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)
Cut Out + Keep member Myam made this awesome Leica-style messenger bag for a photography-lovin’ friend. Sadly there’s no tutorial for this bag, but she says that the process is identical to what’s seen in this guitar bag tutorial she wrote. A padded insert can also be added to make the bag more suitable for holding cameras. This bag could definitely make for a fun weekend project and photography gift.
Also, be sure to check out this Diana+ bag she made, and this Leica bag that was inspired by Myam’s bag.
Leave it to Leica to come up with strange ideas for special edition cameras. The company is collaborating with Japanese anime mechanical designer Kunio Okawara — the guy behind the original Gundam design — on an “Okawara Factory” limited edition V-LUX 30, which features a laser engraved design that makes it look like it’s being disassembled. Only 200 of them will be produced, with each one priced at ¥89,250, or about $1,150.
Here’s what a Leica M4 rangefinder camera looks like when taken apart. It’s crazy how so many small parts can work together so seamlessly and reliably.
(via Bresson AS via Leica Rumors)