The Leica CL is the latest of modern Leica cameras that takes the Leica T/TL/SL lenses. It indicates that Leica Camera AG is quite serious with their SL/T/TL lens offerings. Probably the only conclusion that makes sense in this, is that it's the lenses that will be the cornerstone, and not the camera body.
It could go from anywhere from here, but it remains an obvious strategy that Leica Camera AG will make camera bodies that are well-designed and simple to use. Large or small, they will be simple in operation, and they will take Leica T/TL/SL lenses, as well as any other Leica lens (via adapter) as old as the first Leica screw mount lenses from 100 years ago.
A mini-SL in the shape of the ur-leica/Leica Q/Leica X, much of the technology and image quality known from Leica TL2, with the logics and simplicity of the Leica M10. Takes all lenses.
Increased resolution in the Leica T/TL/SL lenses
With increased resolution of sensors, Leica Camera AG seems to have decided some time ago to make it possible for even more resolution. For many reasons, one could hope we get spared for 100MP sensors in “full frame” (24 x 36mm) cameras, because the human eye will usually be able to resolve just up to 18MP, so anything above that is just need for more computer power and storage space in order to process the images.
What lens designer Peter Karbe and his team of optical designers decided was to increase resolution of the Leica lenses and resolve, from the usual 40 lines per mm (1,000 lines per inch) which is the usual resolution for Leica M lenses, to 60 lines per mm (1,500 lines per inch) on Leica L mount lenses, as well as the Leica Q, so as to make cropping possible.
This doesn’t translate directly to web or print sizes, but to give an idea, images on the internet are 72 lines per inch in resolution, and print is 300 lines per inch (with some exceptions of high definition print using 400 lines per inch).
In the Leica Q this extra resolution of the lens was made to enable digital cropping, which means that the camera has a 28mm lens. But the digital cropping allows you to crop the image to pretend you are using a 35mm or 50mm lens. It’s a great idea, because you get “three in one”, and the 24 MP sensor with a high resolution lens, makes the result just right. However, this was a little more than you can easily explain to most users who are accustomed to calculating success in life with how many megapixels you get!
In other words, despite that the lens and sensor resolves plenty of resolution, the general user wants “all 24 megapixels to be used for one image”.
But it does work, though.
In the Leica L lenses, the increased resolution has resulted in some ridiculously sharp and detailed photographs that makes the Leica TL look like a medium format camera. That is if you look at the images and not the specifications.
In any case, what Leica Camera AG has done in the L lenses is to prepare for cropping of existing sensor size images, as well as filling the demand any future sensors could require in terms of resolution.
I can add sharpness in Lightroom, even to this little crop. Generally I wouldn't add more sharpness to an image as it will make faces look older (more visible wrinkles) and the natural look of things tends to be lost in an attempt to impress the audience with sharpness. A great thing with Leica lenses and sensors is that they are designed to capture the natural texture and details; which means that you can add sharpness on top of that. The alternative would be that the lenses and sensors were tuned to get edge sharpness but not texture and details.
The same photo again, with the sharpness applied in Lightroom. Not a big diference when shown on a computer screen as here, though you can notice the change in texture on the wood and brass behind. In a print it will be too much sharpness – in my opinion.
Resolution and sharpness
But let’s get it straight, resolution is not the same as sharpness. Resolution is simply how much information it is possible to resolve. You can have a very fine, excellently made print of 300 lines per inch on the finest paper, but that doesn’t means that an unsharp image will look sharp. However, if the image is actually sharp, the higher resolution makes it possible to see everything.
NEW VERSION 22.3
490 pages easy-to-understand
workflow logics, checklists, Styles
and 3+ hours of videos.
Packed with help and tools for all questions on digital photography workflow.
Black and White Photography
Editing Color Photographs
Organizing Old Archives
How to do safe backup
Screens and Calibration
Capture One on iPad
Capture One Live
+ Export Formats
+ Free Overgaard Styles
+ Preflight Checklists
The one and only method
The Survivel Kit is the only of it's kind, made by photographers for photographers.
The Brand New June 2022
"Capture One Survival Kit 22"
By Thorsten Overgaard
The complete workflow of Thorsten Overgaard,
made easy with pre-flight checklists and step-by-step instructions on how to set up and use a professional
photo editing software like Capture One Pro.
Laid out in a way that is easy to understand
and everyone can apply. Works for Capture One Pro 22
and all previous versions.
New revised version
This is the most revised version ever of the
best-selling Surival Kit by Thorsten Overgaard. This new
version includes many new chapters, on Capture One on iPad and how to add keywords better, as well as more
than 3+ hours of videos tutorials with
Simple and to-the-point tools on how to use select tools, how to do backup and how to manage and organize pictures archives so they don't get lost and doesn't have to be reorganized again and again.
Expanded and simplified
Also: Specialized first-help chapters on how to
sync your entire photo archive with the smartphone,
how to escape Apple Photos, how to empty photos out
of an iPhone, how to get out of Lightroom CC, what to do with iPad editing ... and more on how to not survive the digital age and perhaps even outsmart it.
Now comes with
Overgaard Leica Styles for FREE
Special black & white conversion, better skintones
and a CMOS sensor color correction.
(Value $48.00. FREE with this kit).
Capture One Survival Kit 22.3 For computer, iPad, smartphone and Kindle.
100% satisfaction or money back.
Released June, 2022.
VERSION 22.3 UPDATE Compatible with all previous versions.
Who is the Leica CL for...?
Most likely the Leica CL will temps users of Leica T, Leica TL and Leica TL2 to change to this new camera with a built-in EVF. One less thing to buy, but mainly more compact.
The built-in EVF also makes it easier to see the Leica CL as a compact camera you can use along with your Leica a SL or Leica M.
Made in Germany
The Leica CL is likely to some degree made in the Leica Camera AG factory in Portugal, as well as the factory in Wetzlar, Germany. To be a "Made in Germany" product, more than 83% has to be made in Germany, so that gives an idea. Some cameras like the D-Lux are made in Japan/Germany, and the Leica X supposedly is made in Vietnam/Portugal/Germany.
Much of the optics used in the Leica lenses come from many different facilities around the world. Some types of glass used is specified by recipes from the "Leitz Glass Laboratory" (1940-1980) and only two suppliers in the world can make glass that fulfill the rigid quality demands and special specifications set by Leica. It says a lot about the knowledge Leica Camera AG possesses, as well as how unreasonably ambitious their lens designers are. That narrow specification also greatly limits the possibility to use "the cheapest possible product" or have it "Made in China", which is the reason many Leica products seem to live in a parallel universe as far as pricing goes.
The Leica factory in Portugal is one Leica bought in the 1973 when they needed more capacity and had the chance to take over a watchmaker factory with 1,000+ staff that was trained to assemble precision mechanics. Since then the factory has been expanded and rebuilt to a state of the art facility.
The entrance to Leica Camera in Porto in Portugal featue this large Leica M camera that houses the security.
The Leica TL lenses
One of the reasons I decided to dive into the Leica TL2 earlier this year, was the lens designer Peter Karbe's constant praise of the TL lenses. The Leica 35mm Summilux-TL ASPH f/1.4 is enough to convince me.
I've never been a big fan of zoom lenses, though I have used the 35-70/2.8 quite a bit on the Leica R system when I used that system as my main camera.
The Leica TL lenses comes in black and silver to match the camera. But it is of course the optical quality that makes them stand out. More is coming, but in the picture you see the 23mm ($1,499), 35mm ($2,395), 60mm ($2,995) and the three zoom lenses, 11-23mm ($1,795), 18-56mm ($1,650), 55-135mm ($1,895).
New 18mm Leica TL lens introduced with the Leica CL
To make the Leica CL really compact, Leica Camera AG also released a new 18mm Elmarit TL f/2.8 lens with the Leica CL on November 21, 2017 (which will look like a traditional 28mm in "35mm language"). It's called a "pancake lens" because it's flat as a pancake.
Using Leica SL lenses on the Leica CL and Leica TL2
The Leica CL and TL and the full-frame Leica SL are able to share lenses from birth. It's called the L mount. The TL lenses are crop lenses that cover only the size of an APS-C sensor (25.1×16.7mm), whereas the SL lenses are full-frame lenses that covers the full frame of that (24 x 36mm).
The Leica SL lenses started out with a 24-90mm f/2.8 and continues with 50mm f/1.4 and 90-280mm f/2.8-4.0. In near future also 35mm f/2.0, 75mm f/2.0, 90mm f/2.0, and a 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5.
The AF works similar on either camera, with CL, TL and SL lenses. When you use TL lenses on the Leica SL, the file size will be reduced because the Leica TL lenses are cropped lenses (for APS-C sensor size) and the Leica SL lenses are full-frame lenses. A full-frame SL file is 6000x4000 = 24MP; a full-sized shot on the SL from the cropped lens is 3936x2624 = 10.328MP while a file from the TL2 is 6000x4000 = 24MP (on the Leica T the same lens was 4928x3264 = 16MP).
Using other lenses on the Leica CL
There exist quite a few adapters for the Leica T lenses (which means they work for both Leica CL/T/TL/TL2 and Leica SL).
Adapters for the Leica CL/TL2: from left for Leica M lenses, Leica S lenses, Leica R lenses and Leica Cine Lenses and other PL mount.
On the Leica CL, any lens made for Leica M or Leica SL will have a crop factor of 1.5x, so a 50mm lens becomes an 80mm. The lens covers a larger area than the sensor, so the 24MP sensor of the Leica TL will only record the center of the image. But it will of course be a 24MP file size.
The options not shown in this, are the possibilities of combining adapters. Once you mount a Leica M adapter, you may add the M-to-R adapter (to use Leica R lenses; and if you you are using ROM lenses then the camera will recognize the lens) or the M to M39 adapter (to use Leica screw mount lenses) or some of the third party adapters on the market, for example M to Sony E, M to Canon or M to Nikon adapters!
You can get an overview of existing Leica lenses since 1925 until today here in my "Leica Lens Compendium".
Cleaning the Leica CL sensor
Cleaning the sensor is likely necessary more often than with a sensor protected by a shutter curtain. The Leica CL sensor is visible when you take off the lens. So it collects dust, and if it rains when you change lens, drops are likely to hit the sensor. And so on.
Sensor dust isn't really visible at f/1.4 and f/2.0 but when you stop down, it starts to show. On stills you can remove dust spots on the computer in Lightroom, but for video a spot will follow in every frame and there is no way to get rid of it.
I have sensor cleaning swabs I travel with, and you need special liquid that resolve spots and evaporates from the sensor after cleaning, without leaving spots or stripes (No, you cannot use water. I tried it!). I use this $15 kit from Amazon.
No, but fast data transmission using the Leica S medium format Maestro Processor
Micro USB 3
Micro USB 2
Micro HDMI 1.4
Micro HDMI 1.0
(when Visoflex 0200 EVF
Leica TL App
Leica TL App
Leica TL App
Leica Q App
Yes 8x faster than TL
Digital color filters for B&W JPG
AWB, Manual, Tungsten and a number of other presets.
AWB, Manual, Tungsten and a number of other presets.
AWB, Manual, Tungsten and a number of other presets.
Includes 90 day Adobe CC trial
Includes 90 day Adobe CC trial
Includes 90 day Adobe CC trial
Includes 90 day Adobe CC trial
Includes 90 day Adobe CC trial
18 to 420mm
18 to 135mm
Fixed Leica Summilux-Q ASPH
The Leica CL User Guide as PDF for download
I have made "my own" PDF guide for the Leica CL by removing the German half of the manual so I have one that is only in English. PDF is nice because you can search the whole document. I always load the manuals of cameras, lightmeters and such onto my smartphones and computers so I can look up a question when I am in the field.
Feel free to download the English only manual here.
The Leica CL Quick Start menu can be downloaded here.
The Technical Information sheet can be downloaded here.
Leica CL Paul Smith Edition
November 12, 2019: The Leica CL is available in a Paul Smith Edition. Last time Leica made a special edition with Paul Smith was the Leica X2 in 2012.
AF = Auto Focus. The idea is that the camera does the focusing itself (the word auto comes from Greek "self").
AF Assist Lamp = The little red lamp on the top right front of the Leica TL2 that will light up in dark places so as to help the Auto Focus to see in the dark. If you put a hand in front of the lens and press the shutter release button, you can see it in action. The AF assist lamp can be turned off in the menu.
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.'.
C = Continuous shooting. The Leica TL2 offers two possibilities in the menu: 1) Single, where the Leica TL2 takes one picture when the shutter release is pressed, and 2) Continuous, where it takes 7 - 29 photos a second as long as the shutter release button is pressed down. (7 fps at shutter times 1/125-1/4000 where it uses mechanical shutter, and 20-29 fps at 1/4100 - 1/40,000 where it uses digital shutter.
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.
CL = Compact L(eica). Used to be the name of the Leica CL "Mini M" that Leica Camera AG and Minolta made together in the 1980's.
The Leica CL 35mm film camera was made as Leica CL and Minolta CLE and shared technology. It also introduced three CL lenses together with it, as a compact and economical alternative to the Leica M camera. See more on the original Leica CL here.
CMOS sensor (as used in Leica T/TL/TL2, Leica SL, Leica Q, 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.’
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 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.
The lines on this 28mm lens indicates the DOF. Here the focus is on infinity, and if the lens is stopped down to f/1.6, objects from 1.8 meter to ininity will be 'acceptable sharp'.
DOF = Depth of Field (or Depth of Focus), an expression for how deep the focus is, or (more often use to express) how narrow the area of focus is. This is how much of the image, measured in depth or ditance, will be in focus or "acceptable sharp".
The appearance of the DOF is determined by:
1) aperture (the smaller the aperture hole is, the deeper is the depth of field, and opposite, the wider open a lens you se, the more narrow will the DOF be) and
2) distance to the subject (the farther away, the larger area is sharp; the closer the subject in focus is, the more narrow the DOF gets)..
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, like f/1.4 and f/0.95 lenses, 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).
in modern cameras like the Leica SL2, the camera has a DOF scale inside the viewfinder. As DOF is the same for all lens brands and designs, only depending on focal length, distance and aperture f-stop, the camera can calculate it and show a 'digital DOF scale" in the viewfinder.
Depth Of Field scale from Fujifilm, same lens with different aperture settings from f/2.0 to f/8.0.
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 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.
The Leica TL2 has two Function wheels, as well as one Function button.
Fn = Short for Function. It's a button you can program.
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 Q has a Mestro II (Leica 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.
OIS = Optical Image Stabilization. This is used in tele lenese lenes where blurring motion of the camera from inevitable vibrations are adjusted by the lens. At low shutter speeds and/or wit long lenses, any slight movement would result in a picture with "motion blur" unsharpness. The Leica TL2 supports optical iamge stabilization when A) OIS is turned on in the camera menu, and B) when you use lenses with OIS (the Leica SL longer lenses has OIS). An alternative is EIS = Electronic Image Stabilization, which the Leica T has. Here the problem of "motion blur" is currected electronically after, which might lead to image degradation. However, the larger the sensor resolution, the less one will notice small 'degradation'.
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.
ROM = Digital code on Leica R lenses. It was made for the latest of the Leica R lenses in the 1990's so the Leica R8 and Leica R9 could recognize the lens; and each lens was fine-tuned with digital information for the camera to adjust exposure and other very exact. ROM contact could also be added to older R-lenses. In the Leica CL, if you have the R to L adapter and you are using ROM lenses then the camera will recognize the lens.
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.
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 do
two or more workshops.
95% is Leica users.
Age range is from 16 to 83 years
with the majority in the 30-55 range.
Skill level range from two weeks
to a lifetime of experience.
97% use a digital camera.
100% of my workshop graduates photograph more after a workshop.
1 out of 600 of my students have
asked for a refund.