Leica recently put out this short portrait of renowned street photographer Joel Meyerowitz, who talks about his beginnings as a photographer and also his role in creating an archive of the destruction and recovery at Ground Zero. Starting from a few days after the 9/11 attacks, Meyerowitz shot over 8,000 in and around the site with the help of a special workers pass that gave him privileged access.
(via Leica Rumors)
For those of you balking at the astronomical prices paid for photos in the art world, get this: Leica is releasing a special new white version of the M9-P digital rangefinder in Japan, and has given it a price tag of ¥2,620,000 (~$31,770). The regular version costs $7,995, so buyers will be paying an additional $23,705 for rarity (only 50 will be made), a slick kit lens (it comes with a 50mm f/0.95), and the color white.
(via Watch Impress via Gizmodo)
Here’s a crazy rumor floating around: an upcoming M-series camera by Leica may feature a sensor that can only capture black and white photographs. According to a tip received by Leica Rumors, the camera will offer B&W digital photography with no LCD display on the back — a unique toy for nostalgic film photographers who have deep pockets. Phase One offers a similar B&W medium format back that captures monochrome images by eschewing the traditional color filters found on cameras.
(via Leica Rumors)
Image credit: M8 by Mattebox in B&W, January 28, 2012 by Maggie Osterberg
Fujifilm announced back in January at CES that it was working on an M-mount adapter for the X-Pro1, a camera that looks strikingly similar to Leica’s digital rangefinders. The company is now showing off the adapter at the CP+ trade show in Japan. Leica film aficionados who want to play around with digital in style can now choose between paying $1700 for the X-Pro1 or $6000-$7000 for the Leica M8 or Leica M9.
(via Fujifilm via Leica Rumors)
If you thought our Leica iPhone skins are geeky, check out this new case made by the Japanese brand Gizmon. It gives your iPhone a fake rangefinder-style body that isn’t entirely useless: the case’s shutter button actually takes pictures and the optical viewfinder can be used to compose shots. Additional features include a lens mount, a tripod socket, and camera strap holes.
Step into the Foto Henny Hoogeveen Leica store in Lisse, the Netherlands, and you’ll be greeted by a giant stainless steel Leica camera that weighs a whopping 350kg (~772lb). The sculpture was crafted by Chinese artist Liao Yibai, and there are only three of them in existence. Besides the one found in the shop, the other two are owned by Leica itself and a distributor. The camera isn’t based on any one model, but is instead a hodgepodge of features found on the M6, M7, and M9.
When the X100 was announced a year ago, some people accused Fujifilm of ripping off the look of Leica’s rangefinder cameras. The retro look worked though, and retailers have had a hard time keeping the camera in stock. Now Fujifilm is making another Leica-esque move by releasing a limited edition version of the X100.
Only 200 units will be sold in Hong Kong, and it looks like the only difference is that the black covering has been replaced with light brown leather. Maybe the next special edition will be wrapped in ostrich skin…
(via Facebook via Photo Rumors)
Leica Camera is now nearly half American-owned: the company announced yesterday that it has agreed to sell a 44% minority stake to US-based private equity firm Blackstone Group. Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann says the purpose is international expansion:
[...] we are concentrating on further developing the brand and its products as well as on entering new markets in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East
Leica has turned things around quite a bit in the past decade. Back in 2004, Kaufmann purchased 95% of the company for around $85 million. The company reported record sales last year, and although the financial details of yesterdays deal weren’t announced, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the 44% came at a price of $179 million. This would value the company at ~$407 million, meaning the company’s value has grown by a whopping 450% over the past 7-8 years!
(via WSJ via Leica Rumors)
Here’s a strange (and extremely rare) piece of camera gear: the Leica Telephoto Assembly Rifle. Also known as “the Leica Gun”, it was made for photographers at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, and became popular among wildlife and sports photographers during the interwar years. One of them will be auctioned off at the Tamarkin Rare Camera Auction on October 30th, and is expected to fetch up to $100,000.
Who knows, maybe shoulder stocks will make a comeback as a form of image stabilization.
Leica Telephoto Assembly Rifle (via Leica Rumors)
Back in August, it came to light that some of Leica’s $7,000 M9 cameras had a problem in which they would corrupt the SD card being used — a problem that caused one photographer to permanently lose work after a day of shooting. The company quickly acknowledged the problem, and today announced that they had finally discovered the cause:
Thanks to the close collaboration with SD card manufacturers, Leica has now managed to rectify the fault by making adjustments to the firmware. To ensure compatibility with as many cards as possible and to ensure that all the related processes remain fault-free and are not compromised, comprehensive testing must be carried out in the development phase.
In the coming weeks we will test a beta version of the firmware in practice in cooperation with affected and selected customers.
The firmware fix will be released to the general public after they’ve thoroughly tested it.
Leica M9 / SDHC Card compatibility (via PopPhoto)