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LATEST BLOGPOSTS

Magoebaskloof Trip - December 2023

Saturday, 13 January 2024
Magoebaskloof Trip - December 2023

In December, I flew down to visit my brother in Johannesburg, from where we then took a road trip northward to a place called Magoebaskloof. Magoebaskloof is a strange place in a sense, as its climate and landscape is so drastically different to its greater surroundings. This is because the area is very mountainous and at the edge of a great escarpment. It doesn’t...

M11 Black Dot Conversion

Friday, 5 January 2024
M11 Black Dot Conversion

Since July last year, I’ve been trying to get a replacement red dot for my M11. I have been meaning to remove the camer’s red dot to stain or paint it black, in order to homogonise the look of the camera to be more black. I’ve already filled in with black the engraved and white "Leica M11” lettering on the hot shoe. Now I wanted a black dot, but I wasn’t going...

Winter doesnt want to go away

Sunday, 17 September 2023
Winter doesnt want to go away

The quiet town of Swakopmund is having a winter much like an uninvited guest that just won’t leave. Even the plants are confused about whether spring is here, coming, or has passed… nobody and nothing knows.
So during these low volume months of photography, I at least managed to take a handful of images I like. It’s quite unusual to walk in the dunes and have...

The only Leica lens I dont regret

Saturday, 17 June 2023
The only Leica lens I dont regret

The Summicron-M 50mm V is easily my most used lens and over the past year I’ve come to appreciate it more and more. Sometimes I need to remind myself that lenses are a balance of compromises, and this Summicron-M 50 feels to fulfil my needs really well. With my painful history of Leica lens purchases, the Summicron 50 was the only lens that actually worked as...

Go with what you know: Billingham Bags

Monday, 10 April 2023
Go with what you know: Billingham Bags

I should've right from the start choosen the Hadley Small shoulder bag for my M system. It took just over one year and two crappy bags later for me to end up here. This isn’t just a hindsight 20/20 thing… I knew the Billinham Hadley is a great bag from the beginning, becuase (wait for it) I’ve owned them for over 10 years! So why didn’t I just get the Hadley...

Short break to Paternoster

Monday, 10 April 2023
Short break to Paternoster

Our day to day life has had a few knocks and bangs over the last couple years, and my wife and I hadn’t had a some quiet time away for quite some time. Paternoster is one of our favoured getaways; A quiet and small west coast fishing village just a couple hours drive north from Cape Town. It's the perfect place to get away and switch off, with high chances of...

Can it infrared? - Leica M11

Friday, 3 February 2023
Can it infrared? - Leica M11

Some time last yeah, I experimented with my infrared filter on the M11 for about 5min, concluded that it looked like turd, and left it at that. Then someone on Leica Forum posted some compelling images taken with an infrared filter and it tickled my curiosity again. 
Simply, it works, but it needs assistance in the form of a custom colour profile. I created...

Leica APO Summicron 50mm ASPH Disappointment

Friday, 30 December 2022
Leica APO Summicron 50mm ASPH Disappointment

A few days away from Christmas, I had the opportunity to order a Leica APO Summicron-M 50mm ASPH. I was visiting family in South Africa and a local shop had the lens on offer at a great price. It was part of a Leica display unit and I guess it was becoming dead stock and needed to be sold. The APO Summicron 50mm is somewhat of a halo lens, which I desperately...

Welcome to Mars - Just 40km from home

Thursday, 1 December 2022
Welcome to Mars - Just 40km from home

Sometimes, I still get surprised by what's essentially in my back yard. This Martian landscape, sans Rover, looks pretty convincing to me but it's litterally directioned at my home town only 40km away.
It was unusually hazy and windy this day, which provided a unique atmosphere. The light was still typically harsh and bright, even with the haze, so the shadows...

Monolithic structures

Saturday, 17 September 2022
Monolithic structures

Just out of Swakopmund, some 40km inland, stands the Rossing Mountain. It's a fascinating place, with an epic view.
Access with an off-road vehicle is from the back, the East side, which is rather anticlimactic in its ascent since it doesn’t feel very steep. The last little bit is steep, and can be a bit rock-crawly, but non of it prepares one for the view...

Giving the old Hektor some attention

Thursday, 15 September 2022
Giving the old Hektor some attention

My 1955 Leica Hektor 13.5cm f/4.5 lens, a rather odd and rough looking thin silver tube, produces some pretty interesting and old school images. 
The Hektor, as I got it, had a pretty strong front focus. The focusing was stiff and a little crunchy at times. The aperture slightly oily, with an f/32 iris shaped haze imprint on the rear element. Not only that,...

Winter Colours of Namibian Bush

Monday, 12 September 2022
Winter Colours of Namibian Bush

One of my favourite seasons in Namibia is winter, but very specifically in inland Namibia, as winter at the coast is just miserable. 
The weather is cold and very very dry, and the bush transforms into what seems fairly monochromatic. Many browns and shades of grey. As much as it sounds like an oxymoron, there is simplicity in its complexity. It's a time when...

Swakopmund Dunes with the Summicron 50mm

Thursday, 28 July 2022
Swakopmund Dunes with the Summicron 50mm

The Summicron-M 50mm has been glued to my camera for the past few weeks in order to familiarise myself with it. It’s not much of a learning curve, but the focus shift and obvious susceptibility to flare is somehting one needs to pre-empt. Other than that the lens has a lovely clean draw, with modest colour and contrast.

While the lens isn’t going to turn...

A lens that feels just right

Sunday, 24 July 2022
A lens that feels just right

It's been super hard to justify anything branded Leica, especially given my poor experiences with the brand’s quality, but also given their high and ever increasing prices. One of those purchases has been a Summicron-M 50mm IV, the current non-aspherical version. Version IV is the descriptor according to Leica, and many online reviews or posts refer to it as...

When 21mm doesn't look super wide

Monday, 27 June 2022
When 21mm doesn't look super wide

Part of my dislike for super wide angle lenses is that it’s easy to incorporate too much. The Voigtländer Color-Skopar 21mm is probably not going to be used a lot, but it I think it has a well deserved palce in the bag. Sometimes it can provide a shot that doesn’t look like it was taken with a 21mm, and that is quite cool.

The main reason why I have an...

Can 28mm be my next 35mm?

Wednesday, 22 June 2022
Can 28mm be my next 35mm?

Can a 28mm be my next and best 35mm? It could be, but it’s early days and conclusions can’t be made yet...The Voigtländer Ultron 28mm ASPH II arrived last week, in silver obviously, but its task is a two fold battle; Can it convert me from preferring the narrower 35mm perspective and can it replace its smaller brother, the Ultron 35 ASPH II? 
An important...

The 21mm is wide

Saturday, 18 June 2022
The 21mm is wide

Not surprising, but the Voigtländer 21mm is wide and therefore a little tricky for me. However, it's a good challenge to view things with this new expansive eye. 

The Voigtlander Color-Skopar 21/3.5 ASPH II isn’t quite the performer that reviews have led me to believe. Not all that surprising since most reviews were with lower resolution cameras. The M11...

Thoughts on the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm ASPH II

Friday, 17 June 2022
Thoughts on the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm ASPH II

Preface:
I suspect that the below reviewed Ultron 35mm ASPH II I purchased was likely not perfect and that I had poor luck with copy variance. Since selling the lens, I've looked at several DNG sample images I received from other owners, and I’m unable to see the same harsh focus plane in the mid-zone as I observed on mine. Copy variance is an unfortuante...

Leica M11 Neutral dcp profiles

Thursday, 9 June 2022
Leica M11 Neutral dcp profiles

I’ve found myself wanting something from the default embedded Leica M11 profile in Lightroom Classic, and sometimes swapping over to the Adobe Standard and Neutral profile helped. I think what it eventually turned out to be was a slightly too aggressive standard tone curve for the former, and a slightly too bright curve for the latter. The Adobe colour are not...

Golden Eye

Tuesday, 7 June 2022
Golden Eye

Another winter special in Swakopmund is the advent of the hot East Wind. It's usually associated negatively with strong wind, very hot weather and also dust storms. 

These winds can be pretty miserable, with temperatures reaching 45ºC and wind blasting at 40km/h or more. However, the East Wind weather can also be pretty spectacular when the conditions...

Sunrise at the Jetty

Saturday, 21 May 2022
Sunrise at the Jetty

It’s winter and clear sunny days can be few and far between. Luckily this morning was a spectacular morning, with clear blue skies and striking sunshine. Good timing as I’ve just received the Voigtlander Color-Skopar 21mm f/3.5 ASPH II and I’m eager to try it out. 

So far, all seems good and it’s an interesting exercise photographing with the wide viewing...

Sunrise Walk in Swakopmund

Friday, 6 May 2022
Sunrise Walk in Swakopmund

I feel that some camera systems have the ability to transform the users way of thinking or seeing things that can sometimes feel very drastically different to what one did before. The last camera to totally transform my photographic  was the Rolleiflex system. Its simple and elegant way of square framing and the lack of lens choice allowed the whole “rule book”...

Thoughts on the Voigtlander Color-Skopar 35mm PII

Monday, 11 April 2022
Thoughts on the Voigtlander Color-Skopar 35mm PII

This lens has been around for quite some time in one form or another. This particular Version II Pancake was released in 2004 and hasn’t seen a revision since. I think it could do with a facelift, but optically it leaves little to be desired except for a few minor niggles. It's a lens I only came to appreciate once I compared it to newer and more expensive lenses...

Thoughts on the Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm

Monday, 11 April 2022
Thoughts on the Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm

This Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 was in production from the early 60’s to the early 70’s. Being not particularly girthy but wider than its successor, it was nicknamed “Fat.” An attribute I can’t quite agree with. I would rather call its successor skinny, since the Elmarti-M that followed it was again heavier, larger and fatter. The odd one out was the “skinny”  Tele-Elmarit...

Leica M11 Tri-Resolution Marketing

Saturday, 9 April 2022
Leica M11 Tri-Resolution Marketing

As one poster in the Leica Camera Forums mentioned, “ Friends do not let friends use M11 'pixel binning’ ”.
Leica Marketing:
Stay flexible and choose from 60, 36 or 18 Megapixel resolution for DNG and JPG: The exclusively developed Full Frame BSI CMOS Sensor with Triple Resolution Technology in the M11 is a masterpiece of imaging technology.
What it's...