Sunday, June 28, 2009


Kitty and Meg

Low light, 1/16th, f1.4, ISO320. E46 50/1.4 Summilux, captured in b/w.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Summilux 50/1.4 Overview

These are two Leica Summilux II pre-ASPH 50/1.4 lenses – 40 some years apart. The right one is from 1966 and has been CLA’d recently with perfect glass and function. The left one is a recent new black paint model which features the 46mm filter size, attached retractable lens hood, with a close focus of 0.7m, along with other minor differences described below.

The original Leica Summilux I 50/1.4 was launched in 1959, in both LTM (prod. ~ 550) and M-mount (~13,000) versions, and have serial numbers between 1,640,601 and 1,844,000. This first version is now a collector's lens, and most current users appreciate the significant improvements in the later Summilux versions, whether the pre-ASPH Summilux II, or the very new (2004+) Summilux ASPH version.

Shortly after the 1959 launch of the original Summilux, an optical change was made around 1961. Leica acknowledged this optical change several years later, around 1964, and designated this updated lens the Summilux II. The Summilux II starts at s/n 1,844,001 and continues into the 4 million s/n range of the early or mid 2000’s.

In addition to this known early change in the Summilux optical design in 1961, resulting in the Summilux II, lens coatings, mount and finish options, and other minor changes occured throughout the long lifecycle of the Summilux II pre-ASPH. However, Leica contends that the basic optical design remained unchaged from the early 1960's change up until the Summilux ASPH version which was released in 2004.

The later versions of the Summilux II pre-ASPH are very interesting, and were released sometime in the mid to late 1990s. These later models, have four or more key differences from the earlier Summilux II models. Some folks refer to this later version as the V3 pre-ASPH, though Leica contends the optical design is similar among all Summilux II pre-ASPH lenses. The changes to the latest pre-ASPH version, relative to the earlier Summilux II versions are:

1) A close focus of 0.7m vs 1.0m for the early V2;
2) a filter ring size increase to the more common 46mm size vs 43mm, with slightly overall larger diameter, but smaller than ASPH;
3) a built-in retracting lens hood;
4) a tighter focusing throw than the early Summilux II's 180 degree throw;

Some of these later versions, perhaps only the black paint versions, also returned to a scalloped focusing ring which was last used in the early 1960s versions of the Summilux.

Most reports and photos show that all of the V2 pre-ASPHs render fairly similarly, however the close focus feature of the later pre-ASPH Summilux is extremely useful to me for my photography.

I think the Summilux pre-ASPH V2 lens has a unique character to it, and gives a look to images unlike any other lens made, including the newer ASPH version.

Photo was taken with an Epson R-D1 with CV 40/1.4 lens @ F2, 1/125th, ISO 400.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 19, 2009


friends at last

Slate and Gilligan sleeping. Taken with D40x, 35/1.8, f1.8, 1/25th, ISO 400.
Posted by Picasa


Mother deer and baby

This was taken from about 200 yards and cropped. The baby has a white tail, and from afar, looks like a kitten. 1/400, f2.8, ISO 100, ~420mm fl.
Posted by Picasa


Face of mother deer

About 30 yards away. Lumix FZ3, f2.8, 1/80th, ISO 100, 420mm (12x) equiv. focal length.
Posted by Picasa


Big Gilligan

Gilligan is only about 2 years old, and 12 or 13lbs, but looks huge here!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Lobos in the evening

Lobos is an all black cat down the street. He has short hair, and has grown a lot over the last year or so that we've known him. He has a friendly personality, and always comes to the sidewalk to greet us if we are walking by. We introduced Gilligan to Lobos once, but Gilligan was not friendly towards Lobos, and hissed. However, I think that last year Gilligan and Lobos both hunted mice together, and Lobos may have brought Gilligan a gift of a dead mouse to our driveway. There are at least 2 black cats in the neighborhood, but Lobos is the friendliest.

Taken with a v2 Summilux 50/1.4 @ f2, 1/125, ISO 320, M8.
Posted by Picasa


Watching the birds

Gilligan took this abstract photo in the back yard. F2.8, 1/13th, ISO 60.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 15, 2009


Gilligan Cartier-Bresson

Gilligan's 2nd photograph. He took this abstract photo of deck fence while lying on his back getting adjusted to his camera strapped to his collar. Exposure was about 1/2000, f2.8, ISO 60.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 14, 2009


1 year, 2 lenses, b/w only

Inspired by some friends, for 1 year, I am attempting to primarily shoot in b/w mode, or with b/w film, and with only 2 lenses. The 2 lenses I have selected are the Leica 50/1.4 v2 Summilux (1966), along with a ‘60s Canon 28/2.8 LTM lens. I will use Leica M8 and M6 bodies.

Both of the above lenses are relatively low to medium contrast, and work well with both film and digital for b/w. Both lenses are sharp and have even contrast from center to edges, with little or no vignetting wide open. The 1.4 of the lux will allow me to shoot in dark environments, but due to the Canon’s tiny size, it will probably be on the camera the most. I anticipate shooting wide open on both lenses 75% of the time.

I don’t plan to code (for M8) or use filters permanently on either lenses, but I do have a S+W (heavystar) 40mm to 43mm step up ring so I can share a common hood with both lenses. I may occasionally use an ND4 neutral density filter.

Other lenses that were under consideration were the Summicron 35/2 v3 (1970s), which has the advantage of a stop faster, along with closer focusing distance than the 28mm Canon. The M-Hexanon 28/2.8 (modern Elmarit pre-asph type lens) which has close focus (.7m), exc. b/w rendering, but is much larger than the Canon 28mm lens, and the 75/1.4 Summilux which is just too big to be carrying around all the time.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Slate in low light

This photo of Slate was taken in the early evening with little light. I used a Cosina Voigtlander (CV) 40/1.4 lens at 1.4 on Epson R-D1 at ISO 1600, 1/23rd second, with default film mode on Setting #2.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Gilligan at 2 years

Gilligan had his 2nd birthday this week. He's getting along better with Slate. They're playing together everyday, a bit rough at times. Taken with M8, Summilux 75/1.4 @ 1.4, 1/180, ISO 640 with M8.
Posted by Picasa

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?