Left handed camera for stroke vicitm

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by james_burke|1, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. I'm researching cameras for a friend of mine that has very limited use of her right hand
    due to a stroke but still wants to pursue casual photography.

    Almost all cameras seem to be designed exclusive for right handed use and can be quite
    challenging for someone with only use of their left hand. Another factor is that her hands
    are on the small size so that pretty much rules out any of the larger digital cameras or

    The question is if anyone knows of any small film or digital cameras that would be easy to
    use with just a left hand. Thanks in advance!
  2. My son has paralysis in his right extremities because of cerebral palsey. He uses a small camera upside down, left-handed. Except for flash pictures that have the light source coming slightly from below, he seems to have no other problems. If you can find a camera that works easily one-handed, your friend could perhaps use the same technique.
  3. What about to consider making some grip for left hand holding with the cable or wire release attached to it? it could solve your problem, especially if you are good enough craftsman:))). I have also seen some "gun-like" (pistol-like) grip, to which the camera was attached using tripod mount - it seemed to be able to use it with either hand without any problems. The shutter release was attached to it in the same way as in the "original" gun use:))).

    These ideas will be probably unusable (and I am sorry for that), but I wrote it anyway hoping there is a small possibility it might help. Good luck finding what you need.
  4. Maybe a trial and error approach with various small p&s cameras, especially if they have a wrist strap or with a wrist strap attached to a tripod socket might work. Good luck.
  5. The Exacta is a VERY left handed camera, but it was pretty out of date in the 60s.
    I am currently suffering from tendonitas in my right thumb and was looking into this myself. I think if you could adapt a pistol grip like the old Nikon Pistol Grip II to digital camera it might work for left handed use.
  6. If you want to use a film, an older SLR mounted on a tripod and fitted with a cable release would work nicely. A pan-tilt head would be best, as it can be operated with one hand. And seek a tripod with a manual crank to raise or lower the head.

    The Contax 137MD Quartz would be ideal for this.

    First, it's a motor drive camera, so your friend only needs to learn to rewind and load the film using one hand.

    Second, it allows the use of a standard cable release that you can buy in a photo store for about $5.

    Third, these aren't too expensive, because they're older. I highly suggest buying a used one, which you should be able to find on eBay for $150 at the most. You might need to replace the light seals, which someone here can help with.

    Fourth, it takes a line of mostly superb Zeiss lenses.
  7. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    You will have to go a ways back but the excellent Exactas had a left hand release.

    I would also think a smaller Digital camera allowing it to be held in one hand reaching over the top to press the shutter while composing in the view finder would also work.

    A simular option in film would be a Canon ELPH Jr. it is an APS film camera that would be very very easy for a left hand only person to hold load and with the AF no need to try to hold the camera while focusing. Film is a little limited but Kodak has assured me they intend on making it for quite some time.

    I would strongly suggest if possible you take your friend to the largest camera shop you can find and see what fits her abilities.

    Good luck hope you are able to get her back shooting.
  8. A couple of folks have mentioned traditional Exaktas. As a user, I think some of the other ideas, e.g. small digicam, etc. probably have more promise. Exaktas are not light. Exaktas were also designed for the right hand to both bear most of the weight of the camera (at waist level), and to focus the lens. The left hand presses the shutter release, winds the film, and steadies the camera against the strength of the right hand. They're not really left-handed cameras. They're a camera with a unique and individualistic design, but they do depend on the right hand being the "stength hand."
  9. As one who learned on an Exakta, I agree that they are, at best,
    two-handed cameras. They seem to be more right-handed
    than left-handed to me, since the right hand is what does the
    hard work (focusing and supporting the weight) while the
    left hand only has the minor job of pushing the release.
    The incredibly long travel of the wind lever means that
    winding is usually a two-handed job, removing the camera
    from the eye. Of course, setting exposure is something
    that must be done in advance, with the camera away from the
    eye, and it's usually a two-handed job. The shutter speed
    dial isn't trivial to operate with one hand.
    An Olympus Stylus Epic, held upside-down, is fairly simple to use
    with only the left hand.
  10. Probably a digital p&s and use it as suggested upside-down. It sounds as if she would have difficulty loading and unloading film.

  11. I don't know if this webpage is current, but this may be helpful.
  12. Mm...what about a DSRL with a remote release? Canon (and I am sure others do too) has a cable release that could be held with the left hand. DSRLs are heavier though. Many digital P&S also come with a wireless remote. Something to consider...
  13. Yashica made a 1/2 frame 35 called the Samurai. One of it's models was made for lefthanders. I've seen one for sale on ebay but they are hard to come by. I think the model name ended with something like Zx or Z1.
  14. Keep in mind that practically ALL cameras, even though made for right-handed use, are really two handed cameras. With most cameras, it's awkward to hold it AND fire it AND operate all the functions with one hand. Not to say it can't be done, just I don't think you'll find an ideal solution for that reason.

    I've got a pistol grip that came from a bargain bin somewhere. Screws on to a tripod socket, has a spot for a cable release (which I don't have one to fit it). Something like that might help if it was on a auto-everything camera.

    Another problem I see is that you're looking for a camera for somebody else. Choice of camera varies tremendously. If there was some obvious 1-handed camera, it would help to know about it. Otherwise, there's not much of a way to second-guess your friend. For example, if the friend mostly uses a tripod, that opens up a lot of possibilities that otherwise wouldn't work too well. Do they need a built-in flash? Is your friend comfortable with digital? Those and a lot of other little questions would completely change the choices you come up with.
  15. An Exakta on a tripod can be a 100% left handed camera, because the support is done by the tripod. Unless your friend's only disability as a result of the stroke is her right hand, she might not benefit as much from many of these suggestions which assume she is otherwise completely fit for handheld photography.
  16. I'm a lefty with smallish hands, and there's nothing out there that's for lefties. But there's a few digital camera's out there that are very small, allowing you to easily reach the shutter with the left hand. I believe Pentax makes on that's square.

    Sony has a new camera called the "Cybershot M1" that's held like a remote control or one of those camera phones, using the thumb (of either hand) to activate the shutter.
  17. A Nikon N70 with a Mr-2 adapter attached to the ten pin mount. The ten pin mount is on the left side.

    I have used this combo when I need to have a shooting camera in each hand.
  18. As well as being a professional photographer I am a qualified Social Worker working in Disability Services (18 years now) and have assisted numerous people to take and make pictures.

    My suggestion is to start with a small digital camera that gives the quality you want, and which will certainly be much lighter than any SLR and much easier to use off a tripod. The exact camera will need to be selcted by trial and error in so far as the controls are concerned - and as mentioned above using a camera upsidedown may be a good solution.

    I can suggest buying a driving glove - nice leather, fingerless type - and sewing some Velcro onto the palm. Onto the camera - on a suitable surface depending on the way the camera is to be held - you stick (self-adhesive Velcro is available) the other half of the Velcro. This can give the user enough flexibility to be able to 'hold' the camera and move their fingers around to change controls (depending on the controls) and the leather will help 'grip' the camera too.

    If you can find a helpful camera shop spend a couple of hours there with your friend and I am certain you will find what you need. There are ways to make ANY camera usable, but it takes time and access to some craft skills and a familiarity with electronics and some of the special materials used to form grips for people with hand deformities.

    It is doable though!! AND WORTH THE EFFORT!


  19. Try these

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