The Leica M (type 240) hits the DXO Mark Bench: Finally, a Leica that can be proud of it's sensor.

Despite the impression given by Leica fanboys and girls, all, and including the previous generation Leica rangefinder cameras, the M9 (amd M9-P) sported a really horrible sensor-by any current standards. The new M Leica is manages to turn this trend around, coming with a sensor that is pretty much comparable to the best of today's cropped sensors by other manufacturerers, but as expected, is still far behind any current full frame sensor equipped camera: 

Featuring a new higher resolution sensor and updated functionality expectations are high for the new Leica M and it doesn’t disappoint. Although . . . read more

Steve Huff Reviews the new Leica M 240

Q: What's the difference between Steve and Ken? 
A: One of them is actually a descent photographer

"One thing I found is that it took a few days of using the new M 240 to realize what it can do. I had to relearn processing of the RAW files as they do not work like the M9 files did. Different sharpening levels are needed and there is so much more DR my usual tricks for the M9 files only made the M240 files look worse. Once I figured out my workflow it all started to come together. I started seeing the benefits of the new sensor. . . . read more

A Brutal Pageantry: The Third Reich’s Myth-Making Machinery, in AgfaColor, at Time Life Magazine.

All these color photos were taken by one of Hitler's personal photographers, Hugo Jaeger, who used various versions of the Leica III with AgfaColor Neu film, the German counterpart to the French Lumicolor and the American Kodachrome film.

"But perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the Third Reich’s deeply manipulative and seductive propaganda — and especially the sense of invincibility and inevitable triumph that it sparked in the hearts of true believers — is how ludicrous and, in the end, how perfectly mistaken it all was.  Yes, Hitler and Goebbels and Himmler and Goering and the other genocidal gangsters did unleash a murderous nightmare in Europe, and for a few years — a very few years — it might have seemed as if the Nazi drive for domination was, in fact, unstoppable. . . . read more

Interesting Retro review: The Nikon S3 Rangefinder camera, by Ken Rockwell

What is really interesting is that Nikon-in a streak of sentimentality-revived this model 13 years ago, as a Year 2000 Limited Edition Celebration model. Strangely the S(P) Rangefinder camera was revived yet again, in 2005.  Even stranger,, that was the third time Nikon revived this Lazarus-on-Steroids of a camera, the first one was in 1964 for the XVIII Tokyo Olympic Games, the camera was made only in black, and came with a titanium curtain shutter. 

Nikon still makes two film cameras, the F6, and the FM10, and keeps much of the older film body tooling & machinery in a mothballed state. In 4 years Nikon will celebrate its centenary, and there's no doubt in my mind that we'll see yet another revival of a classic Nikon film design. Or maybe a totally new Nikon F7? 

"The life-size finder is excellent, however it's always cluttered with all the framelines at the same time. It's fine for use . . . read more

New Leica M (typ 240) first pictures surface, from a wedding in Kyrgystan. By Magnum photographer Jean Gaumy, at the Leica Blog.

My first impression: Meh. I really fail to see the fabled Leica magic, or the mythical micro-contrast and the whatnot characteristics of the whole system. Nice pics, bit over-saturated, bit under-exposed, nothing out of the ordinary, and certainly nothing you can't achieve with a nice mirrorless, or even a fixed lens camera like the Sony RX1. Heck, I'm sure I can lower the comparison bar even more and add a camera like the RX100, but i won't do it, or maybe i just did?

I'm sure Gurus like Steve Huff, Michael Reichmann and Diglloyd will have a totally different opinion. Surely, their trained eyes and minds will pick up and decode detail I cannot even fathom. Surprisingly, the Kyrgystanis, that live on a average monthly salary of 220 Euros, do not seem to be very impressed by the overpriced classic German picture (now with Video!) machine. Yes, the link to the Leica blog includes a video, taken with the Typ 240. Ever seen a Leica M video before? . . . read more

Quick comparison in image quality between the Leica Monochrome, Hasselblad 39CF and Sigma DP2 Merrill at Steve Huff Photo: Sharp, sharper, sharpest.

SHP reader Michael Ma happened to have all three cameras in his possession and decided to make the best of it. The Hassy came with the 80mm CFE Lens, The Leica had a Summilux f1.4 ASPH mounted on it, and the DP2 had to deal with its own tiny built in 30mm F2.8 pancake lens.  Having seen full sized jpegs coming from the Sigma myself, i knew where this was going to:

"Conclusion? Well this is a very clumsy test. But besides the poor testing conditions I think there’s a story to be told here. All three are great camera systems. The Hasselblad is older and the lens probably could have used with more stopping down. But this is also a 9000 dollar set up (used price). The Monochrome setup is 12K all in (when bought new). The Leica . . . read more

Elmarit, Noctilux Telyt and Summicron? Thorsten Von Overgaard has put together a small lexicon of Leica definitions.

As he notes, it is still a work in progress, but there's good coverage of even the more obscure Leica terms. Televit, or Hektor, anyone?

Ernst Leitz Canada, established 1952, was and still is the military/industrial branch of the old "Ernst Leitz Canada". In 1998, the ELCAN plant was sold to Raytheon (USA), who bought it from its previous owner, Hughes Aircraft Co. 
Elcan-R is also the name of s series of lenses made in the 1960ies and early 1970ies, as the U.S. Navy High Resolution Small Format Camera System during the Vietnam war. . . . read more

Leica M-E (Typ 220) review at Amateur Photographer UK: For an awful lot of money you get image quality comparable to other top cameras in this segment, and that's it.

"With only a few slight differences between the Leica M9 (and M9-P) and the new M-E, the £600 gulf in price between the cameras does make the M-E seem like more of a bargain. For those with newer lenses, the features lacking in the M-E certainly won't be missed. However, despite the high quality of the build and the images it produces, the camera is left wanting in some areas, notably its LCD screen - £3,900 is still a lot of money for a camera with only a 2.5in display. . . . read more

Fujifilm X-E1 review at SteveHuffPhoto: The closest thing to perfection to come along since the dawn of the electronic viewfinder, large sensor camera.

"The XE1 feels mature. I think Fuji has learned a lot over the last year from the release of the x100 and XPro1, and they’ve done a good job listening to feedback from the photographers out there using their cameras. Overall operational speed on the XE1 is good; not blazing fast like a high-end DSLR, but certainly fast enough for many of us. It’s less fiddly than the x100 (keeping in mind I’ve enjoyed the x100 immensily!), and from what I hear from XPro1 . . . read more

The new Leica M can shoot video, has live view, comes with a smaller (and cheaper) sibling.

It also comes with a new naming style. Gone are the numbered suffixes, like the M8, M9 etc, because in Leica's own words:

The Leica M also marks the beginning of a new era in the Leica product naming policy. In future, Leica M and S model names will omit the number suffix to emphasize the enduring and long-term significance of the respective systems. As for the sibling, it appears to be a slightly stripped down M9.  . . . read more

Fujifilm X-pro1 review at the Digital Photography School

"The X-Pro1 also takes another departure mostly ignored by the others: its newly-developed colour filter array removes the need for an optical low-pass filter to solve moiré and false colour issues.

In this array, RGB pixels are arranged in 6×6 pixel sets with high randomness, emulating the seeming haphazardness of film grain. . . . read more

Leica M9-P coming in white (too) for $30.000+ only 50 to be released, in Japan.

Good news if you're a rich Japanese photographer collector. The Verge has got a few more details on this white elephant/Storm trooper thing.

Fujifilm X-Pro1 review at Photography Blog

"The X-Pro1 delivers most of the goods in terms of its handling, with a few caveats. The multitude of external controls, optical viewfinder and stunning appearance have been cunningly combined with some truly cutting-edge features, most notably the hybrid viewfinder. As on the X100, the ability to frame your subject in not one, not two, but three different ways, each of which offers . . . read more

Fujifilm X-Pro1 Mirrorless Camera Review at ePhotozine

When the verdict in a review at a reputable site incudes the word 'excellent' five six seven times, you know there's something special at hand:

"Focus speed is quickest with the 18mm lens, followed by the 35mm, then the 60mm macro. Focus is generally quite rapid, unless . . . read more

Fujifilm X-Pro1 review by Digital Rev

Kai from Digital Rev takes the Fujifilm X-Pro1 on a street shooting review in the narrow and hectic alleys of Hong Kong. Being Digital Rev this is of couse a video hands-on review, and as always, a bit phlegmatic at places. Judging from this review, it appears the X-Pro1 still suffers-to a lesser degree from some shortcomings inherited by . . . read more

Fujifilm FinePix X-Pro1 review at Cnet Asia

I don't know if the Cnet crew really appreciates the camera at hand, since they're deducting points for missing dedicated video button and such:

"The X-Pro-1's startup time was clocked at 1.2 seconds, twice as fast as the X100. Shutter lag was less than second and . . . read more

Leica M9-P review at Imaging Resource

The digital imaging industry moves at a pace perhaps too fast for Leica. The current standing reveals a situation where even aps-c sized small system cameras that costs around 1/10 of the Leica, outresolves (and outsmarts) the Kodak ccd equipped Rangefinder camera with its top iso of 2500. However, for those of us that don't care for trivialities such as auto focus, accurate viewfinders, video shooting, high iso capabilities, stabilizing systems, well, pretty much everything the technology gods have bestowed upon us for the past few years, the Leica M9-P is a stunning piece of craftsmanship, and coupled with some of Leica's sharpest glass, a capable tool in the hands of a good photographer. Unfortunately, at that price, many Leicas end up (most often in unopened boxes) as collectors/investment items in Asian vaults.  . . . read more

Leica M9 (M9-P) test shots and Raw files posted at Imaging Resource

"The Leica M9 is based around a Kodak 18-megapixel CCD image sensor with approximately the same dimensions as a frame of 35mm film, making it the smallest full-frame digital camera. The M9 accepts most Leica M lenses built to date, and thanks to the full-frame sensor, all of these lenses offer the same field of view as they would with a 35mm film camera body. . . . read more

Leica unveils the M9-P

For the moment being, Leica enjoys some kind of exclusivity, using the custom designed Kodak CCD.  However, since Kodak is likely to go bust within the next couple of years, someone wonders as to where Leica is going to find the sensor for its next 'M' camera. The real choices are few: Sony, Panasonic, Canon...well, that's pretty much it. I bet my money on Sony. As a side note, the Leica M9-P costs as much as a complete m43 AND and a DSLR system.  . . . read more

Leica M9 review by Steve Huff

"One major complaint with the M8 and M8.2 was the HIGHER ISO performance. Trying to shoot the M8 in low light and high ISO meant trouble in most cases and many shooters would never go any higher than ISO 640. As for me, I shot at ISO 1250 on many occasions and had wonderful results. I feel if you can nail the exposure of the M8, then . . . read more

Epson R-D1 review by Sein Reid

"The Epson R-D1 is the first digital rangefinder camera ever made and it accepts Leica M (bayonet mount) and L (screw mount) lenses, the latter via an adapter, with rangefinder coupling. Epson’s decision to use this mount allows the photographer to choose from a staggering variety of lenses made throughout the 20th century and into the present, each with its own distinctive . . . read more

Epson R-D1 review at Trusted Reviews

"The Epson R-D1 is an exercise in nostalgia for people with more money than sense. Brick-like handling, poor results and a major inherent design flaw make it an expensive and pointless novelty item. The only analogy I can think of would be stuffing a turbocharger into a wood-framed Morris Traveller and then asking the same price for it as a brand new Mercedes. . . . read more

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