Leica cameras and the Leica pictuers!
Updated: 5 days ago
I love cameras, all cameras, and Leica cameras are among those more favorable. However, I love cameras, not more than I love photography and the process of undertaking it.
My first Leica is M6 back in 1991 when I can finally afford it, and I never stop using Leica since. I use several different cameras since I started photography as a teenager; the Leica camera was added instead of replacing others, as it is today.
Leica had made excellent cameras true to the brand's DNA with mechanical heritage and character that fascinated me when I was a boy, a young man, and an industrial designer. It's a friend.
Do I agree that the Leica camera is capable of producing excellent images? Always. Are they the best? It is the photography question, not about the camera.
This blog is dedicating to images shot with various Leica cameras and lenses, including lenses specifically design for Leica, of the past and the most current ones, in random order.
2020 at a glance : Leica Photografie International "LFI" - not a bad year to have my images selected by LFI in 130 occasions in varies genres of photography.
The Leica M10-D - carries over from my Leica M10-D Journal
Leica M10-D is my most frequently use Leica camera in 2020, and the lens is the Summilux-M 50/1.4 ASPH. I started the shoot in 2021 with the exact combination!
Fai, shot with the Leica M10 Monochrom Leitz Wetzlar Edition
And I need to keep my collection going - "Behind and in front of my camera" features mostly, not surprisingly, Leica cameras!
Por, shot with Leica M10-D and converted in monochrome.
Some pictures from the new personal blog about Phone Booth with my Leica M10 Monochrom
My Leica M system cameras and the challenges
Leica made several attempts to keep the M system camera to meet the challenges and the reflex camera system's capability without resounding success until the arrival of electronic live-view of CMOS-based cameras that united the mirrorless and reflex system.
My new Leica M10 Monochrom attached with Visoflex 020 and one of my favorites close-up lenses, Nikkor PC 85/2.8D, will join my new project "Cycle of Life" something I have always wanted to shoot with Leica M cameras.
Thanks to digital development, the M system is somewhat liberated and became a more flexible choice as the brand has envisioned and wish it to be. Leica appeared well-acknowledged in the technology and where the market is moving to, evidently introducing the T/SL system and the Q cameras. Time to bring the EVF to the M camera.
"If there were no beginnings and if there were no endings, we would have the absence of inertia and the presence of stagnation."
~ Craig D. Lounsbrough
The Leica M10-D is certainly not the most effective camera for making shots for my "Cycle of Life" project, it is slow, it requires more nerve for each of the moment, it requires me to hold my breath even the camera is on a tripod. It is like meditation!
What I would say, without reservation, is that, as of January 2021, the Leica FOTOS remains the worst product the Leica offers currently!
January 21, 2021 - the introduction of Leica M10-P 'Reporter'
Finished in a scratch-resistant "NATO Green" paint and Kevlar camera trim, the edition M10-P looks more like a military camera than what Leica names it "reporter"!
Ironically, the M10-P 'Reporter' officially released one day after the US presidential inauguration day, which drew a hectic social media suppression, biased if not distorted coverage, and a disputed election resulting in no justice. Where is the real reporter?
Perhaps the term of reporter requires a new definition, maybe so for the so-called reporter camera! Leica released the M10-P 'Reporter' as a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, for the memory of Leica 250 of 1933. MP of 1956, M3 with the Leicavit rapid winder, following the suggestion of iconic photographers such as Alfred Eisenstaedt and David Douglas Duncan. Indeed, the M10-P camera today is far beyond the dreams of the reporters' generations earlier. Today's reporter may have other ideas.
The Edition 'Reporter' camera is without a doubt beautiful and capable by its mean. A limited run of 450 is not an ambitious goal. But the external finish is just an exterior finish, making the a-la-carte program very much missed.
January 28, 2021 - the retune of Noctilux-M 50/1.2 ASPH
Leica did the best Leica do best - to remind us of yesterday!
The most recent feat - the reintroduction of the much-sought-after original Noctilux-M 50/1.2 Aspherical in a modern presentation.
Those who argue that the modern cameras can capture such high-quality image in near darkness makes less need of fast prime such as this Noctilux-M 50/1.2 ASPH that costs $7,695 for black edition and a special edition silver limited to 100 lenses for $16,395 apiece; they are not speaking the same language! The lens has sold out before the release!
It is not for discussing how good the lens is and its CP value; it is about the premium of prestige ownership and rarity. Or maybe for people to buy and sell that expect the lens to appreciate over time and profit will come, they are sometimes right and sometimes wrong. This is a big world, and someone needs to do something to service for those who do not care about price. Most photographers should care about photography.
I would not imagine a company like Leica will produce a poor lens; certainly no this one. Will it be an optical performance breakthrough? Will that matter to the final artwork? It is about doing something with something you genuinely love. Many photographers love to shoot with the camera they love; for example, Leica, such experience weighs more than producing a fantastic print. Love what you do is what mattered!
Leica Perspective Control
The Leica Perspective Control function automatically corrects receding lines and is available for the M10-P, M10-R, and M10 M series cameras through a firmware update on January 28, 2021.
While I have no intention to use the Leica for serious architecture shoots or want to, I will use some proper technical lenses such as my Schneider PC-TS Super-Angulon 28 or 50 or those from Nikon and Canon with mount-adapters.
However, the automatic correction could be interested in street portraits, although it won't show from the focusing window unless using the EVF, making the shooting painfully slow and less spontaneous. Technically one can have the camera away from the eyes and using the correction frame on the rear display. Still, I hate shooting that way, particularly for portraits, as the camera becomes a third object in the process, but each photographer finds his way; it is just not my subjective preference.
With the M10 Monochrom set to CAPTURE ASSISTANTS - Perspective Control - On - to shoot DNG + JPEG, the result is quite evident here on the screen. (Corrected JPEG on the left vs. Native DNG on the right) The Gyro inside the camera automatically detects the camera's angle, sends the information to the processor, and embeds correction data on the DNG while recording the JPEG as corrected. Capture One Pro 21 has not yet read the embedded correction data on DNG like Lightroom, which Leica recommended, but this is just a function inspection that I will stay with my Capture One Pro 21 and not bother with Lightroom.
But I have to say; initially, I thought this is perhaps not a very useful feature. I now believe it may be quite interesting for an environmental portrait on the go when there is no time to use proper PC lenses or computer correction.
February 14, 2021
The romantic photographer!
It is more than three decades since Fujifilm introduced FUJIX DS-1P in 1988, the first practical digital camera capable of saving data to a semiconductor memory card. Today, any digital camera is beyond the wildest dreams of photographers back then. The discussions and debates of whether digital can surpass chemical-based photography also shifted from technical talks to a more philosophical basis.
Photographers often have the romance as if the technology is evolving around their desire of quality and curiosity while in reality not. Not always, anyway.
It was the human endeavor to discover the unknown, breaking the boundary of common knowledge, as the case for the invention of the MOSFET (MOS -Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor) by the Bell Labs in 1959. The scientists worked tirelessly to enable the 1977 Voyager Program (Voyager 1 and Voyager 2) to carry digital cameras on the spacecraft to capture data and store it on a digital tape and then playback during transmission periods. The spacecraft went on sending back valuable images through its mission to the edge of the planetary system, including the first and still only family portrait of planets in our home solar system, including the famous "Pale Blue Dot" - on Valentine Day, February 14, 1990, by NASA's Voyager 1. The image of "Pale Blue Dot" - Earth seen from 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) away, romantically planned ten years ahead in 1981 by Carl Sagan, a member of the Voyager Imaging Team, envisioned to have the spacecraft turn around to take one last look at home before shut off the on-board camera to preserve power for more critical instruments.
Both Voyagers kept flying long after February 1990. In August 2012, the Voyager 1 became the first spacecraft to enter interstellar space, followed by Voyager 2 in December 2018, moving at the velocity of 38,026.77 mph (Voyager 1) and 34,390.98 mph (Voyager 2).
Now, digital cameras, including those on Smartphones, are used to capture anything, with no regard to the prestigious heritage. They don't have to. The camera somehow becomes something for identifying the photographer, either through the image it is producing or by the camera's look, as an accessory or fashion statement - for example, the Hasselblad 907X + CFVII 50C and Leica M Edition 60.
The Hasselblad 907X + CFVII 50C and Leica M Editon 60 share many things in common but in the opposite direction. Both camera presented in the form of their past in a modern appearance. Hasselblad 907X has only the articulated rear display but no viewfinder and Leica M Edition 60 has the viewfinder but no display. Both are awful cameras by ordinary judgments for lacking vertical grip, or grip of any kind, no ergonomic to speak about, slow to autofocus or none thereof, no IBIS, and priced wrong.
Ordinary judgments are not wrong; they are just ordinary.
February 15 The Bangkok Railway Station
The M10 Monochrom will not manage blown exposure in anyway meaningful, something needs to be extremely careful!
February 27 Snow Moon
The 2nd full moon in 2021 is also known as the Snow Moon, due to typically heavy snow in February, indicating such term did not come from tropical countries.
It is also celebrated by the Chinese as the "Spring Lantern Festival" - on the 15th day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese calendar. It is considered the final day of the traditional Chinese Spring Festival, such tradition traced back to Emperor Ming (28-75 AD) of the Han Dynasty, close to two millennia ago.
The Leica M10 Monochrom with its monochrome sensor theoretically can reproduce an image with cleaner and higher resolution than cameras with a Bayer RGB sensor of the same pixel pitch, for free of color and pattern noise.
Not in the case of the Moon shot! The thick Earth atmosphere softens the spatial frequency so the monochrome sensor is basically recording an image blurred by thick air and tropical humidity. It would work much better on the surface of the moon or on Mars, as some of the cameras with bandpass filters on the Mars Perseverance.
This shot is more fun than useful! This shot made with Leica M10 Monochrom at 2:41AM, almost 30min after those shots made with Fujifilm GFX100 using the exact same lens, Minolta RF 800mm 1:8 of the exact reproduction scale albeit on the different sensor. The GFX100 easily out-resolve the M10M in this situation, even without the Pixel Shift Multi-Shot.
Other shots may be different! (ref: Fujifilm GFX100 Moon shot)
February 28 Warehouse 30 Bangkok
March 2, 2021
March 4, 2021
The latest lens from Leica, following the lens roadmap of L mount APO Primes and the price index of premium M lenses, the Apo-Summicron-M 35/2 ASPH is an exciting and one that can focus close down to 30cm, breaking the 70cm barrier of the tradition range-finder system lenses! It probably signals something more significant change to follow.
Leica engineered a detent at 0.7m on the focus ring to make the user aware when the lens steps into the close-focus range using the Live View on the screen or EVF.
Not quite as expensive as the Apo-Summicron-M 50/2 ASPH, which I enjoy using but less often than the Summilux-M 50/1,4 ASPH, but at USD 8,195, I would expect nothing less than exceptional.
The ten-lens elements are divided into five groups; three elements feature aspherical surfaces including one with both-side aspherical surface. Six elements are made of glasses with anomalous partial dispersion, which not only minimizing chromatic aberrations but also provide apochromatic correction, the first for a 35mm lens in the M-System.
This lens may take over the Summilux-M 50/1.4 ASPH as my most often use portrait lens.
March 5 Added the new Voigtländer APO-LANTHAR 50mm F2.0 Asph. VM to my M system
There are currently the only two Apochromatic F/2 standard lenses in Leica M bayonet mount. I have two Apo-Summicron-M 50/2 ASPH; another is the titanium finish from the M-P 240 Titan set. The titanium finish App-Summicron-M 50/2 ASPH is more compact and lightweight that does not get much use because my favorite lens for my M camera remains the Summilux-M 50/1.4 ASPH which balances with the camera very well.
It is difficult to explain that I have little curiosity to test for comparing the Leica Apo-Summicron-M 50/2 ASPH and the Voigtländer APO-LANTHAR 50mm F2.0 VM. I don't do lens tests unless paid very well for. These are all very well-made lenses, and it is really up to the photographer to study the lens and bring the best out of it.
March 7, 2021
March 13 Makkasan
March 17 with Katarina Gartell
March 27 Makkasan Community Bangkok
First shot of my new Voigtländer APO-LANTHAR 35mm F2.0 ASPH VM
This little girl showed her muscle to me when I asked her name, "Popeye," she replied.
March 30 Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-Ok Waterlily Institute, Chon Buri, Thailand
March 31 Bangkok Art and Culture Center
Get to take a couple of snapshots of Bangkok Art and Culture Center while awaiting the admission of the event "Videos of the East, Videos of the West" held by Ambasciata d'Italia
April 9 Izem Yilmaz - The Issara Ladphrao, Bangkok
April 14 Makkasan Community
April 23 Return to the Bangkok Railway Station
May 1 Olga Novoselova - Hyatt Regency Sukhumvit 13, Bangkok, Thailand
May 27 Cycle of Life
May 31 The Bangkok Railway Station
June 3 The Bangkok Railway Station
June 24 The black paint limited edition M10-R
Leica does the Leica thing!
Rumors used to be rumors, now it is a marketing tool, or it has always been.
The black paint finish is more delicate than modern hardened electronic plating; however, it is also an invitation for frequent use. It develops the owner's fingerprint - the unique patina and character. The Leica charm!
June 29 Loei, Thailand
June 30 Bangkok Railway Station
July 1 The Bangkok Railway Station
July 8 Cycle of life
July 10 Shipyard worker, Surat Thani, Thailand
July 17 SOTA 96 Bangkok
July 18 The Bangkok Railway Station
July 21 The Bangkok Railway Station
July 24 The Bangkok Railway Station