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Tuesday, 27 October 2015


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Some kind of comparison of the size of the SL versus an A7 or fuji-XT1 or for that matter a pro level DSLR would be useful. Some folks go on about "huge" at length but seem never to have used the Canon or Nikon equivalents... (Which are not as spendy, but are still spendy...)

The other thing I've not seen (at least on the non-paywall part of the web) is how well does it work with M-mount lenses? How is focusing in particular?

Michael Johnston, Private Eye.

You don't need to worry about conveying the mass of the new Zeiss Otus. The strain of holding the thing is obvious under her outward attempt to appear cheerful. "Here Sir, would you like to hold it?......Please.

That is a very nice portrait of you!


I like your view of the show: we see actual people, not just the 'stuff'. Bravo. After all, these are all things to be used by people.

After being fooled into making derogatory comments of the Leica SL by the pictures of it being held by a tiny person on DPReview, I'm not going to say anything about the size of that Otus.

The Leica SL is slightly smaller than a Canon 5D3, per camerasize(.)com. I wonder why the photos published on DPReview were distorted to make the SL look huge?? No matter, many internet experts declared the SL a disaster (without ever seeing one in person). Thanks Mike for setting the record straight.

Otus f/1.4 (95 mm filter, 2.98 lb/1.35 kg) vs the Nikon 28mm f/1.4 A-FD (72mm filter, 18 oz/520g). Is the IQ enough better, when shot on a D810, to make a real difference??

BTW the A-FD is auto focus, the Otus is manual focus, and therefore should be a little lighter 8-)

According to the internet which, as any fool knows, is never wrong, the Leica SL is more or less the size of a house. What kind of Man-Mountain are you, anyway!?! Also, how's the EVF strike you in comparison to the X-T1?

Adoramapix has sold a lay flat book for a few years now, and one of the nice things about it is that the images are printed on Kodak Endura or Fuji Crystal Archive paper, not a digital offset process. Each page is a real photographic print.

The only thing I don't like about the books is that they end up really thick and heavy because of the "board book" feel of the pages.

Mike, I like the picture of you with the Leica. For whatever reason, you look like a private investigator or a sort of intelligence operative.

About that picture with the Otus: Aren't you supposed to focus on her *eyes*?

Does the picture of Mary Ellen Mark in Santa Fe remind anyone else of Georgia O'Keefe by John Loengard. I bet that image was in the mind of both subject and photographer when this picture was made.

>>For whatever reason, you look like a private investigator or a sort of intelligence operative.<<

Mike does have that manner about him. His eyes occasionally dart furtively about, as if looking for the nearest exit, but can suddenly shift to the steely gaze you see in the photo I shot. The look says "Lie to me at your peril."

I also noticed that when Mike approached a booth where he didn't want to attract attention -- which I found amusing because, if anything, we were usually being ignored -- he would hide his press pass. Don't let the size fool you: He's a stealthy one, much like the Leica SL when I come to think about it...

Did you see the peekaboo Pentax K-O?
K-mount dreamers would like to know!

[I don't even know what that is. ? --Mike]

I think you should update your picture in the front page of the site. You are looking good Mike! I'm really glad the big boy advertisers are paying attention to you. I have a small question. And of course only you have the gravitas to answer decisively and for me to accept your answer as the truth (I also trust Ctein).

When talking about extreme DoF, is it extremely large or extremely narrow?

When I saw this article I thought they were referring to a large DoF.

Am I wrong?


Jim was commenting on the full-frame Pentax pre-production unit that was on display at the Ricoh booth for a day or so. Then HQ told them to put it away, and it vanished. Created quite a twitter over at Pentax Forums.

Mike, all you have to say about the Otus 28mm is that it's as big as an Otus, only bigger and heavier. People will understand.

A very good recap, Mike and Gordon. I feel like I visited, too. My take-aways:

1. You and Gordon had a jolly time and made some excellent snaps along the way! Your impromptu portraits of each other are quite good.

2. A couple of those Zeiss Otus lenses might be just the thing for doing arm curls at my desk.

3. Pretty girls are still, and will always be, good bait at male-dominated trade shows. The subject matter of the show is irrelevant.

4. The Leica SL is not the behemoth that early images suggested it to be. BUT it's still damn big. You're a big guy, Mike, with pretty big paws. It looks like it's just about right-sized in those paws of yours!

5. Good to hear that Artifact Uprising had a good impression on you. I've been strongly considering giving them some biz. Also, I want to second Joe Holmes's remarks about those lay-flat books. They've been out for a little while, particularly in the wedding circuit. They certainly have their applications and special appeal but they sure get big and heavy, like see-spot-run childrens books.

Thanks very much for the report, guys!

Sharp dressed man in the herringbone tweed sport coat!!!!

Its great to see you're thriving!!!

For ten years Canson papers have been for me what Ilford papers were for the previous three decades or more. My darkroom went a long time ago... I now use paper only to draw and paint on - digital images being simply 'files' for stock photo agencies.

Canson, btw, are the owners of Arches water-colour paper products which have been hand-made in France for more than 500 years. Kinda makes Ilford, et al, seem like new kids on the block!

Gordon's comment echoes how I have been feeling about the upgrade-every-year phenomenon. Or put another way, there was a moment in the 1990's when my earnings matched my impulses and there wasn't anything I wanted to try at the top of the market that I didn't find a way to try. But I just don't have anything to do with the mega-pixels of data on top of mega-pixels that define the high-end of digital. I think purchasing a camera at the high end of things would also require a CPU upgrade, a monitor upgrade, a software upgrade . . . ugh. I don't feel like I have reached the "personal amortization point" with any of my last-gen digital gear.

So: waiting for a game changer. . .

Sorry Mike, I refer to the FF Pentax that was visible early on then disappeared from the Ricoh booth. Both its presence and absence made for great speculation at the usual places..

[Pentax would do great with a FF camera. Lots of glass out there of many generations, and lots of loyal users. That would be nice. --Mike]

"There seemed to be less emphasis on the profession."

Maybe the profession is vanishing, like the darkroom stuff and large format cameras. Or along with them.


« 7. There seemed to be less emphasis on the profession. »

I hope a safety zone has been created on this page, whereby all can openers are at safe distance, and worms-seeking birds are not circling above.

to compensate: was there an increased emphasis on Instagram accounts or facebook pages metrics, though?

You treat the model, in the yellow chair, as it were a conventional portrait. You need to embrace the distortion, and move in a lot closer (and her legs will become a lot looonger) 8-)

Here's and interesting look at wide angle head shots http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2013/03/21/wide-angle-portraits-how-to-use-your-wide-angle-lens-to-caricature-your-friends/. When I was young, street artist caricature portraits were popular. I'm sure Xander's SO would love a W-A head shot of him.

Of course, the Leica SL isn't so big after all. DPReview had convinced almost everyone that it's as gigantic as a Pentax 6x7 medium format film camera.

[To me it felt subjectively much closer to a Mamiya 6. --Mike]

No, Mike doesn't have big paws.

Here's the comparison no-one seems to be making. An α7R2 (24 Mp) mirrorless, the Leica SL (24Mp) mirrorless and the Canon EOS 1Dx (18Mp) DSLR. Both Sony and Leica would like to replace the Canon as the preferred camera of professional shooters.


As big as a brick; but heavier than a brick. Okay, never mind, I can't do this. Ignore me.

Reminds me of a line from the children's* cartoon Phineas and Ferb where their grandfather refers to something as "Bigger than a fridge but smaller than a really big fridge".

(* But obviously written with adults in mind).

That Otus is massive indeed. Will you ask Zeiss for a loaner to review it for us? As I'm sure you knew Zeiss links to your review in the official page of the Zeiss Ikon camera, so they know you're very good at it and loyally followed.


>>Both Sony and Leica would like to replace the Canon as the preferred camera of professional shooters.<<

That's not likely to happen until they come up with an answer for one of the main reasons the EOS 1Dx is so large: the battery grip grafted onto it. The 1Dx's battery pack takes two 2450mAh batteries for a total capacity of 4900mAh. By comparison, the Leica SL uses a single 1860mAh battery. The Sony A7R2 is available with a battery grip, but this holds only two 1020mAh batteries. That totals 2040mAH -- less than half of what a single 1Dx battery can deliver.

My guess as to why people might suddenly be 'seeing wider' (and based on nothing more than my copious gut instinct) is that due to the popularity of phone cameras, whose lenses are typically around 24mm equivalent, people are just exposed to more very wide views, and it is influencing their taste.

In the interchangeable lens 35mm film era, the mass market probably never bought anything wider than the 50 that came with the camera. A 24 was expensive. Now suddenly, those same (again, bulk of the market buyers) are getting lenses that used to be considered super wide and adjusting accordingly.


[Not in my case, though--the iPhone camera's lens is 35mm-e, same as I've been shooting more or less for decades. --Mike]

Gordon Lewis said: "That's not likely to happen until they come up with an answer for one of the main reasons the EOS 1Dx is so large: the battery grip grafted onto it."

Leica isn't Sony. I'd expect that the SL's battery grip will be large, heavy and robust. Sorta like the SL 8-)

I'm looking forward to seeing the Leica SL on the sidelines of major football tournaments worldwide.

How soon till Spiegel TV, ZDF and RTL start using the SL?? The 4K footage I've seen has been impressive.

I've been a wide boy for years. a 28 wasn't wide enough, or sometimes too wide. Later I bought a 24mm lens. this was more like it! Then I bought a 17mm lens. this was all on 35mm cameras. On to digital, and I chose my camera system partly on it having a fast standard zoom with a 16mm wide end, APS-C of course. I use the zoom at 16mm a huge amount.

Then I bought a 12-24mm zoom. The wide end the equivalent of 18mm, a whole millimetre longer than the 17mm, but you can't have everything. (Sigh)

Then I bought the lens I've been hankering after for years. A fisheye. It's a full frame fisheye, so sometimes now I wonder if I should buy a circular fisheye. It's like a disease. Perhaps I caught it when I peered through that 6mm 220° fisheye Nikkor at some photo expo in the 70s.

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