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Leica M Monochrom Henri Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page M - Page 20
 
A moment at Paris Bar in Berlin. Leica M9 (2009) with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 (1976) at 800 ISO.
   
 
   

Leica M Monochrom Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page 20

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
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-R M10-P
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44        
Leica M-D 262 1 2                                  
M Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30
                 
Leica TL2 1 2                                      
Leica SL / SL2 1 2 3 4 5 6                            
Leica Q 1                                          
Leica Q2 1                                          
Leica CL 1 2                                       Books

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Prelude to the Leica M Monochrom

By: Thorsten Overgaard. May 20, 2012. Updated March 28, 2020

This page was originally written months before the Leica M Monochrom (also known as the "Leica M9 Monochrom") started delivery on August 18, 2012 and cover the release in May 2012 of the Leica M Monochrom as well as the background for, and the idea of a monochrome camera.

For practical advice on the Leica MM (also known as the Leica M9 Monochrom 2012), review and text photos, jump to page 21 and start reading.

 

Paris lunch. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Version II. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Paris lunch. Leica M Monochrom (2012) with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Version II (1956). © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Monochromatism and Minimalism

A new page, perhaps a new chapter, in black and white photography. In some months I will have to reconsider how to deal with all the M models. But for now, the Leica M Monochrom (2012) share so many features with the Leica M9 (2009) and Leica M9-P (2011) in terms of metering, body design, menus, etc.

The Leica M Monochrom was released at a special Leica Camera AG event in Berlin on May 10, 2012 and the first production cameras started delivery - as promised - on August 18, 2012

[For images and story about the release event in Berlin on May 10, 2012, scroll to the bottom of this page]

 

Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0, Washington DC. (Final production camera, not prototype). © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 (1976) Washington DC. (Final production camera, not prototype). © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0, Washington DC (Final production camera, not prototype). © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 (1976) Washington DC (Final production camera, not prototype). © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

         
 

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Leica M Monochrom test sample photo at 5000 ISO
Khalid Al-Thani captured at 5000 ISO with Leica M Monochrom (prototype) and Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 (2006).

 

A (r)evolution of black and white photography

In short, this camera is aimed at revolutionizing black and white photography. By delivering higher ISO, more dynamic range, less grain/noise and higher usability than any black & white film can offer.

It doesn't have the smell of film, and it doesn't have the limitation of just a few pictures per roll of film and the sweet waiting time till you see the results.

But in color photography work, very few seem to miss the rolls of film, the wait for developing and the work in the darkroom and by the scanner. So why not in black & white photography as well?

 

nside Starbucks in Hamburg. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE at 800 ISO.
Inside Starbucks in Hamburg. Leica M9 (2009) with Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE (2014) at 800 ISO. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

A niche camera in the niche

Obviously - when you think about it - the Leica M Monochrom is not aimed at converting color photographers to black & white photographers. It's the camera that fills the gap between the love of black & white photography and the lack of decent black & white images made by converting files from color cameras.

Or perhaps more to the point: The feeling of photographign black and white film, but doing it in digital.

The market for a niche camera at a high price as the Leica M Monochrom is probably as hard to see for a market researcher as the market for a Leica M9. Who on earth would want to pay premium price for something that can do less than other popular cameras such as Canon D5 and Nikon D800.

 

Leica M Monochrom (prototype) with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (II) at 320 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Leica M Monochrom (prototype) with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (II) at 320 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

... for the monochromatic existentialist extremist

And now it can do even less than that - and the price even went up! It can be a hard one to understand in a world occupied with always tripling the quantity rather than the quality. The normal marketing philosophy is that we want more and more. And here is a product that gives less. Hence, don't try to reason with the lack of things this camera has in comparison with the much higher price. If you get the idea, you get it. If not, you probably get something else anyways.

 

My son Oliver. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 (1990-model) at 160 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
My son Oliver. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 (1990-model) at 160 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Decisions

Photography is about decision-making; in that you have to decide which lens to put onto the camera, where to go, when to be there, how long to wait, when to shoot, how long to shoot, what to focus on, what exposure to set it for.

And in the pre-processing you again have to face the difficult choices of selecting which image(s) to edit, what to crop away or leave it all as is, which to select as the final image. And more.

It's all about decision.

 

Paris. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Paris. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The morning of the 11th of May after the presentation of the Leica M Monochrom in Berlin I was sitting in the large window over the street corner in Berlin and wondering about this new camera: When I go on assignment, the magazine or client mostly expect color photos, but I also use the opportunity to shoot some photos for my self when anyways in an area, or inside at an event.

The end result is usually that the magazine or client gets a set of color photos, along with some black and white if I think they might be useful for them. But mostly the photos I take for my own archive, for exhibitions, for my own articles, end up being in black and white.

 

This swinging boy I took before I was doing a portrait of a spokeswoman in USA with her family. It happens to be her son, and I ended up sending the photo to the magazine along with the whole series of portraits and reportage photos. Because it might work well in the feature, and in this case I think they will be using it. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE.
This swinging boy I took before I was doing a portrait of a spokeswoman in USA with her family. It happens to be her son, and I ended up sending the photo to the magazine along with the whole series of portraits and reportage photos. Because it might work well in the feature, and in this case I think they will be using it. Leica M9 with Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

So in reality, the Leica M9 is perfect for doing what I do. I work mainly in color, or at least always stay at 800 ISO and below so as to make sure the colors are all right, and I always pay attention to color temperature (white balance) even my display preview is always on black and white. But in the edit, I can choose if I want color or black and white for my archive - or some times both versions of an image.

 


A photo by one of the students who did my Berlin Workshop, Jon Popowich, of the street corner below the window. Leica M9 (2009) with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 (2006).
A photo by one of the students who did my Berlin Workshop, Jon Popowich, of the street corner below the window. Leica M9 (2009) with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 (2006).

 

But as I was standing there in Berlin looking out at the street corner below, I thought, "What if I decided that today I will only see Berlin in black and white?" and then I tried to transform the blue van that drove around the corner to a grey tone. And I scanned the street and the surroundings for colors, so as to get an idea if I would be missing any of those colors ... if I went black and white for a day.

 

Leica M Monochrom (prototype) with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (II) at 320 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Leica M Monochrom (prototype) with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II (1956) at 320 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

This idea was so refreshing that it made me smile. It would actaully make life easier - and likely Berlin more beautiful - if I for a period of a day simply decided to just see things in black and white. And it was at that point, around 10.00 in the morning I think, I decided that the Leica M Monochrom was for me.

The indecisive moment in the morning where the decision to go black and white for the whole day made it all clear and simple!

(And to justify this further; when I decided for the Leica M9 back in 2009 I was a dSLR shooter of Leica R9 with digital back. The Leica M9 was solely meant for fun work. And see what happened, these days I hardly use dSLR for any professional work, only the fun camera, the Leica M9).

 

 

Leica M Monochrom (prototype) with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (II) at 320 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Leica M Monochrom (prototype) with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II (1956) at 320 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

The simplicity of the Leica M Monochrom: It's fun!

Everything with the Leica M Monochrom is as it is with the Leica M9, except the paint is different. It's sort of matt black. And even the white numbers on the shutter dial and on the camera body is rather bright grey than bright white. It's a very monchrom design ... I like it.

 

Leica M Monochrom with Leica M Monochrom (prototype) with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 (II) at 320 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Leica M Monochrom with Leica M Monochrom (prototype) with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II (1956) at 320 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

One of the big surprises when you are about to go out and shoot with the Leica M Monochrom is that the ISO  starts at 320. Now, this is great in a dark concert hall. But in sunshine it's quite a different ballgame and you make a note that you will have to rethink your ND-filters (Neutral Density filters, the sunglass filters for cameras that reduced the light that comes through the lens). The base ISO of the Leica M Monochrom is in other words 320 ISO and per definition the best ISO to use.

 

My daughter Robin Isabella getting a haricut in Denmark. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
My daughter Robin Isabella getting a haricut in Denmark. Leica M Monochrom (2012) with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 (2008) © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

As with the Leica M9 that has a PULL 80 ISO, the Leica M Monochrom has a PULL 160 ISO, and you shouldn't use any of the PULL options as it will take out a lot of dynamic range. And when the sun is out, that is where you need the dynamic range the most, because that is where the highlights are very strong and the shadows very deep and dark.

But this is the first sign of the digital age: 320 ISO used to be the high-speed film you would load into the Leica M6 or Leica MP when doing low-light work. Now it's the daylight ISO!

 

Familiar faces talking about the Leica M in Berlin; Jonathan Slack, Steve Huff, Jaap of the Leica User Forum and Matthias Frei. Leica M Monochrom and Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 at 5000 ISO.
Familiar faces talking about the Leica M in Berlin; Jonathan Slack, Steve Huff, Jaap of the Leica User Forum and Matthias Frei. Leica M Monochrom (2012) and Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 (2006) at 5000 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

             
 

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The scale goes up to 10,000 ISO and 6,400 ISO is safe to use, and if you need 10,000 it can be done. It makes you rethink the need for Summilux f/1.4 and Noctilux f/0.95 lenses, but I decided I still need them for the artistic look; I just need to rethink which ND filters I have with me.

I found the Leica M Monochrom to be really fun using. The equipment seem familiar but the viewpoint of black and white and the idea that you can capture black and white in an optimum quality fuels the enthusiasm. One of the best features of a camera is just that; it makes you see things and want to make images.

 

Victoria Weiland. 320 ISO with Leica M Monochrom (prototype) and Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II (1956) © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Victoria Weiland. 320 ISO with Leica M Monochrom (prototype) and Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II (1956)
© Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

New workflow

As you will notice, the images on this page is from the Leica M Monochrom and the Leica M9. Which is what, and is there actaully a difference? That is the question I am asking my self. It took me a long time to gradually get to the workflow where I can just hit the right tones with the Leica M9 Fine JPG files and Lightroom 3.

With the Lightroom 4 they changed the tools slightly, and when you open a Lightroom 3 file you were satisfied with, Lightroom 4 offers to update it. And then the intelligent question of course then is; was that an update or a degrade?

 

Leica M Monochrom test sample photo
Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II (1956) at 320 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Likewise with the Leica M Monochrom DNG files versus the Leica M Monochrom JPF Fine files: Is the DNG acutally the one I like the best, and how do I make the look I want from it?

I'm not there yet. With the few files I got to play with, I feel I could make the same tones with the Leica M9 in most cases. But the Leica M Monochrom also requier a different thinking in shooting the files.

 

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 (2008). © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Though not that relevant because the Leica M Monochrom is only used by a few who test the prototypes and report bugs back to Leica Camera AG, the Lightroom 4 doesn't have the right settings for importing monochrom DNG files yet. It's part of the work that has to be done between now and August when the first Leica M Monochrom cameras ship. But most of the photos on this page from the Leica M Monochrom I finished in LR 3 because I found them more pleasing from LR 3. But if - or when - you get your Leica M Monochrom, make sure to check the latest and greatest at the Leica User Forum as there will be a few nerds who will burn the midnight oil to find the best settings for all of us. Of course, if you wish, you can download these DNG files and start playing. But the software is not made completely ready yet.

 


Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II (1956) at 320 ISO via LR4. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Shoot the old way

What Jonathan Slack keeps telling me is that I must not over-expose the shots. I disagree to begin with, because I like to shoot against the light, and that means blown-out highlights. If I photograph a person in the street I expose for the face and let the background blow out if it has to. I don't care, it's the face I want exposed correct, and one of the advantages with Leica lenses are that the overflow of light behind the subject stays behind the subject and doesn't overflow onto the face. Leica glass has extremely good control with light rays; what is shadow is shadow and what is light is separated. Totally.

 

Leica M Monochrom test sample photo
Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II (1956) at 320 ISO. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

But as I shoot with the camera in daylight and later look at my shots from the evening of May 10 in Berlin, I get what Jonathan Slack is saying. Because I see how sloppy the Leica M9 has made me. I expose too bright in evenings becasue I can remedy it. I prefer brighter than actual exposure because I can bring back tones by reducing exposure and increasing Recovery in Lightroom 3. And when I use the Fill Light in Lightroom 3 along with the Blacks I get a pleasing result with shadow details, good overall greytones and a good solid contrast. I find it easier to get good photos with the Leica M9 this way, rather than undersposing and having to bring back details and light in photos that basically lack the information about the light.

But with the Leica M Monochrom there is no details to bring back when I bring down the exposure and increase the Recorvery. It's just not there, it's a white area of no information gathered!

 

Leica M Monochrom test sample photo
My photo of Andreas Kaufmann being interviewed was overexposed, also if it had been a Leica M9 file. But with the Leica M9 file I would have been able to get it to look natural. With the Leica M Monochrom his forehead stays white, there is nothing I can do to get the tones back. Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 (2006). © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

It's not bad, it just means that I will have to stop being sloppy and shoot like I did when I was shooting slide films. With slide film you have to hit the exposure within 1/3 to have it right as there is no adjusting after the slide has been developed. It's the final shot.

To get that right you can use external light meter, and when in doubt you shoot three photos. One at what is supposedly the right exposure, une 1 stop under and one 1 stop above. Or 1/2 stop over and 1/2 stop under if you feel you are precise enought with that.

 

How 18 MP becomes "36 MP"


The clarity of detail and the reason the 18 megapixel Leica M Monochrom sensor (may) behaves like a 24 or 37 megapixel sensor is shown in the above. A normal color sensor has a layer of the three main colors (Red, Green and Blue) on top; the way a color image is recorded is basically that the sensor records the strength of light from each color channel and that way determines the color it has to record.

The Leica M Monochrom sensor is 'just the sensor' without anything on top, hence every small 'eye' on the sensor is directed to record monochrome tones - or simply luminance. Hence this will be a different ballgame shooting just luminence and not - as we have been used to - the colors trated via color conversion in Lightroom (I'm talking about traditional b&w photography made from color RAW to what the Leica Monochrom will do to our way fo looking at the world).

To make the image complete, you may mentally add another filter onto the top illustration, the AA filter that all digital cameras have. Neither the Leica M9 or the Leica M Monochrom has the AA filter which makes it possible to realize even finer and more micro details in an image (the AA filter is there to avoid moiré in images and is basically a filter that blurs images so fine lines don't collide and create disturbing patterns). Illustration: Leica Camera AG

 

Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 (2008). © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

For further on resolution, or perceived resolution:

"Now we can understand what Leica has accomplished by creating a monochrome sensor equipped camera. The red and blue cells in a Bayer camera are used to primarily derive color information while in the MM all pixels are used solely for luminance information, and therefore the sensor has greater resolution than an equivalent color sensor. In that regard the MM's resolution is at least equivalent to 24 Megapixels in a Bayer camera, other factors excluded." - quote from "Say Hello to Henri" on Luminous Landscape

"I’d say the M9/ 50 AA combination is resolving ever so slightly more than the D800E" - from "Bayer vs. non-Bayer: Leica M-Monochrom vs. Nikon D800E by Ming Thein

 


Comparison between Leica M9 (left) and Leica M Monochrom (right). Click on the image for a slightly larger view. Photo: Jonathan Slack.

 

Film sharpness versus digital sensor sharpness

You may find this article "Thy Bumble Bees Can't Fly" by Michael Reichmann useful to understand film resolution versus digital sensor resolution. A micron is 1/1,000th of a millimeter and film has a 2 micron grain whereas a sensor has a 6 micron. But the film only record one tone in a grain, whereas the sensor records several tones.

 

 

Intersting testing over at lensrentals.com

When lensrentals.com in Memphis got their first Leica M Monochrom by end of August 2012, Roger Cicala took it for a test, which you can read in full on their blog, "MM MM Good?"

Moving to the conclusion on sharpness, Roger states "lThe bottom line, though, is that this time the non-gearheads are right: throw away the numbers and go take some pictures."

The reson for this was that first they did some tests of the RAW files that showed that the MM had 628 lines of sharpness, whereas the Leica M9 had 530 lines. That wasn't that inpressive, but then they got the idea that likely their Imatest test equipment was used to sensors with Bayer array (anti aliason filter that blurs the image) that the test uquipment didn't really understand to appreciate the Leica M Monochrom filter.

 

2050 lines versus 1260 lines resolution

So they did a new test with JPG files out of camera that now showed 2050 lines resolution from the Leica M Monochrom files compared to 1260 lines from the Leica M9 JPG files.

But what prompted them to doubt the Imatest had got it right, was simply that when they looked at the prints from Leica M9 and Leica M Monochrom, the M was clearly better, "After we looked at the MM images it was obvious they showed a lot more detail than the M9 images. It didn’t take a side-by-side comparison to tell the difference; it was clear. That didn’t make sense given the numbers."

 

Abso-damn-lutely!!

In the conclusion Roger Cicala says he's not a rangefinder man, so he wouldn't get one. But he does say, "But will I take it out and play with it? Abso-damn-lutely!!! I’d call it Black and White meets HDR. It’s very attractive, whatever it is. I do a lot of black and white conversions and I can’t say I’ve ever achieved exactly this look. If I had I’d have been bragging about it."

See the test and blog here

 

Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Leica M Monochrom (2012) with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 (2008). © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

Game-changing ISO

The base ISO of 320 and the maximum of 10,000 ISO that will actually be usable will change quite a lot. Where a 2-stop ND filter was enough for the Leica M9 at 160 base ISO, you have to get a 3-stop. And for the Noctilux it's even worse!

 


Leica M9 (2009) and Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 FLE (2014) at 2500 ISO outside Clärchens Ballhaus in Berlin.

 

 
 

 

 

Leica M Monochrom at 400 ISO with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten von Overgaard.
Leica M Monochrom at 400 ISO with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

 
   
   
         
   

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  #2071-1120      

 

 

... and one more thing

Despite the delivery started medio August 2012, the first special editions has bee delivered in August 2012. First one is the Silver Leica M Monochrom ('Mono Chrome' as it has been named, model type 10.760).

This nice camera was made by Leica Camera AG for photographer Alexander Tufte who also did these two pictures of the camera.

What does it take to get a special edition like this made. You simply ask Leica Camera AG if they can make it, and if they can, the will tell you how and when.

 


Photo: Alexander Tufte

 


Photo: Alexander Tufte

 

Suggestions for further reading ...

Facebook Leica M Monochrom User Group

"Henri - The Leica M Monochrom" article by Jono Slack who - likewise as he did with the Leica M9 prototype back in 2009 - took the prototype Leica M Monochrom to China and made a beautiful simple article about his experiences. Jonathan Slack has also made some of his DNG files available.

Ming Thein does some very interesting reviews and have started a three-part of the "Leica M Monochrom review" on his blog.

White Smoke Studio blog with wedding photographs taken with the Leica M Monochrom

Erwin Puts has made a very short and precise account of what kind of milestone the Leica M Monochrom and the accompanying new 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 lens is. His "Leica Monochrom" article is here

Also Sein Reid Reviews www.reidreviews.com have had the Leica M Monochrom prototype out for testing and have written a good review. This is for subscribers so you may want to subscribe.

David Farkas have done a review as well on the Red Dot Forum of the Leica M Monochrom. He has also done a ISO comparison between the Leica M9 and Leica M Monochrom.

Finally, but not least, British based World Press winning photographer and Leica M9 shooter Edmond Terakopian have written the blog post "The King of the Tones?" with a short hands-on review.

 

Leica M Monochrom test sample photo
Leica M Monochrom with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 Version II from 1964, 320 ISO via Lightroom 3. See the 100% crop of the signs in the vindow below:

 

 

Continues on Page 21 -->

 

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
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-R M10-P
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44        
Leica M-D 262 1 2                                  
M Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30
                 
Leica TL2 1 2                                      
Leica SL / SL2 1 2 3 4 5 6                            
Leica Q 1                                          
Leica Q2 1                                          
Leica CL 1 2                                       Books

 

 

Leica Definitions

By Thorsten Overgaard. For full list of definitons, visit Leica 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.

 

35mm

a) 35mm lens is a lens that has a viewing angle of view is 63°vertically, 54° horizontally and 38° vertically within a 35mm film frame:
b) 35mm film format is a standard film format where the actual widt of the film is 35mm. In photography the frame within the widt of the film is 24mm (on the width) and 36mm (on the lenght of the film roll). 35mm was first used in 1892 by William Dickson and Thomas Edison for moving pictures with frames of 24 x 18mm, using film stock supplied by George Eastman (Kodak), and became the international standard for motion picture negative film in 1909 [later other formats came about such as Academy Ratio (22 x 16 mm), Widescreen (21.95 x 18.6 mm), Super 35 (24.89 x 18.66 mm) and Techiscope (22 x 9.47 mm)].
Oskar Barnack built his prototype Ur-Leica in 1913 as a device to test film stock and/or motion picture lenses and had it patented, but Ernst Leitz did not decide to produce it before 1924.
c) 35mm is often given as a comparison when talking about lenses in small cameras or cameras with other sensor/film format than the 24 x 36mm frame. The camera has a smaller sensor and hence uses a wider lens to capture the same image as a "35mm camera" would. Example: A camera with a 12 x 18 mm sensor has a 14mm lens on it, and even the lens is actually a 14mm, it is specified as a 28mm lens (35mm) which means that the resulting image is equivalent to a 28mm lens on a 35mm camera.

 

 
  The Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0 lens of 2012.
   

50mm

a) 50mm lens is a lens that has a viewing angle of view is 47° vertically, 40° horizontally and 27° vertically within a 35mm film frame.
b) 50mm lens is often compared to the human eye. Not because of viewing angle but because of size ratio. The 50mm lens is the lens that comes closest to the size that the human eye see things (whereas the human eye has a much wider angle of view [120-200°] than the 50mm lens [47°], thought a more narrow focus (your eyes may observe very wide but your focus is on a limited view within that angle of view).

 

 

 

AF = Auto Focus. The idea is that the camera does the focusing itself (the word auto comes from Greek "self").

APO = stands for "apochromatically corrected". In most lenses, optical design concentrates the focus of blue light and green light into a single plane, but red light falls slightly into another plane of focus. Red subjects, therefore, would be ever so slightly out of focus compared to blue and green subjects in the same frame. Not sure you'd ever notice though, the difference is so slight. This is the same basic principle that requires you to shift the focus for infrared photography, related to the wave length of red light. In APO lenses, the design and expense has been put in to making red light focus on the same plane as blue and green. Under a microscope you would see that all light subject is now in focus, creating a sharper image overall. Many manufacturers offer APO designs, but in most of these only the very center of the lens is APO corrected. Leica prides itself on making most of the frame APO correct.
If one look at the images produced by the APO lenses (Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0, the Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH, and the Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 that is in fact APO-corrected), one will notice that the colors are really bright and alive, almost more real than to the eye.
Apochromat; ORIGIN early 20th century, made of the two words;
apo: Greek origin, away from
chromatic (Latin origin, meaing relating to color.

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

 

 
  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)

 

Auto- means “self”. The idea is that when a camera has auto-(something), it does that (something) by itself.

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.

 

Burning = Expose one area of a photos more (in the development in the darkroom by exposing more light from the negative onto the light-senisitive paper by shading for all other areas than one with two hands forming a hole, or a piece of metal or paper with a hole in it). In modern digital post processing (using editing software liek Lightroom or Capture One Pro), a digital tool "burn" a selected area and makes it darker digitally. (Also see "Dodging").

 

  Focusing buttonsThere is a S (single focus), C (continious focus) and a MF (Manual Focus) selection on this. In the center is a button for activating focus aid. This button works also when the Lock button is turned on (the one that loks all buttons on the camea).AF ONActivates AF if you want to activate AF without touching the shutter release button (!).
  C for continious

C = Continuous shooting. When the ring by the Shutter Release on top of the camera (or in the menu of digital cameras that doesn't have such a feature on the outide of the camera) is moved from OFF to C, the camera takes series of images as long as the shutter release is pressed down. In some cameras the speed of continious shooting can be adjusted. For exampel in the Leica Q under the menu point Continuous Shooting you can define if the Continuous should be Low (3 fps), Medium (5 fps) or High (19 fps).

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).

 
     

 

CCD sensor (as used in Leica M8, M9, Leica S) = (Charged Coupling Devices) - The first digital cameras used CCD to turn images from analog light signals into digital pixels. They're made through a special manufacturing process that allows the conversion to take place in the chip without distortion. This creates high quality sensors that produce excellent images. But, because they require special manufacturing, they are more expensive than their newer CMOS counter parts.

CLA
An acronym for "(C)lean, (L)ubricate & (A)djust", whereby the item is merely re-lubricated, fine-adjusted and calibrated rather than repaired. "I just got my equipment back from CLA at Leica"

CMOS sensor (as used in Leica CL, Leica T/TL/TL2, Leica M 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.

Dodging = Expose one area of a photos less (in the development in the darkroom by exposing less light from the negative onto the light-senisitive paper by shading for an area with a hand or piece of metal of paper). In modern digital post processing (using editing software liek Lightroom or Capture One Pro), a digital tool "dodge" a selected area and makes it lighter digitally. Also see "Burning")

Dodging in the darkroom using a piece of metal or paper to shade so a portion of the light-sensitive paper gets less light. Photo: richardpickup.
Dodging in the darkroom using a piece of metal or paper to shade so a portion of the light-sensitive paper gets less light. Photo: richardpickup.

  DOF scale ont the Leica Q lens
  DOF scale ont the Leica Q lens
   

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.


Depth of Field: Focus is on the flowers and the photograph on the desk and the foreground and background is blurred as the depth of field is narrow. If one stop down the aperture of the lens from f/1.4 to f/5.6, more will be in focus. If one stop down the lens to f/16 even more (if not all) will be in forcus. Another rule: The closer you go to a subject (the less focusing range), the more narrow the Depth of Field will be. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.
Depth of Field: Focus is on the flowers and the photograph on the desk and the foreground and background is blurred as the depth of field is narrow. If one stop down the aperture of the lens from f/1.4 to f/5.6, more will be in focus. If one stop down the lens to f/16 even more (if not all) will be in forcus. Another rule: The closer you go to a subject (the less focusing range), the more narrow the Depth of Field will be. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

DR = Dual Range lens. This is a type of Leitz/Leica lens that works as macro (near focus range) and normal lens, and comes with googles/"Eyes" for the macro function. The 50/2 Dual Range Summicron was made from 1956 to 1968, only in chrome, with a near-focusing range as close to 478mm.

You mount the googles/"Eyes" to focus at close range. If you use the lens in normal range, you can take off the googles/"Eyes"

The googles/"Eyes" can be critical for which camera the lens fits on. the Leica M6 TTL requires that the plastic tab onthe eyes is removed; and other Leica M models likewise. It fits on the Leica MP, M2, M3 and oterh models. .


Leica M2 with Dual Range Summicron-M f2.0. © Dave Dunne.
Leica M2 with Dual Range Summicron-M f2.0. © Dave Dunne.

 

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’.

ELCAN - Ernst Leitz Canada, established 1952, was the Leitz family's guarantee against another war in Europe and/or invasion from Russia after WWII. Besides becoming a copy of the Wetzlar factory, it also became the somewhat military/industrial branch of Ernst Leitz . Because of the precision work, high standards and knowledge in optics for science and millietary, the ELCAN plant was sold to Raytheon (USA), who bought it from its previous owner, Hughes Aircraft Co.

Ernst Leitz Canada (ELCAN) was established in 1952 close to Toronto in Canada.
Ernst Leitz Canada (ELCAN)
was established in 1952 close to Toronto in Canada.

Elcan-M is the name of lenses for M lenses that fits the Leica M system Leica M, as the U.S. Navy High Resolution Small Format Camera System during the Vietnam war.

Elcan-R is also the name of a series of R lenses made in the 1960ies and early 1970ies that fits Leica R system, as the U.S. Navy High Resolution Small Format Camera System during the Vietnam war.

The Leitz ELCAN-M 90mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 model C164 on a Leica KE-7 film camera made for the U.S. Navy.
The Leitz ELCAN-M 90mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 model C164 on a Leica KE-7 film camera made for the U.S. Navy.

 

Elmar = Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f3.5 . Historically derived from the original 1925 50mm f3.5 Elmax lens, which was an acronym of (E)rnst (L)ieca and Professor (Max) Berek, designer of the original lenses. Later that year the 50mm f3.5 Elmar superceded the Elmax, which was discontinued due to its complexity and high cost of manufacture.

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). Vario-Elmarit (and Vario-Summicron, etc) is Leica Camera AG's name for zoom lenses.

Elmax
Elmax lens named after = Ernst Leitz + Max Berak. Ernst Leitz was the founder of Ernst Leitz Optical Industry which later became Leica. Professor Dr. Max Berak was employed at Leica in 1912 and was the architech of the first Leica lens which Ernst Leitz asked him to design for the "Barnack's camera" (the 1913-prototype named after Oscar Barnack who invented it). The lens was a f/3.5 50mm and was known as the Leitz Anstigmat and later the Elmax.

 

Elmax (Ernst Leitz Max Berek) by Marco Cavina 2010
The Leitz Elmax 50mm f/3,5 (1925-1961) on the Leica A camera (1925) camera. Photo by Marco Cavina.

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/1.25 is the size of the "hole through" the lens, the aperture. f/1.25 means focal length divided with 1.25. In the Leica 75mm NoctiluxM ASPH f/1.25, the "hole through" the lens at f/1.25 is 60mm in diameter. At f/1.4 the "the hole through" is 53.5mm in diameter. At f/4 the "hole through" is 18.75mm in diameter.
Each step smaller from f/1.4 to f/2.0 to f/2.8 to f/4.0 and son on is a reduction ofthe light to half for each step. The Noctilux f/1.25 therefore lets 50% more light in through the lens than a 75/1.4 Summilux.


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.

Lens flare in the movie, The Graduate (1967).
Lens flare in the movie, The Graduate (1967).

Lens flare in Mission Impossible Fallout (2019)
Lens flare in Mission Impossible Fallout (2019)

Lens Flare in Star Trek (2013). JJ Abrams famously said, "I know there's too much lens flare ... I just love it so much. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery (ha ha)" 
Lens Flare in Star Trek (2013). JJ Abrams famously said, "I know there's too much lens flare ... I just love it so much. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery (ha ha)" 

 

Flickering = blinking light. This may result in "banding like" horizontal stripes in an image, or simply that the light you see isn't in the picture, or it looks different. For example, you take a photo in light, and the result you get is darker. You take another, and now it is all right. The reason is that some light blinks. Here's the difference within one second (notice how the light in the room, the wall light and the sign light all flicker):

 
     
 
Flickering light causing different result in each frame becasuse the light blinks faster than the eye sees, but slow enough to be caught on camera. Here at shutter time 1/1500 sec, four pictures within a second.
Often you will see that you take a portrait indoor in an office, and from frame to frame the person has shade on one side of the face in one photo, but not the next.
     

Flickering ligh is a new challenge that photographers face, which is flicering light that looks good to the eye, but result in different results in a photo. Through cinema and photography history, the three standard high-quality light soruces have been daylight (from the sun), daylight HMI (5400 Kelvin Hydrargyrum medium-arc iodide lamps) and tungsten lamps (3200 Kelvin). When I say high-quality, it's because those are the light types that ensure high color quality (see the definition of CRI - Color Rendering Index in my "Leica and Photography Definitions page") and how quality light traditionally has a score above 90 CRI).

In recent years we have seen "light that flickers" because it has a pulse, such as stage light, photo lamps, video lights and of course indoor and outdoor late night lamps using LED (Light-emitting diode), compact fluorescent lightbulp-shaped lamps and other low-energy lamps (such as halogen). These light also generally have lower CRI (Color Rendering Index) below 90, and even lamps that are stated to have 90 CRI or higher, may mis out on the important red and blue tones, which will make it impossible to get the colors right, espoecially skin tones). If a stage has one or more low-quality lights (which they thend to have), these will pollute the colors of the scene to some degree.

 
  Banding as result of electronic shutter, and often also if the ISO is high.

Flickering horizontal stripes (or "banding"-looking stripes) may appear when you use electronic shutter, and you are photographing with one or more light sources that flickers.
When the electronic shutter is on, you are usually at higher shutter speeds than 1/2000, which means there it would be possible to go down to a lower ISO, and to activater the mechanical shutter. (In some cameras you can choose to use electronic shutter throughout the entire range, which would make the camera completely silent; and this alone may cause horizontal stripes/banding if one or more lights in the room flickers).

Flickering in the EVF is very normal and will apear often without the vertical lines you see in the EVF will be in the picture.

 
  A 28 mm lens has a 74° viewing angle
   

Focal length = Originally focal length referred to the distance from the sensor (or film in older days) to the center of focus inside the lens (28mm, 50mm, 400mm, etc). Today one call it effective focal length (EFL) as a 400mm lens is not nessesarily 400mm long due to optical constructions that can make it shorter. The 35-420mm zoom on the Leica V-Lux 1 is for example only ca. 135 mm long. 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 is "king of photography"
   

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. The "full frame" technically deifinition thouhg is a sensor that camtures the full frame in one go (as the early sensors as in Leica S1 scanned the image/senor over a period of time).
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).

 

Ghosting = Secondary light or image from internal reflections between (and within) lens elements inside a lens. The reflected light may not always be in focus, so overall it looks like a "milked out" image. A subject in focus has brightened patches in front of it that come from reflections inside the lens. the most elementary look of ghosting is when you look in a rear-view mirror in a car at night and you see doubles of the headlights behind you (a strong one and a weaker one), because the headlights are reflected in a layer of clear glass on top of the mirror glass.

   
Degrees of ghosting from strong sunlight entering from outside the frame. To the right the outside light has been shielded with a shade.

 

  The Hektor 73mm f/1.9 of 1930-1931 sells at $900 - $6,000 these days.
  The Hektor 73mm f/1.9 of 1930-1931 sells at $900 - $6,000 these days.
   

Hektor - Refers to the maximum lens aperture - usually f2.5 (whihc at the time of development in the 1930's was considered very light-strong lenses). The name was apparently taken from the name of lens designer, Professor Max Berek's dog, Hektor. He also had another favorite dog, Rex, which may have inspired the lens name Summarex.
But ... there is also another possibility, which is that Hektor (the lens and/or the dog) was inspired by Hektor, the oldest son of the Trojan king Priamos, who is listed in the history books as being the most couragerous defender of his home city, Troy. (Max Berek knew of this because Greek history had been required during his high school education).
In any case, the first 50mm Hektor f/2.5 was designed by Max Berek in 1931 for the Leica I Model A, and the - for that time - extremely light-strong 73mm Hektor f/1.9 was designed in 1930-1931 in preparation of the modular Leica system.

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 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).


6400 ISO indoor photo. With modern cameras the ISO can go to 3200, 6400, 12,800 and even higher without loss of dynamic range and without digital noise. Leica M10 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

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.

 

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 = (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.

 

  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.

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.

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

 

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.

MF (Medium Format), as in the Leica S System.

MF (Manual Focus) for lenses that are focused by hands, as opposed to Auto Focus.

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.

MP
a) Stands for Mechanical Perfection, as in the Leica M-P.
b) Megapixels (millions of pixels).
c) Megaphotosites (millions of photosites).

ND
Neutral Density filters are grey filters function as 'sunglasses' for lenses. They simply block the light so that a lens can work at for example f/0.95 or f/2.0 in sunshine.
If a camera is set to 200 ISO and the maximum shutter speed is 1/4.000, this will usually result that the lens has to be at f/2.8 or smaller aperture in sunshine. Else the image will over-exposed. So in order til stay within the maximum shutter speed of 1/4.000 and still use a lightstrong lens wide open, one mount a ND-filter that reduce the light with 3 stops (8X) or 6 stops (64x).
For video ND-filters are used quite a lot (as the shutter speed for video is 1/60), and ND-filters are also used to reduce the light for really long multi-exposures at night (stop-motion video and stills).
ND-filters also exist as variable ND-filters so one can adjust the amount of light going through from for example 1 stop (2X) to 6 stops (64X).
ND-filters also exist as graduated ND-filters where the top of the filter is dark and then gradually tone over in no filter (so as to reduce the skylight in a landscape for example).
The ND filters are called Neutral because it is a neutral filter. It doesn't change colors, only the amount of light.

ND-Filrers. Neutral Density. Photo © Thorsten Overgaard
ND-filters / gray-filters.

 

"Niner"
The nick-name for the 90mm f/2.5 Leica lens in the 30's when it first came out.

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.

 

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.

 

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 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.

 

Perspective correction - In software like Adobe Lightroom and Capture One Pro there is often a feature to correct perspective (and distortion) like seen below. You can change perspective this way, or at least make believe: If you correct a tall building on teh vertical lines, you will notice that the height of the windows doesn't match the perspective. If the building is with straight lines, the windows should all be of the same size. But a tall building seen from below and corrected with software will have taller windows (closer to camera) in the bottom than in the top (further away from the camera originally).

Perspective correction in Adobe Lightroom. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.  Perspective correction - In software like Adobe Lightroom there is often a feature to correct perspective (and distortion) like seen below. You can change perspective this way, or at least make believe: If you correct a tall building on teh vertical lines, you will notice that the height of the windows doesn't match the perspective. If the building is with straight lines, the windows should all be of the same size. But a tall building seen from below and corrected with software will have taller windows (closer to camera) in the bottom than in the top (further away from the camera originally).
Perspective correction in Adobe Lightroom. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

  A graphic illustration of the typical Bayer Color Filter Array on an RGB sensor. It's called a Bayer filter because Bryce Bayer of Eastman Kodak invented the technology of filtering incoming light into RGB and distribute it into the the photosites that each read just one color (R/G/G/B).
  A graphic illustration of the typical Bayer Color Filter Array on an RGB sensor. It's called a Bayer filter because Bryce Bayer of Eastman Kodak invented the technology of filtering incoming light into RGB and distribute it into the the photosites that each read just one color (R/G/G/B).
   

Photosite - The unit in a digital camera sensor that records intensity of either red, green or blue. Unlike the output of a sensor, measured in pixels (and where each pixel contains RGB), the photosite records only one color each, and it's intensity (how bright it is). A photosite can not distinguish colors, which is why there is a Color Filter Array (basically a prism) above them to filter the colors and send information to the photosite if 's a R, G og B color. See illustration below. In a monochrome sensor (as in the Leica M Monochrom and the Phase One Achromatic), all photosites are recording intensity of light only as there is no concern which color it is, and there is no color filter.
The ratio of photosites to pixels is not a given. Each block of 4 contiguous photosites contains one photosite sensitive to low wavelengths (blue), one photosite sensitive to high wavelengths (red), and two identical photosites sensitive to medium wavelengths (green). So four photosites would be the minimum to create one 'full-color' pixel. Apart from that, depends on the sensor specifications, which is different from brand to brand. Sometimes four photosites (two Green, one Red and one Blue) makes up one pixel, at other times it's more photosites to one pixel; and there is also pixels sampled from photosites across (sort of overlapping patterns).

 

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’.

 

SDC = Software Distortion Correction. A correction of lens distortion (not straight lines) applied in the camera and which is part of the DNG or RAW file. In Lightroom or Capture One Pro 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.
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.

Sharpness - See “Focus”

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. Newer camera models has aen EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) that displays in the viewfinder what the sensor sees in real-time.

 

  Leitz Wetzlar Mikro-Summar 42mm
  Leitz Wetzlar Mikro-Summar 42mm f/4.5 lens anno 1910 might be the first lens carrying the name Summar.

Summar - (or a story of name development)
The 1933 lens 50mm f2.0 Summar: It started out as Summar(f2.0), then the Summitar (f2.0 in 1939), then the Summarex(f1.5 in 1948), then the Summaron(35mm f.2.8 in 1948, then later f2.0, f3.5 and f5.6 lenses), then the Summarit (f1.5 in 1949 and used again for the 40mm f2.4 on the Leica Minilux in 1995, then again for the 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm Summarit f2.5 in 2007) then the Summicron(f2.0 in 1953 for the collabsible 50mm) and finally the Summilux(50mm f1.4 in 1959).
ORIGIN of Summar is unknown.

 

Summarex
The great thing about being a lens designer is that you get to name the lens. Dr. Max Berek who worked for Leitz from 1912 till his death in 1949 named lenses after his two favorite dogs. One was Sumamrex named after his dog Rex, the other Hektor named after his dog Hektor.

 

Summarit
Refers to the maximum lens aperture - here f/1.5.

 

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 f/1.4 , "-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.

Telyt
Lens nomenclature - short-hand for " telephoto " (tele- is a combining form, meaning to or at a distance) and used in names of instruments for operating over long distances : telemeter. The name has been used for a number of tele lenses from Leica.
ORIGIN: from Greek t?le- ‘far off.’

Televit
rapid-focus device from Leitz that was made from 1966 through 1973, in both R and VisoflexIt was originally designed for use with the 400mm f5.6 Telyt and 560mm f5.6 Telyt. Beginning in 1970 (with serial 2340953) the Televit could also be used with the 280mm f4.8 Telyt-V by using adapter 14138.

Thambar
Leitz Thambar 90mm f.2.2. At most about 3000 were made, probably in eight batches, starting with 226xxx (actually built in 1934) and going through 283xxx, 311xxx, 375xxx, 416xxx, 472xxx, 511xxx, and 540xxx (about 1939/1940).
Today they are staggeringly rare and extremely expensive: you would be lucky to get away with much less than $1500 for the lens without accessories (center spot, shade, cap), and you could easily pay twice that for a good, complete example with clean glass.
Known to be a legendary soft-focus portrait lens that 'make a woman look 10 years younger.' A glass filter with a black spot in the middle, about 13mm (1/2”) in diameter cuts out the central (sharpest) part of the image and makes everything even softer.
(Source: Roger W. Hicks)
Here are some advice from a Thambar user, Theodor Heinrichsohn, who have used it mainly for portraits using an Leica M5 and Leica M6:
1. The results are more or less unpredictable. Best practice is to shoot many times and pick the one you like best.
2. Shots against the light are generally more effective than with the light behind you.
3. The most pleasing results to my taste were with center filter at medium apertures. With luck portraits took on the "dreamy" look that the lens is famous for.
4. I never used the Thambar for anything except portraits.
The lens has been rumored to be slightly radioactive due to the process of producing the glass.
Here are some sample photos of Koichiro Itamura Photography.
Here are some more sample images from Blue Penguin.

Origin of the name is currently unknown. Suggestions has been made that the name Thambar was derived from Greek, meaning “something that inspires wonder”. Also close to the English word Tamper (with) which is to meddle, damaging or altering something.

 

Leica Thambar 90mm
A complete set of a Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2 consist of the original red box, lens cap, lens shade and the special soft focus filter with a black dot in the middle. They exist in both a Meter and a Feet edition (the focusing scale). Only 3,500 or less were made from 1934-1940, from serial number 226001 to 540500. Read my article on Leica 90mm lenses.

 

Thick / Thin
The first 90mm Elmar that came out in 1930 was called "Thick" of "Fat" When the smaller Elmar came out in January 1933 it was called "Thin".

 

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. Also known as the German word "Messucher" (or Meßsucher).
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 vider 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".

Visoflex
A device mounted between the Leica M camera and a lens, containing a mirror mechanism like in a SLR camera, thus allowing the M user to 'preview' a picture using a tele lens larger than 135mm which is the maximum covered by the framelines in the Leica viewfinder.

Ø - Diameter. As in Ø49 for example which means that the filter diameter is 49mm for this lens (or if a filter is Ø49, it is 49mm in diameter and fits that Ø49 lens). Leica uses E to express their filters sizes, as in E49 for a 49mm filter size.

 

 

An evening in Berlin on May 10, 2012 ...

From the release of the Leica M Monochrom, Leica M9-P Hermes Limited Edition(s), Leica S lenses with CS (Central Shutter) and the Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0

 


Sort of live blogging from the event in Berlin. So far enjoy the Berliner Philarmoniker twelve cellos playing up for the event.

 


Here it is. The Leica M Monochrom camera and the Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0

 


Chief of Leica S2 (and Leica S3) development with photographer Anthony Suau and agent Bill Charles.

 


Eric Kim doing video interview

 


The prototype of the Leica M9 Hermes limited edition (100 pcs). Note the design change of the top of the camera.

 

To be continued ...

 

It will likely take a while before the Leica M Monochrom is ready for delivery, probably August 2012. So unless I get my hands on one before, that will be when I will address it more closely. Jonathan Slack has done a field test of the Leica M Monochrom prototype.

 

100 limited edition Leica M9-P Hermes
And one mire thing ... 100 limited edition Leica M9-P Hermes cameras with limited edition lenses and limited edition Hermes camera bags

 


Matthias Frei and Jonathan Slack. Leica M Monochrom and Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 at 5000 ISO.


 

 


   
   

 


   


Thorsten von Overgaard
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
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Leica M240    
Leica M246 Monochrom   Small Leica mirrorless digital cameras:
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Leica MP   Leica Q2
Leica M4   Leica Q
    Leica Digilux 3
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Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica Digilux 1
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica Digilux
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4    
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R film cameras:
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R8 / R9
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica R4
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 FLE   Leica R3 electronic
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0   Leicaflex SL / SLmot
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.2    
7artisans 50mm f/1.1   Leica compact film cameras:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica CM 35mm film camera
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0    
Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 collapsible   Leica R lenses:
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
7artisans 75mm f/1.25   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 250mm Telyt-R f/4.0
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Leitz Cine lenses:   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
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Above: A moment at Paris Bar in Berlin. Leica M9 (2009) with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 (1976) at 800 ISO.

 

 

Leica logo

LEItz CAmera = LEICA
Founded 1849 in Wetzlar, Germany.

 

Latest Leica M Monochrom Firmware Update

 

 

Henri Cartier Bresson by Jane Brown (1957)
The Leica M Monochrom could have been named simply "Henri" but ended up being named Leica M Monochrom (without an e in the end, plese note!). But the line back to Henri is quite obvious.
Photo: Henri Cartier Bresson by Jane Bown (1957)

 

This is the first article in a series on "Monochrome Photography" by Thorsten von Overgaard.
This is the first article in a series on "Monochrome Photography" by Thorsten von Overgaard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish born multiple award-winning AP photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

You can follow him at his television channel magicoflight.tv and his on-line classroom at overgaard.com

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
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