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Leica M Digital Rangefinder Camera - Leica M Type 240 (Leica M10)
 
"The Girl" by © Thorsten Overgaard
   
 
   

Leica M Type 240 Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page 38

Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246  as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
Leica M10
V 1 2 3 4 5                             M10-P
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44         What if?
Leica M-D 262 1 2                        
Leica Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
A
29
B
29
C
29
D
               
Leica Q 1 Leica Q2: 1   Leica TL2: 1 2              
Leica SL 1 2 3 4 5 6 Leica CL: 1 2             Books

 

By: Thorsten Overgaard. Latest update, August 9 2019.

 

The way I use the Leica M240

Let's just say I used to be a photographer in a past life and I got to play with all this new and magic technology back then. The wooden boxes with bellows, silver salts, sparkling lenses that would capture life and light with the same detail as the best Johannes Vermeer paintings, balancing wooden tripods on dangerous mountain sides and view the world from under a black cloth.

 


The former owner of the Italian delicatessen store Salumeria Italiana in Boston, Mr. Erminio Martignetti sits most days in the store and greets cutomers, wearing a stylish hat and suit. His son and a team of very italian staff runs the business these days. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

Back when a darkroom was one of the most private places in the world and a great place to take a lady and a bottle of wine and impress with the wonders of photography while the gramophone player filled the air with waltz music.

The technical side of photography was so much more exotic back when photography was young than today where more than every second photography page on the internet is discussing pixels rather than the actual image.

 

         
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The Emotional Impact of Photography

It is often forgotten that what hits you first when you see an image, is the emotional impact. It always was, and that is why some of the greatest photographs throughout time are also not a great display of technical superiority. Nobody ever discussed how Henri Cartier-Bresson achieved such sharpness and amazing shadow details; simply because he never did achieve any of that.

 


Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2014 Thorsten Overgaard.

Technical skill alone can reach so high a level that that alone is enough to impress. But when it does, it usually boils down to the photographers skill rather than which firmware version the camera used.

There was a what the heck moment to photography back when it was pure magic that a camera could display the world upside-down on a matte screen, not to speak of the what the heck! moment many have experienced (and a few still do) when the image appear on the paper in the darkroom wet baths.

 


Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.

 

 

     
 

A Leica camera revisits its path

The Leica M240 is being re-launched in what is called a "limited run of 750 cameras", as a Leica M-E 240.

It's the Leica M240, but now in a grey-silvery version and with a 2GB buffer (as known form the M-P 240 version). The genius about this, is the price of just $3,995, making it the cheapest Leica digital camera to be launched in a long time (forever, actually). The Leica M240 silver is still available, with basicalluy the same specifications (less the 2GB buffer), but for $5,995.00..!

The genius about the re-launch of the Leica M-E 240 is the price of just $3,995, making it the cheapest Leica digital camera to be launched in a long time (forever, actually).
The genius about the re-launch of the Leica M-E 240 is the price of just $3,995, making it the cheapest Leica digital camera to be launched in a long time (forever, actually).

 
     

 

 

Today the technology of photography is no big wonder. There is not many such moments today with the few exceptions of getting the first Leica camera, seeing the first print come out of an Epson printer or viewing the first images from a brand new camera.

Mainly, what photography is about today, is making photographs. As simple as that. One should know the basics of photography and ones tools so perfectly that one can produce photographs, but the main attention should be on seeing, preserving and sharing emotions.

Emotions.

 

Napier, New Zealand, April 2013, Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

 

The Reason to Photograph

So many of my workshop students have as a fundamental reason to photograph, to preserve beauty. The number of busy people I know who take the time to buy a camera and learn how to use it, so that they may capture moments of beauty, surprises me. They are busy, and yet they take on the task of showing others beauty in the daily life that to most people is a repetition of the previous 365 days.

Why would anyone spend money and time doing that? Shouldn't it be people's own damn problem to see beauty?

 


"Home, Sweet Home" - I was waiting for someone to walk into my composition on a street picture in Boston when I turned left and saw this photo behind me. I had been walking for two hours in wet snow and my face, hair, glasses, camera and viewfinder were so wet I could hardly focus. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2014 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

         
 

Buy the new eBook
"The Freedom of Photographic Expression"
by Thorsten Overgaard

 
         
 

"The Freedom of Photographic Expression" by Thorsten Overgaard

"The Freedom of
Photographic Expression"
eBook for computer, Kindle and iPad
October 2016 (268 pages)

 

In this easy to read and apply eBook,
Thorsten Overgaard takes beginners and experienced photographers through the basics of controlling the light and the camera.
This book covers the technical side of photography from beginners level to semi-pro, features a number of photographs by Thorsten Overgaard and chapters on his philosophy on photography.

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"I've bought the new book - made a start reading it - it is really interesting.
I know it’s basic at the beginning but it isn't written in a patronizing way. I have been taking photographs for many years and have been lucky enough to be paid to take them for the last seven years; but it's always good to be taken back to the start"
P. S. (UK)

 

""Really enjoy your writing and teaching"
D. K. (USA)

"I love your insights on photography."
D.B. (USA)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

 

 

 

 

It is in photography as in most areas of life you deal with, that you are trying to help others. The fundamental reason someone would spend their whole life running a shoe store is that they fundamentally want to help others get great shoes. If you are aware that this is what you do, and you are good at it, that's happiness. If you get sidetracked and think you are selling people shoes to make money so you can buy a car, you are not really helping anyone, and that's unhappiness.

 


Istanbul 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

I think I never met a single person who had as a goal to utilize all 24,000,000 pixels on their sensor with the best dynamic range possible.

One of the things that make me happy about photography is that I can actually capture moments of hope and beauty and that I have an audience to show them to. I can share what I see and how I see it.

 


Boston portrait session, February 2014: When I was in Boston, I saw the back of a woman in a fashion store, working her big afro in a mirror. I went in and asked if I could photograph her. She wouldn't, but we talked and exchanged information. Two days later I came to get a shirt for Princess Joy and she said she knew I would come back. Her sister was there, and she said she should let me photograph her. So we agreed to meet and do it.
But then something came in the way, maybe shyness again, and it didn't happen. So I talked to her, and she agreed to come the following day before I had to leave Boston. And finally I got to shoot this shy woman who everybody turns their heads to look at on the street and quite a few has tried to capture but never succeeded. This beautiful women is 64 years old.

Leica M 240
with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

Over the years I have seen that it doesn't really matter if the moments are in black & white or color, if they are made with 3 megapixels or 37.5 megapixels. I think it is safe to say the happiness is not in the magapixels or the firmware version.

What matters is the emotional impact of the image. That is what hits me by images I stop to look at, and it is the images I sell the most of. Emotional impact.

 


Sometimes people's comments surprise me. After a long day of walking in Istanbul we stopped to zone out in a cafe. My daughter Robin Isabella stole my iPhone and sat upstairs, and I did this photo in a haze of tiredness and in an attempt to capture the light and the streetlife outside. When two people referred to "the amazing photo of Robin on her phone" as the Holy Grail and that if they could do something like that, they would be happy, I had to go back to find out which photo they talked about. It was just a snap and having been there, I would have thought of better ways of doing it. But I can also take the viewpoint of others and see what they like about it. They don't know the circumstances or what it could have been - or what I might have tried to do but didn't succeed in. They just see the photo that is, and they like it. That's all you need to know. Take a note.
Leica M 240
with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

It is also the reason I stop on the street and take a picture. Because, deep behind all the human mechanics of it, I recognized a possible moment now or in the imminent future I could preserve as a moment of hope and beauty.

Maybe the most advanced I have gotten in photography is that I have stopped wondering about what I see and stopped doubting that I saw something: I simply trust that when I have an instinct to photograph something, it may very well be exactly that. One of those moments that either will go by unnoticed and unpreserved, or one of those moments I capture that make you wonder, "How the hell did he do that?"

 

 


Sunset over the Da Vinci Bridge in Rome, Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

The long answer to a short question

The short answer is that I took the picture.

The longer answer is that I was ready, and that I took the picture. And this is how:

First of all, many photographers have a thing with hit rate and being good enough. You think some day you will be able to take 40 photos in a day that are all master shots, because that is kind of the idea you get when you look at an exhibition or a photo book and see the master shots. You somehow think they did them all on the same roll of film.

Reality is that every photographer who ever did any master shots only did a relatively few good photos and even fewer great photographs in a lifetime.

 


Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

 

     

The famous photo of the "Napalm girl" by Huynh Cong 'Nick' Ut of Associated Press was taken on June 8, 1972 with his Leica M2 and Leica Summicron 35/2 on a Kodak 400 ISO B&W film.

The photo very much changed the view on the Vietnam war, though President Nixon doubted its authencity - he thought it might have been 'fixed'.

The 9-year old girl in the photo, Phan Thi Kim Phúc, survived her burnings from the napalm bombing after 14 months in the hospital. The photographer took her to the hospital before he delivered the film to AP. She later founded an organization to help children of war.

The image won the Pulitzer Price.

 
     

 

If you look through the negatives, slides or digital files you will see plenty of photos out of focus, too over-or underexposed, empty streets (because the subject hasn't entered the frame yet or has left before the photographer pressed the shutter release button). And mainly, when you study the really great photos that define history, you will see that the photographer actually fired quite a lot pf photos of the same scene.

The napalm girl, the dying soldier, the kiss and more are all one great iconic image from a series of images.

The famous ones that aren't made from a series of images most likely was because there was no time or possibility to get more than one try.

 


Frame no 23 of 24 on a roll of film that is all about the same image. The contact print of Elliott Erwitt in the book Magnum Contact Sheets.

 

"It takes a lot of photographs to make one good one," as Elliot Erwitt says in the book Magnum Contact Sheets where one can see the 24 pictures of the same subject he took to make one good one. And he wasn't referring to only the 23 other similar pictures on the film. He was talking about all the work he did the days and years before.

I am in a period where I study photographers lives, career and business model. I notice that Henri Cartier-Bresson had a period from 1931-1934 where his images was clearly inspired by cubism and he did some really inspiring and impressive work. He seemed very enthusiastic.

Then he had a period with quite a lot of Mexican women that were mostly nude (which I guess was also an enthusiastic period. They are not generally known), then a serious political period. And then he had a period of commercial success doing portraits and reportages, but seemed less enthusiastic about it himself. And eventually he went back to painting.

 

 
1932 - Cubism   1933 - Cubism
 
1934 - Spanish  and  Mexican  women   1946 - Reportage
 
1961 - Portraits   1996 - Painting
Understanding Henri Cartier-Bresson in six seconds: From enthusiastic and able to implement advanced cubism into wordless images, then a few years with Mexican women, to the established years as a gifted portrait photographer, and finally back to his original purpose as a painter.

 

The irony being that when he finally could spit out Henri Cartier-Bresson photographs and got well paid for them, the enthusiasm was gone.

The book Henri Cartier-Bresson: "Here and Now" that went along with the 2014-exhibition in Paris of Henri Cartier-Bressons paintings, drawings, movies, poetry and photographs gives a good idea of what went on behind the scene in his life.

As an overall observation, many photographers have done some excellent work in the beginning when their eyes were fresh and mainly their enthusiasm to the medium was superior to their technical skills. And when they finally knew exactly what to do and how, they had kind of lost the enthusiasm or had forgotten what it was they originally wanted to tell.

Often great photographs happen when you are just having fun or experience happiness in life. Think of Elliot Erwitts Califiornia Kiss and how that happened?

 


Romance on Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II bridge in Rome, June 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

Maybe what you have to work on is your enthusiasm rather than technical skills. Except of course, that understanding the medium better and gaining control of a new technical skill, say getting the light right each time, is also a source for enthusiasm.

 

     
 

"I am a professional photographer by trade
and an amateur photographer by vocation."

 
  – Elliot Erwitt  

 

Not much different than a 16 year old who is too young to conquer the world but wants nothing else than exactly that. And the same guy when he is 40 and realizes he has achieved all materialistic and monetary goals, or at least somewhat can predict how well off he will be the next forty years. Nothing more to fight for, just a lot more of the same.

Pablo Picasso could be said to be an ideal. When he was in his 80's he lived and produced as if he was an enthusiastic teenager. With the experience of a lifetime.

How do you stay enthusiastic and keep creating that life spark? Wouldn't it be helpful to have a 16 year old enthusiasm, and at the same time all the experience to make it go right?

 



Wet snow and another one of those where you see the picture and just have to wait for someone to step into their place to make Charles Dickens alive. Boston, February 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. See the Story Behind That Picture: "The Boston Dazzle" for more.

 

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Reboot and be what you originally were meant to be

The interesting thing in the subjet of photography is that it doesn't follow the normal rules. You can be unexperienced and functionally illiterate when it comes to what a megapixel exactly is, how it looks and where it sits in the camera.

If you can stop worrying about all the stuff you think you need to know before you will be able to take great photographs, and just take some, it will be much easier and less frustrating.

I have yet to learn a lot more to understand what it is that makes a "good Thorsten von Overgaard photo". I will have a photo that many people like and some buy, and I have only clues as to what it is that makes it work.

In the beginning you would think sharpness, proper control of tones, the right lens and a decent camera would count. Maybe a five year cycle of introduction in some German photography school, plus a couple of years of art history in some French school would make you able to take good photos? All these things you think you need, before you can start.

But the fact of the matter is that most photographers are clueless to what worked, when they made a great photograph.

 


My son Oliver with his wife, Brittany, July 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

 

So you listen to what people say. To me, some will say, "Your pictures make me happy" and I look at my pictures and try to understand what on earth is it they see?

Others will say to me, "It's so elegant" and I look at my pictures and try to guess which ones they were referring to and what they meant by it.

After years of this, you start being able to recognize a good photo. And the awful truth is that you can't learn it in a school or by reading a book. You learn it by taking pictures.

What you realize is that the photos people like the best are usually the ones that just happened, and the ones that were the fun ones to do. The uncomplicated ones.

 


Istanbul, May 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

Staying true to your own goals

Having goals, knowing to some degree what they are, and following them honestly is the source of enthusiasm. When I try to accomplish what someone else than I think is important, my enthusiasm is less.

I am very fortunate to be able to live as an artist and do (only) what I think should be done, the way I would like to do it. The mass media is a dying race, they don't commission photographers as they did back when, and their rates reflect it. You get $8 for an image in a magazine, and the picture distribution agency takes the 70%. Which is why I stopped working with Getty Images in 2012 and pulled my archive of photos from there. They are now my own to be determined later what to use them for, and all they got is the ones they commissioned me to do.

 


Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. See the Story Behind That Picture: "The Best Hair" for more.

 

         
 

Buy the new eBook
"A Little Book on Photography"
by Thorsten von Overgaard

 
         
 

A Little Book on Photography by Thorsten von Overgaard eBook

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★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

 

It's a humorous understatement to call this
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"A Little Book on Photography".
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photography ... unconditionally!

"A Little Book on Photography"
eBook for computer, Kindle and iPad.
New release March 2017.
Intro price only $47 - 180 pages.

     
 

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Traveling with my Leica

But mainly I look ahead. I take more than 40,000 photographs a year and edit them down to somewhat 4,000 final images that I send to clients/magazines or store them in my archive. The majority of what I do is taking pictures and storing them in my archive for later use in books, articles, archive sale, exhibitions and prints.

Content is the king. You got content, you will find ways to use it. If you want to make an interesting media, website or book, you have to have content. That's why the mass media is dying; they don't create original content anymore.

So many things will happen in the future. Look where New York Times was 20 years ago, and look where they are today. In the meantime, a single photographer with a Canon has built his Humans of New York with 9 million followers on Facebook (it was 1 million 18 months ago when I stumbled into him on the streets of New York and was photographed by him) and 50,000 - 250,000 likes on each of his human stories, documenting the human condition. Curiously enought, the UN sent him out to document the everyday life of people on a 50 day portrait/reportage trip now.

 

 


I met Noor Mufeez from Kingdom of Bahrain in Rome when having lunch in Rome. I asked if she would let me do a photo, so we sat her on a chair in the middle of the street and did a few photos. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

Note that it was him and not an experienced New York Times photogarpher that was sent out on a 50 day reportage travel to ten countries to show the world. The noteworty part of the story is that he started out without any idea why, with worried parents (as is how a great idea always starts), with just an idea he wanted to pursue.

Enthusiasm!

The Times They Are A Changin'. In my book, the only fair goal to follow is your own. That's the key to enthusiasm, to doing it right and making something that might make sense to someone else now and tomorrow.

 


The Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida where The Rolling Stones originally wrote "I Can't Get No Satisfaction". July 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

 

I wish I was like you

On dark days I can look at Elliot Erwitt photos and think, "I should have more dogs and humor!". Or I can look at Helmut Newton and think, "I should have a twist of something kinky to my photos" as he always has. Or I can look at Ralph Gibson and think "I should work with nude women, shadows and textures" as he does.

In other words, I should do nude women with kinky dogs in funny situations, with interesting textures and light!

 


Istanbul, May 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

The reason this wouldn't work is that it's not original. It's something made-up and trying to be.

What works is being yourself and take the photos you see. That's what is original and unique.

What does work is inspiration. To look at the world, the coffee cup, the people and dogs passing by, the images in books, magazines and newspapers.

 


Lyle Mitchell is traveling the world with his Polaroid camera. I met him in a park in Sydney in December 2013 and took this photo of him before we got acquainted. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

Talent

Which reminds me that when I used to look at a group of photographers in my workshop the first day, I thought I could predict who would do really cool photos.

Having seen hundreds of people I can tell that you can never tell from their experience, look or attitude who does really great photos.

Sometimes they are 16, sometimes they are 80, sometimes they walk too slow, fumble and talk too much to notice what's going on around them. Some have a lot of money, some don't. Some have a background in graphic design, others have been working in a ships engine room for years.

 

A gentleman in Rome, May 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

You would think that the smart dressed graphic designer with the cool glasses would make those type of photos. But then when you see their photos, you realize the quiet guy in in the beatup sneakers did some really amazing photos.

The short answer is that they took the picture.

The longer one is that they did whatever they did, the way they do things, and photographed what they saw. As simple as that. That is factually what works. Photographing what you see.

 


"The Wind in the Willows", Italy, 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

 

Lightroom Survival Kit

 

 

 

The reason why

I try to study artists and photographers to see what their breakthrough(s) were; what incidents in their career lead to the success we later take for granted. I look at why they began, what inspired them, how they worked. What was their masterpiece(s)?

In the case of Steve McCurry his masterpiece is the Afghan Girl from 1984. For Henri Cartier-Bresson it is the jumping man at Place de l'Europe in 1932. For Elliot Erwitt it is his California Kiss from 1955. And so on, and often there are more than one masterpiece defining a career. Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece was Mona Lisa. For Paul Wolff one could say there is no single photo that is his masterpiece, his masterpiece was consistency in producing high quality photographs and building an archive of such photos (which unfortunately burned).

 


Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95

 

There is the beginning where they may discover a camera by accident, or meeting a mentor by accident. Then later comes the commercial success where some patron came an artists to support, a great magazine editor, a wealthy private collector, a company that commissioned them, or some incident happened in their life that made their career take off.

In all cases it is not the society as a collective that recognizes them, but one or a few persons that recognizes them and has the power to make them. In the case of Vivian Maier nothing such happened while she was alive; her breakthrough was when someone found her archive after she had passed and made her what she is. Few such things are planned or learned in a school; it's often coincidences.

 


Bangladesh, June 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 . See the Story Behind That Picture: "A Visit to Bangladesh" for more.

 

Wanting to look

What could be said about them all is that they wanted to look and notice things. And what more natural extension of that basic purpose than taking a camera and preserving what you see, the way you see it?

You don't have to understand what you are doing, or why. It's more important to understand and respect how unique it is and keep doing it.

 


Sign up at BH Photo right here for the free event, the New York premiere of "A Life With Leica" featuring Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

     
 

Continues on page 39 -->

"The Menu Settings of the Leica M 240"

 
     

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Leica M 240 Definitions:

 
  1:2/50 the description says. But what does it mean?
   

 

1: - Basically means 1 divided with. But why is it on the front of the lens? If you look close, a lens will often say 1:2/50mm on the front, meaning it is a 50mm lens with an f/2.0 apterture. The 1: itself is a ratio, that indicates that the aperture diameter (25mm) is the ratio of 50mm divided with 2.
It's a strange way of writing product information on modern products, but here's how it's right:
a) A lens is called a 50mm lens because there is 50mm from the sensor to the center of focus inside the lens.
b) A lens is f/2.0 when the widest opening is 50mm divided with 2 = The lens opening is 25mm in diameter at it's widest. Had it been an f/2.8 lens (1:2.8/50), the widest aperture opening would be 50mm divided with 2.8 = 17.8mm.

Aperture = The f/ stop on the camera that regulates how much light passes through the lens. On a f/1.7 lens the lens is fully open" at f/1.7. At f/2.0 the aperture inside the lens make the hole through the lens smaller so only half the amount of light at f/1.7 passes through. For each f/-stop (4.0 - 5.6 - 8.0 - 11 - 16) you halve the light. The aperture of the lens is basically the focal length divided with the f/-stop = size of the hole (28mm divided with f/1.7 = the hole is 45 mm).
ORIGIN: Late Middle English : from Latin apertura, from apert- ‘opened,’ from aperire ‘to open’.

 
  The camera in Aperture Priority Mode
   

Aperture Priority Mode. When the shutter speed dial on top of a Leica camera is set to A, it is short for “Aperture Priority” and allows the user to set a specific aperture value (f-number) while the camera selects a shutter speed to match it that will result in proper exposure based on the lighting conditions as measured by the camera's light meter. In other words, you set the aperture as priority (f/1.4 for example), and the camera calculates a shutter speed (1/250 of a second) that matches that. If you change the aperture to f/2.0 by changing the aperture ring on the lens, the camera will re-calculate the speed to 1/125 so as to get the same amount of light to hit the sensor (f/2.0 is half the light through the lens as f/1.4 and 1/125 if twice the amount of light on the sensor as 1/250).

 

  spherical (ball)
spherical (ball)
  a-spherical (non-ball)
a-spherical (non-ball)
   

ASPH = (Aspherical lens) stands for "aspheric design". Most lenses have a spherical design - that is, the radius of curvature is constant. These are easy to manufacture by grinding while "spinning" the glass. This design however restricts the number of optical corrections that can be made to the design to render the most realistic image possible. ASPH lenses (a-spherical, meaning non-spherical), however, involve usually 1 element that does *not* have a constant radius of curvature. These elements can be made by 1) expensive manual grinding, 2) molded plastic, or 3) Leica's patented "press" process, where the element is pressed into an aspherical ("non-spherical") shape. This design allows Leica to introduce corrections into compact lens designs that weren't possible before. Practically, the lens performs "better" (up to interpretation) due to increased correction of the image, in a package not significantly bigger than the spherical version.

There is another Aspherical lens manufacture technique: an uneven coating layer is applied to a spherical lens. The coating is thicker on the edges (or on the center, depending). Canon "Lens Work II" calls these "simulated" aspherical lenses. Simulated and Glass-Molded (GMo) asphericals show up in non-L Canon lenses, while the L lenses have actual ground aspheric elements.

A- means non, or without. From Latin, ex.

Sphere: ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French espere, from late Latin sphera, earlier sphaera, from Greek sphaira "ball".

     
Normal spheric lens (grinded)   ASPH (note the shape of the glass as result of pressing rather than grinding)

 

Banding = Noise in digital images. Horizontal lines in a horizontal picture (if the camera is in portrait mode/vertical, the lines will obviously be vertical). It's simply noise; the result of uncontrolled algorithms working overtime with an image the sensor really can't see because it's very dark. (If your image has vertical lines in it, it is more likely that the sensor needs remapping).


This image at 6400 ISO, underexposed and then brought up to correct exposure in Lightroom, displays banding: Horizontal lines in the image. Leica M-D 262 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.
This image at 6400 ISO, underexposed and then brought up to correct exposure in Lightroom, displays banding: Horizontal lines in the image. Leica M-D 262 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

Base ISO = The ISO the digital sensor was born with. Even a digital sensor goes from say 50 ISO to 25,000 ISO, it only has one base ISO. Any other setting is an algorithm that figures out how the image whould look if there was 64 times more light, or half the light, etc.
When you go down from Base ISO (for example 200 to 100 ISO), you can expect a decrease in quality. When you go up, the decrease is much less. For some sensors, you loose 2-3 stops by going down 1 step in ISO, but can go 8 steps up and only loose 1 stop in dynamic range. Basically, your ISO range should be from Base ISO and as far up as you can, before you see visible decrease in quality (mostly 3200 ISO - 6400 ISO).
Base ISO for Leica M9 is 160 ISO, for Leica M240 it is 200 ISO. For Leica M10 it is around 160 ISO. For Leica M Monochrom it is 320 ISO. For Leica Q and Leica Q2 it is around 100 ISO. For Panasonic Lumix S it is 200 ISO. For most Canon cameras the base ISO is around 100, for most Nikon cameras it is around 200 ISO.

 

  Barrie Gledden
  Bokeh of a Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. British composer and producer Barrie Gledden.
© 2013 Thorsten Overgaard.

Bokeh = The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens: It's a matter of taste and usually photographers discuss a 'nice' or 'pleasant' bokeh (the out-of-focus area is always unsharp, which is why the quality discussed is if one likes the way it renders or not by a particular lens). The closer you get to something, the 'more' bokeh' you get (in that the focus becomes less for the background and foreground at close distances than at long distances). ORIGIN from Japanese 'bo-ke' which mean 'fuzzines' or 'blur.'.

 

Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.Bokeh: The visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Photo at Bar del Fico in Rome. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

Camera - is today’s short name for Camera Obscura (meaning “a dark room”). Camera means Chambre and was used only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers’ rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”. In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”. Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.
Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

 

     
 

Why is it called a "camera"..?

The word Camera is today's short name for Camera Obscura (which originally means “a dark room”).

Origin of the word Obscura means "dark" or "covered", and the word Camera means Chambre and was used originally only as a Latin or alien word, actually only for Spanish soldiers' rooms, until popularized in connection with photography in 1727: “Camera Obscura”.

In 1793 the slang term “camera” was used by Sterne Tr. Shandy: “Will make drawings of you in the camera” and by Foster (1878), “The eye is a camera”.

Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.
Ibn-al-Haytham mentioned Camera Obscura in his "Book of Optics" in 1021.

The concept of Camera Obscura was described by Iraqi scientist Ibn-al-Haytham in his book, “Book of Optics” (1021) and by Leonardo da Vinci in 1500; popularized and made widely known in 1589 by Baptista Porta when he mentioned the principle in his book “Natural Magic”. Johannes Kepler mentions Camera Obscura in 1604.

Camera = chambre (room), Obscura = dark (or cover).

 
     

C = Continuous shooting (when you hold the shutter release down).

CMOS sensor (as used in Leica CL, Leica T/TL/TL2, Leica M 240, Leica M-P 240. M-E 240, Leica M Monochrom Typ 246, Leica S Typ 007, Leica SL, Leica Q, Leica Q2, Leica M10, Leica X, Leica D-Lux, etc.) = (Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) chips use transistors at each pixel to move the charge through traditional wires. This offers flexibility because each pixel is treated individually. Traditional manufacturing processes are used to make CMOS. It's the same as creating microchips. Because they're easier to produce, CMOS sensors are cheaper than CCD sensors. CMOS allow Live View and use less energy than CCD.

Contrast - The degree of difference between tones in a picture. Latin contra- ‘against’ + stare ‘stand.’

Depth - Distance between front and back. Distance from viewer and object.

 
  Lens distortion looks like this. The lines are not straight. Our eye uses distortion correction. Lens designers can design lenses so they have very little distortion, or they can make less complicated lens designs and "fix" the distortion in software.
   

Distortion = In photo optics/lenses: When straight lines in a scene don't remain straight because of optical aberration.

Lens designers can correct for distortion to a degree so the whole image field is perfect corrected and all lines remain straight. In modern lens design many designs rely on Software Distortion Correction (SDC).

The eye adjusts for distortion so we always see vertical and horizontal lines straight when we look at things. Even when you get new prescription glasses (if you use such), you will often experience distortion in your new glasses. After a few days they eyes have adjusted for the glasses and the distortion you saw to begin with is now gone. Software Distortion Correction (SDC) is far behind what the human eye can perform of adjustments. (Also see my definition on Perspective for more on the eye and optics)

DNG = Digital Negative, an open standard developed by Adobe. It is a single file that contains the raw image data from the sensor of the camera as well as date, time, GPS, focal length, settings, etc.
The alternative is a RAW file + XLM file where the RAW file contains the image information and the XML contains the rest of information about where, how and when the picture was taken.
A Camera Raw profile (that is specific for that camera) in the computer helps the software program, for example Adobe Lightroom, to translate the RAW data into the image.

A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.
A raw file (or DNG) is simply the full recording of digital data (1's and 0's) from the sensor. In the computer, the sensor data is translated into the exact colors, via a camera profile.

DOF = Depth of Field. This is how much of the image will be in focus or "acceptable sharp". The DOF is determined by the subject distance (the farther away, the larger area is sharp; the closer the focus is, the less of the lage is sharp), the lens aperture (the depth of field is narrow at f/1.4 and larger at f/5.6) and the focal length of the lens (tele lenses has very narrow depth of field whereas wide angle lenses has a wide depth of field) and film or sensor size (small-sensor cameras has a wide depth of field wheras medium format or large format cameras has a very narrow depth of field). As an example, a Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4 lens is sharp all over the focus field from 2 meter to infinity when set at a distance of 3 meters at f/3.4. The DOF scale measurement on top of the Leica lenses shows lines for each f-stop that indicates from which distance to which distance the image will be sharp. Shallow DOF is a generally used term in photography that refer to lenses with very narrow focus tolerance (which can be used to do selective focus; making irrelevant subjects in the foreground and background blurry so only the subjects of essence are in focus and catches the viewers eye).


Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm.

Dynamic range. The grade of ‘contrast range’ (or number of tones) a film or sensor, or simply a photograph, possess between bright and dark tones. The human eye is said to have a dynamic range of 10-14 ‘stops’ (but because we scan area by area and compile a concept of the overall scene, they eye is often thought to have a much higher dynamic range), Film used to have 7-13 ‘stops’ and some modern sensors have up to 15-17 ‘stops’.

EVF = Electronic ViewFinder. A viewfinder where you look at a small screen through optics/prisms. The advantage is that you see what the sensor sees. In the Leica M 240 you buy the EVF as an acessory and mount it on top in the hotshoe when you want to use it.


The EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) on the Leica SL 601.
The EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) on the Leica SL 601.

 

Exposure Bracketing = The possibility to set the camera to automatically record a series of images where the exposure is above and below what the camera measures. The idea is that at least one of the images will be correctly exposed.

f/ (f-stop, also known as aperture).

f- (focal length). Often given in mm, for example 90mm. In the past they were often given in cm or inch, for example 9.5 cm or 3.2 inch.

f-stop = the ratio of the focal length (for example 50mm) of a camera lens to the diameter of the aperture being used for a particular shot. (E.g., f/8, indicating that the focal length is eight times the diameter of the aperture hole: 50mm/8 = 6,25 mm); or the other way around, the hole is the focal length divided with 8).
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: from f (denoting the focal length) and number.
One f-stop is a doubling or halving of the light going through the lens to the film, by adjusting the aperture riing. Adjusting the f-setting from f 1.4 to f.2.0 is halving the light that goes through the lens. Most Leica lenses has half f-stops to enable the photographer to adjust the light more precicely.


The aperture blades inside the lens is clearly visible in this photo by Eolake Stobblehouse.

Flare = Burst of light. Internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. Mostly, flare has a characteristic "space travel" look to it, making it cool. Particularly in older lenses with less or no coating of the glass surfaces to suppress this, it can be a really cool effect. In newer lens designs, the coatings and overall design try to suppress flare and any reflections to a degree, so that there is seldom any flare to be picked up (moving the lens to pick up a strong sunbeam), but instead a "milking out" (or "ghosting") of a circular area of the frame; meaning simply overexposed without any flare-looking flares.

 

Sunlight creating (fairly supressed) flare in the bottom right quadrant of the image of a modern lens.

  The camera moved slightly to avoid the flare.

Older lenses with less coating, or without coating, are known to create flare that can look like this (Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II Rigid model from the 1960's). © Thorsten Overgaard.
Older lenses with less coating, or without coating, are known to create flare that can look like this (Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II Rigid model from the 1960's). © Thorsten Overgaard.

 
  A 28 mm lens has a 74° viewing angle
   

Focal length = On the Leica Q it is 28mm and originally referred to the distance from the sensor (or film in older days) to the center of focus inside the lens. Nobody uses that measurement, except those who construct lenses! For users of lenses, focal length refers to how wide the lens sees. The viewing angle, which is often given in for example 90° viewing angle for a 21mm lens, 74° viewing angle for a 28mm lens, 6° viewing angle for a 400mm lens, etc.
Each human eye individually has anywhere from a 120° to 200° angle of view, but focus only in the center.

Focus, in - Sharp and clear in appearance. Focus - “The burning point (of a lens or mirror)”. In Latin the word focus meant fireplace or hearth. The word was probably first employed outside of its Latin literal use as “the burning point of a lens or mirror” in optics, and then came to mean any central point. The German astronomer Johannes Kepler first recorded the word in this sense in 1604.

Full Frame (FF) = The size of the sensor is 24 x 36mm which is the format Oskar Barnack and Leica Camera AG invented with the first Leica that was introduced in 1925. Many other formats invented since, such as APS, APS-C and all usually refer to Full Frame ratio, by which it means what size they have compared to Full Frame.

 
  Full Frame is "king of photography"
   

The 24 x 36mm Full Frame format is so "king of photography" that it has continued to be the ideal for all cameras. Besides this, there exists Large Format cameras such as 4x5" (100 x 125 mm) and Medium Format 6x6 (60 x 60mm amongst other sizes in that area).

Hue = A color or shade depending on the dominant wavelength of red, green or blue. The word Hue comes from Swedish hy which is "skin complexion". It is independent of intensity, so often (in computer editing programs for example), Hue is an adjustment along Saturation which is (intensity of color as compared to white).

ISO = Light sensitivity of the camera sensor is given in ISO (International Organization for Standardization). It's a standard that was used in film and is now used in all digital cameras also. The base ISO for the Leica Q sensor is 100 ISO which means that this is what the sensor "sees". All other levels are computer algorithms calculating the effect as if the sensor could "see" more (hence noise at higher ISO levels).
ISO goes in steps of doubling: When the ISO is raised from 100 ISO to 200 ISO, the camera only need half the amount of light to make a picture. For each step in ISO to 400, 800, 1600, 3200, etc the light sensitivity is doubled for the sensor (and the camera sensor only need half the light of the previous ISO to record the same image).

JPEG = A standard for picture format made in the 1990's by Joint Photographic Experts Group). Mostly referred to as JPG as in L1003455.JPG which would be the name for a JPG file from the camera.

Summilux = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - normally f1.4 , "-lux" added for "light" (ie. the enhanced light gathering abilities). In the Leica Q the lens is a Summilux even it is a f/1.7 and not f/1.4.

Leica = A compound word derived from " (Lei)tz" and "(ca)mera". Apparently they were originally going to use "LECA", but another camera company already used a similar name in France, so they inserted the 'i' to prevent any confusion.

Leica Thread-Mount (LTM): Also known as M39, is the screw mounted lenses for Leica cameras. It’s a simple as that; you screw on the lens, and back in 1932, the possibility to change the lens was the big news. The M39 system was updated with the M Bayonet from 1954 for the Leica M3. The M bayonet is a quick way to change lenses and is the current mount for Leica M digital rangefinders.

Lens hood = (also called a Lens shade). A tube or ring attached to the front of a camera lens to prevent unwanted light from reaching the lens and sensor. In the past where lenses were not coated to prevent internal reflections inside the lens, the lens hood was often essential. These days where lenses are coated, the shade serves just as much as decoration and protection (bumper) as well.
ORIGIN Old English hod; related to Dutch hoed, German Hut 'hat,' also to hat.

Lens hood or Lens shade attached to the front of the lens to prevent light rays from the side to hit the optics, which could introduce unwanted light and hence reduce contrast of the image. These days where lenses are coated, the shade serves as decoration and protection as well.
Lens hood or Lens shade attached to the front of the lens to prevent light rays from the side to hit the optics, which could introduce unwanted light and hence reduce contrast of the image. These days where lenses are coated, the shade serves as decoration and protection as well. In the photo is a Leica M240 with a 50mm Summicron from the 1960's and the original ventilated lens hood.

  Bubble Level Gauge to mount onto the flash shoe.
  Bubble Level Gauge to mount onto the flash shoe.
   

Level Gauge = This is a tool in the viewfinder to see if you hold the camera 100% horizontal and/or vertical. You can turn it on in the Menu > Photo Live View Setup > Level Gauge > On.
Before level gauge was integrated as a digitized feature in modern digital camers, it was a Bubble Level Gauge / Spirit Level you put on top of the camera.
The idea is to be able to get 100% vertical and horizontal lines (because if you tilt the camera slightly, the horizon will not be horizontal, and of you tilt the camera forward or backwards, the lines of for example vertical buildings will not be vertical.

Digitized level gauger in a Leica M10-P. You tilt the camera up and down (front/back and left/right) till the level is completely straight.Digitized level gauge in a Leica M10-P. You tilt the camera up and down (front/back and left/right) till the level is completely straight.

Light = Tiny particles called photons that behaves like both waves and particles. Light makes objects visible by reflecting off of them, and in photography that reflecting off of subjects is what creates textures, shapes, colors and luminance. Light in its natural form (emanating from the sun) also gives life to plants and living things, and makes (most) people happier. So far, nobody has been able to determine exactly what light is. The word photography means “writing with light” (photo = light, -graphy = writing). Read more about light in my book Finding the Magic of Light.

Live View = This is the ability to see the image the sensor see, live, via the screen of a digital camera, or via an electronic viewfinder (EVF).

M (as in "M3", "M6", "M7" etc.)
A) The M originally stands for "Messsucher", which is German "Meßsucher" for "Rangefinder". The "3" in M3 was chosen because of the three bright line finders for the 50, 90 and 135 mm lenses. Later the numbers of the M cameras were more or less chosen to follow each other.
M-body evolution in chronologic order:
M3 - MP - M2 - M1 - MD - MDA - M4 - M5 - CL - MD-2 - M4-2 - M4-P - M6 - M6 TTL - M7 - MP - M8 - M8.2 - M9 - M9-P - MM (black and white sensor) - ME (Type 220) - Leica M (Type 240) - Leica M-P 240 - Leica M 246 Monochrom - Leica M-A (type 127, film camera) - Leica M 262 - Leica M-D 262 (without a screen) - Leica M10 - Leica M10-P.
B) M also refer to M-mount as the M bayonet that couple the Leica M lenses to the Leica M camera. Before the M bayonet the coupling between the camera and lens was screwmount.
C) M nowadays refer to the Leica M line of cameras rather than the "Messsucher".

M9
Leica M9 is a model name for the Leica M9 that was introduced on September 9, 2009 (as the first full-frame digital Leica M). It was the latest model designation using the M and a number. From their next model, Leica Camera AG introduced a new model system so each camera would simply be a Leica M but then with a model designation like Typ 240, Typ 246, Typ M-D 262 and so on. The idea was inspired from Apple who name their computers for example MacBook Pro and then it has a sub- model number designation which model it is (and which would define speed of processor, etc).



Leica M9

MACRO = Macro lens. The Leica Q2 lens can be turned to Macro which enables you to go close so as to enlarge smaller subjects. The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’

Leica Q sample photo
The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’ Leica Q in Macro mode, 1ii ISO, f/2.8, 1/500 second. © 2015 Thorsten Overgaard.

Mandler, Dr. Walter (1922 - 2005)
Legendary Leica lens designer and CEO of Ernst Leitz Canada (ELCAN) 1952-1985. Read more in Leica History.

Dr. Walter Mandler (center) at the Ernst Leitz Camera factory.
Dr. Walter Mandler (center) at the Ernst Leitz Camera factory.

Megapixel (or MP) - Millions of pixels. See pixel further down. How many units of RGB is recorded by a given sensor by taking height x widt. A Leica M10 delivers a 5952 x 3968 pixel file = 23,617,536 piexls. On a screen the resolution you choose determines the size of the image. Say you have a 5000 pixel wide file and your screen is set for 8000 pixels wide. Then the image will fill only the 5000 pixels fo the 8000 and the rest will be empty, If you then change the screen resolution to 5000 wide, the image would be able to fill out the whole screen.

Meßsucher = (rangefinder or distance finder) = Mess = range, sucher = finder. It is always correctly written with the "ß". There are technically not three "s", rather the "ß" and one "s" because it is a word constructed by the combining of two precise words.

mm = millimeter(s), as in a 50mm lens. (Earlier in lens history lenses focal length was given in cm = centimeters; as in a 5 cm lens). For anyone used to centimeters and millimeters, it’s no wonder. But if you grew up with inches, feet and yards, you may have had a hard time grasping what a 50mm lens was. But as lenses were designed first in Europe, the metric system with centimeters and millimeters was used to describe lenses.
The reason a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens is that there is 50mm from the focus plane (the film or sensor) to the center of focus inside the lens. When photography was a young subject, it was engineers who made it all, and the users were expected to understand. The engineers were so into the making of the lenses, that it apparently never dawned upon them that today’s users would think of a 21mm lens as a wide angle lens rather than a lens where there is 21mm from the sensor to the center of focus inside the optics.

No.
Number, on this site Leica catalog numbers or order numbers. Some the numbers changed depending on the number of cams in the lens: The Elmarit-R f2.8/135mm started life as No. 11 111, however when fitted with 2 cams for the SL became No. 11 211, yet another No. for the 3 cams lens and a fourth number for 3 cam only at the end of its life. Number changes also applied to M lenses depending on whether they were screw-thread, bayonet or for M3 with “spectacles”. Thus the No. in the Thorsten Overgaard Leica Lens Compendium list is a guideline but not a comlete list of existing catalog numbers.

Noctilux = Also known as "King of the Night" because "Nocti" means Night and "Lux" means Light. The f/1.0 lenes from Leica are named "Noctilux". The first Leica Noctilux lens was the 50mm Noctilux f/1.2 which shortly after it's introduction was improved to the 50mm Noctilux f/1.0. In the current model the f-stop has been improved further to f/0.95.
"Noctilux" refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f1.0 . "Nocti" for nocturnal (occurring or happening at night; ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from late Latin nocturnalis, from Latin nocturnus ‘of the night,’ from nox, noct- ‘night.), "lux" for light. The Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 is famous for enabling the photographer to take photos even there is only candleligts to lit the scene. See the article "Noctilux - King of the Night"

The Noctilux "King of the Night" lens. From left the 0.95 in silver (same on the camera, in black, the f/1.0 in the back and the rare and expensive first model, the f/1.2 in the front.
The Noctilux "King of the Night" lens. From left the f/0.95 in silver (same on the camera, in black), the f/1.0 in the back and the rare and expensive first model, the f/1.2 in the front.

ND = Neutral Density filters are grey filters that functions as 'sunglasses' for lenses. They simply block the light so that a lens can work at for example f/1.7 in sunshine.

Neutral Density filters
ND (Neutral Density) filters to put in front of lenses to reduce the amount of light that comes in. They don't have any other effect than that and doesn't change contrast, color or anything.

Optic = Eye or vision. From French optique or medieval Latin opticus, from Greek optikos, from optos ‘seen.’

Oufro (model 16469Y)
An original Leitz Extension Ring (produced 1959-1983 as part no. 16469). Used with Oubio for all the longer (125mm+) Visoflex lenses and without OUBIO for 35/50mm. OUFRO can be stacked for greater magnification and will work on the Leica M Type 240 as macro for all lenses (including the Noctilux, 90mm APO-Summicron and even 21mm lenses).

The OUFTO on Leica M Type 240The OUFTO on Leica M Type 240 with Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

Perspective - The way objects appear to the eye; their relative position and distance. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of perspective (also see Three-dimensional). A wide angle "widens" the perspective and makes objects further away appear smaller than they are to the eye; and objects closer, relatively larger than they are to the eye. A tele lens will "flatten" the perspective and often objects further away will appear relatively larger than close objects than they are in real life. A 50mm lens is the one closest to the perspective and enlargement ratio of the human eye.

 

Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the people walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Perspective is relative position and distance. As here where the girl in front is more than two times taller than the people walking, and 8 times taller than the people in the far background. Also, the parts of the buildings closer to the viewer are "taller" than the parts of the same building further away. Late afternoon sun in Denmark. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 
  Vanishing points are the points where lines meet. This is how you make perspective in paintings and drawings (and some times make movie sets or theatre stages appear more three-dimensional than they are)
   

Painters works with vanishing points, which is where the lines meet, so as to create an illusion of perspective and three-dimensional effect on a two-dimensional painting or drawing.

The human eye corrects for perspective to an extreme degree. We always see vertical lines vertical and horisontal lines horisontal: The eye has a angle of view equivalent to an 8mm wide angle lens, a size ratio equivalent to a 50mm lens and we focus on relatively small area of the viewing field - one at the time. Three things happens that are worth paying attention to:

1) We compile areas of our view that we focus on, to one conceptual image that "we see". Ansel Adams, the great American landscape photographer pointed out that a large camera used for landscape photography capture every detail in focus and sharp so you can view it in detail after; but the eye does not see everything in focus when you try to compose the landscape photography, the eye scans only one part at a time and stitch the idea together. This makes composing or prevision of a landscape photography challenging.

2) We compile areas of our view that we individually adjust the exposure of. A camera adjust the exposure of the whole image frame to one exposure. That's why what looks like a nice picture to the eye of houses in sunshine with a blue sky above, becomes a photograph of darker buildings with a bright white sky: The camera simply can't take one picture that compare to what we "compiled" with our eyes, adjusting for each type of light.

3) Objects (on a table, for example) in the bottom of our viewing field will appear 100% perspective corrected - to a degree that it is impossible to correct in optics, with or without software correction. A wide angle lens, even with little distortion, will exaggerate the proportions of the closet part so it - to the eye - looks wrong.

 

Perspective distortion: Comparing these two photographs you can see how the cup stretches in the 28mm wide angle photograph compared to the 50mm photograph. Both actually has a little stretch because both the cup is in the edge of the frame in both photographs. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Perspective distortion: Comparing these two photographs you can see how the cup stretches in the 28mm wide angle photograph compared to the 50mm photograph. Both actually has a little stretch because both the cup is in the edge of the frame in both photographs. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

Pixel - Made up word from Pix (picture) and el (element). A pixel is the smallest full-color (RGB) element in a digital imaging device. The physical size of a pixel depends on how you've set the resolution for the display screen. The color and tonal intensity of a pixel are variable, meaning that each pixel contains RGB. This is different from a camera sensor's small eyes (photosite) that are an intensity of either red, green or blue. You could say that the digital sensor's photosite (where each unit collects just one color; red, green or blue) is the input technology, whereas the pixels on a screen (where each pixel contains red, green and blue) is the output device. So while sensors are measured in megapixels (mega = million), it's their output unit of pixels, and not the input unit of photosites that is measured and stated. See illustration below.

Here's an illustration of how light goes into photosites that each record either R, G or B and then - combined - makes up one pixel containing RGB. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Here's an illustration of how light goes through a color filter that enables the underlying photosites to each record if it';s an R, G or B color - combined - makes up one pixel containing RGB. © Thorsten Overgaard.

RF
(R)ange (F)inder - the mechano-optical mechanism which allows M Leicas to focus.
Alternative meaning - RF is also shorthand for Hexar RF , Konica's motorised "M-lens-compatible" rangefinder camera released in 2000.

S = Single image. When the ring by the shutter release on top of the camera (or in the menu of a digital camera in case it does not have this ring on the ourside) is moved from OFF to S, the camera takes only one photo at the time (Single). The other possibility is Continuous where the camera takes pictures continiously as long as the shutter release button is helt down. (see above).

Saturation: How colorful, intense or pure the color is. Less saturation would be less colorful, more saturation would be more colorful. In today’s photography, de-saturating a photo on the computer will gradually make it less and less colorful; and full de-saturation would make it into a black and white photo.

A photo from Verona, Italy de-saturated, normal saturated and over-saturated. © Thorsten Overgaard.
A photo from Verona, Italy de-saturated, normal saturated and over-saturated. © Thorsten Overgaard.

Sensor = A device that detects a physical property (like light) and records it. A camera sensor is a plane plate with thousands of small “eyes” with (photosites) a lens in front of each (CFA, Color Filter Array), which each individually records the amount of red, green and blue light rays that comes through the lens. Together, Red, Green and Blue form all colors of the spectrum, which becomes a pixel. Sensor comes from Latin sens- ‘perceived’.

Shutter speed dial - The dial on top of the Leica M where you can set the shutter speed manually. It can also be set to A which stands for Aperture Priority (where the camera suggests a shutter speed; or when you move the dial away from A, the camera will show arrows in the viewfinder, suggesting which direction to change the Aperture to, to get the correct exposure).

SDC (Software Distortion Correction): In Lightroom the correction profile for the Fujinon 23mm is applied automatically and cannot be turned off. If you go into Develop mode in Lightroom and look under Lens Correction > Profile, you will see a message in the bottom with an exclamation mark. When you click on that, you get the message above.
Shutter speed dial set to 1/1000 of a second.

SLR = Abbreviation for Single-Lens Reflex; the lens that forms the image on the film/sensor also provides the image in the viewfinder via a mirror. The Leica Q has no traditional viewfinder and no mirror. the image seen in the EVF is what the sensor sees.

Summicron = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/2.0 . There are many guesses how this name came about, a popular one being that the "summi" came from "summit" (summit means the highest point of a hill or mountain; the highest attainable level of achievement) while the "cron" came from "chroma" (ie. for colour). Not so: The name (Summi)cron was used because the lens used Crown glass for the first time, which Leitz bought from Chance Brothers in England. The first batch of lenses were named Summikron (Crown = Krone in Deutsch). The Summi(cron) is a development from the orignal Summar (the 50mm f2.0 lens anno 1933). Vario-Summicron, Vario-Elmarit is Leica Camera AG's name for zoom lenses, for example the Vario-Summicron f/2.0 as the one that is on the Leica Digilux 2.

Summilux = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f1.4 , "-lux" added for "light" (ie. the enhanced light gathering abilities). In Leica terminology a Summilux is always a f/1.4 lens and a Summicron is a f/2.0 lens. In the Leica Q2 the lens is f/1.7 but is called a Summilux because it is closer to f/1.4 than f/2.0.

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. In photography and lens design, three-dimensional effect is also the perception of even small micro-details; the texture of skin can appear flat and dead or three-dimensional and alive. Also, selective focus (foreground and background out of focus) can change the perception of depth. Also see Perspective.

Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Three-dimensional = Having the three dimensions of height, width and depth. Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Leica TL2 with Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

Ventilated Shade - A shade is a hood in front of a lens that provides shade from light going straight onto the lens from outside what you are photographing, which could cause internal reflections like flare, which would make the picture less contrasty.
The ventilated shade has holes so it doesn't obstructs the view from the viewfinder. In many of today’s mirrorless cameras where there is no viewfinder looking ver the lens, so there is no actual need for a ventilated shade; but they are considered classic or vintage looking and are still in high demand. It makes no difference for the purpose of the shade (to create shadow) if it is ventilated or not.


Ventilated Shade for the Leica Q. I make ventilated shades for most lenses and sell them from here.

Viewfinder = a device on a camera showing the field of view of the lens.
1) A built-in viewfinder in a camera that simply show the frame you get when you look through the viewfinder.
2) A rangefinder viewfinder which is also used to focus the lens. In Leica M cameras two pictures has to meet and lay 'on top of each other' for the picture to be in focus.
3) An external viewfinder, usually on top of the camera in the flash shoe, so as to show the field of view of lenses wider than what the built-in viewfinder can show (15mm, 21mm, 24mm, 28mm etc viewfinders exist)
4) Very simple "aiming-devices" on top of a camera that is simply a metal frame without any optics. Just a frame, as for example very old cameras (the original Leica), or when using cameras in diving where you can't look through the camera.
5) A Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) that shows what the sensor sees "live".

 

   
   

 

– Thorsten Overgaard, August 19, 2014

   

 

Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246  as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
Leica M10
V 1 2 3 4 5                             M10-P
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44         What if?
Leica M-D 262 1 2                        
Leica Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
A
29
B
29
C
29
D
               
Leica Q 1 Leica Q2: 1   Leica TL2: 1 2              
Leica SL 1 2 3 4 5 6 Leica CL: 1 2             Books

 

leica.overgaard.dk
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica M10   Leica Q full-frame mirrorless
Leica M10-P   Leica CL
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica TL2
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder   Leica Digilux 1
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Sofort instant camera
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder   Leica CM 35mm film camera
Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder    
     
Leica M lenses:   Leica SLR cameras:
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica SL 2015 Type 601 mirrorless fullframe
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica SL and TL lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4    
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0    
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica R lenses:
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 180mm R lenses
    Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leica Cine Lenses:   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
     
     
History and overview:   Leica S:
Leica History   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica Definitions   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica S digital medium format
Leica Camera Compendium    
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   "Magic of Light" Television Channel
    Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
     
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Which Computer for Photographers?   Lightroom Survival Kit (Classic)
What is Copyright? Advice for Photogarphers   Lightroom Presets
Synchronizing Large Photo Archive with iPhone   Capture One Survival Kit
Quality of Light   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Lightmeters   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
White Balance & WhiBal   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "A Little Book on Photography" eBook
All You Need is Love   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
X-Rite   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
The Origin of Photography    
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   Leica M9 Masterclass (video course)
Leica OSX folder icons   Leica M10 Masterclass (video course)
    Leica M240 Masterclass (video course)
    Leica Q Masterclass (video course)
Bespoke Camera Bags by Thorsten Overgaard:   Leica TL2 Quick Start (video course)
"The Von" travel camera bag   Street Photography Masterclass (video course)
"Messenger" walkabout bag    
"24hr Bag" travel bag   Thorsten von Overgaard oin Amazon:
"The Von Backup" camera backpack   "Finding the Magic of Light"
     
     
Leica Photographers:    
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
Douglas Herr   Milan Swolf
Vivian Maier  
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston   Richard Avedon
     
The Story Behind That Picture:   Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram
More than 200 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Join the Thorsten Overgaard Mailing List
Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Thorsten Overgaard on Twitter
    Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook
Leica Forums and Blogs:    
Leica M10 / M240 / M246 User Forum on Facebook   Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog
Jono Slack   Leica Camera AG
Steve Huff Photos (reviews)   Leica Fotopark
Erwin Puts (reviews)   The Leica Pool on Flickr
LeicaRumors.com (blog)   Eric Kim (blog)
Luminous Landscape (reviews)   Adam Marelli (blog)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   The Leica User Forum
Ken Rockwell (reviews)   Shoot Tokyo (blog)
John Thawley (blog)   I-Shot-It photo competition
     
 
 
The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:    
Hardware for Photography   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
Bespoke Camera Bags and Luxury Travel Bags   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade E46 for old Leica 35mm/1.4 lens
Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
Mega Size Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
Mega Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
Medium Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Small Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade E39 for 50mm Summicron lenses
Commisioning Thorsten Overgaard Worldwide   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarit-M
Video Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   Ventilated Shade E49 for 75mm Summicron
Home School Photography Extension Courses   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
Artists Nights   Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated Shade E60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
 


Above: "The Girl", Copenhagen, Denmark, June 2013.
Leica M Type 240 with Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 .
© 2013-2014 Thorsten Overgaard.


 

Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.

 

Leica M Type 240 Firmware update

Camera Raw 7.4 Beta and later
(with Leica M support)

Feel free to join the
Leica M Type 240 User Group
on Facebook

Leica M9 & Leica ME firmware

Leica MAGIC on Flipboard
curated by Ole-Arild Svendsen

 


Thorsten von Overgaard.
Photo by Mario Sixtus.

 

The photos on this page have been edited in Adobe Lightroom 3.6 and few or none have been adjusted further in Photoshop. To read more about my workflow, visit the page of my "Lightroom Survival Kit".

 

 

Also visit:

Overgaard Photography Workshops
Von Overgaard Gallery Store
Ventilated Shades by Overgaaard
Leather Camera Straps
Camea Bags
Calfskin Camera Pouches
iPad and Computer Clutches
Leather Writing Pads
Books by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica Definitions
Leica History
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon f/3.4
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25
Leica 90mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz Cine lenses
7artisans 50mm f/1.1
Leica Digilux 2

Leica M10
Leica M10-P
Leica M10-D
Leica M9, M9-P and Leica ME
Leica M 240
Leica M 240 for video
Leica M 262
Leica M-D 262
Leica M Monochrom
Leica M 246 Monochrom

Leica SL
Leica SL2
Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica R9 dSLR
Leica Q
Leica Q2
Leica CL
Leica TL2
Leica Sofort
Leica S digital medium format
Leica X
Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Which computer to get
Sync'ing photo archive to iPhone
Lightroom Survival Kit
Lightroom Presets by Overgaard
Capture One Survival Kit

Capture One Styles by Overgaard
Signed Original Prints by von Overgaard
The Story Behind That Picture
"On The Road With von Overgaard"

Von Overgaard Masterclasses:
M10 / M9 / M240 / Q / TL2 / S1R /

 

 


Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
advice, ideas or improvements.

 

 

 


 

 


 

 






 

Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong

 

Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong

 

Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong

 
           
  · © Copyright 1996-2019 · Thorsten von Overgaard


 

© 1996 - 2019 Thorsten von Overgaard. All rights reserved.

 

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