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Nocticron vs Olympus 45mm DxOMark

Some people think that when there’s a Leica badge on a lens or camera, it must be good. Others claim that anything carrying the famous red dot is really just overpriced technology from yesterday. The truth is somewhere in the middle. On one hand, Leica does invest a lot into the development of its lenses. On the other hand, its rebranded Panasonic cameras really aren’t worth the premium price by a long shot. But what about the Leica branded Micro Four Thirds lenses?

Those as well are made by Panasonic, but are officially sanctioned by Leica to bear their name. While the DG Elmarit 45mm f2.8 macro didn’t get a lot of people excited, the DG Summilux 25mm f1.4 was an instant hit. Reviewers all over the web praised for its great image quality. Just recently, DxOMark tested the new DG Summilux 15mm f1.7, and it turned out to be a rather mediocre lens despite the Leica badge.

But now they also tested the new DG Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2, and here it seems we finally have another lens deserving of the Leica branding. The Nocticron showed one of the best performances of all Micro Four Thirds lenses ever tested by DxOMark, and is seconded only by the brilliant M.Zuiko 75mm f1.8. With an initial aperture of f1.2, the Nocticron is a super-fast portrait lens, and one that begs to be shot wide open.

DxOMark’s sharpness test does indeed confirm that the Nocticron performs very well even at its widest aperture, which is what you’d expect from a lens that costs over one and a half grand. But it also fares very well in terms of distortion and vignetting, and only in chromatic aberration it is slightly behind the M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8. We would’ve loved to see how the lens holds up to the Voigtländer Nokton 42.5mm f0.95 in DxOMark’s comparison, but unfortunately they didn’t test that lens.

So, if you were eyeing this lens for portaiture work, don’t worry. From what it appears, you won’t regret the purchase. That is, provided you can afford the lens in the first place, without selling your family into slavery …

Canon A-1

There are tons of old film cameras that folks still love and use. Many of these cameras lasted for years in the market and some even lasted until very recently. And while lots of cameras may be in the memory of photographers, here are some that we really miss.

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Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f1.4

Finally, half a year after the development of this lens was first disclosed by Panasonic, the Leica DG Summilux 15mm f1.7 ASPH. has now been officially announced. The lens is the first Micro Four Thirds lens to feature a physical aperture ring and looks almost like it belongs on a proper Leica rangefinder camera. Unlike a proper Leica rangefinder lens, though, the designation ‘Summilux’ is a bit misleading as its initial aperture is really only f1.7, and not f1.4.

The lens sports an internal focusing mechanism that promises super fast autofocus when combined with Panasonic’s latest Lumix G camera models that support 240fps sensor readout. It sports 9 lenses in 7 groups, three of which have aspherical surfaces. To further boost image quality, the 15mm f1.7 Summilux has been treated with Panasonic’s Nano Surface Coating.

The lens will be available later in June in black and silver, and can now be pre-ordered from B&H Photo for US-$ 599. It will reportedly also be available in kit with the Lumix GM1, but the US retail price for that combo has yet to be announced. Full specs of the lens after the break.

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Boxes of Kodachrome 64 film in 135 format. (Credit: Metroplex on Wikimedia Commons)

Boxes of Kodachrome 64 film in 135 format. (Credit: Metroplex on Wikimedia Commons)

We continue our series on the Basics of Photography with the letter K, and today’s subject is Kodachrome. Now, some of you will undoubtedly wonder why anyone would deem a discontinued slide film basic photography knowledge. But the answer is really rather simple: Kodachrome was probably the single most influential photographic medium of all time, and it played a significant role in shaping the face of modern color photography and photojournalism. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the rise and fall of this film, and explore the photography that was created with it.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer ONA Berlin Camera bag (2 of 8)ISO 6401-1000 sec at f - 2.2

ONA is one of the original modern manufacturers of beautiful camera bags and accessories–and if you aren’t familiar with who they are you might be after looking at their latest camera bag. It’s called the Berlin–and is a collaboration with Leica. It was created in celebration of the company’s 100th year anniversary. It’s designed to hold an M system camera and a couple of lenses in the main compartment. But you can also tote along an iPad, and other personal items inside.

The bag is made of full grain leather, antique brass buckles, and is handcrafted.

Want one? You’ll need to shell out $369 for this beauty.

More photos are after the jump.

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Image courtesy of Leica Rumors

Image courtesy of Leica Rumors

Leica has a special event planned for April 24th. Leica Rumors spotted an event flyer detailing a media shindig that could be the big reveal for the long awaited Leica T type 701 mirrorless camera. The new camera first hit the airwaves in an internal document from Taiwan’s National Communications Commission. The new model name cropped up soon after Leica CEO Alfred Schopf confirmed that the company was working on a new compact camera system in an interview with the Australian magazine Camera.

The new Leica mirrorless camera has been rumored for years as a new proper EVIL camera addition to fit between the M and X lines. The new camera might not even come from Leica though as another early report suggested that Panasonic is working with the German optics company to produce either a Micro Four Thirds camera or an APS-C shooter. The only thing that seems certain is Leica has a new camera in the wings and it will be here on April 24th, so sit tight and stay tuned for more as we hear the news.

Via Leica Rumors