The Leica Diary, Part IV – An Unexpected Thing or Two

The Leica Diary, Part IV – An Unexpected Thing or Two

The M9 with a 50mm f/2.5 Summarit-M lens

The M9 with a 50mm f/2.5 Summarit-M lens

In this part, I’ll look at a couple of unexpected things I ran into when shooting with the Leica.

Most people who shoot with a Leica assume that the lenses available for it, like the 50mm f/2.5 shown above, are primes. And, for the most part, this is true. I’d certainly had no reason to think otherwise.  read more…

Hard at Work

Hard at Work

I’m working on a piece on tilt-shift lenses for our blog and I wanted to get some shots of the historic forts in the Marin Headlands at sunrise. So, I hauled my carcass out of bed at 4:30am and made it to the headlands shortly before sunrise.

Turns out, it was one of those beautiful days where the upper reaches of Conzelman road, which overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco, was right above the marine layer. So I pulled over to shoot a bit from there, and guess who I ran into?

BorrowLenses.com Marketing VP Jim Goldstein

BorrowLenses.com Marketing VP Jim Goldstein

Our Marketing VP, Jim Goldstein, was out in force, shooting time-lapse videos with two bodies, a dolly, and other miscellaneous gear. This was my first time up there this early (I tend to shoot a lot in the evenings, when I don’t have to ingest large amounts of caffeine to keep my eyes open), and apparently, I had the luck of the beginner, as Jim said it could take as many as ten tries to get the atmospheric conditions we had that morning. read more…

Cool Stuff – Week of September 1, 2012

Cool Stuff – Week of September 1, 2012

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

  • We begin this week with this riveting and powerful video on the impact of the world’s most powerful videos. There’s a lot missing from this video, but I think we’ll all agree there’s something to be said for the core message here.
  • Black and white photographers are almost fanatical about their art and craft. Here’s a pretty cool video (in B&W, natch!) that might help explain why.
  • The next vid comes to us from our friends at PetaPixel – have YOU heard of Flam Wenders?
  • Let’s face it, we’re a gear company. And as a gear company, we salivate over new stuff just like everyone else. So we’re stoked to see two new cameras from Canon, the C500 4K video beast, and the original C300’s little sibling, the C100.
  • And finally, because we must – the Leica 1600mm f/5.6. Cost: just over $2 million. Erm, no. We will NOT be carrying this lens for rent.

And now, for the BorrowLenses.com rundown!

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Playing With Canon’s New Big Guns

Playing With Canon’s New Big Guns

Canon’s 1Dx and 600mm f/4L IS II lens have been two of the most sought after (and repeatedly delayed) items in their inventory for the past year or so. Now, Canon is finally shipping them with some regularity, and we took this opportunity to put this new combo through its paces.

I love photographing birds. A few years ago, I started with a Canon 100-400mm lens and a Rebel XTi, and shot from the comfort of my car. Eventually, I moved up to a Canon 1D Mark IV and a 600mm f/4, or a 500mm f/4 lens.

The 1D MKIV/600mm combo became a favorite, and I managed to capture some really cool images with it that are part of my Natural History portfolio.

Humingbird shot with a 1D Mark IV and the Mark I 600mm lens

Humingbird shot with a 1D Mark IV and the Mark I 600mm lens

Of course, since then, Canon has introduced its successor to the 1D MKIV and the 600mm f/4. The 1Dx takes over where the 1D MKIV left off, introducing a bigger sensor and better high-ISO performance, among other things, whereas the new 600mm Mark II comes in at slightly shorter and much lighter than its predecessor.

I took this combo out for a spin to see if it would match up to my old favorites. As with my previous reviews, I focus more on the shooting experience out in the field, rather than lab tests and results. read more…

The Leica Diary, Part III – Focus

The Leica Diary, Part III – Focus

Part I of the Leica Diary can be found here. Part II can be found here.

Zone focus.

Those are the two key words you need to know about focusing with a Leica. If you’ve used a rangefinder before, you already know this; if you haven’t, then read on.

Leica cameras don’t focus like the DSLRs, ILC (Interchangeable Lens Compacts like the Olympus E-P2), or point-and-shoot digitals that we’re all used to. For one, Leica lenses are all manual-focus lenses. For another, unlike most other digital cameras today, you’re not focusing through the lens (TTL). You’re actually using a separate viewfinder to do the framing and focusing for you.  read more…

Cool Stuff – Week of August 24, 2012

Cool Stuff – Week of August 24, 2012

8X10 Impossible Project test by Tim Mantaoni.

8X10 Impossible Project test by Tim Mantaoni.

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

And now, for the BorrowLenses.com rundown!

Loads of news to share here as well – new locations, new specials, and new gear.

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

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