Sunday, 23 February 2014

Storm damaged trees with Leica Monochrom and Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4

We were over on Beddgelert this weekend checking on our house after the terrible winds of last week.

Winds reached speeds of 108mph in Porthmadog only 8 miles away down the valley.

Beddgelert was hit by some huge gusts that came up the Aberglasyn valley which took the roof of the Tanronnen hotel and blew off many chimney pots, ridge tiles and slates on other houses in the village. Thankfully our house is sheltered and escaped intact.

On the drive over we had noticed lots of freshly blown over trees, some had been up-rooted others snapping dramatically. One such tree is in a field behind our house, and even though the light was poor I took the Leica Monochrom and Voigtlander Nokton out to see what I could get.

I'm really pleased with the images. The Nokton, to me at least, has a lovely look to it, I like the bokeh and the contrast and range of tones is just how I like them. 
The Monochrom files are easy to work with and the range of tones, contrast and detail in the files is beautiful.

Images processed in Lr as usual.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Leica Monochrom and Voigtlander 40mm Nokton in York

Had to go into York today. As it was decent weather (for a change!) I took the Monochrom with me.

Took a few pics as I went about my business.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Leica M Monochrom with Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f1.4 SC

After enjoying a delightful Saturday evening at the home of some close friends I left the following morning having been loaned a Leica Monochrom, to test my Nokton 40mm as my own Leica M8 was in Solms having the locked shutter repaired.

I've used the Monochrom before at the Leica Academy in Mayfair, however back then I was in unfamiliar surroundings and didn't really have time to relax into using the camera. Now, though, I had my own lenses and could work at my own pace.

The day was windy, overcast, and with frequent showers. Occasionally the clouds parted to momentarily provide a strong contrasty light. I was keen to shoot so ventured out to York Cemetery.

I was eager to see what the Nokton was like, I had purposely bought the single Coated version of this lens for a more "classic" look. One of my favourite lens was a single coated Yashica 28mm that I used on my Contax SLR back in the 80's. 

The Voigtlander is a fast lens, f1.4, so I tried to shoot at that aperture (or as close to it) as much as I could. 
Wide open the DoF is obviously very shallow so focussing is quite critical. Maybe a lightweight monopod would assist in keeping the camera in place for wide open focussing? I shall have to investigate.

Processing the Monochrom files was done in Lr and Nix as usual, apart from being mono files they are no more difficult to process that other digital camera files.

The Monochrom was set to under expose by 2/3 of a stop, this has become the recommended setting for the Monochrom. I found the files exhibited a nice dynamic range.

The Voigtlander 40mm Nokton is certainly not a lens for everyone. It definitely has a "look. When focus is correct its is nice and sharp in the centre, this falls off a little towards the edges. 
Bokeh, that difficult to define opinion dividing quality, to me at least, is very nice. Flare is visible, only to be expected really with an SC lens, but what I've seen so far has not been objectionable. It depends on the subject though.

Leica Monochrom Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f4

Leica Monochrom Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f4

Leica Monochrom Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f2.8

Leica Monochrom Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f2.8

Leica Monochrom Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f2,8

Leica Monochrom Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f4

Leica Monochrom Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f2

Leica Monochrom Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f8

Leica Monochrom Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f2.8

Leica Monochrom Voigtlander 40mm Nokton f2.8

Friday, 7 February 2014

Leica M8 shutter failure update

My M8 has gone back to Solms..
Leica UK arranged for it to be collected by courier.

Solms have acknowledged receipt of my M8.

I await their assessment..

I received an email from Customer Service in Solms saying the following:

Labour costs

repair winding mechanism

adjustment of shutter times

Carry out software adjustment

adjust range finder

clean range finder

adjustment of all parts

cleaning and end control

repair free of charge

So looks like I'm getting a fully adjusted and cleaned M8 back. Will take around four weeks due to the factory move.

What good service, I'm very pleased.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Leica M8 Shutter fault

This Saturday was the first day off I've had since Christmas when it wasn't pissing down with rain or just bloody dark, so I thought that it was the ideal opportunity to take some photos with the Voigtlander 40mm Nokton I bought at the beginning of January.

After three exposures the M8 shutter jammed, the LCD displaying the message " Shutter fault".

This is serious and it will have to go back to Leica. I have a feeling that its also going to be expensive.

I know the camera is getting on for seven years old but with only 5805 shutter actuations in that time i'm not impressed, my brother has a Canon 1Ds with 544,000 shutter actuations and its still working perfectly.

I've contacted Leica and will report back here with what happens next.