Venice Carnival 2019.....is here


The Carnival of Venice is an annual festival, held in Venice. The Carnival starts around two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Martedì Grasso), the day before Ash Wednesday.

The Venice Carnival is now world famous - it always takes place during the ten days leading up to Shrove Tuesday. Carnival, being a pre-Lent festival, means 'farewell to meat' and is celebrated throughout Italy.

 VENICE, ITALY - MARCH 05:  A general view of guests at Palazzo Pisani Moretta during the annual Ballo del Doge on March 5, 2011 in Venice, Italy. The Ballo del Doge, created by fashion and costume designer Antonia Sautter, is considered the most elegant and exclusive masquerade ball during the Venice Carnival.


It was first held in Venice in the 11th century and consisted of over two months of revelry, until it fell into decline during the 18th century. It was revived in 1979 with great success and nowadays it is a great excuse to don a mask and costume, parade around the city, enjoy the live music in the main squares of the city, the events organised by the tourist board and is a wonderful open-air festival where everyone can join in. Fantastic costumes are displayed in St Mark's Square and Venice is the perfect back-drop for amazing photographs.


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Carnival in the 18th century began with a series of balls in St Mark's Square, as can be seen on the fresco on the walls of the famous café Quadri's. Fortunes were squandered every night of Carnival in the Ridotto Gambling casino, whatever the social status all the people wore costumes and masks, many connected to the Commedie del'Arte, Harlequin, Columbine, the Plague Doctor and of course the courtesans.

The 2019 edition will run from Sat, Feb 16, 2019 – Tue, Mar 5, 2019

Leica CL

Here's a new Leica camera!! 

 Leica has now revived the old "CL" that use to stand for Compact Leica and was in my view an amazing camera.

I miraculously managed to try one for less than an hour, while a colleague passed in Venice... and no thanks to Laica Italy or UK that despite my vast collection of Leica never, even by mistake invites me for a try. I am now more than used and it gives me freedom of opinion. I decided not to publish any images because will be unfair. 20min are not enough to properly try a camera. Mine are simple considerations and feelings.

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I have quite a few Leica (see mygear) and love them to bits, I used them every day and I am really passionate. I do Leica workshops so I do tend to usually like them...but I have one tiny problem with the CL. And that is: why in the world would anyone ever buy one?

It makes no rational sense at all if you compare it, for instance, the CL with the Sony A6000 or Fuji X70 or XE3. The CL is a  pretty, small and handy little digital camera with a 24-MP sensor. The Sony A6000 is a perfectly small and handy little digital camera with a 24-MP sensor too  and IS MADE by the company that makes the sensor as well. The tiny difference is that the Sony is currently on sale for EUR 434 on Amazon (without a lens, but a lens will add just a bit more ) and the Leica CL with 18mm is going to sell for...EURO 3,600. We are talking about EIGHT Sony!!!

The 18 f/2.8 does not in any way feel, look, or perform like Leica glass that I have come to love. It’s a few ounces in weight, feels empty.

Using M lenses on the CL comes at a price! The “Adapter” is mega expensive. and I really mean Expensive aprox Euro 450

The CL camera in my quick test does not offer the richness of a full frame file like the M10

I wish Leica would just give us what many of us want…a full frame M type body with a built-in EVF.

Like the Leica TL2, the CL is not technically weather or dust sealed ( My Fuji are! )

The reconfigurable top dials look and feel cheap.

So who is going to buy this camera?

  • You do not mind about the cost of the camera. You have so much money in your bank that it makes no difference to you.
  • You are mainly  after the status and the exclusivity, not to mention the  prestige
  • You WANT IT and in less than 30 days is Christmas

 

 

Leica M10 - My impressions

I have owned and used a Leica M10 for about 2 months and these are my impressions

Leica has listened to their users and addressed many of their concerns. The highly anticipated Leica M10 is slimmer which makes it easier to handle and more comfortable to hold. A slew of other features that were upgraded with this camera include:

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  • Thinner and lighter body
  • Bigger and brighter rangefinder
  • Configurable Favorites menu replaces the Set menu
  • Higher resolution rear LCD with a changed aspect ratio
  • Simplified button layout
  • Redesigned and dedicated ISO dial
  • Improved weather sealing
  • Faster buffering, processing and writing to disk
  • Continuous shooting is lightning fast
  • Superior high ISO capability
  • Shoot wide aperture in good light with ease with the 100 ISO base
  • Equipped with the Visoflex EVF for higher resolution and bright and clear images
  • Less shutter lag and blackout with the live view feature
  • Ability to move the exposure and zoom focus point while in live view

You get all these great features that the other cameras do not have and the only sacrifices you'll have to make are reduced battery life and no video.

This great little camera is about 50 grams lighter than the previous camera with dimensions being identical to the M6ttl and the M7. The thumb grip is a little deeper for a better grip and adds to the comfort level.

The redesigned rangefinder is about 30 percent larger and has a magnification of .72 versus the .68 found on previous cameras. This subtle improvement means you can see the 28 mm frame lines more easily and focusing is much easier with the high magnification.

Weather sealing makes shooting in bad weather easier. You still have to protect the camera when shooting in the rain because the M10 cannot be entirely weatherproof. But, the camera will be fine even in the rain if handled with care.

When you press the Menu button, it brings up the Favorites menu which replaces the Set menu in previous cameras. The Favorites menu is a handy option since you can add any options you choose to this menu. Even better, you can configure a Favorites menu for each of your User Pre-Sets.

The ISO dial has a nice look and feel. And, with all three principle variables for exposure - shutter speed, aperture and ISO - intelligently made visible on the outside of the camera, using the camera has never been more convenient. The dial has options for 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 and 6400 ISO. The auto option is marked by a red A while an M marks the option for Menu. The figures on the dial always override what is set in the Menu.

Although battery life is shorter than in previous cameras, Leica has improved battery life reporting. You start getting warnings from about 5 percent that you are low on battery life. The battery life remaining reduces evenly and the camera works until the battery dies. The INFO screen shows the battery life remaining as a long bar and as a percentage. The bar will be coloured green at 100 percent and will gradually go through yellow to red once you reach 5 percent.

One thing I must say puzzels me

Leica Partnered up with Huawei Android phone. For the M10 there is an iPhone app not compatible with Android. Selling in same-store Android phones AND a camera that cannot use the android app!  This questions logic big time!  And will there be one? In order at least  to restore logic? My Fuji has no problem in connecting with Andorids or IOS ;-)

I have sold my trusted M240 that I will occasionally miss, sold my Leica Q (I never liked, preferred one of my Fujifilm) and kept my Monochrom!

If you're looking for a great camera that has made some drastic improvements, then the Leica M10 is for you. It is designed for easy handling and the upgrades ensure you'll get the best shots.

Zenit Camera to come back

A new Zenit Camera?

Back in 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev talked about the possibility of re-starting the production of Zenit cameras.

The official announcement was made on Monday at a press breakfast in Moscow by the Russian state corporation Rostec, which develops, makes, and exports high-tech products.

Russia wants to launch Zenit as a luxury camera that rivals the German Leica brand.

"It's a very popular product, we want to make it a luxury device as an analogue to Leica [German camera manufacturer]," said Vasiliy Brovko, the head of Department of Communication and Information at Rostec, according to the source.

Russia wants to launch Zenit as a luxury camera that rivals the German Leica brand.

Rostec owns the Krasnogorsky Zavod optical factory in the city of Krasnogorsk, near Moscow. During the Soviet era, this plant was known as Krasnogorsk Mechanical Works, and it produced millions of still photography and movie cameras. The brands included Zenit, Zorki, and Krasnogorsk.

The Zenit was an SLR camera that was inspired by the Zorki rangefinder design. After being launched in 1953, the Zenit went on to sell millions of cameras over the following decades. The famous Zenit-E itself had over 12 million units made.

Production came to an end after the Zenit-KM Plus of 2004, and there were no SLR cameras manufactured in the Krasnogorsk factory by the next year. Now it seems that production will start back up a decade later, except the Zenit will likely produced in much lower quantities, with much higher quality, and with ridiculously hefty price tags.

This post has not been sponsored and I did not get media samples or freebies. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

 

Leica M (Typ 240)

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My favorite camera is obviously the Leica, the latest addition to my collection is the M or 240 Type. I shoot most of my portraits, features and reportage using this camera with either the 35 1.4 Summilux or the 50mm 1.5

The Leica M 240 is a digital rangefinder camera with a full-format 24 x 36 mm sensor. As the world’s most compact full-format system camera, the Leica M 240 extends the legendary heritage of the Leica rangefinder M System and unites over 50 years of continuous technical improvements to the system with the best in cutting-edge digital technology.

The Leica M is a digital full-frame 35 mm rangefinder camera. It was introduced by Leica Camera AG in September 2012, and is the successor to the Leica M9 range of cameras. The M uses a 24-megapixel image sensor. The camera is the first M model to feature movie recording, and the first to have Live View—which allows the scene, as seen through the lens, to be composed.The M is compatible with almost all M mount lenses and most R mount lenses (via an adapter). All Leica M cameras are handmade in Portugal and Germany.

The M uses a CMOS 24-megapixel image sensor designed exclusively for Leica by the Belgian company CMOSIS. The sensor contains 6,000 by 4,000 pixels on a 6 x 6 µm² grid, and is made by STMicroelectronics in Grenoble.

The M supports most M-mount lenses, and with an optional R-Adapter, the camera can use almost all Leica R-mount lenses.Live View allows owners of R-lenses to use an optional electronic viewfinder.

The camera uses a MAESTRO image/video processor which is based on the Fujitsu Milbeaut. It has specifically-designed rubber seals (to protect against dust and water spray).

Peak Design System

I’d almost given up on finding a good camera strap solution for the way that I work but luckily I found Peak Designs .  The problem for me is that I often don’t want to have a strap on the camera at all, sometime I just like to use a cuff or a clutch and why notalight strap.   Most strap solutions gravitate towards using big bulky padding of some sort and that makes them both expensive and cumbersome to carry around for the small number of times I find myself looking for a new one. .  I’ve got several straps in my gear closet but all of them gather dust.  They are just too big and overly complex with these slider mechanisms that people seem so fixated with.  I guess if you walk around 12 hours a day with a camera on your shoulder then it might seem more useful but for the way I work it’s just not necessary.  Thing is though,  there’s always some point where I wish I had a shoulder strap with me.  Up until this point though I hadn’t seen a solution that gave me what I wanted.

The Micro Anchor system is the key to making the Leash easy to use and versatile.  Each Anchor is rated to hold 100lbs so you can easily carry your camera kit or even a supertelephoto lens.  The Leash and the Cuff both come with 4 Anchors.  Once you slide them into clip on the Leash and give it a tug you’ll hear it click into place.  To detach the Leash you have to push down on the Anchor and slide it back out of the clip.  It’s a secure system that I loved and trusted straight away.

 

There’s also an anchor point on the adjustment buckle for the Leash.  This means that you can create a loop for tethering your camera to either yourself or a static object like a railing if you are shooting from a building.  If you are carrying a backpack you could also tether the camera to your bag to save it if you ever dropped it.  Speaking as someone who has often found myself peering over the tops of buildings, lookouts, bridges and cliffs, this is an awesome little feature that I’ll be using a lot.

http://peakdesign.com

This post has received discount on Media samples. For more information, check out my full disclaimer policy.

Leica M3 and M2

My Leica M3 Camera

The Leica M3 is perhaps the one camera that does not actually require an introduction. Voted by STUFF Magazine and Ebay as the “Top Gadget of All Time”

The epitome of vintage style, the Leica M3?s modern incarnations are still held as pinnacles of camera design and lusted by photographer all over the world.

Just the fact that since the Leica M3?s introduction 1954, the basic design of Leica M cameras has not really changed is a testament to how well conceived the Leica M3 is. In fact, one could argue that Leica built such a great camera that they haven’t really done much else since.

The Leica MP, introduced in 2003, nearly 50 years after the Leica M3, is just an inferior, and far more expensive, modern copy.The Leica M3 is Leica’s greatest achievement and also a stark reminder of it’s glorious past.

The Leica M3 was in production for 13 years. Do you know how many M cameras Leica has released in the last 13 years? Eight! That’s roughly one camera every 18 months. You have the Leica M7, MP, M8, M8.2, M9, M9P, M-E and the Leica M Type 240. Leica have become just like every other camera manufacturer in the digital world, pumping out a new camera every 18 months to two years. That’s not even counting their partnership with Panasonic!

In 1954 the Leica M3 inaugurated a completely new era of 35mm cameras. Though SLRs had started to appear earlier (e.g. the Exakta system from the late 1940s), the multiple-frameline rangefinder by Leica offered

the smoothest, fastest, most robust shooting experience available, coupled with the then-already optically superior Leitz lenses.

These cameras were constructed to the absolute highest standards of quality and maintainability (everything was designed to be adjustable over a long, long lifespan). As such, as long as the rangefinder optics are clean (the balsam glue of the beam splitter have a tendency to fail after about 40 years on some examples of the M3, fading or completely disabling the rangefinder) this is a very 'safe' camera to buy on eBay.

My copy (a late-model, single-stroke) truly looks and functions like a new camera, despite it's age of 52 years. It's quickest, smoothest, quietest camera I own. Rangefinders are, of course,much more limited than their SLR counterparts, and this could not be considered a "general purpose" camera anymore, but for anybody still practicing the art of developing and printing their own photographs in an analogue manner, the Leica M3 offers arguably the best body to obtain the ultimate image quality possible from the 35mm format.

Being the first "M", the collectivity (value) of the M3 is sure to increase with time, and finally, as an object considered in its own right (not as a tool) the M3 has timeless beauty and pureness of design.

Regarding lenses, nothing fits a Leica M3 better than a Summicron 50mm f/2 - it's small, chromed, and likely the highest-performance M-mount lens yet made (according to several tests). With this lens, you can imagine the M3 being a fixed-lens camera, it's so compact and well-matched. If the light is good, shoot some Ilford Pan F, and be prepared for prints of unmatched quality from the 35mm format.

Leica M6

The Leica M6 is a rangefinder camera manufactured byLeica from 1984 to 1998.

Leica M6 Wetzlar, Elmar 50, ITOOY

The M6 combines the silhouette of the Leica M3 with a modern, off-the-shutter light meter with no moving parts and LED arrows in the viewfinder. Informally referred to as the M6 "Classic" to distinguish it from the "M6 TTL" models, and to indicate its "Classic" M3 dimensions. The top and bottom plates were made from lighter, cheaper magnesium alloy rather than the heavier machined brass of the M3. The M6 and M6 TTL are mechanical cameras; all functions save the light meter work without batteries, unlike the succeeding M7, which needs electrical power to operate properly.