Author Archives:

Image quality or emotional content?

I once wrote:

“…photographs (for most of us) are iconographs.  In other words, they are only symbols that collectively represent and remind us of our loved ones and our experiences.  They don’t need to be sharp on a screen or technically perfect, they only need to be clear in our minds and emotionally meaningful.”


Yet, I routinely fret about the nuances between CCD and CMOS sensors and I’ve even entertained selling all of my lenses for the 50mm APO Summicron.

Have I forgotten what’s important in photography?  In life?

I believe I know the answer to that.

It’s a never-ending-madness.

How do you, gentle readers, deal with said madness?



Leica 50mm APO Summicron.

Leica 50mm APO-Summicron

I’ve studied many images created with this lens — on the Leica M240, M9/M-E, and M8… and even on non-Leica cameras.

The verdict:

This is an optically astounding lens that, in the right hands, is capable of impressive results in combination with any camera (contrary to popular belief, the results are not only evident in large prints of images produced with high megapixel cameras).

It’s all the more impressive when you consider how small this lens is.  It’s the combination of optical excellence and compact size that is the hallmark of the Leica ethos.



The M8… for hockey?

In 2011, I wrote an article called:

The M9… for sports?

In 2012, I wrote a follow-up article called:

The M3… for kids’ sports?

I wrote them because — back then — many DSLR users considered rangefinders too “slow” for photographing action, even though I (along with several others) had been creating images that consistently proved otherwise.

To this day, I prefer rangefinders over DSLRs for photographing sports.

Today, I decided to take my Leica M8 to photograph my daughter’s hockey game.  Of course, given everything I’ve written above, I knew I would get some keepers… provided I could get close enough to the action.

I did.

I’ll be posting a few of the images over the next few days.

I hope you find them of interest.


Birthday Girl.

Technical consideration:

This was photographed at ISO 640 and “pushed” in LR for an effective ISO of 2500.


Birthday Girl

I really, really love that M9/M-E sensor.

M9 Sensor - Prosophos.

I was casually photographing my daughter unwrapping her birthday gifts this evening in our (very) dark living room, in front of the Christmas tree.  I wasn’t expecting much (photographically speaking).

However, every single frame turned out to be wonderful.

I previously purchased and used the Sony A7S, Leica M240, Nikon Df, Sony RX1R, and Nikon D800E because I thought I would need them in situations like this.  However, my Leica M-E consistently produces images that surpass any CMOS camera — even in low light.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  CCD sensors produce superior mage quality.

Thank goodness Leica has committed to supporting the M9/M-E sensor.

Please, Leica, please… consider placing an updated CCD sensor in a future M camera.


Where’s G?

Every shot can’t be artistic.

Sometimes, you need to photograph your son performing in the school show.

Sometimes he’s placed in the back row, behind bigger kids.

Often the gym is dark.

I’m happy to note my Leica gear did the job… even if not the “art” :) .


Where's G?

Leica responds to the M9/M-E/Monochrom CCD “corrosion” issue.

Stefan Daniel has responded to concerns regarding the corrosion issue on the IR filter cover glass of CCD sensor Leica cameras (M9, M-E, Monochrom) by issuing this statement:

“We have been closely following debates on the CCD sensor issue in forums and blogs and take the opinions and criticism we read very seriously. For us, it is important that we offer only technically faultless products. We are therefore particularly sorry if the imaging quality of your camera should be adversely affected by corrosion effects on the IR filter cover glass. We would also like to express our sincerest regrets to all customers who may have encountered this problem.

We have now identified the problem and are currently concentrating our efforts on finding a permanent technical solution. Our response to this problem is a full goodwill arrangement offering free replacement of affected CCD sensors. This goodwill arrangement applies regardless of the age of the camera and also covers sensors that have already been replaced in the past. Customers who have already been charged for the replacement of a sensor affected by this problem will receive a refund.

The effect does not affect the CMOS sensor of the Leica M (Typ 240). Should you, as an M customer, be considering an upgrade from your camera to a Leica M or M-P (Typ 240), Customer Care would be pleased to make you an attractive offer following a check of your camera and under consideration of the model and its age.

We have posted the details of the problem and the terms and conditions of our goodwill arrangement in the News section of our corporate Web site at Important Information Concerning the CCD Sensors // Global // About Leica News // Leica News // World of Leica – Leica Camera AG an have provided a link to the currently available Leica M Monochrom and M-E models. We will also be notifying our distributors regarding the new terms and conditions.

We are aware that Leica’s reputation for superior quality and endurance was the driving factor for your decision for Leica. We profoundly regret that we have been unable to completely fulfil our promise to you and our own standards from the outset. We are now making every effort to find a permanent and satisfactory technical solution for this problem and hope that our goodwill arrangement is able to rebuild and maintain your trust in the Leica brand!

Best regards,

Stefan Daniel
Product Management Photo”

My Camera of the Year for 2014.


2014 Camera of the Year - M9 M-E


My camera of the year for 2014 is the Leica M9/M-E.

To this day, the Leica M9/M-E provides superior image quality, at base ISO, and the best shooting experience of any digital 35mm camera.

As most of you know, I’ve tried several of the latest-and-greatest-cameras and keep coming back to the M9/M-E for its unique image quality and ergonomic experience.

(The runner up is the Leica M8.)

What will 2015 bring?

Hopefully not sensor corrosion or cracking.

No, hopefully we will get what I’ve asked for in My Open a Letter to Leica.



Previous Camera of the Year Winners:


2013: Leica M9

2012: Leica M9

2011: Leica M9

2010: Leica M9

2009: Leica M9




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 683 other followers