Dec 052014
 

Rediscovering an old friend, The Lux’50 ASPH

By John Tuckey

Hi all!

The last couple of months I’ve been pretty much exclusively shooting the new M-P, but ironically not for the main reason I bought it.

As a B&W obsessive I was very happy with the M-Monochrom and I bought the M-P pretty much exclusively for the EVF to use with my noctilux f/1 at minimum range – focusing that single digit stop at 1m was a hard gig, and the EVF made the world of difference – yay! So much so, that I bit the bullet and sold my f/1 off and ordered the newly announced silver 0.95 nocti – a suddenly empty wallet of course but hurrah! Cue excitement! Not a moth to be seen! Except, nearly two months later it hasn’t arrived yet – oh, curses :-(

So my last few shoots have been with my previous standby the Summilux ’50mm ASPH. It’s hardly a hardship, much as I’ve neglected it the last year the ‘lux is a truly gorgeous lens with a very different character to the super soft f/1 nocti. It will be interesting to be able to compare the 0.95 to both when it finally arrives.

Anyway here’s a selection of frames from the last couple of months with the M-P (type 240) and the Summilux 50mm ASPH. The last of these (09) was accepted by vogue italia into their own photo gallery, which I always see as a huge seal of approval. I hope you enjoy them all as much.

For those who enjoy film, yes there’s ilford film in the lab for most of these shoots which might well come to a film friday soon ;-)

PS to the genius at leica who decided that ‘M10′ was too long or complicated a name, I add my name to the list, you were wrong. M10-P (11P, 20P or even 50P) would have been quicker to either type or say than M-P (type 240) and then we wouldn’t have the fringe ‘MP – oh do you mean digital M-P or analogue MP, M9P or M-P’ marketing side plate going on now. And, no you don’t get out of that one by dumping the MP and just selling the M-A with no built-in light meter unless you’re planning on giving us a new leicameter ‘M-D’ which will talk to the M-A body and give the same in camera functionality the MP already does. And breathe – Just sayin’ ;-)

 ‘Victoria’ Leica M-P, Summilux 50mm ASPH f/1.4

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 ‘Jason’ Leica M-P, Summilux 50mm ASPH f/1.4

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 ‘Belle’ Leica M-P, Summilux 50mm ASPH f/1.4

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‘Land & Freedom’ Leica M-P, Summilux 50mm ASPH f/1.4

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 ‘Iris’ Leica M-P, Summilux 50mm ASPH f/1.4

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 ‘Masques’ Leica M-P, Summilux 50mm ASPH f/1.4

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 ‘Tillie’ Leica M-P, Summilux 50mm ASPH f/1.4

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‘Raphaella’ Leica M-P, Summilux 50mm ASPH f/1.4

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Best regards

John Tuckey

Nov 132014
 

Photographing the bride on my own wedding

by Milan Swolfs

On the 27th September this year my wife and I got married in Belgium. We both like vintage clothing and love all things from the 20s, 30s, 40s till 50s. My wife www.macheried.com is my muse and we often do (commercial) shoots together.

I couldn’t resist taking some pics of my wife during our wedding with my Leica M9P and Noctilux f0.95 ASPH.

Thanks to your excellent reviews Steve I bought now the Sony A7S together with the Voigtlander Close Up adapter and use it with my Noctilux too. It’s much easier to focus and I can use it at night.

More of our work you can see on my website www.milanswolfs.com

Keep up the good work.

Kind regards

Milan

Milan Swolfs

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Jul 132014
 

The best for me: Leica Monochrom!

by Francois Roosens

I think it’s the moment to send you some pictures from my Leica MM (Monochrom). Leica came into my life about 2 years ago, I sold my D4, D800e and all reflex kit to buy it.

The Leica MM is for me the best camera I have bought. I now own the MM(The best), M240,  A7r,  A7s (fabulous), and also the Lumix GM1 (it’s a perfect micro camera). I like your job.. Thanks for everything.

I am sending you some picture of « GILLES » from Belgium, it was in March for the « Carnaval » It was an important feast in my country. Early in the morning Gilles come pick  up other gilles and drink and eat at each house. in front of every house, they dance around… and lunch some oranges to give at children or at people for have a lucky year. I hope you like this.  The Leica 24 Summilux and 50 Noctilux 0.95 was used for that and I was up at 4AM.

Thank you!

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May 302014
 

Friday Film ‘Death of an M2′

By John Tuckey

Hi All.

My M2 just died, but it died as it lived – in action.

On my last shoot I decided to indulge in a bit of an experiment. Rather than shooting with the Nocti and MM and leaving the ‘Lux 50 on the film body for inbetweeners, I decided to invest a little time in a set of comparison shots between the ‘Lux 50, Sonnar 50 and the Noctilux f1. All three lenses on digital and then on film. My own chief interest was comparing the Nocti at 1.4 to the 1.4/1.5 rendering from the Lux and Sonnar. Why? Well I love the Noctilux f1 for that romantic glow it kicks out wide open, but I’m usually at its 1m minimum distance where f/1 is a hard aperture to shoot. So I was interested in how much of that glow would still be there at 1.4 and 2, and how that would compare to the 1.4 kings? If enough of that glow survived at 1.4… that’d be like having the cake and eating it. I brought the M2 as I wanted to see the film DoF compared to the digi on the same shots – and I figured the film comparison would interest folks on here too.

So I packed the M-mono, an M2, and the three fifties in my kit bag along with a pen and a clapper board. With some assistance from the extremely patient Iris FitzGerald (who never wants to tie another bow in her life), I set out making my comparisons. Same model, same light, same scene, same distance – you get the picture. (I’ll gloss over the digital experiment for now, the files are here http://media.jrtvintage.co.uk/public/files/25wq-a2h325n3 for those who want to see the comparison and draw their own conclusions).

So, I shot all three lenses on the M2 loaded with some Ilford Delta 100, but part way through some sonnar shots it seems that it developed a shutter problem. From there in I got a few frames of odd exposure banded shots and then a steadily increasing series of over exposures. By the time I got to my second set most frames where unusable :(

Thankfully some of the early exposures where very nice, in fact I think the Noctilux images from the camera’s early death throes are my favourites from the whole set! Much nicer than a comparable overexpose from a digi would have been, and a bonus in so far as it was something I wouldn’t have set out to do intentionally, but will certainly play with going forwards.

Finally be forewarned, these are home developed in perceptol and scanned on the epson v750 with all the authentic dust and crud included, that’s part of the fun after all ;-)

I think that although it’s nice to be able to shoot at 0.7 when you only have one lens, the reality is that if you’re shooting a 50mm at 0.7 you should probably be shooting a 90mm, Summilux 50mm ASPH f/1.4 at 0.7m

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Summilux 50mm f/1.4 at 1m

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I’m assuming the odd banding is a shutter issue, which would tie in with what happened after, but happy to be corrected if anyone has a different explanation from past experience, Sonnar C at f2 – The moment of failure

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We’re on the downward spiral now – so a bit more exposure than I intended, but this is probably my favourite image from the set, Noctilux f/1 at 1m

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Back to the Sonnar at 1.5, but we’re closer to the end now, much brighter than expected (compared to the digital shot taken at same EV). After these shots it starts to white out :-(
Sonnar C 50mm

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Maybe melodramatic as I’m pretty sure it’s fixable, but I will have to see what the cost will be. I suspect it’s a write-off and it might just be time to go for an MP instead!

R.I.P

Finally, before I sign off, I have a plug for everyone. This year I’m a nominee in the UK’s ‘National Vintage Awards‘ under the Best Photographer category, it’s a voting contest and if you enjoy my work every vote for JRT Vintage Photography ‘here‘ is very much appreciated. Thank you!

Best regards

John Tuckey

May 072014
 

The Sony A7r & 55 1.8 along with the M9 & Noctiluxf1

By Julien Ducenne

Hi Steve and Brandon,

My Name is Julien Ducenne, I am a filmmaker living in London and working on images for about 12 years now.

Since long time my dream was to have a Leica M and couple years ago I bought the M9 with a CV 35f1.2, I was amazed by the quality of both and quickly bought a Noctilux f1 to continue my personal learning and exploration on images. I really love shallow depth of field, and the bokeh was great…
Until the day when the Sony A7r was available, I bought it with the FE55mm 1.8 and with a bokeh result really close to the Noctilux ( at equal aperture), I had more details and Sharpness on my pictures. I did not regret the Noctilux at all and I will continue to Buy M mount lenses but I will use both…

…At the end gear is only gear and the result only matter…

Have a great day.

Julien Ducenne

My Flicker : http://www.flickr.com/photos/ducenne/

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Apr 222014
 

Holy 50mm! The Mitakon 50 f/0.95 Speedmaster for E-Mount Arrives.

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What you see above is serial# 000001 of the brand new Mitakon Speedmaster 50 f/0.95 FULL FRAME lens for Sony E Mount. Yes, the A7 now has a 50 f/0.95 and from a few shots I have seen circulating online this lens looks AMAZING. Holding it, I can tell you that the quality is flat-out amazing. Leica quality in feel. Size wise, it is not so bad and much smaller than say a Leica Noctilux f/0.95. This lens will sell for $799 and start shipping end of May but I will be doing a FULL review on this bad boy on an A7 over the next few weeks. But imagine this on the new A7s! Wowzers. This lens and an A7s could indeed be a dream team of the night.

There is a funny story about how I managed to get this lens. I remember reading about it a while ago and seeing some images from it. A few days ago I received a random e-mail from someone I did not know and never heard of. He asked me if I wanted to review a 50 0.95 lens he designed for Sony NEX. I asked him where his website was, if it was full frame and where it can be ordered. He wrote back saying it was full frame but with no other real info. I had no idea it was this lens! Pretty cool that I get to review serial# 000001. Sweet.

The packaging is stellar and the lens arrives in a very nice case, the nicest I have ever seen any lens ship in.

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The lens itself feels so solid and it is constructed in a very high quality. Smooth dials, a click less aperture ring and a metal screw in lens cap.

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I will start reviewing and using this lens at the end of the week once I am done with another camera I am wrapping up a review for ;) But I am excited about this one because I have a very good feeling about it. I will also test it on the new A7s whenever that camera surfaces! Stay tuned…

Dec 292013
 

A Noctilux is for Life, not just for Christmas!

By John Tuckey

Hi All, Season’s Greetings!

Some of you may know me from previous posts, for those who don’t, my passion has always been black and white – particularly the timeless quality that it can impart. Black and white allows an element of ‘anywhen’ into an image which with just a couple of props can suddenly be your own personal time machine.

Anyway, I finally gave in to the ultimate in lens lust and bought a Noctilux f1 for christmas. I’ve been blown away, so I wanted to share a few of the first images with you.

Steve’s written extensively about this lens, and frequently uses the word ‘magic’ – he’s right!

There are those who say it’s too big and heavy – but to be honest it’s only 120grams heavier than my silver chrome summilux ASPH. Yes it blocks a chunk of the viewfinder – which doesn’t bother me in landscape – but really freaked me at first in portrait, the models head was completely obscured – yikes! Yeah thats a pain, but it’s not so scary once you remember there’s no reason why you can’t hold the camera the other way round so the lower corner is blocked rsther than the upper ;-)

Viewfinder aside, what’s the picture like – does it deliver the magic that so many others have raved about so much? I’ve gone through most of the 50’s: the 50’Cron, the Lux ASPH, the Sonnar C, the Nokton 1.1 and the 1.5 – will this really be worth all that money on top of say the Lux ASPH and Sonnar?

You can judge for yourself below, here’s two sets of three from my first shoot with the Nocti on an M9 yesterday. The Shots with the shirt are f4, ISO 80, Shutter 1/180 with Elinchrom flash at 4 stops firing through cardboard flags. The vintage styled portraits are done using the same flash heads just as modelling lights (not firing) while switching the lens down to f1, 1/60 and letting the M9 sort it’s ISO out which turned out to be 800.

The last one just shot into the 500px ‘popular’ section within 15minutes, and got placed in the LFI’s M9 mastershots gallery overnight – which tells me there’s plenty of magic in here to go around.

This is one Noctilux that will be for life, not just for Christmas!

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All the best

John Tuckey

http://www.jrtvintage.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/jrtvintage

http://500px.jrtvintage.co.uk

Oct 012013
 

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Two months with my Leica Noctilux f/0.95

by Jim Main

Hello again Steve,

A few weeks ago I sent you and email explaining the story of my slightly off the wall buying experience of my beautiful black and glass gem otherwise known as the Leica Noctilux f0.95.

Well I’ll start off by saying that despite the risk everything paid off and the lens and seller are both 100% genuine and the lens is now on a Passport under my name, phew! So I did get a genuine £6.5K ‘bargain’ :)

Anyway onto what I’ve been doing with it. First up I’ll say that, if anything, I find it easier to hold and use than the 50 Lux it replaced. Focussing is generally a snap and I use the RF 95% of the time rather than the EVF. I’ve included one ‘action’ shot taken with it, admittedly not wide open, but it was still one a series which came out sharp. If you do buy one of these then a decent ND is a must if you want to use the lens to its best open potential in most daylight conditions. I keep a UV protection filter on the front and I’ve noticed a bit of vignetting when I stick the ND on top of that but it doesn’t bother me too much as it usually suits the image and saves me adding one in LR or PS.

Nighttime performance is amazing, no flash on an M, who cares, this thing sucks in light and with the better high ISO performance of the M the only thing I would need flash for is fill in rather than overall illumination.

You can read all the reviews and see lots of sample shots, but it’s not until you take your own ones that you really discover the beautiful smooth creamy effect that this lens can bring to even the most mundane of subjects, I’ve never experienced it with any other bit of kit I’ve owned over the years, and that includes a lot of fast Nikon lenses. I know that the copious bokeh isn’t to everyone’s taste but I don’t think I’ll ever get bored with it.

As you can tell I kinda love this lens and it’s been with me recently to Spain and Florida as well as just down the road.

Do I recommend this lens, you betcha, have a garage sale and clear out anything you can to save up for one of these and I doubt you’ll regret the purchase.

I’ve attached eight shots for you and I really couldn’t decide which ones to send. There’s a few of my favs that I’ve kept for the time being as I’m going to enter them in my local club competition and they have rules about images not being seen before but hopefully you won’t be disappointed by these.

Thanks

Jim

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Jun 172013
 

My new Noctilux Story by Jim Main

Hi Steve,

I’ve been a reader of your excellent site for a few months now and between yourself and Thorsten Overgaard you have ‘forced me’ to the position where I just HAD to go and buy a Nocti 0.95.

I’ve been looking for a second-hand one for ages and keep missing them as they sell so quickly. Well this weekend I finally succeeded and as it was a bit more complex than walking into a shop I thought you might like the story as an example of how far us mad photographic types will go to blow a few thousand $ or £’s!!

The brief story was I came home quite late on Friday night and had a quick look on eBay to see if there was any interesting lenses on there. I spotted this new listing for a 2 week old Nocti, the story given that a girlfriend had bought it for her boyfriend but he didn’t like it (we all want a GF like that!) I stuck it on my ‘watch list’ and went to bed. When I checked in the morning and it had been taken off, I thought damn it but sent a message to the seller. To cut a long story short we ended up talking on the phone and I took the gamble that they were genuine after they sent me photos of the lens, receipts etc. I stay in S.West Scotland so I drove to Carlisle and jumped on the train to London then jumped on a tube to the Wimbledon area where the guy told me to wait for him driving by in a black Audi. At this point I’m thinking do I really want to jump in someone’s car that I don’t know! Anyway the car came past and he was with his GF so they parked up and we went to a cafe. I tried the lens and everything was above-board. She had paid the new UK price of £8k for the lens the week before in Selfridges. I got the lens and two B+W Pro1 ND filters (0.9 +1. for £6.5K, I reckon that was a relative bargain (if you can ever say £6500 for a lens is a bargain!!) He told me he’s quite a novice photographer and has an M9 but he couldn’t get used to focussing the lens and preferred the Lux 50 that he also has. It was like a scene from a film when I sat with my ipad doing an online bank transfer to him, you know the ones where the criminal is watching the progress bar tick along with the money

I then jumped back on the Tube and caught the 6:30 back to Carlisle and was in the house by 10:15, 700 mile round trip in 10 hours and a big hole in my bank account!

I’ve attached a few pics of my first shots with the lens, the face on shot in the cafe was my first ever with a Nocti and I was sold straight away (he’s the guy I bought it from). So far I’m finding it easier to focus than my Lux (not sure what to do with that now). All these pics are OOC Mono jpegs focussed using the RF. I snapped a few of my son in a field this evening on the way home from his swimming lesson. I’m blown away with the creamy look to these although for some reason a couple are showing vignetting and others aren’t?? I cropped one in the filed to straighten the horizon.

Keep up the excellent work.

Jim

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Apr 042013
 

Two new videos…Leica M 50’s and an M 240 Video with the Noctilux

Just realized I have not posted these here though they have been on my youtube channel for a week or two. The 1st one is an overview of three mega Leica lenses. The 50 cron APO, the 50 Lux ASPH and the 50 Noctilux ASPH. The 2nd video is a short little video I shot with the 50 Noctilux ASPH to show the rolling shutter effect that is very noticeable when shooting 50mm. It was taken with the Noctilux wide open and with the M 240 in B&W mode.

Enjoy!

Mar 242013
 

Updates on the Leica M. AWB, Noctilux 0.95 & Black & White

Updates on the Leica M. AWB, Noctilux 0.95 & Black & WhiteThis 1st image was intentionally processed to be more contrasty and grittier over out of camera M files. I am well aware of the highlights and it was done intentionally. Gives it more of an M9 flavor. :)

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I know, I said I was taking the weekend off but I had some extra time after finishing up shooting for my X100s review that will be posted tomorrow and I am sitting here in my Mothers house wide awake late at night, so why not :) My Fuji X100s review ended up at 5300 words or so and goes over the camera and updates that were made to it along with my thoughts on shooting it for the past 10 days straight. So look for that tomorrow!

Today I have one more follow-up on the Leica M 240..the camera so many love to hate!

Since posting my Leica M review I have been getting input from those of you who own the M (not too many of us out there yet), those who are thinking of getting one (many asking about B&W capabilities), and those who feel it is just ridiculous to buy a camera for this kind of cash and claim the Fuji X100s is a better camera. Yes, I have heard from all of you with your thoughts, opinions, and requests and I will address all of those concerns in this post.

This post is for those of you who have been on the fence between the Monochrom and new M when it comes to B&W and for those of you who have asking me for Noctilux samples. I decided to write about both in one post to kill two birds with one stone. I am also going to go over a couple of issues that I touched upon in my review but did not go into great detail with (that review is already over 15k words)!

Here is a nice lower contrast look for B&W. This is what you get out of the camera.

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Since getting my M I have used it every single day. I have been shooting it side by side with the X100s and the Sony RX1. To me, it doesn’t get much better than the M and RX1 combo and have decided to use the RX1 as my 35mm lens. For my M I will go 28, 50 and 75 but my main focal length right now is 50mm, no question. I seem to go back and forth between 35 and 50 but lately have been really digging the 50mm. It is a “classic” focal length though any focal length can be used for amazing imagery.

I feel the 50 is just the right balance and good for 85% of my shooting. I recently decided to take the 50 Noctilux out for a spin on the new M and since I was visiting family in Illinois my nephew happily volunteered to be my model for the day. What better combo to have then a Leica M and 50 Noctilux ASPH? I mean, this setup alone costs $18k!

INSANITY when you think about it but there is nothing out there that will give you the look of that 50 Noctilux. Not the Canon 50L, 85L, or any Nikon that I have ever shot with. So it may very well be “worth it” in the things it brings to the table for some and if you want this specific look, nothing else will really do it. To be fair, other lenses have their own unique looks as well like the ones I just mentioned from Canon, Nikon, etc. The Noctilux is one expensive piece of glass but if your wallet is fat and you want that look, it is there for you to buy, and I know Leica sells loads of these as I *personally* know 7 people who own this lens. It is also a lens you can actually call “an investment”. The original f/1 version sold new for $3500 6-7 years back, now it sells for $7k used.

BAM!

No, that is not a dust bob on the sensor, it is a smudge on the wall :) Noct wide open.

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The 50 Noctilux is nice but keep in mind that it is heavy, it is uber expensive, and it is not really a lens one thinks of as an everyday lens. It can be (see my article here on this idea shot with the M9) though depending on your wants, needs and wallet but I see the lens as something you may use for certain occasions or circumstances. It has a very unique look and shooting the Noct at 1.4 will not look like the Lux at 1.4. The Noct character sticks through f/4 or so but it is made to be shot wide open or close to it. In comparison to the Lux, it is a totally different lens and I know a few who own both. If one has the funds, for example, if I had a million or two in the bank I would own every Leica lens :)

ISO 1600 on the M with the Noctilux doing what it does best at 0.95

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So as you can see just by the samples I have posted so far (click them for better and larger views) the Noctilux quality shines on the new M, no question at all. These have not had any PP, just simple and quick LR B&W conversions which leads me to the B&W capabilities of this new M. With the Monochrom available at $7995 using the M9 body and technology it would seem that the best “deal” would be the M. It is $1000 less and can shoot color as well as B&W and has all of the new enhancements in speed, menus, etc. But what if you want superb B&W to rival the MM as well as color? Can the M do this?

But is the B&W that far off from the Monochrom?

This post is not a comparison of the two cameras but rather just showing you what the new M can do with basic out of camera images with a one button conversion in Lightroom. It will be up to you to decide if this is good enough for your own B&W needs, as we all have different needs.

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After shooting the M extensively now day in and day out I can say that the camera can do a very nice B&W and better than what the M9 did with B&W due to the increased DR and ISO capabilities. As for the Monochrom vs M, I can tell you the Mono is sharper out of camera and does better at high ISO because the M at 6400 will show banding and odd noise if you shoot in the dark. Is it usable? Sometimes, depending on if you expose properly or not but my max is staying at 3200. The Monochrom also has a different rendering of the tones.

The Monochrom can at times look like Medium Format so it is the ultimate tool for B&W though this comes at a price. The M does not really give that same look or tonality so if B&W is your thing, the MM is the camera for you. Yes, those Monochrom files can be gorgeous…but that also comes at a price of $7995, very very steep. I can tell you though that there is nothing quite like the Mono files. So silky, detailed and beautiful.

The question is: Is the M good enough for B&W to get by without having to pay $7995 for a dedicated B&W camera? Only you can answer that for you because your needs are different from everyone else.

The Mono with 35 Lux – amazingly beautiful output – click it to see it correctly

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Win a Monochrom

BTW, for those who can shoot and are lusting for a MM, the contest site I-SHOT-IT.COM has their Leica Monochrom premium contest and it ends in 11 days. Not only will the winner get a Monochrom but there is a cash prize as well and that is currently up to $8,770.00, yes almost $9,000. A Mono and $8770? That is INSANE! Whoever wins that contest is going to be one happy camper. If you want to enter it you can see the details here. They also have loads of other contest going on as well.

Some issues I found with the new M

ISO 6400 Banding

In my M review I mentioned that your files may show banding at ISO 6400, and yes this is true if you underexpose and try to bring out the details. Below is a sample of a B&W at ISO 6400. You can click it for a larger view to see the noise and banding. I have seen better than this and worse than this at 6400, depending on the situation. But it is there and therefore, I recommend sticking to 3200 if at all possible. You can get banding free 6400 results but you have to really expose correctly. Still, it seems that in 2013 Leica could have d0ne better than this at 6400 because the RX1 does not show banding at 25,600. Still, 96% of us shoot at 3200 or lower. In fact, I do not know of anyone who ever shoots at 6400, so again, up to you if this is an issue for you.

Now the M at 6400 – click it for larger

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If you shoot between ISO 200 and 3200 you will be just fine with the M in color or B&W, and for me the B&W is fantastic coming out of the M even though it is not quite up to the Monochrom standards. If you are not a B&W addict or just occasionaly shoot B&W, the M will be fine and to me is better than the M9 for B&W without question. I love those MM files but I also love my color so for me the M makes more sense. But If I were going out to do a dedicated B&W project, it would be with the MM.

With over 1,000 images under my belt with the M so far I am confident in its abilities and what it brings to the table for M shooters. It is quite different from the M9 in almost every way so if you are upgrading to one, be prepared for a few days of getting used to the new files. It took me a little while to figure it all out.

The AWB issue – super warm

Be prepared for very warm color out of the camera. I am guessing there will be yet another firmware update or lightroom update in April to deal with it. I could be wrong but that is my feeling because skin tones can show a little too much red/magenta and it is something that I have noticed as I shot more portraits.I get the same thing with Fuji files but with the M9 we did not have this issue.

The skin tones are just way too red coming from the camera and need to be toned down some during the conversion. This happens in some situations but not all as I have some portraits without this red issue. It seems to happen with daylight, even worse with direct light coming in through a window as in my sample below.

Below is an image straight from camera using AWB and standard color mode. Below that is an image I have already corrected to the best of my ability (WB adjust in LR 4.4 is all it took) and I think it looks good but still not 100% right, a little blue but better than the original unless you like bold reds and color. Maybe Leica was trying to tune the AWB to be like Fuji? In any case I am confident this will be fixed with an update soon because others are noticing the same thing. The image below..the blue shirt is spot on, background colors look great but the skintone and hair has a little too much red. There is a slight orange cast over the image as well. Something I also mentioned in the review.

Direct OOC

L1001586-2-2

Some adjustments in LR4 with WB – just cooling it down a little

L1001586-2

and a B&W conversion using Alien Skin Exposure 

L1001586-2-Edit

My prediction: Leica will have a FW or some kind of update in April. Just a guess. I have no inside info.

As for the stability of the camera, I have had no technical issues whatsoever. None, zip, zero. No freeze ups, no SD card issues (and I have used many) and no lag problems. This is good because the M8 and M9 had a few of these quirks. The M seems  to be rock solid.

RX1 vs M

As for IQ, in comparison to the Sony RX1 it is no better or worse. You can not get the Noctilux look on the RX1 of course but that Zeiss 35 is special in its own right. The RX1 is a sweet camera, and as I said in my review, there is a reason it was launched at $2799. Because it gives Leica/Zeiss quality in a small well made package at 1/3 the cost. If you want a small 35mm only camera, the RX1 is the best in this category and beats the X100s without question.

X100s vs M

Finally, for those who have been asking me about the X100s, no it is not better than the M in any way, shape, or form and that is a fact no matter what anyone else will tell you. Well, that is a lie. The X100s is superior to the M and RX1 when it comes to high ISO. The X100s is the high ISO champ, no doubt. But that is where the comparisons end.

The M files are much richer, hardier,  have more depth while  the X100s files are more digital and flat when you compare them side by side. It can be very sharp but IMO it has lost some of the soul of the old X100 output. The X100s body is in no way equal in build to the M and the lens can not match any Leica lens, period.

The Noct at f/4 – High contrast? No problem and no blown  hi lights 

L1001592

Leica M and 35 Cron – lower contrast – this works as well

jhnnyp

But this is to be expected. The M is $7k for a body and $3k for a 35mm f/2. The Fuji is $1299. For it to even be in the same ballpark to be compared says alot. The Fuji is fantastic, but it will not give you the Leica look, feel, usability or any of that. It will give you the best Fuji shooting experience to date but more on that in my review tomorrow :)

The Leica M is already stirring up loads of controversy due to its price tag. Same thing the M8 did as well as the M9. It’s Leica, we all know their pricing and we all know they are not for everyone. It is what it is but many shoot Leica for the glass. Lenses like the Noctilux and Summilux line. Lenses that are legendary (and actually go up in value instead of down over the years). I feel that the M offers nothing special over the RX1, D800, etc in image quality but it is the usability of the camera, size and the lenses that put it up there for me . It lets the lens character shine through as they should, with a full frame high quality sensor .

Just hope Leica ships more soon to those who are waiting!

Steve

PS – Yes, the M is still my favorite cam ever. Used to be the M9 and that has dropped to my 3rd fave ever behind the RX1. :) I’ve had more fun shooting in the past two weeks than I have in a long time and after 3+ years with the M9 the M has been a little bit of a challenge due to it being so different but once you settle in with it, the camera is what you expect it to be, an M. I am sure Leica will have FW tweaks soon as well just as they did with the M9.

Mar 222013
 

Taking the weekend off to shoot! X100s review on Monday!

Hey guys! Just wanted to post to let everyone know I am taking the weekend off from the site to concentrate on shooting and finishing up my X100s review. I still want to take the X100s out tomorrow to do a portrait session and will then wrap up the review which will be posted on Monday at some point.

Also been shooting with the new Leica M and 50 Noctilux ASPH and the character is still there no question…I took the image below at 0.95 using an ND filter and then converted to B&W using the Lightroom 4.4 “B&W Look #3″ filter and  then took out the grain. Lovely results but damn! How can anyone afford this setup? I know there are many who can and this lens will not really lose value if you hold on to it. It is one special lens that I loved from day one of shooting it.

L1001532-2

So hope you are all enjoying your weekend and come back Monday for the real lowdown on the hot Fuji X100s. Been working on it nonstop all week. Thanks to all for coming by and I appreciate each and every one of you who read my site!

Steve

Jan 072013
 

titlekristian

CLASH OF THE TITANS

The Ultimate Leica M Super Fast 50/60mm standard lens battle

by Kristian Dowling – His website is HERE

While Greek mythology brought us the Titans, it was the Germans who applied the Titan qualities to their cars and cameras. Like any good battle, the Japanese also made their presence known with their own version of Samurai. Fast lenses are like fast cars, and when considering both, they share the same kinds of adjectives like ‘exotic, alluring, superlative, amazing, glamorous, extraordinary, unique and unusual’. Both fast cars and fast lenses have an appeal for their ability to give its operator more speed, control and power. To photographers wanting to express their vision through shallow depth of field, the ultra fast lens is a valuable tool, as it enables you to narrow the vision to the exact precise focus position within a frame. But there is much more than subject isolation to think about when analyzing a fast lens. Different lenses exhibit different and unique characters in the way they draw both the focused and defocused areas, and there is no better way to explore this area than by comparing the world’s top Titans.

For the Leica M Rangefinder, the top competitors include lenses from Leica, Konica, Canon, Nikon, Zunow, Fuji, Voigtlander and many more. These fast lenses are large and heavy compared to their slower f/1.4-f/2.8 counterparts, so not exactly great all round lenses, as their qualities are focused around shooting at maximum aperture. They are also very expensive and often the buyer/user may have misconceptions about their perceived performance. Manufacturing a lens that performs consistently throughout all its apertures is the general goal of lens designers, and the faster the lens, the more challenges there are. Therefore there are a few compromises that need to be made. Fast lenses are often not so well corrected for field curvature and/or distortion. Field curvature in this case is an attribute often enjoyed by fast lens users as it can accentuate the effect of the out of focus areas (bokeh), as most notable in the Noctilux 50/1, which is often referred to as the ‘dream lens’, for it’s dream-like, swirly bokeh signature. Often, one caveat of this is that shooting off-center subjects can lead to focus difficulty, especially with a rangefinder where you need to focus in the center, then recompose. I am sure many photographers who have used these kinds of lenses on a rangefinder will tend to agree with such experiences, often resulting in miss-focused and spoiled shots.

titans0

I was fortunate enough to have access to the top players in this field in Chiang Mai, Thailand, so decided to put them to the test.

 

Therefore in this article I will focus my attention to three main factors:

• Bokeh – the way the out of focus areas look and feel.

• Sharpness and contrast around the focus point.

• Signature/Character – the way the lens renders/draws.

• Color – shifting from warm to cold depending on the lens design, coatings used and age of lens.

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Here are the top 5 most sought after lenses for the M System being tested.

Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 (Hermes edition used for test)

 DSC_1652

• Released in 2008 for regular production

• Current street price US$10,450 (regular black version)

• This is the largest lens in the group with excellent handling and the best build quality. Has a built in hood and is quite easy to focus.

• This lens was manufactured with modern lens design so I expect the sharpness and contrast to be excellent wide open with neutral bokeh. From my own experience owning this lens, it is extremely well corrected for such a fast lens and doesn’t exhibit many flaws except for purple fringing wide open against bright light sources.

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Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2

DSC_1650

• Released in 1976 with production limited to only 1700 units

• Current street price US$20,000+

• Leica’s first Noctilux is quite small in size, closer to the Summilux than the Noctilux f/1.

• I have yet to use this lens and as Leica’s first Noctilux, I expect contrast to be low and sharpness average, but possibly better than the f/1 Noct as f/1.2 lenses are easier to produce. I’m really not sure what to expect from the bokeh – possibly a little messy.

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Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1

DSC_1649

• Released 1976-2008 for regular production with several cosmetic changes during this time

• Current street price US$5,000+

• Quiet a large lens, slightly smaller than the Noct 0.95 but bigger than it’s older 1.2 brother, with average handling and slightly difficult focus.

• Known for it’s dreamy bokeh and slightly soft rendering I’ve always felt this lens is a one trick pony and best used with subjects centered due to the large amount of field curvature.

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Konica Hexanon 60m f/1.2 Original DesignDSC_1653

• Released 1956 for limited production with numbers unknown, but very rare

• Current street price US$13,000+

• A small lens for it’s design with nice handling and very smooth aperture transition. It’s a screw mount lens so requires a screw to M mount adapter, preferably with 50mm lens frame selection.

• I have never used this lens before but due to it’s age I expect very low contrast wide open. I have no idea about it’s potential for sharpness.

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Konica Hexanon 60m f/1.2 Updated Design

DSC_1651

• Released 1998 with production limited to only 800 units

• Current street price US$12,000+

• Small in size, similar to the Noctilux 50/1.2, the Hexanon

• Like it’s older brother, it’s a screw mount lens so requires a screw to M mount adapter, preferably with 50mm lens frame selection.

• Unlike it’s older brother it was designed with modern lens design, optimized for excellent sharpness and contrast at wide apertures. This lens was made famous by street photographer Yanick Delafoge http://www.yanidel.net. I always say “pictures sell lenses” and Yanick’s amazing street pictures from his travels around the world have single handedly raised the value of this lens from $3k to $7k+ in a matter of a few years. According to Yanick, this lens is the sharpest standard lens at f/1.4, and from my own experience owning this lens, I would be confident agreeing with him.

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Testing parameters:

• Camera used in test is the Leica M9 and (some) M Monochrom, all shot in manual exposure for consistency. Exposure will be adjusted to lighting changes.

• No tripod used as this is a field test, not an MTF or resolution test

• 3 hour time frame with model and lenses available for testing

• All exposures were recorded on paper with filename/lens used

• All images were shot wide open at maximum aperture of each lens, ranging from f/0.95 to f/1.2.

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Testing restrictions:

• Testing was done outside in the field so lighting changes in strength and color temperature will occur.

• No testing for CA/purple fringing on color digital sensors.

• No comparison of the lenses at the same apertures, which all would share at f/1.2 and up. Comparisons are for wide open to establish their ‘individual’ maximum abilities and characteristics.

• Such lenses are favoured for their abilities in low light as they allow both a lower ISO and/or higher shutter speeds, but I will not be testing for this.

• No testing these lenses for flare/internal reflections against strong light sources such as the sun. It is fair to assume that the newer the lens, the better the coatings and thus, better performance in such situations.

• No testing for distortion. I expect all lenses to exhibit average to poor distortion control and high field curvature as most fast lenses are designed this way due to the compromises needed in fast lens design.

• Lenses may suffer from slight sample variation, and therefore may not be 100% representative of the lens in general.

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Individual Results – click images for full size files

Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95

50_0.95-9071288

I really like this lens. Its size is large but handles very well and focus is super smooth. It has a sliding built in hood that rotates and locks in, just like it’s smaller brother, the Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH.

I used it on production sets in Hollywood, and enjoyed this lens for it’s ability to represent a scene faithfully, meaning that it has minimal aberrations and field curvature, especially for having such a large f/0.95 maximum aperture. Out of focus elements are represented clearly and without much distortion. This is a very well corrected lens and is my recommendation for those needing a super fast lens for professional client work. Those looking to use this lens for ‘bokeh effect’ should look at other lenses that produce results with less perfection, such as the painterly Hexanon 60/1.2 V2.

Colors were noticeably warmer from this lens and sharpness wide open was exemplary. Contrast was also very high for the 0.95 aperture, matching its sharpness nicely. I would say that at f/0.95, it almost matches the Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH at f/1.4.

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Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.2

50_1.2-9071287

I really like this lens’s size to performance ratio. It’s the smallest lens in the group and renders in a neutral way, leaning slightly towards the newer f/1 version with a hint of ‘dream-like’ rendering.

Being the most expensive lens in this group, I had quite high expectations and hope for sharpness, so I was a little disappointed when I saw softness wide open, and felt the rendering to be a slightly softer character than both the Noct f/1 and the slower Summilux f/1.4. To best describe it’s drawing, I would say it’s a cross between the Noct f/1 and the f/0.95 with a soft rendering. For the money, I would have liked to see a little more character from this lens.

Colors were a little on the warm side which is not a bad thing. Contrast was quite high for such an old lens, which does help raise the perception of sharpness, when the reality is that it’s a little soft wide open at f/1.2.

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Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1

50_1-9071290

I’ve had a lot of experience with this lens before and have bought and sold it a few times due to it being more of a ‘one-trick-pony’. By that I mean it isn’t so great when stopped down so it’s only really good for shooting wide open to create that ‘dream-like’ effect that has made this lens so famous. I am referring more to the way its bokeh is rendered than actual ‘glow’ as seen from older vintage lenses like the Hexanon 60/1.2 V1.

Due to it’s high field curvature and lack of correction for aberrations, the out of focus areas are very smooth, giving a rounded circular effect, especially noticeable when framing subjects in the center of the frame with a symmetrical background. The focus point isn’t what I’d call sharp, but more so ‘sharp-enough’, and a good step forward from the older and softer Noctilux f/1.2 version.

Focus isn’t as smooth as the Noctilux f/0.95 and the focus throw feels longer in use so I found handling to be a little slow. It’s also quite large and heavy but is also quite modern in the way it draws. It has neutral color balance and has medium contrast wide open, which works well for the way it renders bokeh. Overall, it was a nice improvement from the f/1.2 model it replaced.

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Konica Hexanon 60m f/1.2 Original Design

60_1.2_V1-9071284

I was super excited to try this lens. I’ve only ever seen two for sale and this is one of them, acquired by Bellamy from Japan Camera Hunter http://japancamerahunter.com. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this lens except for low contrast because I’ve never seen samples from it before, even on film. What surprised me most was the size of this lens. It’s very small and built very well, as you’d expect from Konica.

Out of all the lenses, this is my favorite, due to it’s unique glow qualities, but with excellent sharpness underneath the glow. Contrast is very low, which makes it fantastic on a camera like the M Monochrom, but not as great on the M9. It takes a bit of adjusting to processing these pictures to a modern state of contrast, especially in color. With the lower contrast comes more shadow detail, which was very welcomed when using this on the M Monochrom.

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Konica Hexanon 60m f/1.2 Updated Design

60_1.2_V2-9071283

Out of all these lenses, I would have to rate this lens as the most sought after lens in the M line for users wanting a unique lens that delivers outstanding performance. I have also owned this lens before and it has been the best overall standard lens I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning and using. It’s handling is fantastic. While not being a small lens, it fits well in the hand and focuses very smoothly. It’s also noticeably lighter than the Noct f/1 and f/0.95 lenses.

Sharpness and contrast is medium to high and works beautifully with the way it renders out of focus areas. Just for reference, this lens sharpens up considerably at f/1.4. What I like most about this lens is the way it renders the bokeh. It’s smooth, but with a painterly quality of smaller circles that have more edge definition than those of the Noct variety. Compared to the V1, the V2 is a very different lens. It’s more modern design makes it a great all round lens in any situation. I love the way it draws using natural colors, compared to the extra warm Noct 0.95. They just seem to look more natural to my eyes.

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Comparisons

Hexanon 60/1.2 V1 vs V2

V1

60_1.2_v1-9071163

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V2

60_1.2_v2-9071166

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ALL compared

60 V1

60_1.2_V1-9071330

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60 V2

60_1.2_V2-9071327

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Leica 50 f/0.95

50_0.95-9071331

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50 f/1

50_1-9071325

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50 f/1.2

50_1.2-9071328

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100% Crop Comparison

60_1.2_V1-9071297

cropsharpcompare-

Leica Monochrome Comparison of ALL

I was fortunate to be able to shoot some of the Padaung Long Long Neck Karen people as they were visiting the Manadarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi hotel for the New Years celebrations. They have never left their village before and it was such a privilege to meet and photography them.

 

Noctilux 50 0.95

50_0.95-1002400

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Noctilux 50 f/1

50_1-1002392

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Noctilux 50 f/1.2

50_1.2-1002396

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Hexanon 60 1.2 V1

60_1.2_V1-1002386

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Hexanon 60 1.2 V2

60_1.2_V2-1002389

 

Conclusion and thoughts about the lenses and applications

Let me be blunt. It is impossible to pic a winner in this clash of the titans. While there is no doubt that the Noctilux 0.95 is the Zeus of this bunch, there is so much more to a lens than just technical perfection. The Hexanon lenses pack a punch that’s well above their weight grade, albeit in different ways, and the Noct f/1 and f/1.2 are truly unique lenses that have their own strengths and abilities that will be very compelling to photographers.

The best way to summarize the their rankings is with the table below.

 tabletitan

In application, these lenses are very difficult to focus, especially for newcomers to rangefinders. With such shallow depth of field, the plane of focus is so narrow that recomposing can cause major issues for maintaining focus until the point of exposure. I would advise that photographers use the focus bracketing technique where you take 3-5 exposures, each at a slightly different focus distance. This can be achieved by either shifting focus ever so slightly in front and behind the focus point, or shifting the camera forwards and backwards, again, every so slightly.

The more important the shot, the more exposures you should take. In general, you should aim to keep your focus point more front-focused than back-focused. Most recomposed shots by Leica photographers suffer from back-focus, so try to move slightly backwards after recomposing and your hit rate will increase. Also, front-focused images tend to look better than back-focused ones, in my opinion.

As a photography coach I always stress one important factor to my students – The photographer should be very mindful of one important factor when using these ultra fast lenses…..a blurred background does not necessarily make the photo a better picture! It’s very easy to get carried away, focusing on the bokeh attributes of a picture, when in fact, the background may be of high importance to the subject and may require some depth of field to establish the relationship between subject/background. Take history’s best pictures for example. I can’t think of many that were shot with such shallow depth of field. The background is a very important element to a photographer and should be taken seriously when creating pictures.

I see the use of fast aperture lenses in a similar way that I view using fisheye lenses. Shooting fast lenses at their maximum aperture is a novelty technique that should be used carefully, and not too often, unless for portraiture use where the background is not so relevant to the subject. I’d rather increase my hit rate of focus by stopping down a little to counter any potential focus issues, than missing focus all together and ruining the shot. Fast lenses also have apertures that extend to around f/16 for a reason (wink). So I recommend shooting wide open all you like, but for important pictures, also take a frame or two stopped down 1-2 stops.

Lastly lets not forget that when a photographer has the opportunity and privilege to herald one of these incredible lenses, it is still his responsibility to make the picture great, using all the usual photographic techniques to create the best picture possible. No lens in the world, no matter how sharp, how amazing the bokeh, will not make a great photo – that my friends if the responsibility of the photographer!

Testing equipment provided by Khun Suchet www.suwanmonkol.com

Models: Tukta from Chiang Mai, and a member of the Karen people, Padaung tribe, Burma.

Location: courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand. www.mandarinoriental.com/chiangmai

Dec 292012
 

bothtt

Gorgeous new SLR Magic Hyperprime 35mm T0.95 and 35 T1.4 arrives for testing!

The “Noctlux” for your APS-C Mirrorless

The 35 T 0.95 Hyperprime ASP-H M mount Lens

So..you want a super fast, super sharp, super built, super bokeh 50mm equivalent cream machine for your Sony NEX, Fuji X or EOS-M camera? How about a 70mm equivalent for your Micro 4/3?  Want one for each system without having to buy three different lenses? I know I do..and such a lens has just arrived to the Huff Household. Yep,  UPS arrived yesterday with a huge box from SLR Magic and what the box held were two lenses I have been excited to review for a few weeks now. One of them is the premium 35mm APS-H Hyperprime (their premium quality line of lenses)  and I have to say that it is a BEAUTY.

It’s large, hefty, built like a solid brick and is a damn nice T0.95 lens, which in F stop land means about f/0.92! This is the 50mm equivalent 0.95 lens for APS-C mirrorless camera shooters! Almost Like having a Noctilux for your Fuji X or NEX, speed wise anyway :)

t0.95onnex

hyperprimonnex

This is an all manual lens designed for ALL of the popular mirrorless systems. You can shoot this one lens  on the NEX system, Fuji X system, EOS-M or Micro 4/3 system. How so you ask? Well, when ordering you just choose which system you want to use it with but the beauty of it all is that if you own 2 or 3 or all of these systems you only need ONE lens and it will be compatible with all of your cameras using an adapter.

This lens is actually an M mount design but not to be used on an M camera. Instead SLR Magic made it in the M mount because so many adapters are made for this mount. So this one lens can be used on almost any mirrorless system with an adapter. This was a great move IMO. For example, if I have a Fuji X camera and an OM-D and a NEX-6 or 7, this one lens can be shot on all of them. Awesome.

One thing I found while doing test shots is that even with focus peaking set to on with the NEX-6 this lens is a beast to focus correctly when shooting wide open. It has a massively razor thin level of DOF at T0.95 so your focus has to be pinpoint precise or else the images will be slightly soft at the focus point if you miss.

A quick OOC JPEG at T 0.95 and the Sony NEX-6  – remember this is wide open at T0.95 

095atbar

The particular lens that was sent to me was shipped with the Sony E Mount adapter so I will be testing it on the NEX-6 (see 1st three OOC JPEGS above) and then later the Fuji X system as soon as I get an adapter for it. It appears the Fuji adapter will not work correctly but there are some that will and SLR Magic will be shipping them with their own Fuji adapter that will work just fine.

Out of the box, this lens looks pretty bad ass but I can not speak enough about how large it is. IT IS LARGE. So if you are hoping for something small this is not your lens. If you want super quality Bokeh and image quality it just might be your lens. The packaging is solid this time around with the lens and adapter encased in solid foam so there is no chance of shipping damage (unless the UPS guys decide to play soccer with it). I am excited to review this one.

A couple of B&W JPEGS with the NEX-6 wide open at T0.95

debbybw

debby feet

This 35mm T0.95 APS-H Hyperprime  lens will be selling for $1349 starting in February 2013 from SLR Magic and that is a decent price considering their 50 T0.95 for M mount was nearing the $5k mark (this was mainly due to the RF coupling and it being a full frame lens). In the same price range as this lens is the Voigtlander 35 1.4 in M mount. Many use that lens as their fast 35 on their mirrorless systems and love it but from what I have seen, this lens just may surpasses that one in Image Quality and Bokeh when used on mirrorless cameras. The only negative is that you can use the Voigtlander on an M camera as it is a full frame lens. Again, This SLR Magic is NOT full frame so while it has an M mount, it is not compatible with M cameras.

The soon to be released SLR Magic 35 T0.95 HYPERPRIME premium lens. (all product shots with Sony RX1)

35t0.95inbox

35t95side

35t95front

For those of you who have seen my review on the previous SLR Magic hyper prime, the 50 T0.95 for Leica M mount you may remember that I loved it and declared it to be just about equal to the Leica Noctilux f0.95 in image quality (in real world use) and I preferred the Bokeh of the SLR Magic. The construction of the Leica Noctilux is better (as is the resale value) but for all out IQ the HyperPrime was amazing. I never had one issue with it on my Leica M9-P or the Monochrom. It was large and heavy but it packed some serious glass. Unfortunately, as far as I know this lens is no longer shipping in the USA (the 50 T0.95) so if you managed to snag one, you have a rare lens in your collection :)

This new 35 T/0.95 seems to have rock solid construction and design, is much less expensive with maybe even better build quality and is a T0.95 35mm which will be like a T0.95 50mm on APS-C mirror-less cameras. Finally a fast and exotic 50mm for your APS-C. BUT, can it deliver the goods? I am not sure yet as I just got it so I will be shooting it in Vegas next week to give it a workout.

I will not know anything until I thoroughly use it but from the looks and feel it is impressive. This lens will come in at $1349 and will be available from SLR Magic starting February 2013. They are also offering $100 off for early buyers so keep an eye out here for info.

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The SLR Magic 35 T1.4 for APS-C

onthex-e1

SLR Magic also sent me their new 35 T1.4 lens to test out on the Fuji X-E1 and this lens is coming in at only $349. It is a budget lens but it certainly does not look or feel like one. This lens is also available for all other mirrorless systems but will come in whatever mount you order it in. The one that I was sent is for Fuji X and for a $349 lens this is one hell of a well built lens. Metal construction with the weight of a Leica 50 Summilux ASPH. This is no cheap toy lens in the construction department and the packaging is just as nice as the Hyperprime lens.

Andrew from SLR Magic told me they have tweaked their packaging and it shows.

This lens is not up to par with the T0.95 Hyperprime in the IQ department but it is not designed to be. This $349 lens is built for Bokeh it seems as it delivers a rich and creamy out of focus rendering with bit of softness to the images when shot at 1.4 wide open. The lens seems to sharpen up by 2.8 but even wide open will give you a soft etheral look.

35t1.4front

What is nice about this lens is the build and the fact that you can order it NOW in any mount you want. This is what SLR Magic told me about the availability of this lens:

“The 35mm T1.4 is available now. We have it for X mount, E mount, EF-M mount, and mFT mount. It is not up on our website or eBay yet but people can already order by emailing us at [email protected] to get it before it is up on our website. We have already sold a bunch for the mFT version”.

So you can order  this lens now if you desire and what is even better is that if you bought one of their older 35 1.7 toy lenses you can trade it in for a $90 credit towards this new lens (which is a much nicer lens than the toy lens in build and IQ). Also, if you order by Feb 2013 you can take $70 off of the price:

“We have two programs

A) Owners of the SLR Magic 35mm f/1.7 can ship their lens back to Hong Kong for trade-in at $90 value to upgrade.

B) If bought by Feb 2012 from us we have a $70 promotional rebate program.”

So if you buy this lens by Feb 2013 it will come in at only $279. Great buy for any mirrorless camera system if you want great Bokeh and a unique quality. This lens is not a pin sharp lens when used at 1.4 or f/2. It sharpens up by F2.8. I will be reviewing this lens as well with the Fuji X-E1 so stay tuned!

A couple of OOC JPEGS to show Bokeh Quality and expected sharpness at 1.4

“Best Beer in the world Part 2″

351.4bar

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“Goodbyes”

351.4air

 Remember that this is an all manual lens so you will have to manually focus and manually set Aperture on the lens barrel. Much like using a Leica M lens on your mirrorless camera. Both of these new lenses also have clickless aperture rings as they are “Cine” lenses which happen to be great for videos as well.

So if you want to order this 35 T 1.4 lens for your system you can e-mail SLR Magic for details at [email protected]. My full reviews will be coming soon on both of these.

 

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