Last year Fuji brought out a bit of an oddity, a body cap lens. The XM-FL is only available in Japan as at time of writing. In order to get hold of mine I had to resort to eBay and part with seventy-five quid and get it shipped halfway around the world. Two weeks after pressing the button it arrived; possibly the lightest lens-containing parcel I have ever received.Read More
Which would you sooner do: Go to the dentist or fit a screen protector on your iPhone or camera? I’ll take the hygienist any day.Read More
I've been waiting a long time for my press demonstrator Leica SL. I'm on the list, I'm on the list, I'm on the list. I could borrow a lens, of course, but those press bodies are elusive. Fortunately, I can steal a march on my own review with these excellent mini-videos produced by the Leica Akademie's guru Robin Sinha.Read More
Back in December I announced that I had followed the advice of many tech writers and transferred all my Evernote items into the much-improved and relatively simple Apple Notes. Evernote does much more than I really need in a notes application and I felt I was paying an annual premium unnecessarily. So I bid goodbye to Evernote and migrated all the notes to Apple Notes. This was premature and rather hasty.Read More
The Fuji X-T1 and the Leica D-Lux are not natural bedfellows. But Patrick Leong of FindingRange.com was so impressed with the new Leica compact that he decided to do some back-to-back ISO tests against his regular mount, the Fuji X-T1. He didn’t expect the D-Lux, with its four-thirds sensor, to outperform the APS-C Fuji, but he was nevertheless surprised how close it came.Read More
"The camera body is a Leica Standard. Viewfinder and rangefinder have been installed by another supplier. In the book “300 Leica Copies” I could find nothing similar. The 1:3.5/50mm Elmar lens, number 279689, was delivered to London on 25 March 1936."Read More
In simple terms there are two types of photographic accessory in the world—the useful and the decorative. In the latter category fall things like Hello Kitty flashguns and selfie sticks and any camera strap that proclaims the brand of your equipment in letters an inch high. In the former, there's a cornucopia of kit that professes to make our photographic life better—improve our image, so to speak.Read More
The UK premiere of the world-famous Magic Lantern Festival comes to the West London suburb of Chiswick for a whole month, spanning the New Year festivities. The Chinese promoters have chosen the 18th-century Chiswick House gardens as the stunning location for this massive display of traditional magic lantern art.Read More
So Apple has had another bumper quarter, making more profit than any other company in the history of the world. iPhone sales tickled 75 million, an all-time high. Yet analysts were disappointed and Wall Street gave Apple stock a drubbing. Much of this hysteria centres on Tim Cook’s conservative projection for iPhone sales in the coming quarter.Read More
Last week Apple announced a recall on "certain" two-pin charger adapters sold over the past ten years or so. Those bearing a serial number are suspect and I lost no time going through my drawers for suspect connectors.Read More
Our Australian contributor, John Shingleton, has dusted off some Parisien doggie delights for our eyes.
Dogs are as Parisien as the Eifel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. All Leica X1 photos and all 100% Paris. Guaranteed.
WOW!!! There's a LOT of EXCITEMENT in the Olympian camp at the moment!!! This is engendered by the imminent arrival of the new PEN-F. Now, as new babies go, this one is quite handsome. It's clearly been clobbered with the retro stick, resulting in design cues and controls that echo the OM SLRs of the past, the 35mm fixed lens film rangefinders such as the 35SP and even "Barnack" LTM Leicas with that mode dial on the front.Read More
January 1930 and I have just been asked by Leitz Optische Werke to review the latest version of their miniature marvel of technology, the Leica I Model A miniature camera. It is truly revolutionary. Because it uses 35mm cine film you can feed enough stock into a little steel cassette to allow up to 36 pictures without having to stop and reload. It’s also very advanced, with automatic features such as a knob that advances the film by exactly one frame at a time and cocks the shutter simultaneously.Read More
This morning I was called to Chiswick Camera Centre to lay hands on one of the very few X-Pro2 cameras in captivity. The kindly Fuji representative had deposited the demo device for a day of fiddling. And fiddle I did.Read More
Frith Street, Soho, 26 January 1926: On this day ninety years ago in this unassuming building at 22 Frith Street, London, television was first demonstrated to the world. I made a special journey there today to record the scene on the anniversary.Read More
For a dedicated X-phile like me the announcement last week of the long-awaited successor to the X-Pro1 was like Christmas all over again. The news that the 100-400mm will also ship shortly was equally welcome. I'll draw a kindly veil over the X70; I have already made it clear that it will not be gracing a camera bag of mine anytime soon.Read More
I'm a sucker for old camera literature, especially magazine advertisements, and I love to pore over the wonderful descriptions the manufacturers gave to period cameras. There's an excellent crop of informative eye-candy here on Leicaphilia and it is well worth a pore or two
My favourite compendium of Leica advertising lore Friedrich Rüttinger's slim volume of pre- and post-war advertising plates first published in 1986. It's now available (link below) in softback format from Amazon. Published by Wittig Books, it is in German and English.
The ads and descriptions in this little book are absolutely fascinating. For instance, in 1937 Wallace Heaton in London's New Bond Street was offering new Leica bodies from £18.5s.0d. And for £46.9s.6d you could have a top-of-the-range camera, presumably a III similar to my 1935 black-paint version but in the more expensive chrome, a "finest lens" lens (probably a 5cm Elmar), a case, filters and some film. £47 in 1937 represents approximately £3,000 in current buying power.
Also of more than passing interest are the immediate pre-war advertisements in German publications: In 1933, "with 13 Leicas on board, the Graf Zeppelin set off for the Artic." Prof. Samoilowitsch, the scientific leader of the exhibition, is pictured with his trusty Leica.
The following year an advertisement in Der Woche was advising readers to "bring your Summer home: Children playing on the beach, rock climbing, the joy of holidaying on land and water—all your unrepeatable Summer experiences are yours to keep. With the Leica."
Later, in 1940, we have a young man, wearing what looks suspiciously like an HJ uniform, flying his kite for Leica. But by 1943, with no cameras for consumers, a less optimistic note had set in: "Take care of your Leica. It is now irreplaceable". This theme of non-availability was continued until advertising petered out a couple of years before the end of the war.
Later, those hitherto irreplaceable cameras were going for a couple of packs of cigarettes and being carried off to the USA, UK or Russia. In cash-strapped post-war Britain new Leicas were virtually unavailable until the early 1950s. Even then a special import licence was required.
The book continues with Leica advertising in Germany, the UK and the USA during the later 1940s and early fifties.
You can buy the book here from Amazon UK (it is also available from Amazon.de):
When I reviewed the T back in 2014 I complained about the rubberised strap which I found uncomfortable and a bit wayward: Putting the camera and strap back into a Billingham was like trying to squeeze a child's toy springy snake into a small hole.Read More
Interesting treatise on Leica sensor design over at the BarnackBerek Blog. Editor Heinz Richter makes the point that just a short time ago it seemed that Leica had missed the changeover to digital photography. This has changed and, as he says, Leica is without question now one of the leading companies in the digital camera market.Read More