The Weston meter was once an essential resident in any photographer's bag. Even when built-in light meters became popular, serious photographers and most professionals preferred the accuracy of a pro hand-held meter such as the Weston. I remember the pro photographers I worked with when I was a journalist in the sixties and the Weston meter was always on hand.Read More
I have been trying out two of the most attractive Yin Yang colour schemes, red/black and blue/grey. The former is perfect for the latest M, the type-240. Barton's red leather perfectly complements the Leica logo and the discreet raised red dot on all modern Leica lenses.Read More
Propped up in bed with my iPad this morning, I was impressed by Eric Kim's very plausible case for taking a photograph every day. He is surely right that the routine of always having a camera in the bag and remembering to take one photograph every day is the key to improvement. Strangely, after being inspired before breakfast, I went out for the day and managed NOT to take a photograph today.Read More
I remind myself constantly to spend more time with my cameras early morning and late evening, particularly at the so-called golden hour. Time after time, despite my sage self advice, I find myself on the way out to a restaurant or an evening meeting without camera. Recently, we have had some wonderful sunsets in West London. Sure, it isn't Santorini or Mykonos, but there have been some incredible skies and tranquil landscapes to be seen along the River Thames as the day's activities come to an end.
Friday night was one such occasion. The lighting was perfect, the skies golden and the river an unusually tranquil and reflective surface. The myriad cranes on building sites, always an annoyance, almost looked as though they ought to be there. So I reached for my Leica M. Only it wasn't there. Instead, out came the iPhone 5S that is always in my trouser pocket. It proves indeed that the best camera is the one that fits in your pocket.
In the past couple of years I've become addicted to photo fairs. I will travel miles for a good old rummage among the old cameras, accessories and books. There is usually something of interest although it is often a needle and haystack job. Still, that's all part of the fun, the possibility that you could unearth a little gem that you have long wanted—or, even, a gem you didn't know you wanted until you saw it.
Back in May I was at the large London fair organised by the Photographic Collectors' Club and wrote about it here; today I was out at the crack of dawn to travel to Sidcup in Kent for the small and South London Camera Fair. Organiser George Kozobolis (yes, originally from Greece) is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, a good photographer in his own right. You can even buy a bottle of virgin olive oil straight from his brother's olive groves. Now that is definitely something you wouldn't have expected. These fairs are an eclectic mix of old and modern and I have become used to seeing the same dealers' faces as they do the rounds of the local events.
I was an early bird visitor at 8.30 am—we all know what they say about catching worms. I admired several nice Leica Ms and lenses at a regular exhibitor, Camtech, which is a familiar name in the advertisement section of Amateur Photographer, but didn't feel in a buying mood.
In the end I didn't come away empty handed. I spied a really clean and apparently fully working Voigtländer Vitomatic II at Webster's Cameras and pocketed it for £30. Probably this was a bit over the odds but it is in excellent condition for a 56-year-old compact. And I was feeling in an expansive mood since I hadn't found anything else I desired. I am feeling quite pleased because this camera, in its day, was an excellent choice. With its fixed Color-Skopar 50mm f/2.8 lens but relatively slow (1/300s minimum) Prontor-SLK shutter, it is an extremely smart and usable little film camera even today. Not only does it have a coupled light meter (which appears still to be accurate despite the ancient selenium cell), it is a full rangefinder with a super large viewfinder and bright framelines. Any Leica owner will be immediately at home.
The design has its quirks, with a drop-down flap, similar to a modern battery compartment cover, which must be released before swinging back the loading door, and a flush rewind knob which has to be freed by a rather unobtrusive lever. The film counter window is on the bottom, exactly where you wouldn't expect to find it. Still, sans instructions, I did manage to load a roll of Ilford HP4 and I was out taking pictures in no time.
This is a camera I could get used to using and it will complement my Leica M3, IIIf and MP for when I am in a film mood. It is worth £30 just to be able to sit and look at it.
Future South London Camera Fairs take place on September 7, November 9 and December 7 at Kemnal Technical College, Sevenoaks Way, Sidcup, DA14 5AA.
All photographs taken with Leica M and 50mm Summilux ASPH except the Voigtländer shot which comes from a Leica C.
Visitors to Red Dot Cameras, one of the three main independent Leica dealers in London, would do well to stroll a little north with their Leica and experience the tranquility of Bunhill Fields. The ancient burial ground, which was opened in 1665, closed for business as long ago as 1854 after having accommodated 123,000 permanent residents. The name is thought to be a corruption of Bone-hill. The current Bunhill Fields is only a fraction of the original site which had been a cemetery for hundreds of years. There was once a nearby Quaker burial ground which is now a public garden, Quaker Gardens. .
The burial ground has strong links to the nonconformist movement and is immediately opposite the Wesley Chapel and the house of John Wesley. Among the residents burial ground are the authors John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe, and the poet William Blake who wrote the words of the well-known hymn, Jerusalem.
Right across City Road from Bunhill Fields, hard by today's technology hub of Silicon Roundabout, is the tranquil courtyard of the Wesley's Chapel, built in 1778 by John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement. In the crypt is the Museum of Methodism and next door is John Wesley's house.
All photographs taken with Leica M and 35mm Summicron ASPH.
London's tech hub, Silicon Roundabout at Old Street, gets another facelift. Leica M and 35mm Summicron ASPH.
Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,Read More
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes
Many of us have been experimenting with using Leica M or R lenses on Sony's ground-breaking full-frame A7 and A7r. It's the first chance we've had to try our glass on a full-frame mirrorless camera other than the Leica M.Read More
This morning at 8.30 I was at the Museum of London to witness the unveiling of the permanent Olympic Cauldron exhibition. Designed by Haterwick Studios, the Cauldron creates a stunning impression and the display is a sure-fire winner for the museum.Read More
Bellamy Hunt of Japan Camera Hunter gives us the sad news that several models from Japanese manufacturers will no longer be supported.Read More
Over at Macfilos/tech this morning I was talking about handwriting, great pens and Moleskine notebooks. George James of George James Photography sent me this evocative shot by Istvan Penzes on the Flickriver site. Lots of lovely pens to view there. Here are three of my favourite tools in one picture: A Montblanc classic fountain pen, Moleskine notebook and the iconic Leica MP. All that's missing is a roll of film and the traditional photographer would be in business.
While out with photo-journalist Don Morley last week I learned something interesting about power management on the M8, M9 and Monochrome. Don, who carries around two M9s and has also had extensive experience with the M8, reckons that leaving the camera switched on is the way to better power management, longer battery life and, along the way, makes the cameras quicker to use when needed.Read More
There is great interest in using third-party lenses on some modern digitals, particularly mirrorless offerings from the likes of Sony and Fuji. Leica M lenses are probably the iconic choice but there are endless permutations of lenses and cameras. All this is possible by using lens adapters to convert mounts to work with other manufacturers' lenses.Read More
Since my outing with photo-journalist Don Morley last week I have been doing a lot of thinking about the Leica X Vario. Sometimes I imagine I am the only person thinking deeply about it, judging by the many ill-informed comments we read in various blogs. The chance to compare XV and the Fuji X-E2 was a lesson.Read More
The first image that always springs to mind is Nick Ut's Vietnam picture of the running child. But a close second is Yevgeny Khaldei's composition of the raising of the red flag over the defeated Reichstag in May 1945.Read More
Don Morley asked what I really thought of the Leica X Vario. We were chatting about by email/ He had read my review of the XV earlier in the year and had been thinking of buying one. So we concocted a test session and decided to add a a direct competitor and an odd-ball outsideer combination of the world's only consumer black-and-white camera with Leica's equally odd-ball Tri-Elmar pseudo zoom.Read More
自从我来自华盛顿DC的朋友Ralf Meier入手了一台新的索尼 RX 10，他就近乎疯狂的开始了他的“扫街”。最近，他带着这台有1英寸传感器超大变焦镜头的相机去了中国，这些照片就是上海街头的记录。所有照片都经过Ralf的许可而进行了再处理。
Ever since he got his hands on a new Sony RX10, my friend Ralf Meier in Washington DC has been brushing up his street-tog creed. He recently took the super zoom, with its 1in sensor, to China and these shots are a record of street life in Shanghai.Read More