No body is perfect.

Not even the Leica M's. But it's getting better all the time.

By now you might know what the SLING, the SFILL, the STEER, the HOOK are good for - now learn about the SHADE for Leica M, another original design by Lutz Konermann:




"I think the Leica M has a great rangefinder that makes focussing a breeze. Except for situations in which the subject is strongly backlit by either the sun, a very bright sky or even artificial light sources. In these situations I often experience that the rangefinder patch becomes so bright, that it is almost impossible to see the split-image - leave alone to focus. Since I found this effect annoying - especially in situations where the subject wouldn't wait for me to find a different angle for focussing - I studied the problem and after several approaches finally came up with a solution which I find most satisfying and would like to share with you. I baptized this little helper the SHADE. Here is how it works.

The SHADE is a tiny piece of filter that is positioned directly on top of the prism next to the viewfinder - the prism responsible for illuminating the bright-line frames and the rangefinder patch in the viewfinder of your Leica. (You can easily test its effect by covering the prism - the bright-line frames will dissappear and the rangefinder patch will become darker.) With the help of a filter the light passing is diminished, thus lowering the brightness of both, bright-line frames and rangefinder patch.



But the SHADE isn't just a simple gray filter. While it has a special internal structure which allows for selective filtering of the light rays, depending on the angle and the direction from which they hit the prism, it isn't a conventional polarizing filter, either. Rather think of a perfect venetian blind - all (and not only polarized) light hitting sideways will be gradually attenuated and from an angle of 45 degrees onward blocked out completely! Since the above mentioned difficulty in focussing is generally observed in situations with backlight coming from above and/or left (in horizontal framing, due to the way the prism of the Leica is oriented!) the orientation of the SHADE's structure is chosen accordingly, i.e. blocking out preferably those rays, which generally cause the nuisance. Nevertheless, its positive effect on "focussability" is clearly noticeable in all other situations, too.

In short, while dimming the brightness of the rangefinder's tools (bright-line frames, rangefinder patch) down to about 40% the SHADE drastically enhances the visibility of the focussing field in critically backlit situations. I myself find this compromise so favorable that (as with my SLING and Tom Abrahamsson's SOFT RELEASE) I won't ever take the SHADE off my M6 again. It's tiny, self adhesive, hardly noticeable and thin enough in order to not even obstruct the "bug eyes" of some of the M lenses. In case you wish to put it off and on again you can do so a couple of times before you easily substitute its adhesive tape."

Lutz Konermann



As with the SLING , Lutz' other original design, we're not trying to get rich on this one, either. Thus we're offering you the SHADE at a "shareware" price:

$10 plus $5 for worldwide shipment = $15.

$25 for two, $35 for three. Or combine it with a SLING, SFILL, STEER, HOOK order and take advantage of the flat once-per-order shipment fee.


You might prefer cash-by-mail, but we're happy to be able to offer payment via PayPal, too.

If you have any questions, please mail us : mail (AT) (Subject:SHADE)