Leica Q2 Introduction

I was invited to introduction of the Leica Q2 and I choose to attend the one at the Las Vegas Leica Store. First off it was a good time enjoyed by all. 

The store gave out gift bags for those who were invited. Always nice to get Leica goodies. The highlights were a red dot camera hat, a Leica logo water bottle and a premium lens cleaning cloth. Very nice.  

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I will have a separate post about my impressions of the Leica Q2 coming soon.  

Museum Leica Book

If your a big Leica fan the Leica Museum book by Lars Netopil is a must have addition to your library.

This set of books is different than most Leica reference books. It tells the history of Leica through photos of their cameras and is light on technical information. That is both good and bad. The quality of the photos are much better than most camera history books. And then there is the sheer volume of them. The Leica Museum book would make a great coffee table book. Great to pick up from time to time just to browse.  

This set of books is different than most Leica reference books. It tells the history of Leica through photos of their cameras and is light on technical information. That is both good and bad. The quality of the photos are much better than most camera history books. And then there is the sheer volume of them. The Leica Museum book would make a great coffee table book. Great to pick up from time to time just to browse.  

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It’s nice that the books go beyond just a photo or two for each model. There are also lots of rare models and prototypes. These I find of particular interest. I enjoy seeing how designers go through various design choices to end with the models that we end up buying.  

It’s nice that the books go beyond just a photo or two for each model. There are also lots of rare models and prototypes. These I find of particular interest. I enjoy seeing how designers go through various design choices to end with the models that we end up buying.  

From the authors site.      The new Factory Museum at Leitz Park - including items from the Rolf Fricke Collection by Lars Netopil.     Lars Netopil has compiled an exhaustive volume to illustrate what future visitors to the Leica Museum can look forward to discovering. The Leica expert and historian, who also owns a Leica Store for vintage and contemporary cameras in Wetzlar’s Old Town, has published several books within his field in the past. For this endeavour, his well-established team has documented the treasures to be displayed at Leica’s factory museum. The book was designed by David Pitzer, the over 600, mostly large-format photographs were created by Wolfgang Sauer.   In 36 chapters, the essential exhibits from the inventory of the new Leica Factory Museum are described - from the UR-Leica to the red anodized Leica.    - 672 pages with over 600 large size colour images  - Text fully bi-lingual (english/german)  - 21x30 cm, 2 sub-volumes in one slipcase, hardcover in cloth with dust-jacket

From the authors site.  

 The new Factory Museum at Leitz Park - including items from the Rolf Fricke Collection by Lars Netopil.


Lars Netopil has compiled an exhaustive volume to illustrate what future visitors to the Leica Museum can look forward to discovering. The Leica expert and historian, who also owns a Leica Store for vintage and contemporary cameras in Wetzlar’s Old Town, has published several books within his field in the past. For this endeavour, his well-established team has documented the treasures to be displayed at Leica’s factory museum. The book was designed by David Pitzer, the over 600, mostly large-format photographs were created by Wolfgang Sauer.

In 36 chapters, the essential exhibits from the inventory of the new Leica Factory Museum are described - from the UR-Leica to the red anodized Leica.

- 672 pages with over 600 large size colour images

- Text fully bi-lingual (english/german)

- 21x30 cm, 2 sub-volumes in one slipcase, hardcover in cloth with dust-jacket

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There are only 2 negatives that I have to say about the books. First, from a commercial photographers view I wish the shadows had been filled in. Sometimes the light falls off to abruptly. Second, there are a lot of white marks on the pages from paper dust in the printing process. But don’t let these flaws keep you away from these 2 books. There is a lot of information packed into these 2 volumes.  

Leica LFI Magazine- 2.2019

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The latest issue of the LFI magazine has arrived. I always look forward to each issue. 

I subscribe to three photography magazines. The Leica LFI which I have subscribed to for over 30 years. APERTURE magazine which comes and goes depending on how I am feeling about the latest issue. And LENSWORK, which I like because it just does portfolios and no equipment news. 

In the pre-internet days the LFI magazine was the only venue for Leica news and reports. The rest of the mainstream magazines ignored Leica products. They only time they were mentioned was when a new camera or lens was introduced and that seemed like it only happened during solar eclipses. 

I enjoy looking at the old magazines from time to time. Before digital there were just 2 lines of cameras. The “R” line which was the SLR. And the “M” line which are the rangefinders. I always kinda felt like the “R” line was treated like a second class citizen. The reporting was more specification based, not opinion based like today. Nowadays camera reviews are more like reading the opinion page of a newspaper and less like just the facts on the front page. 

Limited Edition Leica M Lenses

Leica has released 3 limited edition lenses based on current production models. They are the 28mm 5.6 Summaron in black paint, the 28mm 1.4 Summilux in silver finish and the 50mm 2.0 APO with the scalloped focusing ring. 

 

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Info from the press release is below followed by comments.  

 SUMMARON-M 28 F/5.6, MATTE BLACK PAINT

Available February 28, 2019

The Leica Summaron-M 28 mm f/5., matte black paint bolsters the range of classic Leica lenses with a new and exclusive color option, making for a stealthier variant of such an iconic lens with vintage aesthetic signature.Limited to 500 lenses worldwide

SUMMILUX-M 28 F/1.4 ASPH., SILVER ANODIZED

Available February 28, 2019

For the first time, the Summilux-M 28 mm f/1.4 ASPH. wide-angle lens is available in a silver anodized version. Owners of M-System cameras and lenses in silver now have another matching high-performance lens for their systems in one of the most versatile and fast wide-angles of the Leica portfolio. Limited to only 300 worldwide

APO-SUMMICRON-M 50 F/2 ASPH., BLACK CHROME

Available February 21, 2019

Reminiscent of the vintage Summicron 50 mm f/2 (II) from 1956, the APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH., black chrome features a scalloped focusing ring with barrel components machined from brass. This special lens has engravings for the focal length and distances measured in feet with red enamel paint, meticulously applied by hand. Limited to 700 lenses worldwide

 

If you have gone through the reviews on this site you may have noticed that I own the Silver Chrome version of the 28mm 5.6 Summaron. I am very happy with the results that I have been getting with this lens and really enjoy the retro look. It is small and light and takes up practically no room in my bag. I am considering picking up the black paint version just so that I can own both copies. 

Jürgen Schadeberg Leica Hall of Fame

Leica has announced that Jürgen Schadeberg is the newest member of the Leica Hall of Fame. He is know mostly for his work in South Africa during the apartheid era. His most famous photo is of Nelson Mandela in his former prison cell in 1994. Here is the beginning of his biography from his web site:

Jurgen Schadeberg was born in Berlin in 1931 and, while still in his teens, worked as an apprentice photographer for a German Press Agency in Hamburg. In 1950 he emigrated to South Africa and became Chief Photographer, Picture Editor and Art Director on Drum Magazine.

It was during this time that Jurgen photographed pivotal moments in the lives of South Africans in the fifties. These photographs represent the life and struggle of South Africans during Apartheid and include important figures in South Africa’s history such as Nelson Mandela, Moroka, Walter Sisulu, Yusuf Dadoo, Huddleston and many others who have been documented at key moments such as during The Defiance Campaign of 1952, The Treason Trial of 1958, The Sophiatown Removals and the Sharpeville Funeral in 1960.

The life that this man has lived is difficult for most of us to relate to. He was not just a photographer he was a social activist that put his life on the line for others many times in his career. This award is for a man that the term “Photographer” just doesn’t do justice for. He stood up and made a difference.  

We live in an age when people are given the title “ A Great Photographer” because they have X number of Instagram followers. Jürgen Schadeberg is not just a great Leica Photographer, he is a great man. Congratulations for a well deserved lifetime award.  

Leica Q2 is coming

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Spy photo of the Leica Q2.  

Come on, have a sense of humor.  

What has to be the worst kept secret in the Leica world these days is the pending introduction of the Leica Q2. Although there is not much that needs to be changed cameras are updated from time to time because that is how the companies make money. A friend of mine that has owned a camera store in Los Angeles for close to forty years told me that most of the sales of a new model are in the first 90 days of a camera’s release. It is in a companies interest to get some hype around the release of a new model.  

The Leica Q has been a very successful model for Leica. Salesmen and the manufacturer representative have both told me how the “Q” has been a big surprise for the company. When it was introduced many pundits were down on the camera because of the choice of a 28mm lens. Turns out that was a good decision on the part of the company. When purchasing the “Q” you are buying a high quality 28mm f 1.7 lens and getting the body as an added bonus. The camera appeals to both first time Leica users and to current users that would like to have an autofocus second body. 

The Leica Q2 looks to be the same as the current camera with the addition of a higher megapixel sensor and waterproofing. Talk is that the sensor fill be in the 45-50 MB range. The crop settings for the camera will be at 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm in addition to the native 28mm lens. 75mm is a nice addition but not a desperate need to the camera. My concern is that a lot bigger files will need a lot more hard drive space for storage. Those will be big files for the occasional 75mm crop factor. 

I have gone to the Leica Store twice with the intention of buying the Leica Q. Both times I changed my mind because of the fixed 28mm lens. I really like the concept of the camera and it has an exceptional build quality. It feels like a real Leica. But I’m a 50mm guy at heart and I don’t feel comfortable going out with just that focal length. I own the 28mm Summaron 5.6 lens and I enjoy shooting with it but it has a specific look that is not what I want for all of my images. 

I’m sure the Leica Q2 will be a success and I will recommend the camera, it’s just not for me.