Review: Luigi Leather Halfcase for Leica M8 / M9

luigi, leica, halfcase

LeicaTime leather cases have quite a reputation amongst the Leica crowd. Luigi Crescenzi has been making these cases a really long time. They aren’t cheap…but is there anything cheap when dealing with Leicas? What makes these cases worth it? Let’s have a look!

LeicaTime has a website reminiscent of the year 1999. There is a lots of text, lots of photos, and everything is on one massive page to scroll! Not the easiest page for e-commerce. When comparing options I found myself scrolling up and down on a page or opening several tabs each scrolled to what I wanted to compare. Maybe not the most modern web solution for shopping, but it works. There are a lot of photos of the various options. And there are lots of options. (This web design and overload of info might be a tactic to keep imitators guessing as to what his current offerings really are…)

Each case is handmade. When I finally decided on a case I sent LeicaTime an email. Luigi responded very quickly and we had an exchange about my ideas and what options to include. Shipping from Italy to the US only took a day with Luigi’s “FAST FEDEX” option. He wasn’t kidding! I ended up ordering a leather half case in black with burgundy interior. The photos I took show it more red, but in most indirect light the interior suede is a darker hue and not nearly as vibrant. Direct lights really made it pop!

I ordered the basic grip in the front to keep the camera as thin as possible. You can see this raised grip in the following photo. It actually makes quite a difference. Between the texture of leather and a raised surface, the feel of the camera in hand is greatly enhanced.

luigi, leather, halfcase, leica, m8, camera

I also ordered the hanging rear flap and a cut-out for the Match Technical EP-1 Thumbs Up grip. I was a little worried about the rear flap making the camera much thicker feeling. I love my Leica for its small size. I definitely did not want something making it feel huge. Luckily the leather case hardly makes it feel any bigger. The flap does not add any “additional” thickness beyond the case’s feel. The snaps are positioned in a perfect place so they do not interfere with your hands, or face. They are also very smooth. Between the thumbs up grip and the luigi case, the hand-holding of the camera is much more positive and secure. It is “just right.”

leica, luigi, m8, halfcase

My other concern was having to keep unsnapping the rear flap to change ISO setting or check my histogram on the screen. I found quite the opposite is true…I almost never have to unsnap the cover! If I need to check the screen, I can see everything I need by just unsnapping the left side. I can press the button I need, and adjust settings with the arrow keys on the right. You can feel the arrow keys and press them right through the leather cover. This works just as well as if the cover were off. The wheel is not necessary unless you want to zoom into a photo. I find being able to change my settings, check histogram, and see photo previews through the side of the case is more than enough to serve my purpose. You can see a lot more of the screen than the following picture reveals.

luigi, leica, m8, halfcase, leather

The leather not only protects the screen and keeps buttons from being pressed, but it hides the fact that the camera is digital. Most people that see my camera now honestly believe it is a film camera…even after they have held it! The fit and construction is perfect. The case surrounds the camera well and even protects the sides from being worn by the strap rings. The only downside to a half case on a Leica is access to the bottom plate. I rarely change batteries in the field, and I have a card big enough for most days worth of shooting. I usually just take the case off once I am ready to load images to my computer. The case comes off easily once unsnapped.

luigi, leather, halfcase, leica, m8, camera

Added bonus…now my camera smells really good while I am using it!

Overall I am extremely satisfied with this case. It adds character to the camera and hides any additional distraction caused by the buttons and screen.
I highly recommend Luigi’s cases!


4 responses on "Review: Luigi Leather Halfcase for Leica M8 / M9"

  1. Good article on Luigi’s work. Thanks for including the Thumbs Up in your write up.


  2. Hey, No problem Tim! You have a great collection of products that really benefit their users!

    I’m just patiently waiting to do a review of your thumbs up “hot-shoe” version! (hint hint… I know us Leica users could really use that added support when there are pocket wizards stuck on top of our Leicas!)

  3. I also use one on my camera. The only two complaints I have are
    (1) the flap presses on the 4-way buttons on the right side
    (2) it has to be removed every time I take out the battery or the SD card

    Other than these, I love it to bits :-)

  4. Hi, Luigi here. Thank you for the review. Cor a quick change of the battery and SD card I make and I have my special M-Mates baseplate… And, of course, the right cases for them. Ciao to all, Luigi

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