Lincoln High Bridge – Lunchtime Walks

Leica M10, 50mm Summilux-M 1.4 ASPH

I try to get out into Lincoln at least a couple of times a week, and walk around with a camera in my hand.

Scenes like these have been documented by photographers since the medium was invented. Its important to document your local town and the changes that time brings.

This is one of the more timeless areas of Lincoln, this bridge has been here since the year 1160, and like most medieval bridges, has always until recently had a church and a shop on it. The chapel was removed in 1762, but these recent buildings in this side were built in around 1550. I doubt you could have gotten a latte back then.

The picture is nice but far from perfect as a photograph. Its a little out of focus and has motion blur. A fact of life with a old fashioned manual camera like the range finder M10, technically the photo would have been better with my SLR or even my camera phone, but the experience of creating the shot for me would have been lost. Even with its technical issues the photograph is pleasing to me and is a valid document of the area.

The Leica M10 Monochrom was announced

So the rumours are true and we have a new Leica Monochrom. A Leica M10P body with an all new 40 MP sensor, which records only black and white.

For 99% of the UK’s photographers a rangefinder is a pointless relic from the past. For those 1% who enjoy, appreciate and actually use a range finder, I expect that over 90% maybe even 99%, think a black and white only digital camera an anachronism.

But for those few who shoot range finders and black and white; these monochrom cameras are a revelation. Nikon was actually first and produced a limited edition pro digital SLR and some medium format sensor manufacturer produces have followed with digital backs so there is a demand for such a niche product and Leica here seem to have hit it out of the ball park.

Many people who first saw the images out of the first Monochrom complained that they were too flat and too grey. The mono sensor does have extreme dynamic range and gives the photographer many options in post production.

As usual people like Jonathan Slack have reviews.

There is also a good selection of images on Leica’s website from Alan Schaller.

Leica M10 Monochrom by Alan Schaller, from Leica’s Website

Do we need 40 MP black and white, well for most no, but given better tools artists are always going to excel.

Of course with this new sensor Leica rumours are now going overboard about a high resolution Leica M10. For me my 24MP M10 is enough for now, I am saving up for more lens not cameras at the moment.

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.

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.