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04-28-2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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Question about Spotmatics

Hi guys,

I'm in the process of getting leather half-case made for my Spotmatic II. However, the person making the case only has access to a Spotmatic and a Spotmatic F.

I am pretty sure that the body on the Spotmatic II is basically the same as the Spotmatic and Spotmatic F. I know that the top of the prism is different on the original Spotmatic due to the lack of an accessory shoe but that shouldn't matter. I just wondering if anybody here can confirm.

Thanks.

04-28-2009, 04:41 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nando Quote
I am pretty sure that the body on the Spotmatic II is basically the same as the Spotmatic and Spotmatic F. I know that the top of the prism is different on the original Spotmatic due to the lack of an accessory shoe but that shouldn't matter. I just wondering if anybody here can confirm.
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04-28-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
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I have 4 Spotties, including the models you indicate.

Don't have time this second to check, but I will later. The only real variable/danger I can maybe see is the positioning of the tripod holes.

But I'm curious--why do you want a half-case? I can understand for comfort, because I used them all the time way back when.
04-28-2009, 05:16 PM   #4
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Thanks for the link Bill

Thanks Ira. I very much appreciate the help! The positioning of the tripod hole is important as this case is going to be screwed down to the socket. The case is going to made by Camera Hirano in Tokyo. I'm getting it through Dirk at JapanExposures.com.

I've gotten used to using half-cases on my cameras. I'm mainly a rangefinder shooter and I have half-cases on all my RF's. I started using them because they helped during the cold during the late fall, winter and early spring. I'd rather use a half-case than gloves to protect my hands and face against the cold metal. Since, you are in Florida, you wouldn't have that problem. I've gotten used to having them on the camera all the time and I like the extra grip when I have heavier lenses mounted. They do offer a bit of protection. I once dropped one of my Leicas onto concrete and if it wasn't for the half-case, the camera would have likely received a nasty ding on the bottom plate.

04-29-2009, 03:37 AM   #5
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Sorry for the delay:

Exactly the same, including the battery cover, in case you wanted to get a fur cover for it.
04-29-2009, 05:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Sorry for the delay:

Exactly the same, including the battery cover, in case you wanted to get a fur cover for it.
Thanks Ira! That's great news.

An update: Hirano will be starting on the case soon. It will take a bit more time than usual because of the Golden Week holidays in Japan. I'll post photos when it arrives.

Last edited by Nando; 04-29-2009 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Update
10-12-2009, 07:46 AM   #7
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Thanks again for the help guys and especially Ira.

I'm terribly sorry about the delay but here is a photo of the finished product:



I'm extremely happy with the case. It is very well made and wonderful to use. Hirano-san did an excellent job. i believe that this may be the first case he made for the Spotmatic. Hirano-san doesn't sell any cases outside of Japan directly but they can be had through Japan Exposures' broker service. Dirk @ Japan Exposures is great to deal with.

Some links:
Camera-Hirano: ???????? ????????? ???????????????????????????100???????? ????????????
Japan Exposures: japan exposures | a personal introduction to Japanese photography

Last edited by Nando; 10-12-2009 at 08:14 AM.
10-12-2009, 08:02 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nando Quote
Thanks again for the help guys and especially Ira.

I'm terribly sorry about the delay but here is a photo of the finished product:



I'm extremely happy with the case. It is very well made and wonderful to use. Hirano-san did an excellent job. i believe that this may be the case he made for the Spotmatic. Hirano-san doesn't sell any cases outside of Japan directly but they can be had through Japan Exposures' broker service. Dirk @ Japan Exposures is great to deal with.

Some links:
Camera-Hirano: ???????? ????????? ???????????????????????????100???????? ????????????
Japan Exposures: japan exposures | a personal introduction to Japanese photography
that is very nice. I shall be procuring one of those. where did you get the "soft touch" shutter release?

10-12-2009, 08:10 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
that is very nice. I shall be procuring one of those. where did you get the "soft touch" shutter release?
Thanks. The soft release is from Tom Abrahamsson of Vancouver, Canada. Tom and his wife Tuulikki are wonderful people.
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10-12-2009, 08:11 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nando Quote
Thanks. The soft release is from Tom Abrahamsson of Vancouver, Canada. Tom and his wife Tuulikki are wonderful people.
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how much was the cost of the half-case and strap like yours? I want to have one done for my SV so I expect some complications but I would like to have a ballpark estimate. beautiful work that! very impressive. and thanks for the link, I have been looking for one of these "soft touch" releases, but always found expensive one for leicas. =/
10-12-2009, 08:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
how much was the cost of the half-case and strap like yours? I want to have one done for my SV so I expect some complications but I would like to have a ballpark estimate. beautiful work that! very impressive. and thanks for the link, I have been looking for one of these "soft touch" releases, but always found expensive one for leicas. =/
At the time, it was around $250 USD. My case was the first one so the price for my case might be different.

Edit: I see that Japan Exposures currently lists it at 2,900 Yen - approximately $235 USD. If you live in Japan, it may be cheaper to buy directly from Hirano san.
10-12-2009, 08:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nando Quote
At the time, it was around $250 USD. My case was the first one so the price for my case might be different.

Edit: I see that Japan Exposures currently lists it at 2,900 Yen - approximately $235 USD. If you live in Japan, it may be cheaper to buy directly from Hirano san.
not bad. no I dont live in Japan.
10-12-2009, 08:47 AM   #13
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Dumb question but wouldn't it be cheaper to have someone who works leather make it for you locally?
10-12-2009, 08:56 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by graphicgr8s Quote
Dumb question but wouldn't it be cheaper to have someone who works leather make it for you locally?
nobdoy that I am aware of. there are only a few leather workers I know, two reside in florida. the differene here is, that this particular leather worker, specializes in camera cases. this means there is a level of quality I can expect from the product. something that a local leather maker would have to basically learn. not something I want for such a custom job. if I knew one that was "local" and had the experiene with camera cases, id be all over it. the fact that I am reaching to Japan speaks for itself. you assume I have given this no thought... if I spend the money I want the highest quality product, while Hirano san may not be the "best", he knows what hes doing when it comes to making camera cases. the type of cases my SV deserves.

my belt and wallet were made locally. my watch cuff, bracelet and hair "stick" barrette were made by Scott and Jami Handmade Leather Goods by Old School Leather Company. they do excellent work by the way.

Last edited by séamuis; 10-12-2009 at 09:01 AM.
10-12-2009, 11:31 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by graphicgr8s Quote
Dumb question but wouldn't it be cheaper to have someone who works leather make it for you locally?
If I was in my hometown of Coimbra Portugal, I would have no trouble finding someone who could make me a nice case. There is brilliant shoemaker and leather worker in my hometown that does beautiful work. I've had him make me several pairs of shoes and sandals along with a briefcase and matching wallet. However, I know that a camera case would be very expensive as it would be out of the ordinary for him. I currently reside in Sault Ste. Marie Canada, and there are very few leather workers. Many use very tough cowhide leathers and follow a Western/Cowboy theme, which I wanted to avoid. A friend and co-worker of mine is leather worker but he's purely a hobbyist and I didn't want to burden him with such a project - his life is busy enough.

As Séamuis said, finding someone that already has experience making camera cases is a real plus. Hirano-san already knew how to go about making a wonderfult case. He has all the right tools and materials already. He already knows what works and what doesn't.

I considered getting Luigi Crescenzi (Leicatime Luigi Crescenzi : leica cameras leica compur mp elmar 250 reporter leicavit) to make me a case. I already have three "Luigies" - one for my Leica MP, one for my Leica IIIf and another for my Voigtlander Bessa-T. Luigi makes gorgeous cases but when I saw a Hirano case, I thought it was more suitable for the Spotmatic. Hirano-san instills a certain something in his cases - its hard to describe - a very Japanese quality. (Is Japaneseness a word?) Of course, Luigi's cases are also very charismatic but in a different way. Commissioning Luigi to build me a case for a Spotmatic would have been more expensive too - Luigi's materials/labour is probably more expensive and the very strong Euro doesn't help. Luigi is a true gentleman, however. One of the classiest people I've ever met. Dealing with him is a real joy and his service is absolutely outstanding.

Also Tom Abrahamsson mentioned above is a real class-act. Take a look at this link: In Praise of Tom A.! - Rangefinderforum.com

There are very few people like Luigi and Tom left in the world and especially in the 'camera business'. Through my experience with Japan Exposures, I've had the pleasure of meeting three more: Dirk, Kurt and Hirano-san.

In the United States, there is Kameraleder (Kameraleder) in Los Angeles. I haven't dealt with them but from what I've heard, their cases are of impeccable quality. They are perhaps the closest in design and style to that of the original cases made by Leica from the 1930's-1960's. However, I'm not sure if Kameraleder would take on a custom job or make a case for an SLR. Their regular cases are already more expensive than what I paid for my Hirano case. I'm sure that a custom-job would be more expensive than their usual prices.

I could have used an original Asahi-Pentax case but like I said earlier, I wouldn't mind something a bit more special. My Spotmatic and set of S-M-C's Taks were (and still are) such bargains that I didn't mind spending a bit of money on a very nice, and somewhat exotic, half-case.
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