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Oracle on a Tripod — all Greek to me Posted on March 3, 2017 by William Fagan
03rd March 2017
Oracle on a Tripod — all Greek to me
Posted on March 3, 2017 by William Fagan

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Monthly Leica meets in Bristol
21st February 2017
Monthly Leica meets in Bristol

London Camera Exchange Bristol (Baldwin Street) will be hosting a monthly social meet and photo walk, named Bristol Leica Social. The first meeting will be on April 1st, 2017, and on the first Saturday of every month thereafter.

Each meet will start at the store, at 9am, (3 Alliance House,Baldwin Street, BS1 1SA) then divide into smaller groups for a photo walk around the centre, meeting at a café at 12 noon to compare images and, of course, discuss all things Leica.

For more information please contact LCE on 0117 929 1935. Please note that there are two branches of London Camera Exchange in Bristol. The Leica specialist Baldwin Street branch is near the Waterfront area of the city.
New Russar+ 5.6/20 L39/M
06th February 2017
New Russar+
Discover our stunning brass-bodied wide-angle lens. The New Russar+ is compatible with L39/M mount analogue cameras, digital mirrorless cameras and tons more using adapter mounts.
Discover our stunning brass-bodied wide-angle lens. The New Russar+ is compatible with L39/M mount analogue cameras, digital mirrorless cameras and tons more using adapter mounts.

Details
An Ongoing Legacy
Just like its predecessor, the 1958 Russar, the New Russar+ is a 20mm wide-angle lens with a maximum aperture of f/5.6. This exciting reinvention showcases a host of new features for modern day shooting. The New Russar+ is now multi-coated to reduce flare and surface reflection and has a modified lens tube construction that is compatible with L39 and M mount cameras, and lots more using adapter mounts.
High Quality Manufacturing
The New Russar+ is handmade and features a beautifully complex symmetrical internal construction. Although very compact, it contains 6 lens elements in 4 groups. Thanks to their years of technical expertise in developing premium, high-quality optics, the team at Zenit was able to produce this technically advanced lens! The New Russar+ design utilizes the benefits from its new-moon shaped front and rear elements to achieve almost distortion-free photos and excellent vignetting control. In addition, the lens has fantastic distortion control at less than 0.1%. This means that the photos it produces are a near perfect representation of reality with a great evenness of illumination and resolution.
Ready for any kind of adventures, this special wide-angle lens will inspire you to get creative as soon as you attach it to your camera. The Russian glass used in the New Russar+ produces super-sharp images filled with vibrant colors, vignettes and contrasts, bursting with the unique character and quality that only a lens manufactured using the finest Russian glass can bring. The New Russar+ has an excellent distortion control to avoid barrel and pincushion distortions, making your shots an impressive mirror of reality.
With a wider view, the New Russar+ is great for shooting outdoor landscapes. The lens effortlessly soaks up the whole scene using its 20mm angle of view, producing sweeping, majestic photos filled with a truly authentic and unique personality. This prime lens is great for those up-close-and-personal portraits in corners, cars and cockpits. With creativity and the New Russar+ by your side, who knows what kind of fantastic shots you will achieve?
Package Includes
New Russar+ 5.6/20 L39/M
L39/M mount adapter
Front and L39 Rear Lens Cap
Lens pouch
Cleaning cloth
Instruction manual
Technical Specifications
Focal length: 20mm
Aperture: f/5.6 - f/22
Image circle: 44mm
Field of view: 94 degree
Lens Mounting Profile: L39, includes Leica M-mount adapter
Lens Construction: 6 elements in 4 groups, Symmetrical design
Lens Coating: Multi-coated
Lens Body material and Finishing: Brass with chrome plating
Focusing Mechanism: Helicoid
Flange distance: 27.8mm (M mount) - 28.8mm (L39 mount)
M mount frame line triggering: 28mm
Closest focusing distance: 0.5m
Filter thread: 49mm
Rangefinder Coupling: No
Distortion: ~ 0.09 percent
Lens' Dimensions
L 35mm
W 35mm
H 55mm
Weight: 98g
~17mm from mount to rear end of lens without LM adapter
Additional Information


Brian Oliver
The Leica Society
Leica M10 vs Leica M (Typ 240) Comparison Review
24th January 2017
Leica M10 vs Leica M (Typ 240) Comparison Review by Park Cameras.

click here to read article
The last rose of Summar Posted on December 5, 2016 by William Fagan
05th December 2016
The last rose of Summar
Posted on December 5, 2016 by William Fagan

The Leitz Summar: A lens which has an undeserved bad reputation among Leica collectors. I’m not entirely sure why so I am taking a look at some aspects of the Summar that may have been overlooked. As I now have eight Summars in my collection, I feel that I must say something on behalf of this wonderful lens.

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John Brockliss's new gallery entitled 'Petrohead'
18th November 2016
Many of my earliest memories are of long afternoons spent in my father's motor engineering workshop surrounded with cycles, motorcycles and cars, all in various stages of repair. It was here I learnt to write and draw. Hardly surprising then (as you may know) that I have enjoyed a lifelong love of motoring heritage and motor vehicles.
Twenty Nine years ago my father joined me on a visit to Morgan Motors in Malvern - a few weeks after taking delivery of my Morgan Plus 8. Sally and I revisited the Morgan factory with the car in October this year - with camera in hand and fond memories of that previous visit. This new visit and the memories it evoked has prompted me to review the countless motoring photographs I have taken over recent years.
From the archive I have selected some of the more interesting images and this afternoon I published a new motoring-focussed photo gallery on my website, titled 'Petrolhead'.

You can visit Petrolhead using the following link

I hope you enjoy the new gallery as much as I did creating it.
Phillip Gray Web Site Link
13th November 2016
A selection of black and white photographs taken with a Leica M (240) and a variety of lenses by Phillip Gray

click here to go to Phillip Gray web site
John Brockliss: Three acclaimed images from an outstanding collection
09th November 2016
John Brockliss: Three acclaimed images from an outstanding collection
Posted on November 8, 2016 by Mike Evans
I first met John Brockliss at Leica Mayfair some months ago and, since then, I have followed his impressive photography. Earlier this year the Telegraph Review dedicated a half-page in colour to promote 'Restless', John's Spring Exhibition held at 35 North Contemporary Fine Art in Brighton. 
Since the exhibition ended and while new work has progressed, a further two images have been published by eminent publications: BBC Publishing and LFI Magazine (Leica Fotografie International), the famous high-quality photographic journal. Here are the three of John's images but you can find a full portfolio of John's work on his popular web site. 

Click here to see more
Discover the world with the Leica D-Lux Explorer Kit.
05th November 2016
Discover the world with the Leica D-Lux Explorer Kit.

The perfect gift for the travel enthusiast and adventurer

Leica Camera has announced the Leica D-Lux Explorer Kit, featuring the company’s high-performance D-Lux compact camera, combined with a set of useful accessories for the travel enthusiast.

One of the fastest lenses in the Leica compact camera range, the Leica D-Lux features a Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9–34mm f/1.7–2.8 ASPH. zoom lens, which perfectly complements the camera’s large four-thirds sensor, and delivers images with exceptionally natural colours and outstanding quality.

Ideal for travel and all types of creative photography, this versatile lens (equivalent to 24 to 75mm in 35mm format) has been designed to excel in a multitude of photographic genres, from portraits to landscapes, architecture to macro, as well as the classic domain of Leica cameras – reportage photography.

Included with the camera is the Leica D-Lux automatic lens cap, which has been cleverly engineered to allow photographers to shoot spontaneously and capture subjects discreetly, without having to remove the cap each time. For maximum convenience, the shutters of the lens cap open up automatically as soon as the lens is extended, ensuring the camera is ready to shoot immediately – so the user will never miss a crucial moment on their special trip or holiday.

Also featured in the Leica D-Lux Explorer Set is an exclusive carrying strap made from highest quality cotton in a striking shade of red.

With its timeless and classically elegant design, the Leica D-Lux offers the same high performance and benefits of the standard model, delivering extensive functionality combined with intuitive handling.

In addition to its fast zoom lens, the camera’s outstanding feature set includes a high-resolution electronic viewfinder for the perfect composition of subjects, 4K video recording, and an integrated Wi-Fi module for remote control of the camera from a smartphone or tablet, as well as wireless transfer of still pictures or movies to mobile devices. The Leica Image Shuttle app required for this function can be downloaded free of charge and installed on iOS or Android devices.

Full product specifications for the Leica D-Lux camera can be found at: uk.leica-camera.com.

Pricing and availability

The Leica D-Lux Explorer Set is scheduled to be available from mid-November 2016, at a suggested retail price of £920 including VAT.
Leica Noctilux: the ‘Light Giant’ turns 50
04th October 2016
Leica Noctilux: the ‘Light Giant’ turns 50

Leica celebrates 50th anniversary of the legendary Noctilux lens



Fifty years ago, the first Leica Noctilux lens was unveiled at the 1966 Photokina exhibition in Germany, astonishing visitors and industry media with its revolutionary optical performance.

In the 1960s, photography enjoyed enormous popularity around the world and demand for high-performance lenses rose dramatically, particularly among professional and fine art photographers. As the use of flash was not yet widespread, or even frowned-upon, the extraordinary specifications of the Noctilux lens attracted unrivalled attention. This extraordinary lens offered a gigantic maximum aperture, and exceptional optical performance, even when used wide open. The signature characteristic of the Noctilux was its unique contrast rendition. Brilliant, sharp pictures without flare could be achieved with the lens wide open – even in candlelight, subtle colour nuances, the finest textures and minute details were distinguishable.

Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 (1966)

The most outstanding feature of the 1966 Noctilux model was its two aspherical elements – the first time such elements had been included in a serial production lens manufactured by Leitz. One of these two asphericals was made from special glass with a high refractive index. The task of the aspherical elements was to reduce chromatic aberration at maximum aperture and increase quality in the image field. The Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 was designed by Prof. Dr. Helmut Marx and comprised six elements in four groups, with the asphericals as the first and last elements.

At that time, the production of asphericals was a particularly complex and costly process. Even the most innovative new machinery was no alternative to the highly experienced optical engineers, who finished each element individually, polishing it entirely by hand. At the same time, new testing methods were also being developed to ensure the quality of future lenses.

Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.0 (1975)

At Leitz, enormous effort was made to achieve the ultimate aperture of f/1.0. At the same time, Leitz turned to the use of only spherical lens elements in an attempt avoid the almost prohibitive costs of producing asphericals. Both challenges were successfully mastered at Leitz Canada by lens designer Dr. Walter Mandler, resulting in the launch of the Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.0 in 1975. The glass employed in the construction of this lens had an exceptionally high refractive index, contributing significantly to its impressive performance and the extremely natural look of images captured with the lens. Whereas photographers using other manufacturers’ large aperture lenses were forced to stop down to produce acceptable results, the Noctilux could be used wide open – not only in theoretical, but also in practical terms.

Even wide open, the Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.0 impressed photographers with its consistent resolution, almost three-dimensional rendition of details, and the clear and finely nuanced colours it delivered – often in situations where other lenses would be incapable of gathering enough light to expose the film correctly. In effect, a truly outstanding masterpiece of optical engineering.

Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH. (2008)

More than 30 years after the introduction of the Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.0, which had become a firm favourite among photographers thanks to its unrivalled aesthetic qualities, Leica presented a new-generation Noctilux at Photokina 2008, with a previously unheard-of maximum aperture of f/0.95.

Furthermore, the lens had been considerably improved in other aspects of optical performance. To achieve this, Leica employed its many years of experience gathered in the design and construction of the two previous lenses, and took advantage of the benefits of the latest research and technologies. Although the production of asphericals remains an extremely elaborate process, today it is much more efficient and practical than the days of the first-generation Noctilux in 1966.

The optical design of the Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH. comprises more than eight elements in a symmetrically arranged, Double-Gauss design with its two halves located back-to-back with the aperture between them. The two aspherical elements ensure the outstanding imaging performance of the lens. Three of the other elements are made from glass with an extremely high refractive index, and a further five from glass with anomalous partial dispersion. To ensure that the Noctilux also delivers outstanding results at closer focusing distances, the construction also features a floating element that shifts the position of the last group in relation to the rest of the system, depending on the focusing distance.

The original properties of the Noctilux are also applicable to the new lens: the maximum aperture is a usable aperture – it is not necessary to stop down to achieve better performance. The extremely shallow depth of field when shooting wide open is a feature of the Noctilux lens that can be deliberately used as a creative tool.

Peter Karbe, head of the optical development department at Leica, commented, “Even today, after 50 years, the Leica Noctilux still stands for extreme lens speed. The ‘Light Giant’ masters situations in which images can be captured only with great difficulty – or not at all – by other lenses, and achieves it with exceptional imaging performance. The combination of incomparable colour rendition, rich contrast, and shallow depth of field made possible by its outstanding speed, enables photographers to create images with a uniquely fascinating aesthetic.”

           

Leica heads for the stars Leica SL mirrorless camera plays important role in NASA space mission
20th September 2016
Leica heads for the stars

Leica SL mirrorless camera plays important role in NASA space mission

On 17 August 2016, a sounding rocket from the RockSat-X program launched from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility (Virginia, USA) – also on board was a Leica SL camera.

The payload of the rocket consisted of a number of modules with experiments devised by the students of various US universities that were to be conducted under the exceptional conditions of suborbital flight. The students of the University of Puerto Rico chose the mirrorless Leica SL system camera as a part of their module for research into high-density particles, primarily because of its outstanding performance and robust construction. The task assigned to the camera was the documentation of the flight in Ultra High Definition (4K) video. The special control algorithms required for the Leica SL on its mission were programmed in collaboration between the students and Leica Camera AG.

In addition to this, the effects of the extreme conditions on the camera and its optical systems were tested during the flight. These experiments, within the framework of an ongoing joint research programme with the participation of the university and the Bifrost Corporation, deliver important performance data for a planned mission to investigate the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights). The Bifrost Corporation is accompanying the project by the name of ‘Bifröst - Into the Aurora’ with a series of short films. In addition to the collection of material for interactive exhibitions, the aim of the mission is also to produce a visual documentary in feature film length. The artists Eric Adamsons and Heins Kim are working together with various international corporations and academic institutions on the realisation of this aspect of the project.

Before the flight, the Leica SL had to undergo an extensive programme of NASA tests to prove its resilience. The Leica SL passed all the tests with flying colours – from balance and the effects of extreme environmental influences, to mass moment of inertia testing and vibrations with exceptionally high acceleration forces of up to 50 gravities continuously.

The mission, a part of the RockSat-X program, was carried out in collaboration with the ‘Colorado Space Grant Consortium’, a higher education organisation that includes twenty-one colleges, universities and institutes. Colorado Space Grant is part of larger program called the National Space Grant Fellowship and Scholarship program which is funded by NASA. The objectives of the Colorado Space Grant organisation are to provide students with access to space through high-altitude balloon payloads (BalloonSats), Sounding Rocket experiments (RockSats), and small satellites (CubeSats). In the course of their projects, students get the chance to work with scientists and engineers from NASA and other astronautics concerns on the design and testing of new technologies and, ultimately, are given the opportunity to have them launched into space by high altitude balloons, unmanned sounding rockets, or orbital rockets.
Distinctive. Timeless. Elegant. Leica announces the Leica M-P ‘TITANIUM’ Set
15th September 2016
Distinctive. Timeless. Elegant.
Leica announces the Leica M-P ‘TITANIUM’ Set

Leica Camera has unveiled a very special limited edition of its classic rangefinder camera: the Leica M-P ‘TITANIUM’ Set.


The Leica M-P ‘TITANIUM’ is the fifth annual edition to be made from titanium, lending the camera and lens an exceptionally elegant and distinctive appearance. The set consists of a Leica M-P (Typ 240) digital camera and two lenses – a Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH. and a Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH. – and will be strictly limited to 333 units globally.

With the Leica M-P ‘TITANIUM’ Set, the top plate, base plate and control elements of the camera are precision machined from solid titanium. This resilient, hard-wearing material reinforces the robust nature of the M camera and makes it approximately 90 grams lighter than the standard production model. Other distinguishing features include the classic Leica script engraved on the top plate, and a special edition serial number on the accessory shoe, indicating the camera’s position in the series. Furthermore, the camera body is finished with an elegant, full grain leather trim, which also ensures an outstanding grip. A matching leather carrying strap is included in the set.
L Mp Tit 2L Mp Tit 1
The anodised titanium finish of the aluminium lenses is perfectly matched to the camera, and the focusing scale distances and focal length engraving are highlighted in red. In addition, both lenses feature a special serial number: on the Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH., this appears on the front element retaining ring, and on the APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH., it is engraved on the bayonet ring.

In all other respects, the technical specifications and performance of the camera and lenses are identical to those of the serial production products. The Leica M-P offers all the technical benefits of the iconic Leica M digital rangefinder system cameras, which are renowned for their robust and enduring qualities.

With its compact size and exceptional performance, the fast Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH. is an ideal wide-angle lens for reportage photography. Its outstanding speed makes it particularly versatile, producing brilliant imaging results even in challenging lighting conditions.

The Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH. offers the perfect combination of sophisticated design and precise construction, from its extraordinary optical properties to the meticulous manufacturing and finishing of the product, and is considered to be the reference lens among standard focal lengths, delivering unrivalled resolution and sharpness.

Pricing and availability

The Leica M-P ‘TITANIUM’ Set is scheduled to be available in the UK from mid October 2016 at a suggested retail price of £17,500 including VAT.
All the way from Memphis, William Egglestone
11th July 2016
All the way from Memphis, Critics called his photographs a con when they were first shown 40 years ago. But William Eggleston’s colour-saturated work has found lasting fame while still defying interpretation. By Andrew Dickson, a Guardian Review first published on 9th July 2016.

On 25 May 1976, an exhibition opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that blew apart American photography. Curated by long-term director John Szarkowski, it contained around 75 prints by an artist in his mid-30s based in Memphis, Tennessee, self-taught and barely known outside the in-crowd. His name was William Eggleston.

Click here to read the Gaurdian Review
The Leica Checklist.
05th July 2016
The Leica Checklist.
‘The Collector’s Checklist of Leica Cameras, Lenses and Accessories’ compiled by Dr A Neill Wright and the late Colin Glanfield and edited by Ivor Matanle with contributions from Tom March and Stan Tamarkin et al was first published in October 1974.The Book enjoyed international success and ran to 4 editions, the last one being published in March 1980. In addition to the main topics specified in the title it included chapters on Projectors, Enlargers, Exposure Meters, Periodicals, Leica Patents and a Bibliography. Although not illustrated it contained in its 186 pages much information that cannot be found in other Leica books thus making it a useful reference book for the Leica collector/historian. Indeed at one time the tutors at the Leica School used it as their reference book and anyone applying to join the LHSA (Leica Historical Society of America) was required to purchase a copy before being admitted as a member.
I learned these facts during a recent visit to the editor Ivor Matanle and subsequent telephone conversations with Dr Neill Wright. When I visited Ivor in November last year he was preparing to move to a small bungalow for health reasons and he explained that as a consequence he had abandoned a project to update the text of the checklist and was about to throw a large batch of new covers (illustrated) for the book into the skip. These I rescued with a suggestion that the existing text might be reprinted and made available to Leica Society members – a suggestion to which Ivor gave his full blessing. The committee were also in favour subject to reassurances on the issues of copyright and commercial interest. Discussions with Dr Wright revealed that he had bought the copyright when the original publisher, Thoroughbred Books, ceased trading but after much discussion he readily agreed to the suggested reprint and willingly transferred the copyright and reproduction rights to The Leica Society.
Hence, an initial print run was procured, bound in the new binders and launched at the recent AGM during which 15 copies were sold to attending members. Further copies are available to purchase at £15 plus post and packing (UK £3, Europe £7,USA & Canada £11). Orders should be sent to myself together with a cheque for the appropriate amount or may be placed via the TLS website: www.theleicasociety.org.uk/shop
Geoff Hood. LRPS. (Membership Secretary).
Leica M5: How Jim Sarsfield put new life into my oddball rangefinder
31st May 2016
Leica M5: How Jim Sarsfield put new life into my oddball rangefinder
by William Fagan

Jim Sarsfield of the Small Battery Company may not know it, but his name is very well known in my country. Patrick Sarsfield the Earl of Lucan, was a well known Jacobite soldier and we were taught a lot about him in our history lessons at school. His battle cry was ‘Sarsfield’s the word, Sarsfield’s the man’. Jim Sarsfield, no relation as far as I know, certainly is a man of his word and the Wein Cell which he supplied to me has breathed a welcome puff of new life into my M5.

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Leica M-D: The return of anticipation
28th April 2016
Leica M-D: The return of anticipation
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'Restless, from tempest to tranquility' by John Brockliss
22nd January 2016
John Brockliss delighted to announce that my new book, 'Restless, from tempest to tranquility' is published today by Blurb Books. The result of five years work, 'Restless' is a photographic documentary of the conflicting moods and ever-changing faces of our marine landscape.
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Leica Cameras in the 1930s: A decade of progress by William Fagan
20th January 2016
Article by William Fagan, illustrating some of his own collection items.
Leica Cameras in the 1930s: A decade of progress by William Fagan
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One Mans Story of Online Camera Auctions and Collecting Classic Leicas
30th October 2015
Leica cameras are made to be used. But, as mechanical and historical objects, classic Leica cameras, lenses and accessories can also give pleasure as collector items.
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A new biography of Ernst Leitz II
09th February 2015
A new biography of Ernst Leitz II
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