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On the road again - Robb's Leica Adventures


robb

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I think the 90 worked out great.  Lovely background blur and exceptionally clean color.  I think all the SL APO lenses are my all time favorites for their look across any format or brand. 

Airport Engineer in Denver, Colorado - Leica SL2 with APO Summicron SL 90mm Asph, iso 200, 1/500th at f 2.0

Robb

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Another worker in from the aircraft ramps in the snow.  Great all around look.

Airport Engineer in Denver, Colorado - Leica SL2 with APO Summicron SL 90mm Asph, iso 200, 1/320th at f 2.0

Robb

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I also shot a multi-shot mode image of this scene at f8.0 for more depth of field on a tripod closer to the floor - It also looked great.  But I think this one at f2 is equally nice because of the APO flat field at somewhat farther distance and having lower iso and freezing movement.  The colors feel true to life matching when I was there.

Terminal Gate Expansion in Denver, Colorado - Leica SL2 with APO Summicron SL 90mm Asph, iso 200, 1/400th at f 2.0

Robb

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I have three rolling bags that I use for carry on for my cameras on board aircraft for my work.  I thought I’d share them here in case any of you are curious about configurations to get your gear across the globe…. In general, we do not really have weight limits for carry on bags in the US so that makes getting everything on board that you need at your final destination a bit easier.  Sometimes when flying international, I’ll opt to pair gear down a bit if I am concerned about weight limits in the “international” sized roller.  But my ground rules are that everything goes in the aircraft above my seat that is essential to getting the work done.   Only recently did I add a new shorter Gitzo carbon fiber tripod that actually fits inside my on-board case.  So this really makes it easy to know that when I arrive, if checked luggage goes missing or late, I can still get my work done on time.  The gitzo although shorter is still very solid and supportive for any of my SL2 multi shots so that is a good sign for my critical needs.

The Think Tank largest "continental" carry on size - the airport security.  I think mine is a 2.0 and a couple years old.  Never let me down.  But only having two wheels with all this weight can wear down your arms sometimes...

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Here is what I can fit if I need the "kitchen sink" like shooting many different project types in a 5-7 day visit to an area:

Two bodies with or without grips and full of batteries

90-280

24-90

Two apo SL Summicrons or can mix in the Nokton 1.0

Two Canon Tilt shifts with sigma MC-21 adapters

1.4x canon extender

400mm f 4 do ii lens with regular and sunglass cases on top

Two sd card wallets with 20 (64gb) cards by sandisk

2 sd card readers

allen tools

small flashlight, pens, business cards, model release, Sony headphone ear buds

Newswear pouch with 6 additional batteries

Two rectangular lens hoods

Two battery chargers with plugs

5 heliopan polarizing filters

Profoto remote trigger 

Battery cell and phone / iPad chargers, car charger, small car phone mount that I plug into the top A/C vents

This bag can also accommodate my Gitzo tripod and Markins traveller bullhead with Arca clamp on top or under the 90-280 slot.

My MacBook Pro and iPad Pro go in the outer sleeve pocket so you can imagine that this gets heavy

I can also swap out the 400mm lens and carry several lithium batteries for the acute 600 packs since the batteries can't go in checked bags... 

So what I like most about this bag setup is I can swap so many things in and out based upon that week's activities.

I carry a second laptop bag from Billingham or Domke with my DJI Mavic 3, two spare batteries, charger, controller, extra crumple down jacket, and maybe something to drink in a bottle, passport, licenses, badges, etc

The Profoto lights (if needed) and clothes for the week go in two cases under the plane.  

Robb

 

 

 

Edited by robb
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But here is the smaller setup I just took on the plane for the same day shoot and quick return in Denver.

I just added this bag - the Think Tank Roller Derby.  I got it because it has the four wheels and makes less stress on the shoulders and arms.  It is about an inch or so shorter than the big Continental bag because the large spinning wheels take up some of that space.  It is a very nice experience with a smooth ride and makes traveling with heavier gear easier.

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I opted to leave the two zooms and just took the two tilt shifts with adapters and two SL APO Summicrons.  The 90 and 35.  I left the 90-280 for this trip and added a small Newswear fanny pack and pouch in its place so that I only needed to bring the one bag and could start work once I hit the ground in the airport terminal.  I didn't feel the need for bigger shoulder bag for this work this visit.  I normally pack an extra domke shoulder bag in my checked luggage that I use and fill with gear from the roller cases once I get to the hotel and before heading off to project locations.

I also have lots of bags and extra dividers.  I am not a believer in using the dividers with the cutouts to stow cameras with lenses mounted.  I have seen lens mounts bent when traveling this way on other Leica owners and I also like to pack as much stuff as efficiently as possible and I believe this to be a space waster.  I've never missed a shot because I had to quickly mount a lens... So don't be afraid to mix and match dividers from different bags or layouts to get the config that makes your life easy.

So other than losing the 400, the extender, and another extra lens, this still gets most my critical items on the plane with me.  I don't fly on small aircraft and almost always go on a 737.  As one of the first on board, I never really have any issues with my case and drone bag right above me.  If I am going to go to a more remote location, I'll opt to fly to a bigger place and drive so that my gear is always with me.  I don't stress about air travel after doing this so long, but I'll always opt to take a later flight or even go another day if they ask for my cameras to go below.  That's just a bad thing waiting to happen.  I'll typically drive to California, Vegas, or New Mexico instead of flying from Phoenix rather than fly.  But if it's long than 6 hours to drive then I'll just go with the bigger aircraft carriers.

Robb

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And finally my smaller Think Tank "international sized bag.  Here is what still fits.

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So the 400 can swap with the 90-280 if needed in the same slot.  Or you can get the tripod and 90-280 on top of each other with padding in between.

You can still get the 24-90 two bodies, and three other lenses.  Still room for the two chargers, batteries, two hoods, and other odds and ends.  This has been my most used bag the last 10-12 years.  It can basically go anywhere and you can tackle just about any job.  You can also swap some of the smaller dividers to carry other zooms, etc.  Mix and match to fit your scenarios.

For those shooters that are all M with the smaller, lighter lens footprints - I say more power to you.  I have also taken M lenses in lieu of some of these and I have sometimes only opted to take one SL2 body.  But backups are typically nice.  I just think that there is no better combo of features and lens capabilities than the SL system so I will likely have fewer M items to tote around even to save weight.  I'll try to show setups for my Billingham and Domke bags in the next few days.  I always enjoy seeing what other photographers load out for their work because as the pros know, the logistics and planning of a shoot, its travel, weather, etc are a huge part to getting you in a great spot to be successful in your image making.

I would recommend great planning when you consider a photo shoot's variables so you travel with the least amount of gear to still successfully accomplish your goals.  All three of these bags are showing the max load out so others can get ideas about what they may need bring along on that great adventure or paid assignment.  But you can leave extra stuff at home and cut weight or bring clothes in these bags too... As I get older, I definitely opt to carry less and shoot smarter.  I also find that by doing this my images are better.  But if you are shooting 7 different project types in a week away from your home base, you at least have to get all the gear that may be needed to all those spots.

Robb

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Great portraits Robb! I have the 35 and 75 APO SC's, but wondering if I should switch it up to the 28-50-90 APO SC's if I decide to remain in the SL camp...tough decision as the Hassy X2D is pulling at my wallet hard. One thing I don't like about my SL2 is the shutter shock, it is horrible and forces me to use the electronic shutter. Wonder if you have experienced this when using the APO SC's which are un-relentless in showing up any hardware or technique issues?

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6 minutes ago, jplomley said:

Great portraits Robb! I have the 35 and 75 APO SC's, but wondering if I should switch it up to the 28-50-90 APO SC's if I decide to remain in the SL camp...tough decision as the Hassy X2D is pulling at my wallet hard. One thing I don't like about my SL2 is the shutter shock, it is horrible and forces me to use the electronic shutter. Wonder if you have experienced this when using the APO SC's which are un-relentless in showing up any hardware or technique issues?

Thanks for your kind words.

I think the 35 and 75 are my favorite combo of the summicrons.  I can’t see ever selling them.  Carrying only the two lenses is an easy lighter weight solution than adding a third lens.  And this focal range combo seems perfect.

Main question for you is do you want to carry and switch between two or three lenses.  


I added the 90 primarily so that if I am shooting people at a business event (in darker conditions) and want to be less noticeable, the 90 gives me that possibility.  With the 75, you are so close, people quickly see you and change their behavior.  The 90-280 makes being a fly on the wall easier but it’s a heavier lens and in darker spaces not as effective.  But the stabilizers work very well.  I love that lens outdoors.  
 

I also like the 75 in portrait settings because you are still relatively close to your subject and you don’t have to talk loud for them to hear you.  You also can work in a shorter room.

I do think the background blur on the 90 is better than the 75 so hard to not like that.  Both lenses are so similar, I don’t think you’d need both.  I’d pick one based on the room you generally have to operate.  
 

I think the 28 and 35 are very closely matched so most will pick one or the other.  I have an M 28 summicron and a Q-P so adding the 28 SL wasn’t a current priority.  I do think the better color and clarity from the apo is noticeable.  
 

I do want a 50 SL Apo at some point as I see stunning results in a smaller package than the 24-90 zoom.   
 

and I know we are burning $100 bills quickly in this discussion but I am waiting for the 21 apo over the 28

My next adds are likely:

21 apo

Q3 with 28

Q3 with a 50 or longer lens

SL3 

50 SL Apo

 

I like the idea of the hassy X2d but I think it may be missing some features for a while that I enjoy or find essential with my SL2.  Histogram, focus peaking, and autofocus using strobes in darker places in particular.  The main benefit to me with the x2d is it’s leaf shutters and light weight.

Leica’s next Q3 with a 28 and possible longer lens version of the camera might take care of my leaf shutter needs and 60mp vs 100mp not really a big dif to me to add a whole other look and system…. And Q is a proven platform to me.  So I’m likely passing on x2d in favor of what my Leica SL2 already does so well.
 

I have always thought the SL2 mechanical shutter was great, smooth, and quiet.  I have handheld it down to 1 second with ibis on and never experienced any problems.  I have used the electronic shutter inside and had problems with the banding so I only use E shutter out doors or with multi-shot mode.   But most of my work is with mech shutter and I’ve not seen any trouble.  Crazy sharp stuff.  

Robb

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  • 3 weeks later...

I added a Panasonic s1r for my son to use but cannot find an L bracket or simple arca tripod plate to be able to match to the body… it seems these are no longer made by RRS or anyone.  Even all the ones on eBay from china are no longer available (even though their listings are still up.)

can anyone sell me their used extra plate or send me a link where I can buy something in stock?

he can’t have fun with multishot mode without a plate….

thanks for any help on this.

Robb

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26 minutes ago, robb said:

I added a Panasonic s1r for my son to use but cannot find an L bracket or simple arca tripod plate to be able to match to the body… it seems these are no longer made by RRS or anyone.  Even all the ones on eBay from china are no longer available (even though their listings are still up.)

can anyone sell me their used extra plate or send me a link where I can buy something in stock?

he can’t have fun with multishot mode without a plate….

thanks for any help on this.

Robb

Is this not available on Amazon US

https://www.amazon.co.uk/FOTGA-Vertical-Panasonic-Compatible-Arca-Swiss/dp/B08ZN8CPFT

Smallrig cage for S1H - available Amazon US would fit S1R

SmallRig Cage for Panasonic LUMIX S1H Camera CCP2488

 

 

 

Edited by Boojay
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Can anyone verify if the S1 or S1H have the same plates as S1R?  I’m not familiar with the Panasonic L mount cameras like the Leicas.  Appreciate any input.  I know many SL2 owners have Panasonic backups as well.  
 

thanks.

Robb

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2 hours ago, robb said:

Currently unavailable 
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.”

:(

It's hard to believe this is so difficult to find.. just to say I have the FOTGA one for the S1R, never gets used but I'm UK so no use for you... however, Aliexpress still lists them and say shipping available to US, might be worth a try, if not good luck with your quest.  I should say the FOTGA is light and certainly not up to RRS standards (I have for my M10) but it does the job more than adequately.

https://www.aliexpress.com/i/3256801583134774.html?gatewayAdapt=4itemAdapt

Edited by Boojay
typo
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  • 2 weeks later...

Window light from a storefront.  The grain on the SL2-s feels good.

Christmas time in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 90mm Asph, iso 2500, 1/125th at f 2.0

Robb

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Edited by robb
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Colors always neutral out of the SL2-s

Waimea Botanical Garden, Haleiwa, Hawaii - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 90mm Asph, iso 100, 1/160th at f 2.0

Robb

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Our daughter had to get in the water for a nice series.  I was crouching on some rocks.  I prefer the 35 for full length shots rather than closer in.  

Makapu'u Beach Park, Waimanalo, Hawaii - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 35mm Asph, iso 100, 1/1000th at f 2.0 with Heliopan Circular Polarizer

Robb

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Great colors right out of the can...

Surfers at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 90mm Asph, iso 100, 1/250th at f 4.0 with Heliopan Circular Polarizer

Robb

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Am 26.12.2022 um 20:58 schrieb robb:

 

Colors always neutral out of the SL2-s

Waimea Botanical Garden, Haleiwa, Hawaii - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 90mm Asph, iso 100, 1/160th at f 2.0

Robb

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Focus is on eye farther from the camera. Intentional?

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Am 26.12.2022 um 20:51 schrieb robb:

Window light from a storefront.  The grain on the SL2-s feels good.

Christmas time in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 90mm Asph, iso 2500, 1/125th at f 2.0

Robb

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Same here. Do you intentionally focus on the eye farther from the camera wide open?

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