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LATEST BLOGPOSTS

Leica APO Summicron 50mm ASPH Disappointment

Leica APO Summicron 50mm ASPH Disappointment

Friday, 30 December 2022

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

Welcome to Mars - Just 40km from home

Thursday, 1 December 2022

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

Monolithic structures

Saturday, 17 September 2022

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

Giving the old Hektor some attention

Thursday, 15 September 2022

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

Winter Colours of Namibian Bush

Monday, 12 September 2022

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...

Swakopmund Dunes with the Summicron 50mm

Swakopmund Dunes with the Summicron 50mm

Thursday, 28 July 2022

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...

A lens that feels just right

A lens that feels just right

Sunday, 24 July 2022

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

When 21mm doesn't look super wide

Monday, 27 June 2022

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...

Can 28mm be my next 35mm?

Can 28mm be my next 35mm?

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

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

The 21mm is wide

Saturday, 18 June 2022

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...

Thoughts on the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm ASPH II

Thoughts on the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm ASPH II

Friday, 17 June 2022

The Ultron 35mm f/2 ASPH has been around since January 2019, but it was in March 2021 when Voigtländer released a redesign known as the Type II. While both types share the same optical design, Voigltänder updated the exterior design with the Type II while also making it an all brass build. I’ve had my copy since December 2021.
The lens promises a modern...

Leica M11 Neutral dcp profiles

Leica M11 Neutral dcp profiles

Thursday, 9 June 2022

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

Golden Eye

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

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

Sunrise at the Jetty

Saturday, 21 May 2022

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...

Sunrise Walk in Swakopmund

Sunrise Walk in Swakopmund

Friday, 6 May 2022

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

Thoughts on the Voigtlander Color-Skopar 35mm PII

Monday, 11 April 2022

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

Thoughts on the Leica Tele-Elmarit 90mm

Monday, 11 April 2022

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...

Thoughts on the Summicron 5cm f/2 Type 1

Thoughts on the Summicron 5cm f/2 Type 1

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Last year I was given my grandfathers Leica camera equipment. Amongst which was a 1956 Leica Summicron 5cm, the collapsible Version I.
It was in fairly good condition. A few wear marks, but otherwise in good cosmetic condition. Optics were a tiny bit hazy, and minor scratches on the notoriously soft front element. Mechanically, the focus helicoid was stiff,...