Tae Kim Shares His Journey on Mastering Leica Rangefinders

Tae Kim talks about settling down with the Leica system which he found works best for him and compels him to master the essentials.

My name is Tae Kim and I originally created Cosmotographer as a site where I can have a creative outlet from my day job, a place where I can express my thoughts onto a collection of photos. I don’t have a simple and consistent aesthetic like most photographers because I believe that photography is more than just someone’s identity, striving to differentiate themselves from the curated world of Instagram. I believe photography should be used to express themselves and their creative moods without catering to followers.

Continue reading…

9 Retro-Style Cameras That Are True Modern Marvels Under the Hood

If you love retro cameras, but like the mod cons modern cameras bring to the table, you’ll love these cool retro-style Mirrorless cameras.

Modern Mirrorless cameras are simply fantastic. Under the hood, modern cameras are more powerful than we ever imagined, but a lot of cameras that hit the market today leave much to be desired when it comes to styling. They look okay, but they lack character and personality: they’re just boring. Fortunately, a few camera companies have tried to breathe some much-needed life into modern Mirrorless bodies by releasing retro-style cameras that are just as feature-packed as those without a soul. Join us after the break to take a quick look at several of our favorite retro-style cameras.

Continue reading…

DXOMark: Leica’s Summicron SL 35mm F2 ASPH Falls Behind Sony, More

Leica Summicron 35mm f2

The Leica Summicron 35mm SL f2 ASPH is a solid lens for those who have adopted the L mount, but it can’t keep up with the other players.

DXOMark has been hard at work in their labs once again, and this time, they put the Leica Summicron SL 35mm f2 ASPH through its paces. The Leica Summicron is a solid 35mm offering for those rocking a Panasonic S1R, or any other L mount camera. But this particular lens falls short of matching the quality of lenses from Canon, Sigma, and Sony. Join us after the break for a full rundown of the test results, and to see how it stacks compared to the competition.

Continue reading…

New to Film? The Leica CL Is the Smallest M-mount Camera Ever Made

Whether you’re new to film, a hardcore Leica collector, or simply want to have a sophisticated and lightweight M-mount camera, we have just the camera for you.

Attention Leica fans and vintage camera collectors! If your stash is still missing the Leica CL — obviously not the digital version — we have a few leads for you. For the unfamiliar, it’s the smallest M-mount camera ever made, and has some interesting details that make it a nice addition to your collection. If your mission is to collect every wonderful Leica out there, this might also be right up your alley!

Continue reading…

Why Are Compact Cameras the Best for Street Photography?

For most, compact cameras happen to be the best things for street photography.

While the answer to “What camera is the best?” is the proverbial “The one you have with you,” some cameras are better suited than others for specific genres of photography. For example, if you wanted to freeze the action at the Daytona 500, you would reach for a Canon 1DX instead of a Pentax 67, just like if you wanted close-up images of Aunt Pearl’s Poinsettias, one of the last lenses you would reach for is a 28mm. Street photography is one of the easiest genres of the craft to get into, and everything from the cameras in phones to 4×5 press cameras has been used for it. But, while the genre is easily accessible, certain kinds of cameras are more appropriate for the task than others. Let’s take a look at why compact cameras are the best cameras for street photography.

Continue reading…

Here’s Your Chance to Snag a Super Rare Leica 72 Half-Frame Camera

A super rare Leica 72 just popped up on eBay. As with any rare vintage Leica, you’ll need to part with a fortune to add it to your vintage camera collection.

If you’ve ever thought about adding a rare vintage Leica to your vintage camera collection and missed your chance from our previous features, we come with another heads up. This time, it’s a super rare Leica 72, most likely the most unexpected Leica and the most expensive half-frame camera you’ve never heard of.

Continue reading…

Special Report: The Leica M10 Monochrom Is Kodak Tri-X in Digital Form

The Leica M10 Monochrom is much more than just a black and white sensor.

“That’s a new one for you folks,” is what I said when being briefed on the new 40MP sensor at the heart of the Leica M10 Monochrom. Indeed, it’s not just the Leica M10’s sensor with the Bayer array removed, but something completely new. The 40MP sensor is optimized for detail and dynamic range. One could argue it’s mid-way between the Leica Q2 and the Leica M10, but the truth is that it leans more towards the Leica Q2 when it comes to resolution. If you’ve never held a Leica M10 or even know how to use a rangefinder, this camera is the one that will probably make you fall in love with using them. When they’re in your hand and you’re in-tune with how a rangefinder works, you’ll become a totally different photographer. The pictures you take become more about your passion and the moment than anything else.

Continue reading…

5 Rare Leica Cameras to Satisfy Your Lust for Vintage Cameras

We’re sure your vintage camera collection is still missing at least one or two of these rare Leica cameras.

Leica cameras easily make it onto a lot of photographers’ wishlists and and become their tools of the trade. But for those who are also avid vintage camera fans, rare Leica models can be the Holy Grail cameras of a collection. If that sounds like you, we put together a roundup of five rare Leica cameras that we believe will make great additions to your acquisitions.

Continue reading…

The Phoblographer’s Guide to Zone Focusing Your Camera’s Lens

To understand zone focusing, a photographer needs to understand how cameras and lenses work.

If you look at a number of tutorials on zone focusing, you’ll see lots of the same things about how to do it. Understanding the reasoning behind it all is much different. Zone focusing was used for many years, before autofocus was invented, to help a number of photographers capture iconic images that still influence photographers today. It also aided with the creation of some very famous portraits. And with autofocus being the primary use case for many current lenses and cameras, the practice of zone focusing now belongs to a niche culture of photographers. Arguably, it can be much faster than autofocus in the hands of a skilled photographer. Best of all, it’s usually very reliable.

Continue reading…

3 Leica Cameras to Buy and Experience Before Their Prices Increase

If you’ve been eyeing the M10 series of Leica cameras and you want to save yourself a huge chunk of change, act fast and beat the price hikes.

If you missed the recent news about the upcoming price hikes on certain Leica cameras and lenses, we will fill you in. Thanks to a U.S. imposed 25% import tax on products from Germany that go into effect on January 1st, 2020, certain Leica cameras and lenses will see a significant price bump. Leica cameras aren’t cheap to begin with, but if you have been eyeing the M10 series, you might want to grab your wallet and buy one now. After the break, we will share our thoughts on three Leica cameras that seriously impress, but that will fall victim to the upcoming import tax.

Read more

If You Want a Leica, You had Better Get One Before a Nasty Price Hike

Thanks to the powers that be, imports from Germany are going to cost a lot more, and that includes Leica cameras.

We have some sad news to share with fans of Leica, and for anyone who was waiting for the new year to purchase a Leica camera or lens. The men and women in suits on Capitol Hill, who decided that a 25% import tax was necessary on products from Germany, will make your wallet cry a little louder in the new year. New Leica cameras and lenses that land on U.S shores after January 1st, 2020, will, unfortunately, be affected. Join us after the break to find out more about this news the camera market didn’t need.

Continue reading…

7 Gorgeous Rangefinder Style Cameras That Offer Great Performance

If you want a camera that has both great styling and great performance, you need to check out these Rangefinder Style cameras.

While modern cameras have come a long way in terms of their overall design, most still don’t have much by way of character. This, however, cannot be said about Rangefinder-style cameras. The classic look of Rangefinder-style cameras are hard to ignore, and you’ll find that plenty of heads will turn when you have one with you. They harken back to a time where cameras were tools made by craftsmen. They aren’t all just about looks, though: they pack a punch in terms of performance as well. After the break, we will take a quick look at seven of our favorite Rangefinder-style cameras.

Continue reading…

The White Leica M10P is the Kind of Camera You Write Love Stories About

Leica M10P

The Leica M10P is for photographers who really want to stand out from the crowd (and who happen to have very deep pockets).

When it comes to classic designs that wow, and a user experience that is incredibly hard to beat, photographers lean toward Leica cameras for a few good reasons. Leica has been releasing limited and special edition cameras frequently here of late, and today we have found out that there will be a special edition of their flagship, the M10P. This brilliant white camera is a real stunner. We have all the details about it after the break.

Continue reading…

Our Favorite Leica M Mount Lenses for the Street Photographer in You

Leica M mount lenses are still some of the most effective tools that help photographers capture the moment.

The Leica M mount is a manual focus mount that teaches street photographers to do what many people don’t do today: shoot with intent. How many times have you walked by a photo shoot happening and have seen someone just holding the shutter button down? Or, how many times have you seen someone say, “I’ll fix it in post.” The Leica M mount trains you to be in tune with your environment, walk up to a scene, and shoot. You need to be present. And, more importantly, you need the right lens.

Continue reading…

14 Innovative Cameras That Changed Photography Over the Last Decade

There have been a lot of cameras released over the last 10 years, but none have been as game-changing as the innovative cameras we have rounded up here.

In 2010, digital cameras had taken over, and the days of film were slipping into distant memory. As we all know, technology advances at a rapid pace, and thankfully, for us, some camera manufacturers embraced these advances and ended up creating innovative cameras that have changed the landscape of photography forever. Today, we’re taking a look at 14 of the most innovative cameras from the last decade that have changed the way we take photographs.

Continue reading…

The Best Manual Focus Lenses Photographers Will Love

Some photographers are 100% in tune with their surroundings, and they’re the ones using the best manual focus lenses available.

There are photographers who just never understand how to use manual focus lenses, and photographers who know that using them requires you to be in tune with your environment. Think about the way Leica M shooters think and about how they’re able to predict something before it happens. Being in tune with his surroundings is how Robert Capa was able to capture some of his best images. Indeed, the best manual focus photographer can be quicker than one using autofocus. Manual focus lenses are not only great for photojournalism, they’re also for moments where slow photography allows you to make genuinely better photos. So, we went into our Reviews Index to round up some of our favorites.

Continue reading…

3 Lenses City Photographers Are Bound to Adore in L Mount

The L Mount Lenses available will make cityscape photographers grin from ear to ear.

The L mount alliance is still in its infancy, and because of this, there are limited camera bodies and lenses that feature the L Mount. However, that’s not to say the available lenses aren’t good. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. If you have jumped into the L Mount life, and you are looking for L Mount lenses suitable for landscape and cityscape photography, you’re in luck. After the break, we share three L Mount lenses that will make any landscape or cityscape photographer happier than a kid in a candy store.

Continue reading…

Happy With Your Camera? The Best Black Friday Lens Deals are Here

If you’re looking for the Best Black Friday Deals on Lenses, then you’ve come to the right spot!

This Black Friday, there are loads of lens deals for the photographer that is pretty happy with their camera. If you don’t need a new one, then we’ve got just the solution for you: lenses! A new lens can breathe life into an older camera with ease. Plus they can inspire your creativity. We’ve found some of the best on the web, so check them out below. But if you’re looking for a bigger roundup, then here’s where you need to go.

Continue reading…

Essentials: TACS Automatic Vintage Lens II – Dark Metal Watch

Essentials is a revamped series featuring products we’re currently lusting over in quick, bite-sized posts.

It took me a long time to get into watches, but the TACS Automatic Vintage Lens II – Dark Metal Watch deserves credit for being the gateway drug to what I hope doesn’t become an addiction. Despite that I’m often surrounded by folks who geek out about watches, I’ve never been too interested in anything beyond my Apple Watch. That changed when I realized watches could be functional and fashionable accessories. While folks are keen on wearing a Leica around their necks, they’re also sometimes keen on sporting a watch on their wrist too. And if you want to combine the two, then the TACS Automatic Vintage Lens II – Dark Metal Watch could be for you.

Continue reading…

This Is Why Sony Got 42.5% of the Mirrorless Camera Market in 2018

Camera deals - Sony a7 III

Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Co. had better up their game if they want to claim more of the camera market.

As 2019 draws to an end, one thing is for sure – Sony’s dominance in the camera market is alive and well. Just how the camera market will break down for 2019, nobody will know for a while, but we now know who the king of the castle was in 2018. It’s no surprise that it was Sony, and there’s been nothing to suggest that will change for 2019 either. Perhaps the biggest shock is just how much they are dominating others in the market. Join us after the break to see the camera market breakdown for 2018 and to explore what we think other manufacturers need to do to catch up to the steam roller that is Sony. Continue reading…

Double Rope Strap Is the Latest in COOPH x Leica Collaboration

Need a fancy new strap for your Leica? COOPH just dropped their latest camera strap especially made for your precious camera!

If you loved the classic Leica Rope Strap by COOPH but wish it would come in a more comfortable width for your hefty cameras, today’s the day they make it happen for you. The latest to join their camera collection is the Double Rope Strap that was made from their collaboration with iconic German camera maker Leica. As its name suggests, this new offering is constructed using two lengths of repurposed climbing rope for a broader, more comfortable strap. It’s a subtle tweak to the usual rope strap design many photographers have come to prefer when it comes to camera straps, but it’s geared to make a difference, especially for lugging around heavier cameras.

Continue reading…