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Review: Leica XE

by Chris Gampat on 10/09/2014

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Leica XE product images (2 of 10)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 2.5

Leica has long been known as a company that has paved the way for modern photography. But in recent years, they seem to be taking the back seat to many Korean and Japanese manufacturers. Still though, Leica has their core customers and considering economic disparity these days, there are many folks with deep pockets that want all their cameras. But Leica’s X series of cameras haven’t always been a big hit. Sure, they’ve got an APS-C sensor at the heart, a nice size, and beautiful looks–but when you start talking about the price you’ll want to cry a bit and wish that you were a trust fund kid living in Williamsburg.

But recently at Photokina 2014, Leica decided to try again. This time, the Leica XE has a 16.2MP APS-C sensor, a 24mm f2.8 lens, and a 2.7 inch 230 Dot LCD (which actually isn’t too bad in real life practice). But otherwise, the camera is still very much the same. Considering that Leica is slow to innovate, we can only expect so much.

What we didn’t expect, on the other hand, is to be this surprised by the camera.

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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Leica M-A Product Images-4

When it comes to photography, almost no one disputes that Leica has had an impact on its history. And to celebrate their centennial anniversary, the Leica Gallery in Sao Paulo released a beautiful video recreating 35 of the most famous images ever shot. It pays homage to Magnum’s Founder Bresson amongst many other photographers that helped to define the genre and push future photographers even further.

In the video, they state that not every famous photo was taken with a Leica, but that they invented “photography.” By that they partially mean that they helped to move photography out of the studios and into the streets and real life–which is indeed true. Leica cameras helped many photographers build the foundations of photojournalism.

The video is after the jump: but before you view it we’d like to warn you that a brief couple of seconds are NSFW.



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julius motal the phoblographer Left Angle_ON

It’s true: film is still alive and kicking. In fact, this year we saw the release of many more film cameras than we’ve seen in such a short amount of time. It seems like manufacturers are finally getting it and that all the fun that is involved in shooting film is finally reaching a larger market.

To celebrate this recent trend, here are five new film cameras that you should get very excited about.

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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Leica M Edition 60 Product Images 1Leica latest products from Photokina are touching on all sorts of nostalgia. On top of announcing a new Leica M-A film camera, the German camera maker is also introducing the Leica M Edition 60. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Leica M3, this latest camera skips including any screen at all to check their exposure. Rather than relying on an LCD to give users immediate feedback on their images the Leica M Edition 60 only includes a rangefinder window, forcing users to operate it like a film camera.

In place of the back LCD display there’s an ISO selector that will still give users a bit more flexibility than film. Otherwise users will be shooting blind and forced to get the exposure right the first time around. As yet another limited run Leica camera, the company says it will only produce 600 M Edition 60 bodies. The Leica M Edition 60 will come packaged with a Summilux 35mm f1.4 lens and ring up for the exorbitant price of €15,000 (about $19,424) this October.

Leica announced much more today. 16 new cameras and lenses no less. Check past the break for all the expensive photo gear.

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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Leica M-A Product Images-4

This year’s Photokina is full of all sorts of surprises as Leica ditches digital and decides to launch a new film camera. Meet the Leica M-A (Type 127)–it’s the German camera company’s return to photography in its purest form. The camera does not have a monitor for you to check your exposure nor exposure metering to mess with your shot. It does not even run on batteries.

Instead the Leica M-A is simply a hand-built, metal camera body that leaves everything up to the users. Shooters will have to figure out the exposure on their own without a built in light meter. It’s beyond old school as a return to photography in its original form, where it’s up to the user to decide their focal length, aperture, shutter speed, and finally capture that decisive moment. Back then, photographers used the Sunny 16 rule to get exposures correct.

Due to the camera taking film, the mechanical camera is “significantly thinner” than many of its digital rivals. The Leica M-A will accept other Leica M-bayonet lenses. Meanwhile, users can pull the frame selector lever to change the framing lines to accommodate their 28mm and 90 mm, 35 and 135 mm, 50 and 75 mm lenses.

The Leica M-A will be available in chrome-accented or all black finish later this October. Leica announced the camera would cost £3100 (about $5,021) from its Leica Store Mayfair, Leica Store Burlington, and other authorized Leica dealers. Check past the jump for more images and specs.

Via Amateur Photographer

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The new ZEISS Distagon T* 1,4/35 ZM for professional reportage photography Das neue ZEISS Distagon T* 1,4/35 ZM für die Profi-Reportagefotografie

There were rumors of a new Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Otus lens floating around the web, and if you’re a forum lurker hoping to bite your lip and close your eyes to the chart readings then you’ll probably be a bit disappointed. The reason for that is because the new Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZM lens was designed for Leica M mount cameras. It has been unveiled today at Photokina 2014.

As it is though, 35mm f1.4 lenses are very highly sought after in the M mount world with Leica releasing a redesign of theirs a couple of years ago. The new Zeiss 35mm f1.4 ZM lens features a T* anti-reflective lens coasting, 10 blade aperture, 1/3 stop adjustment, and ergonomic finger rest,

We’re very curious about how this will perform on cameras like the Sony A7r or the Fujifilm XT1. But at $2,290 this is a bit more than we can swallow. Tech specs are after the jump.

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