Category Archives: Leica

First Look At Sigma L-Mount Lenses

Art line prime lens lineup for full-frame cameras with L-Mount

Pre-production Sigma Art line prime lens lineup for full-frame cameras in L-Mount. L-R: Sigma Mount Converter MC-21 (allows Canon EF mount lenses to be used with L-Mount cameras), SIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art and SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lenses, with a Panasonic Lumix S1R full frame mirrorless camera (the lenses and adapter are prototype mockups and final production may vary). March 17, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

A joy to get a sneak peek at three of the newly announced Sigma L-Mount Art lenses and also the hotly awaited mount adapter. The samples were in large non working prototypes, but they gave a really good idea of weight, finish and handling.

My already huge fondness of the Lumix S1 and S1R took another leap upwards after initially hearing of the launch lineup, but having seen the quality of these lenses, I’m confident the future of the L Mount, with the L Mount Alliance (Leica, Lumix and Sigma), is going to be very bright indeed (as well as being pin sharp, with great tonal rendition!).

Pre-production Sigma Art line prime lens lineup for full-frame cameras in L-Mount. L-R: SIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art and SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lenses, with a Panasonic Lumix S1R full frame mirrorless camera (the lenses and adapter are prototype mockups and final production may vary). March 17, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

British Life Photography Awards Exhibition

BLPA Exhibition Opening, Mall Galleries, London

Photographer Edmond Terakopian by his winning image in the Life At Work category. British Life Photography Awards Exhibition Private View and Awards Evening. Mall Galleries, The Mall, London, UK. February 19, 2019. Photo: Linda Wisdom

Absolutely thrilled to have attended the private view of the exhibition and the prize giving last night of the British Life Photography Awards. I was overjoyed to find one of my images had won the Life At Work category and I also had three other images commended by the judges.

British Life Photography Awards Exhibition Private View and Awards Evening. Mall Galleries, The Mall, London, UK. February 19, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The winning image and commended images can be seen on my previous blog post, along with details on the Panasonic Lumix, Leica M and Olympus OM-D cameras used.

British Life Photography Awards Exhibition Private View and Awards Evening. Mall Galleries, The Mall, London, UK. February 19, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The exhibition is on tour at these venues (check opening times locally):

  • Mall Galleries, London 18th to 23rd February 2019 
  • Banbury Museum, Banbury 16th March to 12th May 2019 
  • The Garden Rooms at Tennants, Leyburn, North Yorkshire 20th July to 3rd September 2019 
  • Redbrick building, Glastonbury, Somerset, 14th September to 13th October 2019

Many thanks to the organisers, judges and sponsors of this wonderful competition along with my congratulations to all the selected photographers. Lovely to meet so many of you at the awards’ evening.

British Life Photography Awards Exhibition Private View and Awards Evening. Mall Galleries, The Mall, London, UK. February 19, 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

British Life Photography Awards 2018

Winning Image, “Life At Work”

Thrilled to start the new year with some wonderful news! I’m extremely happy to share that the photograph “Love Your Job” has won the Life At Work category of the British Life Photography Awards 2018.

A heavy downpour of rain soaks pedestrians as they pass an illuminated advertising sign saying “Love Your Job”. Hammersmith, London. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian
  • Leica M9
  • Leica 35mm Summicron ASPH

The good news continues as the judges have very kindly commended three of my other photographs.

A child runs around whilst bathed in rays of sunlight in the turbine hall. Tate Modern, during a heat wave bank holiday. Bankside, London, UK. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian
  • Panasonic Lumix G9
  • Leica DG 50-200mm f2.8-4.0
A portrait of model Jordan Ebbitt. London. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8PRO
Behind the scenes as Sotheby’s prepares the Gunter Sachs Collection for sale (2012). Sotheby’s will be offering close to 300 works of art from the prestigious single owner collection. Allen Jones’ mannequin furniture (1969) from Gunter Sach’s bedroom in St Moritz. Each individual piece is estimated at £30-40,000. Hatstand and Table are unwrapped by the technicians. Sotheby’s, New Bond Street, London. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian
  • Leica M9
  • Leica 35mm Summilux (FLE)

Exhibition

Many congratulations to all the winners; there are some truly beautiful photographs selected by the judges. The winning and commended images will be exhibited in a travelling exhibition, which I hope many of you will be able to see. A book of the selected images from 2018 will also be published (but is not yet listed, so keep an eye out on the website).

  • Mall Galleries, London 18th to 23rd February 2019 
  • Banbury Museum, Banbury 16th March to 12th May 2019 
  • The Garden Rooms at Tennants, Leyburn, North Yorkshire 20th July to 3rd September 2019 
  • Redbrick building, Glastonbury, Somerset, 14th September to 13th October 2019

The post processing of the images were done on my Apple Mac Pro using Eizo CG monitors, using Adobe Lightroom (and finished in either Alienskin Exposure or Nik Collection Silver Efex Pro plugins).

Leica CL – Hands On

Hands On Preview Of The New Leica CL

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Photographer Edmond Terakopian with the newly announced Leica CL. Leica CL Press Launch. The Den, 45 St Martin’s Lane, London. November 21, 2017. Photo: Robin Sinha

I used to really like my Leica X1; superb quality, large sensor compact camera, with a fixed Leica lens, capable of professional results in a small body. It was with me at all times and I used it on assignments as well as my personal work. Alas, it needed to have a proper electronic viewfinder and equally as importantly, interchangeable lenses. The radically conceptual and interesting Leica TL and TL2 addressed the interchangeable lens issue, but to my dismay didn’t have a built in viewfinder. Although I do sometimes shoot using the rear screen, I’m definitely a viewfinder user and a slide on viewfinder (be it optical or digital) whilst useful, isn’t the answer. They’re inelegant, get in the way, add bulk, come off and can easily be lost.

The rumour mills started showing leaked images of the Leica CL. An interchangeable lens, compact mirrorless camera with a built in viewfinder. Of course, one can never trust these rumours, but when I received an invitation by the lovely folks at Leica UK for a press launch, I realised this may just be for real. I’m delighted to say, it is a reality.

It’s a truly beautiful and elegant design, sharing a look very reminiscent of it’s great grandfather, the Leica III. Even without the red dot, it is instantly recognisable as a Leica and carries this heritage forward. The design, craftsmanship and build quality are really top notch. This is definitely a “real Leica”. It feels right in the hand.

Leica CL Test Shoot-20180104-147

A portrait of Arteh Odjidja at the Leica CL Press Launch. Test shot using the Summilux-TL 35 f/1.4 ASPH. The Den, 45 St Martin’s Lane, London. November 21, 2017. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The mark of a well thought out design, one crafted by engineers who are passionate photographers and not just very clever folk, is that when you pick it up, you can just start to use it. Without looking at a manual or much fuss at all, I took to its beautifully designed and elegant switchgear; ergonomics which have been thought through just make the camera a very natural and comfortable extension of the photographer. The twin dials with push down control clicks and a small screen between them means that modes and settings can quickly be navigated not only without fuss, but very naturally. My only gripe here is that in manual mode, it would be nice to be able to change the dials’ functions so that shutter speed and aperture can be swapped around if needed. Hopefully a firmware upgrade can take care of that.

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A portrait of Robin Sinha at the Leica CL Press Launch. Test shot using the Summilux-TL 35 f/1.4 ASPH. The Den, 45 St Martin’s Lane, London. November 21, 2017. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

When other camera manufacturers look at the simplicity and elegance of design with a perfect layout of buttons, dials and screens, they’ll hopefully realise that shoving extraneous buttons all over their camera’s isn’t really necessary and is in fact counterproductive to photography. The same can be said of the menu system, which essentially includes a favourite’s page and is very elegantly done. No PhDs needed to operate this menu system!

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the specifications online, but the main points are:

24.2mp APS-C CMOS sensor with a 14 stop dynamic range

ISO range of 100 to 50000

10 frames a second on continuous drive (with three speed settings for continuous) with a 33 frame buffer (jpeg and raw DNG)

Flash sync speed of 1/180th

EVF has 2.3mp with an eye relief of 20 mm (superb for spectacle wearers)

The autofocus system is contrast based and has 49 points

The files lend themselves beautifully to the monochrome treatment; the lenses and sensor being matched nicely to get a smooth and wide tonal range also produce a phenomenal dynamic range. All the key ingredients for beautiful black and white photography are present.

I had the camera for around 20 minutes, so of course this post isn’t an exhaustive test. Some colleagues whose opinion I value have had more time with the camera, and I will post some links at the end of this article. However, one thing I can usually tell in the first few minutes of picking up a new camera is if it’s going to work for me. The Leica CL gave me the feeling that it definitely will. It’s right in the hand, focuses quickly and accurately, has a decent amount of AF points spread across the frame, has a fast drive when needed, intelligent menu system and of course, has Leica lenses. The main reason for me choosing Leica, by far, is the Leica lens. I made this decision back in early 90s when I bought my first Leica (an M4-2) after having tried an M3 for a few weeks back in 1989. Another wonderful thing about the CL is that with an adapter, Leica M lenses can be fitted and used (with a x1.5 crop factor).

I do wish it had a few things though. I would have really liked to see a joystick on the back for moving the AF point around quickly with he camera to the eye. I feel any serious camera needs to have a joystick. A built in stabiliser would have also been most welcome. Although the video specs are good, I didn’t even bother to shoot video as there are no microphone or headphone sockets, so perhaps having these would have been a nice touch, making the camera more usable, but I assume it would have added bulk.

As with any conversation involving Leica, the price always comes up. I’ve already had several conversations about pricing with friends and colleagues on my social media. Leica have always been more costly. No compromise lens design and low quantity manufacturing has always meant that price wise they will never be on par with the gigantic Japanese manufacturers. However, if the look and feel you get from your images is important to your work, then a Leica will help bring out that much more from that moment when you decide to press the shutter release.

The full frame bigger brother, the Leica SL, was of course Leica’s first mirrorless, interchangeable lensed, built in EVF camera. Some very impressive specs, beautiful image quality and absolutely stellar lenses, alas never convinced me to get one. Simply because the lenses were huge. Smaller lenses are rumoured to be on their way though, so perhaps I may reevaluate my stance in the future. Until that moment, for me, the CL is Leica doing mirrorless correctly. It ticks so many boxes and feels absolutely right in the hand and in use. Dear Santa……

 

My Leica CL Flickr Album

Some atmospheric photographs of the Leica CL from Leica Camera.

Further Reading about the Leica CL:

Sarah M Lee puts the new Leica CL through its paces; TENDER ARE THE NIGHTHAWKS

Testing The Leica CL, by Jono Slack

Leica CL Review by Andy Westlake

 

12TH BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS

Five Images Nominated By Judges


Happy to share that five of my images were nominated by the judges of the Black and White Spider Awards, in the professional section, across five different categories.

“Spider Awards 2017 proves once again to be a great challenge for the jury to select the best images of the year. Every year this photographic competition increases its quality of content, reputation and prestige” said juror Andrea de Polo, Cultural Heritage Consultant at Fratelli Alinari Photo Archive in Florence.

Curator and Arts Writer Paola Anselmi added “Congratulations to all the winners. A great deal of humanity and soul in this year’s selection, maybe it is a sign of the times and a promise for future awards and photography in general.”

“This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in black and white photography.”

Portrait Category

La finta giardiniera

Ida Ränzlöv, singing the part of Arminda, Anchise’s niece, waits backstage for her cue. Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. Dress rehearsal. Royal College of Music Opera School, Prince Consort Road, London.

Shot on an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and Voigtlander 17.5mm Nokton f0.95 lens.

People Category

Aromi Ice Cream

A lady serves ice cream at Aromi cafe, Cambridge.

Shot on a Leica M Monochrom (M-246) and vintage 1959 Leitz 50mm Summilux.

Children Of The World Category

Westminster Cathedral Choir School

Chorister (L-R) Lukas Siemens, Connor Carnathan, Elliot Bowes and Freddie Sparke. Westminster Cathedral Choir School. The choir rehearsing in Westminster Cathedral, London.

Shot on a Fujifilm GFX-50S and Fujinon GF63mm lens.

Fine Art Category

Tower Hill 20161214-412-20161214-723-Edit

Corridors at the Citizen M hotel, Tower Hill, London.

Shot on an Olympus PEN-F and M.Zuiko 25mm lens.

Advertising Category

Tower Hill 20161214-193-20161214-286

Hanson cement mixer lorry, Tower Hill, London.

Shot on an Olympus PEN-F, using a Nikkor 24mm f2 and a tilt adapter.

The images were all shot in raw and processed in Adobe Lightroom and finished in Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro.

2017 TZIPAC Zebra Awards

Four Images In The Finals

Martini Porsche 911

Happy to share that four of my images are finalists in the 5th Zebra Awards and a further five managed to reach the second stage of judging. Many thanks to all the judges and congratulations to all the winners and other finalists.

Finalists

Shot on an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and a Voigtlander 17.5mm Nokton f0.95 lens.

Shot on a Leica M (Type 240) and a Leica 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE lens.

Shot on an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and an Olympus 17mm f1.8 lens.

Shot on an Olympus PEN-F with a tilt adapter and a Nikon 24mm f2.0 lens.

Second Stage Images

Shot on a Leica M Monochrom (Type 246) and a vintage Leica 50mm Summilux lens.

Shot on an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and a Voigtlander 17.5mm Nokton f0.95 lens.

Shot on an Olympus PEN-F and an Olympus 25mm f1.8 lens.

Shot on a Leica M Monochrom (Type 246) and a vintage Leica 50mm Summilux lens.

Shot on an Olympus PEN-F and an Olympus 25mm f1.8 lens.

10th Annual International Color Awards

Two Images Nominated By Judges

international-color-awards_nominee-10th

Delighted to share that two of my images were nominated in the 10th Annual International Color Awards. Alas no wins, but still nice to get a couple of images chosen out of the 6178 entries. In a slight departure from my normal work, one of the images was in the Abstract category and the other in Fine Art.

Nominee in Abstract | Backstage Light

Hänsel und Gretel

A backstage light at the end of the cross over tunnel. Hänsel und Gretel, Royal College of Music, London. June 29, 2016.

 

This was shot on an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II using a Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f0.95 lens. The raw image was processed in Adobe Lightroom and finished in Alienskin Exposure X2.

Nominee in Fine Art | Light

Light-20160523-017-Edit-Edit

The cold blue of the early morning light is warmed by an artifical lightbulb in a stair way. London. May 23, 2016.

This was shot on a Leica M (Type 240) using a Leica 50mm Noctilux ASPH lens. The raw image was processed in Adobe Lightroom and finished in Alienskin Exposure X2.