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Date: 27/05/2016 | By: Heather

Review of the Lensmate Thumb Rest for the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Sony a6300

lensmate thumb grip review

Review of the Lensmate Thumb Rest for the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Sony a6300

Some accessories are essential, others simply make our lives easier. In this article, we’ll be talking about an accessory that, while far from indispensable, can make your shooting experience much more comfortable with camera bodies that don’t have an ideal grip.

The Lensmate thumb rest has been designed to improve your camera’s handling, increase your stability especially at slower shutter speeds and facilitate one-handed operation. It doesn’t require any assembly – just slide it into your camera’s hot shoe and you’re good to go.

a6300-1

Constructed from solid aluminium rod that has been anodised for a tough finish, the thumb rest has been built to last a lifetime. Plus, each model in the Lensmate collection has a camera-specific design. In some cases, they are such a perfect fit that they look like part of the camera!

Silicone is a key component to the Lensmate thumb rest, used in three points around the unit.

It serves as a buffer between the thumb rest and camera body, is used as padding for the thumb, and prevents the hot shoe tab from slipping out of the hot shoe during a shoot.

The company’s two most recent units, the LM-XP2 and LM-A6300, are for the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the Sony a6300 respectively. We’ve been using and enjoying both on our copies of the cameras, and felt they deserved a mention.

lensmate thumb grip review
The two thumb grips on the a6300 and X-Pro2

The X-Pro2 Thumb Rest

To be honest, the X-Pro2 already has a pretty good grip of its own. Because it is one of the larger Fujifilm cameras, there is a lot to grab onto, and the front and rear grip has been constructed in such a way that you don’t have any fear of dropping it with small to medium sized lenses.

a6300-2

The benefit of the Lensmate thumb rest reveals itself when you mount larger lenses to the camera, such as the XF 50-140mm or the XF 100-400mm. It provides that extra support and security without adding any bulk to the camera body as an external grip would. Yes, it does occupy the hotshoe, which can be annoying if often you use flash or other accessories, but it is a boon for street photography, sports or wildlife.

lensmate thumb grip review

Since the thumb rest blocks access to the ISO dial and to some extent the exposure compensation dial, it has been designed with a hinged mechanism that swings out 40° from the camera body. This contrasts with other thumb rests that are fixed, such as the one for the X100T. Moving the thumb rest in and out of place is quick and intuitive, and doesn’t slow down the shooting experience.

lensmate thumb grip review


The a6300 Thumb Rest

The thumb grip for the a6300 is longer than that of the X-Pro2 but features the same hinged design. This has been done to provide easy access to the mode dial which would be impossible to use if the thumb rest were fixed. The silicone buffer rests directly on the mode dial, so the thumb rest never comes into contact with the camera body. It is very easy to flip it out and does not interfere with any of the camera’s moving parts, such as the tilting LCD or the pop-up flash.

lensmate thumb grip review

Even more than the X-Pro2, it is the a6300 that benefits from this extra support, especially if you consider that many of the latest lenses for the E-mount have primarily been designed for Sony’s full-frame cameras and are therefore quite large and heavy. Also important is the fact that the a6300 is a sports camera, so it is likely you’ll be using it with large telephoto lenses – another reason to have that extra support.

lensmate thumb grip review


Conclusion

I admit that thumb rests like those from Lensmate are a far cry from being “must-have” accessories, and that some cameras can benefit from the extra support more than others. That said, it is good to know that you can improve your camera’s ergonomics in ways that don’t involve the extra bulk and weight of vertical and battery grips.

Speaking strictly about these two specific models, I would highly recommend the a6300 version simply because it gives you the extra support you need to shoot with telephoto lenses. As for the X-Pro2, it isn’t as necessary because the grip is already good and you’ll be more likely to use small to medium sized primes for street and documentary photography with this camera anyway.



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About the author: Heather Broster

Heather Broster was born in Canada, has lived in Japan and Italy but currently calls Wales home. She is a full-time gear tester at MirrorLessons. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

  • Ben Mathes

    Thanks Heather- XPro- 2- have used the Thumb Rest on so many cameras- M9 etc etc- and glad to know I don’t “really need it” for the XPro-2!! And I agree 100% thanks for sharing!!

  • Snake Charmer

    Hello, I have recently purchased a Fujufilm X-Pro2 and have owned an XE-1 for a few years now. One of the biggest issues I have of both cameras (although I am in love with my X-Pro2) is that it is too easy to accidentally rotate the exposure compensation dial. It is difficult for me to comment on your device without trying it out but I wish to suggest you may be able to disregard the hinge mechanism. Regards, Chris

  • Keno40

    Hi can you give me the link for the GX7’s one please?
    Thanks!

  • Turbofrog

    I personally consider the thumb grips I use on my GX1 and GX7 to be “must-have” accessories. They make the whole shooting experience so comfortable and secure, while keeping the overall camera size much smaller than a normal DSLR-style large front grip.

    …that said, mine cost under $15, which is a lot easier to swallow than $60 for the Lensmate. I do like the hinged opening design, though.

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