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THE EPPING ONGAR RAILWAY VOLUNTEER SOCIETY PRESENTS AN EVENING PHOTO CHARTER WITH METROPOLITAN 1 SAT
14th July 2017
THE EPPING ONGAR RAILWAY VOLUNTEER SOCIETY PRESENTS
AN EVENING PHOTO CHARTER WITH METROPOLITAN 1
SATURDAY 19 AUGUST 2017

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The new second-generation Leica TL2
10th July 2017

MAKE STATEMENTS
 
Minimalist design, intriguing qualities inside. The new, second-generation Leica TL2 sets standards and takes this camera class into an entirely new dimension.
Speed, picture quality, and ease of handling characterise its intrinsic values and make a statement, the likes of which has never been seen before.



A SYNTHESIS OF THE FINEST ARTS OF CONSTRUCTION
 
The true arts of German engineering are brought together in a unique camera; the bodies of the Leica TL-Cameras are made entirely from aluminum, crafted from a single block of solid metal and polished by hand for 45 minutes. The result: precise and robust. The process: innovative and groundbreaking.  


TOUCH ME

Simply touch the screen to focus on your subject, and check and review your pictures with a swipe across the generously sized, 3.7" LCD touchscreen display that covers almost the entirety of the back of the camera. The menu of your camera can be configured to suit your personal preferences and needs.


LEADING LENSES

Discover and experience true perfection in optical design with our range of leading lenses. Constructed with perfectly harmonized glass types - their inner mechanisms perfected down to the smallest details - our lenses offer a broad selection of focal lengths and speeds. Expand your creative horizons with lenses created by Leica.


EVERYTHING YOU NEED

The versatility of the Leica TL2 can be extended with our range of technical accessories such as powerful flash units and a high-resolution accessory viewfinder. Bright and colorful accessories add an additional aspect for users and highlight the self-assured character and design of this statement camera. 

The sheer joy of street photography in the heart of London 

"The Leica TL2 is a continuation of Leica's design legacy with a precision interface built to delight with every responsive touch. My favourite features are the ultra responsive touchscreen, the ability to personalise with the icons I need, and the signature Leica look from the 24MP sensor ." - Arteh Odjidja, Leica Akademie Tutor
Photos of Classic and Vintage Cars taken with Leica M10, WATE and 24mm Elmar
10th July 2017
Photos of Classic and Vintage Cars taken with Leica M10, WATE and 24mm Elmar

Click here to see images
LEICA AKADEMIE WORKSHOPS Show the world your individuality
15th June 2017
LEICA AKADEMIE WORKSHOPS
Show the world your individuality


Leica Masterclass – A Personal Vision: Space, Lights, Colours and People with Fulvio Bulgani
Discover your creativity with award-winning photographer Fulvio Bulgani and Leica Akademie UK on this two-day Masterclass at Leica Store City.

A freelance professional photographer for over 20 years, Fulvio’s work has been published in international magazines and websites like TIME and LFI. He has several ongoing photographic projects in Cuba, Kenya, Indonesia, Turkey and Georgia and combines a hugely successful commercial career and collaborations with NGOs such as Amnesty International and Médecins Sans Frontières.

The interplay of colour and light is a main feature of Fulvio’s long-term Cuban project and this masterclass will focus on his personal approach to reality, use of light and shadow and complexity of composition. There will also be practical photography demonstratrations and assignments, follow-up editing and analysis of the final images.

On 7th and 8th July 2017 at Leica Store City, for more details visit the Leica Akademie website.


Leica Masterclass – London Street Portraits with Niall McDiarmid
Discover the secrets behind authentic street portraits on this interactive one-day Masterclass with renowned Scottish photographer, Niall McDiarmid.

Since 2011, Niall has been travelling the length and breadth of the UK photographing the people he meets. With work in the National Portrait Gallery and the Sir Elton John Photography Collection, a large display of his portraits from across the capital will be shown at the Museum of London from May through till October 2017.

Niall will share his advice for approaching and photographing people in the street and will challenge you to take your own portraits out and about in the city before returning for a critique of the final images in the Leica studio.

On 15th July 2017 at Leica Store Mayfair, for more details visit the Leica Akademie website.
Leica Masterclass – A Personal Vision: Space, Lights, Colours and People with Fulvio Bulgani
13th June 2017
Leica Masterclass – A Personal Vision: Space, Lights, Colours and People with Fulvio Bulgani
Discover your creativity with award-winning photographer Fulvio Bulgani and Leica Akademie UK on this two-day Masterclass at Leica Store City.

A freelance professional photographer for over 20 years, Fulvio’s work has been published in international magazines and websites like TIME and LFI. He has several ongoing photographic projects in Cuba, Kenya, Indonesia, Turkey and Georgia and combines a hugely successful commercial career and collaborations with NGOs such as Amnesty International and Médecins Sans Frontières.

The interplay of colour and light is a main feature of Fulvio’s long-term Cuban project and this masterclass will focus on his personal approach to reality, use of light and shadow and complexity of composition. There will also be practical photography demonstratrations and assignments, follow-up editing and analysis of the final images.

On 7th and 8th July 2017 at Leica Store City, for more details visit the Leica Akademie website.


Leica Masterclass – London Street Portraits with Niall McDiarmid
Discover the secrets behind authentic street portraits on this interactive one-day Masterclass with renowned Scottish photographer, Niall McDiarmid.

Since 2011, Niall has been travelling the length and breadth of the UK photographing the people he meets. With work in the National Portrait Gallery and the Sir Elton John Photography Collection, a large display of his portraits from across the capital will be shown at the Museum of London from May through till October 2017.

Niall will share his advice for approaching and photographing people in the street and will challenge you to take your own portraits out and about in the city before returning for a critique of the final images in the Leica studio.

On 15th July 2017 at Leica Store Mayfair, for more details visit the Leica Akademie website.
Leica Camera supports Sky Arts’ search for the ‘Master of Photography’ 2017
23rd May 2017
Leica Camera supports Sky Arts’ search for the ‘Master of Photography’ 2017
 
European TV talent show for professional and dedicated amateur photographers begins second series with Leica Camera AG as exclusive technical provider
 
Following the enormous success of the first season, the new series of the Sky Arts TV talent show ‘Master of Photography’ will be aired from 25 May 2017 on Sky Arts in the UK and Republic of Ireland, Sky Arte HD in Italy and Sky Arts HD in Germany and Austria. In this second season, Leica Camera AG makes a return appearance as the show’s exclusive technical provider. The aim of this unique international production is to promote all aspects of creative photography.
 
Throughout the eight shows of the series, twelve talented photographers from all parts of Europe must prove their photographic skills in the areas of creativity, instinct and versatility. As the show’s exclusive technical provider, Leica equips each competitor with premium cameras and lenses made in Germany. All contestants are provided with professional photographic equipment comprising cameras, lenses and a range of accessories. With products such as the Leica SL mirrorless system camera, the Leica M-D digital rangefinder camera and the Leica Q compact, full-frame, fixed prime lens camera, the contestants are ideally equipped to master every photographic challenge.
 
In their battle for the title of ‘Master of Photography’, the contestants must prove their talent and skills in a number of different photographic genres at various locations throughout Europe. The jury of three world-renowned photographers and experts, Caroline Hunter, Darcy Padilla and Oliviero Toscani, judges the contestants’ works to decide which of them will be honoured with the title ‘Master of Photography 2017’ at the end of the season. The winner is awarded a cash prize of 150,000 euros.
 
Further information about Sky Arts ‘Master of Photography’ can be found here: http://masterofphotography.tv/
 
Simulcast across five countries, Master of Photography is created by the Sky Arts Production Hub, a commissioning and production centre of excellence dedicated to creating quality arts programmes for Sky’s 22 million customers across the UK and Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.
Grubb and Parsons: Optical and engineering giants
12th April 2017
Grubb and Parsons: Optical and engineering giants, by William Fagan

It was my recent acquisition of a Grubb lens made in Dublin around 1855, shown above, that led me to pen this article about two remarkable Irish and Anglo Irish families. In particular, this involves two father and son duos where the fathers were born in the same year (1800) and the sons both passed away in the same year (1931). 
The contributions of the Grubb and Parsons families in the fields of optics and astronomy are well known, but they also had achievements in other fields such as the consistent printing of bank notes and the creation of the steam turbine. The 19th century was truly a great time for inventors and creators and what we might call ‘renaissance men’ or ‘polymaths’ who could, seemingly, turn their hand to anything and succeed.

Click here to read the full article
Cotswold Salon 2017: The National Exhibition of Monochrome Photography
03rd March 2017
Cotswold Salon 2017: The National Exhibition of Monochrome Photography
This eThis popular ‘print only’ competition for monochrome photographers has three entryclasses for digital prints, three classes for silver prints and a combined open class for a triptych panel. The exhibition is run under the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain rules and forms part of the British Photographic Exhibition circuit. The final exhibition of selected prints will be held in the magnificent Blackfriars Priory in central Gloucester from 13th July to 16th July 2017. Entry opens from mid April. For further information see the Cotswold Monochrome website at
Click here to read
Oracle on a Tripod — all Greek to me Posted on March 3, 2017 by William Fagan
03rd March 2017
Oracle on a Tripod — all Greek to me
Posted on March 3, 2017 by William Fagan

Click here to read article
Monthly Leica meets in Bristol
21st February 2017
Monthly Leica meets in Bristol

London Camera Exchange Bristol (Baldwin Street) will be hosting a monthly social meet and photo walk, named Bristol Leica Social. The first meeting will be on April 1st, 2017, and on the first Saturday of every month thereafter.

Each meet will start at the store, at 9am, (3 Alliance House,Baldwin Street, BS1 1SA) then divide into smaller groups for a photo walk around the centre, meeting at a café at 12 noon to compare images and, of course, discuss all things Leica.

For more information please contact LCE on 0117 929 1935. Please note that there are two branches of London Camera Exchange in Bristol. The Leica specialist Baldwin Street branch is near the Waterfront area of the city.
New Russar+ 5.6/20 L39/M
06th February 2017
New Russar+
Discover our stunning brass-bodied wide-angle lens. The New Russar+ is compatible with L39/M mount analogue cameras, digital mirrorless cameras and tons more using adapter mounts.
Discover our stunning brass-bodied wide-angle lens. The New Russar+ is compatible with L39/M mount analogue cameras, digital mirrorless cameras and tons more using adapter mounts.

Details
An Ongoing Legacy
Just like its predecessor, the 1958 Russar, the New Russar+ is a 20mm wide-angle lens with a maximum aperture of f/5.6. This exciting reinvention showcases a host of new features for modern day shooting. The New Russar+ is now multi-coated to reduce flare and surface reflection and has a modified lens tube construction that is compatible with L39 and M mount cameras, and lots more using adapter mounts.
High Quality Manufacturing
The New Russar+ is handmade and features a beautifully complex symmetrical internal construction. Although very compact, it contains 6 lens elements in 4 groups. Thanks to their years of technical expertise in developing premium, high-quality optics, the team at Zenit was able to produce this technically advanced lens! The New Russar+ design utilizes the benefits from its new-moon shaped front and rear elements to achieve almost distortion-free photos and excellent vignetting control. In addition, the lens has fantastic distortion control at less than 0.1%. This means that the photos it produces are a near perfect representation of reality with a great evenness of illumination and resolution.
Ready for any kind of adventures, this special wide-angle lens will inspire you to get creative as soon as you attach it to your camera. The Russian glass used in the New Russar+ produces super-sharp images filled with vibrant colors, vignettes and contrasts, bursting with the unique character and quality that only a lens manufactured using the finest Russian glass can bring. The New Russar+ has an excellent distortion control to avoid barrel and pincushion distortions, making your shots an impressive mirror of reality.
With a wider view, the New Russar+ is great for shooting outdoor landscapes. The lens effortlessly soaks up the whole scene using its 20mm angle of view, producing sweeping, majestic photos filled with a truly authentic and unique personality. This prime lens is great for those up-close-and-personal portraits in corners, cars and cockpits. With creativity and the New Russar+ by your side, who knows what kind of fantastic shots you will achieve?
Package Includes
New Russar+ 5.6/20 L39/M
L39/M mount adapter
Front and L39 Rear Lens Cap
Lens pouch
Cleaning cloth
Instruction manual
Technical Specifications
Focal length: 20mm
Aperture: f/5.6 - f/22
Image circle: 44mm
Field of view: 94 degree
Lens Mounting Profile: L39, includes Leica M-mount adapter
Lens Construction: 6 elements in 4 groups, Symmetrical design
Lens Coating: Multi-coated
Lens Body material and Finishing: Brass with chrome plating
Focusing Mechanism: Helicoid
Flange distance: 27.8mm (M mount) - 28.8mm (L39 mount)
M mount frame line triggering: 28mm
Closest focusing distance: 0.5m
Filter thread: 49mm
Rangefinder Coupling: No
Distortion: ~ 0.09 percent
Lens' Dimensions
L 35mm
W 35mm
H 55mm
Weight: 98g
~17mm from mount to rear end of lens without LM adapter
Additional Information


Brian Oliver
The Leica Society
Leica M10 vs Leica M (Typ 240) Comparison Review
24th January 2017
Leica M10 vs Leica M (Typ 240) Comparison Review by Park Cameras.

click here to read article
The last rose of Summar Posted on December 5, 2016 by William Fagan
05th December 2016
The last rose of Summar
Posted on December 5, 2016 by William Fagan

The Leitz Summar: A lens which has an undeserved bad reputation among Leica collectors. I’m not entirely sure why so I am taking a look at some aspects of the Summar that may have been overlooked. As I now have eight Summars in my collection, I feel that I must say something on behalf of this wonderful lens.

Click here to read all the article
John Brockliss's new gallery entitled 'Petrohead'
18th November 2016
Many of my earliest memories are of long afternoons spent in my father's motor engineering workshop surrounded with cycles, motorcycles and cars, all in various stages of repair. It was here I learnt to write and draw. Hardly surprising then (as you may know) that I have enjoyed a lifelong love of motoring heritage and motor vehicles.
Twenty Nine years ago my father joined me on a visit to Morgan Motors in Malvern - a few weeks after taking delivery of my Morgan Plus 8. Sally and I revisited the Morgan factory with the car in October this year - with camera in hand and fond memories of that previous visit. This new visit and the memories it evoked has prompted me to review the countless motoring photographs I have taken over recent years.
From the archive I have selected some of the more interesting images and this afternoon I published a new motoring-focussed photo gallery on my website, titled 'Petrolhead'.

You can visit Petrolhead using the following link

I hope you enjoy the new gallery as much as I did creating it.
Phillip Gray Web Site Link
13th November 2016
A selection of black and white photographs taken with a Leica M (240) and a variety of lenses by Phillip Gray

click here to go to Phillip Gray web site
Boldly different: Leica presents the TL-System
12th November 2016
Boldly different: Leica presents the TL-System

Unique design in titanium, silver or black finish, combined with precise, high-performance lenses and a host of smart accessories

Leica Camera has today announced the Leica TL. Building on the Leica T camera system, which has been continually enhanced in terms of speed, handling and flexibility since its launch in 2014, the new generation Leica TL now offers further innovative features, improved functionality, and a series of exciting new design elements.

Developments include the doubling of the internal buffer memory to 32GB, improved autofocus, particularly in AF-C mode, and optimised compatibility with lenses from other camera systems in the Leica range. For example, the Leica TL now supports SL-Lenses with OIS and allows the use of Leica R-System lenses in combination with the R-Adapter L. A new Leica TL app with added functionality provides additional options for sharing pictures by email or on social networks, and is now available for the first time for Android, as well as iOS devices.

The Leica TL will in available in three colour options from the date of launch: the silver and black versions share an identical design and construction, while the titanium finish option is distinguished by a bevelled edge detail to the top and bottom plates. A collection of smart camera accessories, such as a new range of high-quality protectors in Nappa leather, which are designed to remain on the camera when changing the battery, and a selection of matching carrying straps in stone grey, black, red and cemento, complete the TL system portfolio.

Combined with its high-performance image processor, the large, APS-C CMOS image sensor of the Leica TL guarantees exceptional imaging quality and delivers brilliant pictures with outstanding contrast, detailed resolution and natural colour rendition – even in unfavourable lighting conditions.

The comprehensive Leica TL lens portfolio offers a wide choice of focal lengths for all photographic situations and genres. The TL-System currently comprises six lenses – three prime lenses and three zooms. The two fast prime lenses, the Leica Summicron-TL 23mm f/2 ASPH. and Summilux-TL 35mm f/1.4 ASPH., are classic focal lengths for reportage photography, and the APO-Macro-Elmarit-TL 60mm f/2.8 ASPH. is perfect for finely detailed close-up photography. The three compact zoom lenses, the Leica Super-Vario-Elmar-TL 11–23mm f/3.5–4.5 ASPH., Vario-Elmar-TL 18–56mm f/3.5–5.6 ASPH. and APO-Vario-Elmar-TL 55–135mm f/3.5–4.5 ASPH., cover an entire range of focal lengths equivalent to 17 to 200mm in 35mm format and deliver outstanding images with rich contrast from corner to corner of the frame.

Developed by Leica’s optical design specialists in Wetzlar, all Leica TL-Lenses deliver exceptional imaging performance at all distances from their close focusing limits to infinity, resulting in pictures with the inimitable ‘Leica look’ and unique bokeh. The combination of expert optical and precision engineering, and the use of the finest materials in their construction, ensures the consistent high quality and reliability of the lenses.

Thanks to the L-Bayonet mount shared by the Leica TL and SL cameras, SL-Lenses can also be used without an adapter on the Leica TL, once again highlighting Leica’s commitment to system compatibility and sustainability. Furthermore, adapters are available to enable the use of Leica M and R lenses on the camera.

A particular highlight of the Leica TL is the unusual, compact design of its body, which is precisely machined from a single block of aluminium at the Leica factory. Meticulous construction from the most premium materials gives the Leica TL its unique, unmistakeable look and solid, high quality feel.

Offering concise, intuitive handling, and a focus on the most relevant functions, the Leica TL ‘control centre’ is clearly laid out on the 3.7” touchscreen display, which delivers a clear, bright image for precise and reliable subject composition and review.

Numerous functions in capture and playback mode can be controlled simply by touching the screen. Four ergonomically-positioned haptic controls, which are highly intuitive in operation, ensure that photographers can concentrate fully on composing their images – with no unnecessary distractions. The configurable MyCamera menu offers further flexibility, even in spontaneous shooting situations, giving the user the quickest access to the most frequently used features and personalised pre-sets.

Thanks to its integrated WiFi module and mobile hotspot feature, the Leica TL can conveniently transfer still images and videos by WLAN to smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop PCs from almost anywhere, and allows users to share their pictures and movies by email, on Facebook or on other social networks.

The free Leica TL app for iOS and Android devices is available with the release of the camera. A particularly useful feature of this app is the remote control function, which enables the user to connect a smartphone or tablet to the camera by WLAN as an electronic viewfinder for the Leica TL, and provides remote control of shutter speed and aperture settings – ideal for shots taken at unusual angles, or for use with the self-timer.

Pricing and availability

The Leica TL in black, silver or titanium anodised finish is scheduled to be available from mid-November 2016, at a suggested retail price of £1,450 including VAT.

New accessory prices:
Leica TL leather protector – stone grey, black, cemento or red - £105
Leica TL neck strap – stone grey, black, cemento or red - £70
John Brockliss: Three acclaimed images from an outstanding collection
09th November 2016
John Brockliss: Three acclaimed images from an outstanding collection
Posted on November 8, 2016 by Mike Evans
I first met John Brockliss at Leica Mayfair some months ago and, since then, I have followed his impressive photography. Earlier this year the Telegraph Review dedicated a half-page in colour to promote 'Restless', John's Spring Exhibition held at 35 North Contemporary Fine Art in Brighton. 
Since the exhibition ended and while new work has progressed, a further two images have been published by eminent publications: BBC Publishing and LFI Magazine (Leica Fotografie International), the famous high-quality photographic journal. Here are the three of John's images but you can find a full portfolio of John's work on his popular web site. 

Click here to see more
Discover the world with the Leica D-Lux Explorer Kit.
05th November 2016
Discover the world with the Leica D-Lux Explorer Kit.

The perfect gift for the travel enthusiast and adventurer

Leica Camera has announced the Leica D-Lux Explorer Kit, featuring the company’s high-performance D-Lux compact camera, combined with a set of useful accessories for the travel enthusiast.

One of the fastest lenses in the Leica compact camera range, the Leica D-Lux features a Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9–34mm f/1.7–2.8 ASPH. zoom lens, which perfectly complements the camera’s large four-thirds sensor, and delivers images with exceptionally natural colours and outstanding quality.

Ideal for travel and all types of creative photography, this versatile lens (equivalent to 24 to 75mm in 35mm format) has been designed to excel in a multitude of photographic genres, from portraits to landscapes, architecture to macro, as well as the classic domain of Leica cameras – reportage photography.

Included with the camera is the Leica D-Lux automatic lens cap, which has been cleverly engineered to allow photographers to shoot spontaneously and capture subjects discreetly, without having to remove the cap each time. For maximum convenience, the shutters of the lens cap open up automatically as soon as the lens is extended, ensuring the camera is ready to shoot immediately – so the user will never miss a crucial moment on their special trip or holiday.

Also featured in the Leica D-Lux Explorer Set is an exclusive carrying strap made from highest quality cotton in a striking shade of red.

With its timeless and classically elegant design, the Leica D-Lux offers the same high performance and benefits of the standard model, delivering extensive functionality combined with intuitive handling.

In addition to its fast zoom lens, the camera’s outstanding feature set includes a high-resolution electronic viewfinder for the perfect composition of subjects, 4K video recording, and an integrated Wi-Fi module for remote control of the camera from a smartphone or tablet, as well as wireless transfer of still pictures or movies to mobile devices. The Leica Image Shuttle app required for this function can be downloaded free of charge and installed on iOS or Android devices.

Full product specifications for the Leica D-Lux camera can be found at: uk.leica-camera.com.

Pricing and availability

The Leica D-Lux Explorer Set is scheduled to be available from mid-November 2016, at a suggested retail price of £920 including VAT.
Leica Noctilux: the ‘Light Giant’ turns 50
04th October 2016
Leica Noctilux: the ‘Light Giant’ turns 50

Leica celebrates 50th anniversary of the legendary Noctilux lens



Fifty years ago, the first Leica Noctilux lens was unveiled at the 1966 Photokina exhibition in Germany, astonishing visitors and industry media with its revolutionary optical performance.

In the 1960s, photography enjoyed enormous popularity around the world and demand for high-performance lenses rose dramatically, particularly among professional and fine art photographers. As the use of flash was not yet widespread, or even frowned-upon, the extraordinary specifications of the Noctilux lens attracted unrivalled attention. This extraordinary lens offered a gigantic maximum aperture, and exceptional optical performance, even when used wide open. The signature characteristic of the Noctilux was its unique contrast rendition. Brilliant, sharp pictures without flare could be achieved with the lens wide open – even in candlelight, subtle colour nuances, the finest textures and minute details were distinguishable.

Leica Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 (1966)

The most outstanding feature of the 1966 Noctilux model was its two aspherical elements – the first time such elements had been included in a serial production lens manufactured by Leitz. One of these two asphericals was made from special glass with a high refractive index. The task of the aspherical elements was to reduce chromatic aberration at maximum aperture and increase quality in the image field. The Noctilux 50mm f/1.2 was designed by Prof. Dr. Helmut Marx and comprised six elements in four groups, with the asphericals as the first and last elements.

At that time, the production of asphericals was a particularly complex and costly process. Even the most innovative new machinery was no alternative to the highly experienced optical engineers, who finished each element individually, polishing it entirely by hand. At the same time, new testing methods were also being developed to ensure the quality of future lenses.

Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.0 (1975)

At Leitz, enormous effort was made to achieve the ultimate aperture of f/1.0. At the same time, Leitz turned to the use of only spherical lens elements in an attempt avoid the almost prohibitive costs of producing asphericals. Both challenges were successfully mastered at Leitz Canada by lens designer Dr. Walter Mandler, resulting in the launch of the Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.0 in 1975. The glass employed in the construction of this lens had an exceptionally high refractive index, contributing significantly to its impressive performance and the extremely natural look of images captured with the lens. Whereas photographers using other manufacturers’ large aperture lenses were forced to stop down to produce acceptable results, the Noctilux could be used wide open – not only in theoretical, but also in practical terms.

Even wide open, the Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.0 impressed photographers with its consistent resolution, almost three-dimensional rendition of details, and the clear and finely nuanced colours it delivered – often in situations where other lenses would be incapable of gathering enough light to expose the film correctly. In effect, a truly outstanding masterpiece of optical engineering.

Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH. (2008)

More than 30 years after the introduction of the Noctilux-M 50mm f/1.0, which had become a firm favourite among photographers thanks to its unrivalled aesthetic qualities, Leica presented a new-generation Noctilux at Photokina 2008, with a previously unheard-of maximum aperture of f/0.95.

Furthermore, the lens had been considerably improved in other aspects of optical performance. To achieve this, Leica employed its many years of experience gathered in the design and construction of the two previous lenses, and took advantage of the benefits of the latest research and technologies. Although the production of asphericals remains an extremely elaborate process, today it is much more efficient and practical than the days of the first-generation Noctilux in 1966.

The optical design of the Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH. comprises more than eight elements in a symmetrically arranged, Double-Gauss design with its two halves located back-to-back with the aperture between them. The two aspherical elements ensure the outstanding imaging performance of the lens. Three of the other elements are made from glass with an extremely high refractive index, and a further five from glass with anomalous partial dispersion. To ensure that the Noctilux also delivers outstanding results at closer focusing distances, the construction also features a floating element that shifts the position of the last group in relation to the rest of the system, depending on the focusing distance.

The original properties of the Noctilux are also applicable to the new lens: the maximum aperture is a usable aperture – it is not necessary to stop down to achieve better performance. The extremely shallow depth of field when shooting wide open is a feature of the Noctilux lens that can be deliberately used as a creative tool.

Peter Karbe, head of the optical development department at Leica, commented, “Even today, after 50 years, the Leica Noctilux still stands for extreme lens speed. The ‘Light Giant’ masters situations in which images can be captured only with great difficulty – or not at all – by other lenses, and achieves it with exceptional imaging performance. The combination of incomparable colour rendition, rich contrast, and shallow depth of field made possible by its outstanding speed, enables photographers to create images with a uniquely fascinating aesthetic.”

           

Leica heads for the stars Leica SL mirrorless camera plays important role in NASA space mission
20th September 2016
Leica heads for the stars

Leica SL mirrorless camera plays important role in NASA space mission

On 17 August 2016, a sounding rocket from the RockSat-X program launched from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility (Virginia, USA) – also on board was a Leica SL camera.

The payload of the rocket consisted of a number of modules with experiments devised by the students of various US universities that were to be conducted under the exceptional conditions of suborbital flight. The students of the University of Puerto Rico chose the mirrorless Leica SL system camera as a part of their module for research into high-density particles, primarily because of its outstanding performance and robust construction. The task assigned to the camera was the documentation of the flight in Ultra High Definition (4K) video. The special control algorithms required for the Leica SL on its mission were programmed in collaboration between the students and Leica Camera AG.

In addition to this, the effects of the extreme conditions on the camera and its optical systems were tested during the flight. These experiments, within the framework of an ongoing joint research programme with the participation of the university and the Bifrost Corporation, deliver important performance data for a planned mission to investigate the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights). The Bifrost Corporation is accompanying the project by the name of ‘Bifröst - Into the Aurora’ with a series of short films. In addition to the collection of material for interactive exhibitions, the aim of the mission is also to produce a visual documentary in feature film length. The artists Eric Adamsons and Heins Kim are working together with various international corporations and academic institutions on the realisation of this aspect of the project.

Before the flight, the Leica SL had to undergo an extensive programme of NASA tests to prove its resilience. The Leica SL passed all the tests with flying colours – from balance and the effects of extreme environmental influences, to mass moment of inertia testing and vibrations with exceptionally high acceleration forces of up to 50 gravities continuously.

The mission, a part of the RockSat-X program, was carried out in collaboration with the ‘Colorado Space Grant Consortium’, a higher education organisation that includes twenty-one colleges, universities and institutes. Colorado Space Grant is part of larger program called the National Space Grant Fellowship and Scholarship program which is funded by NASA. The objectives of the Colorado Space Grant organisation are to provide students with access to space through high-altitude balloon payloads (BalloonSats), Sounding Rocket experiments (RockSats), and small satellites (CubeSats). In the course of their projects, students get the chance to work with scientists and engineers from NASA and other astronautics concerns on the design and testing of new technologies and, ultimately, are given the opportunity to have them launched into space by high altitude balloons, unmanned sounding rockets, or orbital rockets.