DIY Softrelease Safety

I recently purchased a Classic Softrelease from Tom Abrahamsson at for my M3. As-is the shutter release is very smooth, and quite easy to release, but I wanted it to be even more effortless. Would be especially useful for when I’m shooting with gloves in the winter, or want to set off the shutter by just giving the camera an evil glare.

Browsing the various forums for user feedback on Tom’s release, the negative comment often came up that the release makes it really easy to take pictures when you don’t want to. For example, like when the camera is in a case. Many people just deal with it as a trade-off for , and others couldn’t stand it, and stopped using the release all together. I knew I wanted the large surface release, so I ordered mine to see if I was one of the people who could deal with it or not.

Shooting with the release was a dream. It gave my M3 exactly the feel I was looking for, but as time passed, I noticed I had to often cock the shutter before taking a shot. I processed the first roll that I shot with the Abrahamsson release and started counting. One, Two, Three . . . . Seven misfired frames on a roll of thirty-six! And possibly more that were taken uncapped with the camera in focus hanging around my shoulder that I can’t distinguish from my normal sloppy street photography. ����

19% wastage seemed a bit unruly, but I really like the feel, so I wasn’t going to give up on. The immediate options were to not cock the shutter after shooting each frame, or to remove the release for transportation. Neither solution was something I wanted to pursue.

So, sitting here late at night I found a small hair tie left by one of my female friends. I looked at it, then I looked at my M3. A light bulb flicked on, and I believe the problem has been solved.

With the hair tie wrapped under the release three-four times, I physically cannot apply enough pressure to the button to have it shoot a frame. Yet, it connected very loosely and can easily be removed in one second. I threaded it through the ring on my strap lug, and it will always right there, ready to prevent my camera from shooting when I don’t want it to.

DIY Safety for Abrahamsson Softrelease

I’ll try this for a few weeks and report back.

Soft Release Safety Follow-up

A few weeks has turned into sixty-five weeks, so it is time to finally report back.

Abrahamsson Soft Release

What I’ve found after using the safety for the past sixty-five weeks kind of took me by surprise. What I have come to realize, is that unless I’m actually putting the camera into a bag for a long travel in my car, I just don’t need it anymore.

As reported earlier, I was wasting about seven frames per roll by accidentally bumping the release. I’ve since had the soft release on my camera every day as I walk to work and around town. I find that I’m now so used to it being on the camera, that I instinctively handle it in such a way that accidental frames rarely happen from me bumping the soft release. The accidental exposure rate is down to one every couple of rolls, instead of several frames per roll.

So, if you are interested in getting a soft release, don’t let the nay sayers in the frequent debates about the subject at keep you down. Get one and use it for more then a month before you give up. It just takes a little experience.

High quality soft releases are available at

Category Gear & Technique  | Tags: Leica