I traded my Leica lens for another…Leica lens

A new lens is in my bag as for today, but this time, for the sake of my bank account, I’ve not spent any cents. Yeah, it is possible, even for a Leica lens. How can?

Easy peasy, I traded one of my Leica lenses for another…Leica lens. An M for an R. Bad or good deal? mmh, to me, for now, very good, but will see in the future…

Anyhow, one of my trusted shops here in Luxembourg, Fototrade, showed in the shop window, a very interesting second hand

Leica APO Macro-Elmarit-R 100mm f/2.8

and the monkey on my shoulder, started screaming out loud…

The reason for the switch

Since I’ve bought the Leica SL, I’m trying to build the perfect set of lenses for all my needs, travel, street and still life studio photography. The only lens I was missing, or better, the option I was missing, is the close-up or macro photography,

But not because I want to see which pant is wearing a micro mosquito.

Usually, I use the macro lens for my food photography studio shooting, where I need to have a sharp image to sell on stock agencies, as Fotolia or Shutterstock. And so far I’ve always used the CANO EF 100mm f2.8, a gorgeous lens.

But I want now to have this option also on my Leica SL camera, and there it comes to the trade.

On the other hand, I had the Leica M Elmarit 90mm f2.8, a lens that over a year, was barely used on my cameras, SL or Leica M. The market value of the M 90mm was exactly the same as the price of the second-hand R-100mm so, I had not so many doubt to trade them, even after reading very positive review around some forums and websites.

And there it is, the new lens on my Leica SL.

(using the Novoflex adapter, LET/LER)

I will be in Puglia, very soon, and I’m planning to do another genuine food photography session in my parent’s farm.

So, stay tuned, keep following me because lots of new pictures are coming veeery soon 🙂

Thanks for reading,

cheers, Sabino

My new old lens, promising a special bokeh: the Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 50mm f1.8 (test image gallery)

You know, I have a true passion for old vintage lenses and one of the reasons why I recently switched to the Leica SL is because this camera allows me to use almost any existing lens from the past.

I own already several vintage lenses, but not only for collection purpose. Anytime I prepare my bag for a trip around the world, I open my box and I chose one or two vintage lens to carry with me.

The advantage of a vintage lens is, most of the time, the size and the cost, as they are usually very compact and cheap.

But I love exploring the different characters and styles that each of these old pieces of glass brings with it.

The Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 50mm f1.8

  • Format: 35mm SLR
  • Type: Prime lens
  • Focusing: Manual Focus (MF)
  • Minimum focus distance: 0.33 m
  • Lens mounts: M42
  • Focus lenght: 50mm
  • Max. aperture: 1.8
  • Aperture blades: 6 elements in 4 groups
  • Filter diameter: 49mm

Meyer Gorlitz was a German optical company, founded by an optician, Hugo Meyer, in Görlitz, in 1896. The company made a key business decision in 1920 when decided to work with former Zeiss developer Paul Rudolph, who was previously significantly involved in the success of the Protar, Planar and Tessar lenses. (Source: Wiki)

In 1990 the company was liquidated, but then, in 2014, they have been back, producing new re-designed lenses, combining the background of a long history and modern innovations. Their vintage lenses are now quite popular among the photographer enthusiasts.

By the way, their vintage lenses are now quite popular among the photographer enthusiasts.

In particular, this 50mm f1.8 lens is known for its very unique “soap-bubble” bokeh rendering, warm colours and a distinctive vintage look. You can see some amazing example here and here.

Another very interesting Pros of the 50mm f1.8 Meyer’s lens is the minimum focusing distance of 33 cm that makes it handy for portraiture and close up shots, despite is not so sharp at f1.8.

A complete review of this lens can be found here:

http://vintage-camera-lenses.com/meyer-optik-gorlitz-oreston-1-8-50/

The lens I bought

Usually, I buy second-hand stuff at the flea markets around Luxembourg and France, but this time, as I knew what I was looking for, I bought it from eBay, winning an auction for a reasonable price, around 60€.

The Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Oreston 50mm f1.8 I’ve just bought and received is in mint condition, I was not expecting to be so clean and as new. Looks like has never been used before.
It has an M42 mount so I can use it together with the Novoflex adapter LET/CO (M42 to Leica SL)

A quick test

Thrilled to test, it I’ve quickly done few shots down the street, nothing special but still a good preview of what this lens can achieve.

And here comes the test pictures, all hand held (thanks to my yellow special model…)

N1 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/400sec – ISO 100

N2 –Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/400sec – ISO 100

N3 –Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f5.6 – 1/100sec – ISO 100

N4 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2.8 – 1/250sec – ISO 100

N5 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/640sec – ISO 100

N6 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f5.6 – 1/125sec – ISO 100

N6 –100% Crop

N7 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/800sec – ISO 100

N8 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/600sec – ISO 100

N9 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/600sec – ISO 100

N10 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/125sec – ISO 400

N11 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/200sec – ISO 400

N12 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/160sec – ISO 400

N13 – Leica SL + Meyer-Gorlitz 50mm f1.8 – f2 – 1/200sec – ISO 400

Conclusions

Well, I knew already, the lens lack a bit of sharpness when shot wide open at f1.8, but stopping down already to 2, the quality improves.

To me, the most intriguing application would be a more creative shot playing with its dreamy “soap bubble” bokeh. In this test, the bokeh is not yet so “bubblicious”, but I also like the shapes in picture N3, at f5.6
And the relatively close focus of 33cm it’s a very good added value.

I’m curious to use it on a nicer set and for portraiture. Stay tuned…

Thanks for reading,

cheers,
Sabino

 

 

10 days in Andalusia, with a Leica SL and…

There it is, like a night before the exams, the eve of a departure is always rich in adrenaline for me. The questions are always the same: what do I put into my bag? Or, worse, which bag I choose for this trip ….?

Not happy, I’ve added another relevant change to a few hours from this trip, a new camera, the Leica SL. Now, I just have a few hours, an evening, to learn how to use it, to understand where all the various commands are. A small risk that I take with pleasure because the journey on the road in Andalusia is a perfect opportunity to see it seriously at work.

Let’s start from the itinerary

Everything starts from Alicante, southern Spain. From there, with a rental car (Hertz), we will cross the Andalusian region by going through the Tabernas desert, Sierra Nevada, Granada, Córdoba, Sevilla, Cadiz and Malaga. My reference guide, like any trip, is the Lonely Planet, always helpful and full of good advice. In this wonderful region, there is so much to photograph, I have to skip something, but I prefer to have a travel pace not too tight and stressful. In planning, in fact, I’ve been able to set a stay of two nights in each place.

I did not read too much about what to see, because I prefer to make me surprise and guide you from the sensations of the moment, so I already know that every place will turn him long and wide.

What kind of photography do I want to get?

Before choosing the tools, it is very important to have a good idea of what are you going to see and, above all, what you want to photograph. Unfortunately, the temptation is always that of wanting to bring all the best gears with you, but for a journey on the road, with an average temperature close to 40 degrees, It is better to be lightweight and have everything under control rather than losing pieces along the way.

As far as I’m concerned, on this trip, I expect of doing many landscapes and street photos. Converted to focal lengths, it means I probably need 3 to 4 lenses, considering I do not use the zoom lenses. The telelenses, in my case 90mm or 135mm, probably will be the least used ones.

Which bag?

The choice of the bag is crucial for a trip where I plan on moving very much on foot and under a burning sun. Choosing a wrong bag, uncomfortable, can adversely affect photography as well as the vacation. It is very important for me to feel comfortable and the bag must not contain too many things and too many pockets.

Access to what is needed must be fast and easy.

For a few years, I always use the “messenger” model because it is what gives me more freedom in the movements while looking also elegant. The Sling model, for example, I excludes a priori because, in such a hot place, having the shoulder always covered would make me sweat a lot. Said so, here are my three bags, two Ona and one Lowepro, one in leather and the other in canvas.

Lowepro is the most spacious and complete, black and canvas material, is the least elegant of the three. It’s also very deep. This bag is mostly used in those situations or journeys where I do hiking or need to carry more gears. For this journey, it’s too much in everything.

Ona bags are much more comfortable and elegant and allow me to also go out in the evening without really looking like a photographer, so I prefer them. Between the two, the one on the right, the Brixton model, is more spacious but a bit too rigid, which makes the inner pockets practically unusable.

In the end, the choice fell on my favorite, albeit small but soft, compact and very elegant, the Leather Prince Street. Traveling with this bag is really a pleasure, but it can only contain a small camera, certainly not a reflex.

it’s pretty damn beautiful

Which camera?

Here the doubts have fallen almost immediately. I would have liked to bring them both, but I want to be focused on the newcomer, the Leica SL, so to better discover it and try it out the best. It will not be a long journey so I do not want to have too much material to handle. For this time, let the Leica M 262 rest at home.

Which lens?

With my new Leica SL, I can finally use all of the M42 lenses I’ve bought in the various vintage markets. Unfortunately, however, I had no time to test all of them, so to be on the safe side, I’ll take the M lenses:

  • The Voigtlander Skopar 21mm f4 – landscapes
  • The Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH – Street
  • The Summicron 50mm f2 – close up and portraits
  • The Tele-Elmarit 90mm – close up and portraits

What accessories to complete?

And here’s the rest of the accessories that complete my travel photo bag. In the picture above ther is also a Pentacon 135mm f2.8 which I then decided to leave home. (post edit: just couple of seconds before leaving, I dropped this lens in the bag! And ways an incredible great decision!!! )

  • Tripod (this is off the bag)
  • 5 batteries
  • A power bank for my iPhone
  • Shoulder strap
  • Cleaning kit (air blower, cloth, brush)
  • Leica M / Leica SL  – Leica M42 / Leica SL Adapters
  • Small Moleskin
  • 4 SD cards
  • A selfie stick
  • The faithful Lonely Planet

The battery charger stays in the suitcase.

Now let’s put everything in the bag

As you can see from the pictures above, everything fits in the bag without big problems. Considering that the camera will always be in my hands, in the end, I will even have room to put a bottle of water while I’m around.

Conclusions

It was not easy, but hopefully, I managed to really only get the essentials gears without overloading the bag. The rest of the job will be done by my heart and my eyes, hoping for another unforgettable journey full of beautiful photographs.

A presto,
Sabino

That is my choice: Leica SL

After several weeks of dubbing, googling, reading reviews and watching videos on YouTube, it was enough to have an advice from a very good friend of me, Ryu from Newoldcamera to illuminate the way to choosing the right camera to pair with my Leica M. As already mentioned in the recent post (HERE), I came to the conclusion that the Leica M with the Summicron 28mm ASPH f2 is the perfect camera for the street photos, while I needed a professional body for all those commercial shots, such as the still life of products and food, studio portraits and landscapes. In addition, I was in great need of a system that would allow me to adapt third-party or vintage lenses, having so many at home, and having wi-fi transmission of photos directly to a mobile device, phone or tablet.

And so let me now welcome this wonderful jewel, Leica SL, the highly discussed professional mirrorless camera from Wetzlar.

Why Leica and not Sony

To be honest, I had never considered Leica SL as a choice, perhaps because there is not so much hype about it, (also because is already 2 years on the market) but I was more inclined to the Leica M10, eventually.
Then for several weeks, I was investigating about the Sony Alpha 7II or 7RII, thinking it was the best solution on the market. And I was almost convinced to go to for the new Sony Alpha 9, the latest release and, apparently, according to the reviews, a technology perfection.
But something within me has always made me desist, and this is something inside the Leica world and its extraordinary quality and stability., no matter what camera model is. I have to admit, I’ve never used Sony, so mine are only assumptions and I can easily make a mistake in my judgments, but the last thing I’m looking for is a trandy camera full of buttons, ultra-advanced features, ultra-fast raffle and, above all, full of marketing arguments.

But, the aspect that more than any other, keeps me attached to the Leica system, is the quality and performance of its files. I do not know how to explain it, but the three-dimensionality of the images, combined with the beauty of the out of focus plans, I’ve never found something so perfect in the systems I used in the past.

Leica makes me feel safe and serene. Yes, It cost so much, of course, but worth every penny you invest on it, believe me.

Leica, an essential system. Let’s only focus on pure photography

Finally, I adore the essence and minimalism of Leica bodies, as I adore the Apple style, where they are very similar. As I’ve said so many times in the past,

With the Leica I can concentrate only on photography, the camera becomes a beautiful and functional extension of my body, without being a bulky protagonist.

The Leica SL is a jewel of design, a unique, clean body, without any labels on those few buttons. No distraction, just the essential.

My first impression

Frankly speaking, this time I completely trusted the advice of my friend Ryu from N.O.C., without ever having tried this camera. I expected to be much bigger and more clumsy in some way, but the grip in the hands is great and pleasant, as well as very stable. The body is also very thin, being a mirrorless, so it does not clutter more than so.

Of course, I espect to find some defects, but I cannot tell you of any, for the moment. I did not have time to try it yet, I gave a quick look at the 4.4Mpx viewfinder and quickly used the touch screen, and everything seems perfect to me.

The real stress test, from tomorrow, in Andalusia.

Now I just have to try it and luckily, from tomorrow I will be on a road trip to Andalusia, for 10 days, so that is a perfect opportunity. I have no native Sl lenses so I will use my Leica M lenses and maybe M42 lenses, thanks to the adapters.

The only problem is that I only have one night to get in touch with the car and understand how it works.

So, keep following me as in the next 10 there will be a lot of new pictures and cool stories to tell.

A presto,
Sabino

One year with a Leica M: would I make this choice again?

We all know, photographers are never happy and there is no perfect camera out there, because, especially when talking about professional photography, each application requires a different type of camera setup. That’s why it has led me to make a series of reflections that you will read below about the goodness of the choice made exactly a year ago when, due to a strong lack of “Full Frame”, I decided to sell everything about my Fuji kit to make the big and challenging step to the Leica M expensive world.

Why I decided to move to Leica M

It was not a simple choice because I used the Fuji X system for four years and I was completely satisfied. I still think it is one of the best on the market. But there was something missing for me, the full sensor, or full frame. Not only because of the deeper depth and richness of the details, but also because the reduced sensor, APS-C, did not allow me to fully use the vintage lenses that have been adapted, dimming them into their original focal length. So without taking it for long, I bought a Leica M, typ 262, the model without live view and video.

In Thailand, with a Fuji X-E1

In Morocco, with a Fuji X-E2

In Japan, with a Fuji X-T1

In Vietnam, with a Leica M

After exactly one year of intense use, would I make this choice again?

If I had to base my judgment on the first three months, I would doubtless say NO!
I think that for anyone, got used to fully automatic reflex systems, switch to a rangefinder system, it’s almost a self-punishment. In the first months of use I came to hate it, everything seemed unnecessarily difficult and tedious, and the out of focus shots were wasted.

But once fully learnt, when the mutation occurs, first of all, mental than physical, in conceiving differently the way photography is done, well, I started toreally love my Leica M. That’s how I felt more and more comfortable and comfortable and the best results were also achieved. I really enjoyed the discretion and quality of both the body and the final photo, and also the excellent battery life. Moreover, its extraordinary ability to operate in full manual with the zone focus technique. A Copernican revolution for me, which led me to look back and understand what really photography is, its essence, basically built by three simple parameters, aperture, speed and iso, with the final picture built in mind.

Scicli, Sicilia – Leica M with the Sum 28mm, the perfect combo for street photography

Vietnam, Hoi An – Street candid portrait with a Leica M and Elmarit 90mm

Polignano, Italy – Street candid portrait with a Leica M and Sum 28mm

But I was still missing something…

After the period I was totally in love with my camera, in the next six months, I began to feel something was missing… First of all, I did not have the opportunity to adapt the third-party or vintage lenses because of the absence of the live view. Furthermore, I did not have the wi-fi, allowing me to immediately transfer photos to my mobile and then upload them to my social channels or blog. And last, I missed the opportunity to make proper macro-photography, also due to the for the absence of the live view. Cuold I live without those thing? Mmmm… maybe not…

In short, I missed a certain level of versatility, from my camera

I tried using Leica M for commercial jobs such as still life and food as well as landscapes, but the result was not satisfactory because It was not so simple and easy. On the other hand, I got amazing results when I pair the Leica M with the Summicron Asph 28mm f2,, to tell a story or to capture a time of life on the roa, or for pure street reportages,.

Landscapes with a Leica M

Food photography with a Leica M

My conclusions

After a year of use, I realised that the Leica M is the perfect system for street photography. Simply the TOP! It is in this field that Leica M reveals itself as impeccable and fun to use and I really love that.. To date, if I have to go out on the street to capture local life, an event or a street market, I have no doubt, I bring with me the Leica M with the Summicron Asph 28mm f2 or. in case, I alternate with the also great Summicron 50mm f2 to make some candid portraits.

Ma per tutto il resto, credo che sia meglio un sistema più completo, moderno,versatile e automatizzato.

My conclusion is that YES, I would buy again the Leica M,
BUT, pairing it with another pro camera for anything other than street.

So I decided that my perfect combination would be Leica M (maybe the M10) for everything that’s street, event, market, while for all commercial and / or studio shooting, still life products, I have to pair with another camera. For this reason, is already about a month, I’m considering all the possibilities, digging into Leica, Sony Alpha and Canon. Yes, the new Sony Alpha 9 is a possibility, but I feel it more like a trending camera/brand that everyone wants to have because it is cool ….

Leica M typ 262 – Why yes

  • Dimensions and discretion, perfect for street and travel photography
  • High quality of Leica M lenses
  • La bellezza dei piani fuori fuoco Leica. Non so spiegalro, ma la resa è molto piacevole e realistica.
  • The simplicity and usability of the M system
  • Very good battery life (around 600 shots)
  • The richness of the DNG files, easy to manage in Lightroom and rich in information especially in the shadows.
  • In general, the non-devaluation of Leica material. The tranquillity of an investment that can be recovered even after years.

Leica M 262

Leica M typ 262 – Why not

  • No Live View
  • No Wi-Fi
  • No video (not a minus for me, though)
  • Can not adapt third-party lenses
  • Not  possible to do Macro
  • In general, The high cost of the Leica world, any modification or change, that is a lens or a small accessory, costs so much.

That said, here’s how I’ll change my equipment

All these thoughts have brought me to a decision:

I must have two professional cameras dedicated to the two specific areas of photography I work in.

  • Travel e Street Photography: Leica M 262 / upgrade to Leica M10
  • Commercial and Still life (Food):  TBD (Sony Alpha/Canon/Leica?)

Surely there will be news short, but in the waiting, I would like to read some of your advice or experiences

A presto, grazie
Sabino

Traveling with a Leica M – my ideal set (VIDEO)

Tonight I gave myself a little last minute “cadeau” to complete my Leica M travel set: the small Skopar Voigtlander 21mm f4 that goes like a complete kit consisting of Summicron M 28mmf 2 ASPH, Summicron M 50mm f2 and Elmarit M 90 f2.8, all on the beautiful Leica M typ 262

Watch the video with the unboxing of the Voigtlander

thanks for watching,

a presto,
Sabino

New lens in my bag: Leica-M Summicron 28 f2 ASPH

In my long process of chasing the perfection, or better, the ideal combination of camera and lenses for my travel photography, today I’ve added an important and crucial masterpiece: the Leica-M Summicron 28 f2 ASPH, replacing the Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH. Given that I’m a very happy Leica user, after my switch from the DSLR world, I’ve decided to sell the ‘cron 35mm and replace it with the ‘cron 28mm, bought from my favourite dealer Newoldcamera in Milan (thanks, Ryuichi!). If you may don’t know him yet, I can highly recommend you!

Why i’ve decided to get rid of the 35mm?

well, besides the fact that the lens hasn’t fully convinced me with its quality, I’ve also realised that 28mm is the focal length that is much closer to my “street view”, as it adds a bit more elements to the frame i shoot and it allows me to also do landscapes. Furthermore, as my plan is to have 3 lenses to cover all my needs, i find the 28-50-90mm more complete than 29-35-90mm. Usually, my travel photography is about landscapes/street (20mm) –  portraits (50, 90mm) – close-up/details. (90mm).

My perfect travel combo now includes: 

 

Now, let’s have a look what’s in the box…

The package from NOC, perfectly arranged

The package from NOC, perfectly arranged

Leica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPHLeica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPHLeica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPHLeica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPHLeica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPHLeica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH
Leica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPHLeica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH

Leica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPHLeica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPHLeica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPHLeica M Summicron 28mm f2 ASPHView through the Summicron 28mm lensIt’s now time to test in on the street, i’m sure it will be my favourite lens. Stay tuned…

Ciao e a presto,
Sabino

Finding the Perfect Travel Camera Bag…

Which is the best Travel Camera Bag? or better… how should a perfect Travel Camera bag, be like (if it may ever exist)?
This subject can be easily underestimated, but to my opinion, this is the most important items for a photographer, even more than the camera itself,

this is the place where all your valuable gears will spend most of the time, protected from any potential damaging element like water, dust, knocks and bumps…

There are so many factors that can influence your decision on which bag to choose, like size, space, material, type, style and maybe even brand. Personally, I like the classic messenger bag but SHOULD NOT look like a photography bag (!), it should be stylish, elegant and comfortable to be used also at night or whenever I go out for a dinner or a special event. I don’t like people to clearly know that I’m carrying photography gears in my bag, even more, if I am in a poor or dangerous area and I have an expensive camera and lenses with me.

And I don’t care to be recognised as a photographer while I’m on the street as, when I want to take a picture, I want to be discreet and not intrusive.

After many years of trials with all kind of bags, now with a very light and portable equipment like the Leica M, actually I’ve found the perfect bag for the everyday use, and that is the ONA Leather Prince Street, that looks exactly like this:

The actual bag i use. ONA Leather Prince Street

The actual bag i use. ONA Leather Prince Street

ONA is a very good manufacturer who creates elegant and high-quality bags that are certainly expensive, but I can tell you out of my experience, the value worth the money you spend. Of course, I’m now considering a mirrorless alike equipment. I use it every day, no matter if I’m in the office or at the supermarket or at a special night event. It fits perfectly for every situation.

But on a long trip, I already know that this bag will be comfortable, because i normally need to carry more things, like for instance, a tripod, spare batteries, external charger for the smartphone, maps,iPadd, personal documents, small food and other goodies.

In short, when I travel, my bag is a “live” space, constantly in movement.

That’s why I’m now looking for a new one, similar to the Ona Prince, I meant stylish and comfortable, but with more pockets and spaces. But is so damn difficult to find a nice one as most of them have a very technical look and feel.

After some time spent in researches, the only ones that are very close to what I’m looking for are:

The Union Street (ONA) :

+ beautiful design and style
– very expensive
-no external pockets
-no place for a tripod

ONA Union Street

ONA Union Street

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-22-03-48

Manfrotto Messenger BeFree:

+the tripod pocket
+half price than the ONA
+very functional with lots of pockets
-not stylish (but not not that bad)

03-11-2016-18-07-1803-11-2016-18-06-56sac-photo-manfrotto-advanced-messnger-befree-jpg

These two bags are on my shortlist at the moment and if I don’t find any other alternative, I have to pick one by next week as my trip to Japan is now approaching (19 of November).

About you, have you found the “Perfect Travel Camera Bag”?

Ciao e a presto,
Sabino

Photowalk with an old Industar 50-2 on a Leica M

Imagine a lazy Sunday, sunny outside, pleasant temperature, what do you think a normal person would do? Just go outside and enjoy the weather, no?

But if you are a person like me, who thinks photography 24 hours per day, you will find for sure something to do with your gears…

So I’ve decided to clean and re-organize all my vintage lenses that were somehow sadly abandoned in few boxes due to a recent moving and, as I’m in the mind blowing process of deciding what gears shall I bring with me on my next trip Japan, I started playing with my Leica M and the Fotodiox M42 to LM adapter. I know, sounds a bit crazy, but why not give it a try, on a lazy Sunday…? 🙂

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

The first vintage lens I picked up was the little, cute, humble, Russian Industar-50-2 50mm f3.5. Now, the Leica M typ 262 does not have the live view, so, when you attach an M42 lens, you actually cannot focus using the telemetry, you cannot see the focus in the viewfinder…you can just use the Zone focusing system, estimate the distance, use your legs to move a little bit forward or backward, then click and hope that is the right one. If not, just try again. Funny, no?

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

With no special expectations, i just used a bag of flour on the table as a model, I tried a couple of time and…wooow…what a sharpness, incredible level of details…are you kidding me…¨? gosh, this is way far from what I was expecting. Check this out:

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100% crop: the level of details is for me very impressive, you can distinguish the print dots!

31-10-2016-12-21-59

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The plane was quite far, but you can clearly see it on 100% crop.

31-10-2016-12-23-53


Thrilled by this discovery, i went out for a walk, to do more tries and to get use to this challenging way of focusing and here are some pics.

hopefully it was a very sunny day with a warm sunset…

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Industar 50mm at f3.5

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Industar 50mm at f3.5

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Industar 50mm at f5.6

31-10-2016-12-26-49

100% Crop.. not bad uh?

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Industar 50mm at f5.6

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Industar 50mm at f5.6

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Industar 50mm at f5.6

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Industar 50mm at f5.6

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Industar 50mm at f5.6 (plus Lightroom post-production)

Final considerations

Certainly, It is not easy to use an adapted M42 lens on the Leica M 262, but with some exercises, you can take good pictures. I will probably put this small lens in my bag for my next trip to Japan, to use it in those cases where you don’t need to be fast, like landscapes or still images.

I will test other vintage lenses in the next days to see if i discover other little gems in my box. So keep following me!

Ciao,
Sabino

I’ve found the perfect travel tripod!

Finally, i may say!

Well, actually i’m not a frequent user of tripods as i mostly shoot in daytime and i do street photography, but, you know that, when you leave it at home, then it will happen that you really need it. In less than one month i will be in Japan for another amazing photography experience and i want to be as light and comfortable as possible.

I my personal process of reaching the perfection in terms of gears, after switching from Lowepro to Ona leather Prince Street bags (just beautiful and stylish), from Canon/Fujifilm to Leica M, now it was time to also upgrade to a new tripod, from my old Manfrotto MKC3-H01, bought in Singapore after i lost my previous one in the bay..but that’s another story… 🙂

Ok, then, why i needed to change my Manfrotto MKC3?
First of all, the overall design is not so nice with that fat handle who makes the complete head to big. Furthermore, this is a good tripod for really light and small cameras, but the maximum weight of 1,5 kg that it can support is really low and the legs, wide extended are not so stable. Said so, i was looking for something really compact, very light, but still sturdy and strong and not too expensive.

After some researches on the net i was always having as the best choice, the Manfrotto BeFree, but  price of around 270€, still not so cheap and above my budget. But it seemed the only choice i had so I was almost going to take it, but, as i always do, i wanted to see it and feel it in real, so i went to a big store here in Luxembourg. Once by the shelf, I’ve spotted immediately the BeFree, well promoted, but, just beside, there was another very sexy and compact tripod… mmh.. i thought “that’s maybe a compact camera tripod, or it will cost a lot… cannot be an alternative to the BeFree…”…

Then I started reading the specs, label and playing with it, open widely and wooow, so light and compact and with a load capacity of 8Kg and carbon material … double wow.. The price is a bit still too much, 230€, but i may find a good deal at amazon warehouse… but, out of that…that’s the one! Once back at home i immediately checked on Amazon De, and i found a refurbished one at 168€… after few seconds it was already in my shopping basket and now here it is to my desk:

Rollei Compact Traveler No 1 Carbon

This is my new travel tripod!

Other than the great features listed above, there are some more that are very interesting, first of all, the possibility to transform it in a monopod, and that’s fantastic, because sometimes i wanted to have a monopod but it was not justified to buy a new one. Also the way it closes with the head turned upside down between the legs makes it even more compact ( only 33cm) and it weights less than one kilo!

And, the package includes some very useful spikes for stability on the ground, a 360 degrees ball head with an Arca Swiss compatible camera quick release and a shoulder strap. Last but not less important, a 360 degrees rotating center column hook ti attach additional weight.

What do i need more? It has everything i was looking for and not it is time to test it on the field.
Before that, check here some descriptive pictures.

The new Rollei Traveler N1 carbon tripod

The new Rollei Traveler N1 carbon tripod package

The new Rollei Traveler N1 carbon tripod

What’s in the box…

The new Rollei Traveler N1 carbon tripod

Very small and light tripod

The new Rollei Traveler N1 carbon tripod

Easy to handle with one hand

The new Rollei Traveler N1 carbon tripod

The tripod at its basic position, no extended modules

The new Rollei Traveler N1 carbon tripod

Detail of the grip system to extend/close the legs. I find it very easy and fast.

The new Rollei Traveler N1 carbon tripod

The tripod at its maximum extension. Although looks slim it is very stable. 

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

Detail of the head grip

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

Detail of the head with my Leica M-262 mounted on

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

Detail of the head with my Leica M-262 mounted on

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod with my Leica M-262 mounted on

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

Detail of the tripod head

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

Details of the legs

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

The head has also i useful level bubble.

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

The legs can be positioned completely down to the floror

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

The legs can be positioned completely down to the floror

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

The legs can be positioned completely down to the floror

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

The legs can be positioned completely down to the floror

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

By removing the plastic cap on the leg end you have a better grip on muddy or soft ground surfaces

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

The tripod comes with a useful strap for transport

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

The tripod comes with a useful strap for transport

The new Rollei Traveler carbon tripod

The tripod comes with a useful strap for transport

The new Rollei Traveler N1 carbon tripod

The tripod comes with a useful strap for transport

That’s all, folks!

Sab