Jun 272013
 

The new Buy and Sell section in the Forum is Ready to roll!

Just letting you guys know that there is a new Buy and Sell section in the forum now. As many of you know, I had to remove the old highly popular classifieds system due to technical difficulties with it but the test run of the new Buy and Sell forum has been running smooth. If you want to check it out, click HERE for direct access to the buy and sell page or you can go to the main forum page HERE.

If you have something you want to sell, it is easy to post and ad with images. You must be registered to do so. If you see something you want to buy, simply send a private message to the seller as everyone gets their own private mailbox.

Thanks!

Steve

 

Apr 302013
 

Leica-M-silver_front

Jealousy will drive you mad! Stay cool, calm, collected..it will all be ok.

I find it funny that every now and again, when my blog gets more attention than normal, a certain forum on the internet has certain members that just love to bash me . Now, I do not go there and read it as I stay away from this particular forum, and have not been there in years but I get readers who love to email me about what is happening there and it always makes me chuckle..then I get sad. Why sad? Not for what they say about me, not at all, but for those few who engage in such hateful and negative things. I have posted many articles here on this site about positivity, negativity, passion and things I do in my daily life to be able to live such a blessed life. In the meantime you have sad individuals who hate their life posting away and bashing me on a forum that is filled with hate, anger, jealousy and frankly, so many uninspired photographs. It is very silly and makes no sense other than the fact that there are just so many jealous people out there.

Yep, jealousy. It will drive you mad. So much so it will turn you into a bitter, angry, hateful and all around negative person but as I always say, DONT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF! You should see some of the e-mails I get from these guys, it would have you scratching your head. One guy was so mad at me because I received one of the 1st 240′s available and he did not. I asked if he pre-ordered and he said he did, but 2 weeks prior. I informed him that I pre-ordered at announcement time and he said it was still unfair because he deserved one more than I did. Sometimes you just have to sit and wonder what goes through the minds of people like this. BTW, he came from the un-named “forum” where he read about me getting the camera. I guess it is nice to know so many of these hateful people are eagle-eyed on my site and feel they have to talk about me so much, lol.

I remember the week I started my site 4 1/2 years ago. A select few members of that forum attacked me, calling me many things, none of them very nice..all for starting “another review site”. I was told I would fail, fall on my face, have no readers, and I should leave the camera reviews to the professionals. Of course at that time I chuckled and stayed on my positive path. Before long (and it did not take long) my site passed that forum for traffic coming in. Yep, my site was getting more traffic. Today it gets considerably more traffic and to those who have been faithful posters on that site, that irks them, It irritates them. Why? because so many of  them were wrong.

Now a few there want to complain that I sold my Leica M 240. Boo hoo. Yep, I got one before them and they couldn’t stand it. I sell mine, and now certain members there feel insulted. I think they seem to forget what I do..I review cameras. I keep what I can but I can not keep them all, I am not rich or even well off. But I am happy and I am thrilled that this site continues to grow every single year. So I thank all of you who come here, even those nasty ones who hate me as you are giving me more traffic regardless :) I also thank those who defend me on the forums as I am told many of you do.

But the angry ones..many call them “Haters’, I just call them “confused”. Me, I  do not have a negative or hateful or jealous bone in my body and my life is amazing in all aspects. No, I am not some Magnum photographer but I never claimed to be. I am not better than anyone else, in any way, but I never claimed to be. I live a real life outside of my blog, and you guys know this as from time to time I will post articles from my heart that tell it how it is :) I just go with the flow, do what I enjoy in all aspects of life and treat everyone with respect and kindness (unless they come here to attack me, then I just ban them). It is the only way to be!

But man, Jealousy and anger will just bring you down in life, and it sucks. It also serves no purpose at all and will never solve your frustrations. 

Before anyone says “just ignore those guys Steve, they are not worth it”..well, I do ignore them, every day. I do not associate with ANYONE in life who is bitter, negative or hates their life :) I stay away from it and has made me the happiest guy I know for many years now. The only reason I wrote this post (and I did not even read what was written about me, never do) is to challenge everyone out there to go one week in life without anger, without jealousy, without bitterness and without a “my life sucks” attitude. I know many of you live like I do, with a positive vibe. Live like this and you may be surprised at what happens :)

So to all of you who follow me here I thank you! As long as there is something out there in camera land that is exciting to write about, I will be here writing about it. To all of you bitter ones, get over it. My site is here and here to stay and if it makes you feel better attacking me, then so be it but I am telling you now..you will be much happier in life if you drop those nasty bitter feelings :) I sold my M 240..not because I did not adore it, as I did, and do and I really miss it. But  I did it for other reasons (paying taxes, sending my son on his summer dream trip to Japan, etc) that I did not realize were going to be so expensive. To me, my son and taxes will always come before owning TWO Leica cameras. Besides, when I save money again I will buy another.

In any case, hope everyone is having a GREAT day! I am excited as today I have a Nikkor 35 1.8 LTM lens coming in that should be magical on the Leica MM. I also have a few new photo books I will be reviewing for inspiration and a slew of other things coming along the pike. I am also excited that in June I will be seeing 10 of you who signed up for the Palouse Roadtrip. It is sold out and is going to be one hell of a weekend. I decided to bring along some goodies to give away as well that I have been hoarding in my photo cabinet…Hmmm.

Until next post!

Steve

Nov 012012
 

1st image samples from the new Leica M have been spotted! 

There have been some sample images posted on a Hong Kong forum from the new Leica M taken with the Noctilux. So what do you think? You can see them by clicking HERE. There is also a peek at the new meaty battery on page 3. Looks like several higher ISO samples as well are posted. I can not wait to get my M..again, I am #1 on my dealers list so can not wait to get it and review it and see if it beats the M9 in overall IQ :)

READERS: Thanks for the 8 e-mails this morning to alert me to this site that had the samples! You guys are awesome!

The new Leica M will be shipping in the 1st part of 2013. Some say Feb, some Say March and a fe Say January. At a cost which is the same as the old M9 price, $6950 Leica has kept it in range for most M users. What do we get for our $7 grand? A weather sealed digital M! Live view so when our RF goes out of whack we can still focus, a super crazy 24 MP SENSOR with up to ISO 6400 capability, new Maestro processor, 3″ high res LCD, 1080P video, and R lens capability with an adapter. Unlike any other M that has come before.

Dealers are now taking pre-orders..

B&H Photo

Ken Hansen – Email to [email protected]

PopFlash

Dale Photo 

Jan 032012
 

Happy New Year! Updates and cool stuff…SLR Magic, Gizmon, LA Workshop updates and more!

Hello to all! It’s Tuesday Jan 3rd and I just arrived home from a 4 day trip to COLD Chicago to spend New Years Eve with my girlfriend. I am now back in Phoenix to the warm sunny weather and my daily routine of waking up to work on the site. The photo above was shot at the Phoenix airport baggage claim last night at 1 in the morning with the Panasonic GX1 and Olympus 17mm 2.8. I was there for 45 minutes waiting for my luggage and then when it did not show up on the belt I decided to take a look for it elsewhere. I ended up finding it 300 feet down and the US Air employee told me “Oh yea, that one came in an hour ago on a different flight”. Fun! Came home, got some sleep and here I am now scheduling a few things for the site this week.

At 1:30 AM the airport is pretty empty. The 17 and GX1…

During the last few days I was without a computer and all of the updates and posts were scheduled so if you e-mailed me and did not get a response this is why. I am now back to work and ready to make 2012 a GREAT year. I took the Panasonic GX1 with me to Chicago along with the 25 1.4 Summilux lens, which is a fantastic lens BUT different than the 20mm 1.7 which I also adore.

I am finding that the more I use the 25 1.4 the more I appreciate the qualities of the lens which have a richer feel than the images I get from the 20, which tend to put out flatter images than the 25. This is probably due to the 25 being a bit longer and a bit faster. It’s also quite a bit larger but if I were to recommend one of the two lenses, it would be the 25 1.4 for it’s richer color and overall character. I must admit though…I enjoyed using this lens on the Olympus E-p3 more so than the GX1. Why? Well, for some reason the E-P3 nailed focus more with the lens and I had about 36% misses with the GX1 and maybe 8% with the E-P3. Why? I have no idea. Also, after shooting both cameras over the weekend I found the E-P3 to focus SLIGHTLY faster than the GX1. Both are super fast for Micro 4/3 though and most would not even notice a difference. 

My lovely Girlfriend Debby just before we went out for New Years Eve, smiling as always! Shot with the E-P3 and 25 1.4 at 1.4. Grain added with Alien Skin Exposure. 

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I hope you guys enjoyed the three GX1/E-P3 comparisons as well as the David Babsky GX1 piece. I am still gathering my thoughts on the GX1 and have purposely been shooting it alongside the E-P3 to see which one I truly enjoy more since I proclaimed the E-P3 the best M4/3 (for photos) a while back. I am hoping to have my review of the GX1 and 25 1.4 SOON. I can say that I have been enjoying the GX1 with the Olympus 17 2.8 (black version). On the camera the lens seems like a perfect fit and size. Looks like it was meant for the camera and the quality is there as well.

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So look for the GX1 review soon right here!

Gizmon nICA iPhone 4 Case

Check this out! I know it has been posted on other sites already but this looks pretty interesting if not impractical. This huge case takes your iPhone 4 and turns it into a retro (Leica) looking camera with strap and all. The only problem with this is that what if you get a phone call while you are out pimping your new case? Seems a bit overkill but it does look cool. You can get attachment lenses such as a macro and fisheye. A case, a lens and strap will set you back around $140 or so. You can read more about it at the official site HERE.

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Los Angeles Workshop update and SLR Magic f0.95 For Leica M

Some of you if not all of you have heard about the all new, designed from the ground up SLR Magic 50 f0.95 for Leica M mount. This is a lens that SLR Magic has been working on for a LONG time and I have been fortunate enough to have been in contact with them over the past several months regarding this new lens and all of the  revisions it has gone through. One thing I do know is that SLR Magic is really working hard and spending tons of money t0 perfect this lens and the construction is solid and HEAVY. It is also larger than the Leica f/0.95 as of right now. I was supposed to get one in December to test out (but not publish) but they are still working on perfecting it.

The GOOD news? THIS lens will make its physical debut at my Los Angeles workshop on Jan 27, 28 and 29th of THIS MONTH. Andrew from SLR Magic is flying in with at least two of these, maybe three. All in attendance with Leica cameras can attach one to their M and  give it a whirl. This lens will not be cheap when it goes up for sale later in this year but it will be MUCH cheaper than the Leica version. How will it compare? We will all have to wait and see but I see a “crazy comparison” coming up between these two low light heavyweights. Think you will be surprised? You just might. :)

If this is something you want to see, leave a comment. 

BTW, there are TWO seats left for the LA workshop and then we will have a full house. They are going quick so if you have been thinking of attending, see the workshop page HERE. So far we will have Leica shooters, Micro 4/3 shooters, DSLR shooters, and X100 shooters.

Enjoy and again, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Aug 212011
 

Check out the Olympus 45 1.8

Hello to all! It’s Sunday night and I am sitting here at my computer figuring out what I should be posting tomorrow. For now, I was browsing the net and found the 1st real review of the new Olympus 45 1.8 lens for micro 4/3. This is one of the two new lenses Olympus announced along with the 12mm f/2, which we already know is a fantastic (but pricey) lens. The cool thing is that the 45 1.8 will be half the price of the 12. I pre-ordered mine from B&H Photo as I heard they may be shipping in the next week or two. Their pre-order link is HERE.

 

To see the 1st real review from Robin Wong, click HERE. Love the real world style there so I am happy to link to it! The lens looks pretty promising and at $399, not too horribly priced. This seems like it will make for a great portrait lens. All I can say is that FINALLY Olympus is releasing some really good glass for micro 4/3. I have a feeling this lens will be available in the next 10 days…

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Chicago Workshop/Meetup Selling Fast!

To all of you who had interest in the Chicago workshop, it will be held on September 24th, which is a Saturday. I posted about it here and I am having an “early bird” special until Sep 1st, so get in now if you want in. There will be two guest presentations, it will be held right smack dab in the middle of downtown and we will be doing some cool street shooting, having a killer lunch (all paid for by me) and a great breakfast with world famous coffee and espresso (also paid for by me). It will be a jam packed day of learning, shooting, food and fun with an optional night out at a local pub/bar for those who feel up to it :) Check out the page here and to sign up, email me at [email protected]

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Don’t forget the Leica M9/Thumbs Up promo!

or the Sony NEX/SLR Magic contest (over 200 entries so far!)

In the mood to shoot some film? B&H has a used Leica M7 and an M6 for sale. 

UPDATED my Olympus E-P3 review with a side by side shot between the E-P3 with 12mm and the NEX C3 with 16mm (near the bottom)

IN STOCK! Fujifilm LH-X100 Lens Hood + Adapter Ring

Leica M9 and 50 Lux  review from Forbes - They love it!

Jul 272011
 

 The image above of me was shot by Ed Tan in Seattle. Thanks again Ed!

Site news, Updates, Google +, NEX 5 & 7, E-P3, and a Mish Mosh of Information…

More Workshops Coming…

Happy Tuesday to all! Just wanted to post and say that I have a bunch of stuff in the works and I am finally recovered from my busy month on tour with Seal and then the Seattle Workshop weekend. The workshop was FANTASTIC and I have been getting feedback from the group, which is great to hear. Thanks one more time to everyone who participated in the weekend. Speaking of workshops, I have plans to set up 2-3 more and once again, will add to them with more instruction, more critique and more hands on/visual things like technique, overcoming street shooting fears, etc. Look out for San Francisco, Chicago, Las Vegas, Southern California, and yes…maybe even Paris. These will be the next locations and announcements will come soon. If any of you live in the Las Vegas, Chicago or San Fran area and would like to help out with hosting, guest speaking, etc then e-mail me. Also…with the help of Roger Paperno and Ashwin Rao we may be doing a week long workshop throughout Europe…sort of a “luxury” workshop :) If this happens I will share the amazing details soon.

But here is a question, and feel free to leave a comment with your answer. If you would be interested in participating in a workshop in San Francisco, Chicago, Las Vegas or Southern California then let me know. I will schedule these events around interest. Also, no need to shoot Leica to attend! All cameras and skill levels are welcome, just like they are here at this site!

Just a coulpe of  the e-mails I received in the last two days about Seattle…

“Thanks again for opening up your home to us for the weekend.  It was such a great time, the most fun I’ve had in a workshop.   Meeting all of the Leica shooters and learning from you guys was worth making the trip up to Seattle.  My studio is open to you guys when you plan a Southern California workshop, so please let me know when you’re planning your world tour. – Todd Hatakeyama”

“Steve & Ashwin: Thanks so much for hosting and presenting a superb gig (not quite sure what to call it – a mixture of workshop, meetup and pissup (that’s Aussie for good time with beer involved)). I had a great time and picked up many useful tips and tricks. Thanks again. Cheers Peter”

Love that he called it a mixture of a workshop, meetup and pissup! Awesome as that is just what it was :) Lots of passionate photographers who wanted to get out there and shoot with others who are just like them. Here is a page you have to see, Ashwin’s post with his have images from the weekend. Enjoy!

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Social Netoworking Insanity…now join me on Google +

Just when I thought I was all set up with Facebook and Twitter, along comes Google +. So yes, now you can join me on Google + which seems like it will be “the place to hang” really soon and it also appears there is a growing community there already of Leica shooters so be sure and get over there and JOIN ME HERE, add me to your circle! Also, if you haven’t already feel free to “Like” me on Facebook! Every “like” helps. All you have to do is go here and press LIKE! It is not a “friend” request, just a like :) Finally my Twitter page is HERE and my YOUTUBE videos can be subscribed to HERE. Oh! How can I forget my RSS feed? See what I mean? All of this Social Networking..INSANITY! Remember the old days before the internet? Hahaha.

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More Reviews Coming…

So….right now I have a Canon 5D MKII and 50L that I am messing with. My goal was to do a “Crazy Comparison” between it and the M9/Noctilux/Summilux combo. Ive taken a few shots for this but will be heading on a trip next week for 7 days (Going to visit Chicago) where I will get the bulk of the shooting done. Should be interesting. I mentioned in another post or comment that the 5D files seemed more “flat” or “lifeless”. Well, upon closer inspection, and with some tweaks it is getting closer :)

5D MARK II AND 50 L WIDE OPEN AT 1.2

Also, I am going to review the NEW MICRO 4/3 Olympus E-P3 soon and ALSO show a video overview of the new NEX-5 features that were recently added via firmware, especially the focus peaking which in my short experience has been working great. Speaking of the NEX series…what about the supposedly upcoming Sony NEX-7. Did you guys see this one? An EVF included in the body. YES! Looks mighty interesting!

Even more NEX coming soon. I have been shooting with the new SLR Magic 28 2.8 NEX E mount lens and will even be giving this lens away in a contest at the end of this week. Ill be posting my review soon, again, I need more images to evaluate it. Also, you heard it here first…something super delicious is coming soon…something really cool. Damn, thats all I can say :)

So the Canon/Leica comparison, the E-P3, the NEX-5 Focus Peaking, and the SLR Magic 28 2.8 all coming REALLY soon! Hoping I can get the new Oly 12 f/2 to test as well. In many ways it looks interesting, and in some not so much so.

So there you go, the latest happenings here at the site and in my home! Haha…be sure to check back a bit later today for a really cool Daily Inspiration! Until then, get out and shoot!

Steve

Jun 022011
 

News, Updates, Announcements and more!

Hello everyone! Happy Thursday! I am sitting here drinking my morning coffee, sitting in my big comfy office chair and realizing that in less than two weeks I will be heading out across Europe to shoot the Summer Seal tour. This will be a 5 week stint for me and I am hoping to get some nice street shooting in while traveling as well. I plan on bringing my M9 along with a 24 Lux, 35 cron, 50 Noct and 90 cron. These lenses will be perfect for shooting the shows. Notice I added the 24 Lux to the mix this time. I think it will do incredible for live shows to get more audience interaction in the frames.

I will also be bringing along a Fuji X100 and maybe a NEX for video. Not sure just yet. I did just order a new camera flight bag from Think Tank. A roller bag. Last tour I was lugging around this huge camera bag on my shoulder with loads of gear, laptop, ipad, etc. This time I will be rolling along in style with THIS LITTLE GUY. I checked it out in a shop and the quality was fantastic. This way I can save my shoulders and back, and be able to carry all of my gear on the plane. Perfect! I spent two months searching for the perfect bag for flying with my gear and this was the one I ended up with. It is small, but can pack in loads of gear. I’ll fit TWO M9′s, the 4 lenses, the X100 and a NEX. I will have my shoulder bag for my laptop, ipad, cables, chargers, snacks and one camera, most likely the X100.

While I am on the tour, updates may be sporadic as there will be days where I will be without internet access. I plan on doing some street shooting articles, some guest posts, more daily inspirations and of course a few highlights from select Seal shows. Should be interesting. If any of you reading this would like to write a guest article or User Report, just email me and lets talk!

Speaking of the Fuji X100


THE FUJI X100! It appears that Fuji is going to release a new firmware for the X100 really soon, as they announced they will be doing so to correct for issues brought up in the DPreview review. When will they release it? Hopefully soon. I think if they correct some of the quirkiness that came along with the camera then it will be even harder to find in stock. So far, it has been the hottest camera of the year. Fuji dumped their Digital SLR line after the S5 pro and with the success of this X100, I think it sends a message that many of us want high quality in a small package. Retro looks? Even better! Can’t wait to see what they do with the firmware. B&H SELLS THE X100 HERE.

Sony NEX news…

The little camera that could. The NEX-5 is one of the most versatile small cameras on the market today. It has a large APS-C sensor and has the capability to mount just about any lens (with the correct adapters). It’s kit lenses have been hit and miss but there are plenty of NEX users getting gorgeous results with various lenses. The camera is small, sleek and once you get used to the menu system it is a great system. Too bad there are no real fast wider options for it. The X100 has the 35mm equiv f/2, tough to get on the Sony unless you mount a Leica 24 Summilux to the little NEX :)

But its all about SIZE and this girl “gets it”. Look at her video and see how small it is next to a Canon 5d! Wow.

I am also hearing there will be a new NEX-5 firmware release any day now that adds a slew of fun photo filters, much like the art filters of the PEN series. From what I see, Sony is getting a little more advanced though with cool color effects, posterization effects, and even a cool retro look. Should be fun.

If some of you missed this, it appears there was a leaked image of a new Sony NEX C3 which is replacing the now discontinued NEX-3..

While it looks a little cooler than the NEX-3, not sure if I like the new rounded look and monster flash but I am sure many will. Supposedly, this little guy is supposed to hit any day now. Rumors had it for a May release.

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Fun Links of the week…

Has anyone ever seen the work of Spencer Tunick? He shoots nudes and is famous for gathering hundreds or thousands of people into his photos shoots, all nude. I have seen his two HBO documentaries and found his work quite interesting. He is now getting ready for his next project, a large scale nude shoot at the Dead Sea.

This couple had custom wedding rings made to mimic the look of a classic Leica lens.

Wow, love this guys site. Not only some of the most beautiful photography I have seen in a while, he shoots a ton with a Fuji X100. If you want to REALLY see what an X100 can do, visit his site NOW and check out his posts from the past weeks.

Don’t forget to visit my Facebook fan page for this site and click LIKE!

Leica announces RECORD SALES for 2011. So much for those old timers on other sites saying Leica needs to modernize their M’s for profits. As I stated a month or two ago, Leica has been raking in the sales in 2011 and IMO will continue to do so with the plans they have laid out. Go Leica!

For those who think the M9 is expensive…what about the ridiculously priced SIGMA SD1. $9700?? Insanity. This is SIGMA…Their 15MP DSLR (that they claim is 46MP) without a lens…$9700. $2700 more than an M9 that already can come close  to MF quality with the right lens, and is much more portable. Hmmm. Who is buying one?

Was just over at lensrentals.com and found that they have some of the hottest Leica lenses available, in stock, to rent. This is a great way to try out lenses like the Noctilux, 35 Summilux, 50 Summilux, or whatever you want to try! They even have the Zeiss 50 Sonnar 1.5. Check out their Leica pages! I personally can vouch for their service, they are the best online rental service I have come across, and they are a site sponsor as well!

Speaking of site sponsors, Dale Photo has the hot little Leica 35 Summarit in stock. These days it is TOUGH to find ANY Leica glass in stock, even the Summarits! This is a great lens and cheap by Leica standards.

Ken Hansen also usually has Leica glass in stock. One of the top Leica dealers, Ken is my go to guy these days when I need something Leica. He has yet to ever let me down! You can e-mail Ken at [email protected] for availability of whatever you are looking for in the land of Leica.

Oh, and do check out the all new Forums on this site! Started from scratch about two weeks ago and so far so good! It will take some time to get rolling but there are so many knowledgable people that come to this site, and there are also others who need that knowledge :) The forums are a great place to share it! Also, if you want an Avatar to show up on this site when you post in the comments or the forums, go get your gravatar! . Once you do, your avatar will show up here, in the forums, and on other blogs and sites! Only takes a couple of minutes!

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Upcoming Articles

Coming in the next two weeks… A new article from David Babsky and by popular demand, a comparison between the Fuji X100 and Leica M9 with 35 Summicron. So many have e-mailed asking for this and again, these are two totally different camera systems that shoot much differently in real use. BUT, to please you, the readers, I will do a “Crazy Comparison” between the two. Should be fun :)

There will also be the new SLR Magic 28 2.8 lens review for the NEX system and a couple really cool guest reports. Of course there will be the daily inspiration posts as well. So check back daily for something new and fun in the world of photography! Until next time!

Jan 112011
 

Join me or “Like” me on my new facebook fan page for this website!

Hello to all! Hope everyone is having a great week. Here in Phx the weather is warming up and heading back  to the 70′s so it looks like our one week winter is just about over!

Just wanted to let everyone know who is a friend of mine on facebook that I just started a new facebook “fan” page because facebook only allows so many “freinds” on a personal page and I would hate to eventually hit that wall.

So to all of you who are already connected with me via facebook, feel free to “like” my new facebook page by visiting it HERE and clicking on “like”. This way you will get all of my camera updates as they happen!

The M9 Give Away Contest Updates

Also, the M9 contest entries are coming in every day now. I am up to 56 official entries so far and I am guessing that most will come in during the last week. Remember, you only have until Feb 05th to submit your entries! ANYONE can win, just get out there and shoot! Good luck to all :)

For those who have been having issues registering at picortwo.com to follow a photographer (you do not register to be a photographer, just follow) I was told that as of today it should be 100% working. If for some reason it is not, you can click HERE and  register by following Seal. Just enter your email address and click on FOLLOW.

This site has had 880 registrations since the contest started so it is possible that we will see up to 800 contest entries! We shall see! For those who are just finding out about this Leica M9 Give Away contest, click here for the details!

Upcoming Reviews

Lately I have been messing with the Panasonic LX5. I reviewed the Leica D-Lux 5 and will most likely update that review with some LX-5 thoughts by the end of the week. The LX-5 is basically a D-Lux 5 with a different outer shell and slightly different color out of the camera. The LX-5 is $399 and the D-Lux 5 is $799. There are differences though and I’ll go over those with the D-Lux 5 review update.

I also plan on reviewing the Panasonic GH2 very soon as well as the Leica 50 and 90 Summarit lenses. Stay tuned for that. There are also some new guest articles on the way!

The Timbuk 2 Bag Contest – VOTE!

VOTE! The Timbuk 2 bag contest is coming to a close with a winner picked SATURDAY so if you did not yet vote, be sure and VOTE NOW for your favorite! #1 and #4 are virtually tied so let’s pick a winner!

May 272010
 

This past Monday was my son’s 8th grade graduation and just wanted to say how proud I am of him and that I love him! He reads this site every day or two :) Congrats Brandon! Just arrived at my new home in AZ so today will be spent unpacking and getting settled. I will have a daily inspiration up later as well as a KILLER guest article by Ashwin Rao either this evening or tomorrow AM. Also wanted to announce that I will start writing guest articles myself about Leica on the new B&H Photo Insights blog AND the official Leica Camera blog :) BUT my concentration and reviews will always be on this site, which is my baby!

My son at his graduation shot with the E-PL1:

Olympus E-PL1 with Olympus 17 2.8 at 2.8

For some reason, those in the background act like they never seen a camera before :) Converted to Sepia with Silver Efex Pro.

Another nice shot of Brandon and my Mother with the 17 2.8. I’m telling you, 2,8 may seem “slow” when compared to the 20 1.7 but this lens is a MUST for the E-PL1 IMO. This is a straight from cam JPEG. It’s a little vivid as I believe I was shooting in the iAuto mode.

May 112010
 

WHAT A WEEK!

Wow, what a week! Just got back home yesterday after almost a week in Costa Careyes Mexico which was absolutely GORGEOUS!!! I was there for a wedding party and the sun was out every day, the beaches were beautiful, and of course we had loads of fun.

Micro 4/3

I brought along my Leica MP as well as the Olympus E-PL1 with the Panny 7-14 and 45 Macro lenses. B&H photo sent them to me to test out and they arrived just before I left, so that was very cool. I have to say that the 7-14 is a gorgeous lens. The 45 Macro seems a bit slow for my tastes but it is a macro and macro lenses are slow by nature. It’s slow to focus but damn, it renders in a gorgeous way!

I will have my review up of those lenses THIS WEEK but here are a couple of quick samples…

First three from the 7-14. This lens is WIDE!

My wife. To the right you will see Steffen Keil from Leica. Such a great guy! He was shooting his M9 and 50 Lux ASPH.

Self portraits are no problem with the 7-14!

and one from the 45 macro..

LEICA….

While at this party I met two great guys.  It just so happened that Stefan Daniel and Steffen Keil from Leica were also guests so I was able to chat with them at length about Leica, the M series, as well as what may be coming soon! What did I find out? Well, I can’t tell just yet (I promised) but let me say that Stefan was shooting with a new lens and I also was able to try it out on my MP. He also brought along another interesting item as well and hinted at something new coming for the M line SOON. I did not get the feeling that it was a new camera but maybe more of an add on or “enhancement” for the M9 but he did not spill the beans to me about it. He did give my buddy three guesses but he missed all three :) Also, possibility of an update on a classic lens as a special edition in the near future. Can’t talk details but I have to say Leica is on the ball right now and riding a wave of success with the M9 and X1 AND their gorgeous lenses.

What Stefan did tell me was that I could SQUASH any rumor of a Leica mirrorless m4/3 camera. He pointed to the M9 and said “We already have a mirrorless camera”. He also told me that M4/3 is NOT in the future for Leica as the quality is just not there. I am having a feeling an R lens solution may be on the way but don’t quote me on that. Just a gut feeling. No inside info. Really.

But yes, Photokina will bring some new things from Leica, mark my words!!! Oh, and the new lens…gorgeous! I can not share the shot I snapped with it due to the party I was at being a high profile event but it will be a winner no doubt. I am trying to get a hold of one to review it soon. Also, there will be some Leica X1 news coming from Photokina as well. X1 news? Hmmmm. I think the Leica success steam train will be continuing to roll down the tracks in the near future.

More? Sure! I also asked Stefan about the 50 Lux ASPH and tried to find out why it is such short supply. He explained to me  that the glass they use is very rare and exotic and hard to get a hold of in quantity.  They recently made a few hundred of them but they sold them as fast as they could make  them. It’s a hot lens no doubt, and they are well aware of the demand. I was also told they are now backordered on film cameras and the MP is selling pretty well (for a film camera) these days. Hmmm, very very cool!

I asked about M9 sales and he said they are going strong and they can produce about 100 per day with every one they make being shipped and sold instantly. He also reminded me how small Leica as a company really is and how each camera is carefully assembled by hand. Leica is no Nikon or Canon, and IMO that is a good thing. While I had my questions blurting out full force I asked why no Sapphire glass on the M9 and he said it was just “Too Expensive”. BTW, I asked if an M9.2 was on the way and he laughed and said “NO!” More updates as I get them but can only share what I know when I am allowed to share it.

FILM….

I shot 8 rolls of print film and one roll of Velvia while in Mexico. I already have some scans of my print film but will get my Velvia back in a couple of weeks. I shot a variety of film from Kodack Portra 160 NC, Fuji Reala, Fuji PRO 400H, and XP2. I have to say I LOVE XP2 as well as Fuji Reala. Reala may be my fave film right now BUT FREAKING FUJI DISCONTINUED IT. NOoooooOOooOOo! I only have a few rolls left so I will keep them for when I want gorgeous rich color, like the shot below.

Mina with Fuji Reala film. NO PP, just a straight quick scan – all with 35 Cron.

Top and Bottom – Fuji PRO 400H

Shooting FUJI PRO 400H makes me wonder why people bitch and moan about the ISO of the M9?!? With film you get MUCH more grain. ISO 400 on the M9 is clean and smooth but ISO 400 film has plenty of grain. Still, I love film grain as it’s a bit more pleasing to the eye.

Anyway, look for updates this week and the M4/3 lens reviews. I think I am coming down with some sort of Flu so hopefully I will be able to get it all done. Also, if you e-mail me last week I will try to get back to your e-mail in the next 48 hours. I came home  to almost 900 emails!

Until next time…

Steve

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