Archive for: Leica

Off Brand: Leica M Monochrom & Leica APO-Summicron 50 f/2 ASPH Announced

Off Brand: Leica M Monochrom & Leica APO-Summicron 50 f/2 ASPH Announced

Disclaimer
This is a non Canon post, if you don’t like reading about other camera brands, please skip this small article. Thanks!

From the minds of Leica
No other camera manufacturer is more polarizing than Leica. So I had to post todays announcement, because it’s going to bring about a lot of debate, intrigue and questions about what they’re doing in Solms.

A lot of you will know I do shoot with a Leica M9, and enjoy the camera as well as the M lenses I own. However, I do have a hard time answering “yes” to the inevitable question I get from people… “Is it worth the money?” So when I see them announcing a new segment of 35mm digital camera for $8000, and still retaining things like the 5 year old technology 230,000 pixel LCD displays, I’m not sure what to tell people about getting into Leica.

Why does this matter to the Canon user?
I have always said I think there’s a market for a full frame “mirrorless” camera, and the first one to do it for half the price of Leica, will have a big winner on their hands. Today Leica threw a curveball with a B&W sensored camera, as well as a staggering technical marvel with their new 50mm lens.

Leica M Monochrom
Today in Berlin, the Leica M Monochrom was announced. It is an 18mp black & white only digital rangefinder.

“It has a sensor designed exclusively for black and white photography. It has no color filter,” said Leica Chairman Dr. Andreas Kauffman. “This allows twice the amount of light to reach the sensor. So we combined this special sensor with our rangefinder system and we present you the M Monochrome with the maximized image quality available with Leica lenses.”

Main Specs

  • 18MP CCD monochrome sensor (24 x 36mm)
  • No anti-aliasing filter
  • No color filter array
  • ISO 320-10,000 (with a ‘Pull 160*’ option)
  • 2.5″ 230,000 dot rear LCD
  • Supplied with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro 2

Leica M Monochrom

Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 f/2 ASPH Lens
A $7200 50 f/2 lens? That’s exactly what Leica announced today. I find it intriguing, because it’s going to set lens testers and lens geeks into a tizzy waiting to get their hands on one. There are some bold claims about the performance of this lens.

This lens is a new milestone in the history of optical design that achieves previously unattainable values in all technical performance characteristics. For instance, there is practically no fall-off at the edges – even at full aperture – in the MTF curves for image sharpness. Even the finest details are rendered with more than 50% contrast – a previously unheard of value that confirms the exceptional properties of this lens.

Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH

Conclusion
The camera is an intriguing step, but hard to stomach the $8000 price tag without having addressed some of the biggest issues with the M9, the LCD screen being one and lack of focus confirmation for the optically challenged. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s more responsive than the M9.

The lens may be the greatest thing ever created by man, I am looking forward to the comparisons between it and the Noctilux and Summilux variants. Can lenses be made much better than they already are?

Neither is scheduled to ship until August 2012.

M10
That begs another question, if this camera isn’t out until August 2012, how can an M10 be coming a month later?

Now’s the time Canon, lets see the worlds first full frame autofocus mirrorless camera! Consider it preordered.

cr

Leica M9 – A Second Opinion

Leica M9 – A Second Opinion

The Leica M9 revisited.
I’ve posted a new article as a follow-up to my original review of the Leica M9.

Judging by the comments I’m getting about the original review, there’s been a bit of a ressurgence in interest in the camera.  It’s probably due to the M9-P and a much more active used market for the M9.

I lent the camera to my non gear head friend John, and told him to write a little piece about what he thought of the M9. This is his story……

Read The Leica M9 – A Second Opinion

cr

Photokina 2010 Report Continued

The Titanium Leica M9

After Canon, it was on to my other favourite manufacturer Leica. Since we’re in the land of Leica, it was no surprise their presence was large. The booth was beautiful and everyone dressed really nice.

The first place I stopped was the new Titanium Leica M9. It’s beautiful of course. It costs $25,000 or so with a new Summilux 35 ASPH. I would like to know if anyone that buys one of the 500 actually uses the camera to make photos. I’m not into limited edition Leica’s for that reason. I would have loved to see the new framelines, but there was no touching it.

I tried out a 50mm f/0.95 for obvious reasons. It’s big (for Leica) and heavy. There was no making art with it at a trade show, but it was well worth the time to check out. I also tried out the 50mm Summilux. A lens that doesn’t appear to be available anywhere I try. It’s small light and wonderful.

The Leica S2

The Leica S2 also had a big presence. Everyone wants to touch the $20,000 big sensor camera. I actually ran into a guy shooting street with one the first night in Cologne.

Leica had a great gallery of black and white portraits made with the S2. The images were beautiful.

I skipped the rest of the cameras at Leica, I don’t have much interest in the rebranded Panasonic cameras.

Why does Leica matter to Canon?
I think when Canon does release a mirrorless Camera, it’s going to be more Leica than Panasonic. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Canon introduce at least one body with a larger sensor than APS-C.

Leica has returned to profitability, and it’s easy to see why.

cr