Take a Peek into a Leica Camera’s Intricate Inner Workings

Ever wondered what’s inside a precious Leica camera? Thankfully, you don’t have to take apart one to find out.

In an era where cameras are sized up based on high-tech parameters like sensor size, pixel count, and auto focus capabilities, is there still room for appreciation of good old vintage cameras? Actually, among the things that still make vintage cameras fascinating today are their mechanical inner workings. The mechanical Leica cameras are especially revered both by Leica lovers, camera historians, and vintage camera fans. If you’ve ever wondered about what’s inside these timeless engineering masterpieces, prepare to find out and be impressed.

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American Dream: Rydell Tomas Jr’s Photographs Strangers on Film

Rydell Tomas Jr originally wanted to be a filmmaker

Hi, my name is Rydell Tomas Jr and I’m an upcoming freelance photographer from the Southside of Atlanta, Ga. I’ve been making photos for two years and I’ve been putting together conceptual projects since July of 2017. I started photographing through my love of filmmaking, and after realizing I truly enjoyed making photos, I dropped filmmaking altogether. I love people, so the majority of my work focuses on strangers, friends and family. I currently shoot with a 1957 Leica M3 w/ 50mm Serenar and 1986 Yashica Fx-3 Super 2000 w/ 50mm Yashinon. 35mm film is my favorite and i try to use as many film stocks as possible. My favorites are Kodak Gold 200 and Kodak Tri-X 400.

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Lens Review: Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux (M Mount)

I didn’t think I’d fall in love with the Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux like I did

The Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux was offered to me to test after requesting it a long time ago. I’d probably never buy it brand new as I prefer my lenses and cameras to have what we Americans love to call “Patina” to them, and even as it is I’m pretty well set on the M mount lenses I currently own. The Leica 28mm f1.4 Summilux is quite possibly the ultimate photojournalist’s lens. It has a fast aperture, a solid build quality, and is surprisingly sharp at every single aperture. But even that isn’t the secret sauce to what makes this lens so incredibly special.

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Daniel Fjäll: “Photography Isn’t Instagram…”

All images by Daniel Fjäll. Used with permission.

“Photography isn’t Instagram,” says Photographer Daniel Fjäll. “I think it’s important people try something new and break away from the trends. Think for themselves. That’s when the good stuff comes to you. I hope some of my pictures will spark someone’s inspiration. Also that you can still do photography even if you don’t travel the world if you work with what you got.”

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Reports State Panasonic’s New Full Frame Mirrorless Camera is a Leica

Panasonic seems to enjoy making cameras for Leica on the side, since they sell better with the Leica branding anyway

According to a recent 4/3 Rumors post, Leica is on its way to announcing a new full frame mirrorless camera, said to be a new Leica SL. If you’ve been following some of Leica’s releases, you most likely won’t be surprised to find out that it will be made of Panasonic guts. Japan-based digital photography rumors website Nokishita confirms this with a list of unpublished registrations. It includes a camera by Leica, which will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and the same parts from Panasonic’s Lumix TX2 and Lumix GX9 (called GX7 Mark III in Japan).

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This $10,000 Leica M6 is Most Likely Something You Haven’t Seen Before

The most hardcore Leica collectors would be curious to know what makes this Leica M6 special.

Now that we’ve already settled why we’re all suckers for the Leica M6, it’s time for us to share our latest Leica find from the vintage wonderlands of ebay. Today, the spotlight is on an intriguing and very rare Leica M6 simply dubbed “Leica Post M6”, one of which is listed for a dollar shy of $10,000.

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Here’s the Real Reason Why We’re All Suckers for the Leica M6

The guys running Digital Darkroom have figured out why we’re all sold on the famed Leica M6

The Leica M6 is without a doubt a favorite of many Leica lovers, from ardent film photographers, to collectors looking for the rarest, most expensive special editions like the platinum-plated 150 Jahre Optik edition and ultra-rare M6A/M7 prototype. But why exactly are there so many suckers for the Leica M6? In the latest episode of the Digital Darkroom, Ian Wong and Derrick Wong try to figure out what makes this Leica model a cult classic.

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Can We Guess Which is Better? Leica M10 vs Leica M6

Negative Feedback weighs in on the street and portrait experience with the Leica M10 vs the M6

Ever been curious if it’s worth “upgrading” from a Leica M6 to an M10? In a recent trip to New York City, George Muncey of Negative Feedback swapped his M6 with New Yorker Joe Greer‘s M10 for a day to see how the experience and the results would stack up.

For their photo walk around New York City, George shot with the Leica M10 and a 28mm lens, while Joe shot with the Leica M6 and a 40mm lens (loaded with Kodak Portra 400). A really big difference there is the focal lengths aside from going digital after some years, but George also wanted to see if the wide angle experience is something he’d enjoy. For this test, they decided to shoot street snaps first in Chinatown and take advantage of its busy scenes.

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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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