Kiwi specialise in producing high quality photographic accessories such as lens and mount adapters, macro accessories and quick release systems. Their product line is constantly expanding to provide useful well engineered components that complement most camera manufacturer’s offerings, including Leica.
It is due to owning a Leica X1 that I first came across Kiwifotos, as I was looking for a method of attaching a polarising filter. As any owner of the X series cameras will know, the nature of the lens barrel design precludes the use of filter attachments, but it does have an un-screwable outer ring that protect the lens when not extended (and is the component that the lens cap attaches to).
I assumed that Leica would supply accessories that can be attached to the lens but as yet they have not, leaving the door open for independent manufacturers to step in and provide a solution. And it pleases me that they have done so as Leica accessories are unjustifiably expensive.
The Kiwifotos LA-49X1 (to give the tube its product number) is available as part of a larger filter accessory kit, a twin item kit that includes a lens hood, or as a single item. It is also available in black or silver, the latter matching the X2. The anodized finish gives it a high quality feel and matches the camera finishes very well. The threads are very well engineered and mate with those on the camera snugly, exhibiting no play or wobble. The thread diameter on the attachment end are 49mm, allowing the user to exploit a range of accessories at a lower cost than their larger counterparts.
I have only used a polarising filter with the tube and it works very well. I tend to favour the combination for removal of reflections and not to saturate colours as this can be controlled via exposure or in post processing. An additional use for the tube (assuming it is left on the camera) may be to deter dust from entering the telescoping lens assembly and finding its way to the sensor; I have read several reports of sensor dust on the X1/2 so leaving the tube on with a filter and lens cap attached may help prevent this.