Announced on Monday, Leica’s new M rangefinder does away with the classic numbering system and simply goes by its model name. We got a chance to handle one a couple of times after the initial announcement… after fighting through the hoards that were clamoring to get a peek.
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.
Remember those leaked “spy” shots that supposedly show someone using the upcoming Leica M10 digital rangefinder? Leica Rumors took those images and everything that we know about the camera so far, and created some mockups showing what the camera will likely look like. The most striking feature is the special port on the back that allows for an electronic viewfinder attachment on the hot shoe.
When shopping for a new computer, online shops often allow you to customize the computer and choose the individual components that go into it. If the computing world can offer that, why not the photography world?
Turns out you can with Leica cameras. The company has a website called “Leica à la carte“, through which you can configure a film Leica rangefinder to suit your tastes and needs.
Beauty may be only skin deep for us humans, but crack open a classic rangefinder and there something both nostalgic and beautiful about the components therein. The people behind Ilott Vintage — a Miami-based camera restoration project — know this, and so when they’re restoring an old Minolta Hi-Matic 7 or Olympus 35RD, they sometimes take the time to make a little video showing off the craftsmanship and components we don’t always get to see.
Getting your hands on one of these restored masterpieces will cost you a pretty penny (think a couple thousand), but the classic camera you get will be more than just a collectors item, it’ll actually work. Head over to their website for more info on the company and a look at their selection, or check out their Vimeo page for more classic camera eye candy.
The big Leica announcement in Berlin is only three short days away, and as it draws closer more and more details about the highly-anticipated M9-M monochrome rangefinder are leaking. The most recent updates involve pricing and design. It seems that the new rangefinder will feature an all black body, much like the M9-P, with a Leica Monochrome engraving on the top plate. In fact, Leica Rumors is reporting that the M9-M will essentially be an M9-P with a monochrome sensor and a slightly higher price tag (between $8,500 and $9,000).
In addition to the M9-M, the Berlin announcement is also expected to include a new 16 or 18-megapixel X2 priced around $3,000; and a new 50mm f/2 Summicron-M lens for around $3,300.
(via Leica Rumors)
Remember that monochrome Leica M camera rumor that we reported on last month? The latest rumor pegs May 10th as the announcement date. The new camera won’t be a successor to the M9 — the M10 will likely be announced in September at Photokina — but will instead be a M9-styled rangefinder with a sensor that can only capture black and white. It is also said to have fantastic high-ISO quality and may ditch the LCD screen entirely.
(via Leica Rumors via Mirrorless Rumors)
In a paper published in Science this week, Japanese researchers reported on a discovery that jumping spiders use a method for gauging distance called “image defocus”, which no other living organism is known to use. Rather than use focusing and stereoscopic vision like humans or head-wobbling motion parallax like birds, the spiders have two green-detecting layers in their eyes — one in focus and one not. By comparing the two, the spiders can determine the distance from objects. Scientists discovered that bathing spiders in pure red light “breaks” their distance measuring ability.
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.
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)