Camera Gear Customisation - The Dream Lens

Japancamerahunter ©

Japancamerahunter ©

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Canon 50mm F0.95

 "The Dream Lens"

 

Recently I have acquired this mint condition  Canon 50mm F0.95 lens and decided to customise it to match my Leica Monochrome. The Monochrome is a special paint camera with Matte Black colour coating and my personal preference has always been stealthy and low-key. Since decided to paint the Canon 50mm F0.95 "Dream Lens" in Matte Black to match with the Monochrome camera body then I reached towards the help from Bellamy Hunt known as the "Japancamerahunter", who is an expert in camera gear customisation and see the result that we have produced.

Japancamerahunter ©

Japancamerahunter ©

Japancamerahunter ©     The Mijonju Show Demostrates The "Stealth Mode" Canon 50mm F0.95 Dream Lens in The Video Below:

Japancamerahunter ©

 

 

The Mijonju Show Demostrates The "Stealth Mode" Canon 50mm F0.95 Dream Lens in The Video Below:

 

In the Past, I have obtained several of my unique collections from the Japancamerahunter and strongly recommends everyone to check out his customisation service in the link below:

 

Camera Gear Customisation - Japan Camera Hunter

 

My Collection - HASSELBLAD & ROLLEIFLEX

 

Below is my collection of the "Holy Trinity" Royal Gold and Blue Cameras that realised the Collector's Ultimate Dream.

 

Hasselblad 503CX CF "Golden Blue"

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This is Hasselblad's 1941-1991 50th Anniversary model and the camera is particularly distinctive with Dark Blue vinyl leather covering on the 24K Gold-Plated body. This is a highly collective camera and only 700 units ever made worldwide.

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Rollei 35 Royal Urushi Gold

Photo courtesy and Copyright 2000 of Duncan Meeder, Foto Henny Hoogeveen, Holland.

Photo courtesy and Copyright 2000 of Duncan Meeder, Foto Henny Hoogeveen, Holland.

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This is the most exclusive Rollei 35 ever made. The Top and bottom plate is finished with Japanese hand painted blue shimmering Japanese "Urushi" lacquer, with the rest of the metal part coated with 24 Carat Gold. Each camera came with a Wooden casket, Real leather case, Gold-tipped strap and a 20REB Rollei Flash. Only 1,000 units built in Braunschweig of Germany in part runs of just 200 units a year.

 

 

 

 

 

Rolleiflex 2.8GX Royal Urushi Gold

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This is the most exclusive Special Edition with Gold plated surfaces covered with Brown African Lizard and Hand-finished Japanese Urushi high gloss lacquer in Royal Blue. It is the most exotic Rolleiflex produced and is limited to just 150 pieces in the world.

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My Collection - LEICA

Below are a selection of my Leica camera collections and this post will be updated once I acquire further unique camera gears. 

 

Leica MP Anthracite

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The highly exclusive special-edition model was designed especially for the Japanese market and only limited to 600 pieces. Its lacquering is entirely hand-applied with Anthracite, and is resistant to abrasion. Anthracite came from Greek word, literally means "a type of coal", from Anthrax. It is a hard, compact variety of mineral coal that has a high lustre. It has the highest carbon count and contains the fewest impurities of all coals, despite its lower calorific content. 

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Leica MP-6

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The Leica MP-6 was the prototype Leica MP made exclusive for Japan and only 250 pieces made out to the entire market. It distinguishes from a regular MP with classic vulcanite leather, Leica Logo engraving on the top plate and ISO selection dial at back of the camera. 

Leica MP-6 with matching Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux in Black Paint.

Leica MP-6 with matching Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux in Black Paint.

 

Leica 0 Series

Leica 0 Series with 35 Anastigmat 1:3,5 F=50mm

Leica 0 Series with 35 Anastigmat 1:3,5 F=50mm

Originally produced in only small quantities in 1923/24, this series can be regarded as the basis of modern 35mm photography and the precursor of the first commercially marketed photographic camera, the Leica I, launched in 1925 by the Optical Works of Ernst Leitz, Wetzlar. 

MY GEAR LIST (2015)

-Leica-
Leica M Typ240 (Chrome)  
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 (Matte Black)  
Leica M9 Sliver (Custom Carbon) 
Leica M9-P (Black Paint)
Leica Monochrom (Chrome)
Leica MP à la carte (Matte Black)
Leica MP Anthracite (Limited Edition)
Leica M-A (Chrome)
Leica MP-6 (Japan Edition)
Leica M6 Black
Leica M3 Olive Bundeseigentum
Leica M3 Black Paint
Leica M2
Leica 0 Series

Lenses:
Leica 50mm F0.95 Noctilux (Brass Chrome)
Schneider Xenon 50mm F0.95
Canon 50mm F0.95 "Dream Lens"
Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM
MS Optical 50mm F1.1 Sonnetar M
Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH (Black & Chrome)
Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux Type 2 (Black)
Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux Black Paint
Zeiss 50mm F1.5 Sonnar ZM
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm F1.1 VM
Voigtlander Nokton 50mm F1.5 Aspherical VM
Leica 50 F2.0 Summicron

Leica 75mm F1.4 Summilux V2

Leica 35mm F2.5 Summarit
Leica 35mm F2.4 ASPH Summarit (Chrome)
Voigtlander 35mm F2.5 Colour-Skopar Pancake VM

Leica 21mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH
Leica 21mm F3.4 Super-Elmar ASPH
Zeiss 25mm F2.8 Biogon T* ZM
Leica WATE 16-18-21mm f/4 Tri-Elmar
Zeiss 15mm F2.8 Distagon T* ZM

-Hasselblad-
Hasselblad 2000FC/M
Hasselblad 201F
Hasselblad 503CX CF "Golden Blue" 50th Anniversary Edition
Hasselblad SWC
Hasselblad X-PAN

Lenses:
Carl Zeiss 150mm F4.0 Sonnar CF T* lens
Carl Zeiss 100mm F3.5 Planar C T* lens
Carl Zeiss 38mm F4.5 Biogon C T* lens
Carl Zeiss 110mm F2 Planar F T* lens


-Rolleiflex-
Rolleiflex 3.5E with Schneider Xenotar 75mm F3.5
Rolleiflex 2.8 GX Royal Urushi Gold Edition
Rollei 35 Royal Urushi Gold Collection

-Sony-
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Camera
Sony A7 Camera

Lenses:
Sony 16mm F2.8 Pancake
Sony 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 lens
Leica Lenses Adapter

-Ricoh-
Ricoh GR1v
Ricoh 28mm F2.8 lens
Ricoh GR Digital

-Polaroid-
Polaroid 110B
Polaroid SX-70 Customised

-Canon-
Canon 60D
Canon 5D Mark II

Lenses:
35L
50L
85L
70-200 F2.8 II
100L Macro
17-55mm F2.8
24-70L
24-105L
17-40L

Hasselblad SWC


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Introduction:

The Hasselblad SWC started in production back in the 1950s and ceased manufacturing until recent years. The Hasselblad SWC is abbreviated from Super Wide Camera at present and the original names when the camera was first introduced were “Supreme Wide Angle” (1954-55) and “Super Wide” (1956-57). Below are the highlights of the Hasselblad SWC’s manufacturing history:

The Photokina in Cologne 1954 was used to introduce the Hasselblad Super-Wide with a fixed 38mm f4.5 Zeiss Biogon lens mounted in a Compur-shutter. Super-Wide SWC/M was introduced in 1979, allowing the use of the Polaroid film magazine. The Hasselblad SWC & SWC/M was introduced in1979 then follow by the 903SWC in the year 1988, as the new 903SWC had a minor body change and came with the new viewfinder with built-in spirit level. Finally the last version was the abbreviated 905SWC model released in 2001 with the compromised optics consists of 8 elements only.


Specifications Overview:

·           Fixed Zeiss Biogon 38mm f/4.5 lens

·           Body Colors available: Black or Chrome trimmed

·          Interchangeable 120mm film backs: A12 or A24 backs

·          Adoptable to Modern Digital Backs

·         Polaroid film backs available and optional

·         Filter size: Series 63 drop-in (Series VIII)

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Lens:

·         The lens on the Hasselblad SWC is the legendary Zeiss 38mm f4.5 Biogon (equivalent to 21mm on the 35mm format) and it is probably the best wide angle made by Zeiss.

·         The Zeiss 38mm f4.5 Biogon is famous for its optical excellence, which is almost distortion-free and offers image perfection.

·         There are only two variations for this lens in terms of the coating, as one version with the T* coating and the other without.

·         The original Zeiss Biogon lens offers the 10 element design compared to the updated 905SWC with an abbreviated 8 element design.

 

Models:

There are seven versions of the Hasselblad SWC made throughout the years:

  1. 1959-1968: SWC silver lens barrel, all bodies chrome
  2. 1968-1973: SWC black lens barrel, but not T*, all chrome bodies
  3. 1973-1980: SWC black lens barrel T* coating, bodies can be either chrome or black
  4. 1980-1982: SWC/M-Polaroid back usable
  5. 1982-1985: SWC/M with CF lens and bubble level on body
  6. 1986-1988: SWC/M with CF lens and no bubble level on body
  7. 1989 to 2001: the 903SWC

There are also three types of Viewfinders made:

  • Type 1 1959-1969: standard "megaphone" finder
  • Type 2 1969-1985: standard finder with rubber at eyepiece
  • Type 3 1986-present: finder with built in bubble level

The latest version of the Hasselblad SWC is the model 905SWC, which was produced in the year 2001 and the optics have downgraded to 8 elements compared to 10 elements on previous models.

 

Practical Use:

The camera is relatively small and light, therefore it allows me to shoot up to 1/15 seconds without worrying about vibration. When shooting “street photography” with this camera, you will have to pre-focus to the distance that you anticipate the subject will be and shoot steady with both hands at waist-level. This strategy can be done in “blind” shooting since the depth of field is enormous.

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Advantages:

·         The lens offers almost distortion-free images.

·         The SWC is lightweight and small, so easily handheld-able.

·         The handling

·         The interchangeable film backs provide convenience when shooting on-the-go and allows quick swapping between b&w and colour films.

·         The build quality for this camera is rock-solid amazing.

·         It is easy to hyperfocus with this camera since the depth of field is great.

Disadvantages:

·         The lens is fixed as there is no option for interchangeable lenses.

·         The viewfinder is quite small and the older ones offer poor visibility due to its age.

·         There is no rangefinder system incorporated thus it is difficult for precise focusing.

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Mamiya vs Hasselblad Comparison:

When compare the Hasselblad SWC to the Mamiya 7 with 43mm lens that makes the SWC seems to be primitive, which is reasonable for a camera designed 50 years ago. 

The focusing system of both systems is different, whereas the Hasselblad SWC is scale-focus compared to the precise rangefinder on the Mamiya. In terms of optical design, it is suspicious that the Mamiya copied the same lens design as the Hasselblad SWC. However, the latest Hasselblad SWC model (905SWC) only consists of 8 elements in the optics, whereas the Mamiya still makes the original 10 elements version for its 43mm lens.

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MS Optical 50mm f1.1 Sonnetar for Leica M

Courtesy of Breguet Camera, whom I bought the lens from.

Courtesy of Breguet Camera, whom I bought the lens from.

 

The MS Optical 50mm f1.1 Sonnetar Lens is based on the classic Sonnar design by Zeiss, which was originally produced back in the 1920’s and it was famous for its beautiful rendering with high contrast.

All MS optical lenses are handcrafted by Mr. Miyazaki (宫崎), who is a modern-day genius optical engineer and lens designer. I had previous encounters with him to modify my Schneider Xenon 50mm F0.95 to M mount and he has the ability to modify almost any lens that you desire to the Leica M mount. Mr. Miyazaki created the MS-Optical 35mm f3.5 and 28mm f4 “Perar” Pancake lenses before and they are the size of a lens cap, which is absolutely amazing.

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Lens specifications:

{C}·         Sonnar type construction

{C}·         5 lenses in 4 groups with multi-coated surfaces

{C}·         True focal length of 51.7mm

{C}·         Lenses made of glass with ultra-high refractive index

{C}·         Apertures: f/1.1 to f/16

{C}·         Diaphragm is “made in Germany” (14 rounded blades from the pictures)

{C}·         Lens weight 190g (220g with hood and caps)

{C}·         Filter size M55

{C}·         Coma Manual adjuster on rear element

 

Optics:

·          Multi-coating of 2 layers on the Tantalum Glass.

·         Non-Click Stop German-made Iris, resulting smooth aperture turns.

·         Circular Centre 14 blade Iris, causing soft and dreamy effects.

·         Large Front element taking 55mm filter. For 55mm filter, note that it is mounted in reverse direction on the outside of lens front, then hood is screwed on the back of the filter.

 

Weight/Build:

·         Solid built with metal lens body and feels substantial in the hands of the photographer.

·         The lens is light in weight, as it weighs 190 grams alone and 220grams with the hood attached.

·         Significantly smaller in comparison to other fast lenses such as the Leica Noctilux or the Canon “Dream Lens”.

  

Performance

·         This lens has minimal or no distortion.

·         “Dreamy” or soft rendering when shooting wide-open at f1.1

·         It offers the Classic rendering combined with soft glows wide open which is perfect for portraiture work.

·         When stopped down, the aperture past f1.4 then the sharpness increases significantly with minimal vigenetting.

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Coma Adjustment

 The Coma adjustment offers with settings for 1m, 2m, 4m and infinity, in order to compensate for the aberration issues associated with the Sonnar based design. This adjustment allows the User to select the most frequent distance used to reduce spherical aberration.

The Coma adjustment basically moves the rear lens element and alters the lens focal length to minimize coma produced and to fine-tune optical focus for improved performance.

 Advantages:

·         Fast lens at aperture of F1.1 and yet still remain compact at the same time.

·         As with all MS-Optical lenses, it is designed and assembled by only one person hence comes in limited numbers.

·         Minimum focusing distance of 0.8m, which is relatively close for a rangefinder lens.

 

          Disadvantages:

·         Focus and aperture rings can easily move together and this can interfere with the shooting process.

·         The soft and glowy rendering is not favorited by every photographer.

 

Editions:

{C}·         Original Edition in Silver or Black (300 Pieces with 200 Pieces in Black and 100 Pieces in Silver)

{C}·         Black Paint Gold Letter Limited Edition (200 Pieces approx.)

{C}·         Special Edition with the UV filter labelled “Made in Japan for HK” (100 Pieces approx.)

{C}·         Screw Mount LTM Edition (Limited 50 Pieces)


Box Package includes:

  • MS-Optical Sonnetar 50mm F/1.1 Chrome Screw Mount LTM Limited Edition (50 Pieces)
  • Original Metal Front & Rear cap
  • Original Metal Hood
  • Original Box Packing & Hand-scripted Certificate with matching serial number with the lens.

 

 

MS Optical 50mm f1.1 Sonnetar vs Voigtlander 50mm f1.1 Nokton

·         Both lenses are similarly priced when the Sonnetar was first released at just over USD$1,000. However, the MS Optical 50mm f1.1 lens has increased to around USD$1,500 at present. Please note that the prices vary relative to the edition of the lens.

·         The MS Optical 50mm f1.1 lens is very small and light in comparison to the Voigtlander lens. It only weighs about half of the weight of the Voigtlander 50mm f1.1 lens (434 grams).

·         The rendering of both lenses are different, whereas the MS optical 50mm f1.1 Sonnetar offers more in terms of character in a relatively compact body.

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This lens is for someone who wants a unique lens that stands out from other 50mm lenses and prefers the soft & glowy rendering generated when shooting wide open.  The rendering of this lens makes it perfect for portraiture work and allows the photographer to create something that is both beautiful and unique.

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Leica 75mm F1.4 Summilux-M Lens

The Leica 75mm F1.4 Summilux-M lens is probably the most interesting and intriguing telephoto lens made by Leica. Photographers who have used it previously claim it to possess “Dreamy and Magical” qualities. It is a special lens and all these intriguing opinions triggered curiosity and simply could not resist the temptation to try this lens. The quest to hunt for this lens at a reasonable price was not an easy task but managed to find a latter Canadian version of this lens from an overseas Leica dealer in good conditions. There are three versions of the Leica 75 F1.4 Summilux-M lens manufactured from the year 1980 until 2005 and then discontinued. This lens was either made in Germany or made in Canada but there is no variance in terms of quality. All three versions share the same optics as they are different only in terms of operating mechanics.

"A Blue Moment" Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved ®

"A Blue Moment" Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved ®


Perfect Lens Combo:

The “Holy Trinity” Combination for most Leica Photographers would be:

1.       Wide Angle Lens (21mm/28mm or even the 15mm made by Zeiss reviewed here)

2.       Standard Lens (35mm/50mm)

3.       Telephoto Lens (75mm vs 90mm)


Build Quality

·         The build quality is phenomenal and it is nothing short of the best Leica Standard, whether manufactured in Germany or Canada, the quality is second to none.

·         That big chuck of front glass element sucks in all the available light and the built-in hood comes in handy when encounter strong sunlight, which helps to reduce flare problems and this lens can be prone to flare issues.

Practical Use

·         Focusing can be challenging due to the issues caused by the Focus Shift, which is common for the Leica 75mm F1.4 Summilux lens.

·         Recommendation: It is best to test out the focus prior to buying so that you will assess the degree of focus shift issue and keep in mind if the lens is either front-focused or back-focused so that you can adjust the focus manually for compensation.

Steve Huff Photo

Steve Huff Photo

 

Advantages:

·         Superior Fast lens – The lens allows the Photographer to shoot wide-open at F1.4 hence the ability to generate creamy bokeh and shoot under low-light conditions.

·         Unique Rendering - It is claimed to be a Dream lens with magical Qualities, just like the Noctilux F1 lens.

·         Perfection for Portraits – Desired rendering for shooting portraits, its unique rendering combined with less-than clinically sharpness are what makes the portraits stand out.

 

Disadvantages:

·         Size and Weight – The Leica 75 F1.4 Summilux lens is big and heavy when compared to most other Leica M lenses, but you would expect this if you love fast lenses with large chuck of glass element that absorbs all the available light of the surroundings.

·         Long Focus Throw – The focus throw is long and this can cause the focusing process to be slow but it is not a bad thing when you consider such a thin DOF for this lens.

·         Focus Shift – This lens is prone to focus shift, so precise focus can be difficult with this lens. However, If you are lucky then you might find a rare one without this issue.

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved ®

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved ®



Battle of the Leica 75mm versus 90mm

1.       Leica 75mm F1.4 Summilux vs Leica 75mm F2 Summicron APO

Leica 75mm Summicron is comparatively:

{C}·         Small & Compact –The Leica 75mm Summicron coming at dimensions of 67mm/58mm vs 80mm/69mm and the weight of 430g vs 560g when compared to the smallest version of the 75mm Summilux.

{C}·         Clinically Sharp – This lens has similar rendering to the 50mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH lens but it is quite different to the “dreamy” rendering of the 75mm Summilux, which is sharp but not as clinical as the 75mm Summicron.

{C}·         Slower Speed – The 75mm Summicron is about a stop slower than the 75mm Summilux, coming at F-stop of 2 compared to the F-stop of 1.4 of the Summilux. This may be a problem under low-light situations.

Steve Huff Photo

Steve Huff Photo


2.       Leica 75mm F1.4 Summilux vs Leica 90mm F2 Summicron APO

Leica 90mm Summicron is comparatively:

·         Weight – Both lenses weight about the same, in particular the heavier Chrome version of the Leica 90mm Summicron. The Size of both lenses is also similar as the front element of the lenses is large with the ability to absorb light increases.

·         Chrome Finish – The Leica 90mm Summicron comes in an attractive chrome version, whilst the 75mm Summilux only comes in black. However, there is a limited edition of the 75mm Summilux available that came as the “Black Paint” version.

·         Slower Speed – The 90mm Summicron is about a stop slower than the 75mm Summilux, coming at F-stop of 2 compared to the F-stop of 1.4. This may be a problem under low-light situations.

·         Focal Length – 75mm provides a perspective of the person from shoulder to head and the 90mm provides a narrower scope, which is more suitable for head portraits. 

        Steve Huff Photo

        Steve Huff Photo



Fun Fact:

Summilux-M 75/1.4 (in production for 27 years, from 1980 until 2007. This was the favourite design of Mandler himself, based  on the design of the second version Summilux-M 50mm. 


Walter Mandler (May 10, 1922 – April 21, 2005) was a famous lens designer ofErnst Leitz Canada (Leica Camera) in Midland, Ontario. Mandler was born into a German farmer's family. In 1947 he joined Ernst Leitz at Wetzlar as a lens designer, working with Max Berek

Dr. Walter Mandler's chief contribution to the optical engineering was his pioneering works in application of computer aided design in optical engineering. Midland optical department was specialized in the research of retrofocus designs and apochromatic corrections. Mandler employed sophisticated combinations of special glasses in his APO and high-speed designs, and many of these glasses were original Leitz formulas manufactured by Schott or Corning. Mandler was a master in optimizing Double-Gauss designs by means of the computer and a particular method developed by him and explained in his doctoral dissertation.

Walter Mandler is credited with the design of more than 45 high performance Leica lenses for the Leica rangefinder cameras and Leica SLR cameras, including many landmark designs, Please see the entire list of Leica lenses designed by Dr.Walter on Wikipedia. 


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Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved ®

 

Specifications:

  •  Leica Order No. - 11 814 - 11 815 - 11 810 LLC - 165
  •  Production era - 1980-2007 < 14,752 lenses
  •  Variants - Black, titanium, ELC, ELW, 1913-1983 anniversary  edition; after 1982 built-in hood version 11 815
  •  Lens mount - Leica M-bayonet
  •  Number of lenses /groups - 7 /5
  •  F stop range - f/1.4-f/16
  •  Closest focusing distance - 0.75 m /2.46 ft
  •  Smallest object field - 192 mm x 288 mm /1:8
  •  Diaphragm setting /type - with clickstops from serial No. 2048701 onwards including half values / 10-blade
  •  Angle of view diagonal, horizontal, vertical - 32°, 27°, 18°
  •  Filter type - E60
  •  Accessories - Hood for 1st version: 12539
  •  Dimensions (length x diameter) - 80 x 69 mm /3.15 x 2.72 in
  •  Weight - 560 g /19.75

 

Leica 75mm F1.4 Summilux-M Serial Numbers Overview:

  • Serial Number started from 3063301 to 3988718 (Last Known SN)
  • The Lens Production Years started from 1980 until 2005. 
  • The Total Assigned Serial Numbers is 14,752.
  • The Built-In Hood has a Model No. 11 814. 
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Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved ®


Zeiss 15mm F2.8 Distagon T* ZM lens

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

The Zeiss 15mm F2.8 Distagon T* ZM is a one-of-a-kind lens, it is truly a monster when mounted on a Leica M body that offers Exquisite image rendering. In Short, this is not a lens for everyone but it offers insanely sharp, highly contrasty and richly saturated images. So if you are looking for an exotic ultra-wide angle lens that generates a unique rendering then look no further.

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Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

This lens is not your typical “Made in Japan” Zeiss lens, it is handcrafted in Germany and Zeiss went all out with this design. The Zeiss 15mm F2.8 ZM used all sorts of exotic types of glass and incorporated aspheric lens elements, which is uncommon for Zeiss designs.All those factors contribute to making this lens the most expensive lens in the ZM lineup and it is what separates it from all others.


Build Quality and Ergonomics

Image obtained from Flickr

Image obtained from Flickr

The build quality of the Zeiss 15mm Distagon ZM lens is exceptional. It matches the German made Leica standards and the ergonomics of this lens is excellent. The lens is relatively large when compared to other M mount lenses but it still feels great in the hands of the photographer. The lens comes in at 13 oz or around 370 grams, which is not light for a typical Leica M lens but it is well balanced on either the Leica M9 or the new Leica M240.

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

 

Practical use

The Zeiss 15mm F2.8 Distagon ZM lens is not rangefinder coupled when using on the Leica M9 but this is overcame by the liveview function on the new Leica M240. Although this lens is not rangefinder coupled, it has the minimum focusing distance advantage down to 0.3m,which is around a person’s forearm length thus allows the photographer to shoot with close objects.

In terms of Image rendering, there is strong vignetting visible at all apertures and if you a fan of Vignetting effects then this would be the ideal lens for you. Otherwise, this is easily reduced by applying the Central Density Filter (CDF) provided by Zeiss, which is specifically manufactured and designed for this lens.The CDF is a unique density filter that only densifies the central part of the glass which minimises the vignetting overall. (Just a kind reminder, Do not lose the CDF filter, as it does not come cheap to buy it separately at approximately $600 US Dollars. The colour casts can also be noticeable around the corners when taking photos with certain backgrounds, which produces magenta on the left along with cyan on the right but this can be easily fixed by using the CornerFix Software. 

When shooting with the Zeiss 15mm Distagon ZM lens, It is recommended to purchase a Zeiss 15mm Viewfinder or a cheaper alternative Voigtlander 15mm viewfinder for functional use on the Leica M9 and other rangefinder bodies. As for the lens profile, I tend to mount the lens and leave it to automatic detection mode but you are free to experimenting or try different lens profile which suits you. 

 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

 

Zeiss 15mm F2.8 Distagon ZM vs 

Leica Wide Angle Tri-Elmar (WATE) 16-18-21mm F4 Lens

· The Zeiss 15mm Distagon ZM lens has a one.stop advantage over the Leica WATE, with a faster aperture of f2.8 compares to f4. 

· The Zeiss 15mm ZM is sharper in the centre and the WATE is sharper around the corners. 

· The Zeiss 15mm ZM is more contrasty than the WATE and has richer colours, which offers a different rendering in comparison to Leica lenses.

· The WATE lens is more expensive but more flexible than the Zeiss 15 ZM as it consists three different focal lengths at 16mm, 18mm and 21mm. At the Focal Length of 21mm, the distortion is minimised to none on the WATE. 

· The WATE is rangefinder coupled that is an advantage over the uncoupled Zeiss lens. However, the Zeiss 15mm ZM offers a much closer focusing distance down to 1 feet (0.3m), which is very handy when using on the new Leica M240. 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 Specifications

Lens Type: Prime Lens

Focal Length: 15mm

Mount Type: Leica M

Format: Full Frame / FX

Compatible Format(s): 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor APS-C

Compatible with Teleconverters: No

Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 1:18

Vibration Reduction / Image Stabilization: No

Aperture Information

Aperture Ring: Yes

Maximum Aperture: f/2.8

Minimum Aperture: f/22

Maximum Angle of View (Full Frame format): 110°

Minimum Angle of View (Full Frame format): N/A

Optical Information

Lens Elements: 11

Lens Groups: 9

Aspherical Elements: 1

Super Integrated / Super Spectra Coating: No

Focus Information

Focus: Manual Focus

Built-in Focus Motor: No

Silent Wave / Ultrasonic Motor: No

Internal Focusing: No

Rear Focusing: No

Minimum Focus Distance: 0.30m

Distance Information: Yes

Filter Information

Filter Size: 72mm

Accepts Filter Type: Screw-on

Physical Characteristics

Weather / Dust Sealing: Yes

Mount Material: Metal

Tripod Collar: No

Dimensions: 78 x 92mm

Weight: 550g

Other Information

Available in Colors: Black

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 

Jerry Bei All Rights Reserved © 


Leica M Typ240 Camera Review

 

Leica M 240 & 50 Summilux ASPH (Black)

Leica M 240 & 50 Summilux ASPH (Black)

I remember the anticipation was building up for the Leica announcement at September of last year, no one was certain what improvements can be done on the already excellent Leica M9. The tension was there until I saw the video  of John Dooley from the Leica Academe demonstrates the new Leica M. Immediately I was attracted by the camera, it offers so much more than the M9 as a camera but it was until I read online debates all around forums regarding to CMOS vs CCD brought doubts in mind too. Until now, when I finally received the new Leica M typ 240 camera that all my doubts have vanished.

There still are not too many Leica M typ240 cameras out around the world as of June, 2013 and this is due to supply issues from Leica (See public statement from Leica). Other than waiting on the long list of Leica dealers, the only alternative would be paying for a big premium to cut the queue. Nevertheless, it is well worth the wait and there is no-going back to the Leica M9 after using the new M substantially.

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"Survival of Strongest" - Leica M + 50 F1.4 Summilux ASPH

 

Improvements Compared to the Leica M9

The new Leica M typ240 improved all the short-comings of that Leica M9 users have asked for: higher resolution screen, quicker camera processor, faster buffer, quieter shutter sound, better ISO performance and overall much improved functionality.

 

Leica M240 & 50 Lux ASPH Chrome Set

Leica M240 & 50 Lux ASPH Chrome Set

 Build Quality

The build quality of the Leica M is simply amazing. It is build even better than the Leica M9 but maintained similar weight. The camera feels impeccably solid and the body is carved out of a single piece of brass. As a proud Leica MP owner myself,  the Leica MP is undoubtably the best build film M camera until the present. The engineering standard matches the pinnacle of Leica film era, if the Leica MP stands for "Mechanical Perfection" then the new Leica M can be labelled "Digital Perfection." The build quality is equally as solid as the Leica MP.

Image Quality (CMOS vs CCD)

 "Queen Victoria Building"  - Leica M + 21mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH

 "Queen Victoria Building"  - Leica M + 21mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH

Prior to obtaining the Leica M that I have seen enough online images from the camera to conclude the rendering is different with the new sensor. However, the sensor inside the Leica M is no ordinary CMOS sensor, it is specifically made for Leica by an Italian manufacturer named "CMOSIS." After shooting the Leica M,  the rendering is smooth, sharp with rich colours whereas the Leica M9 files are crisp with vibrant colours.

The Leica M offers about two stop better than the M9  in terms of ISO performance, I would state the files are usable even at ISO 6400 with noise reduction in post-processing.  The CMOS sensor is not better or worse than the CCD sensor, each has its own characteristics and produces an unique image rendering.

Functionality

Leica M240 & 21 Summilux ASPH

Leica M240 & 21 Summilux ASPH

The Leica M typ240 improves greatly in overall functionality compared to the Leica M9, it feels like a complete camera. There is no question that the Leica M9 outputs amazing images but the Leica M makes the M9 feels like incomplete in the functionality department. The Leica M is the perfect digital camera, it feels like a "real" camera with the new LCD, new design and fast processor. The LCD screen has improved significantly on the Leica M, the screen size and resolution increased from 2.5" and 230,000 pixels on the M9 to 3" and 920,000 pixels on the Leica M. The new Menu on the Leica M appears to be modernly designed yet maintained the navigation simplicity of the Leica M9, all the features are in one clean and simple menu list.  The in-camera processor has been updated to a much faster processing electronics and this combined with the new LCD provides users with immediate feedbacks. The shutter sound on the Leica M is different to the Leica M9, it is much quieter yet solid without the re-cocking sound on the M9. The new shutter produces more pleasant sound to the ears and increases discreetness when shooting at quite locations.  The transition of the electronic frame lines from the Leica M9 titanium onto the new Leica M is a great addition, the electronic frame lines will adjust its brightness according to the light source thus offers better visibility through the viewfinder.

The battery life of the Leica M improved significantly over the Leica M9, the voltages increased from 3.7v on the M9 to almost double with 7.4v for batteries on the M.  The real-life battery usage increases from around 400 to about 1,000+ shots. This prolonged battery life offers extended period of camera use and fewer batteries to carry.

The Leica M9 is prone to issues such as camera freezes regularly and SD card compatibility issues. I have not observed or yet encounter any of these issues after using the Leica M extensively and this reduces the burden on the user during shooting process.  

 

 "Opera Sunset" -  Leica M + 50mm F1.4 Lux ASPH

 "Opera Sunset" -  Leica M + 50mm F1.4 Lux ASPH

Camera Use/Settings Tips

  • Format your SD with external software "SDformatter" rather than in-camera format, as this will cut down start-up time from 4/5 down to about 2 seconds to avoid missing the "moment."

  • Set your metering to centre-weighted and exposure to classic just like the good old Leica M9, this will avoid camera lag when out shooting.

  • Use the live-view function combined with rangefinder mechanism will significantly increase your hit rate when the streets, it is the perfect tool for street photography. The new features do not remove good-old fashion rangefinder shooting but only add to the versatility.

  • For image settings, I tend to use original image settings rather than new film filters offered as I found them to look "different". It is recommend to set Sharpness and Saturation to Standard whilst contrast to High to offer the closest look to M9 files, post-processing is definitely also important but luckily the new M comes with the powerful Lightroom 5.
 

Hasselblad Carl Zeiss 110mm F2.0 Planar T* lens Review

You can check out the review featured on SteveHuffPhoto:

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/06/10/user-report-the-noctilux-of-hasselblad-the-zeiss-110-f2-planar-by-jerry-bei/

 

While I am waiting for the arrival of my Leica M typ240 that I would like to share my recent experiences with a legendary Hasselblad lens, the Carl Zeiss 110mm F2.0 Planar lens. I am a big fan of super shallow Depth-of-field and bokehlicious images, I believe with the correct use of aperture that one can enhance the subject of the photo. The Hasselblad medium format film camera has been my companion for quite some time now, it is the "perfect" MF camera for me and part of this is due to the superb qualities of those Carl Zeiss lenses. After owning and shooting with a variety of these lenses, there is always a lens in back of my mind.

The Hasselblad 110mm F2.0 Planar lens is indeed a "dream" lens, just like the noctilux of Leica which outputs incredible bokeh and unique characteristics. I have been searching lens on the internet for quite awhile since there are not too many of them available at once. There are basically two versions of the lens: the F and FE models of the lens. The F lens can only be used on focal plane Hasselblad bodies with built-in camera shutter and the FE version has some electronic parts specially designed for FE series Hasselblad bodies such as the 203FE, which demands a higher price tag for its more modern electronics. My lovely 2000 FC/M camera that I did my street photography work with has broken down due to focal plane failure so I upgraded to a more recent model, the 201F with a cloth focal plane shutter rather than fragile titanium ones in the 2000FC/M. It is the perfect match with the Hasselblad 110mm F2 lens and this combination works like a charm.

The first thing you notice when you are holding the lens is quite heavy, coming at 750 grams, which is significantly heavier than my Hasselblad 100mm F3.5 C lens. The F version of this lens were produced between 1991-1998 and the construction consists of 7 elements/5 groups with the aperture ranges from an insane F2 to F16 in 1/2 stop increments. Keep in mind that F2 in the Medium Format world is approximately similar to F1 in the 35mm format, which produces incredibly shallow paper-thin DOF. In practical use, the lens at the start was very challenging to use, especially for living subjects on the streets that I like to photograph but once you get used to it then everything becomes easier. Just as a side note, I would recommend for Hasselblad users to change their focusing screen to either Matte or Matte D with increased brightness/clarity when working with this lens, which helps significantly in practical use. The filter size for this particular lens is in bayonet mount (Bay 70) and I would recommend the 77mm UV size adapter since this is a much affordable option.

The performance of the Hasselblad 110mm F2.0 Planar lens is truly remarkable, it deserves to wear the crown of super-fast lenses in the Medium Format world. The rendering is typical Zeiss with tendency to the warm side with vivid colours and the out-of-focus areas are pleasing to the eye with smooth bokeh. The images coming out of this lens are very sharp, probably not as sharp as the Hasselblad 100mm F3.5 lens since that one is the sharpest but the 110mm lens possesses very unique and special characteristics. If you like super-fast lenses and looking for an unique lens in the medium format world then the Hasselblad 110mm lens cannot be missed.

My website: www.jerrybei.com

My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jerrybay/

 

 

Street Portraits: Keep an eye open around you!

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Do you ever have that feeling there isn't much happening around where you live? That you are just taking the same boring shots after another? Most photographers do get that feeling at some stage of their photography journey, they feel that there isn't too many interesting things in the city where you live day-by-day. Well, this is not true, THERE IS ALWAYS INTERESTING PEOPLE OR SUBJECTS AROUND YOU EVERYDAY! If you have or are having this feeling, then It is time for you to re-think about your photographic subjects or starting a new project that will open a new dimension for your photographs.

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Next time when you want to go out your home and hit the streets, you should try walking a different route, taking photos of different subjects or keep an eye open for interesting people that captures your attention. I personally believe that EVERY single person has their own story and it is a street photographer's duty to capture that in the best of his/her abilities. If you are afraid of approaching to strangers then you can try all those street photography techniques such as shoot-from-hip, low angle shots, pretending you are shooting something else, etc. However, it is best if a photographer can eventually engage with his subject by approaching them personally and communicate with them, trying to get a glimpse of their moment or their story is the best way to get a natural photograph of the person.

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Just remember, there are ALWAYS interesting subjects around you and it is your obligation as a photographer to find them, be open about your photographs, get creative as this will open a new realm of interesting moments. 

More of my "Street Portraits" work at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jerrybay/sets/72157633113750711/

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Thoughts on the New Leica M type 240

There are limited number of people who are lucky enough to receive a copy of the New Leica M during the very limited first shipment. I have been following nearly all resources on the new M so far including reviews, blogs, users and Facebook groups. I am yet to receive my camera but would love to share some of my thoughts on the Leica M.
The Leica M Type 240 is a revolutionary camera for Leica and it is an essential step for Leica to take in the modern digital era. Although Leica is aimed at high-end of the camera market and designed for Leica enthusiasts but the fierce competition from other brands such as Sony or Fuji cannot be ignored. There is a heavy debate from Leica purists who just so into the "Leica Look", which including myself have concerns for changing from the already amazing CCD sensor to the generalist market CMOS sensor. However, there are several advantages of using a CMOS sensor which includes better ISO performance in low light situations, video capabilities and live view functionality. Leica claimed this CMOS sensor within the Leica M type 240 is specially developed for a Leica naming it "CMOSIS" sensor. Leica M9 owners expressed their concerns that by changing to the new CMOSIS sensor that it will lose the Leica Look and the image quality won't be as good as the M9. For what I have seen or read so far, this is not to be the case.

Image Quality:
The New Leica M has a different rendering to the M9 with even higher resolution. The images do not appear as crispy as the M9 files is due to the out of focus area are more creamier. The Leica look 3D pop is still there and the colours coming out of the new M are very rich also pleasing to my eyes. Therefore, the new CMOS sensor does not lose that Leica Look just with different rendering compared to the Leica M9. The resolution of the overall images are higher when viewed on a large visual scale.

Functionality:
The New M improves significantly over the functionality of the M9, it has better shutter, better LCD, better user interface and better features. The shutter sound coming out of the new M sounds so pleasant to the ears and it does not retain that shutter recoil sound which can be loud in certain situations. The LCD seems to improved significantly in terms of resolution and the interface appears to be very user-friendly and quick to browse/use. The live view feature is particular useful in case of precise focusing and checking the rangefinder mechanism accuracy.

Overall, I think Leica has done the right thing by updating the Leica M9 in a revolutionary way to the new Leica M type 240, this opens up new market for new Leica users and in the end the Leica AG is a business, a business needs profit to run or it will go bankrupt like Kodak that all of us do not want to witness. Bravo that Leica is on the right track in the competitive digital era, Leica purists like myself need to open their heart and accept new changes in a never stopping world, if you don't like all those extra features just use the most original Leica rangefinder mechanism, which defines a Leica rangefinder.

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Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM lens Review (compared with Canon 50mm F0.95 lens)

Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM lens Review


I am a big fan of large aperture lens and bokehliciousness images. Since I already have possession of the Schneider Xenon 50mm F0.95 lens that I could not justify spending another 3k on the Canon 50mm F0.95 lens. Alternatively, I had my eye on a similar Canon offering: the Canon 50 F1.2 lens. This is was introduced by Canon in 1956 and it was the fastest mass market lens available in Leica Thread Mount at that time. This lens is less than a stop slower than the Canon's famous big brother and the prices is only about a quarter of the F0.95 lens.

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Size and Build Quality


There are two chrome versions of this lens and also a limited completely black version made specifically for Black rangefinders. The lens in this review is the version one of this lens imprinted "CANON CAMERA CO. Japan" on the front of filter thread.
The Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM lens is much smaller and lighter than the Canon 50mm F0.95 lens, it weights at 323grams compared to 605grams of the F0.95 lens. The Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM has similar build quality to the F0.95 lens and built with Canon's signature black and satin chrome finish. Overall, the lens feels well built and feels solid in the hands.

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Image Quality and Rendering


The Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM lens is comprised of 7 elements in 5 groups and with aperture range from f/1.2 to f/22. There are 11 aperture blades with a minimum focusing distance of 1 meter. The filter size thread on this lens is 55mm and filters may be applied accordingly.
The rendering of images is very similar to the Canon 50mm F0.95 lens. Certain photographers buy that lens because they love the bokeh produced by it. In this case, the Canon 50mm F1.2 lens does not disappoint in this regard and offers that typical Canon bokeh. The Canon 50mm F0.95 is also well-known for its "softness" when shot wide open, which has the reputation for been a "perfect" portrait lens. In terms of wide open performance, the F1.2 lens surpasses its bigger brother and offers higher resolution and sharper images when shot at F1.2. When stopped down, the sharpness of image progressively increases and peaks at F8. The best resolution is provided at F4 and in terms of sharpness this Canon lens can compete with other lens brands in Leica LTM mount to produce very detailed images when stopped down.

LTM mount

The Canon 50mm F1.2 lens is in Leica Thread Mount (LTM) and can be mounted on
any traditional Leica Screw Mount camera. To use this lens on the Leica M mount then an adapter is required to convert from LTM to Leica M mount. It is a simple type of adapter and there are many offerings but to allow the lens work flawlessly with great calibration then a well-machined adapter is necessary. I highly recommend buying the genuine Voigtlander or Novoflex LTM to M adapter as they are extremely well-built and will not incur any "loose play" like the cheaper eBay adapters.

Im conclusion, it is an amazing lens that can be had for a relatively cheap price that works like a charm on any Leica rangefinder camera. Most importantly, it is a fun lens to shoot withand offers a very unique rendering.

Kodak Portra 160/400 Film Report


Eastman Kodak Company, commonly known as Kodak is famous for its photographic film products and the company has achieved a dominate position in the film industry during the 20th Century. The most iconic film of Kodak is probably the Kodachrome, which was introduced in 1935 and it was the most popular colour reversal film back then with vivid saturated colours. However, the Kodachrome 64 was discounted in the year 1996 and this signified the slow discontinuation of the entire Kodakchrome line-up in the years followed. Another popular film made by Kodak is named "Portra" and it is famous for its portraiture rendering and fine-grain produced.

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Kodak Portra are colour negative films available in three film speed ranging from ISO 160 to 800. Kodak Portra 160 and 400 are the most widely used films in the Portra range and each were available in two versions: NC (Netural Colour) and VC (Vivid Colour). Kodak combined those two versions and replaced with a single Portra 160 or 400 in late 2010. The graininess on the Kodak Portra 160 can be described as extremely fine grain and the Potra 400 also has very fine grain. Both the Portra 160 and the 400 has balanced saturation and colours that are mainly applied to portraiture and travel photography.

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Personally, I haved used all those films and I can describe both the Portra 160 & 400 have very nice grains with the 160 film producing sharper images. The skin tones rendered is very natural and the overall picture tone is natural as well. However, I still prefer the discontinued VC version of Kodak Portra, which produces more colourful and vivid images. The colours of the Portra VC film are punchy and eye-pleasing yet not exaggerated. The stock availability of the Portra VC film is very low since it has been out of production for a couple of years already so buyer have to be careful when buying since most are expired. I recommend as long as the films have been properly stored and refrigerated then within a time period of 5 years should yield fine results. Now it is time to hunt down and stock some Kodak Portra 160 and 400 VC film.

Kodak Portra 400 by Hasselblad

Kodak Portra 400 by Hasselblad

Kodak Portra 400 by Rolleiflex

Kodak Portra 400 by Rolleiflex

Kodak Potra 160 VC

Kodak Potra 160 VC

The Leica 21mm F3.4 Super-Elmar ASPH M lens Practical Review


I had the Zeiss 25mm F2.8 Zm lens in my possession during the last year but eventually sold the lens as I did not used it much nor did I like using an external viewfinder. Sometimes when I looked back at the images it produced that I regretted selling it and I am eager to get another wide angle lens. Following the announcement of the newly designed Leica 21mm F3.4 Super-Elmar ASPH lens last year, I decided to get my hands on this lens. It took me awhile to find one since the lens was relatively new in Leica's line-up. Here is a simple review of the lens and its practical useage.

Build Quality & The Feel

The Leica 21mm F3.4 Super-Elmar ASPH lens is a superbly constructed lens like all other Leica M lens, its build quality is typical Leica standard. The size and weight of the lens is about as perfect as it gets, not too big and not too heavy, when mounting on the Leica M9/MP it felt well balanced.

Image Quality

This lens is renowned for its insane sharpness and it does not disappoint. The images produced from this lens are sharp from corner to corner and when zoom-in to 100% crop the details are amazingly retained. It is probably up there with Leica's sharpest lenses if not the sharpest.
The rendering of this lens has tendency to the warm side and the colour images coming out of this lens are vivid. This lens also produces astonishing sharp and punchy Black and white images.

External viewfinder

Although I am not a big fan of external viewfinders but an external viewfinder is necessary for accurate framing. There are two genuine options for a 21mm external viewfinder: Zeiss and Leica. Other options are available such as voigtlander but they are difficult to find or match cosmetically with the lens setup. The Zeiss viewfinder is bigger and brighter than the Leica one, it also costs a few hundred bucks lens. The Zeiss 21mm viewfinder coming at nearly $500 isn't cheap but the Leica one even costs more. I bought the Zeiss 21mm viewfinder myself and it is a real enjoyment to view through it since it looks even better than my M9 or MP rangefinder viewfinder.

Conclusion:

If you are looking for an ultra sharp wide angle lens for the Leica M body that balances well and not too big or heavy then do not look further, this is the lens to get!

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Leica – a timeless classic

Leica – a timeless classic

Today I would like to write about what got me into street photography from the start, a Leica. The Leica's discreetness and unmatchable image quality with a Leica glass is what separate a Leica from all other cameras. I started with the digital M9 first then eventually got the film MP, which is the common route for modern Leica users.

The build quality of Leica is exceptional; it's like nothing you ever hold in hands. It is made of all metal, feels dense and solid. The weight is right, not too heavy and not too light, all of this is the result of German Engineering. It is necessary to have the right photographic tool as this will forms the bond with the photographer and when you go out shooting that it will motivates you to create beautiful images.

The viewfinder is beautiful and bright and it is probably the brightest out of all 35mm cameras. It is a pleasure to view through it and most importantly it does not block a photographer's view, which allows your eyes to connect with the subject. The way of viewing through a rangefinder allows the photographer to anticipate what is coming to your frame to capture the "decisive moment." A Leica is truly an "extension of your eye."

Leica lens are renowned for their highest standard of optical quality thus producing amazing image quality. The unique CCD sensor is in the heart of the Leica M9 and it offers an unique rendering, which results in vivid colours and ultra sharp images. The combination of this unique sensor and the Leica glass are known to create that "Leica Look."

The simplicity of the Leica M design really makes the shooting process more enjoyable. Nothing unnecessary exists on the camera as it strips down to the essence of photography. This allows the photographer to focus on the basics of shooting, back to the roots and in my opinion this in turn can challenge a photographer's skills to create better photos. The camera is discrete and unobtrusive, which makes the photographer as part of the scene. The discreetness is really the size and the Leica shutter, the click of the shutter is quite and smooth like "music to the ears."

The focusing on a rangefinder is quite challenging since a Leica M is an all-manual operation camera and if the focus if off then it is your problem. However, the focusing skills come with practice through time and you will get a lot faster with patience.

Overall, Shooting with a rangefinder Leica M is a rewarding process and makes the user feels like in total control. I took the Leica with me to everywhere in the world and it helped me to become a better photographer.

Schneider Kreuznach Xenon 50mm F0.95 lens Review

Schneider Kreuznach Xenon 50mm F0.95 lens Review

I was searching for an ultra large aperture lens on the Internet and have found this very special lens. It is extremely rare and I can hardly find any samples online, so I decided to share some knowledge I learnt and experiences from using this unique lens.

Build Quality and Size

The Schneider Xenon 50mm F0.95 is made in Germany and Schneider is a highly reputable optics manufacturer. The weight and size is similar to the famous Leica Noctilux 50mm F0.95, it feels heavy and solid in the hands. It is densely made with all metal and built like a tank. The weight of the lens is about 700grams so it is a bit front heavy when you mount on a camera, which is the similar case with the Noctilux.

Lens Mount

The Schneider 50mm F0.95 lens is a C-mount lens which is designed for cinematic usage and that is why it has very special characteristics. I bought a C-to-E mount adapter to allow the lens to be used on the Sony NEX-7. The angle of view of the Schneider 50mm F0.95 is about 33 degrees, although it does not cover full frame but close enough for APSC size sensors. I was very tempted to send this lens to a highly skilled Japanese technician who can modify this lens into the M mount, which can be used on my Leica M9 and MP but decided to hold off the modification for now. You may notice some vignetting on some photos but this can be a positive thing, which all depends on personal preferences.

Image quality

The lens design is made of 6 elements in 8 groups and it contains 6 aperture blades. The closest focusing distance is 0.8 meters, which is not too far and not too close. The aperture range varies from F0.95 to F11 (as indicated on my lens barrel) and there are 3 versions of this lens. My lens is the latter version with the distance scale indication.

The Schnedier 50mm F0.95 is capable of shooting in super lowlight conditions, as it sucks in all the light available and it is perfect for night scene usage.

The rendering is very unique as defined by its bokeh, some people may not like the bokeh it produces but it has lots of characteristics. You can get extremely bokehlicious images and it has that “swirly” bokeh can almost sucks you! When shooting portrait with this lens, it provides almost painting-like quality that is very pleasing to the eye. Also when using it for Black and white photography, it offers that “film look”, which makes it very attractive for b&w purist shooters.

I have found the images are adequately sharp when shot wide open and the sharpness improves when stopped down.

Practical use

The lens is very useful in low light conditions, which makes a big difference in practical use compared to my F1.4 summilux at night and it is all you need on a Sony Nex-7. It is useful for street photography when combined with the tilt shift screen on the Nex-7 that can be used like a waist-level finder; F0.95 allows a very fast shutter speed thus making the combination fast and discrete for street use. The rendering is very special with swirly bokeh that can almost sucks you in, which can even make boring subjects look very interesting. It is the perfect lens for portraits as it renders the image with painting-like characteristics that makes the background melts away. The Schneider 50mm F0.95 is also great for black and white shooting since it provides that almost “film look” on today’s digital bodies.

This lens is full of surprises and I am still discovering more characteristics each time I use it. It is a very pleasant lens to use both on streets and for portraits, I would recommend anyone that likes the images produced from this lens to hunt one down as it is quite rare! 

For my Flickr Set by the Schnedier Xenon 50mm F/0.95 can be viewed here.

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List of Gears that I have used

I am not the one that owned the most gears before but I can say that I gained substantial knowledge on the gears that I have used before. So if you have any questions on any camera equipments, please feel free to ask. I will try share my knowledge with you guys and start writing reviews on some of the gears.

My Gear (Owned Currently & Previously):

-Leica-
Leica M9 Sliver (Custom Carbon Fiber)
Leica MP à la carte (Matte Black Monochrome)
Leica M6 Black
Leica M2

Lenses:
Leica 50mm F1.4 Summilux ASPH M 
Zeiss 50mm F1.5 Sonnar ZM 
Voigtlander 50mm F1.1 Nokton M 
Leica 50 F2.0 Summicron M
Schneider Xenon 50mm F0.95 


Leica 35mm F2.5 Summarit M
Voigtlander 35mm F2.5 Colour-Skopar Pancake M

Leica 21mm F3.4 Super-elmar ASPH M
Zeiss 25mm F2.8 Biogon T* ZM 
Leica WATE 16-18-21mm f/4 Tri-Elmar 

-Hasselblad-
Hasselblad 2000FC/M

Lenses:
Carl Zeiss 150mm F4.0 Sonnar CF T* lens 
Carl Zeiss 100mm F3.5 Planar C T* lens 


-Rolleiflex-
Rolleiflex 3.5E2 with Schneider Xenotar 75mm F3.5 lens

-Sony-
Sony Alpha NEX-7 Camera

lenses:
Sony 16mm F2.8 Pancake
Sony 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 lens


-Ricoh GR1v-
Ricoh 28mm F2.8 lens 

-Polaroid-
Polaroid 110B

-Canon-
Canon 60D
Canon 5D Mark II

Lenses:
35L
50L
85L
70-200 F2.8 II
100L Macro
17-55mm F2.8
24-70L
24-105L
17-40L

My Post on Hasselblad featured on Stevehuffphoto.com

Here is the link to my article and thanks for the support everyone!

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/02/01/using-the-hasselblad-200-fcm-for-street-photography-by-jerry-bei/

Using the Hasselblad for Street Photography

 

I am a street photographer based in Sydney and I have a strong passion for photography in general. I used the Leica M9 and MP as my main tools for street photography in the past couple of years but recently decided to acquire something different. The temptation of medium format have always been there but I could not justify the cost of digital medium format cameras, at least for now.

Hasselblad has always been my dream medium format camera and luckily I got the chance to buy a Hasselblad 2000FC/M camera body with a A12 magazine at a very reasonable price that got me started into medium format. The world of medium format film photography was new to me so I had to learn everything from the start. I got a grasp of how the Hasselblad V system works very quickly since I had quite a bit of experience shooting film before.

First thing I noticed when holding the camera is its superb build quality, I have held many Leica cameras before but this thing is different, it is built like a tank; heavy and solid. The Hasselblad 2000FC/M with a lens attached is significantly heavier than my Leica M9 with a 50 Summilux ASPH combo but still lighter than a full-frame DSLR setup.

The viewfinder on the Hasselblad V system is like nothing else I have experienced, big and beautiful. It is almost like a live-view 3 inch LCD screen in the modern days but even better since it is all optical rather than electronic. Viewing through the viewfinder is a pleasure and truly a treat to eyes. I have upgraded the original stock viewscreen to a even brighter Accute Matte D screen that helps to achieve faster and more accurate focusing for street photography.

The Hasselblad V system is equipped with a waist-level viewfinder and it is perfect for street photography. You can simply hold the camera at your waist aimed at your subject and most people don’t even know that you are taking a picture. It’s discreteness is perfect for the streets. The shutter click sound is no where as quite as a leaf shutter or Leica quietness but it is still a pleasure to hear the mirror flipping when the shutter fires.

One of the big advantage of the Hasselblad system over other medium format film systems is its inter-changeable backs, which allows swap between different films on the go. There are several different types of film magazines available that can shoot different number of exposures. The most common is the A12 magazine, which allows photographers to shoot 12 frames of 6×6 exposures of 120mm film. You simply insert the dark slide to remove the film back and apply another back loaded with the film you desire. Therefore, you don’t have to wait until all exposures to be finished and able to shoot B&W or Colour during the same photo-shoot.

The lenses are made by Carl Zeiss thus equates to superior image quality. There are several different types of lenses for the V system, some with lens built-in Synchro Compur shutter like in C and CF lenses and some without that uses the in-camera shutter like the F lenses. My Hasselblad 2000FC/M can uses all three types of lenses since it has a built-in shutter and a top shutter speed of 1/2000 second. The optics are all made by Carl Zeiss and has the typical Zeiss quality with its renowned 3D rendition. Some people buy the system because of their famous lenses. There are also difference in lens coating and are noted by the T* sign. The lenses I used are the Carl Zeiss 150mm F4.0 CF T* lens which is equivalent to 94mm in 35mm format, which is the perfect lens for head and shoulder portraits. I am also using the “magical” lens in the Hasselblad world , the Carl Zeiss 100mm F3.5 C T* lens that is equivalent to 63mm and it is a mysterious lens that is rarely used but contains some magical qualities. One day I hope to get the “Noctilux” of Hasselblad, which is the Carl Zeiss 110mm F2 lens that will produce stunning bokeh!

I loved shooting with 35mm film on my MP, although the film qualities are presented i.e. the great exposure latitude, dynamic range and tonality but the sharpness is not up to the standard that I desired. Medium format film seems to be the “Perfect” solution for this, it has incredible sharpness, even at 100% crop looks tack-sharp amazing to me. Although with the significant gain of resolution over 35mm film but it still retains all the film qualities that makes it so attractive. There is also a great gain in shallower Depth-of-Field and the bokeh from the lenses are incredible. The frame is 6×6 which makes it a unique square shape that stands out from all other images. I have yet to print those images in large sizes but have heard that you can even blown them up to 2 by 2 meters prints, which is perfect for commercial usage.

It has been a real joy to use the hasselblad and I am still amazed at its quality. While my journey in the medium format world continues that I would highly recommend for anyone wanting try out medium format film photography : do not hesitate!

Please feel free to visit my Flickr or 500px to see more of my work:

Flickr: HYPERLINK “http://www.flickr.com/photos/jerrybay/” http://www.flickr.com/photos/jerrybay/

500px: HYPERLINK “http://500px.com/jerrybay” http://500px.com/jerrybay


"UFO" - Kodak Ektar 100

"UFO" - Kodak Ektar 100

"J&M" - Fuji Pro400H

"J&M" - Fuji Pro400H

"Circus Lady" Kodak Portra 400

"Circus Lady" Kodak Portra 400

"French Nun" - Fuji Reala 100

"French Nun" - Fuji Reala 100

"Gossip Girls" - Kodak Portra 400

"Gossip Girls" - Kodak Portra 400

"In the Wind" - Fuji Pro400H

"In the Wind" - Fuji Pro400H

"1958 Chevrolet-Corvette" - Delta HP5+

"1958 Chevrolet-Corvette" - Delta HP5+

"Black Riders" - Delta HP5+

"Black Riders" - Delta HP5+

"Father & Son" - Ilford Delta 400

"Father & Son" - Ilford Delta 400

"Hairy Chest" - Delta HP5+

"Hairy Chest" - Delta HP5+

Launching of the Website

Today is the first day launching of this website, it has been always in my mind to create a personal website dedicated to my photography works and I am glad that finally made the decision. 

From now on it means dedication and commitment as this is the next stage of my photography journey. There will be new photos, new posts and regular maintenance dedicated to this website. Hope all of you will enjoy my website and feel free to make a comment or ask any questions!