On this page, I will collect whatever photographic gear pops into my mind or I happen to stumble upon or read about that I would like to own. There are of course things that I might actually acquire in the nearer future, and there are things that I will probably go on dreaming of for quite some time.
- Voigtländer Nokton 35mm f/1.2. The “über-35″, the ultimate 35mm lens if speed is the issue. As I do a lot of available-light photography and love shallow depth-of-field, I’d like to have a fast standard lens – a Noctilux substitute so to speak. The Nokton 35/1.2 has a very good reputation, and although it is rather huge, it delivers sharp pictures even wide open, and has beautifully smooth bokeh.
- Leica Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8. Equivalent to 120mm on the M8, this would be a nice and fast tele lens. (Alternatively the older but smaller and lighter Tele-Elmarit 90/2.8, a Konica M-Hexanon 90/2.8 (which is a classic Sonnar design) or a Zeiss G Sonnar 90/2.8, modified to M-mount.)
- Voigtländer Nokton 40mm f/1.4. I owned its sibling, the 35mm f/1.4, for a brief time when I first got my Leica M8, and didn’t like it at all. However, the 40mm does seem to be a bit different, and after reading this article on it recently, I think I may have to give it a try one day.
Micro Four Thirds lenses
- Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8. The first dedicated Micro Four Thirds portrait lens, praised in each review it has gotten so far.
- A 24mm-equivalent f/2.8-ish wide-angle lens for Micro Four Thirds would be nice. Could anybody come up with something like that, please?
Assorted gear I don’t actually need, but would still like to have
- Leica M2. Since I developed a love for film, I want a film M body. Either this, or the CL/CLE. The Leica M2 has a wonderfully large, bright and uncluttered viewfinder featuring only 35mm, 50mm and 90mm framelines — all you need. No silly 28mm, 75mm and 135mm framelines cluttering up the view. It feels as good to hold as any Leica M and has the old school charme of being meterless and fully manual. I would require a Voigtländer VC meter II to accompany it.
- Minolta CLE, the improved version of the Leica CL and most advanced M-mount rangefinder until the Leica M7. Featuring auto exposure, TTL flash and off-the-film metering long before Leica introduced any of these. Comes with a .58x viewfinder and 28, 40 and 90mm frames. I’d love one of these with a fitting 40/2 M-Rokkor (essentially a 40/2 Summicron-C with multi-coating), later adding a 40/1.4 Nokton and 40/2.8 Rollei Sonnar.
- Fujifilm X100 (35mm eq. f/2 lens, rangefinder styling, hybrid electronic-optical viewfinder.) The X100 was presented as a “development announcement” at Photokina 2010 and is expected to be released in March 2011 at a retail price somewhere around US-$ 1000. The most exciting new camera since the Leica M9!
- Sigma DP2 (41mm eq. f/2.8 fixed lens, 4.6 MP Foveon X3 sensor). The Foveon sensor’s output is just outstanding in regards to colour and detail!
- Leica X1 black (36mm eq. f/2.8 fixed lens, 12MP CMOS without AA filter, design inspired by the original Barnack-Leicas).
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30. I had one for two and a half years and loved it. It had a magnificent Leica-designed 12x zoom lens (35-400mm, f/2.8-3.7) that delivered crisp and clear images at any possible setting. I’d love to have one of those again. The only drawback with these was their (even for 2005) only just acceptable performance at any ISO rating higher than 100.
- Thumbs-Up EP-1 accessory thumb grip for Leica M cameras, to use with my M8. Increases ergonomics when holding the camera in one hand, and helps getting clear shots at slow shutter speeds.
Things I can only dream of
- Leica M9 digital rangefinder camera. The ultimate digital rangefinder camera.
- Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH. This is just plain the best lens ever built for 35mm photography. Period.
Analog Leica M dream setup
Provided I had the means or were to sell my M8 + the 28/2.8 Biogon and 15/4.5 Heliar, this is the analog setup I would like to have:
- Leica M2 — the “original” Leica M with the classic design, featuring framelines only for 35, 50 and 90mm lenses. A classic, timeless camera with a clean, unobstructed viewfinder.
- Voigtländer VC Meter II — a compact, hot-shoe-mounted light meter.
- Zeiss C Biogon 21/4.5 — a replacement for the 15mm Heliar on the M8. Same speed, approx. the same angle-of-view, but a Zeiss lens with all the Zeiss goodness.
- Zeiss C Biogon 35/2.8 — a replacement for the 28mm Biogon on the M8. Same speed, approx. the same angle-of-view, and claimed to be one of Zeiss’ best.
- Zeiss Planar 50/2 — already got it. Alternatively, sell it and get the C Sonnar 50/1.5, Zeiss’ classic low-light fifty with that magical Sonnar character, plus all the goodness of modern Zeiss technology.
Another analog Leica M setup I’d love to own comprises the Leica CL, Leica’s budget rangefinder from back in the 70ies, that alomst killed the M series as it was outselling its bigger brother, the M5. The Leica CL has integrated 40mm framelines (one of the few M-mount rangefinders, apart from the Minolta CL and Bessa R3) and thus lends itself at being used with lenses of that very focal length. There are a few offerings in M mount, rangeing from initial f/2.8 to f/1.4 apertures. Thus, my second analog Leica M dream setup would be:
- Leica CL rangefinder camera with integrated 40mm framelines
- Rollei Sonnar HFT 40mm f/2.8 LTM — allegedly the same lens as in the Rollei 35S, but ported to Leica screw mount and supplied with an LTM->M adapter. It has the typical “Sonnar” look.
- Leica C-Summicron 40mm f/2 — the kit lens that came with the Leica CL, and the cheapes Leica Summicron lens there is. Alternatively, the Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f/2 second generation with improved coatings and 40.5mm filter thread.
- Voigtländer Nokton 40mm f/1.4 — the fastest 40mm rangefinder lens ever made, with a classic signature.