News Roundup (Weeks 32 and 33, 2014)

What’s been hot the past two weeks: MIT researchers recreate sound from minute vibrations caught on video, Panasonic patents a super fast 12mm f/1.2 lens for Micro Four Thirds and what is probably the very first timelapse video of Pyongyang, North Korea.

August 6, 2014

Scientists from the MIT have devised a way to use the minute vibrations of objects captured on video to recreate the sound in a scene – and apparently it works even through soundproof glass.
Read more on io9

Leica is perparing a new Summicron-S 100mm f/2 lens for its S medium format DSLR system, which we can expect to be shown off at photokina in September.
Read more at Leica Rumors

August 8, 2014

Rare pictures of the Ukrainian town of Pripyat before the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Read more at io9

August 10, 2014

Mitakon (or MX Camera or Zhongyi or however the company is called) has presented an updated ‘PRO’ version of its Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 lens for full frame E-mount cameras.
Read more at Mirrorless Rumors

August 11, 2014

The lates financial report from Olympus claims rising mirrorless camera sales despite ever shrinking compact camera sales, plus a new M.Zuiko Pro lens roadmap.
Read more at 43rumors

New York police officers have finally received a lesson about photographers’ rights.
Read more at Imaging Resource

Panasonic patents a super fast 12mm f/1.2 lens for Micro Four Thirds, and Fujifilm patents a new hybrid phase detection AF technology.
Read more at Imaging Resource

The Raspberry Pi has had a 5 megapixel camera module for a while, now comes a DIY digital camera kit based on it, and it even sports interchangeable lenses.
Read more at Imaging Resource

Microsoft researchers have created an algorithm that condenses hour-long first person action cam footage into a coherent hyperlapse video clip.
Read more at Imaging Resource

August 12, 2014

Just what Canon EOS DSLR users have been waiting for: a vacuum cleaner ‘lens’ that sucks the dust out of your camera (and off the mirror and sensor.)
Read more at Digital Trends

This is probably the first-ever timelapse video of North Korea’s capital Pyongyang, created by the same man who brought us the mesmerizing Barcelona GO! video.
Read more at Imaging Resource

Optalysys is developing a computer that works with lasers and optical sensors to process data.
Read more at Image Sensors World

Manchester United bans tablets (as a means of photographing and taking videos) from their matches. I couldn’t agree more.
Read more at PetaPixel

August 13, 2014

Don’t like the weather outside? Just change it in post-production with this clever new algorithm developed at Brown University, R.I.
Read more at Digital Trends

August 14, 2014

ESA has created a disposable space camera whose sole purpose is to photograph its own disintegration upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. This brings “single serving” to new heights.
Read more at DIY Photography

August 15, 2014

Marcus DeSieno takes electron microscope scans of parasites, transfers them onto ferrotype plates and then prints them at a size of four feet. This is the stuff of nightmares. (But also quite awesome.)
Read more at Imaging Resource

And now for something completely different.

This is just for funsies: how to “clean” your Canon 5D Mk II and 24-105mm lens. A word of caution: don’t try this at home.
Read more at Canon Watch

News Roundup (Week 29, 2014)

Due to a vacation a huge workload in the past weeks, I didn’t get around to do the weekly news roundup that I promised. So this week’s roundup will also take into account news from the weeks after my previous roundup.

June 26, 2014

Researchers at the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, are exploring a chemical iris for smartphone cameras. Read more at Digital Trends

June 28, 2014

During its WWDC Keynote this year, Apple announced the death of iPhoto and Aperture, both of which will be replaced by the new Photos app for iOS and OS X. Read more at Digital Trends

June 30, 2014

Here’s an interesting patent by Canon, showing a Foveon-like five layer sensor with UV and IR sensitivity. Could it revolutionize portrait photography? Read more at Imaging Resource

July 1, 2014

Mr Miyazaki did it again: the new MS-Optical Perar 24mm f/4 for Leica M is hardly larger than a body cap. Read more at Imaging Resource

July 4, 2014

Peak Design has developed a new camera strap called ‘Slide,’ and a new hand strap called ‘Clutch.’ If you ask me, they’re ingenious. Read more at Digital Trends

July 7, 2014

In my last news roundup, I mentioned Sony’s new curved sensor. Here’s the alleged first image taken with it. Read more at Digital Trends

July 8, 2014

Sony thinks you want a smartphone with a front-facing flash, so you can take better ‘selfies.’ Read more at Digital Trends

July 9/10, 2014

Two New York drone operators get arrested for allegedly flying too close to a police chopper. As it turns out, police had no reason to detain them. What does this mean for drone use? Read more at Digital Trends

July 14, 2014

The FAA says realtors may no longer take commercial drone footage of objects they intend to sell. More bad news for drone users? Read more at Digital Trends

July 15, 2014

Photoshop Express can now edit raw files, making it easier than ever to perform simple edits on the go. Read more at Imaging Resource

July 16, 2014

An older video, but still pretty awesome: an Earthrise captured in HD by the Japanese lunar orbiter. Read more at Digital Trends

And in this video, you can learn how the photos of NASA’s lunar orbiter mission have been restored inside an abandoned McDonlad’s. Read more at Imaging Resource

July 17, 2014

Wowzers! Blackmagic significantly cuts the price of its Micro Four Thirds Pocket Cinema Camera. Read more at Digital Trends
Interested in the BMPCC? Buy it from B&H Photo and help support efix:photography!

July 18, 2014

Just what the world needed. A toaster that burns your ‘selfie’ on your breakfast toast. Read more at Digital Trends

An epic timelapse/stop motion video of Barcelona, Spain, and how it was made. Read more at Imaging Resource

Picture | “Auszeit / Taking a break”

At the Café Auszeit, an outdoor café for the city’s students, located next to the main cafeteria, a crow needed a rest. How fitting, since “Auszeit” means “downtime”.

Leica CL + Jupiter-8 50mm f/2 + Kodak Portra 160 (b&w conversion in Lr 3)

It seems I’m in a black-and-white mood recently, even if I’m shooting color film.

Ilford Delta 3200 Samples

I recently shot through my first roll of Ilford Delta 3200, not knowing what I would have to expect. I had been using Fuji Neopan 1600 as my dedicated fast film before and loved it. Sadly, the film is no longer available. So I bought a roll of Delta 3200 and Kodak T-Max 3200 each, to see which I would go with. To make it short: Delta 3200 is fantastic. Wonderful tonality, great colour sensitivity, and rather unobtrusive grain for such a high speed film (though definitely noticeable.) I will shoot the one roll of TMZ just to see what it’s like, but I have little doubt that I’m going to go with Delta 3200 whenever I need a really fast film.

Anyway, I’ve uploaded some samples to flickr, so please take a look by clicking on the image below.

I think this picture of my little brother is exemplary for the awesomeness of Delta 3200.

A little back story: I was shooting the roll of Delta 3200 in my Leica CL over the holidays, mostly on the inside, though I took two pictures in daylight (at f/11 or f/16, I believe, even though it was overcast and dreary). When I shot the last frame, I put a bit too much force on the advance lever (not having looked at the film counter and thus unaware that the film was ending there) and ripped the film out of its canister. I quickly darkened the room and tried to get it back into the canister, without success. So I decided to simply wrap the film around the canister and put it into an opened 120 film wrapping, in which to my surprise it just fit. I sealed it off and sent it to the lab with a not as to what had happened, so they wouldn’t open it up in a lit room.

Needless to say, many of the pictures had some minor or major light streaks, but the lab handled it very well and most of the pictures came out somewhat usable. So what did I learn from this experience? 1) Delta 3200 is really sensitive! The smalles amount of unwanted light hitting the film may ruin your pictures! And 2) In the future I will be much more careful when advancing film in my Leica CL — especially when the counter has already hit the ’36’ mark …

Goodbye M8, hello CL!

A while ago I was debating whether to sell my Leica M8, due to financial issues. Well, I made a decision, and now it’s gone. Its new owner is quite enthusiastic about it, which reminds me a bit about how I felt when I first got it back in 2010. I’ve now spent almost two and a half years with it, and we had a great time together. But as it is with great times, they all come to an end eventually. Some sooner, some later.

If I could have, I would have kept the M8. No question. I loved this camera. But to be honest, during our last holidays this summer, where I only took the Panasonic G1 and 20/1.7 lens, I didn’t miss the M8 at all. And now that it’s gone, I must admit I am also a bit relieved. The M8 is not an easy camera. It’s a dog. It rewards you with some of the most gorgeous pictures you’ve ever seen, if you’re doing it right. My Micro Four Thirds cameras are much easier to use. Heck, even my old Pentax ME is easier to use (apart from the scanning/post-processing involved.)

I will in due time write a retrospective post on my time with the M8. I also still have some 1000+ pictures that haven’t been processed yet, so even though the M8 is gone now, my time with it is far from over. The M8 still has a place in my heart. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll get another one. For the moment however, I got myself a replacement. It’s not digital, it’s not convenient, it’s a dog, too. But it’s a proper Leica. It takes M mount glass, it is a marvel of German-Japanese engineering, and it fills the hole that selling the M8 has left.

And it is … a Leica CL.

The CL is the smallest analog M-mount rangefinder ever built, developed by Leitz and Minolta and produced by Minolta in Japan. It was also sold as the Leitz Minolta CL and the Minolta CL, and its successor, the Minolta CLE, is the most advanced M-mount rangefinder before the M7 and Konica Hexar RF came along (and its metering is still more advanced than that of the latter two.)

This particular CL may look like a beater, but believe, mechanically and electronically it is working a charm. I couldn’t be happier. Also, its beaten exterior means I could get it at a very reasonable price. For the moment, I am using it with my 28mm Zeiss Biogon (which, btw, is up for sale, so if you’re interested drop me a line). But I am awaiting delivery of a russian-made 50mm f/2 Jupiter 8 lens.

Besides a first test roll I haven’t used the CL much yet. All I can say is that the shutter speeds seem to be accurate and that the meter readings are plausible. I will drop the test roll off at my local drugstore today and will report on the results shortly.

So, goodbye M8 and welcome CL!