It’s not secret that I’m kind of a mountain bike nerd, and I have even been lucky enough to be a credentialed photographer at a couple of World Cup races here in the USA. It’s an intense assignment, that’s physically taxing and mentally tough because you typically only get one shot to try and capture the competitors during their race runs. That’s why this video about photographer Hoshi Yoshida’s efforts to cover the world cup with a film camera and a manual focus prime lens so fascinating.
Yoshida shoots with a Leica M6, which is one of the most popular film cameras in the Leica M series. All the camera functions (with the exception of the meter) are completely mechanical, so it doesn’t need battery power to work. The M7 that came after it had more modern features, but also wasn’t as reliable or “pure” in the eyes of many shooters.
The video is a little sappy, but I really like that he includes some of the screw up shots. For some reason, a screwed up film photo is always more interesting than a screwed up digital photo.
I still have no urge to bring my film cameras to a mountain bike race, but I’m glad some people still do. I love seeing David Burnett’s images from the Olympics that he shoots on a large format land camera.
It seems like we have seen quite a fewnew products from Leica lately, and the newest product in their lineup is a bit of a departure from the cameras we typically expect to carry the iconic red dot. The X-U is a waterproof, rugged compact camera with a fixed lens and an APS-C sensor.
The sensor is a 16.5-megapixel APS-C CMOS, which sits behind a fixed 23mm F/1.7 ASPH lens, that gives you the equivalent field of view of a 35mm lens on a full-frame camera. The camera body is natively waterproof, so it doesn’t need an extra housing or case to go up to 49-feet below the surface of the water.
The back of the camera is equipped with a 3-inch LCD screen that’s not touch-enabled because that’s a relatively useless feature when you’re underwater. The controls and menus have been tweaked in order to allow for more simple operation, including an Underwater Snapshot button that can be found easily when diving.
The body itself is coated with a non-slip coating to prevent it from falling to the bottom of the sea when you’re out shooting. In terms of video, it can shoot 1080p or 720p video up to 30 fps, which is fine, but we would have liked to see the option of 60 fps which can look a bit smoother in underwater situations.
The X-U is going to be available at the end of the month and it will bring a price tag of $2,950. That’s a lot, but high-end underwater photography does tend to be a pretty pricy endeavor. Still, you don’t have ports for things like mounting lights on the Leica’s body, so it obviously isn’t intended to replace a camera in a high-end waterproof housing. Still, we’re looking forward to giving it a try to see how it performs in the real world.
Leica stuff is expensive. Every camera they make is worth more than my car (in all fairness, I have a pretty terrible car), and their special-edition cameras can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Now, they have announced a series of special edition accessories branded with their 0.95 collection label. The items include a pen, a keychain, and a lighter, and they’re every bit as expensive as you’d think. And that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
The 0.95 label is a reference to Leica’s iconic Noctilux lens, which has a maximum aperture of F/0.95. It’s one of the fastest lenses you can buy and they’re doing a special edition of the lens as part of the 0.95 series. That lens costs roughly $14,000. That wouldn’t be news, though. What is making news, however, is the collection of pricy accessories that have been announced with it.
This is the $175 Leica keychain
The lighter, pens, and keychain are made in conjunction with S.T. Dupont. The lighter costs $840. The three pens range from $840 down to $540. The keychain costs $175. For most of us, that’s completely ridiculous. I have a Leica keychain already. It’s red and made of rubber and it was free. It’s great. And the idea of paying $175 for a different Leica keychain is insane.
This is my rubber Leica keychain that I got for free somewhere.
However, while Leica is getting in on this fancy accessory market, they’re most certainly not responsible for it. For instance, the lighter is a version of the S.T. Dupont Ligne 2. Do a little digging on the internet and you’ll find that even the cheapest version of that lighter already costs hundreds of dollars. And some of the special editions command literally tens of thousands of dollars. Same goes for the pens.
A $2,000 Ferrari watch
In the end, no purpose-driven, reasonable person is going to buy any of this stuff, but some people will buy them and that’s why they get made. It’s likely the same guy who is going to buy this $2,000 watch to go along with his Ferrari. It’s not that the Ferrari is a bad car because of the stupid stuff that goes along with it. It’s that the people who buy Ferraris often want this stuff.
This morning ONA released a new special edition of The Bowery bag made specifically to carry Leica M-system cameras as well as the Leica Q, T, X and SL cameras.
Like many of ONA's bags this one is made of handcrafted Italian leather and features antique brass accent. It also has a padded red interior and a single subtle red rivet—to pay homage to Leica’s signature design. The Bowery has five exterior pockets and an interior made of closed-cell foam designed to hold a Leica camera and one-two extra lenses.
This Leica-specific Bowery bag is being sold for $279 and can be purchased exclusively at Leica stores and through ONA’s website.
You’d likely be as impressed as I was when recently handed the new Leica SL. Overall this camera is quite a treat to shoot though it is not without its flaws and quirks. For one, the camera weighs more than 4.5 lbs with its 24-90mm lens attached.
The lens, which is more than half the weight of the camera, features a sturdy metal sheathing and ribbed rubber rings that are a pleasure to hold. The unusual focal range is delightfully versatile, functioning equally well for portraiture and landscapes. Sadly however, this zoom has variable f/stops (and not overly fast ones at that) ranging from f/2.8–4. With its flocked lens hood attached, the whole thing measures about 9 inches from the camera body when fully extended, so don’t expect to go un-noticed while walking around with one.
One of my favorite things about using the SL was the design of the camera body. The chassis is largely covered with a texturized leatherette that has the feel of canvas and its deep right-hand grip makes holding this beast a delight. The blocky and minimal design hearkens to Leica’s roots while feeling very contemporary at the same time.
In the past I’ve resisted using electronic viewfinders but Leica’s “EyeRes” EVF won me over after a couple of hours. The large 4.4 MP screen and 1.5 inch diameter eyepiece allow for an accurate and comfortable picture preview. You’ll find plenty of real estate for setting information and a small histogram although you can turn most of these off for a more “natural” shooting experience.
A square monochrome screen at the top of camera offers at-a-glance info about the camera settings: mode, f/stop, shutter speed, ISO, battery life, and shot count. The 3 inch touchscreen display on back of the body displays images with accurate brightness and color rendition that is easy to view even when in near-direct sunlight. Both the back screen and EVF can play back your images or operate in live view mode, switching handily via a sensor in the eyepiece when you hold it up to your face.
For Leica, the SL represents a foray into new territory as the configuration of its interface will attest. All of the 11 buttons on the body are unlabeled as most of them are user-configurable. Aside from the standard click-wheel and shutter-speed dial, you will find a small rubberized “joystick” that aids not only in quickly locking down your AF point but also in breezing through Leica’s truncated menu options. Four long plastic buttons flanking the rear screen are very much your sandbox to choose how you'd like to review and delete images or switch between menu options.
After offloading the images from the SL, I was impressed with their brightness and lack of chromatic aberration. The autofocus system delivered solid results with moving subjects and the out-of-the box sharpness and bokeh were both laudable. In the end, my only real qualm with the SL was with its playback zoom. While checking my focus during shooting I found that the camera was not able to fully resolve DNGs while zoomed. I was able to fix this easily however by switching to DNG + JPEG capture. Leica has since confirmed that a forthcoming firmware update will resolve the issue.
This special edition Leica is actually built to resist wear
Leica has more fancy cameras to announce this week in addition to their pre-worn 'Correspondent.' The Leica M-P Edition 'Safari' is a little less controversial and still very pretty.
The camera is a pretty standard M-P, but it has a hard-wearing, olive green enamel finish that helps protect it from the elements. That's actually sort of funny when you compare it to their other camera that comes pre-tarnished.
Leica actually has a long history of 'Safari' edition cameras, with that Olive green coloring going back several decades in the M-series.
The camera comes with the Summicron-M 35mm F/2 ASPH lens, which is nice and compact for a travel camera. As you might expect, there are even more stylish flourishes in the package, including a cowhide strap and wallet for holding memory cards.
As always, it's a limited Leica, so it will be very expensive, but we don't have to tell you that by now. If you were going to splurge for one, would you go green or get the classic black? I know which way I'd lean.
Deteriorating IR filters are causing problems for some Leica shooters
When Leica announced the M (version 240) they made a big switch to CMOS sensors. Now, however, they have started to see that some of their older CCD sensor cameras are experiencing an issue with corrosion on the IR filters. As a fix, Leica is offering affected users a sensor replacement at no cost.
The problem stems from a glass filter meant to cut down infrared light hitting the sensor. If you'll remember, Leica's first digital rangefinder, the M8, had a problem with oversensitivity to IR light, which sometimes required an additional filter to correct. Moving up to the M9 (as well as the other CCD cameras, including the M9-P, the M-E, and the black-and-white-only M Monochrom), the IR filter that sits over the sensor could actually degrade significantly if it becomes at all damaged.
The issue only affects CCD-sensor cameras, so if you have a Leica M or any of their cameras using a CMOS sensor, you shouldn't be affected. Also, users that have already paid for a sensor replacement that can be attributed to this issue will get a refund.
Ultimately, it's a bummer that the issue exists, but it seems like Lieca is doing everything they can to try and make it up to their users. When cameras cost so much, it's easy for them to come under criticism, so it's good to see that Leica is doing their best to make good with their users.
La Leica V-Lux 3 es una cámara compacta superzoom (también mencionada como cámara bridge o puente) de 24x con sensor CMOS de 12.1 MP. La cámaratiene un lente de 4,5 - 108mm F2.8-5.2 con estabilización de imagen, lo que equivale a 25-600mm en términos 35mm. La cámara también es capaz de capturar video 1080 p60 con sonido estéreo y disparos a 12 fps a resolución completa. A diferencia de los demás similares como la Panasonic DMC-FZ150, la Leica viene con Photoshop Elements y elementos para Premier.
La Leica V-Lux 3 se pondrá a la venta a partir de enero del año que viene (2012) con un precio recomendado de 690 libras (algo más de 800 euros). Para que os hagáis una idea, la Lumix FZ150 costaba hace unos meses, en el momento de su lanzamiento, 499 dólares, unos 375 euros.
Leica ha anunciado la M9-P, una variante de su cámara de 18 MP de fotograma completo (full frame) . La versión P tiene la pantallaLCD con una capa de cristal de zafiro previamente visto en la Leica M8.2, pero ahora con la mejora de revestimientos antirreflectantes para mejorar la visibilidad en condiciones de iluminación difíciles.
Con el fin de dar una apariencia sobria, la M9-P omite el tradicional logo rojo haciendo que el frente sea más discreto y sobrio. Solo tiene el logo de la marca en la parte superior al estilo clásico de las primeras épocas.
Sí ha habido una evolución positiva en 2009-2010 fue el surgimiento de cámaras relativamente compactas con sensores grandes ( es decir, APS-C, o las pequeñas tamaño de Cuatro Tercios). Durante mucho tiempo Sigma parecía ser la única empresa dispuesta a asumir el riesgo para mantener tales bestias en el mercado, empezando por la poco amigable DP1 (lanzada en marzo de 2008), que fue seguida por la - bastante mejorada DP2 a principios de 2009. Pero a continuación, Olympus lanzó su Micro Cuatro Tercios E-P1 de estilo retro, Panasonic respondió con la GF1, y en un sector que, que no se puede decir que este lleno de gente, por lo menos comienza a verse como un sector "floreciente", y mas con la reciente salida de Leica, la Leica X1.
La sola mención del nombre "Leica" causa a fotógrafos de ciertos corazones un amor especial, la única sobreviviente de la industria de las poderosas cámaras alemanas y es una de los pocas consideraras "marcas históricas". Es legendaria ya la reputación que la compañía tiene con una ingeniería de calidad pura y de lentes con una óptica soberbia - más de un aficionado ha aspirado a poseer una "verdadera " Leica con el pasar del tiempo - Lamentablemente, sin embargo, esta cualidad es (inevitablemente), acompañada por precios infartantes, osea que esas aspiraciones han quedado incumplidas por muchos años.
Con la idea en mente de tener una cámara mas asequible y para "promocionar" su nuevo modelo, la X1 promete con su inimitable diseño de Leica y su calidad dar acceso a más fotógrafos digitales que nunca antes. De ello se deduce en la tradición de la empresa con y se asimila con la prima de película de 35 mm, la Leica CM, que ofrece una lente fija de primera, el estilo de los controles-analógicos y una calidad de construcción excepcional. Por supuesto que la lente en una Leica es todo - el Elmarit 24mm 1:2.8 ASPH está compuesto por 8 elementos en 6 grupos, e incluye un elemento asférico para minimizar las aberraciones. Se asienta por delante de un sensor 12MP CMOSAPS-C (1,5 veces del original) dando un ángulo de visión equivalente a una lente de 35 mm de fotograma completo. La visualización es a través de una pantallaLCD en la parte posterior de "2,7 y 230.000 píxeles de - lamentablemente no hay incorporado visor óptico que tanto nos gustan en esta cámara.
La X1 ha sido claramente diseñada como un instrumento para tomar fotografías, pura y simple, de diseño tradicionalista al servicio del objetivo. La velocidad de obturación y el diafragma son controladas por placa superior, y todos los otros valores importantes de tiro son accesibles directamente desde los botones en la parte posterior. Este es un diseño que rechaza totalmente frivolidades en la búsqueda de la funcionalidad sin complicaciones, si lo que busca es un modo "acuario", películas de alta definición o la música de fondo para sus presentaciones de diapositivas, tendrá que buscar en otra parte.
Por supuesto, la X1 es todavía una Leica, por lo que no es de ninguna manera algo barato, lo que significa que va a tener que sacar unas fotos increíbles para al los compradores y tener en cuenta que la billetera va a sufrir un fuerte adelgazamiento.