Photo of the Month – July

Leica M10
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH 6-Bit 
50mm, 1/350 Sec at f/3.5 (est),  ISO200
and a second image at 1/180 Sec

Post Processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic V9.3, using a HDR merge of the two exposures.

Sherwood Pines – Walkies

With lock down easing, we got an email from a friend asking us if we wanted to go on a pack walk in the woods near Sherwood Forest. So with water bottles and collapsable dog water bowl packed off we went.

Nikon’s Latest – The D6

The release of a professional Nikon was always exciting and something I looked forward to.

The Film range were got better each year, maybe the autofocus F4 was a little lacklustre compared to Canon but all the F range had something to recommend them.

With the release of the Nikon D1 we had the worlds first professional digital camera, the D2 were the speed demons, and then came the D3, the camera that stole the crown back from Canon.

Since then each release has tried to increase the megapixel count, increase the focus speed but still keep what made the D3 so good, its insane low light performance.

If your a sports or photo journalist then get the new D6, for the rest of us who maybe want something else then speed you may want to look at the D8** range.

Leica Press Conference Thursday 16th July

I love my Leica M10, whilst there maybe better carry everywhere cameras (the Leica Q and Leica CL come to mind), I find it an accomplished camera.

If the rumour is true we will be getting an M10 with a higher resolution sensor. My Leica M10 is currently 24MP and my Nikon D800 is 36MP, but many of the latest cameras are now up to 50MP so for many an update is needed.

Leica M10 – in the coffee shop

As a walk around camera the M10 at 24MP is currently enough for me, when I start to look at replacing my main studio camera I’ll be looking for something in the 50MP plus range.

Photo of the Month – June

Phone X
iPhone 4mm f/1.8
4mm, 1/17 Sec at f/1.8,  ISO40
Post Processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic

With the Covid-19 lockdown still very much in force, I have not been out this month or taken any shots. I did snap this with my iPhone, a celebration of home grown produce from our garden. Apart from the cheese and pork pie everything came from our garden, pickles from last years veg, eggs from our chickens and salad straight from the garden.

People say grown your own is the way forward. In practice its not possible to complete with the local markets and shops but being out in the garden is good for your mental health and its feels good eating things you grew and made yourself.

Olympus to sell its camera division

Camera manufactures are really struggling, the camera phone has become the camera for most people.

Minolta sold there camera division to Sony, the medium format sector is consolidating with really only PhaseOne and the now Chinese owned Hasselblad the big high end players left.

Nikon have been struggling for a long time but the new Z range is now the go to mirrorless camera. With their lower end Z range having better performance and lower price to Olympus, Micro Four Thirds is now really on the back foot.

The investment company buying Olympus is part owned by the Japanese government so Olympus may yet carry on. Certainly it would not stop be buying an Olympus camera today, but there is a real question on the future.

Olympus has been around for eighty four years and have been an icon in the small camera field.

So what of the future for Micro Four Thirds. Only Panasonic and Olympus have really been players in this area. Panasonic seem to be moving to full frame with the Leica L mount; but as full frame has advantages over Micro Four Thirds, so Micro Four Thirds has advantages over full frame, and no where is this advantage bigger than in the area of video.

Olympus may continue in name, whether they can carve a niche is to be seen, but I hope the mount and format survives.

Apple WWDC2020 – wow I was wrong

I always enjoy the Apple keynote speeches. The one everyone always remembers is where Steve Jobs introduces the first iPhone, but I feel this one may also go down in history.

The best thing about the Mac operating system is that is was always designed to be portable, ie could be recompiled to run on different architecture.

This has enabled the Mac to move from one system architecture to another.

PowerBook G4 12 inch

I started with a PowerMac, a lovely little 12 inch laptop for my portable photography needs. So I have lived with the transition from IBM to intel and the improvements that brought.

When Apple released the iPhone it was with an off the shelf ARM processor. Then over the years Apple has been buying up small ARM design companies, then became a full ARM licensee to enable them to start producing there own ARM designs. This has seen the iPhone and the iPad gradually pull away from the others in respect to battery performance, cpu performance and gpu performance. For nearly two years now there have been rumours that Apple would transition their laptops away from Intel to their own silicon but I have always thought the idea ridiculous.

Well I was wrong. I can certainly see the draw of something like a ARM powered MacBook Air. You could increase performance a little and greatly increase battery life, it would be the ultimate small laptop.

For the higher end laptops like what I am typing this article on, one I picked for its Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom Classic performance, I am not sure if ARM can match what Intel can do. The other issue is will Adobe port over Lightroom Classic or use this to force us to move to the new Lightroom. For photographers like me with large libraries the new version still does not quite cut it.

Its going to be an interesting couple of years a head of us.

Leica SL2 updates – 187 MP anyone

Leica SL2 being assembled – from Leica

As I have mentioned in the past, many of the smaller companies like Fuji, Olympus are much better at support, releasing new firmware for their new and old cameras.

Leica just released a new update for the SL2.

Multishot has come to many cameras, with Olympus leading the way. I do it the old manual way in Photoshop and have produced many fine images.

Manual stitch of several Leica M10 images

For landscape photographers multi shot is a boon, giving you hi-re images from smaller lighter cameras.

Bug fixes and a few new features, these are always welcome.

Having pets: loosing pets

I suppose we are quite unusual, but as we live in the country we keep chickens to provide us with eggs, have hounds, snakes etc, not the usual selection of pets. All our animals are pets even the chickens which have their own unique characters.

This Friday we lost one of our girls, its always sad; we try to give are pets the best life they can and they give us far more.

How has COVID-19 lock down affected your photography

The biggest impact to me has been on my studio photography and my casual street photography.

I am normally in Lincoln most week days, and at least twice a week I get into the centre of town to snap some street photographs. This is often my mainstay of my personal photography.

So my photography has been limited to the local walks around my village and shooting flowers in the garden.

One thing I was intending to do while stuck at home so much was to try some still life photography, but being stuck at home does not mean not having to work so its still something I have not gotten round to yet.