Posts Tagged ‘noctilux’

It’s been a few week since I had some time to go shoot. A buddy of mine recently sold his Leica M8.2 while waiting to pick up his M9. It kept getting delayed. He had a wedding to shoot so he borrowed my M9 over the weekend. In return, he let me borrow his Sony NEX-5n to play with. I thought this would be a good chance to try out the NEX series before my pre-ordered NEX-7 arrives (Whenever that is…).
Here are 3 initial shots of it with 2 different lenses. First impression was very good. The camera was easy to use and very easy to handle. I did wish for some more manual adjustments (which I hope the NEX-7 would cover). I still don’t think it’s even close as a replacement for the M9. The picture rendering just doesn’t have the M9 qualities that I like. The lens selection does make quite a big of a difference on the capability of the camera. It quite interesting to have the Noctilux mounted on it. The lens is bigger than the body!! I should have snap a picture of the setup before I returned the camera. I’m sure I’ll have another chance soon to take some shots with it.

Title: Stich
Lens: Leica 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux
Stich

Title: Homework
Lens: Leica 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux
Homework

Title: Peju
Lens: Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux
Peju

I’ll be posting more pictures I took with it in another post focusing more on food. Stay tune!

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Panasonic GF2

GF2 is not Leica’s new model. Though lots of Panasonic MFT (Micro 4/3) lenses has the Leica designation on it. I’m still not sure if it’s actually made by Leica or not. My take? Probably not. Anyways, the wife had this camera for a while now. I also bought the M to MFT adapter since day one that she had it. I just been having so much fun with my Digital M that I rarely even think of using her camera with any of my M lenses. It’s been over a week since I got my Noctilux so I thought this would be a good chance to see how the GF2 matches with the Noct. I also have the new Sony NEX-7 on order. This would give me some what of a first look at shooting the Leica M lenses on non-Leica bodies. I know it’s well over done on the internet. any simple google search will net you plenty of other links of someone using Leica M on non-Leica bodies. Though I have yet to find anyone that put a Noctilux on a GF2? Thus this at least will give the first look for the very specific audience of GF2 owners that are curious on how the Noctilux look on their body.

Leica GF2 Noctilux

Leica GF2 Noctilux

At first look, The lens is huge. It’s probably bigger than the GF2 body and definitely weights a lot more. But this makes carrying the camera a little easier since you have to keep your hand on the lens barrel for focusing regardless. So the weight just naturally pitch forward. Since the wife’s GF2 doesn’t have the view finder and I’m too cheap to buy either the EVF or just the regular VF, I find my self continuously putting the camera up to my eye then realizing that everything is done via the rear LCD screen. It’s a tough habit to break after so many years of shooting. I’m sure this would be a lot easier whenever my NEX-7 comes in.

The Adapter (DMW-MA2M)
Panasonic M to MFT Adapter

The Adapter on the Noctilux
Noctilux with adapter

Other than that, I’m using the Panasonic M to MFT mount which is pricy, but very well made. No lens play at all. Everything clicks in perfectly.
So first thing you have to do when you slap a non Panasonic MFT lens is to allow shooting with no lens attach. You can find that option under Custom setup. Once set, with the M lens, everything is manual now. I typically put it in Aperture priority mode. It won’t detect your actual aperture, but it does meter correctly.

Well, here are 3 shots I took while waiting for the kids at the local Barne’s and Noble. More of a test shot to see what the lens/body combo can do at f/0.95. Of course, the first thing you notice would be the depth of field. But I felt it still lacks the soul that the M9 provide. You be the judge!

Title: Ice Fishing
Ice Fishing

Title: Focus Grover, Focus
Focus Grover, Focus!

Title: Beany bunch
Beany bunch

Here ares some more Noctilux goodness. These were taken on Sunday in San Francisco ChinaTown. ChinaTow anywhere is always a great place for street photography. Plenty of interesting things and people to shoot. Not to mention the one in San Francisco is always filled with tourist with cameras. With proliferation of DSLR, it seems like almost everyone has one around their neck. This makes using a Leica a lot easier since it just doesn’t stick out! Well, maybe not in this case. A silver M9 with a Noctilux isn’t exactly small nor light. But it was the perfect lens for that day. It was overcast which allowed me to shoot mostly wide open at f/0.95. The only draw back was the rain. It was drizzling so most of the time, I had the camera tucked in my jacket until the decisive moment to whip it out, focus, and click. I also made the mistake of carrying a full size umbrella with me. This made moving around quite difficult. I found a way to secure the umbrella on my belt, but everytime I bend down to get a lower perspective, the damn thing gets caught on the street and falls over. Thus not too many shots were taken.

First on deck. This is call dedication or propaganda depending which “camp” you’re from. This was taken at that park right across from the Hilton. These are Falangong activist doing chi gong. What I found interesting was the rain gears!! and of course… Cue the Music!

Title: YMCA
YMCA

This is probably my favorite of the set. This truly shows the amazing quality of the Noctilux. It’s ability to bring a 2 dimensional photography and gives it a surrealistic 3D look. It just pop! The composition key I used in this photo was contrast as well as using the white sign post and the white crosswalk stripes to frame the 2 main subject.

Title: 3D
3D

With the recent Occupied Everywhere protest, there’s bound to be over abundant of trash everywhere.

Title: Occupied
Occupied

Here is a shot of Henry standing in front of a red door with red brick wall. The red colors always shows great contrast in black and white photography. I snap this shot mianly for the directional sign juxtaposing Henry’s walking path.

Title: Confused
Confused

Here is another common theme that you will always see in ChinaTown. It’s not the news paper reading store owner or the abundance of Chinese herbal medicine. I thought Chinese herbal medicine has a cure or preventive for almost every ailments? I guess he must have skip a few bitter drinks?

Title: Rogaine
Rogaine

Last week was an exciting week.
On Wednesday, I started to see rumors circulating about the new Leica price increase. This was something I had heard a few month back, but nothing substantiating. Then I saw a tweet from Leica Rumor about a fairly confirmed price list increase that will start on January 1st.
Click here for the Leica Rumor post about the new price list

Knowing that I still have one more lens on my wish list that I wanted to add to my permanent collection, the rush is on to source that lens before the $500 price hike. Ok, maybe $500 hike isn’t that significant considering that the lens cost $10,495, but a hike is still a hike. Not to mention, buying a new copy of the lens is still as illusive as capturing the unicorn.

I already place a pre-orders a few month back at all the common places like Adorama as well as numerous others. All I ever get is a monthly backorder email. I knew to hunt the lens down will require more drastic measure. I decided to hit up Unique Photo in New Jersey. They’re the only online shop I found that lists Leica lenses ship in 1 – 3 weeks. Not to mention I lucked out with them last time when I ordered my silver 50mm Summilux. They were able to find and ship me one the next day!! So I placed the order knowing that they have a policy of charging the full amount first and you wait. With January 1st just a little over a month away, I figure this might lock me in to a lens in case they do get one.

Next morning. I got woken up by a phone call from the East coast. Last time with the 50mm Summilux, Unique Photo called me to confirm that I indeed placed an order for the 50mm Summilux because it was a high ticketed item. So I thought it might have been them again. I was still half awake. Instead, it was a call from ePhotoCraft. At first, I was quickly racking my brain on wtf is ePhotoCraft. Is this another one of those telemarketers? Instead, Eldar from ePhotoCraft said they got 2 Noctilux in, one is already sold, and see if I wanted the other one. Without any hesitation I said yes! As I jumped out of bed, my mind was racing. Trying to figure out WTH ePhotoCraft was. I quickly jumped on my computer and looked up ePhotoCraft. Everything was coming back. I remember googling Noctilux looking for the obscure photography store that I might be able to place a pre-order. This store came up in the 3rd or 4th page of search. The place seems like a legit brick and mortar Photography store in DC. They still listed the Noctilux for $9995!! And there was a specific link for pre-order!! So So I filled out their online form and seal my name on yet another waiting list. Not expecting that my number will ever be called.

So this morning call indeed turn out to be legit! As I discussed with Eldar on the phone on shipping method, I decided to fork over the dough for overnight. Two thoughts crossed my mind. If I had it overnight, it wouldn’t spend that much time bouncing around in the truck across the country and If the deal was indeed legit, I would find out the next day. With payment sent right away, the rest of the day was most restless. Waiting for the tracking number.
The tracking number finally show up in the system near the end of the day as I was leaving work. Looks like my lens should arrive any time the next day. Now it becomes a waiting game for the big brown truck!

Friday was painful. We had a special offsite at work that didn’t require me to get in until noon so I sat around all morning waiting for that truck. Knowing how irresponsible my local UPS delivery person is, I wanted to make sure I don’t miss this delivery. They UPS guy been known to leave package in random places around the driveway or not even walking up the stairs to ring the door bell. It doesn’t help that it was raining as well. Last thing I wanted to see is my crown jewel being soaked by the rain. As the clock tick on, no truck. By 11am, I had to leave for work. I forced my wife to stay home and stare out on the driveway to make sure big brown don’t miss us. I think I probably called and message my wife almost every hour while I was at work to see if it showed up. “Nothing” was the word of the day…
I knew my wife would have to go pick up the kid in the afternoon so as soon as I was able to leave the work offsite, I headed straight home to make sure someone was home. I continuously check the front door to make sure Mr. Brown didn’t do his usual thing. “Nothing”.

Shortly around 6pm, the wife called while on the way back from picking up the kid. There was a Big Brown truck next street over making a delivery. I asked her to follow it and don’t loose sight of him. With more common sense, she decline my idiotic request.

About 15 minutes later, I saw the big brown truck pulled up near my driveway. I literally ran out to greet him. YES~!! It’s here!!

This is not the first time I handled the Noctilux. I played with a few of them from the last f/1 to a couple f/0.95. But this time was different. This is MINE!!

Here is just couple shot of the unboxing.

Noctilux-Close

Noctilux-Close


Noctilux-Open

Noctilux-Open

Here are a few shots around the house. Since I got the lens right around dinner time, might as well make dinner my subject.

Title: Green Guts
Green Guts

Title: Fly Fish
Fly Fish

Title: 2 Dollars
2 Dollars

The next day, I had a chance to hit up a good Belgium eatery in the city for a late night snack. Frjtz.. If you’re a big fan of fries and crepe, this place is great!! Price is reasonable and food was excellent. Make sure you order the Mussels!! the ambiance was dark. Perfect to test out the Noct’s capability!!

Title: Good Eats
Good Eats

Title: Morning Fix
Morning Fix

Title: Cut Off
Cut Off

On Sunday, I was able to take the beast out for some walk around shots. It was raining so I want to make sure I didn’t want to get it wet. The good thing was it was cloudy so shooting wide open wasn’t an issue!!

I gather a couple friends to go shooting with me. We ended up in San Francisco China Town. Here is a Tryptych of Arvin shooting the shooter with his Leica M8.2 and Voitlander 50mm f/1.2

Title: Leica Tryptych
Leica Triptych

Since this post is getting long, I will do a separate post in a few days with the China Town pics!!

Stay Tune!