Tag Archives: Leica

Battered…

World © Geoff Wilkinson - All rights reserved

World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved

….and I’m not talking about fish. I have a pair of very old cameras, old by digital standards anyway. They are Nikon F80’s dating from around 2001, see what I mean by old. They have gathered a lot of air miles and have had a lot of film put through them. I don’t think this model was ever thought of as ‘professional’ but then again I have rarely used big heavy professional cameras.

The point of this post is that after 14 years both still work perfectly, for anyone starting out and wanting to use film they would be great. Interesting I have been looking on Amazon and secondhand they still fetch between £55 and £125 which surprised me.

The point I wanted to make was that the exterior appearance is still perfect. I have no idea what they make modern camera bodies out of, I expect I could find out with a little research, but this pair of bodies look pristine. When I was a staff photographer on the Daily Mail in the 60’s I had the original Nikon F bodies in black finish. It was amazing how quickly the black finish wore off, got scratched and scuffed in the day to day hurly burly of Fleet Street. Within a few months they looked very sad and battered, mechanically of course they worked perfectly and having a battered Nikon body with brass shining through the black was the height of professionalism, or so I thought at the time.

Have a look at my F80’s at the top of the page and then click here to see Elliott Erwitt’s Leica M3 from the 60’s and you will understand what I am talking about…which finish do you prefer..

As a point of interest you can now buy a brand new Leica, the Leica MP Correspondent designed by the singer and Leica user Lenny Kravitz. It arrives having had ‘an elaborate wearing process completely by hand has carefully rubbed, scuffed and scratched the black enamel finish away in several places on both the camera and lens to let the bright brass surface shine through’ The nostalgia almost brings a tear to my eyes but be prepared to pay $24,500 with lens for this limited edition beauty, you can click here to have a look…ah the price of the good old days…

Ferry across…

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You may have seen the picture of the River Thames and Docklands that I published a couple of days ago while waiting for this ferry. This one is taken on the Woolwich Ferry as it prepares to depart for the short trip across the river. A nostalgic trip for me but I’ll save that for another day.

I like almost everything about this photograph, there’s a lot going on, it’s full of content, lots to look at and discover. The glimpse of the jetty outside through the aperture and the splash of sunlight coming in completes it for me.

Technical info: Leica D Lux 6 handheld 24 to 90mm zoom (35mm equivalent) at about 35mm. The exposure was 1/80th of a second at f8, the iso was 200.

Waiting for the ferry…

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World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved

I took this photograph in early December last year. Living on the North side of the River Thames I am accustomed to looking at the South side, this is the reverse. It’s taken from the South side of the river looking West along the river at the North side. It’s just a quick snapshot that I took while waiting to board the Woolwich Ferry. It was the foreshore and the old pilings in the foreground contrasting with the new of the Thames Barrier and Canary Wharf in the background that appealed to me.

Technical info: Leica D Lux 6 with 24 to 90mm zoom (35mm equivalent) at 90mm. The exposure was 1/320th of a second and the aperture was f8, the ISO was 200

Tip for the week – Wait for the sun

 

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World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved

LR L1010094 copy

World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved

I really like cold, clear winter days with a blue sky and a low sun, perfect for photography.

I took these two pictures just before Christmas, it’s of Christ Church, Wanstead looking across Evergreen Field, not remarkable images in themselves but look at the difference between them, look at the light. They were taken just a minute or so apart but what a difference the sun on the church makes, look how much warmer and better the stonework looks.  It brings the whole picture alive. So whether you are shooting landscapes or cityscapes try it on a day when the sun is out, if a cloud comes along just be patient.

Tech info: Leica D Lux 6 hand held with 28 to 90mm zoom (35mm equivalent) The exposure was 1/2000th of a second with of f2.3 aperture. Both these images straight out of the Leica, no Photoshop or other adjustment.

 

Leica photography competition closes soon..

2014, one hundred years of Leica photography.

To celebrate 100 years of Leica photography the company is doubling the value of the cash prize for it’s international photography competition. The Leica Oskar Barnack Award for this year, 2014, will be 10,000 euros plus Leica M equipment with a value of a further 10,000 euros. In addition there will be an ‘emerging talent’ competition for those under 25 with a cash prize of 5000 euros plus a camera and lens.

The judging will take place in the spring of this year, the winner being selected by an international jury of experts.

Details of this competition can be found on the Leica website together with this tribute to Oskar Barnack “With this competition, Leica Camera AG pays homage to Oskar Barnack (1879-1936), who invented the Ur-Leica in 1914. From then on, he increasingly used his prototype, which became the forefather of the handy and mobile Leica cameras that first appeared in 1925 and paved the way for entirely new forms of photographic expression, for example, photojournalism.”

 

 

Happy New Year..

 

Christ Church, Wanstead as seen from the High St looking across Evergreen Field with barbed wire in the foreground.

World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved

I took this photograph a few days before Christmas. I had intended to just get a good shot of Christ Church looking across Evergreen Field, Wanstead and that worked successfully. However, as I stood reassessing as I usually do after the first photograph, I was drawn by the three strands of barbed wire across the top of the fence. For some unknown reason it stirred memories and emotions of less hospitable places and camps that I have been to in my career. Maybe it was the time of year with everyone getting ready for Christmas, I’m not sure. How lucky we are to live where we do, lets bear that in mind for 2014.

This photograph also appears today on Wanstead Daily Photo.

Technical info: Leica D Lux 6 with 24 to 90mm zoom (35mm equivalent) at 24mm handheld. The exposure was 1/125th of a second at f8, the ISO was 200.

My tip for the week – Batteries..

Leica camera battery

World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved

Not so much a tip more of a thought. There’s been a lot of news recently about the latest Nikon firmware update. It would appear that it gives a more accurate reading of battery status, the same update, so I have read, makes it more difficult to use batteries from independent manufacturers in your camera. Continue reading