The Leica Q, unlike the X series models, is entirely assembled at the Wetzlar factory by German workers. It is thus a first for Leica in the compact market. Confirmation came in an interview with designer Vincent Laine and Peter Kruschewski, head of the Compact Cameras division, in an article published in DigitalVersus on July 18.∞ Permalink
MacFilos has been neglected over the past week because I have been running up and down the Swiss Alps, Leica Q in hand, enjoying the superb alpine food and sampling some of the highest railway lines in the world.∞ Permalink
Today I join a group of railway enthusiasts for an excursion to the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. The family can stay at home, this is real anorak stuff we're discussing here, not for the faint hearted. We wend our way from London to Paris by train, then via Strasbourg to Bern and on to the alpine village of Wengen, nestling under the watchful gaze of the Jungfrau and the daunting north face of the Eiger. We will be spending our time visiting mountain railways and sailing the twin lakes of Thun and Brienz, with a special rail trip to the lofty Jungfraujoch, the Top of Europe at 3,571m above sea level.∞ Permalink
This is possibly the quickest review I have ever written, but I wanted to get the word out about the Fujinon 90mm f/2 R LM WR (the Fuji XF 90 to its friends). This is the lens that I have been waiting for. Save your pennies. Break the piggybank. Max that card. Pawn your granny. Get one. Now.∞ Permalink
The English, by common assent, are mad. Or, perhaps, we should say eccentric. Noël Coward was in no doubt and nor should be any right-minded individual exposed to the English at play. Especially when the mid-day sun shines.∞ Permalink
Interesting outline of the Leica story at Shutterbug.com:
Ninety years ago, at the 1925 Leipzig Spring Fair in Germany, a camera was launched that was destined to change the face of photography. This was a time when it was still common for glass plates to be used in cameras, and those that took roll film were thought of as miniatures. So imagine the culture shock when a still photography camera was produced to take 35mm movie film.
Ben Evans has created a great analogy when he compares the modern spreadsheet to workstations, or cells, in an enormous 1960s office block.
In effect, every person on that floor is a cell in a spreadsheet. The floor is a worksheet and the building is an Excel file, with thousands of cells each containing a single person. CC Baxter [in the 1960 classic, The Apartment] is on the 19th floor, section W, desk 861. The links between cells are made up of a typewriter, carbon copies ('CC') and an internal mail system, and it takes days to refresh whenever someone on the top floor presses F9.∞ Permalink
Words of wisdom from Ming:
It is worth remembering that an image reflects the photographer as much as it is about the subject. Think of these images from a social commentary standpoint: what does it say that what the masses consider ‘good’ street photography involves: aggressive invasions of personal space, fascination with the homeless and disadvantaged, capturing people in unflattering poses at non-representative instants (often wrongly interpreted as ‘the decisive moment’) and generally sloppy shot discipline (tilts, focus misses, unintentional motion blur, clipped exposures, etc.). There is also an obsession with black and white only; not just that, but black and white with only two tonal values: black, and white. And don’t get me started on those images that have no obvious subject other than a road. All I can add to this is one should really look at the work of those handing out the evaluations: it’s not easy to put forth an objective criticism of something without allowing personal biases to enter.
Fuji's new X-T10, a cross between the X-E2 and X-T1, has made a welcome arrived for review. I am a great fan of the X-T1 and Fuji X-series cameras in general. Last October I wrote about the X-T1 as an alternative camera to the popular X100T for street photography. I argued that, when combined with the tiny 27mm (41mm effective) pancake lens, it could equal the fixed-lens 100T in performance without too much weight or size penalty. And it also offered the versatility of a system mount.∞ Permalink
One of the photographic blogs I follow with interest is The Photofundamentalist by Tom Stanworth. Tom leads an interesting life in some rather dangerous locations and he always has a camera in his pocket. He has just analysed the attraction of the Leica M system and I think he has it spot on.
.....advancements in technology that have given rise to cameras like the Sony A7R, A7R II, Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and others in recent times. Amazing technical performance is becoming less and less expensive, with cameras like the Ricoh GR showing how much performance can be delivered in a compact $600 package. So, why is it that the Leica M retains such a following and why am I bothering to write this?
One of the consequences of capital controls has been the inability of Greek Apple users to use their credit cards to pay for monthly storage space. Nor are they able to buy apps or any other services from Apple. Recognising the difficulty, Apple has now written to Greek subscribers to tell them that their storage plans have been extended by 30 days at no additional cost.∞ Permalink
A minor firmware update for the M240 is now on the Leica site for download and installation. According to the accompanying notes, the improvements are fairly minimal but, as always, it is worth keeping up to date. The bug fixes are important.∞ Permalink
While rummaging through Daniel Neal's scans of Leica Photography I came across this advertisement for the all-new Leica M3 in the 1955 Spring edition--coincidentally exactly 60 years ago.∞ Permalink
Daniel Neal acquired a monster collection of Leica Photography magazines and felt that he would like to share his new-found record of Leica history.∞ Permalink
Over time I download and install many helpful utilities to my Mac. Some I completely forget about them and fall into the trap of believing that their behind-the-scenes benevolence is actually something built in to OS X.∞ Permalink
Reviewing the Leica Q last month I was fascinated by the built-in triple focal lengths. Despite relying on nothing more than in-camera crops, the ability to change focal lengths is particularly interesting because of the method Leica has used to make it easy to use. The frame lines, which mimic the traditional M rangefinder, make a wonderful toy. After chatting to a number of new Q owners, however, I've had mixed views. Some say they will never use the camera crop function because they can achieve the same results in post processing. Others think it is a good idea and helps with composition and visualisation of the subject. I think it is a good idea.∞ Permalink
Tech analyst and commentator Ben Bajarin has had his Apple Watch strapped to his wrist since April, well before the public launch of the device. Since then it has become an integral part of his life. But could he live without it. The answer is clear:∞ Permalink
Following my purchase of the classic MATE (the later 46mm-thread version) from David Stephens of the Leica Store Manchester at the Photographica camera fair in May, I quickly decided that the lack of six-bit coding was a major handicap. To be certain of best results it was necessary to enter the menu and change the lens focal length before switching from 28 to 35 or 50mm. I'm so used to dealing with modern six-bit lenses that this was all too much. Something had to be done.∞ Permalink