Film Emulsion Review: CineStill bwXX Black and White Film (35mm)

CineStill bwXX film is gorgeous in so many ways

I’ve forever been on the hunt for a black and white film I’m truly, madly in love with. While the Ilford Delta lineup of film is more my taste, CineStill bwXX comes really close! I can’t find any major fault with CineStill bwXX: it’s more or less a film designed for cinema and repackaged for 35mm still film camera consumption. Photographers who want the look of classic old time cinema may really enjoy what CineStill bwXX offers. Is it sharp? It can be. Is it grainy? Oh yeah. Does it have those deeply inky blacks I enjoy? Heck yes. In fact, photographers who like to max the contrast of their images after a black and white conversion will really enjoy CineStill bwXX. The film also pushes decently well and most of all, I feel like it has a distinct look vs Kodak T-Max, Tri-x, and much of what Ilford offers. Oh yeah, and CineStill recommends rating it between ISO 200-400: but I’ve pushed it to 800 with decent results too.

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Leica Announces New Ultra-Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Leica SL-System

A new ultra-wide angle zoom addition to cover all your wide-shooting needs

Heads up, Leicaphiles! Welcome the new addition to the Leica SL family. The highly-anticipated Super-Vario-Elmar-SL-16 – 25mm f3.5-4.5 ASPH features a quick and quiet autofocus along with a versatile range of focal lengths for all kinds of shooting scenarios. It boasts of becoming the go-to lens for the Leica SL system, making sure you’re able to capture wide views for landscape, architectural, and event photography, and zoom-in on your subject’s details as needed for wedding, concert, and documentary photography.

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Smartphone Review: Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Apple Had Better Be Scared of the Camera)

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a nice phone; but still not enough to move me away from iOS

When the Huawei Mate 10 Pro was announced, I saw it as just another good phone from Huawei–but what I didn’t know is just how much more I’d really like the camera vs the iPhone’s. I’m an Apple iPhone 8 Plus user and I’ve been an Apple smartphone user for around four or so years. I was originally an Android user, and with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro I experienced some of the first wonderlust that I had when I moved to Android from a regular flip phone years ago.

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Why Fast Rangefinder Lenses Are Almost Useless for Most Photographers

Fast rangefinder lenses can be almost useless unless you have an EVF of some sort

For years I was one of those people who lusted after an f0.95 lens. Indeed fast rangefinder lenses are very worth it for many people. But believe it or not, they can be significantly more difficult to work with at times. Rangefinders for example need to be able to focus a lens like that. But in order for that to happen, the mechanism needs to be larger in order to achieve accuracy. It’s only in recent years that EVFs have come around good enough to aid in focusing with these lenses.

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Vintage Camera Review: Leica M4-P (Leica M Mount)

The Leica M4-P is one of the most beloved Leica cameras and it isn’t too expensive either!

If you ever happen to stumble on a deal like I did with the Leica M4-P, then snag it as soon as you possibly can. In many ways, the Leica M4-P is one of the most perfect analog cameras. Although the Leica M6 goes a step further and incorporates the inclusion of a working light meter while allowing the camera to operate completely and totally mechanically at all shutter speeds, the Leica M4-P is essentially the Leica M6 without a light meter. And if you’re like me, you don’t always need a light meter because you’ve shot so often that you know and understand how Sunny 16 works, or you’ve got an app on your phone that will help you figure out your lighting with ease.

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This Rare Konica Hexanon 60mm is a Fascinating Partner for Leica Thread Mount Cameras

Care for a super rare and fast Konica Hexanon 60mm f/1.2 for your Leica thread mount camera?

If you still have one of those Leica screw mount cameras, our latest ebay find is certainly a very rare glass you might be interested in. This beautiful Konica Hexanon 60mm f/1.2 lens makes a fine pair for L39/LTM mount cameras. But you need to be fast, as this lens doesn’t go on sale very often.

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This Rare Leica M6 has a Hefty Price Tag for a Good Reason

This Leica M6 has a special feature that commands rarity and a really hefty price tag.

Do Leica cameras hold a special place in your camera shelves? We’ve got another pretty interesting gem for you to be on the look out for. Our latest ebay find is a rare and interesting version of the Leica M6, which at first glance looks like a typical M6 with a $31,442 price tag strangely attached to it. But, look closer and you’ll see why.

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For $201,000; You Too Can Own This Leica M7 Titanium + 3 Lens Set

This Leica M7 Titanium and 3 lens set is for the photographer with a taste for the opulent and the ultra rare.

Still on the hunt for the rarest and the most luxurious Leica camera to add to your collection? Our latest ebay find may just be the treasure for you. Step right up and check the listing for a gorgeous set of Leica M7 Titanium with 3 lenses if you have a little over $201,000 to spare.

Another fascinating listing from ebay seller www_schouten-select_com, this mint condition Leica M7 Titanium with a set of 3 lenses is described as “an extremely luxurious set for the serious photographer.” And we should say that it is rightly so. Launched in 2004, the special edition was made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Leica M system. According to Collectiblend and the Leica Lisse Store, there were only 500 sets for this edition. However, there was also another batch of 50 units released, each came with an engraving for each year (1954 – 2004) of the M production. The latter batch, of course, is deemed twice as valuable.

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Two Limited Edition Leica M6 Platinum Cameras Currently Up for Grabs on ebay

Here’s your chance to grab two out of only 150 limited edition Leica M6 Platinum 150 Jahre Optik cameras ever made.

Thinking of getting a rare vintage Leica to add to your growing camera collection? We’ve found just the right stuff for you to consider. There’s an ebay listing for two Leica M6 Platinum 150 Jahre Optik limited edition cameras with 50mm f/1.4 Summilux-M and 35mm f/2 Summicron M lenses, for a discounted buy it now price of $60,775.

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Lens Review: 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 (Leica M Mount and Used on Sony FE)

The 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 is a lens with character and beauty

I’ll fully admit that I’ve become incredibly smitten with Leica M mount lenses from various manufacturers and the 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 is no exception here. Though I’m not always in love with crazy super shallow depth of field necessarily, I’ll admit that when it has both super creamy out of focus areas, lens flare, and it isn’t overly sharp, that I’m pretty head over heels. Call it perfection in the imperfections, hipster, or that analogue look (which isn’t really true); but the 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 is highly capable. It looks just like most other Leica lenses in almost every way but the true differences only come out when you start to hold it. It’s not a truly massive lens, but it is surely well built in many regards and with a few exceptions.

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The Truth About Rangefinder Cameras That No One Else Will Tell You (Premium)

Rangefinder cameras are hot; they’ve gone through a period of glory, then spent time in the darkness, then returned, and now they’ve returned again in one of the biggest ways. The type of camera typically associated with Leica and used as an icon for loads of different graphics is indeed something that most folks would want. Though if you’ve never considered one, then you probably may not know where to start or you may have gotten one or two things wrong. Take some advice from someone whose screwed it up a number of times now.

Who Needs a Rangefinder

In some circles of photographers, the obvious answer to the question of who needs a rangefinder are the same photographers who need a hole in their head. But the world’s enthusiast photographers have grown exponentially over the years and so I’m going to be incredibly honest here: no one needs a rangefinder. Like this publication in some ways, it’s an addendum to what you have. It isn’t necessary, but it’s a niche that can be satiated in the right ways.

Rangefinder cameras offer an advantage over a number of others out there though with their low profile looks. They let a photographer be able to see what’s going to move into the frame and they also make zone focusing and getting a subject/scene perfectly in focus very simple. In the hands of a skilled photographer, a rangefinder can focus faster than any autofocus camera system out there. Street photographers and documentary photographers typically use rangefinders in the 35mm format. But in medium format, it’s typically used amongst not only these photographers but also portrait shooters.

What is a Rangefinder

Rangefinder cameras work in a very different way from SLRs and mirrorless cameras; but in some ways they’re a combination of both. Rangefinders are mirrorless–so that mirror and pentaprism is surely removed. They work in a fairly complicated way that can require maintenance, but we’ll get further into how they work in just a bit.

They take smaller lenses than DSLRs and SLRs, are smaller, lighter, and often quieter. Where an SLR will have a big, heavy, mirror slap a mirrorless rangefinder will have a quick, fairly quiet shutter. It’s tough to get blur in your shot with all the conditions are otherwise ideal.

How do they work?

Rangefinder cameras use what’s called a rangefinder mechanism. Colloquially speaking, rangefinder cameras are any camera with a focusing mechanism built into it. But over the years, that term has evolved. For a number of years, rangefinders and viewfinders were separate on cameras. A photographer would frame with one finder and focus with the other. But these days, they’re combined. They’re not through the lens, so you won’t be able to figure out how to use them and focus them that way. Instead, there is a picture in picture and you essentially need to line up the frames.

If you’ve got a Fujifilm X100 series camera that is modern, then you’ll have this option with the EVF/OVF hybrid.

Rangefinders, like SLRs can be big and bright, or small and very dark. The bigger the rangefinder and therefore the rangefinder mechanism, the brighter it will be to focus. If you’ve got bad eyes, then you need a big, bright rangefinder. Otherwise, good luck. My Leica CL next to me focused very clearly and easily outdoors and with a lot of natural light around. But in my aunt’s dark basement, it’s tougher. A Leica M4-P or a Leica M6 won’t have that problem though due to not only the viewfinder but also the magnification for that viewfinder.

Why get a rangefinder?

So why would you even consider getting a rangefinder? Well, they make you think and shoot in a totally different way. You essentially stop your lens down and focus away to a certain distance. Your lens will tell you just how much of that scene is in focus. For example, if you’re stopped down to f5.6 with a 35mm lens and focused to around six feet away, you’ll probably get anything from seven feet to five and a half feet in focus depending on the imaging format.

You can do this easily with an SLR or a mirrorless digital camera, but the accuracy can be better assured (arguably) with a rangefinder. Plus, since you’re manually focusing you don’t need to rely on a machine to do the work for you. This can sometimes ensure that you get more keeper shots as long as you pre-plan for the image making process. That’s what shooting a rangefinder is really about.

Don’t Go Cheap

I’ve own the Yashica GSN Electro 35mm, Canonet QL17, Leica CL, Leica M4-P, Mamiya 6, and the Fujifilm GW690 III. When working with a rangefinder, I strongly suggest not going cheap. While that may sound like something that is a bit more consumerist in opinion, I think that paying the extra money for a good, clean rangefinder and/or a bigger camera with a brighter rangefinder is worth every extra cent.

Oh, and don’t ignore getting a good CLA. A CLA is a cleaning, lube, adjustment. It recalibrates the rangefinder into being in tip top shape. You should probably get one a year. But if you get it, your rangefinder is going to work very efficiently over time.

Interchangeable Lens or Fixed Lens

Now here’s what I get really, really strong feelings about owning a rangefinder camera. If you don’t need an interchangeable lens camera, then don’t get one. That’s it. Lots of people like it because it makes them feel better about their purchase. But if you’re a 50mm type of person, then stick with 50mm. If you’re a 35mm person, then swear by that. But if you want a true variety of focal lengths (mostly primes is what you’re getting with a rangefinder) then go ILC.

There are a number of great fixed lens rangefinders in the same way that there are fantastic ILC rangefinders.

Here’s Your Chance to Snag the Black Paint Leica M3 of Your Dreams

Black Paint Leica M3 photo by LeicaShop 

Prepare to pour your heart (and cash) out for one of the most sought after Leica collectibles ever. If you missed any of the rare Leica treasures we spotted previously, now is your chance to snag another. A rare Black Paint Leica M3 in very good condition has recently surfaced on ebay, which can be yours for the buy-it-now price of $68,500.

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If You’re Buying an Analog M Mount Camera, Consider the Viewfinder Magnification

The Viewfinder Magnification of an M Mount Camera means a whole lot depending on how you shoot.

Every photographer at one point in their life should own at least one Leica M mount camera. That doesn’t mean it necessarily needs to be made by Leica though–Voigtlander and Zeiss offered very solid options that you can get in great condition. While some may scoff at the prices, it goes without saying that many M mount cameras are built exceptionally well and are essentially timepieces. But if you’re going to get one, don’t just get it based on price. You’ll need to look at what the viewfinders can offer and a few other options.

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Capture One 11.01 Brings Fujifilm X-E3 Support and Lots of Bug Fixes

If you process with Capture One then there is a new update on the table for you, and we recommend updating right away.

Phase One has just updated their RAW processing software Capture One to version 11.01 which adds support for the [amazon_textlink asin=’B0759GZFMG’ text=’Fujifilm X-E3′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’16375e8b-fc75-11e7-b438-4348033ba2bc’] as well as support for eight new lenses from Olympus and Leica. Beyond that, the update was focused on fixing a lot of the bugs users had experienced since updating to the major update release of version 11.0. Continue reading…

A Rare Military-Issued Leica M4 M is Up for Grabs on ebay

This Leica M4 M is one of the rare M4 cameras that can be used with with a motor drive.

Here’s another one for Leica fans and military memorabilia collectors out there. From the depths of ebay comes another rare Leica artifact – a US Military-issued Leica M4 M. If you missed your chance on the military version of the Leica KE-7A, you might want to make space on your shelves for this impressive piece.

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Leica’s New Lenses for The SL System Target Portrait Photographers

There’s the brand new APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f2 ASPH. and the APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f2 ASPH.

If you have any major doubts about the Leica SL camera system, you should perhaps reconsider. Not only does it have a great sensor at the heart, but it also is built like an absolute tank of a camera. Is it expensive? Yes. But you’ll be getting a number of very nice lenses such as the newly announced Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75mm f2 ASPH. and the Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f2 ASPH. These lenses are targeted at the portrait photographer and at photographers who want technical masterpieces from their glass.

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Review: Leica TL2 (The Camera I Never Thought I’d Like)

The Leica TL2 is more or less like an iPhone with interchangeable lenses. But the tech inside is really quite good.

When the Leica TL2 was offered to me for review, I was a bit on the fence about it. Though I had only spent brief periods of time with it in the past, I genuinely thought of it as something like the Canon Rebel of mirrorless cameras in the Leica lineup. But in truth, I was very wrong. The Leica TL2 is a mirrorless camera designed for rich enthusiasts. I wouldn’t do a job with it, even though I can, due to its quality. But what’s most amazing about the camera is not only its build quality, but the fact that it takes really great images. Part of this is thanks to the fantastic Leica lenses for the system. When you hold the Leica TL2, you begin to realize it is a piece of kit that really shouldn’t be discounted at all.

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Guess How Much This Leitz 50mm f1.2 Noctilux Lens Sold For

A legendary Leitz 50mm f1.2 Noctilux lens was recently sold on ebay.

Rarely seen and often talked about in Leica circles, a Leitz 50mm f1.2 Noctilux lens recently surfaced from the depths of ebay.  To make the already coveted lens even more enticing, a rare 12503 lens hood was also thrown in the sale. The listing has already ended, with the lens sold for a whopping US $20,750. Looks like an awesome find for one lucky buyer!

What makes this lens worthy of that much cash? Aside from the already luxurious Leica brand name, CameraQuest tells us that the 50mm f1.2 Noctilux is also a technological marvel in itself. It was designed by Walter Mandler, who is considered to be Leica’s best lens designer of all time. Introduced in 1966, the 50mm f1.2 was Leica’s very first Noctilux lens, not the f/1. It had two aspherical lens surfaces, which was reportedly very difficult to make. Mainly because of this difficulty, the lens was later replaced by the faster f/1 non-aspherical version beginning in 1976. Because it was only manufactured for nine years with around 200 units per year, we don’t see many 50mm 1.2 Noctilux lenses going around. Also, it remains the only 1.2 lens made for the Leica M mount.

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This Very Rare “Fake Leica” Will Set You Back Almost $100,000

Anyone interested in getting a very rare and very expensive “Fake Leica”? 

Attention camera collectors and Leica fans, here’s something you probably don’t have in your collection yet. There’s an ebay listing for a “Fake Leica” so rare that it fetches an insane US $99,995. However, you can’t shoot with it as it’s actually a stainless steel sculpture made by Chinese artist Liao Yibai.

If there’s a camera that would literally be an expensive paperweight, this piece would definitely fit the bill. According to the listing by Netherlands based Leica Store Lisse, this item is a smaller version of the giant stainless “Fake Leica” sculpture by Liao Yibai. It weighs 40 kg, measures 44.8 x 76.2 x 48.9 cm, and has the serial number 8/12. It will also come in the wooden crate especially designed for shipping.

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Ricoh GR-E Reported to Have 36MP Curved Full Frame Sensor, 28mm f2.4 Lens

If the Ricoh GR-E is real, then it’s time to get really excited.

If you’re a fan of the film Ricoh cameras, then you’ll probably be all over the Ricoh GR-E. A while back we reviewed a little known camera *CLEAR SARCASM SLAPPING YOU IN THE FACE RIGHT HERE* called the Ricoh GR II. It turned out to be a fantastic camera for street photography and for every day carry situations. Fans and I have been wondering if there would ever be an update. I have to tell you, it looked pretty dismal.

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