Leica Press Conference 17th January

Leica M10 underexposed

The Leica rumour sites have been buzzing today with Leica announcing they will be having a press conference on the 17th January.

Leica M8 sample – walk to the gig

The rumours are that the latest Leica Monochrome is to be announced, while modern digital is very flexible there is something quite stunning about the output from Leica’s Monochrom.

First Lunchtime walks of 2020

Christmas and New Year is now over and things are getting back to normal. So its back to my lunch time meandering around Lincoln, with a camera in my hand.

Being in Lincoln with the castle, cathedral and the wonderful shopping experience of steep hill there is always photo oppertunities.

As usual my lunchtime wondering was with my Leica M10 in hand.

Dreaming of summer walks

a summer walk – Leica M10 50mm Summilux-M

I have been reviewing a few of last years years images this week, making sure that the meta data is all correct and I have keywords correctly.

This shot was from a summer walk I took with Ted the Greyhound in Lincolnshire with the Leica M10 slung over my shoulder.

I look forward to future summer walks during this current dreary weather.

Journalling, diary and organisation

During the eighties I kept a diary. In the nineties I used a Palm Pilot and Outlook / Exchange to keep myself organised.

For the last three years I have gone back to paper, or at least a mix of paper and computer.

I work in IT for a large outsourcing organisation and support a number of companies. Due to data and privacy rules my work diary is encrypted and accessible on my laptop and work phone. My personal information and my part time job as a photographer is now a mix of electronically held information for data that needs to be shared and my paper journal.

My paper journal is also a mix of things, its a bullet journal for everything and a personal diary. Over the last year I have been looking at the William Hannah products.

Its a simple leather bound A5 ring journal but incredibly well made and I have been lucky enough to be bought one for Christmas.

I spend yesterday setting it up as my new 2020 bullet journal and am looking forward to using it to plan my future 2020 shoots.

Zenit-M a Leica alternative

It has to be said the Leica range finders are not for everyone and even if you want one you may not be able to afford one.

I have been hearing rumours about Zenit producing a range finder but did not really believe the rumours but it turns out they are true. Its been done in partnership with Leica and the camera is based on the old Leica M240, so us range finder users now have another option.

The Night Before Christmas

On the Biking Blog “Ride it like you stole it!” which is sadly no more by Dave Dragon, there was a poem “The Biker’s Night Before Christmas”.

I have posted this before but as this is my last post before Christmas I thought it was worth posting again.

“Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the pad,

There was nada happenin’, now that’s pretty bad.

The woodstove was hung up in that stocking routine,

In hopes that the Fat Boy would soon make the scene.

With our stomachs packed with tacos and beer,

My girl and I crashed on the couch for some cheer.

When out in the yard there arose such a racket,

I ran for the door and pulled on my jacket.

I saw a large bro’ on a ’56 Pan

Wearin’ black leathers, a cap, and boots (cool biker, man).

He hauled up the bars on that bikeful of sacks,

And that Pan hit the roof like it was running on tracks.

I couldn’t help gawking, the old guy had class.

But I had to go in — I was freezing my ass.

Down through the stovepipe he fell with a crash,

And out of the stove he came dragging his stash.

With a smile and some glee he passed out the loot,

A new jacket for her and some parts for my scoot.

He patted her fanny and shook my right hand,

Spun on his heel and up the stovepipe he ran.

From up on the roof came a great deal of thunder,

As that massive V-twin ripped the silence asunder.

With beard in the wind, he roared off in the night,

Shouting, “Have a cool Yule, and to all a good ride!”

What’s a Portrait Lens – Part 2: The new Leica Summilux-M 90 f/1.5 ASPH

As I mentioned in the previous post; if your shooting full frame 35mm then lens around 85mm are the traditional focal length for portraits, but one can go longer or wider.

For myself in general when in the studio if shooting 35mm full Frame it tends for me to be a 105mm portrait lens or a telephoto zoom, depending on how I am working that day. As I mentioned I do not currently a traditional portrait lens.

For my environmental portraits I often go wide, usually a 35mm lens but occasionally 24mm or 50mm.

Leica M8

Getting a more traditional focal length for my Leica has been on my purchase list for a few years now.

Leica M10, My Favourite coffee shop – Coffee Aroma, LINCOLN

Its not been high on my list as a) Leica glass is expensive and b) for more traditional portrait focal lengths I am generally shooting with an SLR.

This month Leica have released a new 90mm portrait lens, the Leica Summilux-M 90 f/1.5 ASPH. As you can see, at 90mm and f/1.5 giving it an object lens of 60mm diameter as well as it having an aspherical lens element means that it will be good (well amazing) and also with this amount of technology its going to be expensive.

I have to admit that I even I was a little shocked at the price so I’ll be going back to look at second hand 75mm and 90mm Leica portrait lens but its good to see Leica pushing the envelope in what is possible in lens design.

What’s a Portrait Lens – Part 1

Nikon D800, Nikkor 105mm

When one thinks about a portrait lens you tend to think of a fast sharp 85mm f/1.4. Its certainly one focal length that many manufactures have a good version off.

Its a focal length that I have been considering purchasing for sometime but as I own a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom and a 105mm I have been managing quite happily.

Leica 50mm Summilux

For fun and personal work I often shoot portraits with my little Leica M. I find the Leica fun to use and is useful when working with less professional models as the camera is less intimidating.

Corset with a 35mm

For full length portraits a 50mm works well, but going wider you run a risk of distorting the figure and care is needed.

Figure in red – 24mm

In my work when the working conditions are tight I have gone as wide as 24mm. With wider lens you can use to with care to make the legs look longer, shooting from a low angle.

If you have a search on the web for well know photographers you can see some portrait photographers have produced some amazing images with lens as wide as 21mm.

So is any lens a portrait lens?

In the past many portrait lens were designed for low contrast and certainly less sharp then modern lens, a more forgiving lens for the human face.

Its posible now to buy lens that wide open are soft and dreaming but then stopped down a couple of stops are as sharp as any top lens.

Now the look of a lens is often forgotten as Photoshop is used to give the effect one wants, but its nice to get as much done in camera and just leave some basic editing for post production.

But in answer to the question, yes any lens is a portrait lens, generally 55mm to 135mm traditionally but I have seen great portraits from 21mm lens to 300mm and even the 500mm mirror lens.