Monday, September 23, 2019
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Sigma Art L-Mount lenses offer outstanding performance for the price


Called into Red Dot Cameras last week to check out the latest f/1.4 L-mount lenses to arrive from Sigma. I took along the Panasonic Lumix S1 and Sigma’s dinky little 45mm f/2.8 which I added to my stable last month. We’ve written quite a bit about this lens — see these Sigma articles.

Fuji enchantment at Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House - Stable Block Refreshments — 22nd May 2018. Fujifilm XT2 - with 50-140mm F2.8, at 50mm, 1/1800s. f/2.8, ISO 200

What do the following famous people have in common: Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Victoria, Tsar Nicholas I, Charles Dickens, King Charles I of Portugal, the Duke of Wellington and Kathleen Kennedy (JFK’s sister)?

One answer (there may be others) is that all have visited Chatsworth. Most of the above were willing guests but not, of course, Mary Queen of Scots who was imprisoned at Chatsworth by Elizabeth I for long periods.

From Wetzlar with UPS


Earlier today, sitting my desk minding my own business, I heard a rustle as something dropped on the doormat. It was a missive from UPS to tell me they’d left a parcel with a neighbour. Why they couldn’t knock on my door is a mystery, one of the many mysteries of the world of couriering.

Leica Summers: An alternative view

The alternative Summers/Fender/Leica set, or so it's claimed

Our article on the Andy Summers “Signature” Monochrom has garnered no liking comments but, instead, a shedload of waspish antipathy. I even had to delete one comment because I deemed it offensive. I’m not surprised at all this because this latest creation manages to out-do the previous rock-star effort in the dubious taste stakes.

Are abandoned bicycles taking over our streets?


Towns and cities in many parts of the world, including my home town of London, are becoming littered with abandoned bits of bicycles and piles of randomly placed rental bikes. Is this something we should be concerned about, or is it the price we pay for encouragement of cleaner forms of transport?

Leica Monochrom Andy Summers Signature Edition

Matching set. The camera costs 15,000 dollars, no news on the cost of the Fender guitar

The Andy Summers Signature Edition of the Monochrom is about to hit the shelves. Created in cooperation with the former Police band member, the edition “represents a striking synergy of music and photography.” It is limited to 50 examples and is designed to complement a “signature” guitar from Fender.

Leica opts out of Photokina

In the heyday — Photokina 2016 (image Mike Evans)

Leica, along with Nikon and Olympus and others, will not be exhibiting at Photokina in 2020. It isn’t the first time Leica has missed a show, but I suspect the company now feels that the revamped Photokina is no longer an essential part of its marketing strategy. In the past, Photokina has been the launchpad for many iconic products, including the M3 which featured at the 1953 exhibition.

Olympus at the 2016 Photokina
Olympus at the 2016 Photokina — another absentee from the 2020 event

The show press office has issued the following statement (translated from German):

It was already clear following the last Photokina that the new concept has succeeded in attracting new exhibitors. Also, the proportion of younger visitors has risen significantly over the past two events. Interest in Photokina remains strong and many visitors and exhibitors are expected at Photokina 2020.

In the heyday — Photokina 2016 (image Mike Evans)
In the heyday — Photokina 2016 (image Mike Evans)

Christoph Werner, head of the Business Unit at Koelnmesse said: “We are are pleased by the strong level of demand and the applications from new and established sectors.”

“Exhibitors include, among others, Canon, CEWE, GoPro, Sony, Panasonic, Kodak Alaris, Sigma, Tamron, Carl Zeiss, Hasselblad, Hahnemühle, Arri, Rode Microphones, DJI and Insta360.

“Leica, Nikon and Olympus have declined to attend in 2020.”

Via Leica Rumors

Phoebe, the grand old lady of Terrigal


I am Phoebe. I am a very old lady and I live with some humans in Terrigal by the sea. I think I’m in a place called Australia but I’m not so sure.

Magical mystery tour of villages, byways and Bugattis


Several months ago I undertook to spend a weekend with a group of old friends from my past days of motorcycling. I paid my deposit, marked the calendar and promptly forgot all the details. All I knew was that we would be riding (or driving in my case) around wonderful roads somewhere in Middle Earth middle England.

Leica to establish computational imaging centre in California

Leica is a global company employing 1,800. As a premium brand it succeeded in bucking he industry's downward trend and seeks to stay top of its game with an emphasis on computational imaging

Leica will establish a centre of competence in computational imaging in California, according to a report in the Wetzlarer Neue Zeitung last Friday. Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera AG said that 19 years after the transition from analogue to digital photography at the turn of the century, the company is now facing the second digital revolution in the camera and optics industry:

“Themes such as ‘computational imaging’ — when images are generated indirectly from measurements using algorithms — will significantly influence photography. He went on to say that in order to help secure its future, Leica would establish a centre in Silicon Valley.”

Leica is a global company employing 1,800. As a premium brand it succeeded in bucking he industry's downward trend and seeks to stay top of its game with an emphasis on computational imaging
Leica is a global company employing 1,800 people. As a premium brand it succeeded in bucking the industry’s downward trend and seeks to stay top of its game with an emphasis on computational imaging (Photo Mike Evans)

As a result of this realignment of skills, changes are also being made to the headquarters in Wetzlar, with around 80 jobs being affected. Back in June it was reported locally that up to 100 jobs would be lost but the final figure has been reduced to 80.

“Together with the Executive Board, we negotiated a socially responsible overall package designed to avoid redundancies,” said Edgar Zimmermann, Chairman of the Works Council, and Sibylle Burzel, Deputy Works Council Chairwoman of Leica Camera AG. “We see the need for change, but have always emphasised the social acceptability of the measures.”

Growth contrasts with market fall

Harsch went on to say that, by expanding sales through its own Leica stores and as a premium brand, Leica contrasts with the negative overall market trend by achieving a slight increase in growth of seven per cent compared with the previous year. “However, the photo industry generally shows a decline of over 20 percent and the reason for this is the increasing power of smartphone photography.”

Leica Camera AG is a global camera, sports optics and software manufacturer, employing 1,800 people. In the last fiscal year. it generated sales of 400 million euros.

We are grateful to reader Peter Ostlaender for the link

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