Words got out last week Leica is coming out with an ultra wide Super-Elmar-M 18 mm lens, and today, the announcement of the new Leica along with the SF58 flash unit are official. The new wide-angle lens is a better candidate than the Zeiss 18mm f/4 Distagon and can be used both on Leica M analog camera models, as well as on the digital Leica M8 or M8.2.
It has been a long week for Leica fanatics with the talks on Panasonic on the verge to acquire Leica’s photography division. The thought of the German finest optics they’ve been worshiped for decades to fall onto the hands of the Japanese tech behemoth must be unbearable. Whether Leica could use a technology boost from the takeover, or Panasonic to separate themselves from another consumer camera marques, are not happening in near future.
PMA 2009 is nearly two weeks away, there aren't any news from Leica front so far; but super wide shooters get your wallet ready, the French has posted a preview of an upcoming Leica M 3.8/18 Super-Elmar. A tap faster than Zeiss 18mm f/4 Distagon, less distortion and better vignetting control, but twice as expensive!
Leica have unveiled a limited edition version of their esteemed M8 digital camera, the M8.2 Safari Edition, complete with camoflage paint-job, matching canvas and leather satchel with calfskin strap, and the knowledge that only 500 have been made. If you actually want to take photos (presumably of wild animals) then you'll want to know that it has a 10.3-megapixel, low-noise sensor, and is compatible with all of the company's M-range lenses.
Leica turned their Pradovit series slide projector digitally, announced company’s first entry in digital projector display back in Photokina with the Pradovit D-1200 – a 16:10 WXUGA digital projector wet dream for photographer; portable size with world’s lightest, and smallest presentation tool suitable for traveling; Leica-grade optics equipped display and high resolution realistic image reproduction from Pixelworks DNX 30-bit video processing MotionEngine, and a host of connectivity for the most-demanding digital media sources.
Rumors have been circulating of a very limited 500-pieces edition 10MP Leica P&S D-Lux 4 digital camera to be available worldwide. The package will include an exquisite titanium finish housing and titanium hued Leica logo D-Lux 4 with a matching Leica-stamped leather punch for $995. The technical specs are the same for the regular black finished D-Lux 4, and both essentially are Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 equivalent.
If you are a Leica fan, It would be a great collection for that piece of precious machinery, consider its limited run of only 500 units will be issued. But latest report said otherwise, there would be 10,000 units to be available coming this January. Look like there would be plenty of Leica to pass around.
Leica USA has rolled out firmware 2.002 for its bread and butter M8 and M8.2 digital rangefinders. It adds identifications of six bit coding of the newest M lenses into the cameras. Mirror bug-fix also included in this release such as images numbering, unintended black frame, auto ISO issues and correction to the fastest sync speed in the menu. According to Leica, new firmware once installed is not possible to undo to previous version and the saved user profile will be deleted as well.
You would think Leica has done with Photokina with announcements of Rangefinder M8.2 and couple of P&S, not so. Leica biggest announcement is yet to come! Perhaps the best kept recent news from the Photokina 2008, Leica is about to release an unexpected Leica S system- First with S2 DSLR packs a whopping 30mm x 45mm 37MP image sensor, which is 56 percent bigger than DSLR 35mm full frame sensor.
The days of 35mm slide projector have receded into the past as new digital projection equipments offer much easy and convenient integration with nowadays digital still and motion pictures. Even the old school Leica will be releasing their first digital projector with the announcement of Pradovid D-1200 - Featuring the traditional Leica superb optics while claiming smallest and lightest projector within its class.