There is an interesting slew of comments on Leica Rumors. In fact there is a real buzz all over the web about the new Sony’s as possible Leica replacement. Michael Johnston on the Onlinephotographer advertises them to the point where he omitted to post my slightly critical comment – interesting. To be fair I would be the last person to begrudge a fellow photographer of any source of income. God knows its hard enough to make a crust through this craft in Oz at the moment.
Anyway back to to the Leica Rumors post even Andreas H Kaufmann wades in with a very astute comment.
Mine was thus: Sony are aggressive, very innovative and four years on their cameras sell for $200. And like most of their other products are likely die prematurely. The one good thing is that they adopted Zeiss glass which IF they maintain the lens mount are likely to be held onto for more new Sony cameras, 8- 8R 9-9R… next year perhaps.
I basically like Sony products for all their good reasons. But apart from a twenty something year old clock radio they have all died prematurly this includes quite expensive televisions after four years, radios, one a top of the range world radio, tape decks – a top of the range 1970′s TC160 – a month or so after the warrenty expired – the repair cost half the cost of a new replacement Uck, recievers, a few walkmen of different flavours etc. So with this experience I am hardly likely to trust the tools of ones trade to Sony especially when I noticed that some of the first Alpha’s now sell for $200! Twenty five year old Leica M6′s in good nick still sell for $2000!
Some people are heavy on equipment, not I, I think. I still have a forty year old Yashica Mat and that works as well as the day it was purchased slightly used. A Pentax 6X7 still good and consumes half a dozen films a year to this day. A Canon Ftb that had hundreds of rolls through it. My only issue with Leica’s is people seem to steal them from me! But may be third time lucky I’m still going to buy an M240 sometime hopefully in the not too distant future….
I started to watch this Leica video recorded by B&H in New York almost a month ago but was interrupted and did not get back to it until now. Its quite long but nonetheless worth it… Enjoy This in some ways is very appropriate to mention this now as the Akademie is mentioned several times in the video and Leica has just set up an Australian Leica Akademie under the tutelage of none other than Nick Rains as the principle instructor.
I like cameras but I’m not an absolute GAS gear nut. I don’t go out of the way to collect kit mostly because all the older cameras I like or once used I can’t justify spending the cash on. However I have quite a few books on older cameras that I would never part with, that for me satisfies my curiosity about these mostly wonderful tools of our craft.
I really admire the people who collect and preserve these photographic tools and they should be respected for furthering what now is a craft that has become for the majority an obsolete passion.
Pity then, Alexander Komarov of the Ukraine has been charged with owning obsolete ‘spy cameras’ This in my book is about as unjust and as whacky as it gets. I don’t know Alexander from a bar of soap but he, like me and thousands of others is interested in the art and craft of photography and he collects cameras. The Ukraine has an archaic law that forbids the ownership of a camera that can or could be used as a ‘Spy camera’. One camera in particular that Alexander owns falls into that catagory. It is a Zenit 16 that is now sold by the good people from Lomo as an Ajax-12. And because of this he has fallen fowl of Ukrainian law. Alexander needs all the help he can get. Send him an email of support and check out these links read the story and act.
If you are not familiar with LFI and you are seriously interested in all things Leica you will be interested to learn that LFI is the most authoritative print based magazine devoted to the marque. Personally I have to say it is a well written beautifully produced magazine but I also have a conscience about shipping paper from onside of the planet to the other. In the same vein I attach quite a lot of guilt to operating a wet dark room in my photographic practise, I have yet to try the Eco developers once I use up the last of the Rodinal… ah! some day, some day. But I digress, I recently acquired an iPad for the sole purpose reading and alleviation of carbon guilt, to my great delight a few days later David Rojkowski has produced a new version of the LFI iPad app that is available from the iTunes App store. It is really a great reading experience on the current iPad, after only an hour with it I have given it 5 stars. At last I can buy the magazine when it is published. At last I can with a quick touch and a slide reference Leica news and articles and then return to the magazine without loosing the page. And finally there is a gallery to peruse when all I want to do is look at photographs and wonder… With LFI plus a few other magazines and apps its worth the price of an iPad and the carbon guilt is fading….
And now the urbane quite English but Chinese Digital Rev host Kai Man Wong. He takes us on a casual tour of the new M . He reminds me of Matthew Collings the English Art critic, Kai Wong has a playful mildly sarcastic way with his descriptions that is a cut above the average Utube infotainment. In the next Utube video he goes on to explain his feelings and love for his Leica its got soul…
This week Arthur Azoulay from the French site Focus-Numerique has interviewed Dr Andreas Kaufman who in seventies slang lets it all hang out.
I am undecided whether or not if Dr Kaufman is a bit miffed or flattered about Fuji X series ever expanding line up of cameras. But one thing for sure, is that he sees the future as mirrorless. Its a really good interview Despite the google speak, read twice the article makes a lot of sense except for the penultimate line. Oh google you do make me giggle!!!
The story of the Electric Coffee Company ( http://www.electriccoffee.co.uk ) in Ealing, London; its refurbishment, its re-opening, its coffee and the importance of community and the individuality of shops and cafes.
Shot entirely on the Leica M (Type 240) using a Leica 28mm Summicron ASPH, 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE and 50mm Noctilux ASPH, with some shots using a Leica OUFRO macro adapter. Ambient audio recorded on the internal microphone and interview recorded on a Roland R26 using a Rode lavalier microphone. Edited using FCP X. Partially colour graded in “Color” by Neil Patience ( http://www.patience.tv ). Final grading with FCP X and Film Convert. A Manfrotto 561BHDV video monopod was used for all shots apart from the interview, for which a Gitzo video tripod was used. I also used a Lee RF75 filter holder & hood, along with Lee ND filters.
Edmond very cleverly slips in monochrome stills at 1.40 min and a few sepia toned details of the coffee machine a really nice touch…
From the Beeb or BBC to none poms Jonathan Glancey is a journalist and broadcaster and he has just written a wonderful Leica article. for the Design Icons series. There is quite a good picture gallery to go with this story. There is also in interesting line about Pablo Picasso and Leica that surprized me… and the original intention Oskar Barnack had for his baby its not what one might think!
Two weeks ago Amateur Photographer at last tested the type 240 in their inimitable but critical style the type 240 was not fanboy praise. In reference to the Leica M9 the author managed to add six megapixels to the specification, I would imagine a lot of M9 owners would have been very surprized. So with such a fundamental error should I bother to take the test seriously. Hmm its hard to loose faith in something one has trusted for such a long time. I first started reading AP when I was about 11years old I think it was printed on newsprint then and certainly without colour, but colour film was almost an expensive novelty at that time too! But I digress. Richard Sibley the tester covers all aspects of the camera in some considerable depth and explains the not so obvious intricacies with good comparisons to the M9 and other historical Leica references. The resolution tests are some of the best I recall seeing in AP if I read them correctly and while its not mentioned seems to echo the DXO results. The frame lines and lack of come for the only harsh criticism yes I missed the frame line leaver as well… I don’t think the printed image samples in the magazine do credit for the cameras capabilities I have seen much better in AP from lesser cameras. It could be that their prepress people got it wrong in this instance.
Interestingly there is no scorecard percentile summery of the Type 240. He does make light comparisons with the Fuji XPro1 and the Sony RX1 but thats as far as it goes. The review as a whole is good and well illustrated, quite the best review I have read thus far. If you are interested in buying a Leica Type 240 it is certainly well worth a look. It can be read free online or at Zinio.com with a price of AUD$3.45 for the single issue or AUD$ 110.32 for a years subscription of 51 issues. If you happen to have a retina screen iPad, AP magazine is certainly worth the subscription, on the iPad the Zinio reader is excellent, on a Mac Book Air its a very average reading experience.
TIPA the Technical Image Press Association is a body that over the years has continually awarded gongs to Photographic manufacturers. Leica has long been a recipient of TIPA awards. On TIPA’s website there is a list. Its actually quite interesting to see the TIPA display at the bi-annual Photokina photography expo, where one can generally have a look and fondle of all the recipients products on the respective stands.
The one gap when Leica did not get a TIPA award was between 2002 and 2007 a five year gap when Leica was presumably developing the camera that took the award in 2008 the Leica M8. In the five year gap the camera that was actually the first digital rangefinder that took a TIPA award was the Epson RD1. This award was the ‘Prestige Camera Award’ and as it happens it is still the only other M mount digital to be ever made. The Epson was a remarkable achievement and at the time the excitement on the Photokina Epson stand was enormous. I was there for three days and getting a look and feel at the RD1 was a bit of a lotto. The Leica digital offering at he time was the Digilux 2 which Thorsten Overgaard was quite fond of. All the TIPA awards that Leica have ever been awarded have been the prestige camera award with the exception of the M8 in 2008 and the Tri-Elmar lens in 1998.
This years TIPA awards for the Leica are very different because for the first time Leica has taken the Professional Camera Award with the Leica Type 240. This is quite significant on several counts but what it really means is that Leica is now in the mainstream and from what I read and hear many professional photographers are seriously interested in Leica again. Its small, light, flexible with unquestionable quality lenses.
Leica M cameras have always been hamstrung by the fact that tele and macro work have been difficult but this is no longer the case. There have been a number of complaints about the type 240′s introductory short comings. To my mind the Type 240 is something of a rarity – universal tool. Lets not forget that both the M8 and M9 had a few introductory problems as well, but those have been overcome to the point where the M9 now has legend status. No doubt the type 240 will be the same when it is eventually replaced.