Guest Review: Lensmate X-Pro2 Folding Thumbrest (with Giveaway)

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The Goods

Lensmate XPro2 Back

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guest post by Dickie Adams 

First, disclaimers. Lensmate sent me their XPro2 Folding Thumbrest along with a couple of their soft releases, free of charge, because I asked nicely and offered to give them my fair and impartial review of the product.

Since they sent me two soft releases, that must mean they want me to give away one to the readers, right? Read through the review, then be sure to check out the details at the bottom.

With those out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the Thumbrest.

Design

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Lensmate XPro2 Mount
Off the camera, the Lensmate XPro2 Folding Thumbrest looks much like its non-folding older brother which I have installed on my X100T. Quoting the Lensmate website, “Machined out of solid 6061 Aluminum rod, then bead blasted for texture and anodized for a tough finish.”

Lensmate XPro2 Mount Back
On the bottom of the thumbrest, you can see the textured silicone on the hotshoe insert, designed to keep the hardware firmly attached to the camera. Also noticeable from the bottom is the silver hinge point.

Lensmate XPro2 Grip
Moving to the front, the thumbrest curves and you will find the soft silicone thumb grip nestled inside.

Lensmate XPro2 Hinge
Finally, on the back, there is a small silicone bumper, preventing any undue scratching from the thumbrest returning to the resting position. Also note near the hinge, there is ball detent which helps to keep the thumbrest in whatever position you set it to. More on this below.

Fit and Finish

Lensmate XPro2 Dance
Take a moment and enjoy the animation. The step, step, step, you see there is part of the beauty of the Lensmate folding design. From 0, to 40, to 90 degrees, each angle provides a different optimal function. At 0 degrees, flat against the camera body, it works much like every other thumbrest out there. Move it to the middle step, 40 degrees, and now you have easier access to the Exposure dial. Slide your thumb along the rest, and you are resting against the Shutter/ISO dial. Ready to set the shutter speed. Finally, to the 90 degree step, where you have the best access for changing the ISO. You can still use each knob and dial regardless of the thumbrest position, but it feels more comfortable when used in the intended way.

Something a little harder to capture in a review is the sound and feel moving the thumbrest gives to this camera. The clunk of the XPro2 is very pleasing to my ear. Not just because of the tone or shape of the sound, but also because it gives the impression like they worked very intently on making it sound the way it does. And the Lensmate XPro2 Thumbrest has this same effect. Moving from 0 to 40, click – soft yet solid – this isn’t a cheap knock-off. 40 to 90 is smooth with no grinding or hesitation and makes a solid thunk. 90 back to 40 makes a slightly lower pitched click. Then the 40 back to 0 is a very satisfying thump as the silicone backing stops up against the camera body.

I did ask Lensmate specifically about the hinge. Here was my question and their reply:

How much of a difference does the hinge make? In my opinion, I’d rather live with a minor inconvenience of working around the grip than potentially deal with a failure in the hinge.

Our Lensmate custom hinge is beautifully designed in that the hinge component parts are hidden. We designed the Xpro2 Thumbrest to open to 40 degrees to have full access to the newly designed dial on the top of the camera. We do not have any plans for a non-folding Thumbrest. We have used the exact same hinge on our Sony A6000 Folding Thumbrest which has been very popular the past year and a 1/2. With no failures.

The Feel

Lensmate XPro2 Front
In hand, the Lensmate XPro2 Folding Thumbrest feels fantastic. The overall camera stability is improved – especially using heavier glass and adapted lenses. I’ve found a noted reduction in accidental button presses and dial turns as well.

Resting against my body on the other hand, I found a small issue with the XPro2 version of Lensmate’s thumbrest. Namely, the top and bottom edges of the curved end of the thumbrest are sharper than those of the X100T version. It’s not enough of a problem to scratch, but just enough of a difference to be an annoyance. Unfotunately, I’m more aware of the problem when I have heavier lenses on the camera – so I guess there is some balance there. I’ve been tempted to sand this down, but so far it hasn’t bothered me enough to really care. And really this is the only flaw in an otherwise very solid accessory.

Thumbs Up or Down

Lensmate XPro2 Open
I’ve been using the mount for a couple of months now, for commercial shoots and personal outings and I’m not really sure how I could operate nearly as efficiently without it. Like its older brother on my X100T, the XPro2 Thumbrest is unlikely to be removed any time soon. It’s not without its flaws, however. There is some slight discomfort as it rests against my skin, as I mentioned above. And the XPro2 already suffers from the lack of a flash, so the Thumbrest taking up the slot does present an interesting predicament if I want to use a flash, especially since the flashes I currently own are large Canon Speedlights – heavy and awkward on their own, but without a grip to help manage the camera, even more unwieldy. Thankfully, I don’t shoot flash very often.

tl;dr
Is it worth $59.95? Yes. Build, design, fit, and finish are all outstanding(note the price posted on Fuji Rumors originally – $74.95 – also included a soft release).
Would I recommend it to others? Absolutely. Hopefully yours won’t be quite as sharp along the edges as mine.

You can purchase your own Lensmate XPro2 Folding Thumbrest here.

Now back to this second soft release. Brass convex – adding a nice stable surface to shoot with. I love the look it gives to Fuji cameras. It’s a screw on style, so make sure your camera supports it.

Want to know how to win? Well first, it’s US only. Sorry international readers, but this is a tiny little box, and I want to make sure it arrives. Shipping is on me, so all you have to do is comment on the post and let us know what camera you have. I’ll leave a note after this review goes live giving everyone a couple of days to put in their comments, then we’ll close the contest (on Sunday, September 11), announce the winner, and reach out. If you don’t respond to a PM after a week, we’ll give it away to someone else. Good luck! And thanks for reading.

*** WINNER SELECTED – CONGRATULATIONS DG ***

guest post by Dickie Adams 

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