Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Voigtlander 40mm f/1.4 Nokton

I just got a nice little box from UPS this afternoon!

I needed a good normal prime lens for my Ricoh GXR M-mount camera and had been trying a variety of lenses. I've been very happy with Voigtlander's rangefinder lenses, especially for the price. I currently have the 25mm f/4 Color-Skopar and the 15mm f/4.5 Heliar Asph II and have found them both to be extremely useful, if a little slow.

For the low price, I wasn't expecting much from the 40 but the 1.4 speed was very attractive! I'm glad I got it because on my GXR, the performance is excellent - even wide-open. The build quality isn't too shabby either - it's no Leica but the construction seems to be mostly metal and the tolerances seem to be well-met.

The 40mm Nokton gives me a 60mm equivalent field of view on the GXR which is a tad tight for a Normal lens but I'm actually finding it useful. I've tried numerous 50mm lenses and they are always too confining. I'll probably try out Voigtlander's 35mm f/2.5 at some point as well.

In some instances the bokeh is a bit busy but mostly I find it appealing and have had no problem shooting wide open for the lion's share of these following shots. These were just shot around the house in available evening light. I plan on taking this guy out as part of my regular GXR kit on my next photo jaunt...more photos then.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Leica C (Panasonic LF1) Is The Perfect Pocket Camera!

As much as I love my Leica M9-P, I can't carry it with me 24/7...and that's where the Panasonic LX5 used to come in. The main problem was that it was not exactly "pocketable" (even less so with the EVF attached) but more of a "big coat pocket camera". The venerable LX5 had seen a lot of use and was getting a bit long-in-the-tooth. I'd been looking for a replacement and had been looking carefully at the Panasonic LX7 and, when it was introduced a few months ago, the Panasonic LF1. At the time, the most striking thing about the LF1 was the reach it had for something that size - 28mm-200mm (full-frame equivalent)!

When Leica announced their version of the LF1 recently for a $200 mark-up, it was a no-brainer as the body style was much nicer and I needed a copy of Lightroom 5 (which is normally about $150 by itself). Plus, I preferred a warranty through Leica rather than Panasonic as they've been so very helpful over the years with my M8, M9 and M lenses, often going that extra mile for me.

Though it only arrived today, I've been having a real blast with the C! In my opinion it is certainly a step up from the LX5 in terms of telephoto reach and photo quality. It's no M9 obviously but, turned off with its lens collapsed, it is exceedingly tiny and really can live in my pants pocket 24/7. Being able to tether it to a tablet or phone is also a welcome bit of utility that I'm sure I'll use.

I love the macro capabilities, the decent low-light ability, the RAW file capability and the presence of a EVF on something this tiny. For what it's worth, the EVF won't win any prizes but it certainly does the job in bright light and that's all I need it for.

I'll be putting the Leica C through its paces with more rigor very soon but, in the meantime, I'm very pleased with the results!

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Kracken Awakes!

I've just written up some of my feverish thoughts on the recently-announced Serge Kracken module. To me, this is one of the most compelling things I've seen in ages!
...Now you know why I've been selling all those cameras and lenses on eBay recently. ;)
(Some music gear coming up for sale soon as well - I'll let you know.)