
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • I was not a fan of the Boop, but am really liking the Abrahamson mini soft release.

    image
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    That's the one I want to get too! You've basically built the camera rig I want, I'd say we have similar taste :)

    Do you use it all the time, or only in certain settings?
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • jjgodjjgod
    Posts: 12
    Has anyone checked the Soft Release Buttons from Luxecase (a Korean manufacture)? http://www.luxecase.com/front/php/category.php?cate_no=30

    I'm thinking about getting one of the 14mm diameter version (SB-180), costs roughly 15 USD:

    SB-180
    The 7mm one looks nice too:

    SB-140
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    The Luxcase soft releases look nice, not quote as tall as most. I wonder if anyone in the US has been able to place an order, or found another retailer?
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    I decided to order an Abrahamsson Mini Soft Release in silver tonight, it seems to review well with X100 owners. I'm curious to try handheld low light shooting with slower shutter speeds to see if it helps keep the camera steady.
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    My Abrahamsson Mini Soft Release arrived today, super fast shipping from Pop Flash!

    Tom Abrahamsson mini soft release on Fujifilm FinePix X100

    I haven't had a chance to use it on my usual photo walks, but just experimenting around the house I'm quite pleased with it. The soft release really improves the tactile feedback of the shutter button, and I have a good sense of how I can use the 'trigger finger' method to keep the camera far more steady.

    One thing to note, when the soft release is firmly screwed into the shutter button, it will turn the ON/OFF switch if you twist it. It's not a problem, of course, just something I noticed.

    I highly recommend the accessory, even if you just buy an inexpensive one, it really improves the shooting experience.
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • superlumsuperlum
    Posts: 9
    @Christopher looking good! I also got mine from PopFlash as well. I also noticed that when I screwed on the release it switched it on/off. Like you said, a non-issue.
  • garywhlygarywhly
    Posts: 5
    Your soft release looks great, Pop Flash is where I ordered my strap & release as well, I havn't had any problems with it coming loose yet.
  • WilzWorkz7WilzWorkz7
    Posts: 1,761
    I got mine as well for S$20 (US$16) A small little nub which is brass coated with chrome. Also got new eyelets as the one given to me by fujifilm is a bit too small.
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  • ClaytonClayton
    Posts: 11
    I picked up a mini Abrahamsson from Photo Village yesterday. I was expecting a store-front, but instead found them in an office space on the eighth floor. No matter, they had a box of buttons on the counter. "How many do you want and in which color?" Oh, well I guess I need one in every color. I'll change it depending on my mood (and/or my outfit of course). Ha. Seriously, just give me one in red. Thanks.
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    LOL!

    Sometimes I wish I had gotten the red one, it looks so nice, but in my mind I figured the silver would be a bit less conspicuous when street shooting.

    I had a chance to try it out last night during golden hour and into the night. The shutter is noticeably easier to press, sometimes I was taking a shot a second or two before I expected to. It's going to take a little practice, but pulling my index finger back against the release for the 'trigger finger method' really does help reduce camera shake.
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • WilzWorkz7WilzWorkz7
    Posts: 1,761
    agreed
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  • NicazNicaz
    Posts: 11
    I got my Red mini Abrahamsson as well. Direct by ordering by email (I live in France)
    Received after 1 week. Great deal, quality is really here, and fast shipping
    I'm a happy man :)
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    Great choice! Welcome to the community @Nicaz!
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • NicazNicaz
    Posts: 11
    Thanks @Christopher! We've got some X100 websites in France, but not good as yours
  • ehirisehiris
    Posts: 60
    Just purchased this one: http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Shutter-Release-Button-Cameras/dp/B002KEE5TQ/

    After losing one which I got from Adorama and which was horrid because the threading didn't quite fit.

    The new one is a lot better and I actually like that it says Leica. It's the closest I'll ever get to affording anything that says Leica.
  • Photorx12Photorx12
    Posts: 22
    I recieved my mini Abrahamsson from Photo Village today.

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  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    The red Abrahamsson mini soft release really looks great on the X100! I haven't taken mine off since I received it, I think I prefer the quick and easy shutter release it provides. It does extend beyond the X100's dimensions and makes contact with the LC-X100 imitation case that I'm using, but it's not a tight enough fit to interfere with or depress the shutter button when the case is on the camera. I do have to be sure that I switch the X100 off though, as the case can more easily depress the shutter button when fully closed.
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • WilzWorkz7WilzWorkz7
    Posts: 1,761
    Just to share:

    My miniscule soft release
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  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    That has a nice finish, it looks like it has a lower profile than the Abrahamsson soft release. Who makes that one?
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • GoldenmomGoldenmom
    Posts: 8
    I bought a Beep. Couldn't decide on a color so went with the logo version.

    2011-06-x100-2
  • WilzWorkz7WilzWorkz7
    Posts: 1,761
    Here's the top view.



    It goes US$16 a pop. The version is Chrome plated brass soft release.

    Can email them and ask: enquiries@decameraconsultant.com
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  • WilzWorkz7WilzWorkz7
    Posts: 1,761
    The good thing about his release is that it won't get in the way of the Fujifilm leather cover and it can close it completely and firmly.
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  • mattmabermattmaber
    Posts: 3,971
    SO the mini ones shouldnt be affected by the case? And what is prefered, convex or concave? Convex seems to eb preffered, any idea why?
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  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    Welcome to the community @Goldenmom! How do you like your Beep so far?

    Thanks @WilzWorkz7! I did notice my Abrahamsson mini soft release does bump into the top half of my $26 full case. It slightly depresses the shutter and doesn't seem to cause any problems if the camera is off, but it still concerns me.

    @mattmaber, I think convex is preferred as it allows for the 'trigger finger' method of depressing the shutter. Concave might require a bit more of a traditional downward motion to depress.
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • mattmabermattmaber
    Posts: 3,971
    Small red Abrahamsson's are out of stock everywhere I enquire so I might go for a black one until theyre available
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  • WilzWorkz7WilzWorkz7
    Posts: 1,761
    mattmaber said:

    SO the mini ones shouldnt be affected by the case? And what is prefered, convex or concave? Convex seems to eb preffered, any idea why?



    Concave are more for those who prefer to press down the shutter using their finger tip
    Convex are more for those who like to use trigger method, using the finger joint to press down. I personally use the later as it helps me to firmly hold the camera while doing night shoots.
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  • NicazNicaz
    Posts: 11
    mattmaber said:

    Small red Abrahamsson's are out of stock everywhere I enquire so I might go for a black one until theyre available



    You can order from Abrahamsson directly on their website
  • mattmabermattmaber
    Posts: 3,971
    @nicaz I think the small red are out of stock there too, pretty sure I emailed. Or I didnt get a response.
    I remember now, postal strike in Canada apparently.

    Anyway, ordered one of these to tide me over.
    soft release ebay
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  • I used to have a big soft release button (from my Leica) on X100 for several days during a recent trip, and when the camera was sitting in a backpack it turned it on and took lots of empty dark images (and it eats the battery). Repeatedly happened three days in a row until I unscrewed it. Used X100 without the button for the rest of my trip, and empty dark images never happened again.

    The problem is — if the button turned clockwise (as when you screw it in) it turns on the camera. Easily happens inside the backpack.
  • mattmabermattmaber
    Posts: 3,971

    here it is in the flesh
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  • GreyelmGreyelm
    Posts: 209
    I have been using the cheap ebay button for a couple of weeks now but have just decided to take it off. The reason is not to do with the fit or finish of the button but to do with me. I find that I have less control of the half press with the button fitted and found that I was making too many premature shots. Anyone else experience this?
  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    I immediately noticed it when I first started using my soft release, but it hasn't been a problem for me since.
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • mattmabermattmaber
    Posts: 3,971
    Better photo, Ive had not accidently activating issues myself yet.
    FujiFIlm X100
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  • So far the only thing I've noticed is the increased "wiggle".
  • jvdmeijjvdmeij
    Posts: 34
    I got a cheap ($ 12,50) one from ebay. Looks great! Didn't try it out in the field yet.

    Red shutter release
  • captivecaptive
    Posts: 23
    Well, finally received mine today after a 3 week wait. But worth it.

    I bought a small silver and larger red "Leica" soft release from this eBay seller: http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260586523338&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht_5918wt_1141

    Picked them up for A$9.50 (US$10) each. Very happy. Closest I'm going to get to having anything with a "Leica" logo on it for a while. :) Red one has a nice 'worn in' / gloss style and the silver one has a complimentary anodised finish.

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    My red one is for show, silver is much more discreet and prefer it. They are both nice though.
  • jvdmeijjvdmeij
    Posts: 34
    Looking slick! Doubted to order the Leica one..
  • mattmabermattmaber
    Posts: 3,971
    Tough finding a small one atm
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  • pauldodopauldodo
    Posts: 2
    Just ordered a small silver Leica button- thanks for the heads up!

    Paul
  • captivecaptive
    Posts: 23
    Was out chasing the kids this morning, camera in hand, went to take a pic and my red soft release was gone. Retraced my steps and thankfully found it but there was a moment I thought I'd lost it. I had it screwed in firmly enough I thought, but obviously not. Due to the thread design it only takes it to become slightly loose for it to fall out. Will keep a closer eye on it next time for sure. Anyone else lose one?
  • WilzWorkz7WilzWorkz7
    Posts: 1,761
    That's why i got the small one. the big one has too much torque to quickly dislodge it.
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  • ChristopherChristopher
    Posts: 2,547
    I've heard some people use teflon plumbers tape to secure it in place, or some people even glue them on.
    Fuji X Series Administrator · ChrisMarks.com · Space Cadet Photo Blog · Flickr
  • WilzWorkz7WilzWorkz7
    Posts: 1,761
    i think it is a bit drastic...i would still need to use the cable release for slow shutter work.
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  • mattmabermattmaber
    Posts: 3,971
    Didnt someone also recomend nail varnish or something? Just keps it a bit more securly in place
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  • captivecaptive
    Posts: 23
    Might try the plumbers tape first. Nice tip. Any one know why the tapered thread design? Seems that only gives an effective one turn of thread to secure it on there?
  • WilzWorkz7WilzWorkz7
    Posts: 1,761
    Decided to just turn it in tightly and NOT to turn the soft release to on or off the camera, that loosen it quickly.
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  • BobDBobD
    Posts: 15
    I got a soft release handmade from DE camera in Singapore, less than $20 US, nicely made and fits nicely on the camera. And now I've gotten used to the feel of it - a great addition to the camera, especially for street shooting. (I did use a smidge of plumber's tape to make it secure.)

    From the US I couldn't purchase it directly from their website, but had a fine correspondence with Belinda Tay -- she kept emailing me updating shipping and making sure the soft release arrived. Friendly and helpful.
  • jvdmeijjvdmeij
    Posts: 34
    Meh, lost mine yesterday at the beach. Those things are loose as hell!
  • picgearpicgear
    Posts: 4
    Can someone please help me understand what makes these little things worth so much, not just an obvious rip-off that everyone turns blind to?

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