Arte di Mano's new case design for the Leica Q
Following the world-wide announcement of the Leica Q on June 10 I was curious to know what Sejun Kim, who manufactures Arte di Mano cases in Korea, thought about the new camera and whether he had yet developed a case design. It seems he has been burning the midnight oil and already has a half-case ready for production.
Sejun is a keen photographer and Leica fan and incorporates his own experiences in the design of his cases. He is already enthusiastic about the Q, having used it for a few weeks: "I fell in love with the Q at first sight and I believe it is a superb camera that meets all my expectations. At the moment it looks like I'll be using this camera for a long time to come."
The new design follows closely the lines of familiar Arte di Mano cases for Leica Ms, including a small handgrip and the option of a larger Aventino grip system. Also optional will be a magnetic-fastening leather flap to reveal the battery/SD compartment so it isn't necessary to take off the case every time.
This flap arrangement is still at prototype stage and will go into production later. The more traditional flapless case is available and I suspect many buyers will still prefer this because it will add less to the height of the camera. Sejun, however, is aiming to make the difference in height as little as possible; he is aiming for no more than 1mm.
All this innovation comes amid major upheavals at the JnK Handworks factory in Seoul. SEO Kim has been masterminding a move to larger, more modern premises which are now fully operational and able to cope with the increasing demand for camera cases and other accessories. In my opinion Sejun's cases for Leica are simply the best available in the world. You can see more pictures of the renovation of the premises and the current interior. The text of Sejun's blog is in Korean but the pictures need no translation.
The new Q case, which is also available in other colours and varieties of leather, costs $360 (£230). Add the larger Aventino grip (see photograph) for $100 (£64), a rear cover for the screen at $80 (£51) or, when available, the flap for an expected $80 (£51). All Arte di Mano cases are made to order and the normal lead time is around three weeks. I've dealt directly with Sejun for some years. He always meets his deadlines and the packages arrive quickly by courier. I've never had the slightest quibble about the workmanship, nor about the quality which is excellent.