Leica Tag

A recent post regarding the Fujifilm X-100F camera drew critical response from a reader - as much for my style of writing, I suspect, as for the content of the column. Well, to paraphrase President Lincoln, you can please some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time, but...

I was delighted with the Tamron Tap-in Console when I opened the box in the studio. I don't own a DSLR or a Tamron SP lens, but  the look of this accessory is reward enough - it's like having an electronic hockey puck with a USB interface, eh? For the people who use the higher end Nikon or Canon DSLR bodies and want to pair them with compatible Tamron lenses, this "hockey puck" acts as an interface to do a number of things: Put in firmware updates that may be issued by Tamron. Put in correction factors for individual lenses in regard to auto focusing at three separate distances. You have to determine the best correction numbers by separate test but once achieved you can lock them in via Tamron website commands. Put in auto-focus limiting modifications if you want to change the range of this. Decide whether you'll need MF and optimise the focus ring operation. Optimise how the stabilisation system of the lens acts according to your own needs. These are valuable things to control - but you'll have to...

Unless it's someone at the beer garden who wants you to clear the table and bring them another, this sort of call is more trouble than it's worth. It's generally said in a semi-agressive way - whether the speaker is known to you or not. It demands that you are impressed and appreciative of whoever has just shouted it out based upon the fact that they are worth seeing. It's also often based upon that first pitcher of beer. Failure to comply can be dangerous, but shooting the picture can be trouble too. In the old days the shouter would generally forget all about you once they had posed and grinned or made a rude sign or whatever - now they demand to see the screen on the back of the camera to see how great they look. If they are not pleased they demand another and another. The real horror is when they demand the images be sent to their mobile phone account so they can plaster them onto social media. unfortunately camera makers are making this all too possible these...

If you are a keen amateur photographer you must have a thrill of jealousy when you see the professionals given the task of testing out new photographic equipment. The thought of them driving their vans up to the factory gate and loading new bodies and lenses in with a grain shovel must be maddening. Well, don't get too green-eyed - there are pitfalls to the thing as well. I know - I got to play with a wonderful camera and lenses a couple of months ago and I discovered that it was a nervous experience. To start with, the wholesale representatives are business-like and thorough. They check out everything that takes off and make sure that it lands again. In one piece, too. You sign for each test item. And then you have the problem of keeping that gear pristine while squeezing it through the professional wringer. I left with a box full of camera and lenses that was worth more than the car that bore it away. You have to think about how you can do the thing - about what sort...

I cannot conceal this from you - I adore silver lenses. Whether the finish is chrome, paint, anodised aluminium, or solid sterling silver, I think these optics are absolutely superb. It is prejudice - I acquired a Leica Elmar 2.8 lens with a chrome M2 in 1970 and the experience influenced me ever after. There were some horrible silvers - the collapsible Elmar of the 1950's had a chromed barrel but painted focusing ring and this soon looked sad. There were plain aluminium lenses from East Germany like the Meyer ones from Görlitz that quickly became tawdry. But there were also the Planar and Distagon lenses that fronted the 500-series Hasselblads and they looked magnificent. In my own chosen brand they are also supplying some of their small primes in a chrome finish - 23mm, 35mm, and 50mm so far. I have even seen on-line examples of the Fujifilm 27mm f:2.8 in silver, though whenever it is listed it is sold out. I'll bet it was an exclusively Japanese product. Leica have never given up on the aesthetics of the silver lens. You...

I realise that "triad" is a word with different evocations in different societies. In this blog post I am linking it more to military policy than to secret societies. Not that military organisations aren't secret - but what they do can be deliberately made very public. The triad that the US employs for strategic defence depends upon three things - the USAF bombers, the ICBM's, and the US Navy's submarine-launched missiles. Heaven forbid that they will ever be used, but the fact that there are three delivery agencies means that enemies know that they cannot get away with it. Unfortunately the policy means that three times as much money and effort must be spent in research, development, acquisition, training, deployment, maintenance, etc. Three times as much national effort. No-one does this sort of thing successfully unless they are major organisations. Leica is one of those organisations. Not in defence, but in photographic optics. They operate a triad system as well: a. The M-mount for cameras. Pioneered in the 1950's this must be one of the most recognised pieces of camera engineering there is...

No, not that Party. The Leica party. The launch night for the newest member of the Leica family here in Perth. The Flour Factory restaurant and bistro was the venue - it is a good display choice as it has such a large and open second floor. The ceiling takes a bit of getting used to, but that is the way of modern design when it uses older structures. At least the Flour Factory does not have burnt wooden beams and abandoned fireplaces jutting from the walls like some venues - the designers here had some restraint. I need to clear something up at the start. It has been bruited about that the only reason I go to these launch parties is for the beer. This is cruelly inaccurate - there is also the sausage and cheese...

I do love a good boxing match - and look at how well the boxes that house the new Fujifilm X-T2 and X-T20 match! They have been smart enough to put them in a similar outer pack ( with the contents clearly marked so that the sales staff can find them in the dim recesses of the store-room , thank goodness, are you taking notice, Wetzlar? ) for brand unity, but imaginative enough to box the more expensive one in the black and the less expensive one in the white. Both packs are pierced to show the X logo of the marque.   Both packs feature an internal tray for the body and a separate case for all the accessories. They are easy to unpack and easy to pack up again...