Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sigma L-Mount lenses bring a new dimension for owners of Leica’s SL cameras

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The advent of the L-Mount Alliance has been particularly exciting for Leica users and the resulting expansion in the range of lenses adds a whole new dimension to owning, say, the SL2. Mike paid a visit to Sigma Imaging UK to check out the latest developments

Sigma 45mm f/2.8 DG DN lens for L-Mount: First impressions

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Sigma's relatively inexpensive 45mm f/2.8 Contemporary lens is a fine addition to any Leica SL or Panasonic S1/R camera. It comes closer to Leica quality than the modest price tag would suggest.

Panasonic 24-70 S Pro: How it stacks up against Leica’s Vario-Elmarit-SL and the Lumix...

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How does Panasonic's new 24-70mm Lumix S Pro zoom compare with the Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-90mm? On paper, the new Lumix offers a good deal.

Fuji X-Pro 3: The Review that is not a review

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David Bailey takes a look at Fujifilm's new, rather oddball, X-Pro 3. Is it taking a leaf out of Leica's M-D book?

Leica Monochrom joins the discount club

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More discounts on Leica rangefinders. Whatever next?

Konstanz: A bustling city is dying out

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The Covid-19 emergency is changing lives throughout Europe and the world. Macfilos contributor Jörg-Peter Rau takes a look at the city of Constance in Germany, right on the border with neighbouring Switzerland.

Digital distancing at the sofa pub and locks down in Middle England

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Meet Tom's sofa pub where he can meet all his best friends while observing strict digital distancing. And there's really no excuse for all those wayward heads when locks down comes to Middle England...

Macfilos: 5,000 posts already and here’s one from 2010

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Review: Heroes of the Telegraph by John Munro (1891), iBookstore, free

Had blogs existed 120 years ago John Munro would have been up there with the best of 'em. His book, which traces electronic communications from the 50-year-old and "perfected" telegraph through to the latest modern developments, the telephone and the phonograph, is a Gutenberg gem. At the time of writing in 1891 both the telephone and phonograph had been around for little more than 10 years and Munro exhibits the sort of enthusiasm now associated with the latest technical news on Engadget or TechCrunch.

Edison and phonographThe story of the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison is fascinating enough, but it is Munro's conjectures on the future opened up by recordings that are much more interesting. Here is a review of possible future developments, some uncannily accurate, some wide of the mark, that make for gripping reading. 

He suggests that phonograph records could be used for correspondence, for dictation and for communication "on unsteady vehicles such as trains" where writing is difficult. He also foresees audio books and reports that Edison can fit the whole of Nicholas Nickleby on four eight-inch wax cylinders of five-inch diameter. "Perhaps," he says, "we could have circulating libraries which issue phonograms, and there is already some talk of a phonographic newspaper which will prattle politics and scandal at the breakfast-table. Addresses, sermons, and political speeches may be delivered by the phonograph; languages taught, and dialects preserved; while the study of words cannot fail to benefit by its performance."

Strangely, in 1891, the concept of recording music was not mainstream: "Musicians will now be able to record their improvisations by a phonograph placed near the instrument they are playing."

This book is a delight and is a must-read for all technophiles.  It has probably been out of print for decades, yet through the Gutenberg project and Apple's iBookstore we can read it again. Much of the book is concerned with the development of the electric telegraph and, of particular interest, the trials and tribulations of undersea cable laying.

After the break is a fuller excerpt from the chapter on Edison's invention of the phonograph.

Rock & Roll straps for the Leica SL and SL2

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Rock & Roll's Leica SL straps have been updated with a new method of attachment which is more secure and neater. We're reviewing three of them here.

Billingham Hadley Small Pro brings requested new features

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The Billingham Hadley Small was always our favourite small-outfit camera bag. But it lacked a handle, a rear pocket and a luggage-trolley strap. Now the Hadley Small Pro brings all these features and also adds a quickly detachable feature to the shoulder strap.