A hands on with the M9-M
After the announcement from Leica in Germany the Ginza Tokyo pro store held a reception for the Japanese market. We got a hands on with the delightful M9-M…and what a camera it is.
Rumors flew, but one was right, the big one
So, unless you have been hiding under a rock or are in sensory deprivation detention you will not have failed to notice that there was quite a significant announcement from Solms yesterday. But what does it mean for photographers?
Last night I went to a party, a very special party
I was lucky enough to be invited to the Leica Ginza 新年会 party last night. For those of you who don’t read Japanese (i.e. most of the world) that says shinnenkai, which means new years party. And what a very interesting party it was too.
You got a Leica, now you need some glass
So, you have gone out and bought a Leica camera/M-mount type camera. Now you have to put some glass on it. And this is where things can get tricky. What a lot of people forget when asking me about buying a camera is that the lenses are often more expensive than the camera itself….but they don’t have to be. Read on…
The Leica that was not
Or the orphan Leica as it may be known. This camera is a Leica, and it is a truly great Leica too. But the funny thing is, it is not really a Leica in the truest sense. It is a Minolta if you really want to be pedantic about it, and camera geeks are nothing if not pedantic.
In your bag number 29, Alexandre from the France
Hey folks, how are we all on this fine day? I am doing great because I have another lovely bag for you all, this time from France. And in true French fashion we have setup that is stylish and well presented. So, lets let Alexandre take centre stage and tell us all about it:
My name is Alexandre Maller, I live in France, near Paris. I’m 32 and I shoot black and white with film (processed at home of course!) since 1991. Today, my main subjects are nude and portrait. I’m currently working on a nude project, “Chez elles” (“At Their Home” in English). That’s a B&W nude series, in which models pose in natural light at their home.
Photography is not my job, so I don’t have enough time for it! But I manage to shoot, process and scan one to three sessions in a month, so that’s OK for me.
About my gears… When I was 18, I fell in love with rangefinder cameras, which totally fit my approach of subject and light. I’ve been using them exclusively ever since.
My favourite films are Kodak Tri-X and Ilford Pan F. I often work indoor in available light, so I mainly use Tri-X at 800 ISO.
What’s in my Mekko bag?
* Leica M6
* Leica M3
* Summicron 35 mm f/2 asph.
* Summilux 50 mm f/1.4 asph.
* Apo-Summicron 90 mm f/2 asph.
* Sekonic L-308S light meter
* Hama Lens Pen
Thanks to Alexandre for sharing this lovely set up with us. It is cool to see two of my favourite cameras in the same bag. The lenses too……lovely.
Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Japancamerahunter.com. Send me a hi resolution image of the bag (please make sure it is horizontal) and its contents, with some details about yourself and what you shoot. Oh and don’t forget your contact details (twitter, flickr, tumbler et al).
Seeing as I have posted a couple of pictures of Leica lenses this week, I thought it might be nice for you all to see the video of how they are made. Yeah, it is a slick piece of promo material, but it is nice nonetheless. You can really see why the damn things cost so much bloody money, they are really made to exacting standards.
Right, hope you have a pleasant evening.
Yeah, lick the screen, you know you want to: I finally got it!
Hello again, how are you all? I am particularly fine today, as I now have MY camera! You see, I show you a lot of cameras on this blog, and most of them are not mine, they are for sale or belong to friends or people I meet. But this camera that I am showing you now is MINE! Yes, I finally managed to get my hands on the camera that I have been pining for since I smashed up my F3/T.
So, here it is….my new baby….
So, for all of you serious nerds out there, this is the Leica M6 0.72, and it is sporting the Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH lens in chrome. I am not going to write a huge synopsis on this camera, it has been done to death and there are loads of resources out there for that sort of thing. What I will say is that I managed to pick one up that had just been completely overhauled and is not running like a dream. The action is smooth, there is no flare in the viewfinder patch and the meter is spot on. I managed to burn through a roll of Neopan in about 45 minutes with this thing, it is that easy to use.
But it is not just easy to use, it is gorgeous too. I just love looking at the thing, and so do other people apparently…I have been stopped a couple of times on the street already.
But, when something looks this bloody pretty,can you really blame them? Added to fact that I am holding it, and then you have double trouble!
I am lucky to be in the position that I can have the camera that I want and change it as I see fit. This will be going to the custom shop soon for an M3 film advance and an incognito top plate, and then I will be so happy I could die.
If you are interested in getting one of these then drop me a line, I specialize in finding these cameras and would be happy to make your dreams come true.
Monday blues? This could be your cure, a bit or lensporn . Ooooh lookee lookee, something lovely for all of you lovely people…
I have decided that as a cure for Monday blues I am going to try and put up some gearporn or general camera geekery every Monday to cheer you up and help you look forward to the next time you go shooting. So here is it, the 1st Monday porn posting.
And what a start we are off to, three absolutely outstanding lenses. I managed to pick these up this weekend from the charming and very talented Mr Patrick Tsai of My Little Dead Dick fame. Patrick decided he needed to sell the lenses and I was more than happy to take them off his hands. I don’t know, maybe it is just me, but I like knowing that the gear I have bought has taken some amazing shots in the past.
So, first up to bat we have the absolutely outstanding Leica Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH E39
Words cannot describe how sharp this lens is, it is ‘radiant’ in its sharpness. This really is a legendary lens and something that I am really excited to finally own. 35mm is pretty much the ideal focal length for me and this lens is as close to the perfect lens as you are going to get. It will fit on all of the Leica cameras since the M3, although you will need an external viewfinder as the M3 doesn’t have the framelines.
Now for the geekery stuff…This lens has 7 elements placed in 5 groups, an 8 blade diaphragm with half clicks from 2.8 up through f16. It fits a 39mm filter and has been the standard for Leica since the 50′s.
I could go on and on, but you can go and read Ken ‘bloody’ Rockwell for the rest.
I scored the silver chrome version, which I think is the prettiest of all of them, although it is actually heavier than the black because of the materials used in the manufacture. Personally, I like the feel of the weight and it balances on the camera nicely.
All of the lenses that I am putting up today are on a black Konica Hexar RF, which is an outstanding camera in its own right, but I shall have to put them on a Leica as soon as I get one.
Next up, possibly the greatest lens of all time….The one…the only…Leica Summicron 50mm f2 E39
Wow, just wow. This is a stunning lens and considered to be the GREATEST 50mm lens of all time! Though I am sure that some Summilux owners would have an issue with me saying that.
his particular one is the silver chrome version from pre-1994, with 6 elements in 4 groups with magenta coating. Again it come with the 39mm filter size. This is the oldest lens design that exists in the Leica armoury so they have had plenty of time to perfect it. If you want to know more give that Rockwell fella a lookup, he does it best.
I cannot wait to to go out shooting with this thing, really excited.
And last, but by no means least…The stunningly pretty Zeiss Biogon 28mm f2.8
This is a pretty enigmatic lens and the name Carl Zeiss is a true photography icon. The basis for this lens is from far back in the photographic mists of time. And they really have done a fine job of making a tack sharp and high quality lens. This particular lens is made by Cosina in Japan, who now manufacture all of the Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses. Compared to the Leica lenses, the quality of the Zeiss is clearly not as good. It is lighter and feels less solid, but the optical quality is almost comparable to most people.
I have not shot with this lens and will be selling it, as I have no real need for a 28mm and I want to keep my Leica pure Leica, but whoever gets this lens will be really happy of that I am sure.
Here is one more just to keep you all happy.
So, there you go. A bit of geekery, perhaps some new information, something to take up 10 minutes of your day and helped you dodge some work. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, drop me a line, I am always happy to hear from you all.