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The Best Soft Release Buttons for your Camera – Lolumina and Lensmate
Introduction to Soft Release Buttons
When I first heard about soft release buttons for cameras back at the beginning of my photography career, I remember letting out a small and somewhat confused giggle.
"Why on earth would someone spend their hard earned money on a button that attaches to your camera's shutter release?" I asked myself. "Have we really become so vain that even our cameras, beyond being functional, have to look beautiful too?"
Now, nearly six years onward, I'll admit that I've developed a bit of a penchant for soft release buttons, not only because they add a bit of razzmatazz to an otherwise dull-looking piece of equipment but also because they are truly useful accessories, especially if you suffer from shaky hands when taking a photograph.
The two soft release button companies I've become the most fond of are Lensmate and Lolumina. They provide quality products which look great on any camera and aren't too expensive. Below you'll find a review of each, as well as an explanation as to why I use two companies instead of one. Enjoy!
What is a soft release button?
A soft release button generally has two functions.
- To give you more stability when taking shots at slow shutter speeds
- To beautify your camera
One function is obviously more superficial than the other but both are real reasons people choose to buy a soft release for their camera.
There are two kinds of soft releases you can buy and the one you choose invariably depends on the kind of shutter release your camera has. If the shutter button is threaded, you can attach any soft release with a screw. If the shutter button is unthreaded, on the other hand, you need a soft release that comes with a mount that will adhere to the surface of the shutter button.
Does your camera have a threaded or unthreaded shutter button?
Choice #1: Lensmate Soft Release
The Lensmate soft release is the one we use on our Fujifilm X100t, the only camera we own with a threaded shutter button. While we own the Red Bird and Brass Lizard versions, you can find them in a variety of colours and styles including red, brass, green, blue and black with birds, lizards, flowers, tadpoles and seahorses.
The button is very sturdy and well-made, and rarely becomes loose, though you should always check how tightly it is attached before you begin using it. Its broad surface provides that extra stability your pointer finger needs when taking shots at slow shutter speeds. It also looks amazing matched with a retro-styled body like that of the X100/s/t.
Perhaps the only downside is the price, which is nearly double that of the Lolumina soft release mentioned below.
Choice #2: Lolumina Soft Release
Nearly all our cameras lack a threaded shutter button so our only option was to go with a brand that offers an adhesive mount for its soft release buttons. That brand was Lolumina, one of the most popular and affordable makes out there. With each soft release you order, you receive two mounts, one that is flat and the other that is slightly curved. It is simply a matter of choosing the one that best matches your shutter button.
Once you've attached the appropriate mount and waited for the adhesive to dry (it takes about two days), all you have to do is screw the soft release on and you're ready to shoot. Since the mount is interchangeable, there is nothing to stop you from buying a few different coloured soft releases and changing them whenever the mood strikes.
Keep in mind that the soft release may become loose inside your camera bag. To avoid losing it, always check that it is firmly attached before you begin shooting.
Reviews of the Lolumina & Lensmate Soft Release
Why get a soft release button for your camera?
Whichever soft button you choose, you can't really go wrong. Both are attractive, built to last, and affordable. The companies that produce them are also trustworthy and helpful. Lolumina, for instance, provides a 60-day money back guarantee whereas Lensmate has a 10-day return policy.
What about you? Have you ever used a soft button on your camera, and if so, did you find that it helped to improve your stability? Why not share your experience in the comments section below!