Finally! Aki-Asahi, Japanese manufacturer of custom coverings (“leatherettes”) for analog and digital cameras, are now also producing a Custom Covering Kit for the Leica M8. Look:
Previously, they were only offering kits for analog Leica Ms. If you wanted to reskin your digital Leica M, you had to order a much more expensive covering from cameraleather.com. There’s nothing wrong with that — their coverings are well worth the price, especially the ones made from real leather. But they’re known to be slow on responding to inquiries, which has in the past put many people off of ordering from them. But worry no more! Now you can order a very nice replacement leatherette for your digital Leica from Aki Asahi, who make very good coverings that come in at very affordable prices.
You can visit Aki Asahi’s web store here.
Btw, I reckon the covering should also be applicable to the M9, since its main body is virtually identical to that of the M8 (although the website states it’s only for the M8).
The Zeiss Ikon ZM system | Picture by Zeiss
According to Zeiss Rumors, Cosina, the manufacturer of Zeiss and Voigtländer photographic products, has announced discontinuance of the silver Zeiss Ikon M-mount rangefinder. This comes about a year after discontinuance of the Zeiss Ikon SW, the rangefinderless version of the camera intended for use with wide-angle lenses and accessory viewfinders. The black version of the Zeiss Ikon, however, is still available.
Too bad, as I really prefer the silver finish over the black one — but that’s just personal. I wasn’t going to buy an Ikon anytime soon, anyways.
You can still buy the silver Zeiss Ikon from B&H Photo.
Sigma 19mm f/2.8 and 30mm f/2.8 for NEX and MFT
Now this is interesting! According to this post on 43rumors, the recently announced 19mm f/2.8 and 30mm f/2.8 lenses for Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX are the very same lenses that Sigma is using in their re-vamped DP models, the DP1M and DP2M (announcement at The Phoblographer).
I think this is a very bright move from Sigma. This way, the newly developed optical formulas can be used in two ways: in their DP cameras and in interchangeable lenses for mirrorless cameras. For the same amount of research, Sigma will get twice (or even more) the revenue. Chapeau for a clever marketing strategy!
Adobe is in the final stages of finishing their new Lightroom 4 photo editing and managing software, and it seems everybody is waiting for the new version to arrive. This is good for all those who would like to own the current version of Lightrom, since it is currently being sold with massive discounts!
At B&H Photo, you can order Lightroom 3 for an all-time low price of only US-$ 69.95. This $ 200 less then B&H’s regular price, and almost $ 230 less than Adobe’s MSRP of $ 299! B&H Photo’s offer is valid for the next 24 hours only, but my guess is that online prices for LR 3 will stay low until the advent of LR 4.
> Get Lightroom 3 from B&H Photo for $ 69.95
Japanese optics manufacturer MS Optical has been renowned for quite some time for their conversions of all kinds of lenses from and to all kinds of different mounts. A while ago, they created the smallest ever 35mm lens for Leica M-mount, the MS Optical Super Triplet Perar 35mm f/3.5, a lens which was instantaneously recognized for its optical qualities. After the original version of the 35mm Perar had sold out, MS Optical introduced version II with slight modifications. This lens is recognized as one of the best 35mm lenses for Leica M-mount ever.
Meanwhile, it seems the lens’ creator Miyazaki-san has been busy working on new designs. As rangefinderforum.com-member jonmanjiro reports, MS Optical have just finished development of another minute M-mount lens, one even smaller then the previous. The new lens is a 28mm f/4 lens and shares the designation “Super Triplet Perar” with its predecessor. And just like its 35/3.5 sibling, it sports a modern three-element “Cooke-Triplet” design that is highly corrected for ultimate performance on digital M-mount cameras.
MS Optical Super Triplet Perar 28mm f/4 on a Leica M7 | Picture by jonmanjiro
An interesting feature of the lens is that its aperture blades are position in front of the front lens element. Since this would effectively expose them to outside influences, I am very curious to hear from the first actual users of the lens if this will eventually pose a problem. The reason behind this is that this way the optical formula could be further perfected, since there had no space to be left for the aperture between the lens elements.
According to the thread on rff, the new lens will be available shortly via Japan Camera Hunter. Since MS Optical products have previously been sold via Japan Exposures, I believe the lens will also be available there soon.
UPDATE: More info on the lens and on how to order it is now available at Japan Camera Hunter.