The Leica M (Typ 240) looks like it belongs in a museum. While the technology inside has moved with the times, including the transition from film to digital, Leica products share a common design style that has been maintained since the company’s first camera made in 1914. Except the Leica T, that is. Atop the metal case (available in chrome or black) is a twisty button for turning the Leica M on. Keep turning the dial and you can select continuous shoot mode and then finally a timer shot mode. To the left is another dial, which is there for shutter speed. It ranges from eight-second exposures to 4,000th of a second. An automatic mode can be selected but we found it was better to take control. On top is a standard horseshoe for adding a flash or other camera accessories. Nearby is a button marked ‘M’ that lets you capture 1080p video at 25 frames-per-second. On the back is another dial used for a number of tasks such as zooming into photos during playback. On the left of the display are six buttons: LV (live view), Play (playback), Delete, ISO, Menu and Set. All are very accessible, as is the menu and set menu layouts, which you can scroll up and down through using a directional pad on the right………
Camera reviews are rarely occasions for existential reflection. We expect to read about what the camera can do. But the Leica M (also known as the Typ 240) elicits deeper questions: How versatile should a camera try to be? How far from the mainstream dare it stray? What sort of pictures do we want to take with it? How much should it cost? Soon we are in really deep water: What sort of people are we? Why would we (or anyone) buy an M? The M raises such questions for at least three reasons. First, it’s nearly $7,000. That’s before you add the EVF-2 electronic viewfinder ($500+) or put a lens on the front. Second, it’s the latest in a lineage of (non-reflex) cameras that goes back to April 1925, when the Leica was introduced. The M still closely resembles the M3, of 1954. It also accepts almost all Leica lenses ever made, right back to 1931, when the Leica flange/film register was standardized. Third, although rangefinder cameras ruled the small-camera roost until the 1960s, the introduction of the Nikon F in 1959 marked the beginning of the ascendancy of the SLR and later, of course, the DSLR……..
One of the very first Fuji 56mm f/1.2 lenses in North America found its way into my hands a few months ago and I’ve been shooting with it ever since as it has become my go-to portrait lens for the Fuji X-Mount system and likely for all camera systems. The Fuji 56mm f/1.2 is both sharp where it needs to be and has a pleasing, smooth bokeh in the out of focus areas helping to nicely isolate your subject from the background. So, how does the lens perform? This portrait was an informal shot made in available light in the middle of a lunchroom of James A. Martin, during a visit to Janelia Farm back in March. The lens grabbed his attention and he came over to introduce himself and to see the camera (Fuji X-T1 and this lens). You can see the razor thin focal plane of this lens when opened wide up at f/1.2, but you can also see how sharp it is within the plane of focus as well as the beautiful out of focus quality or bokeh. Like I said, its the new go-to lens for portraits……
The Leica M 240 is a digital rangefinder camera with a full-format 24 x 36 mm sensor. As the world’s most compact full-format system camera, the Leica M 240 extends the legendary heritage of the Leica rangefinder M System and unites over 50 years of continuous technical improvements to the system with the best in cutting-edge digital technology. The Leica M is a digital full-frame 35 mm rangefinder camera. It was introduced by Leica Camera AG in September 2012, and is the successor to the Leica M9 range of cameras. The M uses a 24-megapixel image sensor. The camera is the first M model to feature movie recording, and the first to have Live View—which allows the scene, as seen through the lens, to be composed.The M is compatible with almost all M mount lenses and most R mount lenses (via an adapter). All Leica M cameras are handmade in Portugal and Germany…..
Damien Demolder tests Fujifilm’s new wide-aperture portrait lens for the X series – a lens with a focal length that emulates the legendary 85mm
The Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R is an interesting lens and Fuji is sure to do well with it. It is an important focal length for establishing oneself as a serious camera brand, because it is one that ‘serious’ photographers will want to use – and it has the kind of gaping wide aperture that gets attention and people talking……
As soon as I heard about the release of this lens I knew I wanted to purchase it. When I was shooting Nikon the lens I used the most was the 24-120 f/4. It was the perfect walk around, travel lens. I actually used it to shoot and entire wedding and it worked great! This week I had been checking various websites and my local camera stores to no avail as I knew it was going to be released by the end of this month, July. Opening the box I was greeted with the same Fuji quality as my other lenses. The zoom is smooth, the aperture ring feels perfect and the lens has a nice weight to it. I believe it weighs between the 56 1.2 lens and the 10-24 f/4 lens with the 10-24 f/4 being the heaviest. This is a lens I could easily walk around with all day. The range of 18-135 is a very wide range. Here are two pics, the first being taken at 18mm and the second at 135. Quite a difference!………
Sorry I’m late, but my dayjob is getting very demanding lately, as it does every June and July (hey, I’m not complaining at all!). After three months of intensive (to my standards) use, I’m now ready to tell my final opinion on the Fujifilm X-T1. And I’ll do it the usual way, in the form of a list of what I like and what I don’t. Ready? Go. ……
Sadly, this review starts on a slightly negative note…. The first weather resistant lens released from FUJIFILM is a canon, when zoomed all the way to 135mm the lens becomes surprisingly front heavy and is sadly a little ugly, no matter which X series camera body it was slapped on (XPRO1, XM1 and XT1). Also, the lens feels and looks very plastic. Unlike the prime lens lineup with all metal exterior shells, this one is made from a smooth engineered plastic, which does come across as a little cheap. The weather sealing suggests this lens is intended for the adventure enthusiast, however in our opinion, a plastic exterior does not portray rugged durability. On paper the focal length 18mm (wide) to 135mm (telephoto) looks like great value, and it is probably fair to say this lens is going to be popular for travel photographers. Although a little vulgar, it is more affordable than stocking a range of primes to get the equivalent coverage……..
About a week ago Fuji’s new telephoto zoom lens found its way to me. I had little opportunity to photograph with it, but at least I was able to record a number of test images. As always, I have made a comparison with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III to see how close the Fuji comes to a full-frame camera. Mechanically the lens makes a good, solid feel. The housing is made of a mixture of (few) metal parts and (mostly) plastic. All controls and also the mix of materials are virtually identical to the well known standard zoom. Two switches are used to activate the image stabilizer and auto iris. Three adjustment rings allow the setting of aperture, focal length and focus point. The aperture ring snaps as tight as the one in the standard zoom and the 35mm lens. It runs better than the somewhat loose ring of 14mm wide angle. The zoom ring is quite stiff. At least the lens doesn’t extract by itself when directed to the ground or sky. Speaking of ground: When the (switched off) lens is tilted from horizontal direction downwards, one can hear a distinct clicking sound. Probably a loose part of the image stabilizer. When switched on, the noise does not occur. Not so great is the lens hood. At least in my lens, this monstrous piece of plastic fits very tight into the socket. I have a downright fear to break it when turning…….
I like the Fuji system so much that I have also acquired the two fixed focal lenses XF 35 mm and XF 14 mm. Below are my practical impressions and resolution chart measurements of both lenses. Again, I made a comparison with Canon cameras. In addition to the EOS 5D Mark III also the EOS 600D has been used, which has a similar sensor (18 Megapixel APS-C) as the Fuji X-E1 (16 Megapixel APS-C). For the first time, a much larger test chart was used to achieve a better image scale especially for testing the wide-angle lenses. With APS-C sensor, the scale now about 1:30 and with the full-frame sensor it is about 1:20. I found that especially the full-frame lenses benefit from the smaller magnification and show partially higher resolutions and less chromatic aberrations as in my earlier tests. Therefore, new test shots of all lenses were made under the same conditions. As always the cameras were carefully aligned on a tripod and triggered by self-timer to avoid vibration (the EOS 5D Mark III with an additional mirror prerelease)……..