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bencoyote

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  1. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from RickP in Leica TL2 officially announced!   
    A couple things that I noticed:
     
    The USB-C port only charges the battery at 1A or 5W. USB-C can do much better than that 2A is in the spec. However, charging the battery may not need that much. The original T charger is 8.4v @ 0.65A which ends up being only 5.46W. So the battery may charge in the T almost as fast as in the external charger.
     
    They included a micro HDMI port which I think is odd because they could have run DisplayPort and HDMI over the USB-C. I don't know if anybody has tried this but it could be possible. You might be able to plug your TL2 into a new USB-C 4K monitor and it will charge and display images there.
     
    The removal of the flash should help with weather and dust sealing.
     
    I think a couple of nice accessories that Leica should make for the T, TL, TL2, and M10 are:
    - A GPS without the EVF that fits in the hot shoe and just geotags your pictures.
    - A little shim that you put in the hot shoe between the camera and the EVF which has a port for a flash trigger while accepting the EVF and providing the power and digital signals needed to run the EVF. That way you can use an off camera flash and the EVF at the same time.
     
    It looks like a good step forward for the original T concept. Like others, I think that I would like Leica to expand the range of body styles for the TL lenses.
    1) A TL2 like camera with a built in EVF and GPS - maybe this is the slightly taller 5370?
    2) A camera with an X like body and controls. It could be basically the same camera guts but with a smaller non-touch display a few more buttons and a different UI part of the firmware.
    3) Alternatively a mini-SL UI. I have mixed feelings about this. I don't like the viewfinder in the center but I do think that the SL's UI is well designed and probably a better fit than trying to adapt the X or M's UI to the TL for people want a more traditional body style and controls.
  2. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from ropo54 in Leica TL2 officially announced!   
    A couple things that I noticed:
     
    The USB-C port only charges the battery at 1A or 5W. USB-C can do much better than that 2A is in the spec. However, charging the battery may not need that much. The original T charger is 8.4v @ 0.65A which ends up being only 5.46W. So the battery may charge in the T almost as fast as in the external charger.
     
    They included a micro HDMI port which I think is odd because they could have run DisplayPort and HDMI over the USB-C. I don't know if anybody has tried this but it could be possible. You might be able to plug your TL2 into a new USB-C 4K monitor and it will charge and display images there.
     
    The removal of the flash should help with weather and dust sealing.
     
    I think a couple of nice accessories that Leica should make for the T, TL, TL2, and M10 are:
    - A GPS without the EVF that fits in the hot shoe and just geotags your pictures.
    - A little shim that you put in the hot shoe between the camera and the EVF which has a port for a flash trigger while accepting the EVF and providing the power and digital signals needed to run the EVF. That way you can use an off camera flash and the EVF at the same time.
     
    It looks like a good step forward for the original T concept. Like others, I think that I would like Leica to expand the range of body styles for the TL lenses.
    1) A TL2 like camera with a built in EVF and GPS - maybe this is the slightly taller 5370?
    2) A camera with an X like body and controls. It could be basically the same camera guts but with a smaller non-touch display a few more buttons and a different UI part of the firmware.
    3) Alternatively a mini-SL UI. I have mixed feelings about this. I don't like the viewfinder in the center but I do think that the SL's UI is well designed and probably a better fit than trying to adapt the X or M's UI to the TL for people want a more traditional body style and controls.
  3. Like
    bencoyote reacted to LocalHero1953 in Leica TL2 officially announced!   
    The T has always tempted me since launch. I find it attractive as an object, I like the interface, and I've never doubted the image quality. AF is probably good enough. What held me back was what I considered to be a poor EVF, by which I mean:
    - flicker/lag with moving subjects.
    - black out after the shot.
    - an add-on that looks clunky and would catch in straps, bags etc.
    The SL EVF is a great size that I wouldn't expect to be squeezed into the TL2, OTOH its minimal lag and blackout should be achievable.
     
    From all accounts so far, the TL2 is not quite at the SL's level of lag and blackout i.e. they are still noticeable, but much better. It makes me think that it is the Viso itself which is the bottleneck - perhaps we can expect a new one (for the TL2 and the M10) somewhere in the near future.
     
    I will look at the TL2 to see how it performs in the hand, but I think my expectations and aspirations for such a camera are changing, in its favour.
    I have the SL for what I could call "photographic occasions" - portrait sessions, events etc - where size, weight and portability are not particularly important. I also have the M240 for travel and social occasions. But in Jono Slack's review I noted the style of shooting he used it for: sometimes one-handed, casual, street, on-the-fly, the sort of stuff you might use a phone for. I can't do one-handed with the M240 without risk of tendonitis, and I need two hands at least to set up a smartphone even if I can then use it one handed. I suspect the TL might be quicker to set up and use than a phone - though bigger. I also note that this sort of use doesn't require an EVF, which is a bonus. So I am starting to see the TL2 in terms of a "use scenario", which is definitely more smartphone than camera club.
     
    But my susceptibility to Leica's marketing and Jono's review is moderated by the following line in his conclusions, which I have also long believed to be the case:
     
    "They have developed a wonderful platform from which they can branch out in the future. I would love to see an APS-C mini SL, and another with analogue controls like the Q."
     
    What variants of the TL2 might be down the line, and how soon? Maybe I should just wait - after all, I don't need the TL2, do I?
     
    Another factor that just happens to have turned up is that my own phone is failing, and the Huawei P10 is a prime candidate as a replacement. Maybe I should stick to Leica's favourite phone for phone-style shooting, rather than something a lot bigger and more expensive.
  4. Like
    bencoyote reacted to Louis in Leica TL2 officially announced!   
    I am still a little confused!...
     
    Can anyone confirm that this announced TL2 is, indeed, the one that was registered under Model number: 5370, and Serial: 1080?
    Then, what happened to that 74.7 H that was supposed to be about 5mm more than previous T/TL?...
     
    I am aware that rumors are rumors and not always right. But we have seen the copies of the registration that are different from the camera!... Or maybe, I am completely lost!...  
  5. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from phongph in Max $6k for Initial Lens Kit for M10: 35, 50 options-- help me narrow down. Long-ish read!   
    You know it is really arguable which is the general purpose lens 35mm or 50mm. I think it really boils down to what kind of shooting you do. If it is more street, documentary, landscapes then probably 35mm. If it includes more portraiture and you like to isolate subjects using aperture as you have said that you do, then it is probably 50mm. 
     
    So if 50mm is your general purpose lens vs. 35mm, then 28mm is a better wide angle than 35mm. It gives you more wide angle-ness without introducing the need for an external viewfinder. You're never going to get great subject isolation with a wide angle lens so you embrace the deep depth of field and the expansive field of view. With a 28mm and a 50mm you have context and isolation, landscape and subject.
     
    If in your original post, you hadn't been talking a lot about subject isolation and spoken so longingly about the APO-Summicron 50mm then I would probably say that the 35mm Summilux as the first lens. However, I think for a 2 lens system 35mm and 50mm aren't different enough and the vague clues in your original post really doh't sound to me like you are a 35mm shooter. I think that you are going to end up with a 3 lens kit with either a 75mm or a 90mm APO-Summicron. 
     
    The 35mm shooters that I know never talk about isolation and look of bokeh. They talk about things differently, they seem to be minimal kit, mount up the 35mm lens and practically never change it.  They say things like, "fill the frame" and when they show their best pictures they are pointing out the corners and all the things going on at different planes in the image. They also never use lights, probably wouldn't bother with medium format. You don't sound like them.
     
    With 28mm & 50mm there is a very distinct mode shift. It is a different kind of photography. They are very different and are used in different contexts for different purposes.  It is CLEARLY something else. With 35mm and 50mm I think that you are going to be perpetually confused and changing lenses a lot, not quite sure if you really should be 35mm or 50mm in this particular situation. Should I take my 35mm today or my 50mm today? With 28mm and 50mm I think you'll find more of the pleasure of the M design where you aren't carrying something huge around all the time. You'll be "I'm doing a model today -- that is 50mm" (subject). "I'm doing landscapes today -- that is 28mm" (context) Once you have really gotten the pleasure of the M and its "I'm walking out the door today with this one lens" way of being. You can start filling the gaps with FLs like 35mm. 
     
    I believe that the reason why there are so many really good Leica photographers is not because the Leica has some magic, it is because the many subtle elements of using the Leica M conspire to teach and reinforce some elements of photography which lead to photographers becoming good photographers. I'd argue that the "only prime lenses" (no zooms) is part of that. It sort of wires your brain to really master one focal length. If you sounded like a 35mm shooter, I'd say get a 35mm. You sound to me more like a 50mm shooter and since you are talking a two lens kit to start. I think that 50mm and 28mm will be a better combination because they are so different. I think that it will be a better introduction to Leica M photography because of that distinct mode shift between shooting with the 28mm and shooting with the 50mm.
  6. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from Archiver in Introduction & advise on switch Fuji -> Leica TL   
    I'd say I made a somewhat similar jump. I went from the Olympus E-M1 to the original Leica T. In summary, I'd say that they nailed it. They gave you what you need as a photographer in a very clean simple user interface. In my opinion, this frees you to focus on the art of photography and composition and not on fiddling with the camera. I think that when it was released several people said something to the effect, this is the camera that apple would have designed if they made cameras. It really is that simple.
     
    Now here is the important thing to understand. There is a bit of a caveat in what I just said, "They gave you what you NEED as a photographer". It really is, "what you need" and not a whit more. You are not going to find "whiz bang fancy feature" that makes your job as a photographer easier in this one specific situation. I would say that the UI of other cameras are cluttered up with hundreds of features look good on marketing brochures. Whether these features are well implemented and well thought out really doesn't matter. Other cameras have those features and so they can be listed on the marketing materials and can show up in reviews. The Leica TL has none of that. You have the bare necessities of what you need as a photographer and that is it. In my experience there is an implied understanding in that. Leica has a long history in photography and most of the time the cameras were primitive mechanical devices. Adding features was just not possible the way it is now with these modern computer controlled digital recording devices we now have and call cameras. Never the less, photographers managed to do some stunning things. They found tricks and techniques and work arounds and could make these primitive cameras capture all these amazing shots. Leica with its long history and deep experience with photography in essence assumes that you know those special purpose tricks. So all those things which are special purpose options or modes buried in way too many buttons, levers, and menus on other cameras cluttering up the UI just aren't there on the TL. The end result for me, is a mantra that I developed when shooting with the T: "Be a better photographer". If I find myself pushing up against the capability of the camera when trying to do something, wishing that it would do just a little bit more, I say to myself "be a better photographer". For example: do I need 80 frames per second burst mode with continuous tracking AF to capture just the right shot? No I need to recognize and anticipipate the decisive moment, be pre-focused and hit the shutter at just the right time.
     
    So in the end, if you want a beautiful uncluttered camera that focuses you on the art and practice photography not on device operation, the TL is a good camera. If you want to do anything out of the mainstream of photography then be prepared to go back and figure out how people did things before cameras were software controlled computers. I kind of enjoy this kind of thing.
     
    All of that being said there are some things which I wish were different and some truly missing features in the Leica TL.
    1) If you are doing studio work, the fact that you can't use the EVF and use the hot shoe to trigger flash can be a bit of a challenge. You can work around this by using the internal flash to trigger remote flashes but there is also the problem that you can't turn off exposure simulation and so the camera thinks your image will be black when you dial in the settings for your studio lights.
    2) I'm not a big fan of the external EVF, I think it is really important to have but I find that it makes the camera cumbersome to carry and put into a bag. I really feel like they need to make a version of the TL camera with the EVF built in like it is on the Q.
    3) I wish the TL were weather sealed to some extent. The place where the flash pops out always freaks me out.
    4) I hope that they upgraded the USB charging port from 500mW to 12W like many cell phones on the TL so that it could charge faster. (Note: I haven't verified that they haven't done this on the new TL). Likewise, I wish that the external charger used 12W USB or USB-C rather than having a plug.
    5) There are a couple of long standing bugs which never seem to get resolved. E.g. When using AF pressing the shutter half way cancels the shot review of the previous shot. When you are using MF you just have to wait. This makes taking a rapid succession of shots a sort of manual drive mode impossible.
  7. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from paulsydaus in M10- FW Requests/Bug Reports   
    TLDR;
     
    I would like to see three things added to the DNG specification and Leica cameras
    1) Support for the more subtle image transformation algorithms needed for cameras such as the Leica M to use the Leica Lenses
    2) Encryption for the protection of photojournalists and their work product
    3) Integrity checks and digital signatures for photojournalists.
     
    Main body
     
    From what I understand the M9, M240, M10 and the SL all apply some subtle processing to the RAW files to deal with differences between the way that digital sensors deal with light as opposed to film.
     
    From what I gather handling those optical challenges within the mathematical transformations available in the DNG 1.4 specification is impossible. The functions are not quite capable of encoding the mathematical transformations needed to correct for this.
     
    I think that it would good for Leica to work with Adobe to enhance DNG so that it could support whatever these transformations are and encode them into the lens profiles rather than doing processing in the camera.
     
    ---------------
    The other big improvement that I think that you should work on with Adobe as you advance the technology in DNG is encryption and integrity. There is a definite need and it could provide a market advantage for the SL. https://freedom.press/news/over-150-filmmakers-and-photojournalists-call-major-camera-manufacturers-build-encryption-their-cameras/
     
    Anyway, for your professional cameras like the S and the SL and maybe the M you can satisfy this request very easily.
    1) embed gpg in the camera. https://www.gnupg.org You would only need the part that encrypts files.
    2) Add a new file format called DNE which is just encrypted DNGs.
    3) If there is a valid GPG public key in in the root of the SD card. Use that public key to encrypt the files and allow the user to select DNE as a file format.
    4) If that file format is selected you just feed the data through one more step before storing it and that would be to encrypt with the GPG public key before writing it.
    5) Play wouldn't work work with encrypted files and so encrypted files are ignored.
     
    None of that would require assistance from Adobe or a change in the file format since it would essentially just be a wrapper around the current DNG file format. However, the encrypted files couldn't be imported directly. The photographer would have to copy the files. Decrypt them. Then he could import them. Adobe could readily simplify this workflow in LR by prompting for a decryption key when it is asked to import a DNE file.
     
    One advantage of a system like this is that a photo agency, newspaper, or someone in a safe area could generate the public and private key pair and then either put put the public key on the card or have the photographer put it on the card and then the photographer themselves couldn't be forced to turn over the decryption key. They would not have access to the private key needed to decrypt the photos.
     
    They could also transmit the encrypted DNE files back over insecure channels without concern because only the person with the private key could decrypt them.
     
    The other aspect is integrity and this would require a change to the DNG format. Another problem facing photojournalists is the integrity of DNG files. News organizations really want to know that the photos that they are receiving have not been doctored. Often times they request the RAW images as a form of proof that the image being provided hasn't been altered. The problem with DNG is that since it is descendant of TIFF it is relatively easy to replace the image content of the DNG file with something that has been altered. There is no way to detect this. What you should do is work with Adobe to enhance the file format specification to add integrity. Leica Camera has a certificate issued by a certificate authority. This can be used to generate additional certificates. A new certificate should be generated and given to each camera. Then when the image is captured, the camera's specific certificate is used to sign the image. This involves computing a particular kind of checksum for the image data. That signature can be applied to the image data to prove that it hasn't been altered since the time when it was captured and written to the card.
     
    Furthermore, a photographer may want to sign their image to be able to prove that they took it. Having multiple digital signatures authenticating the data in different ways should be part of the DNG spec. On the camera UI side, in much the same way that you could put a public key for encryption in the root of the card, the photographer's signing key can be on the card as well.
     
    For additional information about the mathematical process of digital signatures, the standard book covering the topic is Applied Cryptography by Bruce Schneier.
  8. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from LAHilltop in My editorial comments on a bad review - mostly about AF   
    I'd say that it is much more subtle than that.
     
    I started out with a loaner Nikon J1 but I didn't like that. Then I went to a Lumix GX1 and caught the bug and wore that thing out. Then I got the E-M1 based upon specs and size in comparison to a DSLR. The AF on that is remarkably fast. Evidently, the AF on the E-M1 is class leading in the mirrorless segment at the time it was released. It is still lightening fast. However, like most AF systems, you have to tell the camera what to focus on or you have to let it pick. When you let it pick by itself, it is a crap shoot and it seems to frequently not pick the right thing. However, if you reduce it to a smaller area it is more likely to pick the right thing to focus on. But you have to communicate where you want to have it focus. Mostly this means moving the focus point with up down left and right buttons. You can also do touch to focus but then you can't use the EVF then. I found that it was always a game to get the camera to focus on the "right" thing. It was like:
    "no that's not it"
    "not that"
    "no - not the grass behind the flower, the flower"
    Single point focusing did help sometimes and so did pinpoint focusing but it is always a game of figuring out how to get the camera to focus on the right thing. 
     
    The other thing was I'd see a shot starting to develop and I'd want to get a shot ready. The last thing that I'd focused on was along the right but now the thing that I wanted was on the left and so I'd be frantically clicking left to right to change the position where the camera chose to focus to get it in place in time. Once it was in the right place, the camera locked focus practically instantly.
    To help out with this, I programmed one of the buttons to reset to the center. This at least gave me a reference point so that I wouldn't have to have the camera all the way up to my eye before I could select the focus position. While I'm moving it up to my eye I could hit the shutter, then hit that button, and maybe get a couple of clicks in the right direction before it got up to my eye.
     
    The other thing I did was focus center, compose, release.
     
    I really didn't make use of MF much except when I got very frustrated with the AF and couldn't convince it to lock onto the thing that I wanted. I tried astrophotography with E-M1 and found it practically impossible. I could sometimes lock onto a star but it would frequently want to AF on something. When I used MF there was no scale and there was no standard with lenses as to which way was infinity or any indication that I was there or if I needed two more turns of the focus ring.
     
    With the T it has the multipoint focus mode and I never really spent much time with it trying to figure out how to convince it to find the "right" point out of the field. It felt like the same game as with the E-M1.
    Then there is the touch AF. This works fine when you are holding the camera. However if you are using the viewfinder the touch screen is not usable to move the focus point. Bright light -- not the best you want the viewfinder.
    The two focus modes that really work well are single point and spot. Both of those are focus center, compose, release. When you have time to compose the shot these are totally fine. However, every single shot you have to move the camera around and recompose because every single shot the camera wants to refocus.
    All of the things above about the T are the same with the recently best-in-class E-M1 except you have the ability to move the focus point with the arrow keys while using the viewfinder.
     
    It was all of that which led me around to start working with MF mode extensively. I started realizing that most of the time was spent communicating to the camera what I wanted in focus. It didn't matter that on the E-M1 it would lock onto a point in .125s while on the T it was .25s Most of the time was me telling the camera, that is the thing that is important to me.
     
    I've watched my friend who shoots a Canon 5D M3 and my mother with her Lumix GM5 struggle with the same thing. Focus - nope, focus - nope, focus - nope. Or damn missed the shot - the camera focused on the wrong thing.
     
    Unlike the E-M1 the T's MF mode seems intelligently thought out. It gives you the focus scale that indicates DOF and all the lenses focus the same direction. Seeing where the lens was focused and the DOF gave me a much better understanding of the realities of hyperfocal distance and zone focusing. I realized the things that I said above:
    1) landscape you don't need to focus everything is at infinity
    2) flowers and lichen and details I can see what I want in focus and nail it with MF
    3) You really need the DOF scale to do zone focusing and know how much you will get before you compose the shot.
    4) For grabbing a decisive moment no AF system can beat being already focused.
    5) When you are working a shot most of the time your distance to subject is a matter of fine tuning vs. going through a whole AF cycle.
    6) When you zoom with a manually focused lens the focus doesn't shift 
     
    So it never really matters if the lens locks focus in .125s vs. .25s. The real time is taken up with communicating to the camera what the "right" thing to focus on is. So in what way is the AF system on the T sub-par?
    I think from the perspective of the reviewer it comes down to something like:
    1) I mostly use a DSLR and so I prefer the EVF to using the touch AF
    2) When looking through the EVF without arrow buttons to move the focus point, I don't know how to make AF lock onto the thing that I want.  3) I don't like focusing on the center then composing because it interrupts my flow when working a shot.
     
    The thing that the T taught me was not to be afraid of MF because it is well implemented and not an afterthought and that in many situations MF is faster and more accurate.
     
    I feel like AF speed in the camera is one of those marketing things that camera makers can easily compare between each other and so they do. However, once you get beyond a certain point, other factors become more important when actually using the camera. My argument is that it has more to do with effectively communicating the focus point to the camera.
     
    What are other people's thoughts? What problems do other people have with the AF on the T? How does it compare to the AF on other cameras? Is it really that bad and I've just totally figured out how to work around it by using single point and MF almost always?
  9. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from ebf in Should I buy an M?   
    Here are a couple of my thoughts for whatever they are worth.
    The way that the Japanese manufacturers justified new cameras was by overcoming deficiencies in their previous line of products and adding new features.
    What deficiencies does the M240 have? Without a clear personal understanding of this as it applies to your photography and your art, then it is impossible to know if the next model and of camera will be any better for you.
     
    at 24MP the M is about on par with 35mm film. There is some question if a 36MP sensor in a 35x24mm size really exceeds the capabilities of current lenses for resolving detail. At that point, maybe you really do need medium format. Or maybe every lens needs to be built to the same standards as the APO-Summicron 50mm? 
     
    In comparison to the current generation of sensors it lags a little behind in sensor read out speed (needed for video) and low light performance. Is this holding back your art? What are the cases where this matters: night, low light indoors, and high shutter speeds.
     
    The biggest weakness that I see is digital has yet to fully match the dynamic range of film.  Once again is this a factor limiting your art?
     
    Maybe the processor speed and or the power consumption in the M can be improved some so that it boots up faster or unsleeps faster or you can get more shots out of the battery. If you don't use the EVF or live view you already can get about 800 shots per charge.
     
    The thing with the Leica M is the form factor and much of the UI is fixed and when one of the most sacred design elements is the minimalistism of operation then you really can't really just chuck in features. So what will they improve with the next M which will matter to you and your art?
     
    Here is my personal Leica M wish list:
    Thinner and lighter. More like the M3
    Lower ISO and maybe higher ISO (not so much really but I kind of expect it)
    Deeper dynamic range at low ISO or broader coverage of the gamut of colors. 
    A touch screen UI like the T. Built on a higher resolution LCD.
    An even quieter shutter. 
    Slightly faster bootup and unsleep.
     
     
  10. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from grillo in Which macro lens ?   
    My experience with the Macro adapter is that while the 90mm Macro-Elmar lens is really a useful lens because of its compactness and weight making useful for traveling and backpacking, the versatility of the macro adapter is that you can use it with any lens. It takes quite a bit of playing around to get the hang of it though and some of the things seem to run counter to the intuitive understanding that you develop around focal distance and depth of field when using lenses as they were intended. For example, you tend to have a sense that a 90mm has a narrower DOF than a 28mm. However, when you stick them both on an extension tube like the macro adapter, the 90's range of focus is further away from the camera and so the DOF is wider than the 28mm which requires the subject to be closer to the camera.
     
    Anyway, the point is not to get mired in the details. The point I'm making is the macro adapter can be used with any M lens and it takes some practice to really get the hang of it. Unlike macro lenses which can focus from 2"-infinity when you insert the macro adapter the full throw of the focus ring combined with the variable length of the macro adapter gives you a range of about a couple of inches which can be in focus. You're fully committed to macro and have a very narrow range to work to achieve the desired composition. So you may end up finding that a different lens would work better. It takes a while to develop the intuitive understanding of perspective, focal distance, and DOF when doing macro this way. You just need to play around a while trying this lens and that lens when you aren't really worried about getting the shot to get the hang of it.
     
    I have hundreds of shots of my keychain, a cobweb in the corner, rulers and this one wood sorrel flower that was growing just off the edge of my sidewalk.
  11. Like
    bencoyote reacted to LocalHero1953 in M10 or SL   
    There's no chance I will dump the SL, but I won't simply dump the M240 either. Any change would be to replace the M240 with the M10 (unlikely) or a successor.
     
    The difference between the Ms and the SL is much more than just AF. They just have different raisons d'etre and are designed accordingly, as a whole: the SL, with its versatile zooms (including the 90-280), fast AF, WYSIWYG framing, clear EVF with full information, OIS etc is intended for a particular type of use - planned, organised shooting for portraiture, events, performance etc. The M is intended for a different type of use - travel, documentary, street, discreet occasions and social. Both are pretty good at landscape.
     
    Not everyone will want or can afford both, and I'm certainly not claiming that Leica has made exactly the right design choices for either camera (a tilt screen on the SL would make it much easier for macro, still life and product photography, for example). But IMO the M series and the SL are from different (overlapping) families, and your choice should depend much more on your type of photography than whether one has AF or not.
  12. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from mon10a in Max $6k for Initial Lens Kit for M10: 35, 50 options-- help me narrow down. Long-ish read!   
    You know the one thing that is missing from all of that?
    What do you generally take pictures of? Landscape, street, portrait, documentary...?
     
    There are a ton of more experienced people here than me but I can tell you my experience:
    The 50 summilux really is probably the most generally useful lens. It is good in low light has great bokeh and isolates the subject well. Isn't too wide or too tele. It is also not too big. The problem with the 50 is that at times especially indoors it is too cramped and you want wider. For a one lens kit, this would be the one.
    However, If you're doing mostly landscapes, street, documentary then you may want wider and the 35 is worth considering. As you well know you lose some subject isolation. I tend to do more night and low light photography and so my next lens will likely be a summilux 35mm FLE. If the kinds of things you shoot are like those above 35mm may be your thing.
     
    I also have a 28mm summicron. When I'm outside doing landscape or doing street or inside in a tight space this is the lens. Small light great. It doesn't really isolate the subject much unless you are wide open and so close that you have to worry about perspective. When I'm at my best, this lens leads to photos that have that "magnum" look for me. The frame is filled with things going on in multiple planes in the wide DOF. It is not for portraiture, it is always something in context. I also find that I tend to shoot the 28mm stopped down and so I'm rarely using f2. Thus going faster for a summilux seems like it would be a waste.
     
    When the light is really low the 35mm Summilux has an advantage over the 50mm. I can hand hold 1/30 almost always and 1/15 sometimes with the 50mm but with a 28 or 35 I can do 1/15 or sometimes 1/8. This is getting into the range of: you can't see well enough to focus.
     
    28 Summicron & 50 Summilux to me that's the perfect two lens combination.
     
    For many of the reasons why your considering a two lens kit, I wouldn't go for the APO-Summicron 50. You'll blow your whole budget on one lens and you'll want wider sometimes. While it is probably a bit better, you'll probably have to look really closely to see the difference in the images. And the summilux gives you that much more subject isolation when you need it.
     
    Depending on what you shoot if I were going for the 35mm I'd pair it with a 75 and go for 35mm Summilux & 75mm Summicron.
     
    The great thing with Leica is that you don't need a lot of lenses. You just need to be a good photographer.
  13. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from roverover in Macro on the T   
    I was just playing around this morning and this is my current macro machine. https://goo.gl/photos/u72szxgNacjgPNp28 I haven't really used this for anything but testing yet, so don't take it too seriously. 
     
    I just got my Elmarit-M 135mm back from repair and I wanted to see how it well it worked with the stacked adapters. I will say trying to hand hold that long of a lens is kind of challenging and I usually have pretty steady hands -- but it was just shortly after I had had 4 expressos and so maybe it will be easier in a few hours. Never the less even without the tripod I did get. https://goo.gl/photos/3kTGwY4W5wQMMCXq8
     
    This is sort of foreshadowing when I mount the Vario Elmarit 90-280 f/2.8-4 to my T. That is going to be a fun one for birding if I can hold the damn thing steadily. Since I I didn't go through a SLR phase with large lenses, I'm not used to holding things that big.
  14. Like
    bencoyote reacted to MarkP in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    I have the 4./90 Macro-Elmar-M. Great compact travel lens. Exceptional IQ & resolution.
  15. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from AAK in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    Electricity shouldn't be a problem. I've been testing and refining that for a while. Goal Zero Nomad 20 solar panel combined with a pair of OmniCharge battery packs. That should fill in the gaps between places that have power.
     
    Furthermore, some members of our trip evidently will hiring sherpas to carry in solar panels and batteries to leave for the residents and to assist with the recovery efforts. In that sense, trekking is easier than backpacking because there is some infrastructure.
  16. Like
    bencoyote reacted to Peter Kilmister in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    A man by the name of Levison Wood has made a few long-distance treks; the Himalayas, the length of the Nile, and from Mexico to Colombia. He takes a Leica M240.
    Levison lives in London. Maybe you should seek his advice via 'Contact' on his website.  
  17. Like
    bencoyote reacted to Herr Barnack in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    @bencoyote -
     
    Given the purpose of your trip to Nepal you should have a second M240 body.  If you were to take a second camera made by another camera maker, you will be saving some money but you will not be saving much in terms of weight and bulk.  A different make of camera will require a second set of accessories and lenses.  JMHO but that makes no sense. 
     
    When I traveled to Mongolia, I took my M4-P, 30 rolls of film and two large size Domke film shield film bags as my backup.  It was significantly more weight and bulk than a second M240 would have been.  It was not the ideal back up but it was what I had at the time so I took it. 
     
    Another point to consider:  Take a sturdy monopod rather than a tripod.  Monos are so much smaller, lighter and easier to work with.  And they are a lifesaver when you need them.
     
    If you can have access to another person's laptop while on the trip, leave yours at home and use theirs to back up your images to a cloud server or to Drop Box.  On your trip, I would take 3-4 batteries for the camera and a back up charger and cord.  As you have observed, if the charger dies, it's a deal breaker.  Chargers are fairly small and light abd carrying a second charger & cord is a small price to pay for the security it will give you.  I would take a bunch of memory cards and keep the images on them rather than formatting them after you upload them to a cloud server or Drop Box.  Memory cards are small and light and will serve as a safety net for your images.  Redundant back up is the key.
     
    Lastly, I would not rely on a phone as a backup.  As good as some phones are, there is no comparison to phone images compared to the images that an M240 and M lenses will produce.  If all you ever want to do with your images is look at them on a screen, it's not so much of an issue but if you want to make prints - especially large display prints that you could exhibit or sell - the phone prints will not hold a candle to the M240 prints.
     
    Hope the above helps.  JMHO/YMMV/IANAL. 
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!
  18. Like
    bencoyote got a reaction from MarkP in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    I agree with you sort of regarding the 15mm but CV15mm II is tiny and light unlike the CV15 III or the 18mm Leica.
    What I really should have to save size and weight is a Macro-Elmar 90mm vs. the APO-Summicron ASPH.
     
    I really like your idea of 2 M bodies in use most of the time, I hadn't considered that. It brings back memories of Vietnam era war reporters with three Leica's around their necks. That has been my long range plan so that one can go to the shop while I use the other. I can't quite swing that budget wise right now unless I do what some other person said and sell one when I get back. I hadn't considered that.
     
    The T isn't the ideal backup camera because of the difference in the sensor size. The USB charging is really handy though. I wouldn't want to go without an external charger but having the option to charge in the camera provides a nice backup. I wish all Leica cameras could do that. The 15W that normal USB-C provides is more than enough to charge a camera battery.
  19. Like
    bencoyote reacted to ramarren in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    Perhaps I think of this a bit differently. 
     
    - Am I going on this trip as part of a paid photographic job? If so, carry backup and spares. 
    - Am I going on this trip for my own personal portfolio development? If so, carry backup and spares.
    - Am I going on vacation to these places and looking to record my trip for posterity? If so, carry as little as possible and enjoy the trip. 
     
    In any event, the ultimate backup (and particularly for the third item above) is my iPhone and a couple of charged supplementary battery units. Basic rule of thumb is that if I'm traveling for a specific purpose, do everything I can to ensure that the purpose is fulfilled. If I'm vacationing, well, photos are of secondary importance and if my camera fails for some reason, I spend my time looking at things and recording the trip in my mind and journal rather than carrying double the weight in backup equipment. 
     
    "The less I carry, the more I see."
  20. Like
    bencoyote reacted to wattsy in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    A well used 240 which you can sell again when you return is IMO the best option. That will also provide the additional charger. Leaving the 90 APO at home would be one way of offsetting (some of) the additional weight that is entailed by carrying the M240 which, if all goes well, will be largely dead weight.
     
     
    This is a reasonable strategy if you are in Nepal for months and will be returning to Kathmandu regularly. Your iPhone will be able to get you through any intervening period.
  21. Like
    bencoyote reacted to Gregm61 in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    As a wide shooter, I would skip the 90 and make sure the 15 was there at all costs. The longest lens I carry is always the one with the last clicks on any trip, whether it's 75 or 90mm. The two with the most are the super wide, whichever it happens to be, 18 Super Elmar or 21 Elmarit, and the "normal" lens, which is either the 28 or 35. These days those two happen to be more the 18 and 28.
     
    My 75mm f2 Summicron is a frustrating lens to use. The focus throw is so short that being a teeny, tiny amount off perfect with the rangefinder can make a world of difference in the results. The 90mm f2.8 Elmarit-M is a much more reliable lens for my eyes to focus, both accurately and consistently. 
  22. Like
    bencoyote reacted to MarkP in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    28, 50, 90 essential. Skip the 15 if you want to limit your gear.
    I agree with a backup M240 for imaging/sensor considtency. You could then use both cameras, one with a 28 and one with a 50 ready to go at all times, with the 90 in the bag.
    A few spare batteries
    A spare charger
    .
    I think mixing film and digital may be a mistake.
     
    Or two film cameras. You could always get the M6 and save on the second body with a CL or Bessa or such, after all the film camera is just a black box in which you add the same film to each or mix B&W/Colour or Slow/Fast film.
  23. Like
    bencoyote reacted to earleygallery in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    I just read the OP again. It seems like the primary purpose of the trip is photography, in which case I guess it's a case of sacrificing other stuff to make room for photo gear.
     
    In this case I would definitely take the M and 2 or 3 lenses and the T as the back up body. If I already had a film M I would take that instead but it's risky buying a new s/h camera unless you have time to thoroughly test it.
  24. Like
    bencoyote reacted to jaapv in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    Possibly, James, but Nepal is both huge landscapes and people. I think one lens won't cut it.
    A real alternative would be to leave (nearly) everything at home and take an X-Vario  and Leica C (or cheap Panasonic LZ1 used) as backup.
    The last are as small and light as a packet of cigarettes and covers 28-200 with pretty decent IQ.
  25. Like
    bencoyote reacted to jaapv in Far from a dealer -- what to take   
    Another thing to consider:
    Your images will be priceless ( at least to you
    Hello guest! Please register or sign in to view the hidden content. Hallo Gast! Du willst die Bilder sehen? Einfach registrieren oder anmelden!) You must carry some kind of backup, separate from your camera. A card is easily pilfered or lost and card failures are not unknown. I would adivise against carrying a laptop for the sake of your back (although a Macbook Air 11" with external SSD  might just be acceptable), but there are compact and light HDD-based backup devices.
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