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syam

My first Leica Q. Designing a case.

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Hi Everyone,

New member here, just recently acquired a lightly used Leica Q and I'm falling back in love with photography. First time Leica owner and loving everything about the Q.

I've had my trusty Nikon D7000 with a collection of lenses for just about 7 years now, the starter Nikon D40 for 5 years before that, and was itching to upgrade. My shooting has mostly been street, landscape, 'artistic' and portraits in the past, and definitely have lots of content to shoot living in Brooklyn, NY. I was set on jumping into a Sony A7iii with a 24-105 and a wide angle prime but always came back to the Leica Q in all my research, cost comparing, reading, youtube, etc.

Finally just decided just to go for it and give the Q a few months to see if it could work for my style and subject matter of shooting. I figured that worst case, if it couldn't be my only camera, that I would just sell for roughly the same price I paid in a few months. I started watching B&H, Adorama, and MPB used inventory for a few little while and scored a good deal (I think) on a very lightly used Q off of MPB a few weeks back.

Ordered the MegaGear Half CaseGlass Screen ProtectorB+W XS Pro MRNC Filter, and JFOTO Thumbs-up Grip right away to use with my Peak Design Slide Strap and quickly taped up the microphone and speaker ports.

I've taken just shy of 1k pictures now and love how sharp and fast the focus is, handling is exactly what I wanted, size is a huge plus over the DSLR, and overall image quality and color rendition is amazing. 

I'm a Mechanical Engineer in Product Design as my day job, so of course I am in the middle of designing my own case that has an additional front finger grip, built in thumb grip (a la fuji xt-3), and a few other things. I have a few 3D printers so the idea is to try out the design and ergonomics with 3D printed models first, then when everything is perfect, have it CNC'd out of either aluminum or brass and coated black.

I started the design by 3D modeling the Q. Love that a majority of the dimensions are nice whole numbers - exactly how I like to design parts. Now onto designing the bottom half of the case and working through a few iterations. Will update as progress continues. 

Any thoughts or input would be very much appreciated!

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Posted (edited)

Bring the sides up flush to the top of the body to protect the top edges...

Make one for the Q2 also... I would buy one.

Edited by Donzo98

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the tips!

Current progress on revision 1 of the top and bottom shells. 

A couple of features I've designed into the case so far:

1. Protection on all sides and corners

2. Battery Door Access

3. Peak Design Plate Mount

4. Front finger grip

5. Rear thumb grip

6. Diopter Adjuster Block-off

7. Power Switch Block to stop it at S (preventing switching into C since I never use continuous mode)

The plan now is to 3D print the 2 part case and test the ergonomics and tolerances of the parts. Will also be lining the inside with a soft thin material to avoid scratching. 

 

Please keep the comments and feedback coming. Thanks.

 

Edited by syam
adding pictures and text

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- more space around the Thumbs button, impossible to use as designed now.

- rear thumbs grip unnecessary: grip enhanced by the case already.

- create a "stop" between the main switch single shot and continuous.

 

 

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10 hours ago, syam said:

Thanks for the tips!

Current progress on revision 1 of the top and bottom shells. 

A couple of features I've designed into the case so far:

6. Diopter Adjuster Block-off

7. Power Switch Block to stop it at S (preventing switching into C since I never use continuous mode)

 

Interesting design concept. Can you elaborate on what you mean on "6. Diopter Adjuster Block-off."

Re 7. Power switch block. Not sure users want to have C mode blocked off. While I rarely use C mode, I still want occasional access to it. On my Q-P I managed to wedge a small diameter "O ring" underneath the shutter release which provides enough resistance to avoid inadvertently selecting C mode but still allows one to choose C mode if desired. 

Would silicone or a "grippy" rubbery material be an option for your design? Just an idea.  

 

 

 

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On 8/6/2019 at 3:55 AM, LexS said:

- more space around the Thumbs button, impossible to use as designed now.

- rear thumbs grip unnecessary: grip enhanced by the case already.

- create a "stop" between the main switch single shot and continuous.

 

 

- After 3D printing the case yesterday, I found that the buttons need more space to comfortably press, so I"ll be changing the geometry around the buttons to have a more flush cutout.

- I'm really liking the rear thumb grip addition on the case. The combo with the front grip really makes the thing solid to hold, but this can easily be removed too.

- I designed in a stop to block off the continuous mode completely since I never use it and it works ok. Could be better for the next version

On 8/6/2019 at 12:32 PM, Matsaly said:

Interesting design concept. Can you elaborate on what you mean on "6. Diopter Adjuster Block-off."

Re 7. Power switch block. Not sure users want to have C mode blocked off. While I rarely use C mode, I still want occasional access to it. On my Q-P I managed to wedge a small diameter "O ring" underneath the shutter release which provides enough resistance to avoid inadvertently selecting C mode but still allows one to choose C mode if desired. 

Would silicone or a "grippy" rubbery material be an option for your design? Just an idea.  

 

 

 

- For the diopter, I just simply put some case material around the diopter so nothing can bump into the dial and change the focus

- I've been trying to rethink blocking off continuous shooting mode. Not sure if i'll keep the block off or not, but I really haven't had a problem with turning it to continuous by accident. I usually just leave it in single shot mode and wake the camera with a shutter press given the new aggressive power saving mode has been pretty frugal.

- The exterior surface could have a soft-touch type paint, or specific sections with molded in rubber grips. That is an option but a more complex one of course.

Some shots of the 3D prints for now until I get some time to redesign the problem areas:

 

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Top control area detail shows the continuous mode block off feature. Bottom picture shows battery door access and peak design mounting plate cutout.

Any other input would be appreciated!

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- Added recessed cutouts around all the buttons and d-pad

- Increased the size of the rear thumb grip and moved it closer to the thumb cutout

- Simplified the top control cutout area

- Added cutouts for magnetic mating between the top and bottom halves

 

Going to try using the previously printed case for a few days and see where the design can improve, then print out another shell to further refine.

Cheers!

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I've continued to use the first printed case for the past few weeks and it's been working great overall.

I made a few changes to the current design that I'll be printing this weekend.

1. ARCA adapter on the bottom edge

2. Lip and groove interaction between the top and bottom halves for better fitment with internal clips

3. Recesses inside to put microsuede for a tight fit and no scratching the body

4. Refined the front and thumb grips to better fit the hand

5. Cutout in the front for the focusing lamp

6. Added a Leica logo recessed in the top in the script font

7. Removed the cutout on the bottom for the Peak Design tripod mount

8. Added a pass-through loop on the bottom corner to try to balance the camera better when slung across the shoulder

9. Thinking about a magnetically detachable plate to cover the top controls with a gasket seal in case of bad weather

10. Also thinking of adding a magnetically detachable lens barrel to shield off water, but still be allowed to shoot in the rain without worrying about water.

 

Any other input would be appreciated!

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I'm afraid that I cannot say that the esthetics of the camera are improved this way...

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Need to leave the hot shoe open to allow use of the Thumbs Up or flash.

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15 hours ago, jaapv said:

I'm afraid that I cannot say that the esthetics of the camera are improved this way...

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but i don't particularly like how a half-case looks either. I would rather protect the camera with a cohesive design than not. Also the plan for the 3d print is only to evaluate the ergonomics and design, since it's inexpensive as I have access to several 3D printers. After the design is complete, I can have it CNC'd from aluminum or brass and coated black.

14 hours ago, m9photo said:

Compare your design with Tekiac, I own one and really like it.

I've looked at the design of the Tekiac and think it's a good design, but I wanted something that would protect all sides and faces of the Q (as much as possible). Plan is to make this design the best it can be and offer the files for manufacture if anyone wants it.

14 hours ago, Donzo98 said:

Need to leave the hot shoe open to allow use of the Thumbs Up or flash.

I can easily add a magnetic cover to block off the hot shoe that is easily removable. With this design there's no reason to use a thumbs-up as the case has a thumb securing grip already built in. Placement is also much better than the thumbs-up as it works with the thumb cutout on the camera (I have it also) and more like the Q2 thumbs-up placement. I also don't have a flash for the Q (yet) so have no need for the hot shoe - would rather have it covered up completely to avoid any dust or water entering from there.

 

All great feedback. Thanks! I'll continue to improve the design over the next few weeks and 3D print a new updated case and continue to refine until I feel it is perfect. 

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19 hours ago, m9photo said:

Compare your design with Tekiac, I own one and really like it.

I too have a 3D-printed Tekiac case and much prefer it to the Leica leather half case.

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Printed out V2 of the case. Will be testing the ergonomic changes for the next week or so and further refine the design.

Still have not included an ARCA adapter cutout on the bottom, nor the magnetic covers for the hot shoe. Also lip and grooves are added for the top and bottom case mate, but both halves are still taped together for now.

Improvements:

- Front grip is slightly larger in height and length, and sharper on the inside edge for better grip

- rear thumb grip is taller and thicker for a more secure grip

- top shutter release/shutter speed dial area simplified

- button cutaways added so all buttons are easy to press

- rounded out the top and bottom edges to play with the overall shape/design

- added Leica logo on top to see if it could be done like this - purely experimental

-internal cutouts for adding suede to protect the camera surfaces

After evaluating for a week or so, the plan is to see if I can rubber coat the outside in a matte black.

Then test print V3 out of an impact modified PLA or ABS so I can do some more work to finish the outer surface.

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Hi Syam!

 

I just wanted to ask if you would share the 3D model of the Q?

I am working on a holster-type case for a backpack strap.

Of course I would share my results here in the forum as well.

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6 hours ago, RRock said:

Hi Syam!

 

I just wanted to ask if you would share the 3D model of the Q?

I am working on a holster-type case for a backpack strap.

Of course I would share my results here in the forum as well.

I uploaded the 3D model of the Leica Q onto thingiverse here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3856985

 

I've been using the Version 2 3D printed case for a little bit now and am liking it a lot. I still have a few tweaks to make but overall, the design is working very much how I envisioned it.

Edited by syam

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