Jun 102013


The Leica X Vario has arrived, slow zoom and all!

I have now heard from 4 official sources with full specs and images on the new Leica. Yes, four different sources who are 100% legit have spilled the beans about what is coming from Leica with full details. Two of them actually sent me PDF files with the details. Now, I am sure Leica would hate me for spilling the beans early but it happens all of the time and since I have no contract and no connection with Leica on this, as in, I have no embargo, no signed statement, nothing at all then why not? My obligation is only to my readers and sponsors and this is info the Leica world wants to know, even if it is coming in 12 hours anyway.

So I sit here with this info thinking…hmmm, what should I do? Post it and let everyone know it is indeed what we thought it was, or wait until tomorrow at 9am Eastern for the official word when I have no obligation to do so? Wait for the rumor sites to post it early or do it myself?

Since I am not spilling anything new here, as in, this was really announced when it leaked, I feel I should just let it out. Of course if Leica had given me the info and told me to hold off, it would have been held off. But as I said, I have no agreements with anyone and the information was sent to me freely by several legit sources..so here we go!

The new Leica X Vario hits, and starts shipping WEDNESDAY.

You have read the rumors, find out the TRUTH now, and the truth is exactly the same as the rumors, slow zoom and all. Yep my Leica friends, this is a Leica X2 with a slow zoom added for $2,850 US. THIS IS NOT A MINI M. We also get HD video now as well, which is good to have. I have already stated my opinion on this one in the past week and if I were spending $2,850 I would take the Sony RX1 over the X Vario any day of the week. Now, of course I have not tried this camera yet but the idea of an X2  and a big fat f/3.5-f/6.4 Zoom does not entice me to part with nearly $3000. In fact, I would take an OM-D E-M5 with a 12, 45 ad 75mm lenses (and that would come in at less than the cost of the X Vario) over the X Vario to cover my 24-150mm range at f/1.8 to f/2. Bit If you really want a real Leica with beautiful design and IQ, go for the X2 at $2000. The X2 and X Vario are made in Germany, not by Panasonic.


*I did notice they said it was a newly designed 16MP sensor, so it may not be the X2 sensor which means possibly better in low light, which it will need with that slow aperture zoom.

BTW, there is no IS (image stabilization) so shooting video with this is not gonna fly :) It has an 18-46mm lens, starting at f/3.5 and ending up at f/6.4 by the time you hit 46mm. Due to the APS-C sensor crop, you will of course have an equivalent of 28-70 but with the depth of field of an 18-46mm lens. Throw in that slow aperture and what you have is a “large DOF machine” probably really nice for landscape work. Then again, a Fuji X with nice lens is also nice for landscape work. To me, this release does not make sense. I predict SLOW as molasses sales with the X Vario. If Leica thought the X2 was selling slow due to it not having a zoom, they may be in for a shocker. Those who buy Leica as a status symbol are always there but that customer base is not nearly enough to keep those big profits flowing at Leica, of course, they are in the Leica bubble and do not know that this is who this camera is aimed at.

But, while I am not so thrilled with this release, some or many of you may be. I expect decent IQ because with a zoom lens of this speed, there is no way you will get un-sharp images. I expect decent AF Speed but not as fast as current/modern cameras. Even the design with the big protruding lens is bordering on the Ugly side. The X1 and X2 were beautiful designs..this one looks like a beast and once you add-on that EVF, forget it, it’s all over. Might as well spend the extra for the M 240, which I feel is Leica’s masterpiece :)

What I do like from the looks of it is the back has the M 240 thumb grip and control dial. It “looks” like a mini M 240 body though it is fitted with a lens that can not come off and an APS-C sensor. With a lens mated to the sensor we will get great results. If it had a built in EVF it would have been a much better offering IMO.


Here is what Leica says:

“The Leica Vario-Elmar 28-70 mm f/3.5 – 6.4 ASPH (35 mm equivalent) and the APS-C CMOS sensor ensures images of unsurpassed brilliance. The size and quality of the sensor means low image noise, high dynamic range and accurate color reproduction. The wide-angle to telephoto zoom range of the Leica X Vario offers photographers the options for many more creative compositions: indoor scenes, impressive landscapes or intimate portraits. The Leica X Vario allows users to change focal length easily and quickly to spontaneously capture the perfect moment giving the user the feel of classic Leica controls. In addition, the autofocus is fast and extremely precise while the switch from autofocus to manual focusing is intuitive – simply move the focusing ring on the lens from MF to AF mode”

“The design and finish of the Leica X Vario reflects the ultimate art of engineering with attention to detail and the use of the finest materials. When you first see the Leica X Vario, the Leica DNA will be obvious. A few minutes of handling the Leica X Vario and design characteristics of the Leica M will be apparent including compactness and construction. The top plate is machined from solid aluminum, the process identical to that used for the Leica M. The magnesium and aluminum body feels solid while the soft leather trim provides a comfortable but firm and reassuring grip. The Leica X Vario provides the user with a unique,one of a kind visual and tactile experience which is synonymous with a Leica made in Germany.”


Oh, If you want a hood, be prepared to pay $140 extra. EVF? $500. Hand grip? $160. Case? $240. A full pimped out X Vario will set you back about $4000. For an APS-C crop sensor with a slow zoom. Ouch. 


You can order tomorrow and have one by Thursday with no wait!

Dealers will have these ready to ship on Wednesday the 12th and you can buy from Ken Hansen ([email protected]), PopFlash.com,, The Pro Shop, and Dale Photo. They will all have stock. While there is a 9-12 month wait for an M240, this guy will be available everywhere tomorrow.

If anyone here gets one let me know how you like it and feel free to post some samples in the brand new untouched Leica X forum that you can access RIGHT HERE. You can also go there to discuss this new release or of course, by leaving comments here. I am testing the new forum so be sure to check it out.


So there ya go! This was Leica’s release and the one where they posted “you have read the rumors, get the truth on June 11th”. Well, we have the truth and like I said, it is the same as the rumor. For those who have been hoping for an X2 with a Zoom, your camera has arrived :) I was hoping for an RX1 competitor but I guess Leica considers their M to fill that slot. If they did come out with a full frame 35 f/2 camera it seems it would be in the $7-8k range, so in any case, Sony wins. Funny how so many were moaning about the cost of the Sony RX1 at $2700. It is a bargain if you really think of what you are getting with it. This one, not so much but it will serve a purpose for those who have wished for an X2 with a Zoom. Just wish it was more compact.


Here are the details of the new X Vario:


Leica Vario-Elmar 1:3.5-6.4 (28-70 mm equivalent), 8 lenses in 6 groups, 1 aspherical lens

Focal Length

18-46 mm (28-70 mm film equivalent)


3.5 to 16 (at 28 mm) / 6.4 to 16 (at 70 mm) in 1?3 EV increments

Focusing range

30 cm – infinity

Focusing options

1 point, 11 points, spot, face detection

Image sensor

16.5 MP, APS-C, CMOS image sensor (effective 16.1 MP)


JPEG format, 16 M – 4928 x 3272 pixels, 12.2 M – 4288 x 2856 pixels, 7 M – 3264 x 2160 pixels, 3 M – 2144 x 1424 pixels, 1.8 M – 1632 x 1080 pixels, DNG: 4944 x 3272 pixels

Image data file format

JPEG super fine, JPEG fine, DNG + JPEF super fine, DNG + JPEG fine

Exposure Control

Exposure modes

Automatic program (P), program shift, aperture priority (A), shutter speed priority (T) and manual setting (M)

Exposure compensation

Gradation: 3EV in 1/3 EV increments

Automatic exposure bracketing

3 pictures in graduations up to 3 EV, adjustable in 1/3 EV increments

Metering modes

Smart multi-segment metering, center-weighted metering, selective (spot) metering

White balance

Automatic, presets for daylight, cloud, halogen lighting, shade, electronic flash, 2 manual settings, manual color temperature setting, fine adjustment option for all settings


Automatic, optionally with limits for shutter speed and sensitivity, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, ISO 6400, ISO 12500

Shutter speeds

30s to 1/2000s, with normal flash modes from 1/30s, with flash modes with slower shutter speeds from 30s

Continuous shooting

3 fps of 5 fps, max. 8 consecutive exposures with constant shooting speed in DNG + JPED fine quality

Color settings

Standard, Vivid, Natural, B&W Natural, B&W High Contrast

Flash modes

Auto, flash exposure correction, red-eye correction, fill-in flash, slow sync, studio, 1st / 2nd curtain sync

Hot shoe

Compatible with Leica SF 24D, Leica SF 58 flash units


3” TFT LCD, approx. 920,000 pixels, wide-angle field of ives: 100 %

Internal memory

Approx. 110 MB

Memory card



HDMI out, USB (USB 2.0 high speed), Leica EVF socket

Battery (lithium-ion)

Capacity: approx 450 exposures


Approx. 133 x 73 x 95 mm or


Approx. 650 / 680 g or 22.9 / 24 oz (without / with battery)

Product includes

Battery (Leica BP-DC8), battery charger (Leica BP-DC8), battery case, leather carrying strap, USB cable, lens cap, user manual


Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (free download option after camera registration)

May 152013


The Classic Nikkor 8.5cm f/2 LTM lens review

click on any image in this review for a larger size image

Ahhh yes. Classic solid brass and chrome lenses from the 1950’s certainly have a charm about them. When you find one, hold one and use one you will indeed say to yourself “they do not make them like this anymore”. While Leica still makes damn finely built lenses today, the prices are so high that I see many shooters priced out of the market. I have friends who save for an entire year just so they can buy one 50 Summilux ASPH. Well, I am here to tell you that if you shoot a Leica M, digital or film, there are some special lenses out there that you can buy for much less than a modern Leica lens and in some cases you may even prefer the output.

While many of these old lenses have poor performance and tons of “glow” (which is another word for “flaws”), many of us love those old flaws and imperfections. Those of us  who use and get to know these old jewel like lenses realize that once you master them they can be quite beautiful, even by 2013 standards. Some of these old lenses are gems..diamonds in the rough so to speak. Many were used by press shooters in the 50’s and many of those swore by this exact lens, the Nikkor 8.5cm f/2. I was lucky enough to find one in LTM mount in quite amazing shape for a screaming deal, chump change for most Leica lens buyers, and I am glad I did.


I found one!

The Nikkor 8.5 f/2 Lens is considered a legend by many shooters in the know and I have been keeping an eye out for a Leica screw mount version for a few weeks without any luck. Suddenly I happened to stumble upon a rare version of this lens at a local Scottsdale, AZ shop called collectiblecameras.com . They had received a “MIOJ” Tokyo version of this lens which is not the oldest version but it is one of those that is harder to find, even more so with a hood, front cap and original rear metal cap. This one had it all, even the matching case for the lens. Score!

When I saw it on their website I bought it and chose to pick up in person and pay in cash. I then picked it up a week and a half later as it was out getting a cleaning and adjust.




When I held the lens I was struck by the beauty of it. The heft. The smoothness of the focus barrel and the great condition it was in for being a 1950’s rangefinder lens. I was put off by the fact that it is a clickless aperture lens and that the aperture dial moves with the focus ring but even so, after firing off a few test shots and seeing how sharp it was wide open as well as the buttery bokeh, I knew had to have it. Whipped out my debit card and made the purchase final. Those are some great guys at collectible and they have loads of old classic gear. You can see their website HERE. You never know, you may find something you like. They also buy and trade old gear.

Shooting the lens at f/2 will give you sharp details at your focus point with a beautiful buttery fall off into melty goo goo land  :)



Indoor at high ISO works as well..


This lens is an all out steal at the prices you can get them for, and the shop where I bought this one even made a goof on the price on this specific lens as they did not realize it was the more rare collectible version. If I did not know any better I would think it was 10 years old, not 60. It is in that nice of condition. The lens competes with lenses like the 75 Lux 1.4 at 1/20th the price. While not as “perfect” as a Leica 75 Lux which is not known for its unique Noctilux type of rendering, the Nikkor has loads of charm and in case I have not said it enough, lovely Bokeh in 90% of situations. This could be called Nikon’s original “Cream Machine”. This is a Sonnar design and it has a great smooth signature with biting sharpness if you indeed nail focus. Best of both worlds in one lens.

Wide open at ISO 6400 on the Leica MM



A portrait classic, 85mm. But the M does not have 85mm framelines!

True! The Leica M cameras do not have 85mm framelines, but it is not so hard to guess when using the 75mm framelines. Once you snap a few shots you will get the hang of what is happening. By using an adapter like THIS ONE you can screw it on the bottom of the lens, snap it to your Leica M and have the 75 lines show up. I took the portrait below and while not framed perfectly, it came out OK for a test shot. It was taken at f/2 wide open. Here you can see the Bokeh in the background is a little “busy”. With foliage it can do that but this is a challenge for any lens.

As for the adapter I have tried quite a few from the $10 cheapies to the $25 mid range to the $50 Voigtlander models. If I were buying from scratch I would go with the Voigtlander adapter. It is the best of the lot. I tried the Kippon adapters and they just do not fit right and are made sort of rough. The $10 cheapies are OK and work but also not up to the quality of the Voigtlander adapters. I have 7-8 adapters here and for this lens I have the Voigtlander attached without any issues.

So yes, you can use this lens effectively on a Leica M camera. It may not have the perfection of the modern lenses, and if shooting professionally I would use modern glass but for those times when you want a little bit of a classic injection, these lenses simply rock.




Think about it, for the cost of one modern Leica lens, say a 35 Lux ASPH FLE you could buy 8-10 classic lenses in all focal lengths and give them a spin, and then sell what you do not want or need without losing anything. You can even do so by using my own buy/sell forum here on this site.

When shooting these old lenses in black & white they can be phenomenal as they were made in the B&W era..it is what they were made for. Usually single coated you will get less contrast and a bit of glow/coma/flare as well. These things can indeed add to the charm of your photos. After all, back in the 50’s there were some astonishing photos made and what lenses were used? Lenses like this one right here.


I Found a 2nd One!

During the 3 days of compiling and writing this review I acquired a 2nd Nikkor 8.5cm Lens from a trade deal I made and it is a later version. A teeny bit smaller, the aperture dial has clicks and goes to f/32 instead of f/16. Optics seem the same in my tests. Since I have acquired a 2nd copy, although without caps, hood or case I am selling the rarer and nicer “MIOJ” version which was responsible for every image in this review. I will keep the 2nd copy as my user. (UPDATE – the “MIOJ” has sold already, minutes after the ad was posted in the buy/sell.)

Fun with the Classics

It is pretty fun to mess around with these old classic lenses. They look great, feel fabulous, are easier on the pocketbook than modern glass and would be easy to resell without losing money after you try them out. After trying several classic lenses I have found 3 that I am thrilled with. One of them is this 85 f/2 Nikkor. While I am not an 85mm or 90 guy, it will get used a few times per year and by spending a few hundred compared to a few thousand it is much easier to justify. :) Dont forget to check out Ashwin Rao’s article where he shared some images from this lens as well.

If you want some of that classic fun with your rangefinder check out lenses like this 85 f/2 or the 35 1.8 or the Canon 50 1.8, Leica 50 Summitar or the Leica 50 Summarit 1.5 (review soon). All fantastic but that is just the tip of the iceberg and each one has their own unique flavor or fingerprint that you just may fall in love with. There are TONS of these beauties out there to unearth :)

But these old classics are not for everyone. For those who want perfection I’d suggest grabbing some of the best Leica M glass made today. The 35 Lux ASPH, the 50 Lux ASPH and the 90 Cron APO just to name a few. Ken Hansen ([email protected]), PopFlash and Pro Shop has all of those in stock now :)

if you want more info on this lens, check out this wealth of information on it.






May 142013

Wow! Premium 32 1.2 (85mm) for Nikon 1 Series arrives…

Nikon has upped the ante, finally with this new lenses for the Nikon 1 series! A high quality super fast 1.2 aperture 85mm equivalent is ready to be pre-ordered and it looks very nice. While it costs about triple of the Nikon V1 closeout price of $299 at about $900, I bet this will be an amazing portrait lens for the Nikon 1.


This lens will feature a metal construction, Nano coatings and a floating element along with a big manual focus ring for super fine focusing. It will arrive in Black or Silver and you can pre-order it now at B&H Photo. I can not wait to get a hold of one to test as it can take the little impressive 1 series to the next level with some real shallow DOF possibilities and a pro grade construction.


Also looks like Nikon reduced the price of the V2 body, now at $696. A perfect companion to the new 32 1.2. Still, a Nikon V2 and 32 1.2 lens will set you back about $1600, more expensive than an  Olympus E-P5 or OM-D E-M5 with a 25 1.4 or 45 1.8 which will get you more shallow DOF if you wanted it. Still, for those Nikon 1 fans, and there are quite a few out there now including my Son who made the V1 and 18.5 his #1 camera, this lens is VERY welcome.

May 082013


The new Think Tank Mirrorless Mover Bags – Video Review

You can buy these great affordable bags direct from Think Tank Photo HERE

Take a look at the video review below of the entire line of Mirrorless Mover bags. These include the 5, 10, 20 and 30i. 

Hello to all and Happy Wednesday! It is mid-week and flying by as usual, especially for me as I always have new gear flying in and out of my house, lol. Today I have the brand new set of camera bags from Think Tank Photo, the Mirrorless Mover series. This series consists of four different size bags for your mirrorless or even Leica camera system. They are specially made for the small size/high quality camera market and these bags are all high quality in construction, have loads of features and are some of the most well thought out bags I have seen. They look great, feel great, have metal hardware and quality zippers. A magnetic folding front flap and most models have an iPhone/Smartphone holder as well as SD card pockets. They all feature a “raincoat” in case you get in a wet situation and the best part is they are pretty much dirt cheap in cost for what you get. Priced from $35 to $70 you get quite a bit for your money here and these are highly recommended by me. In fact, these now get my “Best Buy” pick for your mirrorless camera bag needs. Nothing beats them for the price, nothing. While not “Luxury Bags” with leather trim and fancy looks, these bags are much more functional in design and use, which is where it matters.

The 30i, the largest and most functional of all the bags, under $70!


When I did the video review at the top of this page I had no idea how much these were going to sell for as they were not launched yet. I assumed the largest and most functional 30i bag would be $149. It is under $70! This bag will even hold your iPad safely and snugly inside along with your camera, 3-4 lenses, charger, batteries, cards and phone. It is also the choice for Leica users as the 30i is “Leica Size” and easily holds your M and a few lenses with accessories. All in a good-looking and super functional design for under $70.

You can see more info or buy these great affordable bags direct from Think Tank Photo HERE

Apr 172013


The new Ricoh GR Camera is ready for pre-order and ready to stomp on the Nikon Coolpix A!

A new GR digital and it looks FANTASTIC and mark my words: THIS IS A NIKON COOLPIX A KILLER! It may say Pentax but it looks, feels, smells and shoots like a Ricoh GR on steroids.

I have been asked by 20-30 to review the Nikon coolpix A so I tried it out in a shop and was not impressed. Why? The AF speed is just too slow for my tastes in this price bracket of $1100. The IQ is good it just seems to me like Nikon rushed it together to have something to compete with in the APS-C segment. If a camera does not have snappy AF these days I do not want to own it as it doesn’t excite me one bit. At $1100 the coolpix A is not the best buy IMO. At $700, yes. $1100, no. I’d go with the incredible Fuji X100s for $1299 before I would buy a Coolpix A for $1100. Don’t get me wrong, the Coolpix A has great imaging potential but so does the Sigma DP Merrill series, even more so actually. 

The new GR WILL be reviewed by me as it is a camera that excites me and makes me think of the possibilities. A pocket camera with an APS-C sensor, decent AF and a killer lens, all with the GR heritage. Amazing. The lens is a 28mm equivalent and has two aspheric elements and 7 elements total. The GR series has always been fantastic and I am thrilled that it has now stepped up to APS-C. The all black smooth design of the GR brings me back to the old film GR cameras. Sweet.

Take a look at the official video below on the new camera:

B&H Photo has the GR up for pre-order at $796.95, and that is a great price for a camera like this. My pre-order is in because I feel not only will this beat the Nikon Coolpix A but it probably will dethrone my fave pocket rocket, the Sony RX100! My crystal ball is showing me a price redux on the coolpix A soon… :)

Key Features of the new GR

16.2MP APS-C Format CMOS Sensor – I feel 16-18 Mp is perfect.

GR ENGINE V Image Processor

No Optical Low-pass Filter – YES!

18.3mm f/2.8 Lens (28mm Equivalent) – Nice wide FOV

3.0″ 1,230k-dot White Magic LCD Screen

Full HD 1080p Video Capture

ISO Range of 100-25600 – A GR digital with ISO up to 25,600 means 3200 will be great.

High Speed AF and 4 fps Burst Shooting

Image Effects and Macro Mode

Compact Magnesium Alloy Body – These bodies always feel great.

You can PRE-ORDER the GR at B&H Photo HERE!

You can Pre-Order the GR at PopFlash.com HERE


You can PRE-ORDER the GR at B&H Photo HERE!

You can Pre-Order the GR at PopFlash.com HERE

To me, that is what it is all about. Excitement. If a camera can excite me just from looking at specs and a video, then I am in. More soon and you can see my old GRIII review HERE.



Apr 142013


Fuji X100s IN STOCK at Amazon!!! But act fast!

Hello to all! Was just browsing Amazon and noticed they are listing the X100s as IN STOCK but shipping in 1-2 days. This is from AMAZON not a third party so of course you can use your Prime membership if you have one for the free shipping. Just wanted to give a heads up on this great camera. In case you missed the review, you can find it HERE. Enjoy your Sunday!


The little X20 is also in stock!

Jan 252013


Site Sponsors that keep this site going, I thank them all! Plus some Leica used deals…

It is no secret that in the past few months that Leica gear has been in stock at most dealers in the USA. Just about any lens or camera you want (besides the Monochrom and new M) are available right now, brand new. You guys know who the sponsors of this site are and I can highly recommend ANY of them if you want great service, great pricing and no hassles. It is because of these guys below that this site continues to rock on day after day. Without them it would really be tough so I wanted to thank them and let all of you guys know once again that these three dealers below are all TOP NOTCH, best of the best .

Ken Hansen – You can e-mail him at [email protected] and he deals in Leica new and used. I never know what he has used but in the past I have purchased all kinds of goodies from Ken including M6′s, MP’s, Contax T2, etc. If you are looking for a used item Ken might just have it and he is amazing when it comes to customer service and speed of shipping.  Ken is taking pre-orders for the new M and Monochrom so be sure to send him an e-mail if you want in.


POPFLASH – Tony Rose is no stranger to Leica fans and I can not say one bad thing about his business, service or pricing. In fact, you can find some great buys at his website when it comes to Leica gear. He always has interesting gear to browse and also sells some of the killer Artisan and Artist gear such as straps and bags. He sells Zeiss as well so take a look over at POPFLASH.COM to see what he has available today.

popflash has this SWEET Zeiss Super Wide Ikon setup on sale for $1,777 (normally $2497) – See it here!


THE PRO SHOP – The newest and last “shop” sponsor of this site the Pro Shop has all kinds of Leica gear, and a huge inventory of new stock of lenses, cameras and even the new S2-P for $19,999 brand new in box with special warranty – aBOUT $6K less than B&H Photo is selling a used one for. These guys are also great and know their stuff. If it is Leica you want, give them a call at 561-253-2606 or check out their site HERE.

Just so everyone knows, YES these are site sponsors but what you do not know is that I do not take ANYONE as a site sponsor. I have turned down 4 other stores/dealers in the past even when I needed them. Why? Because I will only recommend to YOU the best of the best, and to me, these guys are the best there is when it comes to Leica.

Other shops I HIGHLY recommend for everything and anything else

Other shops I recommend are B&H Photo, Dale Photo and of course, Amazon for just about anything you could ever need. I use Amazon every week and even have home necessities on subscription. Every months I get a case of dog food delivered, cat food, paper towels, dishwashing soap and laundry detergent and more. This cuts down on my grocery trips, saves me money and is super convenient. So while I recommend the guys above for anything Leica, I recommend B&H photo for all other photo needs and Amazon for just about anything you could ever want. Cameras, electronics, music, and everything in between. When you guys follow my links on this site to these shops and make a purchase of ANYTHING I will then get a small commission, a few cents when you buy some diapers for example. Over time it adds up and helps this site to keep expanding and going.

SO FOR THAT I THANK ALL OF YOU! Without the readers, all of you, even those who disagree with me…well, this site would not be able to go on. So thank you all.


As mentioned, Dale Photo is also an exceptional Leica dealer so be sure to check them out as well because they also have some cool used deals at times as well as pre-orders on new gear.

Of course there is one more site sponsor and I use their services quite often..LENSRENTALS.COM. They rent the coolest cameras and lenses and they make it so easy to do so. Hassle free, even including the return packaging and label, all prepaid. If you ahve been thinking of a camera but are not sure, rent it first so you know. They even rent the Leica Monochrom! 

With that, here are a few USED Leica deals on the B&H Photo used site:

Leica Noctilux F1 with slide out hood (latest before the new f/0.95) and this one comes in at a recent record low of $5995 It is softer than the 0.95 but has so much more “Character” – see some samples HERE from quite a while ago.

LEICA 90 Elmarit, latest before discontinuing. This lens is the one everyone seems to search for. B&H has one for $1499, $800 less than I sold my last one for a couple of years ago. With the new M, this lens should be a breeze to focus. $1499

How about this? A used Leica M8.2 Safari Limited Edition set with chrome 28 Elmarit. I so wanted this when it came out but just could not swing it. Looks like it is keeping its value though because at $6999 it is not cheap! Dale has it USED. 


A great find here…A Leica 35mm Summicron f/2 “King Of Bokeh” V4 with 6 bit coding. $1995 at Dale

I hope everyone here has a GREAT weekend, enjoy it!


Jan 042013


Quick Tip for Sony RX100 and RX1 Owners: Nice external charger and batteries

Hey hey hey! Happy FRIDAY to all! Just a quick note to let all of you Sony RX1 owners out there know about an AWESOME external charger for your RX1. Since Sony did not include a proper charger with the camera for some reason we have to search for an external if we want one. That means if you want a real charger..as in one that you do not have to plug into the camera itself to charge the battery then we have to find one that works well and is not going to cost an arm and a leg.

I found such a charger and it is superb! I love it. Small and travel/bag friendly and it even has a digital display showing the charge progress. You just slide the battery up inside the unit and it charges it fairly quick. It is nice quality as well. This is the charger I chose for my RX1 batteries (I have 4 batteries total).

You can buy or take a look at the charge here on Amazon, and it is shipped and sold by Amazon (prime eligible) which is a plus. Also, it does in fact work perfect with the RX1 and RX100 batteries. I have charged all of mine up a few times already with this charger.

As for batteries you can buy the Sony branded ones for $33 a piece HERE or if you want to go cheap you can try out these at $5.99 each. I have a couple of these and they also work perfectly fine and give me the same life as the originals.

Just wanted to pass along this tip as I own and enjoy this charger and know a few of you were looking for a good external charger. This one is great and works 100% with the Sony RX100 and RX1 batteries.

SITE UPDATE: The site should be running much faster for everyone now. A few days ago I had some hiccups and the site was down for most of the day but as of today the site should be running VERY fast for everyone that has a high-speed connection. I am currently working on the SLR Magic 35 T 0.95 review and part one should be up by Monday. After that I will have the Fuji X-E1 review up using the 18-55 Kit Zoom and SLR Magic 35 T 1.4. I will also be at CES with Todd Hatakeyama from Tuesday to Thursday and will be doing reports from the show! Can’t wait!

Also, for those who have not checked out the RX1 files for a while, take a look here and see what others have been doing with their RX1!



Aug 142012


Leica Lenses IN STOCK NOW! But probably not for long…

If you have been waiting for Leica glass to be in stock then your wait is over. As of today there is stock at a few dealers of many Leica lenses. 50 Lux? Yep. 35 Cron? yep. 28 Cron? Yep…plus many more including the classic 50 Cron (which I still adore). I think that these lenses are in stock now because the M9 firestorm and Leica fever has cooled down from 120 degrees to about 98 degrees. Once the Monochrom and M10 hit I think these lenses will once again be getting snagged up as shooters get the super hot “Leica Fever” once again.

1. Ken Hansen – Ken is a dealer who has been in business since the 1950’s and his personalized service, trust and old school customer service just make the shopping experience super pleasant. Ken Doesn’t have a web site but many here can tell you how great Ken is. I spoke with him yesterday and he has MANY Leica lenses in stock, new and ready to roll .Just send him an e-mail to [email protected] and he will get to you very quickly. He ships worldwide and I just received a new lens from him today. Thanks Ken! BTW, Ken has a pre-order Monochrom list as well if you want to add your name let him know. I think this camera is going to start shipping the 1st or 2nd week of Sep. BTW, Ken has the 50 Lux ASPH in Silver in stock and I think even the Noctilux.

2. PopFlash  – Tony Rose at pop flash is very well-known and has been a Leica dealer for a long time as well. He also sells Olympus, Ricoh, Zeiss and other cameras which you can find over at popflash.com  I noticed he has some Leica glass and even super lightly used M9P’s in stock at deep discounts. Be sure to check out the website HERE. I remember buying my 1st Leica digital from PopFlash back when the Digilux 2 arrived. I bought TWO from him back then and loved that camera to death.  PopFlash also sells the really great Artisan & Artist products and they have big stock of those products right now as well.

3. Dale Photo – They have loads of Leica glass in as well. I was t old by David Farkas who is the main Leica guru there that they had a bug shipment in and to send anyone I know looking for glass their way. Dale has been a site sponsor for a while now and have always provided great service. I have shopped at Dale for Leica glass in the past and usually check to see what they have in stock. Dale also sells USED Leica cameras and they have a Titanium M9 kit in stock right now. Wow.

4. B&H Photo  – Just checked and B&H has a few Leica lenses in stock. They have the 35 cron in Black, the 28 cron, and a used 35 SUMMILLUX 1.4 ASPH

It seems Leica has pumped up their lens production so now os the time to get what you need!

Aug 062012

Add some grippage to your Sony RX100! The Richard Franiec RX100 Grip is here!

Last week I received a package in the mail from Mr. Richard Franiec, the guy who makes all of the cool grips for the smaller cameras out there today. He makes them for the Nikon 1 series, Olympus EM1 and others. When I found out he had one for the new RX100 I told him to send one my way! It arrived and in my opinion it is a must have accessory for any RX100 user. It is made of metal and of super quality. It is easy to apply and takes less than a minute while adding a great grip to the camera so it is much more comfortable to hold. The good thing is that it does not make the camera big and bulky like some of the grips sold today. It’s sleek and slim.

The grip sells for $34.95 on Richards website so you can buy direct from him HERE.

I made a quick YouTube video showing how it looks on the camera so take a look below! Thanks!

Jun 142012

19 Used Leica Buys including many Lenses!

Hey! Just realized there are many more Leica used buys over at the used section at B&H Photo, Dale Photo and PopFlash including a 50 Summicron! Check out the list of what is available below!

LEICA M9-P CHROME – In box, 9 condition WITH Hand Grip included! $7199

LEICA M9 – STEEL GREY – 10 condition as new in box – $6599

LEICA 28 SUMMICRON F/2 LENS – 9+ condition in box $3699

LEICA 24 Elmarit  – 9+ – with box and hood – $3449

Leica M8.2 – 8 Condition – $2899

Leica 24 Elmar 3.8 – 10 Condition as new in box – $2394

Leica 50 Summicron f/2 (latest version) – 8+ – $1599

Leica M6 TTL – Black  – 9 CONDITION – $1699

Leica X1 – Black – In Box – 8+ – $1399

Leixa X1 – Steel Grey  – In Box – 8+ – $1299

LEICA 40 SUMMICRON F/2 – 8+ with hood – $774.95

Leica 35 Summicron ASPH – BLACK $2600 – – CHROME – $2700

Leica 90 Elmar f/4 – $200

Leica 75 Summarit – $1400

Leica 90 Summarit – $1300

Another used chrome M9-P for under $7300

Black M9 – $6197

Leica 24 Summilux  – $6497

Jun 052012

Great cheap goodies for your lenses – Soft micro lens pouch is a GREAT buy.

I had to let you guys know about these as my buddy Todd makes and sells these and I have been using them for the past month or so and LOVE them. They are called the “Micro Lens Pouch” and are made for smaller camera systems and the lenses that we pay so dearly for. The is a great way to protect your glass and offers much more protection than just throwing them in a bag. I have the 3 pack here and the small fits a Leica summarit or summicron type of lens, the medium fits my Panasonic 25 1.4 or equivalent size and the large even fit a Leica Noctilux. The lenses are super soft with great cushion and protection. The great thing is you can buy all three for $29.95 and they are sold at Amazon, and shipped by Amazon.

While Todd makes and sells these I am not writing this because I know him or because he paid me (he did not). I am writing about them because I feel they are truly a great buy. Ive been using them almost daily for a while now and they have held up well for me and even helped protect my little 50 Summarit when I dropped it out of my bag.

You can buy each size separately or the get the three pack of various sizes for $29.95

The three pack can be found Here on Amazon

You can also just buy the Small, Medium, or Large for just over $10 each. Highly recommended!

Also available in a 2-Pack, small and medium!

BTW, I might as well add a plug for the 2012 Photo Cruise since the guy who makes these pouches is also going to be joining us ! I still have a few cabins remaining and if anyone is interested I need to know before July 1st! Check out the cruise page here, but imagine a full week on the seas and photography at every stop! Of course guests are welcome and can participate in all shooting! Will be a blast and free lens pouches for all :)

and…Don’t miss the street strap!

The street strap is also a very cool strap that I have attached to my new black Fuji X100 and it is a black cloth strap that looks similar to the A&A Silk cord strap, but this is not silk and it is longer so you can wear it around you. This is also on Amazon and shipped by Amazon so no dealing with 3rd party vendors. I like this strap and I also like my Barton strap and A&A strap! Just like with bags and cameras, all personal preference. But if you have been wanting a nice black strap that is comfy and long enough to strap around your body when carrying your camera this one is great. You can check it out on Amazon HERE.

Feb 192012

Estimated ship dates for the OM-D, Fuji X-Pro 1 and Pentax K-01!

Was browsing B&H photo and noticed the estimated ship dates for the Olympus OM-D, Pentax K-01 and Fuji X-Pro 1 have been listed! Here you go!


Olympus OM-D – ESTIMATED SHIP DATE – APRIL 10TH 2012 – Pre-Order Here

Fuji X-Pro 1 – ESTIMATED SHIP DATE – March 20th 2012 – Pre-Order Here

PENTAX K-01 – ESTIMATED SHIP DATE – MARCH 29TH 2012 – Pre-Order Here


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