Leica 25mm for m4/3 and Panasonic GF-3

News from the micro Four Thirds front:

Panasonic GF-3: more compact than the GF-2, still no viewfinder, even more stripped down:
DC Resource previewDPReview
In July 2011 with the 14mm f2.5 for USD$699. August for USD$599 with a kit zoom.

Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4 DG: fast sharp “standard” lens:
DC ResourceDPReview
Price unknown, for August 2011.

Vivian Maier

On Mother Jones: The Best Street Photographer You’ve Never Heard Of:

Four years ago, a Chicago real estate agent stumbled upon a box of negatives. Little did he know that he’d discovered Vivian Maier

See alsoThe Secret City of Vivian Maier.

Vivian Maier was still living at the time of the purchase, Maloof didn’t know, nor did he know what her name was until he dug more in the archives. Only recently her work started being shown after being cataloged and processed.

It is the ordinary story of a nanny that filmed, photographed and documented life. She was a private person and seen through her passionate eyes we discover New York and Chicago in the 50’s and onward.

About the Maloof Collection:

The vast scope of the archive is impressive. It consists of more than 100,000 negatives, over 3,000 prints, hundreds of rolls of film, home movies, audio tape interviews, and various other items, representing roughly 90 percent of Vivian’s work.

Ricoh GR-D III for street photography

Using the Ricoh GRIII For Street Photography: A Review by Eric Kim (from The Phoblographer):

Without spoiling anything, it is truly the best compact camera for street photography, and everybody who is serious about shooting in the streets should have one. Keep reading to read my in-depth review of the Ricoh GRIII digital.

I have a GR Digital II which is almost the same. The Ricoh GR Digital series have a lot of fans. I believe this family of camera is greatly underrated, maybe because it does not have a zoom making it some sort of pariah for consumers. I have yet to get myself on using it in that situation having used the E-P1 more often. Maybe soon for a more complete review.

Fuji FinePix X100 – some reviews

Previously I was wondering if there was a camera renouveau. The highly anticipated Fuji FinePix X100 could be one of the contenders with its innovative viewfinder. The problem is that following the earthquake in Sendai, the Japanese production of cameras in Japan has suffered, making the X100 harder to find. This does not seem to stop the enthusiasm.

Nonetheless, people still start getting their hands on it. No later than last week I saw one at a local camera store, unfortunately no demo model. Here is a couple of recent reviews:

Steve Huff ask “Does it live up to the Hype?”. Steve Huff is a Leica M9 shooter but will compare the X100 to the Leica X1 which is must closer.

[…] those who want the X100 are looking for something fresh, new, exciting, small and classic. As I recently found out for myself, the X100 is all of that and more.

His perspective is from the photographer taking pictures, and the result. He answered the question positively.

DCResource with their usual format will go through all the usual details and review all the features in the camera. You can compare images between their other tests, and doing this between the X100 and the Olympus E-P1 is making me drool even more.
Their conclusion:

All things considered, the Fuji FinePix X100 is a very impressive fixed lens camera, and I imagine that they’ll sell a boatload of them, despite the price. It offers superb photo quality, good performance (in most respects), a rangefinder-style body with a one-of-a-kind viewfinder, and plenty of manual controls. The camera does have its issues, mostly related to buffer memory and the user interface, but for a first generation camera, Fuji has done a great job.

Previously, in case you missed these:

12 film cameras to watch

Popphoto has an article about 12 film cameras worth buying right now.

The tragedy in Japan has made the current DSLR market a scary place, making this a perfect opportunity to get (back) into film.

Their list (in alphabetical order):

  • Bronica SQ/SQ-A
  • Canon EOS 1N
  • Canon AE-1
  • Fujifilm GA645
  • Hasselblad 500c/500cm
  • Leica R-series
  • Mamiya 645 Pro
  • Nikon FM10
  • Nikon N80
  • Pentax 67
  • Pentax K1000
  • Ricoh GR-1

It seems to cover all the bases from medium format, compact to reusing lenses from your DSLR. But the most awkward in the list is the FM10 as I think they should have recommended an older model instead, one solidly built. Also notably absent are TLR or 35mm rangefinders like a Bessa.

What is interesting to see is that Ricoh is still in the same line of products with their Ricoh GR-Digital: highly praised compact camera.

Aerial Photography

Luminous Landscape as a very quick writeup on aerial photography by Jason Hawkes:

I first took to the skies back in 1990. Having just finished three years studying photography in London I really wanted to become a studio photographer after finding a passion for shooting on 5×4 plate cameras.

I happened to go flying one weekend in a weight shift ultralight aircraft, and whilst the the flying part was pretty fun what I really fell in love with was the amazing patterns you could see from 700ft.

Two weeks later I naively handed in my notice to the studio I was assisting in and, with the help of a bank loan, brought a microlight of my very own.

If you have ever read Earth from Above by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, one of the most famous published work, you’ll understand what this means.