Dunedin over 48 hours [Nikon V1]

All photos taken with a Nikon V1 and a normal prime lens, processed in darktable.

The Leith, Sunday Morning.

Posting frequency is going to increase markedly around here as instead of fixing files in batches I am moving to “if you shoot it, process it” and then get the keepers up each day. In part this is to increase viewfinder and processing hours, and in part it is because I miss stuff.

Today’s post revisits an area I shot in film a couple of months ago. Using a Nikon D800, and a 35 mm lens.

Nikon D800, details are in the gallery.

Sunset at the Marina.

After seeing the notes on the new Leica T I thought that my initial piece was a little unfair. the Leica T is probably the best APS-C mirrorless camera out there — but I would still argue that the Ricoh GXR is pretty good.

I have been shooting film for the last two days but put the GXR with a 18.5 mm (28 mm eqiv) APS-C module in the bag. After I finished a roll of Ektar, with the light fading, I took these shots with the Ricoh.

The film could end up being spectacular. I was using a 21 mm Voightlander F4 lens on a Leica M6 — and I got past the marina to the Opoho creek. But that will have to wait.

Ricoh GXR, 18.5 mm F 2.8 lens, generally at F 3.5 As usual, the data noted in the galleries.

Man, was I wrong (Leica T)

I must admit, after yesterday’s post, I was pleasantly surprised by the review at Steve Huff’s place about the new Leica T. These are Steve’s comments: having seen the results my dream digital bag would include one of these and a Monochrom.

For my personal use I will eventually just own the M and a T. That is it, at least for now (until the Sony A7s or course 😉 I applaud Leica for taking this chance and while the T will not be everyone’s cup of tea, for me, it was a hugely satisfying experience, especially when reviewing the images, many of which were taken in very harsh lighting here in Phoenix, AZ which usually causes havoc with some cameras and certain sensors.

It’s not perfect but it’s very “LeicApple” and for $1900, a good buy for someone who wants a real deal Leica.

Sure you can get a Fuji X-T1 and one decent lens for the same cost as a T body on its own but I’d take the T without question FOR ME. I personally prefer the IQ of the T as well as what it brings with it though I do adore that X-T1 EVF and manual controls. The fact is that any camera today will deliver superb IQ and quality but if you want something different, something unique, something fun, something simple and enjoyable that also delivers the best APS-C IQ while allowing you to use the best lenses made today.

This is Johnathon Slack who also has been playing with this camera. He’s a leicaphile, and therefore his comments are also useful.

The Leica T has a 16mp APS-c sensor. I guess that it’s a Sony manufactured sensor similar to the XVario and various other cameras. At any rate, the results are excellent – sharp, contrasty and very detailed. The camera has no AA filter; together with this, the very wide lens mount and the excellent M adapter makes for a compelling body to shoot with legacy lenses.

Keeping to 16mp is an interesting decision, especially in a climate where the megapixel wars are raging again. However, it’s a relief to have files which load reasonably fast, and which are perfectly capable of being enlarged up to 20” and more.

The resulting files are excellent – Leica have done a grand job with the jpg engine, and you can easily configure how you like your jpgs cooked in the touch screen menu. Of course, it’s the DNG (RAW) files which really matter, and they don’t disappoint. I imagine the camera will be shipping with Lightroom 5, and the T images already work very well – lots of latitude for recovery of highlights and shadows and excellent colour and dynamic range. High ISO doesn’t disappoint, 3200 is excellent and 6400 is normally quite useable.

Great files are nothing without great lenses, and the first two Leica T lenses are excellent. The little 23mm Summicron Asph is sharp from corner to corner, right from f2 onwards. The kit lens is also an excellent performer – I’ve been using kit lenses from Sony, Olympus, Fuji and Panasonic over the last few months and the 18-56 Leica Vario-Elmar Asph f3.5/f5.6 does an excellent job. Of course, it would be nice if it ware a little faster, but on the other hand it’s a useful range (28-85) and it’s remarkably small.

Well, that is sort of useful. But… I have my dream film bags. Almost. A leica M6 and a Texas Leica…

And my idea camera bag would cost a lot when it comes to traveling. (A leica Monochrom is 10.5K in NZ, and the new T is around 2.5K (I guess) locally: the V1 and bessa are better for most travel as I can replace them out of working cash). Lenses are actually fairly even because the T lenses cost around the same as Voightlander M series ones, and they are very, very good.

However… if everything was gone, and I was starting from scratch, I would go for the T, and save for the monochrom. I would get the Voightlander wide angle lenses, the M adaptor, the EVF and the T 23 mm (35 mm equivelant) and then wait.

But I still have the film jones.

A defence of the Ricoh GXR, as the Leica T gets released.

There is a new Leica mirrorless camera on the market, and looking at the leaked data from Fstoppers it looks like it is as 16 MB APS-C sensor machine that is being made in Japan. It also appears to have a detachable Electronic View Finder (EVF)

Leica T 701 leaked photo. Thanks Fstoppers.

Now, this reminded me of the Ricoh GXR…

Screenshot - 04242014 - 11:14:03 AM

I like the Ricoh, particularly with its kit lens. If I want to go arty and longer, I can put on a few Russian Leica Thread Mount lenses — I bought them for a Bessa camera — via a M mount adaptor. But… it has faults.

To get my money, the leica has to have better focusing, better lenses, and better IQ. I can do this with a Ricoh.


The Leica has to show it has considerably better Image Quality and is easier to use than other mirrorless cameras. Much better IQ and similar ease of use would be reasonable if the price is reasonable, but… you will probably be able to get a D800 or a second hand M8 for the cost of this new camera. And both are very, very good cameras.

If you are traveling, I recommend you use a Nikon V1, if you can get it, with an film rangefinder as well — I use a Voightlander Bessa R, though a Canonet or any other Japanese 1970s rangefinder would work. You have to accept that if you go old and Japanese the cameras will not be able to be fixed.

For high quality, get a Medium Frame rangefinder — Fuji made very good ones, or an M6, or a full frame digital camera.

I currently have the Ricoh in the same bag as my Medium format rangefinder: the D800 and lenses takes up a backpack ;-(, and if I am taking that I put a V1 body and adaptor in that bag.

But this new Leica? I would want to see some very, very good reviews. Because it is, in effect, competing with the Fujifilm X series, the Sony a7 series, and full frame Nikons. All of them are competent. And the red dot is not work that much.

Flooding, Otago, Easter Sunday.

We travelled North over Easter Sunday. All these photos are from Coastal North Otago, two days after the tail end of Cyclone Ita caused considerable flooding.

(Note, the files are very huge and this page takes a while to load)

Nikon 35 mm F2.0 D lens on D800 with Conkin graduated filter.

Sunday and Waipora Falls

This was a bitterly cold day. I was mainly shooting film, but had the GXR in the bag.