September 16th, 2014

Photokina 2014: Zeiss Offers New Leica M Lens

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Fast on the heels of Leica’s slew of camera unveilings, Zeiss has introduced a new prime lens for Leica M rangefinder cameras at Photokina 2014.

The Distagon T* f1/.4 35 ZM offers a 35mm focal length promising to perfectly match the view from the M’s optical viewfinder. The lens uses Zeiss’ T* coating to reduce flare and features 10 aperture blades.

The aperture can be adjusted in 1/3 increments via a ring on the lens. There’s also a focus ring on the lens’ all-metal barrel.

Zeiss says the lens will be due out before the end of the year for $2,290.

September 16th, 2014

Photokina 2014: Leica Reveals 4K-Recording Medium Format Camera

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The newest member of the Leica S-series of medium format cameras, introduced at Photokina 2014, has a fairly novel trick: it can record 4K video.

The Leica S 007 won’t arrive until the spring of 2015, but when it does it will carry a new 37.5-megapixel Leica CMOS sensor and Maestro II image processor  capable of delivering 3.5 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting with a 2GB buffer, full HD video recording using the full sensor area and 4K video capture as well. HD video will be recorded at 30, 25 or 24fps while 4K video will use a Super 35mm crop of the lens and be delivered at 24fps. Uncompressed video can be output to an external recorder via HDMI with 4:2:2 color sampling.

The camera will also feature predictive autofocus, a 3-inch LCD, built-in GPS and Wi-Fi for using mobile devices as remote controls and viewfinders.

The 007 will offer shutter speeds as high as 1/4000 sec. with flash sync available up to 1/1000 sec. It will offer 13 stops of dynamic range, 16-bit color depth and an ISO range of 100 to 6400. Images and video are saved to either CF or SD cards.

Leica won’t deliver the 007 until 2015 and it’s expected to cost $25,400 for the camera body.

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There will also be an entry-level Leica medium format camera: the S-E 006. It will employ a 37.5-megapixel CCD sensor with microlenses to evenly distribute light across the entire surface area of the sensor for improved clarity.

The S-E won’t be as fast as the 007, its continuous shooting mode clocks in at 1.5fps with a 2GB buffer capable of collecting 32 RAW files (DNG) or unlimited JPEGs. It will offer 12 stops of dynamic range and an ISO range of 100 to 1600. You’ll find a 3-inch LCD display and an eye-level pentaprism viewfinder and dual card slots for CF and SD memory cards. It will retail for $16,900.

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Leica X

Switching to advanced compacts, Leica’s new X (Typ 113) sports a 16.2-megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS image sensor and a 23mm f/1.7 prime lens (35mm equivalent).

The X can record full HD video at 30fps and offers ISO sensitivities to 12500. It features a 3-inch (920k pixel) LCD display with 100 percent field of view and a hot shoe that will enable the use of optional viewfinders. It offers continuous shooting at 5fps for up to seven frames.

The X will be available this month for $2,295.

Also joining the Leica X family is the more budget-minded X-E. It will offer the same sensor as the X Typ 113 but a slightly slower 24mm f/2.8 prime lens. Also downsized is the LCD display: it’s 2.7-inches. The X-E will offer continuous shooting at 5fps and will arrive in stores this month for $1,795.

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Lux

Geared for sports and wildlife photographers, the new Leica V-Lux (Typ 114)  sports a 9.1-146mm f/2.8-4 ASPH lens (25-400mm equivalent) with optical image stabilization and a 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor. It will offer 4K video recording, built-in Wi-Fi, a 2.4-megapixel OLED viewfinder and a 3-inch tiltable LCD.

The V-Lux will be speedy too, capable of continuous shooting at 12fps. Pricing and availability weren’t announced.

The other new member of the Lux family, the D-Lux (Typ 109), will also offer 4K video recording using a 12-megapixel Four Thirds-sized sensor. 4K video is recorded at 30 and 24fps and HD video recording is also available.

The D-Lux will feature a 10.9-34mm f/1.7-2.8 ASPH lens (24-75mm equivalent). ISO sensitivities will reach 25600 and it will offer both Wi-Fi and NFC for wireless remote and viewfinder functions on mobile devices.

It sports a metal housing, a high-resolution, 2.8-megapixel viewfinder and a 3-inch LCD. It won’t offer a pop-up flash but Leica will bundle one in the box. It ships in November for $1,195.

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Leica M-P (Typ 240)

Rangefinder fans rejoice. Leica has updated its rangefinder camera in the M-P (Typ 240). Similar to the Leica M, the M-P features a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor and an expanded buffer of 2GB for continuous shooting at 3fps.

The M-P will feature a native ISO range of 200 to 6400 with the option to decrease to 100. The camera supports HD video recording at 25 and 24fps.

Its 3-inch sapphire glass LCD display is “almost unbreakable” Leica claims. Designed to be discrete, Leica swapped out their iconic red dot logo in favor a small “Leica” engraving to denote brand.

Other new features include a frame selection lever which projects six different focal lengths into the viewfinder. Pricing and availability were not announced.

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60th Anniversary Edition Leica M

The Leica M rangefinder system turns 60 this year and to celebrate, Leica is releasing an anniversary edition of the camera that fuses their M-P digital camera with a 35mm f/1.4 lens. Audi Design gets credit for the exterior styling and Leica said that the bare-bones specs will put the focus on the skill of the photographer (there is, for instance, no LCD display and all images are saved as RAW DNG files).

There will only be 600 of these Anniversary Edition models on the market (engraved, of course, so you know yours is special) and they’ll be available next month for about $20,000.

 

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New Rangefinder Camera: the M-A

The flashbacks continue. Leica also introduced a new 35mm film rangefinder camera at Photokina: the M-A. It’s compatible with M-mount lenses and features a completely mechanical operation that lets you make adjustments to shutter speed (up to 1/1000 sec.) aperture and film speed.

It will ship in October for $4,500.

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New Lenses 

Beyond the new cameras, Leica introduced several new lenses at the show. The Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH, a silver edition version of the 50mm lens already on the market. It ships in October for $11,350. A silver version of the 35mm Summilux-M lens ($5,450) will also be available at the end of October.

There are two new lenses for the T-series: the APO Vario-Elmar 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5 ($1,950) and the Super-Vario-Elmar-T 11-23mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH ($1,950).

Lenses in the company’s M-series have also gotten a facelift: they’ll be available in black or an anodized silver finish and will now offer maximum apertures of f/2.4. Focal lengths will remain the same at 35, 50, 75 and 90mm.

April 24th, 2014

Leica Launches Leica T (Typ 701) Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera System (Hands-On Review)

Venerable German camera manufacturer Leica entered the modern world of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras this morning by introducing the new 16-megapixel Leica T (Typ 701) system. We got to test out an early production unit of the Leica T, which is being touted as much for its unique design as for its picture-taking skills.

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The Leica T was developed in collaboration with German car manufacturer Audi — the two companies worked together on the Leica M9 Titanium model four years ago — and features a striking, aluminum, unibody design, not unlike a Macbook Pro laptop from Apple. (Leica is not shy of this comparison, either.) Like many Apple products, the Leica T has a Spartan control set, with just two dials, a shutter and a video button, and a large 3.7-inch touchscreen on back.

(more…)

December 18th, 2013

World Press Photo, Alexia Foundation: Still Time to Enter

As 2013 comes to an end, a number of prestigious photo grants, competitions and contests are still accepting entries for their 2014 awards. If you’re looking for something to keep you busy during the holiday break, try submitting your work for one of the awards or grants listed below.

Leica Oskar Barnack Award
In honor of Leica’s centennial in 2014, the camera company is doubling the value of the Oskar Barnack Award’s cash prizes to 10,000 euros for the winner of the professional photographer category and 5,000 euros for the winner of the emerging photographer category. The only requirement for photographers is that they must submit a series that includes images made in 2013. The award, which is named after the inventor of the 35mm Leica camera, recognizes “professional photographers whose unerring powers of observation capture and express the relationship between man and the environment in the most graphic form in a sequence of a minimum of 10 [but] up to a maximum of 12 images.”

This year Leica has added a new category to the competition, the Public Award, and the winner is determined based on the number of votes received on www.i-shot-it.com. When photographers submit their work in consideration for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, they can also opt-in to participate in the Public Award at no additional fee. The cash prize is 2,500 euros.

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2014; no submission fee. More information can be found at www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com.

Alexia Foundation Grants
Every year the Alexia Foundation recognizes a professional and student photographer whose work helps “promote world peace and cultural understanding.” The 2014 Professional Grant winner will receive $20,000—an increase from last year’s prize of $15,000—while the Student Grant winner will win $1,000, a semester at Syracuse University in London and more. Additionally, the Alexia Foundation established a new student grant this year in honor of Robert E. Gilka, the former director of photography for National Geographic who passed away in June 2013. The Gilka Grant, which is a $1,500 scholarship to attend The Kalish workshop, will be awarded to a “project proposal that also includes a multimedia component.”

The deadline for professional submissions is 2 PM on January 13, 2014; $50 submission fee. The deadline for student submissions is 2 PM on January 27, 2013; no submission fee. More information can be found at www.alexiafoundation.org.

World Press Photo and Multimedia Contest
The 57th annual World Press Photo is currently accepting submissions in a variety of categories including General News, Contemporary Issues, Sports and Nature. Additionally, the 4th annual World Press Multimedia Contest is accepting submissions in the Short Feature, Long Feature and Interactive Documentary categories. Both competitions honor outstanding work in the field of photojournalism. The winner of the prestigious World Press Photo of the Year award will win a cash prize of 10,000 euros, while the first-prize winners in all of the photo and multimedia categories will receive a cash prize of 1,500 euros.

The deadline to request a username and password for the submission website is 11:59 PM on January 9, 2014, while the deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM on January 15, 2014; no submission fee. More information can be found at www.worldpressphoto.org/enter.

PDNEdu Student Photo Contest
PDNEdu, The Photo Group publication for photography students, is seeking entries for its annual Student Photo Contest. College students who are currently enrolled in classes can submit a single image or a series of work in a number of different categories including Fashion/Portraiture, Documentary/Photojournalism, Still Life and Multimedia/Video. High-school students can also submit any type of photographic work in the Pre-College category. Grand-prize winners in each category will receive a Nikon camera, B&H gift card, portfolio review and more. Plus, they will be featured in the Spring 2014 issue of PDNEdu.

The deadline for submissions is December 21, 2013; $12 submission fee. More information can be found at http://contest.pdnedu.com/index.shtml.

Related Articles:

Jurying the World Press Multimedia Contest
Abir Abdullah, Sara Naomi Lewkowicz Win Alexia Foundation Grants
Successful Grant Applications: Tips From Grant Judge Toren Beasley
Paul Hansen Wins 2012 World Press Photo of the Year

November 25th, 2013

Sponsored Post: Interactive Portrait Studio Featuring Celebrity Photographer Mark Mann

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Leica invites Art Basel attendees to be part of a living art exhibition on Thursday, December 5th. Celebrity photographer Mark Mann will be taking portraits of participants using the Leica S from 10am-4pm at Trendy Studios. The on-site printing of each image is supported by Image Pro International and print specialists Gady Alroy, of Art Media Studios, and Sean Black. The portraits will be printed on Hanhemühle FineArt photographic paper and displayed outdoors across the entire Trendy Studio space to create a living street art exhibit that will be in constant transformation as each new image is added. The exhibit will remain hanging for the duration of Art Basel, capturing a unique moment in time at this year’s Art Basel. All attendees who pose for a portrait will be given digital copies.

To sign-up please select an available window of time. Portraits will be shot on a first come first serve basis so in order to help us accomodate all guests please arrive during your designated time slot. Guests are invited to hang out and enjoy the event before and after their portraits have been shot.

*All guests posing for their portrait will be required to sign a model release.*

We look forward to seeing you there!

October 3rd, 2013

New Leica Lens, Accessories and Firmware Update Announced

lenses 1381408_10151618598347343_1554405671_nLeica has added a new, wide-angle lens to its S medium-format system lineup. The Leica Elmarit-S 45mm f/2.8 ASPH delivers a 35mm (equivalent) angle of view. The lens, which is available immediately, comes in two versions, with the CS model offering an integrated central shutter for sync speeds up to 1/1000th of a second. The non-CS model’s maximum sync speed is 1/125th of a second. The CS version costs $7450, while the non-CS lens is priced at $6350.

A new firmware update is available for the S-system cameras: version 2.3.0.0 for the Leica S and version 1.3.0.0 for the Leica S2/S2-P. In addition to ensuring “optimum functionality” of the new lens when mounted on the S/S2/S2-P cameras, the firmware update provides enhancements to tethered shooting for DNG-compressed file output, the firmware update also enables the flash triggering signal to pass to the sync socket at all speeds. Additionally, users who install the firmware update will be able to store bracketing sequences and self-timer settings in user profiles. It also corrects errors experienced with the Leica Vario-Elmar-S 30-90mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH lens, including the lens’ focusing behavior. The firmware update can be downloaded from the Leica owners’ site (login required).

 

 

image002Leica also announced new accessories including a lightweight, carbon tripod and two ball heads. The former weighs 2.64 pounds, is compact enough for travel and the ball head “disappears” inside the tripod when in a collapsed position. A carrying case with strap and shoulder pad can be purchased separately. The two ball heads–the Leica 24 and 38–are compatible with all Leica cameras and, with a set of three quick-change plates, users can move from one camera to another without switching plates. Both models can hold up to, for example, a Leica M with a light lens. The Leica 38 ball head offers extra features including a tilt button, which locks the head so that it can only be moved in a vertical plane. The 38 also features a 360 degree panorama function.

The accessories will be available in November.

Accessory Prices:

Leica Traveller Tripod: $525.00

Tripod Bag: $125

Leica Ball Head 24: $285.00

Leica Ball Head 38: $390.00

Set of 3 exchangeable mounting plates for ball head 24 / 38: $70.00

June 11th, 2013

Leica X Vario Large Sensor Compact Announced

leica-x-vario-1So the Mini-M that Leica has been teasing on its Facebook page has been announced. It is the Leica X Vario, a 16.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor fixed lens compact camera. Its lens is a Vario Elmar 18-46mm f/3.5-6.4 ASPH lens and Leica is claiming that the X Vario is the first large sensor compact with a zoom lens.

The X Vario is a nice looking camera with a reasonable zoom range. But the large slow f/3.5-6.4 lens is bound to disappoint many Leica fans as it has none of the “low-light photojournalism” cachet that Leica has built a reputation on over the years. To make matters worse, the bulk that the Vario Elmar adds to the X Vario detracts from its compact nature and makes one wonder why a small mirrorless system body wouldn’t be a better choice. When you factor in the top-shelf price tag, one has to wonder how successful the Vario X will be with the Leica faithful.

Price: $2850

http://en.leica-camera.com/photography/compact_cameras/x_vario/

May 27th, 2013

Leica Hints At New M Camera Coming June 11

new-mini-leicaLeica has updated its Facebook page with a header image hinting at a new camera, the Mini-M, coming June 11th. Details on the Mini-M are virtually non-existent. But the rumor mill seems to suggest that it’s likely to be either a fixed-lens large sensor compact similar to the Sony RX1 or a live view M-mount camera.

Both scenarios have some validity to them. The large sensor compact segment, while not staggeringly popular with point and shoot consumers, has a place in the heart of many professionals and enthusiasts who cannot stomach the thought of accepting the limitations that a small-sensor brings. This is a mindset that has historically described Leica’s core demographic. A live view M-Mount body would make a lot of sense as well, offering access to Leica’s excellent lenses without the cost or complexity of the rangefinder assembly that many of today’s younger photographers care little about.

July 6th, 2012

Video Pick: Making a Leica M9-P ‘Edition Hermès’ Camera

This summer, as part of its ongoing collaboration with the French fashion house Hermès, Leica announced a special “Hermès Edition” of the M9-P camera. Above is a video that shows the care and attention to detail that goes into making one of the limited-edition cameras.

The calfskin leather that’s wrapped around the camera’s body was supplied by Hermès and various details of the camera, including the top and base plates, the shutter speed dial, the multifunction wheel and the shutter release, were redesigned by Walter de’Silva. The camera comes in two sets: the first includes a Leica Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens; the second includes Leica Summicron-M 28 mm f/2 ASPH., Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. and APO-Summicron-M 90 mm f/2 ASPH. lenses as well as an Hermès camera bag and a book of photos by Jean-Louis Dumas.

Dumas, the chairman and artistic director of Hermès from 1978 to 2006, was a well-known photography buff who was rarely without his Leica camera. He invested in the camera maker and decided that the Madison Avenue Hermès store in New York City should have a photo gallery on its top floor. To learn more about the retailer’s unique exhibition space, read our interview with curator Cory Jacobs.