The Leica T-System Celebrates 100 Years of Photographic Excellence

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Leica has literally spent a century putting out some of the industry’s most innovative, impressive, completely solid photography equipment. That’s why the immense quality of the T System (announced this morning) is hardly a surprise, but a welcome addition to their amazing portfolio of products.

Being Leica’s first interchangable-lens, mirrorless camera, the Leica T (the first in the T-System series) takes leica into a brand new era of photography.

Leica T-System

The Leica T at a Glance:

  • 16MP APS-C sensor
  • 18-56mm F3.5-5.6 and a 35mm equivalent 23mm F2 prime lenses announced (the 11-23mm F3.5-4.5 wide-angle zoom and 55-135mm F3.5-4.5 telezoom are expected down the line).
  • Milled from a solid billet of aluminum
  • Optional electronic viewfinder (with built-in GPS)
  • Touchscreen, 3.7″ LCD
  • Available M Lens adapter for M lenses (reads the 6-bit encoding)

Easter weekend with the Fuji XT-1 Part 1

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So late last Tues, April 15th, I get a package from Fuji! I’ve been wanting to take the XT-1 for a test drive since the camera was announced.

So here’s what came from Fuji:

I took an extra day off  for the long weekend and went to the Toronto Zoo with my mother in law and niece. It was a perfect place for XT-1′s first test run. Even though I didn’t get a chance to read the instruction manual, I thought this would be a good chance to try out the camera’s Auto settings. And being a Pro shooter for so many years, that’s not something I’m really comfortable with. I came equipped with the Fuji XT-1, and the 18-55 lens (which fit nicely in my coat pocket), my Nikon D-800, and Sigma 70-200 2.8 OS lens slung around my neck. I took all of my shots of the animals with my Nikon mainly cause I needed the long tele, and I didn’t have a longer lens with the Fuji.

When the Fuji finally came out of my coat pocket, we were eating lunch. Here’s the thing about my niece; she hates having her photo taken, so I almost never get shots of her! But when she saw the Fuji camera, she was like “what’s that Uncle Gary?” I told her it was a new camera I was testing out, flipped out the rear screen, and she instantly thought it was cool. I put the camera in A mode on the Shutter dial, and A mode on the lens, and I set the ISO to 200 take my first couple of shots:

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1/25 of Sec. @ F-8 ISO 200

I realize I’m shooting in jpeg mode, which for me is Taboo! But even still, the images look pretty darn good. Anyway, I quickly switch over to JPG and RAW shooting so I can see the difference later.

Here’s where I started falling for this camera. I had this big, honking Nikon that scares the bejeezes out of my niece, and here’s this little Fuji XT-1 with the screen out, and she doesn’t even know I’m shooting with it. The shots just came out great. I’m loving this zoom lens, and as you will see the OIS is really working because since I have the camera in auto mode, it’s choosing these low shutter speeds, check this next one out at 1/15th of a second.

1/15 @ F-8 ISO 200 JPG Straight from camera

1/15 @ F-8 ISO 200 JPG Straight from camera

I’m a quick learner, and I’m really starting to like the images that I’m seeing on the back of the screen. So I keep on shooting and my niece is letting me take pictures of her. I’m showing them to her on the back of the screen as we’re going along and she’s having a lot of fun! But I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any camera shake, so I quickly just threw the camera into Shutter Priority at 1/60 of second, I figure I should be able to hand hold here no problem. So my niece pulls out this crazy blue scarf, and I put the camera into Velvia mode, because I used to shoot Fuji Velvia when I was a film shooter, it always had these great vivid and sharp pictures. So next up lets look at a JPG file straight from the camera, and a raw file that has been processed in Adobe LR, one without adjustment, and one that I adjusted to match the quality of the Fuji JPG. (now I know the image is focused on the blue slushi, but hey I hadn’t read the manual yet, and still had the camera set to center point AF)

JPG straight from camera-Velvia setting 1/60 F-4.0 ISO 200

JPG straight from camera-Velvia setting 1/60 F-4.0 ISO 200

RAW file no adjustments, same settings as above.

RAW file no adjustments, same settings as above.

RAW file, adjusted to match the FUJI Velvia setting.

RAW file, adjusted to match the FUJI Velvia setting.

So what do you think of the 3X images above? So far I lean towards the RAW file, that I’ve adjusted in LR. I feel that the although I like the JPG file straight out of the camera, and the saturated sharp colours, I like the extra Dynamic Range and shadow detail that I was able to pull out of the RAW file.

So I gotta tell you that my zoo visit was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed my first experience with the XT-1. I think this is a Mirrorless camera that’s worthy of Pro Shooters and was mightily impressed! I’m going to share with you the rest of my easter weekend images in part 2 of this blog post, where you will see that I clearly read the instruction manual, so stay tuned. I will leave you with one shot that I did of the Pandas with my D800 (which you will clearly see that the OS feature on Sigma lenses works pretty darn good).

Nikon D-800, Sigma 70-200 2.8, 200MM @ 1/40 F 2.8 ISO 400

Nikon D-800, Sigma 70-200 2.8, 200MM @ 1/40 F 2.8 ISO 400

Reconstruction. Featuring the fine art photography of Gary Ray Rush and S. Vote.

Have you ever heard of “Macro-pan photography?” Chances are you haven’t. Fine Art photographer Gary Ray Rush recently invented the concept and coined the phrase.

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We could try to describe it, but it’s better if you see the photos yourself. Gary Ray Rush will showcase the macro-pan photographic process at the ReConstruction event starting May 1st at the Elaine Fleck Gallery in Toronto. You can marvel over his photos along with the impressive photo collection of internationally recognized fine-art photographer, S. Vote.

And, because the event falls on the opening day of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Gary Ray Rush has added a tribute series, which ‘focuses on cameras and other tools that have greatly impacted photographers’.

lightbulpReconstruction.  
Featuring the fine art photography of Gary Ray Rush and S. Vote.

Thursday, May 1
7 to 10 PM
Elaine Fleck Gallery
888 Queen St. W

Sounds like an event you don’t want to miss!

RSVP by contacting Gary Ray Rush at garyrush@elainefleckgallery.com

Saving Eliza

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Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. And if you’ve ever doubted that, here’s proof ….

Eliza O’Neill is a happy 4-year-old who, because of a degenerative genetic disease called Sanfilippo syndrome, may not live into her teens. If she doesn’t get the treatment she needs, she will lose the ability to speak within 6 months and suffer irreversible brain damage within a year and a half.

“There is a cure, but without funding it won’t be ready in time to save her.”

Those words stirred Benjamin Von Wong into action. Spearheading the fundraiser that has already collected 300K, Benjamin has successfully mobilized a force of talented photographers from around the world, who have donated their works of art for sale. All money collected will go towards a cure for Eliza. Enough money it will happen.

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It’s been said, “A photograph is never taken– it is always given.” And in this case, it may give a young girl a chance at life.

You can find out a lot more about the project on the website by clicking here, but the general gist is as follows:

If you love phenomenal photography, this is your chance to buy prints from some of the best in the business, and know that your money is going to a worthy cause.

If you take phenomenal photography, you can pledge to sell $1,000 worth of a print to help Saving Eliza. Once that print sells out, you’ll go on a special success wall and have the opportunity to submit another and start all over again.

Follow Eliza and her family on Facebook , donate to help save Eliza’s life on GoFundMe and buy prints from SmugMug

UPDATE: This campaign is really picking up steam, since the time of our original post it’s been featured on Today.com and donations are just about to break the 500K mark, already half way to goal! 

Every Picture Tells a Story Photo Challenge – Photo of the Week #10

Congratulations Grace Willan, we’ll be sending a $50 Vistek Gift Card your way!

Category: Strength Photographer: Grace Willan Title: My Beauty

Category: Strength
Photographer: Grace Willan
Title: My Beauty

As the weeks wind down, we’re finding that what’s really sticking out is the diversity of your submissions. We’re honoured to have seen beautiful photos that have shown us rare glimpses of nature and humanity. It’s opening our world a little – and in turn we hope yours too. For that reason, we think that My Beauty by Grace Willan is this week’s winner, although there was definitely stiff competition. This is a photo that opens our eyes and gives us tremendous pause. Congratulations, Grace!

Congratulations are also in order for this week’s finalists Ben Von Wong and Rob Esau, best of luck in the People’s Choice Awards!

 

Category: Imagination Photographer: Ben Von Wong Title: Inspiration

Category: Imagination
Photographer: Ben Von Wong
Title: Inspiration

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Category: Tranquility Photographer: Rob Esau Title: Bamboo Forest

Category: Tranquility
Photographer: Rob Esau
Title: Bamboo Forest

We hope this week’s entries inspire you to get creative, use your imagination and get out there. Every Picture Tells a Story, so enter our challenge today to tell us yours. You could be our next featured winner and with over $13,000 in prizing, there’s so much to be won. Enter here.
Every Picture Tells a Story - Enter Here