Let's talk about the weather. People often ask about weather sealing, and my answer is that I have taken my Leica's out in rain, sand storm and snow, and they've always survived. More or less.
In other words, the question is not if the camera can deal with the rain, but if you as the photographer can. Hence, I made this article on how to make art out of bad weather, and the importance to take chances.
(Warning: Also, this article is an account of camera abuse of different Leica camera models).
New from Thorsten Overgaard:
"Leica M10 Video Masterclass"
Enjoy this easy to use video class with
Thorsten Overgaard going over the Leica M10. More than one hour one-on-one with Thorsten on the camera, the menu, shooting outside, focusing and more.
For computer, iPad and smartphone. More info.
Leica M10 Masterclass
100% satisfaction or 100% return.
Order Now . Instant delivery!
Being smart with the Leica M10, maybe wasn't that smart
Recently I decided to drench my Leica M10 in water. Photographer Ray Kachatorian in Los Angeles and I had talked about for some time that I should come by his studio for some portraits. Besides traveling the world photographing, he has his portrait project where he invites people to his studio and does their portraits. You can follow his adventures on his @ray_kachatorian Instagram.
I had recently bought an oilskin hat in New York when it had been raining really badly. You can't really use an umbrella in the rain when you are photographing (more on that, later), but a large hat was a good idea. And it worked, too.
Amongst other things, I brought that hat with the idea to recreate the day I had walked in New York in pouring rain. Ray wasn't that happy about the idea of water and cameras, he looked like he suffered physical pain from the idea. But he eventually played along and we filled a large water bottle with water and then we went on with the project.
It was fun, and got very wet from top to bottom, inside and out, as we made several attempts. As I had stated, the camera could handle it. It's a Leica, after all.
How to dry a wet camera
1. Put the camera in a box with (unopened) fresh rice and wrap the box so it is sealed. The camera is covered in rice.
2. I left the box for almost 24 hours on a table inside, then I put it out in the sun for a couple of hours to warm up the process.
3. When the box was "steaming of humidity" inside it, I took out the camera.
4. I opened the camera as much as possible and left it in the warm sun for the last humidity to boil off..
How to dry a wet Leica M10
A day later I picked up the Leica M10 from the table and went outside. When I had come home from Ray, I had wiped the camera on the outside, like I would if I had been in rain or snow, and then I had taken out the battery and left it on the table without bottom plate. To let eventual dampness get out.
I took a few photos, and as expected the Leica M10 worked flawlessly. But then after a few photos, the shutter wouldn't work properly. I took off the lens, and then I could see that there was actually quite some frightening large water drops on the sensor which was visible as the shutter was stuck. To be frank, it looked as if the inside of the camera was full of water.
Having never been a boy scout, I got help from the maid who provided me with a large box of fresh rice, and then she wrapped the whole thing in plastic. The idea is that the rice will suck up humidity, and if you don't isolate the rice from the environment, it will suck up the humidity in the air as well.
I left it like that the rest of the day and night, and next morning I put the whole box outside in the sunshine as I thought some heat would help the process.
A couple of hours later the box was all wet inside, the humidity was standing on all sides of it. I opened it and the rice was quite wet, whereas the camera was quite dry and warm to touch.
I could still see a little bit of fog inside the viewfinder, so I took off everything and left the camera as open as possible in the sun, and then I waited a couple of hours again.
The final stage of saving my Leica M10: Leaving it all open in the hot sun. I could follow how the viewfinder showed a little moist, then more, and then finally it had all left the camera.
A Leica never dies
I told you. Of course, a Leica can get wet and keep working. I put on a lens, inserted a battery and it was fine. The sensor needed a cleaning though.
I'll admit I had my doubts a few times if this would be the case this time. I had engaged in it in the spirit of play, to hell with it if something really happened, and apart from worrying how I could get another camera if this one failed, I thought it was quite a fun thing to do.
And I got a great photo from it.
Thorsten Overgaard by Ray Kachatorian. Hasselblad with 80mm and Phase One P45 CCD back.
The Noctilux was fine
Leica never specified that their Leica M lenses are weather sealed. Technically they aren't, but they are so tight in tolerances that they effectively keep out sand, water and snow.
I've seen (or heard would be a better word in this case) Leica R lenses that had gotten sand in the focusing mechanism after sand storms in the Middle East. Where London has a fog hanging over the city, they have sand hanging in the air almost every night. It just gets in everywhere and while it is not pleasant to listen to the sand grinding inside the lens when you focus, it doesn't affect the pictures.
I've been at it before. When in Bali with my Leica SL, I decided to test the weather sealing of theLeica SL and the lenses. I wouldn't do this with a Leica M lens, but the Leica SL lenses are perfectly sealed for rain and sand.
I have never experienced a Leica M lens with water or humidity inside it, except one time in London. A 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 lens (not mine) had gotten some humidity inside it and was blocked by fog. What do you do? Well, you can't really do anything but wait till it's gotten out again. In this case, it took a full day standing on a table inside to evaporate from inside the lens. It's hard for it to get in, and evidently also very hard for it to get out.
When there was a snow storm in New York in 2016, I went out in the middle of the night to catch the first chaos, and again the following days to get more of it. You can't photograph a snowstorm without getting into it.
I've been fortunate to experience the 2010 and the 2016 blizzards in New York first hand, and it's been equally rewarding each time.
I never feared to ruin a camera, and I never feared to get one stolen. Most likely that is why it never happened to me.
If you have considerations that you carry an expensive camera and that someone might steal it? Get rid of them - I use it normally - most people don't know anyway.
You are afraid that you migth damage the camera? It's possibl, I drop mine on the floor "all the time". But Leica M cameras and lenses are hand-made, and as such they can be repaired with new spare parts, not in some xotic repair facility, but in the factory that assemled them in the first place. It's not even expensive (in the view of someone who can afford a $7,000 camera and a $4,000 lens). I've had front lenses replaced at prices from $250 to $550 after they had been hit and scratched. I've had the front tubes and lens shades of Leica lenses replaced (after I dropped them on the floor) for $50 to $200. My Noctilux has been repaired four times and my precious 35-70mm Leica R Zoom (the rare one that cost $12,000) had the front replaced twice.
If I had kept them safe, nothing of this would have happened. With nothing, I refer to both the repairs and the pictures I made.
My precious Leica M9 showing some usage. This one had the bottom plate and part of the body replaced. So far it has taken 140,000 pictures.
Rain is photography weather
It's fairly annoying when it rains, but it can make some great photographs. I wouldn't bring an umbrella, unless I had a plan for how to use it. For one particular photo, for example. You need both your hands for photography, and you need to be able to move with speed.
Walking in the rain in a city, you can often find shelter for the worst rain, and dress for the rest. A jacket that can hold out the most of the wetness, and eventually a hat made for rain.
I'll have a microfiber cloth or something similar I can use to dry off the camera from time to time, and I'll have the camera on the side with my arm resting over it when I don't use it. It works pretty well.
Also, rain causes some chaos, or at least different scenes and possibilities. In Shanghai, traffic breaks down when it rains. In Los Angeles, a little rain results in the chaos that a snow storm with 6 feet of snow in Norway would. In all places, people behave differently when it rains.
If one notices, it's not easy to photograph falling rain, even when it is raining heavily. You may see a few drops around the headlights and such, but in the overall you only see rain in pictures if you put strong light behind so the scene gets backlit, and shoot at very slow shutter speed so you get lines of rain. And even that usually doesn't show the rain you experienced.
The point is that you use reflections of wet surfaces to show that it rains, or that it's wet.
To communicate rain and wetness in a photograph, you usually have to go down and photograph from a low level to capture the reflections. I will also usually try to shoot against the light to get more dramatic reflections, high contrast and edge light.
It's given that after a really good amount of rain - thunder preferably - the light and colors will look amazing. My favorite light is when the light comes from "a large panorama window from the side", and after thunder the sky is dark, with the light coming from the horizon.
"I have just been reading your eBook last night, which opened my eyes for more than
I have been thinking about before. You have a great sensitivity that I feel
connected with, and I enjoyed every word."
"I am reading your book, Finding the Magic of Light. Exactly what I crave."
"I find your books very helpful and thought-provoking."
"A must have. Personally useful for street photography."
In this easy to read and apply eBook, Thorsten Overgaard takes you on a journey to see, understand and simply use light.
"One of the most important ways to get an aesthetic and pleasant picture is to find the good light."
"Finding the Magic of Light"
New 2nd edition (April 2015)
eBook for computer and iPad. (87 pages) Only $47
Order now - Instant delivery. (Note: If you bought the first edition of this book, this new edition is free. Simply send an e-mail for your free update).
A little rain is not the end of the world
Next time it rains, take your camera and get out and about. It's fun, and you will get unusual pictures. The camera will get wet, but it will get dry again.
When I was using the Leica M9 back in 2011, I had an one hour long photo session in London where it was really raining. It was part of the model shoot that there was rain, so there was a point be be in the rain with the camrea. But it was more of an Italian heavy rain than the normal London rain.
That caused the shutter release to be sticky for two days. The shutter release would work, then not work. For the next two days I just had to expect that the camera would take oictures only half the time I pressed the shutter (so I pressed to twice as many times than normally).
After those two days, it was back to normal. I've been told Nikon's will have the same, and the shutter release on the Leica M9 was the same model as the Nikon. The Leica M10 is a different model of shutter release.
Leica film cameras in the rain
I rememeber once - also in London of course! - where I had to photogrpah in heavy rain for about an hour. Back then in 2006 I was using a film Leica R8, a film Leica M4 and a Panasonic DMC-L1 (the sister camera to Leica Digilux 2). Everything went fine, and I was out and about for several hours after this event. Where the film cameras were fine, the Panasonic DMC-L1 never woke up again after a night in the photo bag.
Whether it was the rain, or the saulty sensor, I will never know. Panasonic replaced the sensor under the warranty program, and then the camera worked again (the Leica Digilux 2 and Panasonic DMC-L1 both used faulty Sony sensors that would go black, and a replacement program was in place for year where Sony paid for free replacement of sensors that caused the camera's to go black).
I won't get into that in this article. But here is an overview of the different models. Currently Leica Camera AG offers some discounts on Leica M 240 with lenses that might make that camera the choice while Leica M10 is on waiting list.
2.4 MP Typ 0020 Visoflex with GPS device.
Leica M10 and Leica M10-P
Digital Rangefinder Camera Specifications
Leica M10 & M10-P Imaging Specifications:
Leica M bayonet
Full-Frame (1x Crop Factor)
Effective: 24 Megapixel
5976 x 3992
24 x 36 mm
Image File Format
Leica M10 & M10-P Exposure Control Specifications:
Auto, 100 to 50000
1/4000 to 8 Seconds
1/4000 to 125 Seconds in Aperture Priority Mode
Center-Weighted Average, Multi-Zone, Spot
Aperture Priority, Manual
-1 to 20 EV
Auto, Color Temperature, Manual
Up to 5 fps at 24 MP for up to 40 Frames (JPEG)
Leica M10 & M10-P Focus Specifications:
Manual Focus Only
Leica M10 & M10-P Viewfinder and Monitor Specifications:
Fixed Touchscreen LCD
Leica M10 & M10-P Flash Specifications:
Maximum Sync Speed
-3 to +3 EV (1/3 EV Steps)
External Flash Connection
Leica M10 & M10-P Interface Specifications:
Memory Card Slot
Single Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)
Leica M10 & M10-P Physical Specifications:
BP-SCL5 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.4 VDC, 1300 mAh
Dimensions (W x H x D)
5.5 x 3.1 x 1.5" / 139 x 80 x 38.5 mm
1.5 lb / 680 g (Body with Battery)
Leica M10 & M10-P Packaging Info Specifications:
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)
8.85 x 8.8 x 6.85"
Leica M10 Definitions:
AF = Auto Focus. The idea is that the camera does the focusing itself (the word auto comes from Greek "self").
Aperture = (also written as f/) = The metal blades inside a camera lens that regulates how much light passes through the lens. On a f/1.4 lens, the lens is "fully open" at f/1.4. 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/1.4 passes through. For each f/-stop (like f/4.0 - f/5.6 - f/8.0 - f/11 - f/16) you halve the light. The f/ fundamentally means "f divided with": The aperture of the lens is basically the focal length divided with the f/-stop = size of the hole (50mm divided with f/2.0 = the hole is 25 mm in diameter, or 50mm at f/1.4 is 50mm divided with 1.4 = the hole throug is 36mm. ). ORIGIN: Late Middle English : from Latin apertura, from apert- ‘opened,’ from aperire ‘to open’.
The aperture blades inside the lens is clearly visible in this photo.
ASPH = 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, 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. 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 be 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).
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 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.'.
Camera -is today’s short name for Camera Obscura (meaning “a dark room”). CamerameansChambre 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).
Central Shutter = Some lenses, for example the Leica S lenses and the Leica Q where a shutter is located in the lens itself. In most cameras there is a shutter curtain just in front of the sensor, and in SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras there is also a mirror in front of the shutter curtain.
In the Leica T/TL/TL2 the shutter is in front of the sensor, but only acts to "refresh" the sensor. In the Leica TL2, there is a mechanical shutter curtain from 30 sec. to 1/4000 shutter times, and digital shutter from 1/4100 to 1/40,000 shutter times. A digital shutter is simply "turning on/off the recording of the sensor.
CMOS sensor (as used in Leica M10, Leica CL, Leica LT/TL/TL2, Leica SL, Leica Q, 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.’
Digital Shutter = A digital shutter is simply "turning on/off the recording of the sensor. In the "old days" this had to be done with an actual mechanical shutter curtain; a metal curtain in front of the sensor (or film) that goes up for 1/125th of a second, for example. In the Leica TL2, there is a mechanical shutter curtain from 30 sec. to 1/4000 shutter times, and digital shutter from 1/4100 to 1/40,000 shutter times.
Digital Zoom = In some cameras (but not the Leica TL2), there exist a possibility to enable "digital zoom", which basically means the camera can zoom closer into something than the lens is actually designed to. The way digital zoom works traditionally is that the camera simply crops the picture; so you get closer, but without resolution. In other words, it's the same as if you took a normal photo and then cropped into the center of it.
DIS = Digital Image Stabilization. This is a feature often offered in video recorders and sometimes for tele lens still photography (so as to avoid motion blur when the lens is moving during slow shutter speeds).
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 computert fact
helps the software program, for example Adobe Lightroom, to translate the RAW data into the image.
DOF = Depth of Field. This is how much of the image will be in focus. 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; for artistic reasons or for specific storytelling, like making irrelevant subjects in the foreground and background blurry so only the subjects of essence are in focus and catches the viewers eye).
Depth - Distance between front and back. Distance from viewer and object.
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’.
Elmarit = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f2.8 . The name is obviously derived from the earlier (and slower) "Elmar" designation. Not every f/2.8 lens is called an "Elmarit" though, the most obvious current exception being the 50mm f2.8 Elmar-M collapsible lens which for nostalgia and marketing reasons has kept the original 1930's Elmar name (the 50mm f3.5 collapsible Elmar, manufactured 1930-59, was one of Leica's most famous and popular lenses).
EVF = Electronic ViewFinder. The Leica M10 and the Leica T/TL/TL2 uses the Leica Visoflex model 0020.
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.
Fn = Short for Function. It's a button you can program. On the Leica M10 has a front button that can be programmed to other Fn (Functions).
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.
A 28 mm lens has a 74° viewing angle
Focal length = (also written as f-) = On the Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4 it is 35mm 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 focuses only in the center.
The Leica TL2 has a APS-C sensor, which "crops" the traditional focal lengths with 1.5X, reducing the angle of view of view with 1.5X.
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).
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 TL2 sensor is around 100-150 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 the same 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.
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)
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.
Lens - A piece of glass or similarly transparent material (like water or plastic). It has a shape so that it can direct light rays. The word “Lens” is used both for single piece of glass as well as a camera lens with several lenses that works together. From ‘lentil’ because similar in shape.
Lens hood = A tube or ring attached to the front of a camera lens to prevent unwanted light from reaching the lens and sensor. ORIGIN Old English hod; related to Dutch hoed, German Hut 'hat,' also to hat.
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, or via an electronic viewfinder (EVF).
MACRO = Macro lens. The Leica 60mm APO-Elmarit-Macro ASPH f/2.8 is both a 60mm lens for portraits, landscapes, etc. as well as a near focus macro. The word macro comes from Greek makros ‘long, large.’
Maestro II - A processor developed first as Maestro for the Leica S2 and upgraded to Maestro II for the Leica S (Typ 007). The Leica M10 has a Mestro II (and the Leica Q a Maestro II Q-edition) processor developed by SocioNext Inc. based on Fujitsu's Mibeault architecture.
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.
Optic = Eye or vision. From French optique or medieval Latin opticus, from Greek optikos, from optos ‘seen.’
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 nearer, 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 nearer objects, compared to sizes in real life. A 50mm lens is the one closest to the perspective and enlargement ratio of the human eye.
S = Single image. In the menu of the Leica TL2 you can choose between single image at the time, or Continuous where the Leica TL2 will shoot series of 20-29 pictures per second as long as you hold down the shutter release. In Single mode it takes only one photo, no matter how long you hold down the shutter release.
SDC = Software Distortion Correction. A correction of lens distortion (not straight lines) applied in the camera and which is part of the DNG file. In Lightroom the SDC of the camera file is applied automatically (and cannot be removed), in software like AccuRaw one can open the DNG file without the SDC correction. Sean Reid reviews have written a good article on what SDC is and does in "Software Distortion Correction".
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.
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 a lens in front of each, 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. From Latin sens- ‘perceived’
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, desaturating a photo on the computer will gradually make it less and less colorful; and full desaturation would make it into a black and white photo.
Sharpness - See “Focus”
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.
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.
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.
The "Viewfinder" issue contains user report by Jono Slack, interview on the Leica M10 with Leica Camera AG Global Manager Stefan Daniel and Leica M10 Product Manager Jesko Oeynhausen, and more. Sign up for a print membership or digital membership at lhsa.org (Leica Historial Society International).
Limited time offer for my readers from Serge Ramelli: When Serge Ramelli attended my workshop we spoke about letting my readers have some of his courses in Lightroom at special prices. This is the first one. Simply click on the link and use the code: THORSTEN to get 60% off the price.
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 Digital Camera Reviews by Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard by Mort O'Sullivan (Milano, May 2017)
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish-American multiple award-winning photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops to photographers. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via email.
You can follow Thorsten Overgaard at his television channel magicoflight.tv.
I am in constant orbit teaching
Leica and photography workshops.
Most people prefer to explore a
new place when doing my workshop.
30% of my students are women.
35% of my students dotwo or more workshops.
95% are Leica users.
Age range is from 15 to 87 years
with the majority in the 30-55 range.
Skill level ranges from two weeks
to a lifetime of experience.
97% use a digital camera.
100% of my workshop graduates photograph more after a workshop.