Leica Lens Holder M: Cleverly useful accessory is an oldie but goodie

An cool accessory for Leica cameras goes viral across the blogosphere, but it's only compatible with film-based cameras in the Leica M series.

Like an old e-mail hoax that keeps turning up, the Leica Lens Holder M has been around for almost two decades, but is suddenly spreading like wild across the gadget blogosphere over the past few days. The Lens Holder M (also called the Leica M Lens Carrier) is a simple but clever concept: It's a plate with lens mount that's designed to screw into the tripod socket of a Leica MP or M7 (film) camera to hold a spare lens at the ready.  A post on PopPhoto.com points to a video review that dates the accessory back as far as 2008, but a call to Leica indicates the device has been around since the early 1990s.

Like a game of telephone, though, some details have gotten lost in translation as the item gets reposted from blog to blog. The most relevant omission, perhaps, is the fact that the device is only compatible with film-based cameras in the Leica M series. While some folks have noted that the lens holder is designed specifically for the Leica MP and M7 cameras, most don't explicitly indicate that it doesn't work on digital Leicas (misleading in today's digital dominant world) and others actually mistakenly state that it is compatible with digital Leicas (I'm looking at you, Slashgear).

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