Leica to go to the Photography Show in 2015

Notably absent when I visited this year's Photography Show at the NEC, Leica has now decided to take space at next year's event. This is welcome news and will make a visit to Birmingham between 21 and 21 March essential for me. It is also good to hear that Ricoh will be taking part for the first time. 

This year's show in March attracted just over 30,000 visitors but next year there will be more space for exhibitors and even greater numbers of visitors. The event moves to the large Hall 5, which offers nearly 25,000m2 of space, a substantial increase of 10,000m2 on the 2014 event.

Diary date: The Photography Show 2015, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, from 21 to 24 March 2015

Leica T: 27-84mm zoom and 35mm Summicron at launch


Later this month the new Leica T APS-C system camera will launch together with two new autofocus T lenses. Both, accord to LeicaRumors will be made by Panasonic and will not feature an aperture ring.

The standard zoom will be a Vario-Elmar-T ASPH 18-56mm (27-84mm equivalent) with an aperture range of f/3.5-5.6. It will thus be slightly faster than the lens of the X Vario as well as being longer than the XV's 70mm. Much will depend on the quality of the lens. The XV's zoom will be a hard act to follow.

The fixed prime will be a 23mm (35mm equivalent) Summicron-T ASPH with an f/2 maximum aperture.

Assuming equivalent image quality, the Leica T will compete with both the existing X2 and X Vario, offering both the 35mm prime of the X2 and the zoom of the X Vario.

Rumours tell us that the Leica T will come in an aluminium unibody and will be designed by Audi, as with the Leica C and M Titanium. A black anodised finish will be announced later in the year together with additional T-system lenses.

Sony A7s: Unprecedented dynamic range from 12MP sensor


Sony is on a roll. No sooner do I notch up a thousand clicks on my A7r than a new and better beast arrives, this time a full-frame mirrorless camera with ISO performance up to a staggering 409,600 and offering an "unprecedented dynamic range". According to Sony, the new A7s will offer effortless handling, extreme highlights and rich, deep blacks in the same frame." And, as a slap in the face to the pixel panderers, these wonders will be achieved with a sensor with a mere 12 Megapixels to play with. Yes, one third of the density of the current A7r.This is a camera that can almost see in the dark; it will certainly be a dream for video work and it will set new benchmarks for the rest of the pack to follow. And just think of the saving in storage.

Read more here on the.me

Readly: The full review of the Spotify for magazines

Over at Macfilos/home I have just published an exhaustive review of Readly, the all-you-can-read magazine subscription service that brings a spot of Spotify to your reading. I've used Amateur Photographer to illustrate the test. In Readly you will find plenty of camera fodder from both sides of the Atlantic to keep you busy, all for £9.99 a month. Read the full review here.

Video lust at last as Chinon unveils Bellami HD

I am not much interested in creating videos and prefer still photography. That red button on my Leica M has never been pressed in anger. So I have paid very little attention to developments in the dedicated video camera world until I saw this, the Chinon Bellami HD1.

The styling is fantastic, just like an old mechanical film camera, and the device promises to take a wide range of old and new lenses with different mounts. It could be a case of style over substance but I would love to try one. Could the Chinon be the tipping point that takes me into the world of video?

All-you-can-read photo magazines for £9.99 a month

Over at MacFilos/home I have just reviewed Readly, a new all-you-can-read subscription service for magazines. I was pleased to see so many photographic stuff from both sides of the Atlantic and I think the £9.99 sub is worth it for these titles alone. With free access to over 400 magazines and back issues, Readly could be something of a bargain for readers. I like the Spotify all-you-can-eat approach and I am looking forward to testing Readly.

Within minutes of opening my account I had set up a pageful of favourites, including no fewer than six worthwhile photography monthlies. If I confirm the subscription after the two-week trial, Readly will cost me a reasonable £9.99 every month.

Within minutes of opening my account I had set up a pageful of favourites, including no fewer than six worthwhile photography monthlies. If I confirm the subscription after the two-week trial, Readly will cost me a reasonable £9.99 every month.

The unalloyed pleasure of using the Leica IIIg

Above is the camera I probably use more than any other camera I own, and I own a bunch of them. It’s a Leica IIIg 35mm film camera with a Leicavit trigger winder and an external viewfinder to allow the use of the 3.5cm Nikkor lens mounted on it (the native viewfinder only accommodates a 50mm perspective). It needs no batteries because it has no electronics. It is purely mechanical; not even a light meter to suggest proper exposure. Of course, being completely mechanical, it has no automation. You set shutter speed and f-stop, you wind and rewind the film by hand with a knurled knob. To focus you look through one window (the rangefinder) to gain focus and then move your eye to a second window (the viewfinder) to frame your shot.

I don't possess a IIIg but I do own its immediate predecessor, the IIIf (with the smaller viewfinder) and the screw-mount IIIg's contemporary, the Leica M3. Both are great cameras, from the rather quirky IIIc with its fiddly film loading procedure, to the M3 which is still a thoroughly usable film camera which can compete in results with the latest MPs and M7s, although at an entirely manual level.