Tag Archives: leica m

Nikkor 8mm Fisheye On A Leica M Type 240

The Joy Of Mirrorless Cameras

The inside of a washing machine drum, photographed on a fisheye lens. July 07, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian Shot using a Nikkor 8mm Fisheye lens on a Leica M (Type 240), using a Novoflex Nikon to Leica M adapter.

The inside of a washing machine drum, photographed on a fisheye lens. July 07, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian
Shot using a Nikkor 8mm Fisheye lens on a Leica M (Type 240), using a Novoflex Nikon to Leica M adapter.

One of the joys of mirrorless cameras is the ability to mount practically every lens made by every manufacturer, using the appropriate adapter. The Leica M rangefinder, being the mother of all mirrorless cameras (going back to 1954), made the perfect camera to try out my old, vintage Nikkor 8mm f8 fisheye lens. Especially as the camera has a full frame sensor so can display the circular fisheye perfectly. With the Leica M (Type 240)’s Live View, the camera was ideal.

Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. London. July 06, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. London. July 06, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. London. July 06, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. London. July 06, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Photographing the inside of a Bosch washing machine drum. Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. London. July 07, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Photographing the inside of a Bosch washing machine drum. Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. London. July 07, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

My favourite lens adapters are made by Novoflex (available in the UK from Speed Graphic). With a lot of research and help from the wise folks at the Leica Users Forum, we deduced that the Nikkor would fit (it has a very deep rear element. When used on an SLR, the mirror has to be locked up before the lens is mounted).

***DISCLAIMER – you need to realise that mounting any non standard lens to your camera has it’s own risks. Do your research carefully as you will have to take full responsibility if anything goes wrong! I am not liable for any mistakes, accidents or damage and do not encourage you to try this!***

Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. London. July 06, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. London. July 06, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

These are early days and I’m going to explore using this circular fisheye, but I wanted to share the journey so far. The only proper picture I’ve made so far is the washing machine drum, but there will be more to come, so keep an eye on my Flickr page!

More Nikkor 8mm Fisheye on Leica pictures HERE.

Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. London. July 06, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. London. July 06, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. The stairwell. London. July 06, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Nikkor 8mm Fisheye Lens On Leica M (Type 240) Test, using Novoflex adapter. The stairwell. London. July 06, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The Leica M Accessories

Accessorising The New Leica M Camera

Rather than changing the classic lines of the Leica rangefinder, Leica have instead opted to bring out a range of accessories that transform the image making machine into an even more capable tool, taking it beyond it’s traditional charm and ability as a classic rangefinder.

Leica R-Adapter M

The Leica M. Shown with the multifunctional Handgrip-M, optional finger loop, Leica R-Adapter M (and a Leica R 70-180mm zoom lens) and Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder. Photo: © Leica

One of the big upsets amongst Leica users who had the R range of Leica SLRs and lenses has always been the lack of an DSLR solution. The Leica S2 definitely brought the DSLR aspect, but is firstly aimed at the studio environment with it’s medium format chip, but also has it’s own S lenses, making the R lenses still unusable. Thankfully, the Leica M changes things and with the R-Adapter M, the majority Leica’s superb R lenses can now be used. This now opens up the ability to shoot with telephoto, macro and zooms, for photography as well as video. The adapter will be priced at £215 and as with all the new accessories, available from early 2013.

Leica EVF2

The Leica M. Shown with the multifunctional Handgrip-M, optional finger loop, Leica R-Adapter M (and an R lens) and Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder. Photo: © Leica

In the old days of film, some Leica M models had Visoflex attachments which brought SLR abilities. These were cumbersome and slow to operate. Thankfully, the modern day equivalent isn’t. The EVF2 is a 1.4 megapixel electronic viewfinder that allows through the lens viewing when using Live View for both photography and video. It simply slots onto the hotshoe and into the small interface slot under the hotshoe, on the back of the camera. It can also be tilted 90 degrees, allowing for low angle work with comfort. Having seen the quality of the image from this viewfinder on the Leica X2, it is going to provide an ideal solution for shooting with the camera to the eye. Although the rear screen of the camera can be used for using Leica R lenses or shooting video, the EVF2 will extend the way the camera can be used, and will for most I suspect, be a must buy item. The EVF2 will be priced at £360.

Multifunctional Handgrip-M

This smart grip brings with it several functions; it incorporates GPS, allowing tagging of image location straight into the image’s EXIF.

The Leica M. Shown with the multifunctional Handgrip-M, optional finger loop, Leica R-Adapter M (and a Leica R 70-180mm zoom lens) and Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder. Photo: © Leica

The grip also offers the ability to use a flash when the normal hotshoe is occupied with the EVF2, using a dedicated SCA adapter and hotshoe, duplicating all of the normal hotshoe’s flash abilities.There will also be an extension cable with a flash bar to allow off camera flash using the grip. For those who prefer it, the grip also offers the ability to attach finger loops, first seen on the limited edition Leica M9 Titanium. The Multifunctional Handgrip-M will be £630. For those who may not need these functions, there is also going to be a Standard Handgrip-M for £209. I think for using the much larger and heavier Leica R lenses, a handgrip is going to be an absolute necessity.

Microphone Adapter Set

An absolutely essential aspect of video is great audio. Most people who work in the film business will in fact tell you that sound is 60% of the final product. It’s great to see that the Leica M is going to have the ability to use an external microphone, for which this adapter will be required.

The adapter slots into the hotshoe and plugs into the interface on the rear of the camera, allowing mono and stereo mini jack microphones to be used. Although the press release or the supplied images do not show this, I’m hopeful that there may be the ability to also mount a microphone to the secondary hotshoe available on the Multifunctional Handgrip-M. If this doesn’t turn out to be so, there are many other options already on the market for attaching a microphone, so I’m not too worried, although this would be an extremely neat solution.

Mounting the brilliant yet tiny Rode VideoMic Pro to the Leica M should make for a superb, compact and ultra high quality video shooting setup. I really cannot wait to try this out! The Microphone Adapter Set will be £150.

Leica Press Release

New accessories for LEICA M

Range of accessories for new LEICA M camera expands potential beyond traditional rangefinder capabilities

Photokina, Cologne, 17 September 2012: Leica Camera AG has unveiled a new range of accessories for the Leica M, increasing the potential use of the camera far beyond the classic capabilities of rangefinder photography. The accessories include the Leica R-Adapter M, Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder, a Multifunctional Handgrip-M with optional finger loops, and a Leica Microphone Adapter Set, all compatible with the new Leica M, which was also announced today.

The Leica R-Adapter M enables almost all Leica R-Lenses ever built to be mounted on the new Leica M. Users can access a list of 20 dedicated profiles – including calibrated imaging workflows and Exif lens recognition – for a range of R-Lenses covering wide-angles, telephoto, zoom and macro options. This comprehensive portfolio opens up new potential for Leica M photographers, including, for example, video recording with Leica R zoom lenses.

The optional accessories range also includes a high-resolution, electronic Visoflex viewfinder. The Leica EVF2 has a resolution of 1.4 megapixels, and offers 90° rotation for capturing images from unusual angles. When mounted on the camera, it displays all significant exposure parameters and allows precise subject assessment, and is particularly useful when shooting in brightly lit surroundings. Using the R- Adapter M, R-Lenses and viewfinder, the Leica M can be used independently from its monitor in the same way as a DSLR camera.

Also new is the Multifunctional Handgrip-M, which features an integrated GPS module. With this handgrip, the user can record precise geographical information in the image’s EXIF data (i.e. geotagging), enabling the photographer to sort and display images according to location. Facilitating the use of a separate flash unit when an accessory viewfinder is mounted on the camera, the Multifunctional Handgrip-M also provides a dedicated SCA hot shoe that communicates with the camera in the same way as its own hot shoe. The Leica SCA Adapter Set is also available for this purpose. The set comprises a flash bar and a spiral cable with a hot shoe. In addition, the Multifunctional Handgrip-M provides a socket for a remote power supply, as well as a DIN/ISO X-sync socket for studio flash systems. An optional remote power unit (DC Adapter) is also available.

Furthermore, the Leica M can be connected directly to a computer workstation via the handgrip’s integrated USB socket. This allows full remote control of the camera with the ‘Leica Image Shuttle’ software provided, and the transfer of image files directly to the computer by USB cable.

The Multifunctional Handgrip-M is also a valuable aid to safe and steady handling of the camera, particularly when shooting with heavier R-lenses. The optional finger loops, which come in three sizes (S, M and L) further enhance safe and steady handling of the camera and lens system. These can be used in combination with the standard Handgrip-M, which is also available as an optional accessory.

Ensuring high quality sound with the 1080p Full HD video capability of the Leica M, a Leica Microphone Adapter Set, consisting of an adapter and stereo microphone, is also available. Other brands of microphone may also be connected using this adapter.

A new ever-ready case completes the range of accessories for the Leica M.

Pricing and availability

The Leica M range of accessories is scheduled to be available in the UK from early 2013 from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk. Suggested retail prices including VAT are as follows:

Leica R-Adapter M – £215 Multifunctional Handgrip-M – £630 Standard Handgrip-M – £209 Optional Finger Loops (S, M, L) – £80

The Leica M

Leica’s new digital M camera

Tonight (8pm GMT) Leica Camera made several announcements for new products at Photokina in Cologne, Germany. This particular announcement, I must admit, has me buzzing with creative energy.

The Leica M. Photo: © Leica

The Leica M is by far the most versatile rangefinder camera ever produced. Although the rangefinder system dates back to the 1950s design used for the Leica M3, which the new Leica M also incorporates, it has other methods of focusing as well. It’s important to note that for purists, the rangefinder system works as it has done before on the M cameras and is not compromised.

The Leica M, Leica R-Adapter M (and an Leica R 28-90mm zoom lens) and Leica EVF2 electronic viewfinder. Photo: © Leica

The new additional focusing systems is Live View. This means that the photographer uses the rear screen, a 3”, 920,000 pixel screen which is covered by tough Gorilla Glass or the new Leica EVF2 optional electronic 1.4 megapixel viewfinder, to view the image through the lens. This opens up huge possibilities of mounting the Leica R range of lenses using the also announced Leica R-Adapter M. This opens up the world of telephoto, zoom and macro lenses (and although not mentioned on the press release, I imagine also fisheye photography. As with the world of Micro 4/3, I’m guessing that there will be the opportunity for third parties to make adapters, allowing all sorts of lenses from various manufacturers, even including tilt and shift and PL mount, to be mounted on the new Leica M. The huge advantage though here over every other camera in the market though is that the Leica M is full frame). The Live View has a magnification function and also focus peaking functions to fine tune focusing.

My wish since getting my Leica 50mm f0.95 Noctilux ASPH has been to use it to shoot video, and I’m thrilled to see that full 1080p HD video is available on the new Leica M. To be able to shoot video using Leica M and R lenses is going to be truly magical and I can’t wait to get my hands on this camera! The camera offers 1080p and 720p, at 24fps and 25fps, and 640×480(VGA) at 30fps shooting resolutions, in Motion jpeg or Quicktime format. For audio there is an external mono or stereo mini-jack microphone adapter available. Most importantly for audio, along with auto level adjustment, there is full manual gain control as well, even whilst filming; this is a great and needed facility.

The Leica M. Photo: © Leica

The Leica M, rear view. Photo: © Leica

The Leica M, top view. Photo: © Leica

Naturally the M9’s CCD chip could not support Live View, for which a CMOS chip is needed. Leica have collaborated with CMOSIS and designed a new chip for the Leica M. The full frame Leica Max CMOS image sensor has 24 megapixels and a sensitivity range of 200 to 6400 ISO (up from the M9’s 160 to 2500 ISO), with a pull 100 ISO setting. The new digital processing engine is the Leica Maestro chip, also deployed in the Leica S2, which promises higher image quality and speed. The entire digital workflow of images is now under Leica’s control which promises even higher imaging capabilities than previously achieved.

The Leica M. Shown with the multifunctional Handgrip-M, which features an integrated GPS module and dedicated SCA hot shoe. Photo: © Leica

Having worked with my M9 and M9-P extensively for years, occasionally in the rain, I’ve never had a problem with moisture ingress. The good news is that Leica have made mention of special rubber seals to protect the camera from spray, dust and moisture, which makes me thing it’s sealed even better against the elements.

The Leica M in silver chrome finish. Photo: © Leica

The Leica M will be available in black or silver chrome and is expected in the UK in early 2013 with a suggested retail price of £5,100 including VAT.

Thoughts

Having been a Leica photographer since 1989, and using the Leica M9 for three years now, I’m really excited by the specification and look of this new camera. It’s by far my favourite camera system to use and accounts for around 80% of my work. I also use Canon’s DSLR system for the rest of my work, when needing telephoto, macro, fisheye and tilt and shift lenses, and also for video. I can see the Leica M taking over all of these functions, leaving the Canon DSLRs for work that needs fast moving AF and fast drive speeds.

Leica have taken the classic Leica M camera, with it’s discreet look and size, kept it’s fabulously traditional operating interface of shutter dial and aperture ring, yet incorporated Live View and full 1080p HD video, with all the needed options, in practically the same body.  At a quick glance, it’s impossible to tell the difference with the M9 (the Leica M is 5mm taller and is 95g heavier), yet the Leica M has so much more to it. It has the best of the traditional Leica and the best of modern digital photography and video. The announced accessories (see the separate post) support and add to the camera’s abilities and are a perfect match. It’s a brilliant achievement and I really cannot wait to shoot with this camera; I have a strong suspicion that it will be awesome!

Videos




Leica Press Release

The LEICA M: a new milestone in digital rangefinder technology

Most versatile rangefinder camera yet includes high performance sensor and processing technology, three focusing options including Live View, Full HD video recording and compatibility with Leica R-Lenses

Photokina, Cologne, 17 September 2012: Leica Camera AG has today announced a groundbreaking milestone in the history of the Leica rangefinder system: the Leica M. As the first camera to implement a newly designed and constructed CMOS image sensor, and to feature additional focusing methods and functions such as Live View and Full HD video capability, this is the most versatile model ever in the history of the Leica rangefinder camera, and sets entirely new standards.

The Leica M combines the advantages of digital innovation with rangefinder technology that has been continuously perfected over decades. At the same time, it remains true to the legendary values of the M- System, while expanding the opportunities offered by rangefinder photography – and, for the first time, offers compatibility with Leica-R legacy lenses.

The Leica M also marks the beginning of a new era in Leica’s product naming policy. In future, Leica M and S model names will omit the number suffix to emphasise the long-term significance and enduring value of the respective systems.

The Leica M is the first in a long line of Leica rangefinder cameras to feature a completely new development in sensor technology: the Leica Max CMOS image sensor. This 24 megapixel, full 35mm format sensor was designed and constructed in collaboration with CMOSIS specifically for the camera and its use with Leica M- and R-Lenses. This new development successfully transfers the characteristic advantages of CCD sensors, such as natural and brilliant colour rendition and impressive reproduction of detail, to a CMOS sensor.

In combination with the high-performance Leica Maestro processor, which is also employed in Leica S cameras, this new full format sensor ensures maximum image quality and speed. All elements in the image creation chain, from the lens to the resulting image file, are now under complete control of Leica’s engineers, guaranteeing the ultimate in image performance and quality. A further key feature is the low power consumption of the components which, in conjunction with the high battery capacity, ensures outstanding performance over a long shooting period.

The Leica M offers a multitude of new features. The first of these are Live View and Live View Focus, where image composition can take place in real time with the view of the subject through the lens. The sharpness, exposure and colour content of images can be precisely assessed on the camera’s large, 3”, high-resolution 920,000 pixel screen. The glass covering plate of the monitor screen is manufactured from particularly tough and scratch-resistant Corning® Gorilla® Glass.

Thanks to the Live View function, photographers now have access to entirely new opportunities that, in combination with the outstanding performance of Leica M- and R-Lenses, go far beyond the classic capabilities of rangefinder photography. This applies particularly in macro and telephoto photography, and allows even more discreet shooting. In combination with M- and R-Lenses, the camera’s new 1080p Full HD video mode also opens up completely new possibilities.

The Leica M offers two additional focusing methods that can be activated quickly and easily with the new focus button, giving M-Photographers even more options for capturing outstandingly sharp images. The ‘Live View Zoom’ option enables up to 10x magnification for precise assessment of the sharpness of subject details or the close focusing limit. The second aid to focusing is ‘Live View Focus Peaking’. With this feature, contours of the subject are automatically displayed as red lines to allow simple and convenient focus assessment. Focusing precision can be reviewed on the basis of the intensity of the lines displayed.

All new features of the camera have been optimised for the Leica rangefinder system, and ensure the renowned dependability of the Leica M in all shooting situations, from available light photography to discreet and aesthetic fine-art image composition. In line with the principles of the M-Philosophy, all functions and features are designed and constructed for absolute robustness and a long working life. The top and base plates of the Leica M are machined from solid brass, and the full-metal chassis is a completely self-contained, die-cast element manufactured from high-strength magnesium alloy. Special rubber seals protect the camera body against dust, spray and moisture.

The new rangefinder camera is also a typical ‘M’ thanks to its intuitive handling, with direct manual setting options and fast access to functions. The new layout and user-friendly operation of the menu interface guarantee a clear and uncomplicated overview of the camera settings. Dedicated button controls have been provided for the Live View and new focusing functions, and Live View Zoom and Live View Focus Peaking can be selected with the new focus button on the front of the camera. User profiles can be programmed with any camera and shooting settings, stored under a specific, user-selected name, and accessed quickly whenever required for particular situations. The profiles can also now be saved to an SD memory card. For improved comfort when shooting, the Leica M features an ergonomically formed thumb rest with an integrated setting dial at the top right, on the back of the top plate. This ensures the camera can be held securely in even the most demanding situations.

A wide range of optional accessories is available for the new Leica M. Of particular note is the new Leica R-Adapter M, which allows almost all Leica R-Lenses ever built to be mounted on the camera. Further accessories include the Leica EVF 2 (Visoflex electronic viewfinder) and the Multifunctional Handgrip-M with an integrated GPS module that, in combination with optional finger loops in various sizes (S, M and L), helps to ensure safe and steady handling of the camera and lens system. The range also includes a Leica Microphone Adapter set to ensure high quality sound with video recordings.

The Leica M will be available in a discreet black paint version, or an elegant silver chrome finish.

Pricing and availability

The Leica M in black paint or silver chrome finish is scheduled to be available in the UK at a suggested retail price of £5,100 inc VAT from early 2013, from authorised Leica dealers including the Leica Store Mayfair: www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk, tel: 020 7629 1351. A full list of authorised UK Leica dealers is available at www.leica-camera.co.uk.

Leica warranty and added value services

The Leica M comes with a two-year warranty and a one-year Leica UK ‘Passport’ (complimentary accidental damage cover). UK customers are also welcome to visit the Leica Store and Akademie in Mayfair, London, for a complimentary demonstration or training session on the features of the camera. Technical support by telephone or in person is available via Leica’s London-based Client Care department.

The Leica M in silver chrome finish. Photo: © Leica

Video Review – Leica Noctilux 50mm f0.95

Here’s a video review from Digital Rev on my favourite ever lens; the Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH.

You can see a selection of shots with this lens on my Flickr.