Nov 252015

FIRST LOOK! The SLR Magic 50 1.1 For E-Mount at $349!

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.22.54 AM

I have been checking out a new lens from SLR Magic and it is a 50 1.1 for the Sony FE Mount, and yes, this is a full frame 50 1.1 for $349. It’s metal construction, rangefinder like lens build and smooth manual focus ring make this a pretty great buy at $349. It is not going to be a “perfect” lens wide open but gives a unique character for sure. I have been shooting with one for a few days but I had Andrew at SLR Magic convert mine to Leica M mount. This way I can use it on Leica or Sony (via adapters) but the lens is the same through and through and for the FE mount you are getting a unique lens to add to your kit with gobs of character wide open, and sharpness and snap stopped down to f/2-2.8.

The lens feels great, looks nice and is small. Very well made for the price point for sure. I will have more of this lens in my upcoming Leica SL review..soon!

You can buy the lens at B&H Photo HERE and take a look at a couple sample shots below ;)

Wide open at 1.1 with very careful focusing! Click it for larger.


Stopped down to f/1.4


Again at 1.4


f/2.8 – it sharpens up dramatically here, focusing was on the trees in the mirror


Here is one at 1.4…


and now at f/2.8


Nov 242015

Quick Comparison: Sony RX1rII, Sony A7RII, Leica SL..all at 35mm

Just for fun, a quick comparison between the Sony RX1RII, the Sony A7RII and the Leica SL. All at 35mm! My review is in the works for the RX1RII and Leica SL but some have asked me to do a quick comparison to see the color differences or any detail differences. Below are three test shots. Which do you prefer for color, detail and overall vibe?

YOU MUST click on these shots to see them larger and with true 100% crop. 

1st up, RX1R Mark II at f/3.5, ISO 640 – TRIPOD mounted. FROM RAW


Sony A7RII, 35 Zeiss 2.8 at 3.5, ISO 640, from RAW


Leica SL, 24-90 at 35mm and f/3.5 – ISO 640, from RAW


Nov 232015

Leica SL Review COMING! Update..

Hey guys! Just an update to let you know I am working my behind off on the Leica SL review as well as the Sony RX1RII review. These will not be rushed, as I really am digging in getting to know these cameras very well as both of these are tops in IQ and quality in today’s mirrorless market. I do feel the SL review may be published first, followed by the RX1RII and then a new SLR Magic lens for E-Mount (Though I have an M mount version), the 50 1.1 that comes in at under $400.


I have been shooting these daily, and loving every moment of it. The RX1RII for its small size, great build and feel and IQ which is about as good as it gets in 35mm.

The SL has been a true workhorse. Battery life is off the charts as I am on the same charge as when I received the camera with 3/4 life left! The EVF is a thing of beauty, as is the camera. Hard to put into words unless you really feel/handle one yourself. AF is speedy, and everything FEELS pro.

Below are two shots from the Leica SL that show fantastic IQ and details.

Both were shot with the 24-90 Zoom which is a pretty stunning lens. Not nearly as heavy as you think either.

Click images to see true 100% crop and how it is meant to be seen! 



Nov 192015


Leica Camera Introduces The New Leica M (Typ 262):

A Digital Rangefinder Camera With Only the Essential Functions

Leica M_Typ 262_01

Leica launches digital rangefinder camera in its purest form to allow for ease of use and handling.

November 19, 2015 – Leica Camera presents a new digital rangefinder camera, the Leica M (Typ 262). Together with the Leica M (Typ 240), M-P (Typ 240) and the M Monochrom (Typ 246), this new camera rounds out the digital rangefinder family and stands for the M philosophy in its purest form. Its concentration on the essence of rangefinder photography and intuitive handling makes it an ideal tool for experiencing the pure enjoyment of photography.

The Leica M (Typ 262) digital rangefinder camera embodies all the essential advantages of the Leica rangefinder system, while foregoing certain functions that some users may find extraneous. Just like all other digital M-Cameras, the Leica M (Typ 262) features a high-resolution CMOS full-frame sensor, albeit one that is dedicated exclusively to capturing photos; eschewing features such as video recording and Live View. Its 24-megapixel resolution ensures exceptional image quality and extreme sensitivity, and makes the Leica M (Typ 262) ideal for photography in available light situations. At the same time, the camera’s Maestro processor guarantees fast processing of captured images and immediate readiness to shoot.

Leica M_Typ262_back

Leica M_Typ 262_top

The clear and functional lines of the Leica M (Typ 262) design reveal its concentration on essential controls and handling. The top deck is made from durable aluminium, which makes the camera around 100 grams lighter and even more ergonomic than its sibling models. Further design differences are the reduced size of the logo and the step at the end of the top plate. Differences aside, the Leica M (Typ 262) is made in Germany with the highest level of craftsmanship just as all M cameras in the Leica line.

In addition to its purist looks, the hardly audible shutter of the Leica M (Typ 262) also guarantees maximum discreetness when shooting. An invaluable advantage in photographic situations where blending into the scene is vital. As an aid to this, the camera features a shutter cocking system that is considerably quieter in single exposure mode than that of the M (Typ 240) and enables a shutter release frequency of up to two frames per second. In continuous mode, the M (Typ 262) has the same sequential shooting speed as its sibling models and shoots up to three frames per second.

Leica M-Family Shot_Nov_2015_01The handling concept of the Leica M (Typ 262) fulfils the demands of what photographers expect from a Leica M. This includes the tried and true manual focusing process with the coupled rangefinder and exposure options of full manual control or Aperture Priority automated shooting. Due to the omission of Live View and the video function, the menu is extremely lean and concise, consisting of only 2 pages that ensure all settings are quickly accessible. A dedicated button on the back of the camera now sets the white balance value, giving full-time access to this often-used function.

The Leica M (Typ 262) will be on sale end of November and is priced at $5,195. 

MY RECOMMENDED LEICA Dealers: Ken Hansen ([email protected]), PopFlash.comB&H Photo

BASICALLY THE NEW M 262 IS AN M 240 WITH AN ALUMINUM TOP PLATE INSTEAD OF BRASS AND NO VIDEO FEATURE. OH, AND A LOWER PRICE as well as a QUIETER shutter! This is my preferred recommended M as the video on the M was not necessary and with a quieter shutter, and lighter weight, the $2k savings makes this the M to get for most :)

Next year I predict and all new M will be announced with MANY changes ;) 

Nov 172015


LEICA SL – 1st HANDS ON Look! 

So today I received a Leica SL and 24-90 Lens along with an M adapter so I could test M lenses on this new Leica. This is a loaner that I received to test for a while as the one I ordered for myself (from Ken Hansen) will not be in for a little while. In any case, this new Leica SL is absolutely incredible in build with a pro feel that not many cameras have besides the Leica S. In fact, it feels and looks more like a Mini S but with a full frame 35mm sensor instead of a medium format sized sensor.

My 1st Look Video Below!

When you look at it from this perspective, the SL is not a Sony A7 copy..instead it is like a whole new class of camera. Leica says they are aiming for pro users, and I can see this now as any studio shooter, wedding shooter or concert shooter would fall deeply in love with the SL. Even the 24-90 f/2.8-f/4 lens is stunning in its quality from build to image quality, which renders much like a superb prime lens would.

I have to eat my words on what I wrote about the SL based on 1st thoughts of the specs and images. Now that it is in hand, and I have studied it, shot with it a little and experienced this amazing drop dead gorgeous EVF, dual SD slots, pro battery, and full weather sealing..I can say the SL is in a class all by itself, even when compared to the Canon 1d’s and D4’s of the world.

It’s larger than a Sony A7 series body but not by much. In fact, in the video you will see that it is not much larger than an M 240. With M lenses, this EVF ROCKS and makes it a breeze to shoot with M glass…much easier than even the M 240 and the IQ beats the M as well due to the new sensor.

Three quick snaps 10 minutes after getting the camera. These are just snapshots of my house, in my house and outside of my house. I wanted to see the color, detail and pop of the 24-90 Zoom. In my upcoming full review I will have TONS of image samples just as I always do for my big reviews. 

Last two are with the 50 Lux ASPH

These are all Out Of Camera images and color looks great indoor and out






Shooting the SL with something like a 28 Elmarit, 35 cron and 50 lux would be so much fun and provide stunning IQ.

My full massive review will include video samples, comparisons to the Sony A7RII, Leica M 240 and even the Sony RX1RII. It will include TONS of images samples, crops, ISO tests and usability reports. It may be my most jam packed review to date so will take around 3 weeks to do. So….

Stay tuned ;)


PS – You can order a Leica SL from Ken Hansen ([email protected]),, B&H Photo or Leica Store Miami

Nov 172015

Hong Kong with the Voigtlander Nokton 35 1.2

By Fahad A


Hi Brandon,

Thanks for posting my previous submissions, this is my 4th submission and hopefully the 5th will be on the way soon.

Last summer I decided to go to Hong Kong to spend my vacation and of course to explore the streets along with my camera. I only took the leica (typ240) along with the nokton 35mm 1.2, thinking that I might buy a 50mm from HK if I felt limited with the 35mm (given that I broke the 50mm summicron and for some reason didn’t remember to send it for a repair until the day I traveled)

Luckily, I managed without having to buy a new lens, the images had the usual nokton softness, which I don’t mind at all. Hong kong is very dense, and streets are tight and narrow that I couldn’t imagine using a 50mm over there, the 35mm focal length served me very well.

Most of the images I am sharing here are not uploaded to my photostream yet, as you can see they are all in B&W, which is the total opposite of my current flickr photostream, however I might upload them soon.

I never thought I would convert any of these photographs to B&W when i was capturing them, it only happened when I messed around with one of the images and felt that nokton softness along with B&W treatment appeals to my taste.

For now, hope you all enjoy the images as much as I enjoyed capturing them.



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Fahad A

Nov 132015

REVIEWS COMING: Sony RX1R Mark II and The Leica SL

SITE UPDATE: Before the end of this year I will have three major reviews written and published.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 9.59.11 AM

First, the Sony RX1R Mark II which I will be starting on next week. My 1st look video and samples will be up next week Wednesday, the 18th, and a full review to follow 2 weeks later. This will be my last Sony review of the year as almost all of Sony’s new releases have now been reviewed here (A7II Here, A7RII Here, A7SII Here, RX100 IV Here and the RX10 II will be in Jan sometime)

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 10.00.26 AM

THEN, I will start getting to work on my Leica SL review which will be a big one. Due to many requests, comparisons to the M 240 and A7RII using a 50 Summilux ASPH for all three will be included. Will be shooting the SL like mad to give it a proper review. I am looking forward to this one ;) I expect this review to be out mid December after some serous shooting time with it.

There will also be one more review for a still un-announced camera before the year’s end as well. Hmmmmmmm ;)

Stay tuned! New videos coming as well.


Nov 122015

Scotland with the Leica M 240

by Brett Price

Hello Brandon & Steve,

I recently took my second trip to Scotland with my wife and her family and I wanted to share some early images from the trip. I took a great deal of images on this one, far more than the last trip and mainly because this time I brought a digital camera with me, the M240.

A quick gear paragraph… on this trip I took 3 cameras with me. My Leica M240, Leica MP and Rolleiflex FX-N. I also had 3 lenses with the Leica system, a Summilux 50 & 35 ASPH and the CV Ultron 28 f2. As far as film I took only slide film and b&w as its easiest for me to digitize later. (color negative is constantly annoying for me to scan, slide and b&w make it simple and easy). I carried it all around in my Filson Magnum camera bag which really shined on this trip. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a good camera bag. It has tons of pockets, is really durable and water-resistant and very unassuming as a camera bag. It’s pricy but worth it entirely.




Lots of my other posts have been very gear related so I want to try to avoid that with this one. I’d rather talk about my amazing trip and mainly about Scotland. For most of these photos we were staying in Oban, a fairly small town in the Western Highlands above Glasgow. On my last trip we didn’t venture too far into the Highlands and now after seeing what they have to offer I really regret venturing out farther last time.

I don’t really consider myself a landscape photographer. I like to primarily shoot portraits, but there is something about Scotland and the landscapes there that almost have a personality, they have an emotion. I don’t think I have ever been somewhere so beautiful. And the beauty is constant, I’ve never enjoyed driving around in a car as much because there is so much to take in. Even the mundane bus stop has a charm to it that is unique and interesting to look at.





We did a great deal of driving on this trip to see as much as we could. Probably the most memorable trip was the long 4 hour drive from Oban to the tip of Loch Ness and then on over to the Isle of Skye. Between the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness is a 20 minute stretch of highway on the A87 that takes you by Loch Cluanie that looks eerily similar to the driving shots in Skyfall (and in actuality is pretty close by where it was filmed). I have never seen such a beautiful area. The best part is it seemingly came out of nowhere. It wasn’t our destination to see that area but It was by far my favorite sight.

This won’t be my last trip back. There is something extremely obvious about the personalities and kindness of the Scottish people that contrasts what I’m used to in the states. People are genuinely nice, accommodating, stress free and lively, even the TSA officer on our way out went out of his way to speak to us and joke, he was polite and did his job well without making our lives hell for the 10 minutes we shuffled through airport security like cattle. Needless to say I’m very envious of Scotland. Being there made me calmer and more content than I’ve ever experienced myself being in the states. Scotland is great because of its people.



Anyway, recommendations. Go see Isle of Mull. Go see Isle of Skye. Go see Loch Lamond and Loch Cluanie. Go see Oban and don’t hesitate to stop your car at any point and walk the hills where you see them. Just avoid the sheep shit because its everywhere. Talk to your taxi driver because he’s probably loaded with dark humor about anything you say to him.

Anyway, I hope you like my photos. I’ll post more as I go through them and develop the film over the next month.

Brett Wayne Price

Instagram @brettwayneprice

Nov 102015

New Leica 0.95 Special Edition Noctilux and D-Lux

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Look at what Leica has announced, “a special run of 95 “Edition 0.95” Noctilux lenses is being produced. The limited run lens will feature a unique domed knurled focus ring, blacked out engravings (except for the 0.95 in white), all in a glossy anodized black finish. This limited edition lens will be available exclusively through Leica Stores for a price of $13,950.”

If you want  this special edition Noctilux, you can pre-order it at Leica Store Miami HERE.  

—– also sells Leica as does Ken Hansen.

Leica also announced a special edition version of the current D-Lux Typ 109, in grey with a silver lens..

“Leica also proudly presents the Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) Solid Gray, an additional color to the existing D-Lux (Typ 109) range. This new option has a solid gray lacquered housing, silver lens and buttons, and comes packaged with a gray leather strap.”

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Nov 082015

A month with a Leica Q

by Nico van Malssen

Leica Q_Production_2_cmyk

I am a seeker. In more than one way. But this is about cameras, so I’ll focus on that. Over the past 5 years I have owned more than 30 different cameras. I buy them (mainly second hand), use them, sell them to buy new ones, etc. Sony (A7, NEX 5 & 6, RX100), Fujifilm (X-E1, X100s, X20), Panasonic (GM1) and the occasional Nikon, Canon and Sigma. And Leica. Lots of Leica: IIf, Leicaflex SL, M4, M6, M8, M9, X2, and X Vario. That doesn’t mean I am a dentist, or an architect, or rich, or drive a BMW or an Audi. I am an archaeologist, don’t have a car, live in a small house and have just one hobby: photography. I sold most of my books, LPs/CDs, guitars and a collection of Roman coins to finance this hobby.

From the moment I used a Leica, I was spoiled. Not by the IQ per se, but by the way they feel and handle (haptics). The build quality of the Fujis I used is iffy at best, that of Sony is better. Panasonic is good, and Leica is absolute top quality, especially the M. You can feel it when you pick one up. I can’t explain why, but it feels good. I kept picking up my M9, not just to take pictures, but to hold it… it’s crazy. But picking it up leads to taking pictures, so it’s a win-win situation. I never do that with other cameras. Having said that, I recently traded my M9 (and a Summicron 35mm) for a Q.


While the Q doesn’t have an M-feel, it’s a great camera in its own right. Not too big, not too small, it fits in my ONA Bowery snugly. It’s well balanced and easy to operate. For me, that is the essence of a good camera (sensor-wise most cameras are good, so that’s not an issue): the less menus/options the better. I don’t need (and therefore don’t want) a lot of in-camera options. I want to be in control. It has to be me who takes the pictures, not the camera. I shoot DNG, set the aperture and ISO manually (I usually select ISO before I go out and leave it like that during a shoot), and focus manually. I leave WB and shutter speed up to the camera, most of the time that is.

Versie 3

About the 28mm on the Q: Do I feel limited by it? No, not at all! Bokeh is excellent (you can also shoot decent enough portraits with it), I don’t mind getting close, and I like to have a lot of things going on besides the main subject. I love to crop, so one shot sometimes has enough in it to create more than one photo out of it! You could say it has broadened my view instead of limiting it. Before the Q I preferred 35mm. I did have a 50mm Summilux, which is a great lens, but 50mm is too narrow for me. I never use anything over 50mm.

Versie 2

In other words, I use the Q like I used my M. And it works great, in some ways even better than an M. Focus peaking maybe cheating a bit, but it’s bloody easy and convenient! As much as I like the M9, I was not able to fully use the flexibility of the M-system, i.e., one body and 3 or 4 lenses. I can afford just one lens, and there is no way I can ever buy more. That means the Q was an excellent option. IQ is on par with the current M (240), it has a lovely lens, great built quality, is easy to operate, I mean, what’s not to like?

Does this mean I have finally found what I was looking for? Maybe. The lure of the M remains as strong as ever. So much so that I recently traded my Summilux for an M2 with Summicron lens… :)

(See Steve Huff’s quick review of the Leica Q HERE)

Nov 072015

Leica Monochrom 246 in stock with Ken Hansen


Best way to order from Ken? E-Mail him at [email protected]

Was just informed by Ken Hansen that he finally has stock of the Leica Monochrom Typ 246! This camera has been in very short supply since launch and many have emailed me asking me what was happening with it, and why Leica was not sending stock to dealers. Well, guess a shipment just rolled in as Ken Hansen has them IN STOCK.

Ken Hansen is a legendary Leica dealer, and my go to guy for all things Leica. I have been dealing with Ken for 7 years now and never once have I encountered an issue, problem or ANYTHING similar to that. His customer service is 2nd to none and he usually has everything in stock (well, he can only stock what he can get) so if you have been wanting an M Monochrom 246, now is your chance. The new Mono is different but just as fantastic as the older Monochrom. Read my experience with it HERE. 

Leica is still keeping supply of the mighty Q tight. Not sure what, but that camera is also VERY hard to to impossible and it has been out of stock for months. When that one comes back in stock I will let you all know!

Email Ken at [email protected] if you want an M 246 or any other Leica gear. Q Wait list, SL wait list, M-P 240 (in stock) or any other Leica camera or lens. 

Nov 042015

Peru Surgical Mission with a Leica M

by Brian Ho


Hey Guys

I had submitted some photos last year, and you guys were gracious enough to post them. I just returned from peru for another surgical mission.

We perform surgery mostly for cleft lips/palates on children. This year we performed > 100 surgeries in 4 days and I wanted to share some of the emotions and visuals from the trip. Last year I utilized my Sony Rx1, and you can read my first post to see my feelings on it.

This year I splurged and got the Leica M240 and 50 1.4, which was a learning experience in its own. I missed many shots due to my inexperience with the focusing system, but every once in a while it generated some really beautiful photos. Overall, I’m going to keep working on the Leica and see where it takes me. I still have the Rx1.







instagram @xplorier
Tumblr @ xplorier

If you’d like to see the trip, below is a link to a short documentary on it. There are some surgeries and its refreshing to see interactions. I encourage people to watch it!!!!

Well hopefully, i hope everyone enjoys these submissions. K, until next time

Oct 302015

Press Release: Leica T Firmware Update 1.4


LEICA T: new Firmware update 1.4 and expansion of the lens portfolio bring greater speed and even more versatility


Wetzlar, 29 October 2015. Leica Camera AG presents a new firmware update for the Leica T camera system. Customers wishing to bring their camera up to date can now download the new firmware version 1.4 from the Leica website ( Alternatively, they can update their Leica T as part of a complementary service in the Leica Stores, and receive advice at the same time.

The new firmware version 1.4 enormously increases the speed of the Leica T and improves its entire performance profile. The Leica T, which is now ready to go even faster, is immediately noticeable – evidenced by the Live View mode, which comes on in a fraction of a second. Installing the update improves the camera’s autofocus and makes it twice as fast as before. Touchscreen control has also been optimised and now offers response times that are three times as fast, for example in Review mode.

Firmware update 1.4 also expands the portfolio of lenses usable on the Leica T. As the camera shares the same Leica L bayonet mount with the new Leica SL system camera, updating the firmware makes it possible to use the SL lenses on the Leica T. The Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH. will be available from 16 November 2015 and further SL-System lenses, such as the Leica APO-Vario-Elmarit-SL 90–280 mm f/2.8–4 and the Leica Summilux-SL 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. will follow in 2016.

2016 will also see the launch of two new lenses for the Leica T camera system that bring even greater versatility in all photographic situations. As the Leica T and the new Leica SL share the L bayonet mount, this will be indicated by the designation ‘TL’ for all new Leica T lenses. The Leica Summilux-TL 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. will be on sale from spring 2016 and will be joined by the Leica APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60 mm f/2.8 ASPH. in autumn of the same year. Together with the Leica Summicron-T 23 mm f/2 ASPH., which is available now, this trio of prime lenses, available for the first time with either a black or silver finish, is impressive on account of its exceptional imaging performance and delivers pictures with the inimitable ‘Leica look’ and unmistakeable bokeh.

Oct 292015

Oh my dog!

by Brigitte Hauser

Your blog is always a great Inspiration. Thought I share some of my dog photos. (Sorry, no cats!) I have taken them on my holidays in Italy (except the monochrome one). What I have noticed is, people are really proud if you take a photo of their dog. The picture I like most is the one without dog. The portrait of an old hunter. I met him on a hiking tour on the island of Elba. His hunting dog just has disappeared somewhere into the bushes… The last photo shows my own dog.

It’s a mix between terrier and hunting dog and he also likes disappearing sometimes:-). I used Leica Q, except for the monochrome picture. I sold my beloved Sony RX1 for the Q. I prefer the built-in EVF, the faster AF and the handling. And I think I prefer the look of the Q pictures, too. But perhaps it only seems so to me for justifying my change and the loss of money… What I don’t like is the lens cap of the Q. Mine has already broken, because it’s not fitting on the lens with the lens hood.










Many thanks



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