Sunday, May 31, 2015

GALLERY - THE BEST OF THE REST




Our recent photography contest was very much a success.  The winners should have received their prizes by now.  It is rewarding to see that this was truly an international event.  Besides the US, we received entries from Canada, Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Australia.  Unfortunately not all entries could be declared winners.  But the many very good images we received made choosing the winners quite difficult.  So here is a gallery of the best of the rest.

Garret Hacking
Photography G
Denver, Colorado

Marlies Amling
Die Lichtbildnerin
Vilsheim, Germany

Stefan Voser
Switzerland

Thaddeus B. Kubis
Sheffield, Massachusetts 

Jerry Wetteland
Owatonna, Minnesota

Matthew Bond


To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


For more information and pre orders go to: www.lenstab.com
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Upcoming shows in Tamarkin's Rangefinder Gallery


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank Photo

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography




Friday, May 29, 2015

NEW PETZVAL 58MM F/1.9 BOKEH CONTROL LENS



A while ago we reported about the Petzval 85mm f/2.4 lens as a worthwhile consideration for use on some of the Leica cameras.  The lens is a resurrection of the original Petzval lens from 1840.  It is offered by Lomography.

Photos shot with a Petzval lens are immediately recognizable for their super-sharp focus and wonderful swirly bokeh effect at the non-focused areas, including strong color saturation, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field.


Now Lomography has done it again with a new 58mm f/1.9 lens.  Just like the 85mm, this lens too is based on the original design of the Petzval lens, but with one distinct advantage.  It offers control of the bokeh in seven steps with the “Bokeh Control Ring”. 

In the past, the Petzval’s swirly bokeh effect has always been strongly dependent on factors such as the types of backgrounds you shoot against and the distance between you and your subject. In the two years since the Lomography New Petzval 85mm Art Lens was first invented, there has been plenty of time to consider a different approach that would allow to determine the strength of the swirly bokeh effect.

Ⓒ Lomography
 Photo: Lomography

Lomography developed a revolutionary mechanism for the New Petzval 58 that makes it easier than ever to adjust the swirly bokeh effect in your photos.  The Bokeh Control Ring gives you complete freedom over the signature Petzval swirly bokeh effect for the first time ever.  You can now achieve purely sublime swirl in all kinds of environments and shooting conditions.


For a subtle swirly bokeh effect, turn the ring to Level 1. But if you want to achieve a more powerful swirly bokeh effect than you’ve ever known before, turn it to Level 7.  The way the Bokeh Control Ring works is quite straightforward. By changing the level, you are adjusting the distance between the lens elements and this then affects the strength of the swirly bokeh you get.

The lens has been specially developed to work with modern analogue and digital cameras and is available in Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, but it’s also compatible with multitudes of other cameras, including Leica M-mount cameras using an adapter.

Photos of the Lomography New Petzval Portrait Lens being manufactured in Russia. The New Petzval 58 will also be assembled by hand by a team of skilled optical technicians.

Focal Length: 58mm
Aperture: Waterhouse aperture stops, f/1.9, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16
Image Circle: 44mm
Field of View: 41 degrees
Lens Mounting Profile: Canon EF and Nikon F
Electronic Contacts: No
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.6m
Focusing Mechanism: Gear rack focusing
Filter Thread: 52mm
Bokeh Control Levels: 1 (minimum swirl) to 7 (maximum swirl)


Deliveries are estimated to begin in December of this year.


To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


For more information and pre orders go to: www.lenstab.com
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Upcoming shows in Tamarkin's Rangefinder Gallery


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank Photo

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography




Tuesday, May 26, 2015

THE LEICA S AND THE PROFESSIONAL CAMERA MARKET






As soon as the Leica S2 appeared on the market in December of 2009, people began to question the wisdom of entering a market where Leica had never been a competitor.  Leica has always been known as a manufacturer of 35mm cameras and digital versions of those cameras.  They never entered the medium format market until the appearance of the S2.  This is a market that for years was the domain of Hasselblad, Rollei and Mamiya.  With the advent of digital photography this market has changed some.  Rollei unfortunately disappeared, in spite of their awesome cameras.  But there are newcomers, mainly Phase One, and until the appearance of the Leica S2, the professional medium format market was covered by Hasselblad, Phase One and Mamiya.  How is the Leica S line doing in this market?

Forbes Magazine published an interview in 2013 with Stephan Schulz, the Head of Professional Photo at Leica Camera AG.  He explained that Leica had a long history with professional photographers, mainly photo journalists.  But in the 21st century the market changed.  Photo journalists are no longer as well paid as in previous generations.  Leica needed a product that could appeal to the kind of professional photographers who are able to afford a professional camera. Today, these photographers predominantly work in fashion and commercial photography. They need a different type of camera than photojournalists who use the Leica M.  Fashion and advertising photographers tend to be committed medium-format users.

This is the market of Hasselblad, Phase One and Mamiya.  Leica realized that in order to compete in this market, they had to come up with an exceptional camera.  According to Stephan Schulz, Leica set out to develop a medium format camera that could not only compete with them, but that would be ten years ahead of what they are able to deliver.  The Leica S-System was conceived from the ground up as a purely digital camera system and was built with the precise needs of professional photographers in mind.

 
 Hasselblad

Phase One

Mamiya DM33
Mamiya

Leica had the advantage that their competitor systems originated from analog, and as a result, the digital versions of their cameras had some natural limitations.  Part of that is that their cameras are relatively large.  Instead Leica wanted to offer the best of two worlds: the size and operation of a 35mm camera with the image quality of medium format.

That of course brings up the fact that the Leica S system has a smaller sensor than their medium format competitors.  Leica addressed that issue by designing the Leica S line of lenses such that they would compensate for that.  The Leica S-System clearly outperforms the 40 megapixel Hasselblad model, and the 50 megapixel Hasselblad model is more expensive and doesn’t perform any better.

While all of that is rather impressive, the question is, how Leica fares on this market, is the Leica S finding enough acceptance to be a viable competitor?  There are no industry-wide figures, but the core medium format market is roughly 6000 units per year, worldwide, for all brands. Leica is not yet the market leader, Phase One currently has 40-45% market share, but Leica has already a 25% share only 5 years after introduction.
Leica has historically succeeded not by copying a market but by reinventing it. They did it in 1953 with the M, and they are doing it now with the S-System.

Leica S System



To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


For more information and pre orders go to: www.lenstab.com
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Upcoming shows in Tamarkin's Rangefinder Gallery


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank Photo

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography





Sunday, May 24, 2015

THE OTHER COMPANIES AT LEITZ PARK




 
Photo by Marlies Amling

Many of the photographs of the new Leica Camera AG headquarters at Leitz Park in Wetzlar show two other buildings and many might have wondered what the companies are in such close proximity of Leica.

The building immediately to the left is Weller Feinwerktechnik and the company of Viaoptic GmbH to the left of it.

The location of these two companies so close to the Leica Camera headquarters is no accident.  They are both closely connected to Leica Camera.  Their Chairman of the Supervisory, Board Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, bought both companies through his capital management company ACM.


Weller Feinwerktechnik

Uwe Weller Feinwerktechnik develops designs and produces premium mechanical products in the company’s state of the art production facilities.

With their own galvanic surface technology and assembly operation, they are able to offer their clients from the strategic fields of precision optics, medical equipment and transportation sophisticated solutions from a ‘one-stop shop’.

In 1994, Uwe Weller took over Leica Camera AG’s machining division, thus laying the foundations for the company in its present form.

In 1997, the business then merged with his father’s company, Günther Weller Feinwerktechnik, which specialized in precision turned parts for the automotive supplier industry. The merged operation subsequently moved into the production facility on Wilhelm-Loh-Straße.

In 2005, the mechatronics division of Leica Microsystems in Weilburg was integrated into the business, followed in 2006 by the machining division of the Zeiss-Hensoldt Group in Wetzlar. Both operations were at that time manufacturing their products in leased premises in Wetzlar.

In early 2009, by relocating to the new facility at Am Leitz Park, the company was able to combine every manufacturing division and technology ‘under one roof’.

In May 2009, the new surface technology division began operations at the site on Wilhelm-Loh-Straße.


Uwe Weller Feinwerktechnik GmbH
Am Leitz-Park 3
35578 Wetzlar
Germany

Phone:+49 6441 90190


Viaoptic GmbH

Viaoptic is a leading supplier of plastic optical and mechanical components, technical injection molded parts and injection molding tools.

They are optimally equipped to react to customer requirements in development, tool design, injection molding, surface coating and assembly.

Viaoptic has over 30 years of experience and history.  Viaoptic in its current form has been situated in Wetzlar since 2002.  They moved to their brand new building «Am Leitz-Park» in the beginning of 2009, which offers greater opportunities for growth in the future.

Their customers are specialized in automotive industry, optical sensors, telecommunication, medical industry, lightning and optical industry. Their products are used in several different applications for light optics and imaging optics. Typical products include e.g. barcode scanner, LED illumination optics etc..

Viaoptic is an independent medium-sized company, supported by a broad-ranging network of partners.

Both companies are not just financially connected to Leica.  They do a large amount of work for Leica camera.  Especially Weller Feinwerktechnik does almost all mechanical preproduction work for Leica Camera as well as Leica Microsystems.


Viaoptic GmbH
Am Leitz-Park
35578 Wetzlar
Germany

Phone:+49 6441 90110


CW Sonderoptic GmbH

Also located at Leitz Park is CW Sonderoptic GmbH.  It was founded in 2008 to design, manufacture and market Leica-branded cine lenses for film, television and commercial production. The “CW” stands for “Cine Wetzlar”, a reference to both the company’s mission and legacy.

Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority owner and chairman of the supervisory board of Leica Camera AG, started CW Sonderoptic to design and develop what became the Leica Summilux-C and Summicron-C cine lenses. The concept behind these lenses was originally conceived by photographer and filmmaker Christian Skrein along with Hollywood rental house owner Otto Nemenz.

The dream for the set of Leica Summilux-C lenses was for them to be the most advanced cinema lenses yet created in regards to size, performance, mechanical precision, and optical tolerance. To create such a design they brought in legendary cine lens designer Iain Neil. Together they determined the specifications and features of the lenses and began production with the first sets delivering in early 2012.

Under the guidance of Managing Directors Gerhard Baier and Erik Feichtinger, CW Sonderoptic continues to develop and manufacture new and innovative products for cinematographers all over the world.


CW Sonderoptic GmbH
Am Leitz-Park 1
35578 Wetzlar
Germany

Phone:+49 6441 90110

To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


For more information and pre orders go to: www.lenstab.com
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Upcoming shows in Tamarkin's Rangefinder Gallery


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank Photo

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography





Saturday, May 23, 2015

ATELIER LUDWIG,LEITZ




When we think of Leica, cameras are obviously an integral part of that.  Leica will be forever connected to the name of Leitz, Ernst Leitz, the founder of the company.  He was followed by his son, Ernst Leitz II and subsequently his grandson, Ernst Leitz III.  As a matter of fact, the name Ernst and Leitz are so closely connected to the Leica camera that hardly any thought is ever given if possibly there might have been other Leitz family members that were not named Ernst.

There were indeed and one of them was Ludwig Leitz, son of Ernst Leitz II.  He was born in 1907.  He studied math and physics and in 1939 he took over full responsibility for the entire area of development of his father’s company.  Under his leadership many patents and design innovations of the product line of the Leitz company were developed.


Ludwig Leitz II

Four generations Leitz:
Ernst Leitz II (second from left) with sons Ernst (right) and Ludwig (left)
and grandson Knut in front of a portrait of the company founder Ernst Leitz I.

He was an avid photographer and accompanied the development of the preproduction cameras, the Nullserie and the further development of the camera until 1980.  His artistic orientation strongly influenced the design of many of the Leitz products. He even hired the sculptors Adolf Great and Heinrich Janke to to work for Leitz. The high level of design showed particularly in the development of the Leica M series cameras.  Their basic design survives until this day.

This interest in design did not happen by accident.  In addition to the study of mathematics and physics Ludwig Leitz graduated in 1926 at Wollek in Vienna and 1927 as a student at Johannes Itten in Berlin. This was more often than not done in the evening hours until he finally finished his training as a sculptor.

 
                                        Sculpture by Ludwig Leitz                                         Atelier Ludwig Leitz

Although his artistic work often had to take a backseat to his job responsibilities, he pursued the development of contemporary art with a keen interest in.  Sketches, models and bronze casts of the sculptural works of Ludwig Leitz document his artistic aim of identifying the essence of the form of the random appearance of things.

A special experience for art lovers is a visit to the "Atelier Ludwig Leitz", which opened to the public in September of 1984.  The Atelier Ludwig Leitz is currently showing a special selection of his work in commemoration of the building of the reception building of the Leitz company 60 years ago.  Today this building is the “Neues Rathaus” (new city hall) in Wetzlar.

The Neues Rathaus (new town hall), the former Empfangsgebäude
(reception building) of Ernst Leitz GmbH.  The front door leads to
a large staircase which used to be the way to the original Leica Museum.

This exhibition of the sculptures of Ludwig Leitz in the Atelier Ludwig Leitz at Laufdorfer Weg 33 A is open to the public on Friday, May 22, May 29, June 12, June 19 and June 26 from 5 to 7 pm.



To comment or to read comments please scroll past the ads below.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


For more information and pre orders go to: www.lenstab.com
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Upcoming shows in Tamarkin's Rangefinder Gallery


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank Photo

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography


Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography

Please make payment via PayPal to GMP Photography