PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


Beans spilled?

In this article on the very exciting new Schneider lenses for m43, is this passage:

"The lens fits all Panasonic and Olympus m43 cameras. It also fits some Leica models when using an adapter provided by the manufacturer. Contrary to some reports in international forums and on photo websites, an adaptation to Sony’s E-Mount is not planned."

quote from NikonRumors

 What Leica models would that be?  No Leica camera that I'm aware of could mount m43 lenses.


Filed under: Leica, Rumor No Comments

A Lytro and a Biogon

These two are like night and day, foresight and hindsight.  Hindsight looks to the past and shoots 20/20; foresight not so much.  The Lytro is my daughter's camera and we'll be putting mileage on it soon.

On to the subject of the 21mm Biogon ZM.  Here's a pair of samples for the Biogon, and this time the links point to full-res files ( warning: 20MB jpegs) because they're intended for maximum pixel-peeping:


They're really very good.  They're also shot at f/8.  My first surprise was that the lens isn't anything special when shot at f/2.8, or even f/4 sometimes, the Distagon does better.

My second surprise is that, due to an accident of the shipper, I got to see a silver version of this lens in addition to the black one I have above.  The aperture ring on the silver lens was terrible - it was stiff and I could barely feel the detents.  I was really afraid my black copy would be the same, but thankfully it feels like a real Zeiss ZM.

More to come later.



Leica 75mm Summarit-M Review

The 75mm Summarit-M has garnered an unusual volume of praise compared to the other Summarit-M lenses, with many gushing reviewers equating its performance to that of the powerful 75mm Summicron ASPH. Although the truth of this lens is not likely to line up with such expectations, its chief virtue is still clear: this lens makes some very popular 2-lens and 3-lens outfits much more affordable. It is also clear that M photographers have adopted the lens as the new standard short-telephoto.


Leica 28mm Summicron-M ASPH Review

The 28mm Summicron ASPH is both a landmark optical design and one of Leica’s most appreciated lenses out in the field. It is to date the best combination of quality, speed and size for the versatile 28mm focal length – the perfect documentary lens. What’s more, not only is this Summicron nearly the perfect lens technically, it is also a very pretty object to behold.


Leica 90mm Summarit-M Review

The 90mm Summarit-M is the only reasonable “long” lens for the unreasonable M system, that is both its claim to fame and explains why it doesn’t appear to be very successful in the marketplace.  This Summarit also serves as the replacement for the venerable and universally loved 90mm Elmarit-M, a lens that is difficult to replace in the minds and hearts of longtime Leica photographers.  As a result the 90mm Summarit-M is a lens that is appreciated in relative silence vis-à-vis the Internet.


Floating Elements Are Required

When I tested the Leica 90mm Summarit-M (review) I experienced what I consider to be severe focus issues. The lens back-focused at long distances (10 meters or more) and front-focused at short distances (less than 1.5 meters). This caused me to suspect my rangefinder, which I confirmed had grown a small error, but the lack of a true solution after a round of tweaks forced me to research the subject of focus a bit more.

Now I understand the overarching principles just well enough to convince myself that the behavior I observed in the 90mm Summarit-M is by design.  It's not because it is desirable behavior, but because correcting it is an expensive affair. This is what ultimately is going to prevent me from recommending the 90mm Summarit-M to all but mirrorless camera users.


Summicron Examples at f/5.6

A friend of mine asked out of honest curiosity what the difference was between different pieces of high-end equipment. He asked from the point of view of a photography outsider.  More precisely, his real question is what does equipement worth $11K do that equipement worth $3.5K doesn't do?


A few from the 28mm Summicron


Leica 24mm Elmarit ASPH Meta-Review

The 24mm Elmarit-M ASPH is an elegant lens emblematic of the M system. It bridges the vast chasm between journalism and architecture, in a form factor that defies all conventional wisdom borne by a DSLR world. How can so small a thing be so sharp, everywhere?


Leica M9 Review

The Leica M9 is a controversial object in photography partly because it is a Leica, which implies some generic controversy, and partly because it is itself a messy blend of luxurious quality and lack of polish. It would be easy to dismiss the digital M camera as a collectible toy for the rich and eccentric if only it wasn’t so enjoyable for photographers to actually shoot with it. This is the reality of the M9: it is a second-rate digital camera that also supports a deeper connection with the act of making a photograph. If you actually enjoy making photographs then this should really appeal to you.