The 50mm f/2 Zeiss Planar ZM

Highway heading into a storm on the Navajo Reservation, Northern Arizona, Leica M-P 240, Zeiss 50mm f/2 Planar ZM – Photo © Andrew Tonn 

When I bought a digital Leica I wanted a new lens to go with it.  There was no question that this lens would be 50mm.  I use other focal lengths (and have nothing against buying used optics) but, in this case, I wanted a new lens for the new camera.  When I bought a Leica M6ttl in 2001, I briefly used an antique 50mm f/2 Summar, but was soon able to acquire well-used 50mm f/2 Summicron from the 1970s.  I bought the Summar for $150 from an acquaintance and the second hand Summicron for $500 at the now sadly deceased F-Stop Camera in Akron, Ohio.  That lens has served me well but, when I decided to buy the digital M-P 240, the Summicron was in for repairs.  Anyway, I wanted a new lens for my new Leica and the M6 would be lonely and jealous if I confiscated its friend Summicron.  I like to maintain harmony in my stable of cameras after all. Continue reading “The 50mm f/2 Zeiss Planar ZM”

The Leica SL: The Best Worst Mirrorless Camera Ever?

In the mirrorless camera world smaller, lighter and packed with buttons is the trend. But with their pro end mirrorless camera, the SL, Leica decided to provide fewer buttons and go bigger and heavier than any other mirrorless camera in the 35mm format on the market. Milled from a solid block of aluminum, featuring as few buttons as possible with no labeling on any of them and an awkward power switch, the Leica SL seems to kick to the curb any feature commonplace or desired in a mirrorless system, with one exception. The EVF. DSLR users flock to Sony or Fuji for a smaller lighter system that is packed with features but doesn’t force them to make huge compromises in quality. Some users regret the move and some users are quite happy, but one thing they all agree on is lighter is better and they love the EVF. I even made the jump from DSLR to mirrorless to cut the weight. So why do I now find myself using the absolute heaviest mirrorless 35mm format option out there? Because of the EVF. More on that in a moment, lets first take a broader look at the Leica SL.

Continue reading “The Leica SL: The Best Worst Mirrorless Camera Ever?”

5 Days In Kathmandu

Leica M Monochrome, 15mm f/4.5 Voigtlander Super Heliar, Temple steps, Durbar Square (Photo by Andrew Tonn ©

There were times when our two years in Mumbai seemed an eternity.  I knew the time would pass quickly, however, that every day, strange as it was, would crossfade into the next and that sooner, rather than later, we would be headed back to the airport, boarding a flight out, and that everything undone would most likely stay undone.

Continue reading “5 Days In Kathmandu”

The Leica Summaron 35/ƒ2.8 M

The owner of Brittania & Company, one of the classic old Parsi restaurants in old Bombay. Leica M-P (Photo, Andrew Tonn ©)
ARLINGTON — Of all the Leica M lenses out in the world, there is one in particular that does not seem to gets its due.  That lens is the 35mm f/2.8 Summaron, a lens made from 1958-1974.  Continue reading “The Leica Summaron 35/ƒ2.8 M”

Does Buy Cheap Mean Cheap? Shooting budget end film: Guest Post from Rick Davy

Today we have a guest post, hopefully the first of several from a talented UK based photographer Rick Davy. Rick has touched on the subject of buy cheap, but shoot well in his own blog in the past. Rick has been kind enough to join us today to share some very lovely images and revisit this subject with some Agfa 200 Vista Plus! Lets get to it, over to you Rick! – Jef
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After coming across a reliable source of super cheap budget end film, I thought I put it to test on a selection of cheaper end 35mm camera’s to see what kind of results you could achieve.

Continue reading “Does Buy Cheap Mean Cheap? Shooting budget end film: Guest Post from Rick Davy”

Leica Unveils the New TL2… And It’s Not What Anyone Asked For.

(Photo from Leica)

Leica has unveiled their rumored update to the TL, the TL2. The heavens opened, light shined down through the clouds from those very same heavens upon this wondrous marvel from Germany. Well… Not really. Actually, it’s quite underwhelming. Although the TL2 features upgraded specs such as USB 3.0, 20 frames per sec, 4k video, the new 24 MP APS-C sensor and the Maestro II processor, the TL2 is still lacking the single most desired and requested feature in the TL… A built-in EVF.

Continue reading “Leica Unveils the New TL2… And It’s Not What Anyone Asked For.”

JCH X Thirdculture StreetPan Pin

(Photo from JPH site)

Japan Camera Hunter Bellamy Hunt known for his love of film, released his own Street Pan B&W film awhile back, and that film has been a huge success. If you’ve been shooting this film and want to show off your love for it, Hunt has you covered. Available through his site is the new JCH X Thirdculture StreetPan Pin. The pin will only cost you ¥1,300, that’s about $11.50 in real money. (Link) FP

Rollei Vario Chrome

This is turning out to be a  good year for film shooters, with  multiple new films and Kodak even bringing back one of their legends. Rollei has now announced a new slide film, Rollei Vario Chrome. It’s a E-6 ASA 320 film that says it can be exposed anywhere between 200-400 speeds without any development adjustments. That would make it a rather versatile film suitable for a wide range of subjects.

We have a few rolls ordered, and will of course provide some samples when able, I’m sure you can look forward to seeing it featured by our friends over at Emulsive in the future as well. You can pre-order the film now through a few sites including Maco Direct and Camera Film Photo for around $9USD. The film is set to be released early July. FP

Kodak’s New Print Magazine Kodachrome Goes on Backorder

Kodak’s new extravagantly priced print magazine titled “Kodachrome” – has gone on backorder. Kodachrome is described as not being purely about film photography, but rather as something for everyone who “loves art, film and analog culture.” No update on when the next run of Kodachrome will ship out. Kodachrome is 71 pages and priced at $19.99 an issue. For some reason Kodak’s site wasn’t able to process our order, and we haven’t been able to get ahold of anyone at Kodak, so we will not be reviewing the magazine as we had originally planned. Response on Twitter has been varied, with some praising the new print from Kodak and others wishing it focussed more on photography and less on everything else. With another print run on the way, now would be a good time to get a order in and decide for yourself. (LinkFP