Leica Q Typ 116 Hand Grip Review

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Note from me, Patrick: Bob at the Leica Boutique in Bergen County Camera was nice enough to loan me this hand grip while I had the Q on loan from him as well.  So, I had this review for a while but I never had the chance to post it.  I hope you enjoy! 

Leica Q Typ 116 Hand Grip Review:

One of the traits I love most about Leica cameras is the ergonomics.  A lot of them fit my hands really well, and apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way because there are other manufacturers out there that try to emulate the same feel.  However, not everyone has the same hands, which means just like there are people who find a Leica Q Typ 116 for example, the perfect fit, some will find it doesn’t offer enough support.  Some may even find it slippery.  The last thing anyone would want to do is drop a +$4,000 camera on the ground.  To solve this problem, Leica has introduced the Leica Q Typ 116 Hand Grip.

Leica Q Typ 116 Hand Grip Build Quality:

At the asking price of $160.00, The Q’s hand grip may seem expensive but considering how much the Q costs, percentage wise, it’s not so bad.  In comparison, the basic hand grip for my Fuji X-T1 for example, costs around $130, and that camera’s list price is about $1,300.  Plus, in typical Leica fashion, the construction is excellent.  There’s no creaking, no loose parts, and it feels very sturdy, which is especially important for a hand grip.  When I buy something like a hand grip, I want it to inspire confidence.  I’m essentially depending on this piece of accessory to grip my camera, and the last thing I want is it to become loose or fall apart.  The great thing is it’s also relatively light, so it’s actually a great match for the Leica Q, which is already a pretty light camera.

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↑ The Leica Q hand grip looks pretty decent in my opinion, and I think it matches the body very well.

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↑ Here’s a side view of the hand grip.  The metal round hole is where you would attach the finger loop, which is sold separately.

In addition to the excellent construction, you’re paying for the attention to the little details.  For instance, the actual part that you grip has the same diamond pattern leather finish as the Leica Q itself.  What I particularly like is the felt lining where the plate contacts the bottom of the camera, so you don’t end up leaving any marks on the camera’s baseplate.  I think it’s a really nice touch.

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↑ The inside of the hand grip is lined with felt.

To attach the Leica Q Hand Grip, there’s a big knob on the bottom, and you simply turn it to screw it into the camera’s tripod thread.  Once tightened, the Leica Q and hand grip feel like a one piece unit.  It’s really a nice feel, and most importantly, it is a very secure fit, so there’s no need to worry about it coming loose or moving around.

In terms of aesthetics, this is also one of the more attractive hand grips made by Leica in my opinion.  Since the tolerances are so tight and there are no large gaps between the hand grip and camera, it literally fits the Q perfectly, so it doesn’t just look like an extra accessory that you simply attach to your camera.   In other words, it looks like it belongs on the Q.  This excellent integration is further enhance by the fact that the part that you grip doesn’t look particularly large and the shape of it actually contours nicely to the Q’s body shape.  From a distance, it almost looks like the Q was built with the hand grip instead of it being an optional accessory that you attach to the camera.

This is a decent hand grip but there are a couple of issues with it.  For one, in order to access the battery and SD card compartment, you have to take it off.  The other thing is you can actually attach the same finger loop as the one on the M 240’s, which is great because it will give you an even more secure fit in your hands but like I said in my M 240 hand grip review, it’s expensive.  Depending on the size, the finger loop can cost anywhere from $90 to $150, which means it can come close to the price of the hand grip itself.  Plus, I’m not a big fan of how the loop looks on the camera but of course, that’s just my own personal preference.

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↑ Here is a photo of the bottom of the hand grip.  Since the grip screws into the tripod thread on the camera, Leica does include a tripod thread on the grip.

Leica Q Typ 116 Hand Grip in Use:

In terms of use, the Leica Q Hand Grip really does what it’s advertised because it actually makes the camera feel more secure in my hands.  Not only does this added security lessen the chances of dropping the camera, it also helps stabilize it better, especially when one is shooting at lower shutter speeds.  When you combine this hand grip with the near vibrationless shutter, and image stabilization of the Q, you have a pretty awesome set up to use in low lighting.  To top it off, the hand grip also makes it easier for one handed shooting or even when you shoot at a portrait angle, and it’s very comfortable for a hand grip.  It still feels like a basic Q, especially since the weight hasn’t increased much as well.  The only major difference is there’s added support if you need it and the Q is slightly taller.

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↑ One last photo of the hand grip with the Leica Q.

Ultimately though, for my hands, I prefer the Leica Q without the grip.  All those benefits I mentioned earlier are really true; the grip does makes life a lot easier by making the camera feel more secure but at the same time, while it’s not huge, it still does add a little bulk to the camera, and I’m the type of person that doesn’t usually like too many accessories on my camera unless they are necessary.  While the hand grip helps, I feel like the camera without any grip fits my hands pretty good already.  I understand that some may fine the smooth shape of the Leica Q a little slippery at times but to me, since the Q isn’t that heavy, I don’t have much of an issue gripping it.  It never feels like it is going to slip out of my hands.

But this is only me, of course, so if you’re finding that you do need a little more support or security because none of us have the same hands, the hand grip should solve most of your problems if not all of them.  Plus, if a hand grip is a must, at least this one fits seamlessly to the camera, doesn’t add too much bulk, and is quite comfortable.  Also worth mentioning is whether or not I feel like I need the extra security, it still does help me stabilize the camera better for low light shots.

Leica Q Typ 116 Hand Grip Verdict:

So, if you’re finding that you need a little more support and security when you’re holding your Leica Q, the hand grip is a great option to consider.  In my opinion, this is one of the best ones that Leica has come out with in a long time.  Styling wise, I feel that it matches the camera a lot better than say the one that originally was released with the M9.  It also fits seamlessly onto the camera, it really does give you that added support, it’s not overbearing in terms of size or weight, and it is very comfortable to use.

Thanks for taking the time to read my review!  Anyone own the Leica Q or even the hand grip?  Feel free to chime in and share your thoughts on either of them below :).  By the way, if any of you are thinking about buying the Leica Q or the hand grip, consider giving Bob at Bergen County Camera a call.  He’s been getting regular orders in and he should be able to get you the Q or the hand grip in very little time.  My uncle recently bought a Q and loves it!

4 comments… add one

  • Jed Orme

    Hello Patrick,

    I wasn’t paying too much attention to this handgrip for the Leica since I don’t have the camera, but then I noticed that it manages to do something that is just the opposite for a similar grip that I have for my Fuji X-E2. On my camera, the tripod mount is not centered with the lens, but using the handgrip by Fuji for it, it corrects this to align the thread in the grip with the lens. It looks like this Leica one does just the opposite! Kind of strange I would think. Just an observation but the grip itself appears to be great quality for an un-Leica like price. Cheers,

    Jed

    Jed

    • Patrick

      Hi Jed,

      It’s great to hear from you and that’s actually pretty funny lol. I didn’t even think of that :).

      Take care,

      Patrick

  • I’ve got a Q and this handgrip. Without the handgrip the camera is a bit too slippery for comfort. With it and it handles very nicely. However, there are two negative points about the grip – firstly it fits very closely to the strap lug on the right hand side of the camera. This makes it difficult to fit a small leather bumper around the lug to stop he split-ring on the wrist/shoulder strap from marking the camera (or the handgrip). I ended up making a new bumper out of thinner leather which seemed to do the trick. Secondly (and perhaps more significantly) there’s a very small amount of flex in the handgrip that’s a little disappointing for a Leica (and for the price). I think this is due to the fixing screw for the handgrip being rather far across the base of the camera, consequently allowing a bit of leverage. Well worth purchasing for the security it offers, but probably only 3/5 stars considering the price and these drawbacks.

    • Patrick

      Hi David,

      It’s great to hear from you. I appreciate your assessment of the Q’s handgrip, and it’s good info that I’m sure others will want to know. As for price, unfortunately, that’s Leica. The spare battery for my M 240 was almost $200! Ouch. Thanks for leaving a comment, and I hope to hear from you soon,

      Best regards,

      Patrick

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