Jun 182011

Seal Tour Rehearsals are OVER, it’s almost SHOWTIME!

Sitting in my hotel room nearly 5000 miles away from home today and relaxing before the big night. I’m still in Tallinn getting prepared to shoot some photos and video at the kickoff Seal show tonight in Parnu, Estonia. It’s still strange to me that it is 9 am here and 11pm at home in Phx, AZ. Makes it tricky for talking with loved ones who I am already missing :)

This past week has been all rehearsals and preparing for the show. There have been some new additions to the band and I have to say that they sound incredible and pretty damn powerful. Hanging in Tallinn has also been a treat as the weather has been nice and cool, the people fantastic and the hotel and food wonderful. Also, photographing Tallinn has been AMAZING.

But now it’s time to get rolling as the first show of the Summer Europe tour starts in about 9 hours. For the next few weeks I will be shooting with the M9, 24 lux, 50 Noct and 90 Summicron for the concert photos along with a few here and there with the X100, to test out out in a concert setting. Also, I’ll be shooting some behind the scenes video with the Iphone and 8mm app which I think is pretty freaking amazing for an el cheap-o phone app.

Soon we will all be on the road bussing it across Europe. Should be many photo opps ahead :)

I may also shoot some video with the NEX or X100…we’ll see how that goes later. I’ll be posting some cool stuff every time I get a few hours and WiFi, so check back every day! I’ll leave you with a couple of shots from rehearsals…

Fuji X100 at ISO 3200 during rehearsals on Thursday


Gus Isidore on Guitar – X100 at ISO 800 –  f/2


Marcus Brown – bass/keys – M9 and Nocti wide open…


With Carol Jarvis (Trombone/Keys/Vocals) – Nocti wide open


Here is a shot taken with the M9 and a 50 Summilux PRE-ASPH at 1.4


and another of guitar tech McBob with the Lux Pre-Asph at 1.4…



New addition to the Band, Holly Palmer and Paul Summerlin


Jun 172011

Is the Leica Noctilux a good choice as an every day lens?

Things to consider before making that purchase…

By Steve Huff

Over the past two years I have received at LEAST 100 e-mails asking me about the Leica Noctilux and if it would be a good choice as an ONLY lens for a Leica M system. Since many of my articles spawn from reader e-mails I decided to write up a short piece on shooting the Noctilux as an only lens, and if it is a wise choice to do so. Now of course this is all just my opinion so you can take it or leave it but I do have experience with just about EVERY Leica lens and both Noctilux versions, the f/1 and f/0.95.

The reason I have had that question come through my inbox so many times is because the current f/0.95 Noctilux is a $10,495 masterpiece of a lens and there are quite a few M9 owners out there who have thought of selling their three lens kit to fund just ONE 0.95 Noctilux. Let’s face it, no matter who you are $10,495 is loads of cash for just one 50mm camera lens! The more I think about it, the more crazy it sounds.

Leica Lenses have been great investments…

When I bought my old F1 Noctilux brand new about 6-7 years ago it was $3500 and I had a hard time justifying it then. Today at over $10k this lens is out of reach to most of us, but at the same time it’s qualities are so amazing and unique that many of you have considered selling off other things to fund it. Even that old f/1 version today sells for well over $5000 USED. I have seen it go for as high as $7000…used. So those who bought one new a few years back had some huge appreciation on the lens. Most fast Leica glass is like this these days, plus the Nocti is so damn hard to get I have even seen the new version sell for $13k used!

So the big question is this: Is the Leica Noctilux., F/1 or F/0.95, usable as an every day lens or is it too heavy and slow to focus?  Is it worth the cash?

The good news is that I will do my best to answer this based on MY experience with the lens, and will also be providing some new photo samples along the way. The bad news is that what is good for me and not good for me, may not be the same for you but read on to see what I think about this whole subject.

To see the images at their best, click on them to see the larger and better version

Leica M9 and Noctilux f/0.95 at f/2 – The colors this lens produces are simply delicious.


There was a time when the only camera and lens I owned was a Leica MP along with the older Noctilux F/1, which is quite a bit smaller and lighter than the current Noctilux 0.95. I took that rig everywhere… shooting street, shooting portraits and just goofing around the house with it. When I purchased the M8, there was also a great while when all I had was a Noctilux. I remember falling in love with the lens after seeing what it could do. That old F/1 Nocti has some serious mojo going on with its classic and sometimes swirly Bokeh. You either love it or you don’t but I was one who really enjoyed it.

Thing to consider #1 – The Nocti is one heavy beast

These days, I am lucky and blessed enough own the new Noctilux f/0.95 and find it to be one of the best, if not the best lens I have ever shot with. It is quite amazing and special, and I really can’t afford any other fast Leica glass so many days it is just me and the huge heavy Monster. When on the camera it is VERY front heavy. The M9 with the Nocti is a beast of a machine but still lighter than something like a Nikon D700 and Zoom or big prime. It also happens to be THE MOST unique camera and lens combo EVER created for 35mm digital or analog. PERIOD.

But keep in mind that if you are considering buying this lens, or getting on a waiting list for one, that it is HEAVY and unlike most of  the small and light Leica glass you may have tried already. Also, while this lens is huge and heavy (for an M mount lens) it is built better than my freaking house and could also double as a weapon if you ever needed aid in self defense from someone trying to rob you of your camera. I mean, this thing could kill someone.

Shooting the Noctilux 0.95 wide open will usually make any subject look amazing :)


and again, the rich colors just POP with a depth you normally do not find in other lenses…


Thing to consider #2 – It’s a 50, and only a 50…

If you are considering this as an only lens, make sure you really enjoy the 50mm focal length. Some of you are 28 shooters, some are 35 and I suspsect MOST are 50mm shooters. This focal length is pretty much my fave along with a 35. Give me a 35 or 50 any day and I would be happy and easily adapt with just that one lens. A 50mm is good for many things..portraits, scenery, landscape, and everything in between. It’s like the jack of all trades in the lens world. The Noctilux also happens to be the best 50mm in the universe. The build, the exotic glass, the engineering and the love and care that goes in to assembly is what makes this lens so special.

Shoot it at f/0.95 or fully stopped down and you just get breathtaking performance. My Nocti was just in for calibration (needed an adjustment as it was 2+ years old and used all over the world..banged, beaten and a true workhorse) and it is now SCARY good. I now never miss focus, EVER! What I see is what I get in my VF. It’s always so nice to have an M system with the camera and lenses in perfect calibration!

As a side note, Some of you may remember a couple months back when I was in Brazil and I put up a test between the 50 Summicron and the Noctilux. It showed the Nocti was soft when I shot it at infinity. MUCH softer than the 1/5th price Summicron. Well, the reason for that was, and I know this now, is that my Nocti was out of alignment. Now that it is fixed it will not only match the cron, but would beat it for color, contrast and smoothness.

No more focus errors with my Nocti…it’s now PERFECT

So if you are OK with the lens being heavy and only a 50mm and are still lusting after it then you are half way there :)

Thing to consider #3 – It has a long focus throw, so can take more time to focus…

When you shoot this lens wide open at f/0.95 you have to be precise with your focus and Leica knows this. If you are even slightly off when you focus then your shot will just not give you that classic pop and 3D depth you expect from a lens of this caliber. I have to say that there is all of this nonsense online that has been spread around for years now that this lens is hard to focus. THIS IS NOT TRUE! If your lens and body are calibrated to Leica specs then this lens is just as easy to focus as any other fast 50. If you can line up your focus in the RF patch and you glass is calibrated correctly then your images will be in focus.

Sure at 0.95 there is shallow depth of field but I have NO problem achieving focus though the focus “throw” is long. What does  this mean? It means instead of turning the focus ring a very short distance to focus, you will have to turn it more and more as the focus patch will move slowly, so you can be precise and not over or undershoot your focus. This is a good thing in that respect, but if this is your only lens then you may need a bit of practice before you get used to it. On the street I can focus a 50 Summicron or Summilux quicker but again, I will not get that Nocti look from either of those lenses, though the 50 Summilux ASPH can at times come close.

This is a JPEG right from the M9. The Nocti has a way of producing images that are smooth but have amazing depth. The color is also outstanding.


Wide open and well calibrated this lens is nothing short of perfection



If you are ok with the long focus throw, then there is only really ONE last thing to consider if you are thinking of making this your ONLY lens.

Thing to consider #4 – $10,495…are  you ready to get serious?

This lens is the most expensive 35mm lens EVER to be sold. It is also the most unique but it is so priced out of the range of so many people, which in turn, makes it so unique. If everyone owned a Nocti 0.95 then the lens would not be so special anymore as the web would be filled with Noctilux shots! Leica knows what they are doing and they price this lens the way they need to but does that mean you are ready to plunk down almost $11,000 to fund the fastest lens in the world, possibly selling off other lenses to do so?

If you are in love with the Noctilux “look” and 50mm is your focal length, and you do not mind the weight and slow focus throw AND you won’t feel sick in the morning after spending $11000 on a camera lens, then GO FOR IT! While the weight sometimes gets to me, it is still better than walking around with a huge hulking DSLR around your neck and the results can be quite spectacular. This lens is the worlds best 50mm lens for the 35mm format and if you love your Leica M, there is no more satisfying lens than the Nocti.

Besides, you could always buy the Noctilux and a cheaper Voigtlander 35 so you have another focal length. The Nocti is magic, plain and simple but it will not be everyones cup of tea. It is one of those “lifetime” lenses, and who knows..in 10 years it may be worth $20,000 :)

Im gearing up as tomorrow night me and my Nocti will be shooting the 1st Seal show of this tour in Parnu Estonia. Can’t wait to shoot it now that it is all calibrated and focusing PERFECTLY!

I will leave you with a few more shots from today around Tallinn Estonia where we are staying until Sunday. Enjoy! If you have a Noctilux, new or old, leave a comment and let me know what YOU enjoy about this special lens. In my opinion, it is one of the things that make the M9 so special, just because you can mount this lens! The Fuji X100 can NOT do that.













Jun 162011

Crazy Comparison! The Leica M9 with 35 Summicron vs the Fuji X100

By Steve Huff

I have been getting emails for a few weeks now asking me to post some full size images from the Leica M9/35 Summicron vs the Fuji X100…side by side shots, same settings, etc. What some of you want to see is just how the little X100 stacks up against the Leica $10,000 combo in the image quality department. This comparison will ONLY be on image quality as the usability of each camera is WAY different.

The M9 is a manual rangefinder camera and the Fuji is pretty much a point & shoot, though a very nice point & shoot. I have been shooting both while here in Tallinn, Estonia and I have to say that the little X100 has been a joy to use. Quick, easy, and reliable. I can’t help but imagine what would happen if Fuji released this in all black WITH the capability of interchangeable lenses. Something like an X200 with a 24, 35, 50 and 90 f2 set of lenses. Wow.

On the other hand, the Leica M9 still shoots and feels like a “real” camera. I have  that “bond” with it that is hard to beat. When you have this bond, and the took becomes a part of your eyes and brain, then it is  tough to beat in actual use. BUT, if the Fuji can come close to the M9 and 35 cron, it would be cheaper to buy an X100 instead of a 35 and take the savings for another lens! Then again, if you own and love your M9 and have no need for a 2nd camera, then the 35 cron would be the best bet as it is a superb lens as is every Leica 35mm.

Also, let me note that my M9 and lenses just came back from Leica last week where they calibrated the camera and lenses, so the focus is dead on.

Lets see how it goes…

Before I get to the pictures I have to say that Tallinn has been AMAZING! Such an awesome place to just walk and roam. I walked 8 miles yesterday, and a few hours today and enjoyed every second of it. From the cobblestone streets of Old Town to the even more scenic things we saw off the beaten path. Tallinn Estonia is full of life, great people and GREAT light!

The images below were converted from RAW using Adobe Camera Raw. You can see the full size file by clicking on the images (for those that have a full size file).


Leica M9 – f/2 – click image for full size RAW conversion


Fuji X100 – f/2 – click image for full size RAW conversion


Leica M9 – f/4 – click for full size image


Fuji X100 – f/4  - click for full size


Leica M9 – Click for FULL size image! I have to admit, I prefer the X100 version!


Fuji X100 – f2.8 – click image for full size

and the crops if you cant download the full file..


Leica M9 – f/2 – click image for full size


Fuji X100 – f/2 – Click image for full size (see the slight distortion)?


Lets stop it down….Leica M9 – f8 – click image for full size!


Fuji X100 – f/8


and some crops. You can see the M9 gets the prize for detail but at $1200 for the X100 and $10k for the M9, in the IQ department, the Fuji does quite well.


So what are your thoughts?

My thoughts are that the X100 is quite the little camera if shooting 35mm is your thing! Sure, the M9 is better but is it $8800 better in regards to Image Quality alone? NO it is not. Add to this that the high ISO is better on the X100 and this makes the X100 the buy of the freaking year in digital camera land.

My M9 is not going anywhere though :)

A Fun Test – Can you tell which image came from which camera?

The EXIF info is intact so you can cheat, and I am not doing this as any sort of contest but look over the following images and see if you can tell which came from which camera. When sized down (you can click them for a larger 1400 pixel wide version) it gets tougher to  see the differences.













My quick thoughts on the IMAGE QUALITY ONLY of the M9/35 and X100..

  • M9 files are bigger, more megapixels at 18 vs 12
  • M9 files will be somewhat smoother and noise free at full 100% view
  • Metering seems spot on with the X100 due to its three metering modes
  • White Balance is better on the X100, no question
  • M9 files can be sharper if focus is nailed
  • X100 has some distortion, 35 cron doesn’t really have any!

Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments below! If you are looking to buy an X100, you can try HERE or HERE. The M9 can be found HERE, HERE or through Ken Hansen at [email protected]!


Remember, anytime you follow my links here and buy from B&H or AMAZON, this helps to keep my site going. If it was not for these links, there would be no way to fund this site, so I thank you in advance if you visit these links. I thank you more if you make a purchase! I have nifty search bars at the upper right of each page so you easily search for something at either store! I currently spend 10-14 hours a day working on this site and the only way that I can pay for it is with your help, so thank you! Currently my traffic has been increasing but my funds to pay for the site has been decreasing, so any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

Even if  you buy baby food, napkins or toothpicks at amazon it helps this site, and you do not pay anything extra by using the links here. Again, you pay nothing extra by using my links, it is just a way to help support this site, so again, I thank you in advance :)

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Jun 152011

New Leica M9 Firmware is out now, but not anything major.

Hello to all! I’m still in Tallin Estonia and my sleep schedule is all kinds of messed up! I’ve been in bed by 8PM and up by 3AM, and it is 10 hours later here than back home, but I am slowly acclimating to the changes. I feel great today and realized that I did not post yet about the new Leica M9 firmware update that was released earlier today/yesterday.

Actually, I have been shooting the new firmware for about a month but never noticed any differences because this update really only affects those who shoot wide angle lenses.

Here is the details of the new firmware update for the M9:


1. Camera Performance:

Improvement of the sensor homogeneity for wide-angle lenses There is an additional colour calibration for all wide-angle lenses, that minimizes chromatic deviations

between image centre and image corner, especially in critical shooting situations.  Optimization of internal processes

To assure the general system stability, internal software processes have been optimized.

2. Bug fixes:

Improvements in Italian translations


Some test shots with a 24 Summilux and firmware 1.162

I just so happen to have a Leica 24 Summilux on hand (not mine, but wish it was) for my trip so I shot a few images with it yesterday using the new firmware. Color seems great and I see no issues on the edges so I guess the new FW is working well, which is great for all wide shooters. BTW, the 24 Lux is soooooo good on the M9. Can’t wait to shoot it at the first Seal show on Saturday in Parnu, Estonia in hopes to get some great audience interaction shots.

Click any of the images for larger versions and they will look much better!








and the image below can be clicked on to see the full size image from RAW. This 24 is sooooo good on the M9!! Now I want one again…lol.

Coming in the next few days…

More street shooting along with some commentary on how I go about it.

Cool guest article on shooting the Leica X1 in New York City

More from the 24 Summilux ASPH on the Leica M9

The Daily Inspirations will start back up!


The Leica 35 Summicron vs Fuji X100!

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Jun 142011

A Photo Stroll in Tallinn Estonia with the X100 and M9

By Steve Huff

What a crazy last couple of days..

I am now in Tallinn Estonia! I survived 26 hours of airports and air travel and then woke up this morning at 4 AM to head out and shoot in this lovely town. I flew out here to Europe to document Seals Summer  tour and between shows I plan on shooting some personal street stuff as well. The sights, the sounds, the buildings, and the people…wherever I go!

As we walked the streets at 4:30 AM it was quiet, peaceful and LIGHT. Odd because the night before I noticed it was still light out at 11PM at night when I woke up for a bit. Pretty crazy when you are so used to the sun going down by 6 or 7.

But Tallinn is a beautiful place full of photo opportunities and I am hoping to shoot a bit more here before we leave. I just wanted to post and share some shots I snapped with the Leica M9 and 35 Cron as well as the little Fuji X100, which did fantastic!

Enjoy! Click any image for larger and better version, and I will be posting more later. Thanks for looking!

This one was snapped with the X100 wide open.


Fuji X100 – f/4 – JPEG


Fuji X100 – f/4


Leica M9 and 35 Summicron at f/2.8


Leica M9 and 35 Summicron


M9 and 35 cron


Fuji X100


Leica M9 and 35 Summicron


Fuji X100


Fuji X100, F/2


Leica M9 and Noctilux at f/0.95


Leica M9 and Noctilux at f/0/95


Fuji X100


Fuji X100


Jun 132011
Essex Young Farmers Annual Show – Leica M9 vs iPhone 4 – Your Hometown 

By Roy Strutt

Hi Steve,

Last Sunday the Essex Young Farmers annual show was held in Roxwell near Chelmsford in Essex (UK) close to our hometown.

Young Farmers are a youth organisation across the UK with a powerful following of young people either interested or working in farming or who are naturally succeeding their parents as the next generation on the family farm. I have been using the iPhone 4 on a frequent basis lately as a camera and decided to use both the iPhone and the M9 to see how they compared. These images represent two near extremes of photography equipment – the excellent camera on the iPhone 4 versus the Leica M9 rangefinder camera with a Zeiss Biogon 25mm f2.8 lens.

I used the M9 with a lens profile to match the 28mm Elmarit ASPH which seemed to do a good job apart from some slight vignetting in the corners. All the M9 shots were at ISO 320 and the DNG’s were worked on with Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS3 – the lens was wide open most of the time except when bright sunlight caused me to stop it down a little.

The iPhone 4 was used in the standard auto mode and normal composition / light direction / hold very steady for a few moments rules were applied ! See if you can identify which camera was used in these images (answer at the end)

The Images…

The first eight images were taken with the iPhone 4 – from the black puppy onwards (*) the M9 was used with the Zeiss Biogon 25mm. Depending upon your browser you can also get the technical information by right clicking the image and go to Image Properties.

With careful use the iPhone 4 is an excellent camera !

Roy Strutt Photography



YouTube Channel

Roy Strutt Photography Blog

Jun 122011

USER REPORT: Leica Lumix Melange + Noctilux 0.95 vs. 1.0 Comparison on mFT

By Helge Hackbarth

The exceptional picture composing options of bright prime lenses make them desireble especially for the MicroFourThirds camera system. 3D-Kraft demonstrates how a bright standard lens transforms into a fantastic portrait focal length and compares the qualities of the Leica Noctilux-M 1:0.95 / 50mm with its predecessor, the Noctilux-M 1:1.0 / 50mm.

The recent success story of the mirror-less, and thus relatively compact Micro Four Thirds (mFT) camera system was pushed forward also by the fact that quite quickly the usual focal lengths from wide angle to telephoto were covered with compact and high quality lenses from Olympus and Panasonic. Even attractive ultra wide-angle and super telephoto zoom lenses are available meanwhile. However bright prime lenses lacked for a long time.

The enormous demand for the – mostly sold – Voigtänder Nokton 25mm/0.95 shows the strong desire for such primes. It’s not just the high gain at low light, that many users require, but also the associated shallow depth of field (DOF) available for attractive image compositions. Because of the smaller camera sensor (crop factor 2 compared to a “full frame” sensor) the focal length required for a certain viewing angle halves as well but the ratio of focal length and full aperture diameter doubles for a comparably shallow depth of field. Thus a person to be portrayed in front of a background that should appear with a smooth and creamy bokeh requires focal lengths of about 35 to 50 mm and an open aperture starting at about f 1.0 to 1.4 which makes these lenses usually much more expensive.

Viewing angle / Crop of a FourThirds sensors compared to a “full frame” 35mm sensor at identical focal length.
(Image courtesy: Peter Lück, Camera-JPEG Leica Noctilux 1.0 with open aperture at Leica M9)

Fortunately, you are not forced to wait for the offering of such a lens segment in the MFT. The possibility to adapt almost any other lens system to Micro Four Thirds System cameras because of the mirror-less design was quickly recognized, so there are lots of appropriate adapters available meanwhile. Because of an only slightly different flange back distance of the Leica M system, lenses for cameras with the M-bayonet can also be used in the MFT system and they are – thanks to their high quality – even after many years coveted hunting objects in the second hand market. In general, they have no auto focus or lose this ability with other systems through the most purely mechanical adaptation. With some practice, manual focusing on such specialized lenses will be appreciated soon, because it allows for the sometimes only inches deep depth of field set more preciisely than with any automatic. Very useful here are electronic view finders (EVF) that can be easily activated and that allow 5x or 10x magnification.

When you enter the area of extremely large-aperture lenses, you will sooner or later come accross the Leica Noctilux 50mm/0.95, which is currently the world’s brightest aspheric lens. It appeared in 2008 and is the successor to the legendary “King of the Night”, the Leica Noctilux 50mm/1.0. It represents like not other Leica’s excellence to develop and manufacture such high-quality lenses. While the current 0.95er Noctilux is hard to get and because of its price tag of approximately 8000 EUR it is often beyond the budget. Its predecessor has better availability in the second hand market now and can be won around around 3500 to 4800 EUR – depending on age and condition. Of course there are some much cheaper alternatives, such as the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm/1.1 or the 50mm/1.2 Canon EF. They may be worth its price, but achieve balance with regard to sharpness, contrast and bokeh not on the level of a Leica Noctilux. So who is willing to invest such sums into a manual fixed focal length, will ask as the next question, if the additional expenditure for a new Leica Noctilux 50/0.95 against a 50/1.0 – in good condition – appears justified.

1st image: Leica Noctilux-M 1:1.0 / 50mm (E60 version with extensible, slightly square lens hood)
Bottom image: Leica Noctilux-M 1:0.95 / 50mm (with extensible lens hood))

A few facts first about the older Noctilux: It was manufactured in Canada since 1975, initially in a version with 58mm filter thread, and later as “E 60″ with a 60mm filter thread. The hood changed its shape over the years as well. Was it at first round and screw-on, it was later fixed but extensible. The latest E60 version is already 6-bit coded, has a rather square, sliding hood with rounded corners that produces less shade to the viewfinder of a Leica M camera. The optics was based on the same calulation throughout the entire period but the antireflective coating is rumored to have changed over the years. The actual focal length of each item is measured in the final production step. The result is engraved in the housing using the following codes: 00 for 50mm, 01 for 51mm and 02 for 52mm.

The successor is a completely new development and is made since 2008 in the German Leica headquarters in Solms. It uses aspherical elements, as well as “floating elements”, is a bit bigger and heavier and has a shorter focus thread. Its vignetting on full frame sensors is less than its predecessor and it has a better sharpness in the edges.

…and which differences appear when attached to a mFT system camera?

The illustration of the crop factor relationship shown above also indicates the vignetting and slightly recognizable loss of edge sharpness of the Noctilux 1.0 at open aperture when attached to a full frame Leica M9. The red marked rectangle shows the crop that mFT a sensor actually use from the full frame image. It is well recognizable that the stronger vignettiing and the edge blur of a Noctilux 1.0 opposite a Noctilux 0.95 affect the image only within areas that are not covered by the mFT the sensor. With other words: MFT cuts only the “piece of filet” from the lense’s picture circle.
The Noctilux mounted to a micro Four Thirds camera results in an unusually balanced combination, but still appears “visually” balanced. If your camera is equipped with an electronic viewfinder providing magnification it is very helpful for precise focusing. The Noctilux 1.0 is said to have a certain focus shift on rangefinder cameras like the Leica M9, which was opimized ith the new 0.95er version. However – on cameras with electronic viewfinders this plays no role.


Leica Noctilux 50/1.0 adapted to a Panasonic Lumix GH2


Let us consider some comparative examples, all of which are viewable by clicking on it in full size
- First with open aperture:


Noctilux 1.0 at f1.0



Noctilux 0.95 at f0.95

Both images are comparable in terms of sharpness in the focal region. For portraits of this kind a certain softness and “glow” is OK and may be desired. Both lenses show at open aperture a tendency to color frings which ar not atypical for this light intensity. A typical difference between the old and the new Noctilux is already clearly visible: while the circles of confusion have the “bubble” shape that is characteristic for the Noctilux 1.0, the new aspherical corrected Noctilux draws the them clearly neutral.

Noctilux 1.0 at f1.0

Noctilux 0.95 at f0.95

In these examples you can see the smoother out-of-focus rendering in the background of the aspherical Noctilux below whereas above you see the typical circles of the older Noctilux.
The following two pictures show the image composition options in daylight and aperture f1.4. Due to the tremendous intensity here you usually will have to provide provided a gray filter (in the examples, an ND filter from B & W) for a darkening of three stops otherwise even at a shutter speed of 1/4000s you willl get over-exposed results.

Noctilux 1.0 at f1.4

Noctilux 0.95 at f1.4

Both lenses provide excellent sharpness at f1.4 already, but are also struggling with minor color frginging even at this dimming. At f1.4 the bokeh has hardly noticeable differences.


• With regard to sharpness and contrast both Noctilux generations are head to head in the crop area of a Four Thirds sensor.
• Both offer exceptional brightness and provide a unique visualization in the area of avialable light photography
• The aspherically corrected Noctilux has a slightly more neutral creamy bokeh at open aperture whereas the predecessor at f1.0 has its own “bubble” character. Who likes this more or less is substantially influenced by personal preferences. It is the balance between perfection and character.
• At open aperture center-weighted auto exposure tends for both lenses in a slight under-exposure, since the brightness decreases towards the edges. With the old Noctilux this effect is even more distinctive and should be taken into account in setting the camera by a slight increase in exposure.
• In the operation of the old Noctilux focussing is slower but may be easier to adjust accurately. In my tests, the rate of correctly focused images with the old Noctilux was slightly higher. For video applications the shorter focus trasnlation might be helpful.
The following series illustrates the development of the circles of confusion across different aperture settings at the older Noctilux 1.0.

At f1.4 you see already nearly circular lights, at f1.0 the rings turn into bubbles.

Concluding several other examples that show the character and composing options of such an extraordinary lens.





(f1.4, ISO 800 – here some candles were the dominating light sources)














Leica on Lumix (me shot with the Noctilux 1.0 attached to a Leica M9 by “Dierk”)

For further examples please follow this this link.

Jun 092011


The Leica M9 Hammertone Special Edition?

This has been a week of new cameras leaking out on to the internet and some new camera announcements. So what’s new? How about more Leica M9-P stuff? Well, the image above is a shot of a supposed M9 Hammertone special edition that will come with a 28 2.8 Elmarit in chrome with a hammertone lens hood. This is supposedly going on sale for $15,000 in a strict limited edition of  100 sets, in Japan. It will sell out no problem with that number. As for the M9-P…my guess is that it will look just like this, but in chrome and black paint finishes :) The M9-P of course would not be a limited edition and supposedly will come in $700 more expensive than the standard M9, sapphire glass included. :)



The Sony NEX-C3 – It’s official!

It’s small, it’s cute and it does everything the NEX-3 did and more. The only problem is that Sony made it even smaller, and this may make it harder to hold comfortably. I have not seen or held one yet and I do like the silver top and black body combo but it’s starting to look more and more like a point and shoot. I really do not see anything in the C3 that would make me want it over the NEX-3 or 5 because there will be a new firmware update soon that will allow the 3 and 5 to use the same special effect filters as the new C3. Sony has a way of making a statement product like a NEX-5 and then sort of killing it with future releases. They did this in the Audio world years ago with their high end line (anyone remember the SCD-1)?

The NEX-C3 has higher megapixel count (which is not always a good thing) of 16.2 and Sony can once again claim they have the smallest interchangeable APS-C size sensor camera in the world. Maybe that was their goal.

“Building on the success of last year’s α NEX launch, the new NEX-C3 model takes the idea of ‘small camera body, SLR-quality photos’ to a whole new level,” said Kristen Elder, director of the alpha digital imaging business at Sony.  “This camera’s brand new, large CMOS sensor and user-friendly interface will allow all photographers, regardless of experience level, to produce unique, custom-styled photographs. The NEX-C3 is a perfect combination of design, performance and creativity that fits a wide range of activities and shooting styles.”

also seems like the NEX line is getting more consumer friendly…

“The intuitive new Photo Creativity interface on the NEX-C3 camera puts sophisticated controls within easy reach, whether users are shooting stills or HD Video.   Technical terms like ‘aperture’, ‘exposure value’ and ‘white balance’ are replaced with the friendlier and more intuitive ‘background defocus’, ‘brightness’ and ‘color’, allowing users to easily create custom-styled photographs. A traditional interface with Aperture/Shutter Priority, Manual and custom functions is always available for experienced users, along with highly customizable soft-keys for programming direct access to important controls.”

Again, the new firmware will basically give the same functionality to your 3 or 5, so I wouldn’t run out and sell your 3 or 5 to buy a 3C, unless the photo quality ends up being better, which is possible (but unlikely). Sony is also releasing a 30 3.5 macro lens around the same time as the camera.


A new Ricoh digital hits the Internets!

Ricoh Introduces the PX Series,
Water- and Dust-Resistant Digital Cameras
for Day-to-Day Photography, Outdoor Use, and Everything in Between

June 9, 2011?TOKYO, Japan?Ricoh Co., Ltd. (helmed by president and CEO
Shiro Kondo) today announced the release of the new PX compact digital
camera. The new design offers 5.0×, wide-angle (28 mm) and telephoto (140
mm) optical zoom in a water- and shock-resistant package that can safely be
used for hassle-free photography in a wide variety of locations and

Designed for hassle-free operation, the new RICOH PX lets users take
photographs anytime, anywhere with fast startup and settings that adapt to
subjects for optimal results. Its high-resolution, 16-million?pixel CCD
sensor and Smooth Imaging Engine IV image processing engine combine for
high-resolution, high-quality photographs.

The new, fully flat design give the new RICOH PX, ease-of-use and
portability, results in a camera that is easy to carry, while the optional
protective jacket appeals to users with a choice of color schemes that can
be matched to the camera body.

While it exhibits the traditional dedication to image quality that has been
the foundation of all RI-COH digital camera designs to date, the newly
released RICOH PX is also a compact digital camera that promises fun,
hassle-free photography. It is also dedicated to image quality that has
been the foundation of all RICOH digital camera designs to date.

Principal Features of the New RICOH PX Compact Digital Camera
1.    Designed for peace of mind and hassle-free use, anywhere, anytime;
fully dust-, water-, and shock-resistant
The RICOH PX has a JIS/IEC protection rating equivalent to IP68. It
can be used underwater for 60 minutes at a depth of 3 meters. Dirt
can be washed off, allowing users to safely take pictures anywhere
without worrying about rain, splashes from the kitchen, or dirt or
soil from the garden. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being
able to use your camera anytime, anywhere, including for shots of
water sports, hiking, and other outdoor scenes.
Thanks to its impact-resistant design, the camera can withstand
being dropped from heights of 1.5 meters.
The camera features a 2.7-inch, 230k-dot high-contrast LCD monitor
with a wide viewing an-gle. It also boasts an anti-fingerprint
protection coating that protects from scratches, and an
anti-reflective coating which ensures that the monitor can still be
viewed under bright outdoor lighting.
2.    Never miss another shot?whip out the RICOH PX and snap a photo
anytime, hassle-free
Whether it’s a spur-of-the-moment snapshot or a carefully framed
picture, the RICOH PX can automatically optimize settings to suit
the subject, allowing even users who are unfamiliar with the camera
to take photos quickly and easily.
A fast startup time of about 1.4 seconds ensures you’ll never miss
another shot.
Subject-tracking AF” is standard on all models for shots that are
always in focus even if the subject is in motion.
The fully-flat design eliminates projections to emphasize
portability for a camera that can be slipped into a pocket and used
almost anywhere. By placing the lens in the center of the camera
body, RICOH has ensured that shots won’t be blocked by stray
fingers even when the camera is held in both hands.
The intuitive controls include a lever-style flash dial that allows
user to determine whether the flash is on or off, and a movie
button that starts movie recording directly with a single press.
3.    A 16-million?pixel, high-resolution CCD sensor for high-resolution
The 16-million?pixel, high-resolution CCD sensor ensures
high-quality results not only when pictures are enlarged, but also
when they are cropped or resized for digital zoom.
The Smooth Imaging Engine IV image processing engine produces
noise-free images even in shots taken at high sensitivities under
low light.
Image-sensor?shift image stabilization reduces blur at high zoom
ratios and in pictures taken at night or indoors under low light.
4.    28?140 mm, 5× optical zoom with super resolution (SR) zoom equivalent
to 10× optical zoom
The RICOH PX offers 5× optical zoom for focal lengths of 28 mm
(wide) to 140 mm (tele-photo).
With super resolution technology, the camera supports SR zoom
equivalent to a focal length of 280 mm with almost no drop in image
quality. Telephoto photography at zoom ratios equivalent to up to
1,344 mm (280 mm × 4.8) are available with digital zoom.
5.    Premium shot modes enhance the photographic experience
Settings can be optimized for even the most difficult subjects
simply by choosing the scene with the premium button.
A display with easy-to-understand explanations guides users to the
scene they want.
Premium shot modes and custom modes are available for up to 28
scenes (including custom modes).
A wide selection of premium shot modes is available, including
“Cooking” and “Sweets” for delicious looking shots of food, an
“Auction” mode for shots of objects being sold at auction, “Beach”
and “Snow” modes that utilize the camera’s water resistance,
“Party”, “Hand-held night scene”, and “Miniaturize”, “Toy camera”,
and “Soft focus” filter effects.
Photographers can select up to five of their favorite premium modes
for easy recall.
6.    Playback options for easy viewing
By using the camera’s “Favorites” feature users can rate picture
with the camera’s choice of three rating levels.
The “privacy” option can be used to hide selected pictures during
Use “calendar playback” to find pictures by date.
7.    A full range of convenient options to enhance the user experience
The RICOH PX comes with a slip-proof protective jacket(available in
five colors to match the camera body ) to protect it from shocks
and scratches.
The “Two-way” straps that function as both hand- or neck-straps are
also available in five colors.
8.    Many other features add fun to your photos
The RICOH PX supports X2-series Eye-Fi SD memory cards with a
built-in wireless LAN feature that can be used to automatically
upload photos to a computer or photo-sharing ser-vice.
Users can shoot HD movies with a frame size of 1280 × 720 pixels.
An HDMI cable (avail-able separately) can be used to connect the
camera to an HDTV for high-quality display of movies and photos.
The RICOH PX comes with rechargeable battery that uses a USB
connection. The USB power adapter can be plugged into a household
power outlet or the battery can be recharged when the camera is
connected to a computer via the supplied USB cable.

Jun 092011

Why shooting with just a 35mm lens WILL improve your photography.

By Steve Huff

I originally wrote this article to end my Fuji X100 camera review but decided to expand on it and publish it on its own. When the X100 and even the Leica X1 were announced and released, many people were complaining that it did not have a Zoom lens, or have the capability of adding another lens. I heard things like “Who wants a fixed 35mm lens” and “These cameras are useless with just a 35″.

To me, this kind of thinking is borderline nonsense as the 35mm focal length is one of the most useful, if not THE most useful focal lengths you can use! I truly believe that if you shoot with just a 35mm focal length for at least 6 months your photography will improve and so will your knowledge of composition, reading light, and even your “vision” will improve. By that I mean, the way you see things in relation to photography.

Yes, It’s true. You can not add a zoom lens to cameras like the X100 or Leica X1 nor do they have a built in zoom lens. When you invest in these types of cameras, you are investing in a 35mm camera. Just like the old days with the classic fixed lens film cameras. But I see this as a good thing and is why I also adore the Leica X1 and X100 and even a Leica M9 with a simple 35mm lens attached.

For me, it’s all about simplicity and knowing what to expect from the camera. After a couple of weeks shooting with just your camera and one 35mm lens you will start to be able to visualize in your head what your image will look like, way before you even shoot it. When I go out and spot a scene I want to photograph, I instantly envision in my head what the image will look like. I can visualize what it would look like at f/2 or f/8, I  can see how I want it framed and what my final image will look like, even with processing! I see all of this before I take the shot. I can do this because I have been shooting with prime lenses only for so many years, and the 35 has been one of the main focal lengths I use along with my 50mm.

Some Images using only the 35mm focal length.

The house below was shot with a Leica M9 and 35 Summarit, which is a GREAT lens for this type of photo. It’s funny because the Summarit has better Bokeh than the 35 Summicron ASPH, and is about half the price and a smaller lens! True!

If you click on the house image below, you can see the quality of the lens better as the detail is also there.

The image below of the old (and what I thought was an abandoned) motorhome is one of my favorites of recent times. I remember driving down a rural road and I spotted this “scene” from the corner of my eye. I immediately turned around and pulled up to this dirty, worn down, flat tired motor home. Right when I stepped out of my car I knew exactly what angle I wanted because of the tarp that was flowing towards my lens. I knew this would look amazing in black and white and when I processed the image, it was exactly what I had hoped for.

It was shot with the Leica M9 and 35 Summicron ASPH lens.

For at least a year I traveled around with my M9 and 35mm taking photos of old buildings and abandoned places. It was almost an obsession of mine, finding these long forgotten houses, shops, cars..and even gas stations. For this project, the 35mm focal length was my most valued and used lens. A 28 was always a bit too wide, and the 50 was a bit too long.

This old service station was captured deep in the mountains of Kentucky, once again with the Leica 35 Summarit. For full detail and color, click on the image.

So OK, so far all I have shown you is old buildings and a motorhome, which are all perfect subjects for a 35. What about people? Sometimes with a 35mm, if you get too close to someone they can appear distorted, but not always. I find the 35mm focal length great for portraits IF you want to include the surroundings as well, and IMO, this makes for a much nicer “portrait”. A few years ago I started finding the typical 85mm portrait “heads” somewhat boring. I like to see more of what is going on in the surroundings…the persons “environment”, which is why you have probably heard the term “Environmental Portrait” before.

In my opinion, the 35mm focal length can produce more interesting portraits than a 50, 75 or 90 IMO. Why? Because you see the environment along with the person. You see what is going on in the scene which I find much more interesting than just a plain head shot most of the time.

Below is a fire breather who was walking the streets of Vegas and anytime someone gave him a dollar or two he would breath fire on the street, stopping traffic an all. With the M9 and 35 Summilux ASPH II, this shot was easy, and i love it!


The next shot of my son Brandon was taken over a year ago with the M9 and 35 Summarit. We were sitting down to eat and I wanted to get a picture of him browsing the menu but instead he looked up at me with the “are you taking a picture AGAIN!” look. Added a Sepia tone in Color Efex which looks better when you click on the image. This shot, when viewed at the larger size, reminds me of how great this little Summarit is. A little bit classic, a little bit modern, and the lowest price Leica 35.


Even the little Olympus E-PL1 with the 17mm pancake attached is just about equal to a 35mm foal length (34) and here is another portrait I shot with that exact combo! I really like this one as you see the environment in which the Auctioneer works. This was at an auction on a hot sweaty summer day and he was standing in the back of his truck from where he auctioned off a house and belongings. It was in Illinois and probably close to 100 degrees on that day. IT WAS HOT and HUMID.


When I shot the last Seal tour I also experimented with the 35 and really loved what I managed to capture with it. Shooting concerts with a 35mm lens sounds odd doesn’t it? Seems like it would be much too short, but with a performer such as Seal, using a 35mm is ESSENTIAL as there is so much audience participation going on. Once again, getting the subject and his surroundings is key to a really great photo. This one is with the M9 and 35 Summicron ASPH.


Using the Leica X1 which has just about a 35mm equivalent lens…

Here is one more “Environmental Portrait” I shot a year ago with the M9 and 35 Summilux ASPH II. You can see that this guy is a street performer. It tells more of a story than just a headshot would.

So as you can see, the 35mm focal length is very useful and versatile. In fact, after always going back and forth over which focal length I prefer between a 35 and 50, I always go back to the 35. It just seems natural.

After shooting a camera and one lens like a 35mm for at least 6 months you will know what angle to get, where to stand and you will get out of the “Zoom Lens” mindset, which IMO, makes you lazy. There, I said it and I mean it! Zoom lenses make you lazy. Sure it is nice to have that huge and pricey 70-200 because when you are roaming around the Zoo that is what everyone else has with them, and I used to be guilty of the same thing many years ago. Once I started shooting with a 35 and 50 my whole outlook changed and I realized that 95% of my shots taken with a zoom lens…sucked!

These days when I look back at my “zoom” shots they look flat and lifeless and it LOOKS like I zoomed in on my subject. But sometimes there will be a subject that is farther away and without a Zoom you can’t get close. Maybe you can not walk up to your subject to get closer. When this happens, I change my whole approach to the shot. Instead of worrying about the subject I look around and see what I can capture within the shot WITH the subject, and this usually makes it much more interesting.

Now of course, sports shooters and wildlife guys need powerful zooms (or primes) but for most of us, including the hobbyists, it could be a great experience to just shoot with one lens and one lens only for a while, and believe me, it will improve your photography.

I could get by day to day with either a 35 or a 50. My favorite lens in the world is actually a 50, but not for its focal length. The Leica Noctilux for its gorgeous rendering. Right behind that the new 35 Summilux ASPH. I have shot with a 35 for months on end, and did the same with a 50. Did my photography suffer because of it? NO, in fact, it had the opposite effect. It IMPROVED it.

My wrap up…

Shooting ONLY a 35mm lens for say, 3-6 months, will open up your mind to other possibilities. You will not just aim, zoom and shoot but you will look around, think and ask yourself how you can get the best shot with what you have. Shooting at 35mm seems natural. You can get great environmental portraits and even normal portraits if you step back a bit. 35mm is great for landscape and urban shots. It kind of sucks you in to the image at times and is not too wide like a 24 or 28 might be, nor is it too constricted like a 50 can be in some situations.

In many ways, in my opinion, the 35mm focal length is the perfect focal length for shooting life as it happens. The things around you, the people around you, and the daily grind in general. If you have the chance, put a 35mm (equivalent) on whatever camera you own and shoot it for a few weeks. ONLY using that lens. My guess is that by the end of the few weeks you will have some amazing keepers, and you will also have learned a bit more about composition. You will also have a liberated feeling as the stress of “what lens should I use” will be gone. Just you and your 35…pretty cool.



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Jun 032011

Is the new Leica M9-P coming?

The new Leica M9-P…this is the rumor that has been spread around the net for the past month or so ever since a couple of photos of Seal were spotted with him carrying around an MP style Leica, but without a rewind knob or advance lever. Heck, I saw that camera in person a couple weeks ago when I met up with Seal in Tuscon, AZ.  I’m not saying anything about it but…

…for now, let’s just say this rumor is true and that the M9-P is just around the corner. I’m guessing that an M9-P would include a nice vulcanite covering, be chrome instead of Steel Grey, have the Sapphire glass on the back and also be void of any names or logos on the FRONT of the camera. If I were making an M9-P, I would engrave the top old school style with the Leica name. I would skip the electronic frame lines and save those for the M10 later on. I would also price it $500-$750 above the cost of a standard M9 as we all know that the Sapphire glass does indeed add cost (look at the M8.2). But this is Leica, so if the M9-P is real, who knows where they will price it. $500 would be perfect IMO, $1000 would be a bit much.

If i were releasing an M9-P I would also release a black paint version, with the nice rich black paint that the film MP has. THIS would look amazing wouldn’t it? Yep, an M9 with the looks of the classic MP. My guess is that these cameras will be absolutely jaw dropping beautiful (if in fact this is what is coming in June). Would I upgrade my grey M9 towards one? In a heart beat.

I also am aware of new firmware for the M9 but my guess is that it is nothing exciting, just a bug fix or two.

Those are just some guesses of mine, nothing that really hasn’t been said on 20 other sites lately.

As for the M10, I’m still guessing that the M10 will not surface until mid to late 2012. I’m also guessing that this camera will take the M in a new direction. Just a hunch. I could be wrong. As for an X2, Im also going to say 2012. Just a gut feeling here. As for me, Im still thrilled with the performance of the M9 and it continues to deliver the results that at times, make my jaw drop.

As for this M9-P stuff, let’s wait and see. :)


UPDATE – I closed the comments on this as everything that needed to be said has been said, and I refuse to keep them open as I do not enjoy the negativity. Again, let’s wait and see what Leica announces this month :)


Jun 012011

Just wanted to pass along info on what appears to be a great Leica weekend in Victoria, BC from August 12th to the 14th, 2011. You can see all of the details and even sign up  HERE on the Leica Akademie site. Here is a brief rundown of the event. I’d go if I could make it.

From Leica:

Join the Leica Akademie for an intensive and exciting weekend of learning with celebrated photographer and educator Quinton Gordon!

This is the first of five Leica Weekends set in destination cities around North America in 2011. With a limited class size and itineraries customized to each location, these intensive, fun-filled events feature two full days of hands-on learning with the acclaimed Leica M9 under the guidance of a knowledgeable and forthcoming Leica Akademie instructor. These incomparable weekends expand on the best of our one-day workshops into an action-packed learning experience that will take you from “rangefinder 101” all the way to advanced techniques in the space of 48 hours!

The Leica Weekend delivers all the essentials of the Leica Akademie in the most time-efficient manner possible. Class time is followed by carefully selected field experiences that allow you to practice what you have learned, followed by feedback, and suggestions on optimizing your workflow by friendly well-trained Leica experts.

This is your unique opportunity to have a priceless weekend of learning, inspiration, and camaraderie in the company of like-minded enthusiasts and it is perfectly tailored to those who appreciate the very best photography has to offer.


Topics covered include:

Introduction to the M9 system

Getting the most from this unique camera

Exposure, Metering, Composition, Capturing the moment.

Candid and Street photography

Strategies for shooting in low light

Seeing in black and white

Strategies for successful photography while traveling

Lessons from the Pros

Editing, workflow and presentation.

All weekend workshops include lectures followed by practical field experiences, followed by a review of your pictures with the Akademie instructor and featured guest photographer.


Victoria, BC timeline:

Friday, 6PM-9PM: Opening reception: Leica equipment check out and lecture with Quinton Gordon.

Saturday, 9AM-5PM: Full day of shooting and exploring Victoria.

Sunday, 10AM-5PM: Editing, critique, workflow and final lecture.


Who should attend this Workshop?

This crash course in Leica learning is designed for those that own a Leica rangefinder or would like to and want to take their photography to the next level in the most time-efficient manner possible. An understanding of the basics of photography, terminology, techniques will help you make the most of this weekend.


Photographers are encouraged to bring their laptops and be conversant with their hardware and software in order to facilitate downloading and critiques during the workshop.


May 262011

The Stevehuffphoto.com Seattle, WA Meetup/Workshop July 23rd and 24th 2011



Hey guys, just wanted to update you all on the July 23rd and 24th schedule of events for the Seattle workshop/meetup and to let you know I have ONE SEAT remaining! I expect it to sell quickly so if you are interested, e-mail me ASAP!


This will be an exciting and fun time for all. Here is what will be happening…



Saturday, July 23rd

9:00 AM: Workshop attendees arrive at Ashwin’s home

– Top Pot Donuts (on of Seattle’s most famous donut spots) with coffee for breakfast

9:15ish: Steve’s intro & welcome

9:15-10:30: Introductions of each of the conference attendees (5 min per person)

10:30-10:45 : Ashwin Rao’s welcome, introduction, & brief portfolio slideshow

10:45 – 11:15:  Guest speaker introductions: Tim Isaac, Roger Paperno

11:30- 1:30: Morning stroll at Pike’s Place Market – An introduction to Seattle’s “street” of memories. Pike’s Place offers the most street photography of any place in Seattle, with a wide variety of photo making opportunities

1:30-2:30 Lunch at Pikes Place Chowder (sourdough bread bowl and chowdah!)

2:30-3:00 travel to & arrive at Glazers Camera for a Leica Demo; Meet with Mark Vercammen, Glazers’ Leica guru extraordinaire.

3:00- 4:00 pm: Glazers Camera –  Leica Demo with Brad Weeks, Leica’s Pacific Northwest camera representative.

4-4:30: Walk over to Glazers Rentals for Rao/Tanabe Photography Exhibit & talk on “How to exhibit and promote your work”

4:30-7  pm Return to Ashwin’s for photo editing, critique, and sharing; concurrent “Thumbs Up”/Match Technical display & gear demo at Ashwin’s

– Snacks and food on hand

7:15– 8:15: Evening sunset “postcard” photo stroll at Kerry Park

8:30- 9:30 pm Group Dinner and evening cap at Rays Boathouse near Golden Gardens

9:30-11 pm (time and attendee desire permitting): Optional later night, low light photo stroll for any interested. Likely location will be Belltown nightlife (downtown)


Sunday, July 24th

9:00- Breakfast: Mighty O Donuts and Coffee

9:15-9:45: Steve’s presentation of photos (Seal tour  & Street photography around the world)

9:45-10: 15: Introduction & Discussion Lead by Charles Peterson

10:15-11:00 Recap of the day – Lessons learned

11:00 AM – 1 PM: Photo Telling stroll – Space Needle/ Seattle Center

–  Optional ride up the needle. It’s a fun place to photograph from above as well, both the people and the city!

1:30-3 PM: Lunch at Eastlake Bar & Grill

3:30-5:15 pm: PM stroll at Discovery Park, Seattle’s “nature preserve”

5:30- 7:30 pm: Return for critique and discussion of story telling

7:30-8 pm: Prize giveaway ( a complete kick butt camera system with all accessories )

8:00 pm: Group Wrap-Up Dinner at Tutta Bella Pizzeria


Workshop Host: Steve Huff

Workshop Local Host & Organizer: Ashwin Rao


Honored attendees and contributors

Tim Isaac of MatchTechnical, creator of the ThumbsUp Grip for Leica M cameras

Charles Peterson, Rock & Documentary Photography

Roger Paperno: Pro Photographer and local co-host

Brad Weeks, Leica Northwest Representative

Mark Vercammen, Glazers Camera Leica Guru


  • Dinner is not included, but attendance is encouraged
  • Itinerary is subject to change, pending weather and happenstance
May 262011



The universal compact camera for carefree photography

Solms, Germany (May 26, 2011) – Leica Camera AG presents a new digital compact camera featuring a 15.1 megapixel sensor (14.1 MP effective) – the Leica V-Lux 30. In comparison to its forerunner model, the new camera has a Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens with an extended range of focal lengths and a new LCD touch screen display that guarantees fast and simple handling. Together with its numerous automatic features and manual setting options, this makes the Leica V-Lux 30 a compact and universal camera for the whole family. Additionally, its integrated GPS function and video recording in 1080i-AVCHD Full HD make it the ideal companion for all life’s moments from the family vacation to the backyard barbecue.

The Leica DC Vario-Elmar 4.3 – 68.8 mm f/3.3-5.9 ASPH. 16x zoom lens has an extended range of focal lengths equivalent to 24 to 384 mm in 35-mm format. Thanks to this high performance lens, the Leica V-Lux 30 delivers outstanding image quality and covers a wide range of photographic opportunities, ranging from wide-angle and macro shots to telephoto shots of distant subjects.

The newly developed 1/2.33″ CMOS sensor of the Leica V-Lux 30 guarantees outstanding image quality and allows photographers to capture image sequences with the camera’s fast, continuous shooting mode. The Leica V-Lux 30 enables consecutive burst shooting at a rate of ten frames per second at a full resolution of 14.1 MP, or 60 frames per second with reduced resolution in a choice of individual aspect ratios. This allows users to reliably capture fast moving subjects – for example when shooting sports or wildlife. Its brand new 3D mode lets users take fascinating, creative images. In this mode, the camera combines two suitable shots from a sequence in a “stereo image pair” and saves them as a 3D image in MPO format.

An outstanding feature, the Leica V-Lux 30’s video recording mode offers performance comparable to that of digital camcorders. Particularly, the video mode records in efficient, 1080i-AVCHD-Full-HD format with the entire 16x zoom range available during video recording and an integrated stereo microphone with an electronic wind noise filter guarantees a crystal-clear soundtrack.

As with the complete Leica portfolio, the V-Lux 30 is characterized by timelessly elegant styling and extremely easy handling. With the new 3″ LCD touch screen, many camera features can now be controlled simply by touching the screen with a fingertip. This generously dimensioned screen has a diagonal of approximately three inches and displays images in outstanding brilliance with a resolution of 460,000 pixels. This provides users with an ideal tool for reliable and precise assessment of images both during composition and after capture.

Thanks to the integrated GPS function, the camera records the geographical coordinates of the location and the local time for every shot and saves them in the Exif data of the image files. When travelling, the V-Lux 30 can also display the sightseeing highlights of the immediate neighborhood (1,000,000 so-called “Points of Interest”). Images posted on social networks, image portals and map sites such as Google Maps or Google Earth reveal exactly when and where they were shot.*

The Leica V-Lux 30 will be available from Leica dealers beginning June 2011. The camera is supplied with an extensive software package comprising Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 9 for still image processing and Adobe® Premiere® Elements 9, especially designed for video processing. There is also a choice of two different camera cases: The strong and resilient leather case and the soft leather case.

* It is possible that GPS tagging may not function in the People’s Republic of China and neighboring regions. Satellite signal reception may be impossible, depending on the location. In such cases, the positioning data may be recorded inaccurately or not at all.

Media Contacts:

Evins Communications


Clara Kroher

212-377-3589 / [email protected]

Julia Covelli

212-377-3593 / [email protected]


Technical data                                         LEICA V-LUX 30

Lens: Leica DC Vario-Elmar 4.3 – 68.8 mm f/3.3-5.9 ASPH. (corresponds to 24 – 384 mm, 35 mm equivalent focal lengths), 12 elements 10 groups); Aspherical Lenses: 6 surfaces in 3 elements


Optical Image Stabilization: Yes



optical/digital:                                           16x/4x



Modes:                                                      Normal/Macro, continuous focusing (On/Off)


Metering modes:                                       Face Detection, AF Tracking, multi points, 1 point, Spot, Touch Field


Focusing range

P / A / S / M:                                             50 cm (wide-angle) / 2 m (tele) – ∞


Macro / intelligent /

auto / movie:                                              3 cm (wide-angle) / 1 m  (tele) – ∞


Sensor: 1/2.33″ CMOS with 15.1MP (effective 14.1MP)


Resolution / Recording File Format

Still pictures:                                             16:9 format: 4320 x 2432 pixels, 3648 x 2056 pixels, 3072 x 1728 pixels, 2560 x 1440 pixels, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 640 x 360

3:2 format: 4320 x 2880 pixels, 3648 x 2432 pixels,  3072 x 2048 pixels, 2560 x 1712 pixels, 2048 x 1360 pixels, 640 x 424

4:3 format: 4320 x 3240 pixels, 3648 x 2736 pixels,  3072 x 2304 pixels, 2560 x 1920 pixels, 2048 x 1536 pixels, 640 x 480

1:1 format: 3232 x 3232 pixels, 2736 x 2736, 2304 x 2304, 1920 x 1920, 1536 x 1536, 480 x 480


Movies:                                                      16:9 format AVCHD: 1080i: 1920 x 1080 pixels  (max. 60 min per clip) 720p: 1280 x 720 pixels (max. 60 min per clip)

Motion JPEG: 16:9 format: 1280 x 720 pixels (max. 30 min per clip)

4:3 format: 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels  (max. 30 min per clip)


3D:                                                            16:9 format: 1920 x 1080 (MPO format)


Exposure control

Exposure modes:                                       Program mode (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter Speed priority (S), Manual Setting (M)


Exposure compensation:                           Increments: 1/3 EV steps, setting range: ±2 EV


Scene modes:                                            Portrait, Soft Skin, Transform, Self Portrait, Scenery, Panorama Assist, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Handheld Night Shot, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby1, Baby2, Pet, Sunset, High Sens., High-Speed-Burst, Flash Burst, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial Photo, Pin Hole, Film Grain, Photo Frame, High Speed Movie


Metering modes: Multi-field / Centre weighted / Spot

White balance: Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade / Halogen / Manual setting


Sensitivity: Auto/iISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600


Shutter speeds: 60s-1/4000s, (Starry Sky mode: 15s/30s/60s)


Continuous shooting mode: (Burst frequency: max. number of pictures / max. resolution)

2 B/s: max. number 100 / 14 MP max. resolution

5 B/s: max. number 100 / 14 MP max. resolution

10 B/s: max. number 15 / 14 MP max. resolution

40 B/s: max. number 50 / 5 MP max. resolution

60 B/s: max. number 60 / 3.5 MP max. resolution



Modes:                                                      AUTO, AUTO with pre-flash (to reduce red-eye effect), AUTO with slower shutter speeds and pre-flash, On, Off


Range:                                                       60 cm – 5.0 m [W/ISO Auto],

1.0 -2.8 m [Tele/ISO Auto]


Self-Timer: 2/10 s delay

Monitor: 3.0” TFT-LCD, approx. 460,800 pixels, Touch screen functionality


Microphone/Speaker: Stereo/mono


Recording media

Internal memory:                                       approx. 18 MB


Memory cards:                                          SD: 8 MB – 2 GB

SDHC: 4 GB – 32 GB

SDXC: 48 GB – 64 GB



HDMI:                                                      Mini-HDMI cable (type C)


AV OUT/DIGITAL:                                Digital: USB 2.0 (High Speed)


Dedicated jack (8-pin):                             Analogue Video/Audio: NTSC/PAL Composite (switchable in menu), Audio-line-out (mono)


GPS: Geodetic Data System: WGS84

Database:                                                   1 Mio. Points of Interest


Operating temperature/

Humidity: 0-40°C / 10-80%


Battery (Lithium/Ion): BP-DC7


Voltage/capacity:                                      3.6 V / 895 mAh (260 pictures according to CIPA standards)


Dimensions (WxHxD): 104.9 x 57.6 x 33.4 mm / 4.13 x 2.27 x 1.31 in


Weight: 219 g / 7.72 oz (with memory card & battery)


PictBridge: Yes


Scope of delivery: Camera, Battery charger (Leica BC-DC7), Lithium-Ion Battery (Leica BP-DC7), Carrying strap, AV cable, USB cable, Software DVDs, CD with long instructions (PDF), Printed short instruction manuals, Touch Pen


Software: Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 9,

Adobe® Premiere® Elements 9

© 2009-2014 STEVE HUFF PHOTOS All Rights Reserved