Leica Tag

My curiosity satisfied about the silver-coloured titanium body of the new Fujifilm X-Pro3 camera, I drifted up the stairs and through the hallway past the new storage cabinets - and was taken with the collection of old Leica bodies and lenses that have washed up on the self there. These were chrome finished and blackened before the modern digital era and i was curious to see how well they were made and whether they had lasted. Take note that these are collector's bodies and lenses - not intended for work any more...

I sometimes scoff at the prices of premium-quality equipment in the camera shop because I am not selling the goods nor profiting from the sale. I decry the price lists that look like national debts and compare it with the cheap prices of the same brand's cameras and accessories back in the 60's and 70's. And in doing so I am deluding myself - the prices for this type of equipment were always high in comparison to other brands. I'm not just talking the rangefinder and reflex 35mm cameras - I am including the snazzy system cases and bags that the house photographic journal used to advertise. The Benser case system was always the centre of attention - and of considerable longing. It was a family of modular leather cases that had inserts specifically sized for the bodies and lenses of the famous German maker. You bought an outer shell and then customised it with boxes that slid in and out on vertical slots - like the turbine engines on the USS INGERSOLL or HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. They were very nice cases but...

We often show the instant cameras that are popular with analog photographers - Impossible Project ones or Leica ones or Fujifilm ones - we've even had Lomo instant cameras. But we rarely feature the most important part of their makeup - the film packs. The question of film for Polaroid Cmaeras - either original or revamped - is a more complex one than that for the Fujifilm Instax systems. So let's look at what was on the rack at Stirling Street. Eight Squares in colour for $ 30 but beware that it fits the new cameras: And here's the monochrome version for the same price. Should you have a Polaroid Pop camera with the inkless thermal technology you shoot more pictures for less money. But going away from the Polaroid-centric supplies, here are the various choices for the Fujifilm Instax System. Not all cameras are represented here but be assured that the Leica film is, indeed, Instax. The joy of Instax for Fujifilm is that it sells by the trainload. It is one of the major earners for their photo division in Japan and I'll bet...

That's what we encountered last night when we went to the presentation by Craig Semetko at Camera Electronic's Stirling Street premises. Serendipity in many ways. Craig is here in Australia speaking to people on behalf of himself and of the Leica company - his first time, too - and is entertaining all of us mightily. But it is not just entertainment - there's a good deal of philosophy in it too. Craig started his career writing and performing comedy for corporate clients. Here is a picture he admits to with a bit of nervousness: Yes, that's him doing a performance as the Mike Meyers character: Austin Powers. Whoever said comedy was easy or that comedians were not brave has never stepped out on stage in front of a group of hecklers and cynics. At least it is a good way to break through the barrier of nervousness. His first efforts with cameras led him to a Los Angeles store where he was forced to think deeply about what he wanted to do...

Disregard the fact that we are selling it. If we had any sense we would keep it ourselves. Buy this Fujifilm Instax Mini 9. Take it home and put it on a trophy shelf - because no matter if you are the operator of a gecko farm or a cucumber ranch, you are never going to have anything in your life as green and cool as this camera. And something of that cool style is bound to rub off on you. This is actually a thing. And not just with Fujifilm. Remember the Leica Urban Jungle mirrorless camera of a few weeks ago - that's another milestone of cool. You'll pay more for it and it won't take instant pictures, but consider buying that one too. And while you're at it turn over in your own mind some of the milestones ( kilometre stones? ) of the photographic design world in the past few decades. There may still be time to go out and find one for your own Museum Of Modern Art ( ifacts...

I approach the Leica Boutique cabinets with care - the goods within them are top-quality and deserve more than just a casual glance. If you have the price, they are generally very well-made and backed up by an extremely reputable manufacturer. You just have to be prepared for a little more brand-culture than some others. This is also the case for the companies that provide accessories for Leica - they have to provide the same standards that the main company puts out - so that if you see a bag or strap from Artist and Artisan in Japan or a Leica cameras that bears a lens made in Japan, you can be assured that it will give you sterling service. I was mega-intrigued by the brown leather pouch in the island cabinet: the Artist and Artisan ACAM-78. It looked like a tiny doctor's bag, and I couldn't imagine what Leica thought they could fit inside it. It turns out they intend it for small mirrorless bodies but they show pictures on the net of it swallowing an M-series camera plus short lens. There...