Sep 272012
 

Year long wait list no more..Leica Noctilux in stock at B&H Photo & Ken Hansen

UPDATE: B&H Sold Out

What was once a year-long wait list for this lens has now dwindled as last week popflash.com had them in stock and this morning B&H Photo has some in stock and Ken Hansen does as well. You can check out the B&H Photo page for it HERE and if you want to contact Ken you can email him at [email protected]. Earlier this week when I posted about three lenses available at popflash (including the ever hard to find 35 lux FLE) they all sold within minutes so I know there are many of you out there looking for these lenses. My review on the Noctilux can be seen HERE. To really see what it can do check out THIS article or check out these photos.

Sep 252012
 

MANY are waiting for this camera, including ME. Ive been on  my dealers list in the #1 spot for a while and nothing to date. Leica has been slow slow slow in getting this one to dealers but what do you know? Amazon has one listed by K&M Cameras who has a 4.9 out of 5 review rating.

Leica Monochrom IN STOCK at Amazon NOW – CLICK HERE TO GET IT

DISCLAIMER: As always I post these announcements as a service to my readers on hot items that are hard to find. I do the work and when I spot them IN STOCK I let YOU know. When you use my links to buy I get a small commission so you win, I win and the site wins.

Sep 242012
 

New York City seen through the Leica M Monochrom

By Ashwin Rao – See his blog HERE

Hello, all of my photo friends. Photokina 2012 has come and gone, and it’s been a whirlwind of news from a gear front. Huge announcements have come from Sony (RX-1, A99), Canon and Nikon (with full frame entry level cameras), Fuji (XE-1), and of course Leica (with the M and M-E). In this day and age, gear gets discussed as much as the photos that it takes, and today’s glorious gear rapidly becomes yesterday’s news. So here I am, hoping that you’ll pay attention to an article about a piece of gear AND the photos that it took in my hands.

It’s easy to forget that just a short few months ago, Leica announced the much ballyhooed M Monochrom to the public, a camera of many firsts for Leica: It was the first digital black and white-only rangefinder camera. It was the first Leica digital RF camera with impressive ISO capacity expending well beyond previous ISO tolerances of digital M bodies. And with the release of this camera, public debate opened up and opinions were volleyed back and forth regarding the merits and necessities of such a device…a black and white only digital monstrosity…Why create such a camera when the Leica M9 and M8 before it are capable of wonderful B&W, further augmented by the fact that one can selectively adjust color channels to get a plentitude of B&W looks. Why lock oneself into one way of seeing? I too had many such questions as I hesitantly put in a pre-order of my MM.

Sadly, Leica has been slow to release the camera to the public. I have yet to get my own MM, due to shortages of supply here in the U.S. Thankfully, a very good friend here in Seattle was one of the first to receive a copy of this camera, and he was generous enough to lend it to me for a trip to NYC. Wow, what a friend, huh?

As a quick aside, I wanted to thank the community here of enthusiasts for truly brightening my world with their knowledge, expertise, skills as photographers, and generosities. As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite parts of the enthusiast community is meeting so many wonderful people in the real world, and making virtual relationships on Facebook and various forums into lasting friendships in the real world. I can count so many good people as just such friends, including Steve Huff himself and so many others. It was just such a friend, whom I once knew only virtually on the forums, who has become a great friend and photo buddy in the real world, who was gracious enough to insist on lending me his $8K MM to take and shoot. So thank you, Matt D, for your generosity. You rock, my friend!

 

Okay, back to the essay at hand…that is, how did I find the MM in practice? In a word, “fascinating”. Exhilarating may be another word. “Challenging” may be a third…ultimately, I would suggested that the camera was thoroughly satisfying.

The MM, for those of you who don’t know, possesses a black-and-white only sensor with substantial dynamic range, particularly in the mid-tones….It forgoes the Bayer color filter array and receives its inputs directly onto it’s sensor without ever “seeing color”. In doing so, the sensor becomes more sensitive to light, and the MM has a minimum native ISO of 320 and a maximum ISO of 10,000 (higher than even the maximum ISO of 6400 with the coming Leica M)…One issue that was reported widely is that it’s quite easy for the MM to blow out highlights, which then cannot be rescued, due to lack of color channels to do so. Areas of pure highlight that show up as clipped on the MM’s histogram are truly lost, so one must care to exposure (or should I say, underexpose) to save those highlights. Beyond these subtleties, the MM’s imaging sensor is essentially the same 18 MP CCD sensor that can be found in the M9, without an AA filter. Body, build, and finish echo the M9-P, though the matte black paint job and blackened lettering lend an aura of stealth to the camera. The MM is a niche camera within a niche rangefinder market, but this niche is capable of amazing results…but if you guys are reading this, you know all of that. So how did I find the MM in practice? Much like the M9, I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable camera to use in the real world.

First up, the challenges? Given that the MM produces a B&W representation of the captured image, it can be said to be comparable to film in the way one may consider conceiving the image or subject matter prior to even taking the image. In a sense, with the MM, color filters, famous and long used in B&W photography for the looks that they generate by selectively filtering out certain parts of the visible spectrum, become instantly relevant on the MM. This was a challenge to me, as someone who’s done most of my photography in the digital age. With the MM, I had to familiarize myself with filter choice and appropriateness. For example, Red filters often add drama to an image by darkening a blue sky and enhancing contrast, but don’t necessarily make for the best people photography. On the other hand, green and yellow filters are very nice for capturing people, but their effects on the MM’s image is much more subtle.

The second challenge to the MM comes in its sensitivity to light. The MM’s base ISO is 320, though images can be pulled digitally to ISO 160 in camera (this is a software fix, from what I have heard, similar to the ISO 80 on the M9). In broad daylight, shooting lenses such as the 35 mm or 50 mm f/1.4 Summilux Asph becomes challenging, and one must stop down. Thankfully, using color filters lessens the transmission of light through the lens, and shooting wide open may be enabled in some circumstances. Ultimately, if one chooses to work wide open with their lenses in broad daylight with the MM, a neutral density (ND) filter would be a reasonable investment. I didn’t have a ND filter for my trip, so I simply stopped down a bit when shooting…in a sense, yet another challenge, in seeing the world a different way and focusing and learning about the elements of each composition rather than simply blurring them away by shooting wide open.

The third challenge with MM comes in achieving appropriate exposure. The MM’s image carries a dramatic amount of information in the mid tones and shadows, seemingly at the sacrifice of details in the highlights. Thus, in using the camera, I tended to underexpose by 1/3 to 2/3 of a stop to attempt to save highlights. Thankfully, given the detail present in mid-tones and shadows, such adjustments come fairly easy to the MM’s files, and I was satisfied to adjust myself in this manner.

The final substantial challenge to using the M, in my eyes, was the post processing workflow. I had a preview of this challenge by editing the photos made available a few months ago by Jono Slack (for those of you who don’t know Jono or his work, you owe yourself a favor to go to his site, http://www.slack.co.uk/ , or strike up a conversation with him …he is a true gentleman-scholar in the Rangefinder community). Jono’s files showed me the tremendous detail capable of being captured by the MM. His images showed the depth of dynamic range present in the mid-tones, which provide a unique challenge on deciding how to use this information in the post processing workflow to achieve the image that you want. In a sense, the detail and dynamic range in the mid tones made available by the MM’s sensor provides the photographer with far more choice and flexibility on how to render skin tones and mid tone detail in the post-processing process. While this grayscale information yields a base MM file that can be described as flat, I found that the files are quite flexible and don’t break apart (i.e. banding, radically increased noise) that I have seen with color files from various cameras, including the M9. This process of playing with, and push/pulling mid tone details is in reality quite fun, and allows the MM shooter to envision his or her images in novel ways….

So off I was, to the streets of Manhattan, equipped with my friend’s MM. What could I achieve, using my own style of shooting and my own processing? I found, in practice, that the MM was quite fun to use. I’d typically use a yellow or green filter (green seemed to transmit less light and was preferred for broad daylight) to render people, and I’d occasionally grab a red filter to add drama to a scene. To me, it was the use of these color filters that made the biggest difference to using the MM on the streets. I could presumably use the MM without color filters, but part of the fun, for me, was to see the effects of such filters on the rendered image. Otherwise, shooting the MM encouraged me to see the street in new and exciting ways. Instead of trying to see and highlight color, I focused more on light and shadow play as well as composition. I thought more about scenes and depth of field, since the MM’s light sensitivity often necessitated stopping down (and as you all know, I enjoy shooting wide open). I thought quite a bit about preserving highlights and how to properly expose a scene in a meaningful way, so as to focus and preserve details in the areas of my particular interest. All in all, I feel that the MM provided a new challenge, one that I hadn’t experienced in many years, really since the purchase of my first rangefinder, the Leica M8.

To me, the challenges of the Leica M Monochrom represent its strengths. It forced me, in my brief 5 days with it, to see in new and creative ways. It forced more attention to detail in how I chose to compose or perceive a particular shot. In post processing, I learned much about the camera, its flexibilities, and its eccentricities, and I have found the images produced by the camera to be full of hidden treasures.

To boot, the Leica MM is a remarkable image-making machine. It captures detail in a way that I could only have dreamed previously. The detail is preserved through much of its ISO range, though personally, I’d avoid ISO’s about 6400 unless you wish a very grainy look. At base ISO through ISO 1600, the images render very cleanly and are quite flexible to post-processing and extensive pushing and pulling. At ISO 3200, the details of the images remain preserved, though noise becomes a factor, particularly if the image isn’t perfectly exposed and requires a bit of processing. At IS0 6400, the images remain useable, but noise starts to overwhelm detail. Beyond ISO 6400, I generally found the camera’s results to be unacceptable…. still, to have a camera capable of producing sharp, detailed images at up to ISO 6400, has to this point, been a dream for Leica shooters…. Kudos to Leica for making this dream a reality.

So if you wish to check out the entire set of images, including those shown here, just link over to my  flickr site.

All in all, I found the Leica M Monochrom to be a fascinating experience. Will I still be getting one? You bet. I found that the camera has much to teach me yet, about how to visualize an image and focus on the core elements of the image without necessarily getting “distracted” by color. I once thought that converting a file to Black and White was an easy cheat to making an unremarkable image suddenly pleasing. This is no longer the case, as the MM is a far more challenging camera to use for the average RF shooter compared to the M9. I accept that challenge and hope to learn more….Now, if Leica could just deliver one to my dealer soon ;)….

Sep 232012
 

Used Leica Lens Deals at B&H Photo

Was just browsing the used section at B&H Photo and found a TON of Leica glass. While the demand for the glass has slowed I feel it will gain more steam by 2013 due to the new M. Many will happily stay with their M9 but some will buy into the M-E due to the lower price and the new M just for the new features.

Here are some of the better lenses available used at B&H right now and let me tell ya, some of these are INVESTMENTS. Lenses in the Leica stable that will always do better a few years down the road are lenses like the 35 Summilux, 50 Summilux, 90 Summicron, f/1 Noctilux, etc. Leica glass is one thing that you never have to worry about when considering resale value unless you overpay of course.

Leica 90 Summicron f/2 APO with case – 8+ – $2699

Leica 35 Summilux 1.4 PRE-ASPH – The tiny wonder with gobs of character – 9 condition – $2699

The Leica 75 Summarit – 10 condition as new – $1599

Leica 21 2.8 elmarit – 9+ with hood – $2499

Leica 50 1.4 Summilux Pre-Asph – 9+ – chrome – $2999 (Damn, these were $1500 used 3 years ago)

Leica 28 Summicron f/2 – 9 condition – with hood – $3499

Sep 222012
 

Hey Steve,

While you were cruising I visited the Photokina. I live in the Zurich area and Cologne is an easy day trip away.

Here are my thoughts after being able to handle many of the cameras that we both like.

Sony RX1: It was on display but they would not let me touch the camera. They also showed the separate EVF which looks quite ugly on the camera IMO. I asked the rep why they did not include a VF. He responded that all Cybershots would not have VF’s… I told him that this would not make sense to me. The target group that understands a fixed prime lens on a full frame sensor wants a VF, especially for the price. In my eyes, once again Sony marketing rules prevented a product from making complete sense. Making the smallest body apparently was seen more relevant than including a key feature. He responded that they would certainly use customer feedback for future developments.

Steve’s Thoughts: I agree on the VF issue. I would have preferred a built in EVF..no doubt but it is what it is. Sony has managed to create the camera that we have all asked for but they have missed one or two things. One is a built in VF. The good thing is you can buy one for external use..the bad thing is the price and size it adds to the camera. I have no doubt the EVF will be outstanding but it does come at a cost of money and size. If Sony would have included a built in EVF like they did on the NEX-7 it would have been much closer to the camera we have been waiting for. Even so, it is a feat of engineering because the RX1 is indeed SMALL..it is FULL FRAME and has the new A99 sensor. Zeiss glass, f/2 aperture, fast AF, awesome video….it will be a sweet lustworthy camera anyway.

Sony NEX 6: This one handled really well and felt quite mature. However, I probably won’t buy one since I don’t buy into this stupid marketing gag of having the thinnest body which causes all sorts of optical and mechanical issues. The NEX corner of the booth was not busy at all so I got the impression that customer interest in this product family is getting smaller.

Steve’s Thoughts: I disagree here. The NEX-5n was awesome and had literally no optical or mechanical issues. The only body that had issues was the NEX-7 with wider angle Leica M glass, which was not good but only created an issue if you wanted to shoot wide-angle non Sony NEX lenses. The new 6 uses the same sensor design as the 5N but it is updated. It should not cause any issues with wide-angle lenses nor should there be any mechanical issues. I hear from many who are into their NEX system cameras and it is only getting better. The 6 feels really good in the hand and I feel it will be a better camera all the way around over the 7, which kind of sucks really because the 7 is not that old at all.

Leica M: I own a Leica M9 and love it but could use some better high ISO performance some times. I also own a 90 2.8 Elmarit-M which is not spot-on on all focus distances since it was made in the pre-digital era when tolerances were less tight than today. An EVF would solve this problem and I got very excited on Monday when I saw the M announcement. When I handled it on the booth I was not so sure about my level of excitement anymore. All these add-ons not only look ugly they also seem to dilute the simplistic user experience. You have to switch through so many modes and and change VF’s, it’s almost confusing. I asked the rep why they did not implement a hybrid VF and he responded that they wanted to preserve the classic rangefinder. Superimposing information à la X100 apparently was not possible. When I asked if they are working on a pure electronic VF version like the X-E1 (which I would buy in a heart beat) I did not get an answer. I think that would cut out a lot of cost out of manufacturing. The rangefinder mechanics is extremely cost intensive, as it’s almost like a mechanic watch built into a camera. I think a fully digital Leica for 3500€ or less would break a lot of ice with younger photographers that cannot afford the new M and do not care about classic features so much. I think the new M is great for people who still have R lenses. For beginners and pure M photographers it offers little advancements (although, I’m really looking forward to seeing movies shot with a 50 Lux). In that sense I’m a bit disappointed. I probably will skip this version of the camera and buy another lens instead.

I ran into my Leica dealer at the show and he told me that he would still order more M’s than M-E’s since his customers tend to go for the most expensive option. This is sad and sending the wrong message to Leica. They are ignoring a lot of their potential marked. He also said that the 4800€ for the M-E are still too much for most photographers and he’s probably right.

What I loved at the Leica booth was their photo exhibition. It was a great break in all that gear tech on the other booths.

Steve’s Thoughts: I think Leica is moving in the right direction though I also feel like a hybrid VF/EVF would have been a MUCH nicer way to go. Adding the EVF to the top of an M is unsightly, bulky and odd but we are in 2012 and instead of adding old optical VF’s we now are adding big plastic EVF’s. I think this new M is more definitive than the M9 in the fact that it even has the live view/EVF option, weather sealing, focus peaking, better LCD (finally), higher ISO capability and options. Options we do not have on the M-E. The M-E is classic Leica digital. The M is forward thinking and it may pay off or may not. I have not even held one yet and have no idea when I will but when I do I will let everyone know my thoughts. I do know that today in 2012 it is a much different time than it was in 2009. There are so many amazing options out today in digital that Leica will not sell as many M’s as they did M9. I think the M9 was the top of the mountain for Leica in the digital world and they may stay at the top for a while but unless they rock a full-fledged 100% “what-we-want” camera (and the M is ALMOST there) then they may have a struggle. 

Still, I applaud them for having a trio of capable M’s – the M-E which we all know and love (the M9), the M with its new bells and whistles (that many will welcome) and the Monochrome, the most unique of all. These are a nice set of cameras for Leica that gives us a CHOICE and lower prices. Much better than releasing the M at $9000 and ditching the M9 all together. 

Fuji X-E1: Felt really great. Usability was even better that with the X-Pro 1 especially when using zoom lenses. With the Pro, the frame lines move around too much for my taste when zooming and focusing. Speed of the X-E1 seemed to be acceptable under mid to low light but not aggressively fast. I am curious to read your review on this one, especially about the kit lens. I also heard rumors about Fuji working on a full frame. Add focus peaking and this could be the camera that I was waiting on coming from Leica. The rep of at the booth said that despite the release of the X-E1 they have not let down the X100. There will be something coming. Could this be an answer to the RX1?

Steve’s Thoughts: I am excited about the X-E1 as it appears to be more likeable than the X-Pro 1 (at least for me). It is slightly smaller, faster, better EVF…I mean, what is not to like? Same sensor, lenses, etc. The X-E1 should be a rip-roaring success for Fuji if it is what it is cracked up to be and that goes for any camera in this list. I should get a hold of one soon so I will keep everyone posted. 

EOS M: Forget this one. Tried it. Very disappointing (speed etc.). I hope that Canon will do their homework for the next iteration.

Steve’s Thoughts: Too little and too late. 

Nikon D600 and Canon 6D: Both looked very interesting. I’m looking for something for my studio projects for which I’m still using the Canon 40D. Looking at the picture quality of the D600 I’m tempting to switch systems… or… what do you think, would an X-E1 already be able to replace a SLR?

Steve’s Thoughts: I like the fact that Nikon and Canon released these mid level full frame DSLR’s. While I am not a DSLR fan I do know there are many out there who love their DSLR systems and many are so invested in Nikon and Canon glass that these camera bodies are a welcome sight to those who shoot these systems. As for Studio, any modern camera will do with a decent sized sensor but full frame or larger will always be king. 

Elinchrom suprised me with a 100Ws studio flash light for enthusiasts. Very cool and affordable. It addresses the biggest problem home studio owners have which is not being able to turn down the power enough. Instead of going for cheap Chinese lights we can now buy a quality light that is fully compatible with the great Elinchrom range of accessories.

There are exciting months in front of us.

Cheers

Ralph

Now…what are YOUR thoughts on the above cameras? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Sep 212012
 

Hello to all and happy Friday! As many of you know I have been on a cruise ship for the past week as part of the 1st ever Steve Huff Photo Cruise! I have survived with absolute minimal internet connection as well. Most of the posts that went up last week were scheduled posts but today I have found a Starbucks in Newport Rhode Island so I can finally give an update!  Whew…what a week!

Those who have joined me on this cruise have been wonderful and from all over the world including France, Belgium, Germany, and  Switzerland! We have seen sights across the east coast and captured many memorable moments in photos. The cruise ends tomorrow morning and tonight we plan to go over photos we all captured along the way. 

Our group in St Martins – shot and processed by Ingo on his X-Pro 1 using a fisheye Rokinon lens (which ROCKS)

From left to right: Ingo, Me, Debby, Autumn, Todd, Jean Francois, Tania, Martine, Jean, Peter

I have been shooting with the Fuji X-pro 1 all week. Using the Fuji 35 1.4 and a Leica mount 60 1.2 Hexanon the image quality, as always with Fuji, can not be denied. The photos I am showing here are all straight from camera pretty much as I do not even have Photoshop on this machine I am using. So what you see is what I got :)

I shot for two days with the last firmware for the X-Pro 1 and the rest of the week with Version 2.0. I wanted to shoot both to see if I noticed a speed difference when it came to AF. There is also another guy on the cruise with me shooting the X-Pro 1 and we both updates the cameras at the same time and then we went out to shoot. We both agreed that the speed increase is not huge at all but minimal. Still, even with minimal increases it is better than no speed increase.

It seems to focus about as fast as my NEX-7 right now but when compared against the very 1st firmware Fuji shipped the camera with it is almost night and day. When I first reviewed the X-Pro 1 I nicknamed it the “X-Slow 1” due to its sluggish AF performance and overall speed. Today when shooting the X-Pro 1 it feels much snappier all the way around. It is still not a camera meant for any kind of action shooting but it is comparable to other cameras on the market. Some are faster, some are slower so the X-pro 1 is right in the middle.

Testing the Voigtlander 15mm on the X-Pro 1 – No red corners, no issues. The X-Pro 1 does well with most wide-angle Leica mount glass. 

So overall I have grown to really like the Fuji X-Pro 1 because with the latest speed enhancements and features (which include better magnification options when Manually focusing and higher ISO when using Auto ISO) it is a great tool and has given me no problems all week besides the occasional missed shot due to low light focusing not being so hot.

As for the cruise, we have been having a great time with nightly dinners together in the main dining room with some fantastic food and desserts. I will make a post soon with photos from everyone who attended as soon as I am able to get some shots from them.

So that is all the time I have right now as we have to go explore Newport! Below are some of my shots from the trip using the X-Pro 1! I will be back home and back to regular updates starting Monday!

Enjoy your weekend!

Peggys Cove – Halifax, Nova Scotia – X-Pro 1 and 35 1.4

At the gravesites of those who died on the Titanic

St Johns

St. Martins  – my favorite stop on this cruise. Beautiful and scenic and FUN! 35 1.4

Todd and Autumn Hatakeyama enjoying some home made Ice Cream! 8mm Fisheye

Hugh Jackman even joined us on the ship :) 35 1.4

Great scenery and I believe that is Ingo in the lighthouse getting some shots – 35 1.4

We all know that Fuji is known for its colors…this one POPS. 35 1.4

Last chance – 35 1.4

Jean Francois getting some shots…

CRACKED! 35 1.4

Bar Harbour Maine – A pooch waiting for his owner – 35 1.4

Boston – A man shooting US with his Fuji X100

Inside Starbucks – 35 1.4

Here I am in an old 1600s cemetery – shot by Todd 

My favorite stops have been St Martins, Boston and Bar Harbour.  Before I sign off for now here are a a few behind the scenes shots…more to come! HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!!

a couple from Ingo!

Sep 192012
 

You can now pre-order the Leica M or M-E from my top recommended dealers! M is set to ship January and the M-E October 1st!

The definitive M is here. NO more numbers..just the M. 2013 Model. $6950 which is the same price as the M9 but with better low light capability, 24 MP full frame sensor, rich color and dynamic range, bitingly sharp yet simple and intuitive. The full frame camera with the technology some have asked for. Live view, 1080 video, improved LCD screen, EVF capability, with sleek and gorgeous lines that keep teh M look alive.

Be first to get one. My pre-order is in.

PRE-ORDER THE LEICA M in CHROME! The new 24MP CMOS definitive M – $6950  – Expected to ship Jan 2013

PRE-ORDER the new Leica M in BLACK – $6950 – Expected to ship January 2013

Check out and preorder the new Leica M-E at $5495  – expected to ship October 1st 2012

PRE-ORDER WITH KEN HANSEN BY E-MAILING HIM AT [email protected]

You can also pre-order at popflash.com 

or

Dale Photo also has the new M and M-E available for pre-order HERE

Sep 172012
 

The new Leica M is here! 24 Megapixel, Live View CMOS, EVF & HD Video Monster

The new M and R solution…and HD video solution..and live view solution…simply..the WEATHER SEALED “NEW M”

So Leica has announced two new cameras and we now know why they have been clearing out M9’s at a reduced rate of up to $1000 off. The new “M” and “M-E” are the two new cameras that will both replace the M9 and I am happy to hear the prices are lower than expected and that we still have a choice between the M9 CCD sensor and the new 24 MP CMOS sensor. Choice is what it is all about and I am excited to test out the new M and buy myself an M-E.

The M10, as many have already spilled the beans on will feature a 24 Megapixel CMOS sensor with live view. A high res 920,000 LCD display, the same EVF as used on the Leica X2 and the ability to use R glass via an adapter (though I admit it makes the camera DSLR like). For the 1st time ever M shooters can shoot HD video and Leica even has an accessory mic available for professional sound quality AND the body has rubber seals to protect it from rain and dust. BRAVO!!!

Yep, the “M10″ is here but it’s called simply…”THE M” because it appears they are taking the Apple approach. The next M(11) will simply be called “The new M” , lol. It looks sweet and appears to be an M9 killer with ISO up to 6400. The new CMOS sensor should be a huge improvement for low light high ISO but will it reatin that CCD crispness we have all come to love from those Kodak sensors? We shall see but we all know the magic is in the glass. This also may be the same sensor in the Sony RX1 and if so, the M will rock. This seems to be the one M that may last 5-6 years…double bravo to Leica.

YES the new M is still a rangefinder but when you BUY and ATTACH the Leica EVF 2 you can use the EVF to frame and shoot just like any other EVF camera. This will take away any focus issues/calibration problems. The EVF will set you back more cash but it will be good to have for those that want to shoot the M like any other camera (though that may take away from some of the charm) :)

The new M will be released sometime in 2013. My guess is by March/April. Cost? The same as the old M9..$6950 – AMAZING. Leica decided to lower their pricing a little instead of going insane with it. Smart move that probably avoided disaster though I see M9’s dropping like a rock on the used market. ($3900 anyone)? Leica is back and it seems they have done it again. Beautiful design, better functionality, better all around in every way and the same cost as the M9 was at launch! 

The new M press blurb:

The perfection of digital rangefinder technology

Solms, Germany (September 17, 2012) – Leica Camera presents a groundbreaking milestone in the nearly 60 year history of the Leica rangefinder system: The Leica M. Setting entirely new standards, the Leica M unites the ultimate in rangefinder precision with cutting edge digital technology. As the first camera to implement a newly designed CMOS image sensor and to feature additional focusing methods and functions such as Live View and Full HD video capability, it is the most versatile Leica rangefinder model ever. Remaining true to the legendary values of the M-System, the Leica M not only provides the advantages of rangefinder photography, but also for the first time, offers compatibility with Leica R legacy lenses. As with every innovation and development since the flagship line’s inception, the Leica M was created to capture fleeting moments of time and transform them into living history.

The Leica M also marks the beginning of a new era in the Leica product naming policy. In future, Leica M and S model names will omit the number suffix to emphasize the enduring and long-term significance of the respective systems.

In every respect, the new Leica M is the most innovative and versatile model the modern M-System has ever created. Looking to the future, the Leica M is the first in a long line of Leica rangefinder cameras to feature a completely new development in sensor technology; the Leica Max CMOS image sensor. This 24 MP, full 35 mm format sensor was designed and constructed in collaboration with CMOSIS especially for the camera and its use with M- and R-Lenses. This new development successfully transfers the characteristic advantages of CCD sensors, such as natural and brilliant color rendition and impressive reproduction of details, to a CMOS sensor.

In combination with the high-performance Leica Maestro processor that is also employed in Leica S cameras, this new full format sensor guarantees maximum imaging quality and speed. Now, all elements in the image creation chain, from the lens to the image file, are under complete control of the Leica engineers. This guarantees the ultimate in imaging performance and quality. An additional highlight is the low power consumption of the components that, in conjunction with the particularly high capacity of the battery, ensures outstanding performance over a long period of use.

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In 1954, the launch of the M-System opened new horizons in reportage and artistic photography. Now at the dawn of a new era in the system’s technology, the Leica M offers a multitude of new features. The first of these are Live View and Live View Focus. Image composition can now take place in real time with the view of the subject through the lens. The sharpness, exposure and color content of images can now be precisely assessed on the camera’s large, 3-inch, high-resolution monitor screen with 920,000 pixels. The glass covering plate of the monitor screen is manufactured from particularly tough and scratch-resistant Corning®Gorilla®Glass. The new Live View function allows photographers to have access to entirely new opportunities that, in combination with the outstanding performance of Leica M- and R-Lenses, go far beyond the classical capabilities of rangefinder photography. This applies particularly to macro and telephoto photography, but also allows even more discreet shooting. In combination with M- and R-Lenses, the camera’s new 1080p Full HD video capability also opens up further opportunities to record memories as they happen.

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Ever in pursuit of capturing Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “Decisive Moment,” the Leica M offers two additional focusing methods that can be activated quickly and easily with the new focus button. M-Photographers now have even more options for capturing outstandingly sharp images. The new ‘Live View Zoom’ option enables up to 10 x magnification for precise assessment of the sharpness of subject details or the close focusing limit. The second aid to focusing is ‘Live View Focus Peaking’. Here, contours in the subject are automatically displayed as red lines to allow simple and convenient focus assessment. Focusing precision can be assessed on the basis of the intensity of the lines displayed.

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The Leica M’s features are optimally combined with the typical values of the Leica rangefinder system and guarantee the accustomed dependability of the Leica M in all photographic situations, from available light photography to discreet and aesthetic fine-art image composition. In line with the principles of the M-Philosophy, all functions and features are designed and constructed for absolute robustness and a long working life. The top deck and the base plate of the Leica M are machined from solid brass blanks and the full-metal chassis is a completely self-contained diecast element manufactured from high-strength magnesium alloy. Special rubber seals protect the camera body against dust, spray and moisture.

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The new rangefinder camera is also a typical M due to its intuitive handling concept with direct manual setting options and fast access to functions. The enhanced layout and particular user-friendliness of the menu interface guarantees a clear and uncomplicated overview of all camera settings at all times. Dedicated button controls have been provided for the Live View and new focusing functions. Live View Zoom and Live View Focus Peaking can be selected with the new focus button on the front of the camera. User profiles can be programmed with any camera and shooting settings, stored under an arbitrary name. They can be accessed quickly whenever required for particular situations and can now also be saved to an SD memory card. For increased comfort in use and harkening to the film advance lever of Leica film cameras, the Leica M now provides an ergonomically formed thumb rest with an integrated setting dial at the top right on the back of the top deck. This ensures that the camera can be held securely in even the most demanding situations.

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A wide range of optional accessories is also available for the new Leica M. A particular highlight of the range is a new Leica R-Adapter M that allows almost all R-Lenses ever built to be mounted on the camera. The use of Leica R-System lenses now opens up vast new possibilities for zoom, telephoto and macro photography.

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Further accessories are the Leica EVF2, Visoflex electronic viewfinder and a multifunctional handgrip-M with an integrated GPS module that, in combination with optional finger loops in various sizes (S, M and L), helps to ensure safe and steady handling of the camera and lens system. The range also includes a Leica Microphone Adapter set for perfect sound with video recordings.

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The Leica M will be available from Leica dealers, including the Leica Store Washington DC, in early 2013 in a choice of black paint or silver chrome finish.

 

The new M-E (The new M9.1)

This is an M9 which will be much better priced at $5450 US. So basically you can now get an M9 that looks cool and keeps the superb CCD sensor we have grown to love for only $5450. This will be my choice in an M to replace the M9 I sold to buy the Monochrome! This and the Mono will make a perfect set. This is the camera I am most happy about from Leica because the M9 is a classic and I am happy to see it stay in the stable. No improvements have been made, just the name change and the color of the top and bottom plates.

The price is very welcome news for many and sad new for others who just saw their M9’s drop like a rock. But kudos to Leica for making the M9 more affordable and removing the M9 white text from the front. I still feel the M9-P is a more attractive camera but again, same exact camera here! $5450! Wooooooo Hoooooo!

The fascination of M-Photography reduced to essentials

The fascination of M-Photography reduced to essentials

 Solms, Germany (September 17, 2012) – Leica Camera presents a new model in the Leica rangefinder system, the Leica M-E. Possessing the high level of technology perfected in the nearly six decades since the M-System’s introduction, the Leica M-E represents the essence of rangefinder photography. Rather than offering all that is technically possible, it is limited to only those functions that create a better image. These essentials include the M-System’s typical rapid manual focusing with the viewfinder/rangefinder and the focusing ring of the lens, as well as the option of selecting automatically determined or manually set shutter speeds. It is the ideal entry-level model for photographers wishing to experience the fascination of M-Photography or require a secondary camera that performs at an optimum level without fail.

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Advantages of rangefinder photography include the ability for photographers to become a part of the action and frame whatever they wish to capture in the viewfinder, while still perceiving what is going on outside the viewfinder frame. The crucial moment becomes predictable, and can thus be captured at precisely the right instant. Featuring the proven, high-resolution, 18 MP CCD sensor in full 35 mm format, the Leica M-E offers maximum imaging quality. Perfectly attuned to its role in the extremely compact M-System and the superior performance of M-Lenses, this particular sensor type possesses a high sensitivity to light. These characteristics lead to an unmistakably individual kind of photography.

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The Leica M-E’s most distinctive feature is a minimalistic, purist, design statement. The top deck and base plate are discreetly finished in unobtrusive anthracite grey. The application of a new leather trim with enhanced grip characteristics ideally complements the camera’s timeless design.

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The Leica M-System portfolio provides perfect tools for capturing a moment discretely, silently and without hesitation, allowing photographers to become a part of the scene. Together with the new Leica M and the Leica M Monochrom, the world’s first digital black and white camera in 35 mm format, the latest digital generation of the Leica M now offers three rangefinder cameras.

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Additionally, the Leica M-E package includes the latest version of Leica Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to assist photographers with viewing, editing and managing digital images. The Leica M-E is available now from Leica dealers, including the Leica Store Washington DC.

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About the Leica M-System

Since 1954, the Leica M system has stood for an unmistakable, individual kind of photography and a very conscious photographic style. Because, with a Leica M, the photographer becomes a part of the action in the process of capturing challenging and creative images. The rangefinder frames precisely the shot the photographer envisages while allowing a clear view of what is going on outside the viewfinder frame. This allows the photographer to predict the decisive moment and capture it discreetly and reliably at the right moment – in all fields, from photojournalism and ‘available light’ exposures to discreet and aesthetic fine-art images. The functions of the Leica M rangefinder camera are consistently constructed for extreme robustness and a long working life. Highest quality materials, elaborate manufacturing processes and painstaking manual assembly guarantee functional reliability for decades to come. Full backward system compatibility – almost all lenses of the Leica M range built since 1954 can still be used on the latest M camera models – is an important factor in the enduring value of the M series.

Sep 142012
 

On my way to “The Cruise 2012” & Testing Fuji X-Pro 1 with 60 Hexanon 1.2!

Hello to all! I am currently on a flight from Phoenix to New York with my fiancee’ where I will meet up with Todd Hatakeyama and his wife for dinner before we board the Princess Cruise ship tomorrow for the 1st annual SteveHuffPhoto.com Photo cruise! I am excited to meet those who signed up and we should all have a great time. It’s all about relaxing, having a blast, taking photos, hanging out, meeting new friends and enjoying the scenery as we travel the entire East Coast and Canada on board a luxurious cruise ship. Tonight we will be at the Loft Hotel in Brooklyn and I can not wait to check in :)

We all board the ship tomorrow and I will try to meet up with everyone so we know who is who. Then we have an at Sea day Sunday and plan on making our 1st outing on Monday when we hit Halifax Nova Scotia. The photo opportunities should be a plenty!

So what did I bring along with me? Well, since Fuji is releasing the hot new X-Pro 1 firmware next week I rented an X-Pro 1, 35 1.4 and Leica adapter. I want to give the Fuji another shot because last week I met up with Ashwin Rao for dinner in Phoenix and when I shot with his X-pro 1 it seemed much quicker than when I had one for review due to the last firmware update Fuji put out. I also never did get to test the M adapter so I can now do this. Todd has some amazing Leica glass so maybe he can let me use a lens or two for review purposes..hint hint :)

Ashwin with his X-pro 1 decked out with leather case and strap :)

So with the new firmware 2.0 almost here and promises of huge AF speed increases I thought it would be fair to test the Fuji again since when I reviewed it I dubbed it the “X-Slow 1” due to the awfully painfully slow AF. With the 35 1.4 on it now I already am liking it much more and I have not even gotten 2.0 yet.

I also have with me (Thanks to Ashwin Rao and Ed Tan) a rare jewel in the exotic lens world..the 60 Hexanon 1.2 M mount lens. I will be shooting this on the Fuji to test out how it performs. This lens has gained legendary status by those who own it and it is indeed a rare find. I was surprised by how small it was when compared to a Noctilux. The shot below is one Ashwin took of me on his X-pro 1 whide open at 1.2 at night while we took a quick walk.

Yours truly shot with the 60 Hexanon 1.2 on the X-Pro 1 wide open – BOKEH BALLS!

I have only managed to shoot 3 shots with this combo so far, all three of then taken in the airport. BUT I already have fallen for this lens and the main reason why is because there is simply nothing like it. It’s much smaller and lighter than a Noctilux yet gives a similar rendering. It is built wonderfully well and jewel like and focuses smoothly and with a short throw. The size, build and optical quality is up there with the best but I look forward to shooting it on the X-Pro 1 and eventually a new Leica before I have to return it (or make an offer to buy) to its current owner.

The 60 Hex at 1.2 in the airport. I didn’t realize the restaurants now served dogs as well :)

Hexanon at f/2 – Fuji X-Pro 1

one with the Fuji 35 1.4

While in the ship I will try to update the site as often as I can. There will be slow internet so I will post what I can and when I can!  My next full workshop will be an amazing team effort with Ashwin in the Palouse but not for a few months…will keep everyone posted on that one as it will be EPIC! Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Sep 142012
 

New Zealand’s South Island with the M9

By Jason Howe

In the last couple of weeks we got the chance to visit Queenstown in the South Island. My initial excitement around the photographic potential of this trip was again tempered by the realisation that, taking lots of photographs, whilst on a short birthday celebration break with friends, may not make me the most popular person in the South Island. With this in mind I initially decided against taking my gear however at the last moment after the tiniest bit of encouragement I had a change of heart.

I’d travel “light”, for me that is…..and I’d try to take images that would enable me to do a post based around vintage Leica glass on the M9.

In the Bag –

Leica M9

35mm Summicron f/2 (Pre Asph) v.1

50mm Summicron f/2 (Rigid Type II)

15mm Super Wide Heliar f/4.5 – Yes I know it’s not vintage!!! Here’s the thing, this lens is so small and versatile that it now comes with me whatever…..

As I suspected the opportunities were few and far between and it soon became apparent that on this occasion I wouldn’t be able to do justice to the intended theme of my post. Time, weather, light and to some degree my lens choice were all conspiring against me. Whilst the vintage Leica glass is superb it does lack contrast, leaving you struggling when the light is less than favorable.

Things just weren’t going to plan, all I could do was hope that at least one opportunity would present itself , if it did I’d be ready to squeeze every available image from it. Eventually, in failing but favorable light we approached the shores of Lake Wanaka, time was short but I gave it my best shot!!!

Lake Placid – Leica M9 – 35mm Summicron f/2 (Pre Asph) v.1

One of the real surprises that photography has given me is the ability of an image to tap in to the darkest corners of the mind and evoke a memory, in the instance of the next image it was the first verse of a poem I’d read in secondary school (more than a few years ago)….obviously I couldn’t recall the entire poem, that would just be weird!!

Ripples – Leica M9 – 35mm Summicron f/2 (Pre Asph) v.1

The full version of the poem by James W. Foley can be found here

I’ve championed the merits of the Voigtlander 15mm Super Wide Heliar f/4.5 previously, an extensive user report can be found here. It’s worth me mentioning that I always code this lens as a 21mm 11134, you can read why in the aforementioned user report. Simply put, the more I use this lens the more I wonder how I ever managed without it!! I believe continued evidence of its capabilities and justification for taking it everywhere can be seen in the image below.

Awakenings – Leica M9 – 15mm Super Wide Heliar f/4.5

A Dream Within A Dream – Leica M9 – 35mm Summicron f/2 (Pre Asph) v.1

Isolation and Exhilaration – Leica M9 – 50mm Summicron f/2 Rigid Type II

So, there we have it, another amazing New Zealand destination that I have only scratched the surface of…….another place to add to the ever-increasing list of places I have visited and to which I would love to return with the sole intention of photography. They say that the further south you travel in this country the better the scenery gets, it’s so very true.

Thanks for reading.

Jason Howe

Aperture Priority – Photography by Jason Howe 
find me online: Website | Flickr | Twitter | Facebook

Sep 132012
 

Further price slash on Leica M9 and M9-P…

Everyone loves a deal. A few weeks ago Dale Photo slashed prices on the Leica M9-P by $1000 and the M9 by $500. Soon Amazon and B&H followed. Today someone sent me an e-mail informing me of even further reductions on the M9 and M9-P. Over at Amazon there is a seller/shop named “Big Value” who has a super high 4.9 star lifetime rating and they are selling M9 and M9-P cameras at an even deeper discount with an extra $500 off.

You can buy a chrome M9-P for $6499, a black M9-P for $6499 or a black M9 for $5999 or Steel Grey M9 for $5999. This is quite the reduction for brand new Leica M9’s.

My guess is that the M10 or “ME” will come in at a better price than we think..maybe $8k instead of $10k for an M10. Then again by the time you add the EVF you are looking at another grand or so. We will find out in a matter of days :) For now, those who want a deeply discounted M9 or M9-P and do not mind buying from a 3rd party on Amazon (whose reviews are top-notch, I would not have posted this otherwise) then this is the best deal on these cameras to date. Links below:

Buy the chrome M9-P for $6499

Buy the black paint M9-P for $6499

Buy the black M9 for $5999

Leica M9 Buy the Steel Grey M9 for $5999 

 

I am not sure if dealers like Dale Photo, Ken Hansen, PopFlash or B&H Photo will match these prices but you never know. I’d shoot Ken Hansen an e-mail and see what he says. You can also contact Tony at PopFlash to see what his deals are. Dale Photo has their M cameras all listed HERE.

Sep 072012
 

Photokina 2012 – It may be the best ever! 

 

Photokina is just around the corner..the event in Cologne Germany that is a powerhouse of camera releases. Every camera manufacturer usually waits until Photokina to release their best and latest models and this year is no exception. With hot new stuff coming from just about EVERYONE I am particularly excited about the Leica news, Fuji news, Sony news and even Olympus. So what is there to look forward to?

New Sony Products..

We all know Sony is releasing new products at Photokina..with rumors of a FF NEX camera and NEX-6 floating around I wonder what they have in store? I have seen the NEX-6 on various websites so that one seems like a 100% for sure deal but I am still using my good old NEX-7 with fantastic results, even with the $199 Sigma 30 2.8 (which is a MUST buy for any NEX owner) the results are excellent. To say I am excited to see the new Sony stuff is an understatement. I believe it is Sony who pushed this whole mirrorless segment anyway with their original NEX-5, which was tiny but powerful. Sure we had the Leica X1 and Micro 4/3 but Sony took that APS-C sensor and packed into a fast and sleek body even though the lenses lacked. I am hoping for something revolutionary and some new lenses..let us see what happens..hopefully next week :)

New AMAZON Kindle Products..wow!

While this is not a Photokina story I found these new products to be a pretty damn nice. Yesterday I saw The new Kindle Products from Amazon and they look amazing. The new The Kindle Paperwhite appears to destroy the latest Nook with glow light at around $119. I am a huge fan of the Kindle for reading books as I find it much better than reading on a tablet like my iPad 3 or Kindle Fire. The new Kindle Fire appears to come in three sizes, even coming in with an iPad like version at $499 for 32GB and crazy cheap 4G access and after reading the sale/press releases I am starting to really want one (though I will stick to my iPad 3).  Amazon is on the right track with these new products and I preordered a Paperwhite Wi-Fi for myself with one of  the the new snazzy cases. Looks like they ship October 1st and I am looking forward to it. Seems they just gave the Google nexus a slap in the face with their new $199 Kindle Fire HD as well.

Fuji, they are still rockin’ it!

As you saw here yesterday, Fuji has the new X-E1 on the way and I I pre-ordered one of these as well. The X-E1 looks to be THE perfect Fuji camera..finally! While I adore the X100, the X-Pro 1, for me, fell a little short even though I fell in love with the rendering and look of the 35 1.4 lens. But what does Fuji do for Photokina? They release a $700 less expensive camera called the X-E1 that has the same sensor, same build, better EVF, better video and smaller size. WOW. But what about all of those X-Pro 1 early adopters? Are they stuck with a $1699 camera that will sink down to $700 in resale? Well, no one knows but the X-Pro 1 is still the king of  the heap in the Fuji line up and to prove it Fuji is releasing a new firmware update that will bring the faster AF, faster write times and the snappy performance of the new X-E1 to the Pro 1, so fear not fellow Pro -1 owners! September 18th seems to be the day for the FW release. I may be renting an X-Pro 1 for the 1st ever Steve Huff Photo cruise next week with hopes of getting the new Firmware so I can see how it does in real world shooting. In any case, lots of cool stuff from Fuji. The new 14 2.8, new 18-55 zoom and new cameras. THIS 2012 Photokina will be the best ever IMO as Fuji is also releasing more at the event.

Speaking of Fuji, PopFlash.com has a bunch of cool combos for Fuji cameras that consist of the Thumbs Up grip for the X100, X10 and X-Pro 1 – they are selling them together with a soft release so check out some of what they have HERE.

Leica in the house!

But what about Leica? YES, Leica will announce (only my predictions here…not 100% facts) the much talked about and rumored M10, a new compact interchangeable lens camera (Leica’s answer to the Fuji X-E1 maybe)?, the D-Lux 6 and probably a new lens or two. I got my invite from Leica (see it above) to attend their Photokina event but sadly can not go as the cruise is happening that same week. I will be on the seas with fellow passionate photographers for an entire week as we cruise the east coast in search of fun and photos :) I was hoping to bring along the new Leica Monochrome I ordered many moons ago but my camera has not come in yet so that doesn’t look like it is going to happen. I may bring something new from Sony (if they leave me with something) and maybe the Fuji or maybe an M9. Not quite sure yet. In any case, keep an eye out next week for Leica’s announcements. There will surely be some drool worthy cameras and lenses to come out for many of us to start saving our pennies for and I will be doing my best to update the site while on the ship.

Olympus..where art though Olympus?

Looks like there will be a new PEN model announced at Photokina and from what I hear, they will  be coming in different colors. Not sure if this is a good move or not as it will sort of dumb it down I think. I liked the silver, white and black but what happens when we get green, pink, red and blue PEN cameras? They will start to look like toys just like the colored Nikon J1’s. BUT it could also appeal to a wider audience as well so what do I know? I am hearing good things about the new PEN cameras in regards to IQ and speed which doesn’t surprise me as the OM-D continues to be one of the hottest cameras selling today due to everything it does RIGHT.

Sep 042012
 

The power of Negative thinking

Over the past few days I have been thinking and feeling pretty sorry for all the negative people in this world. I come across them every single day it seems. You know the ones..those who hate their life, those who are bored with life, those who are unsuccessful and they blame everyone else but themselves. The ones who sit around and complain instead of making their own life better. The ones who attack others due to their own failures and inabilities. Those who have lost their purpose in life and  feel in necessary to go on and on about how great they are and how awful and pitiful others are. The ones who feel they are the greatest thing to ever hit this earth when the reality is they are near the bottom of the barrel in todays 2012 world and are trying to make themselves feel better by spewing nonsense. I feel so bad for these individuals because they seem to not realize what they are doing to themselves and those around them. It’s the power of Negative thinking, and it is not a good thing. This power has a way of screwing with your life if you are not careful.

Me at around age 5 with my uncle. I was always a happy kid :)

I have never understood why someone would live on this earth and spend this short time we have here being so miserable. Our time here is limited and I have always been a huge believer in making the most of it as it is all a huge learning process. For the past three years I have (especially) been a HUGE believer in POSITIVITY and the effect it has on our lives. Positive thinking, even in tough times seems to have a way to turn things around. It’s a pretty amazing thing..our mind. Just by constantly being happy, being positive and being an all around nice person can really improve upon our lives.

I see so many people who are negative thinkers and all they do is complain, bitch, moan and spread hate and anger. WHY or WHY? Well there are reasons for their behaviors.

I was planning to write something about this on this blog just as a way to get my thoughts out  and just moments ago I saw a post by my friend Thorsten Overgaard talking about the same thing, but in a different kind of way. While he wasn’t so much talking about negativity in general he touched on certain behaviors in certain individuals that breed negativity. He called his piece “the anti-social personality” and I read every word and loved it because it is all so true. I find it a must read.

So I suggest you go read that at Thorsten’s site right now. It’s a great article. 

The title of my little post today is called “The power of Negative Thinking” because I wanted to try to touch on what negative energy and negative thinking can do. Those who are negative all the time seem to be the most miserable people in the world and I see it destroy so many people who practice this way of thinking. Some people are not aware that negative thinking attracts negative energy, but it is true. When someone is always so bitter and negative it attracts negativity to them like a magnet. It is a bad place to be and when it comes to life and living I have found that always being positive, always being generous, and always being happy, loving and KNOWING that life is good then things have a way of not only working out but they have a way of making you prosper in all areas of life.

Negative people and negative energy bounce off of me because I am shielded from such things but I get my fair share of miserable individuals hounding me or attacking me from week to week even though I avoid those who show this behavior. The good thing is I have the thickest skin in the world, I really do :) So how does it affect me? It doesn’t! It just makes me feel sorry for those who go around the internet hiding behind a keyboard and spewing ridiculous comments when they know damn well that the reason they are saying such things is only because their life sucks, or they lost their own vision or they feel like  attention is taken away from them. Instead of changing their life for the better they go on and on and attack others who are happy, who are positive, who seem to be doing well. Pretty sad when all one can do is write negatively about others instead of talking about their own accomplishments. Some of the thing I have read recently is just so downright negative it gives you a feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes you question why this person writing is so down on themselves.

Since creating this site three years ago I have come across some of the most amazing, influential and positive people I have ever encountered in life. These people are the ones who I flock to and who flock to me because believe it or not we all put out certain energies. Like I said earlier, positive attracts positive and negative attracts negative. I have also come across some of the meanest, nastiest, rudest and most ridiculous people I have ever come across in life. These “negs” are the ones who are just plain down right miserable due to their lack of attention, success, or overall life happiness. Others have been brought to this state through drugs, alcohol or something else that just makes them full of hate.

Negative Thinking can destroy a persons happiness and I have seen it happen over and over again.

I am sure all of you are probably asking right about now “But Steve, what does this have to do with photography”? The answer is…well, it has to do with everything in life. Your work, your family, your finances and even your hobbies such as photography. Let’s say you are a photographer and you enjoy this as a hobby. You do not do it as a profession nor do you really want to. You want to go out and peacefully take photos. Photography can be great for “peaceful therapy” because when you are out taking shots, scouting locations or taking a long drive searching for that next cool shot you could care less about other things going on in your life. You are in it for the moment, the beauty and the passion..even in some cases the gear you use. If  this sounds like you I bet you are a happy and positive person.

This is good. So stay happy, stay peaceful, stay wonderful and stay positive! By doing this good things will cling to you in life and you will live a happy and peaceful existence. Stay around those who are positive and those who are negative, well, try not to listen to what they spew.

So the moral of the story is…be happy, be positive and be a caring and loving person. When you do this you will attract the same into your life and things will ALWAYS work out and your life will constantly improve. If a negative person tells you that you can’t do this or can’t do that or that your photos suck then know they say this because they are lacking in some area of life. Just shrug it off and be happy knowing that YOU and only YOU control your future and life.

Steve

 

Sep 022012
 

Hey Steve –

I’m attaching a few images which may interest you.

These have been shot in Mumbai, India on the Leica X2 – in “monochrome” – actually in BW high contrast mode!! I really love the overall tonality one can achieve in-camera, without having to convert colour into BW in post-processing. The X-2 does such a cool job of it. Just a few minor touches to ones taste in LR or CS6 and you’re on your way!! Although it doesn’t possess the bells and whistles of its competitors, the photographic IQ of this camera is just incredible!!

Its nothing short of the ideal street camera – the lesser side of an “M”!! Small, stealthy and super slick!!

Keep up the great work with your website!! Always a joy to visit!!

Cheers

Sharookh Mehta

Aug 312012
 

Leica 50 Summilux ASPH IN STOCK AGAIN!

B&H Photo sold out of their 50 Summilux ASPH stock after I posted about them the other day but I noticed today that this lens is still in stock at a few select dealers and you can get one now if you are still looking for one.

PopFlash.com has BLACK AND SILVER in stock – They also have a slightly/lightly used one for $3697 in black! 9.88 out of 10 condition!

Dale Photo has the black in stock HERE.

Ken Hansen should have some as well. You can e-mail him at [email protected]

Also sold by Adorama HERE with 4 in stock

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