Oh, No… Another Camera System…
Well, in a wild turn of events I have picked up some new camera equipment… This is a really no surprise as it is a sickness or rather addiction! But onward and upward!
I do have to tell you that I am REALLY excited over acquiring these new systems though. And unfortunately, one thing has let to another and thus a long journey has also been started into the realm of film again!
But first let me highlight the “What”!
As you can see in the top image, the newest body is the new Leica M240 24 full frame 24 mega pixel body. It also has a true “live view” which allows use of all sorts of other lenses like the Leica R series that you would NOT normally be able to focus. This means everything from long telephotos to true macro (subject of the next post!). After a few months of use I can tell you that this is the BEST digital system that I have ever used! Along with it I also picked up several lenses.
First, the main lens is the Leica M 50mm f/1.4 Summalux ASPH lens in silver. This is a HEAVY lens. If attacked by a bear I could use it to beat him half to death. The lens itself has turned into my main lens that I use 60% of the time. It has a built in leans hood and takes 46mm filters. The Bokah that this lens can generate is amazing beyond description. It is extremely smooth and easy to use and generates images that are truly amazing!
The next lens is the Leica M mount 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit ASPH. This is a TINY light lens that takes 39mm filters. These smaller filters sized considerably cut the cost of purchasing top of the line B+W filters. Since the M240 camera is a full frame sensor the 28mm really is 28mm! The lens is sharp beyond words and quick to focus. I am really please with this lens and use it for landscapes and lightning photography when mounted on my Fuji X-T1 camera.
The example image for this lens below is a texture overlay. The main image was an Infrared image taken by placing a R72 (720nm) infrared filter on the lens giving a white IR image of a palm leaf, then doing a texture overlay of colored flowers.
The next lens is the Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90 mm f/4 and its macro adapter with split image view. This is a very unique lens in that it collapses for storage. By itself it is a great 90mm lens and has proven useful for mid range subjects as well as for Infrared work with the addition of a R72 IR filter. When you add its macro adapter (extension tube coupled to a viewfinder modifier) it will then give you macro capabilities down to a 1:3 image ratio! Below is an example of a macro image shot with this lens last week at Moore Farms in Lake City .
Now, I already had my two Voigtlander M mount lenses that I was using with the Fuji systems, but they are M mount!
First is the Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 Lens. This is an amazing lens that is very fast at f/1.8. The focus is smooth and long and it works very well with M mount extension tubes for true macro work (1:1 image ratio). I do have 3 of the 10mm extension tubes for it as well as a Canon 500D closeup lens. For my really small stuff this is my goto lens. It is a little long but has a very nice clam on lens hood. While it is NOT a Leica lens it is very close in terms of quality and ease and the f/1.8 aperture gives lovely bokah!
Here then is an example of a 1:1 life-size macro shot with it!
The last lens that I am going to talk about here is the Voigtlander Ultra Wide-Heliar 12mm f/5.6 Aspherical M Mount lens. Another heavy all metal lens with remarkable focus and DOF. Since it is so wide you can almost have a DOF from right in front of the lens out to infinity! Plus 12mm is really 12mm on the camera! Given that the camera is both full frame and has a live view you can see the power of using this lens and the ease of composition and focus!
In the example image below please notice the extreme range of the depth of field!
As you can see, all of the system components are extremely high quality and easy to use giving stunning results. I like to create Long Exposure and Infrared images as well so I thought that I would share some of them with you below.
I hope that you enjoyed this post. I will have several more shortly in the future highlighting more of this system as well as some new FILM work!!
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Some wonderful photos. That is some serious shopping! With the Voigtlander 12mm, are you getting vignetting on the M240? If so, how do you correct for it?
Thank you. It is a nice system to be sure. If you code the 12mm lens as a 21mm Leica then the internal firmware in the camera fixes any of the reported issues. I have had very good luck with it!
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Nearly $7,000 and eventually it will use all of its exposures. Buy a film M body. My 1968 M2 and 1970 M3 continue to make exposures.
Thanks for the comment. I actually have both digital and film Leica bodies.
Hi Mark, I have long wanted a Leica, harkening back to the film days, but alas, I couldn’t afford one. I had fantasies of walking into a pawn shop and finding one behind a glass showcase with a ridiculously low price on it because they didn’t know what they had. I know, dream on. I assume you are still keeping and using your Fuji system? I bought an XE-2 for a walk-around camera, those occasions when I don’t feel like taking my full Nikon system, or want to keep a low profile, etc. Love it. But, still wish I could afford a Leica.
Frank, I know what you mean. For me it would have been impossible except for a small inheritance which I used part of. It is an amazing system, much better than anything else that I have ever used for landscapes and macro.
You can find film versions for very little money. I also picked up a film M7 which I shoot all of the time. It is pretty steep also but if you shopped for a M6 film or a M9 digital you would be surprised and how affordable they can be. The lenses on the other hand are very expensive unless you buy Voigtlander lenses which are also very good but at 1/4 the cost!
Come along on one of our workshops this year and you will be able to play with the system first hand…. !
I am so envious of that M240….want!!!!
John, it is a world class system!
Some willsay “what a lens!”, I preffer “What a lens managed by a superb phtographer”
one of my students from China walked in with that new Leica today, he has an f 0.92 lens, I didn’t know that existed, he has great street photos
Yes, the lens costs as much as the camera!
You got to be a little curious how he afforded 20K in camera and lens!