Posts Tagged ‘rangefinder’
Those interested in starting or adding to an expensive collection of cameras may want to head over to eBay very soon. That’s because movie star Sylvester Stallone, or more accurately his brother Frank Stallone, is in the process of selling the Leica M9 used in the movie The Expendables 2. Read more…
We were just able to get some hands-on time with the new Fujifilm X100s immediately after the company’s press conference. In addition to blazin’ fast autofocus speed, the company has also introduced a couple of new features that manual-focusing photographers will love.
One is something many photographers are already familiar with (and have been clamoring for): focus peaking. The second hasn’t been received with as much fanfare, but is actually quite fantastic. It’s split image focusing — something rangefinder users will appreciate very much.
After bidding farewell to the Super Wide and Silver editions of its Zeiss Ikon 35mm rangefinder earlier this year, Cosina is officially saying goodbye to the last of the Zeiss Ikons, relegating the whole line to the history books. The news, which began as a rumor based on this tweet by one of Cosina’s retailers, has since been confirmed by The Phoblographer with the company itself.
Leica’s new flagship digital rangefinder, the Leica M, was announced more than a month ago, but things have been very quiet in regards to sample photos demonstrating the camera’s capabilities. If you’ve been dying see actual photos shot using the camera, today’s your lucky day. Pandachief over at the forum HK LFC has published quite a few sample photographs shot in a low-light environment (it appears to be a dinner party).
Watts Martin of Coyote Tracks has an interesting piece titled “Iconic” that discusses the idea of trade dress — the reason why Apple doesn’t have any branding on the front face of the iPhone:
You don’t need to see the name plate on a Ford Mustang or a Corvette or a Porsche 911 to recognize one. Or a Coke bottle. Or, once you’ve seen one, a Tivoli Audio tabletop radio. Or a McIntosh amp. These products have a design language that’s become part of their brand identity [...] That’s what Apple wants, too: products that look like Apple. They’ve nailed it. You can look at a computer or a tablet or a phone being used in a coffee shop and you can immediately tell Apple or not Apple even if you can’t see the logo. And this is virtually unique in their industry: you’ll usually need the logo to know exactly what the not Apple product is.
This is why trade dress battles are so important to Apple. Try introducing a soda in a container that’s easily mistaken for a Coke bottle and see how far “har har har, you can’t patent curved glass!” gets you as a defense. If somebody makes a product that can be easily mistaken for an Apple device, then Apple is going to do whatever they can to get that product either off the market or changed.
DSLRs are pretty uniform in their appearance, so we don’t see much fuss about trade dress in that sector, but it’s interesting that there isn’t more tension between Leica and Fujifilm — two companies that both offer cameras without front branding.
When Leica announced at Photokina last week that future M and S cameras won’t have numbers attached to the model name (e.g. Leica M), I wrote that the company seemed to be taking a page from Apple’s book by having generations rather than models. Turns out that’s not the case. Leica doesn’t want to be what Apple is to the gadget industry, but what Porsche is to the automobile industry.
Wealthy people who want to flaunt their wealth are attracted to shiny and pricey things. It’s no surprise then, that more and more Hollywood celebrities are gravitating toward one particular brand for their photographic needs: Leica. Alex Williams of The New York Times writes that the stars aren’t simply adopting the revered marque — some are learning how to use it too:
“If celebrities are going to be seen with a camera, for better or for worse, Leica does lend a certain cachet,” said Michael Holve [...] “It seems a Canon or Nikon is somehow bourgeois, or even pedestrian, by comparison.”
The swelling ranks of famous M-system devotees reach beyond those with a well-chronicled affection for the camera, like Brad Pitt. In recent years, Daniel Craig, Jude Law, Louis C. K., Miley Cyrus and many other celebrities have popped up in paparazzi shots toting Leicas.
[...] It is easy for cynics to sniff, but many Leica-toting celebrities take their photography seriously. Brendan Fraser, an aficionado, has had his work featured in the prestigious Leica Gallery in New York. And Mr. Pitt, who has appeared on the cover of Interview magazine holding a Leica M7, earns praise from photographers in Leica forums for his work, including a cover shoot of Angelina Jolie for W a few years ago.
Williams also makes the observation that the camera’s minimal features and manual controls naturally divide the celebrity owners into serious photo enthusiasts and posers.
Click if You Can Afford It [New York Times]
With much fanfare, Leica announced its new M and M-E digital rangefinders at Photokina today. The M breaks new ground by introducing some fancy new features that have never been seen before in an M rangefinder, while the M-E is the company’s attempt at offering an entry-level digital rangefinder.
Notice that Leica has done away with its standard naming strategy. Apparently Leica is doing what Apple did with the iPad: leaving out the generation in the name entirely. In future, we’ll be saying “Leica M” with “20th generation” in parentheses rather than Leica M20.