Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leica M3 with 35mm Lens Goggles

, originally uploaded by Camera West.

Fun Fun Fun. Hal here playing with a Leica M3 with a 35mm 2.8 Sumaron. We get to see a wide range of new and used Leica Lens and Cameras in both of our stores. What a great place to work.

Interesting Bits and Bytes

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Leica Day, and what a day it was...

On the 13th of October 2009 Camera West, Walnut Creek, California, was proud and honored to have a very special demonstration of the latest cameras from German camera manufacturer Leica. With the release of the M9 and coming soon the X1 and S2, Leica has indeed been productive. Both the Leica rep and the Leica factory Product Specialist, were on hand to answer any questions as well as show off the features of these three cameras. 
I was given the chance to have a hands on experience and I must say this is a fairly impressive array of very capable cameras. They all serve a different purpose, but they do all share common traits of exceptional build, processing and image quality. You can read a thousand reviews of the specifics of each of these cameras online but when it all boils down these are all wonderful and very unique cameras of which only Leica is capable of making.

I love the weight and feel of the S2. Its quick and quiet and feels very reliable with an easy menu set up on the rear LCD display. The design is simple, yet well thought out. The dials and controls all are well placed without any nonsensical icons or images to "help" with navigation.
The X1 was also a lot of fun to shoot and it finally helped me to understand the reason and advantage of shooting with single focal length lens on the camera. There is no need for anything else. Its shoots fast (f/2.8) and clear. If you want more focal length range then step up to the M9. This is a great little pull out and shoot camera, which works with your creative side while still producing exceptional Leica imaging. 
I can't say too much about the M9 that has not already been said.  I will say that I believe the introduction of this full frame rangefinder camera Leica have definitely upped the ante in terms of what is offered in the digital camera market. Watch this space as I believe this will definitely be the the start of a new direction for digital cameras.  

Leica Systems Preview, Monterey

October 12th 2009. Our Leica Systems Preview was very successful, with a good turnout and a wealth of new information. The new systems were presented by Leica’s own Northern California Leica Representative Thomas Brichta, and U.S. Product Specialist Justin Stailey from New Jersey. Our Leica day was off to tremendous start around Noon with the presentation of the prototype Leica X1 straight from Germany. Accompanying the X1 in the line of demo units was the all new S2, and a pair of M9s in Steel Grey and Black Paint finishes. From Noon to six our customers and staff had some real hands-on time and questions answered on the new products.

At 6:30 we headed over to Montrio Bistro, a world class restaurant with our good friend and Executive Chef, Tony Baker. To start off we had another showing of the systems and general discussion with both Tom and Justin, while enjoying some of Montrio’s fine appetizers. Justin had brought a Leica Prodovit D-1200 projector for his formal presentation of the new Leica systems. The presentation started with an in-depth technology review of the M9 camera and Leica’s pixel filling micro-lens technology, followed by the X1 and S2 presentations. Wrapping up the evening, we reviewed Images produced from all three systems. By far the most intriguing system of the event was the S2. The files from the camera were nothing I have ever seen from a digital camera!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A brave and somewhat exhilarating new world

With the introduction of video into the world of DSLRs we are seeing a completely new direction for creative output. Imagine the future this opens for people of all backgrounds to use video capable Canon or Nikon bodies to produce cinema quality video telling their stories in their own unique way. This is a very exciting time indeed.

No longer will we be limited to simple automated point and shoot video from our small low resolution cameras. Think about the possibilities of shooting with your fast 50mm f/1.4 or 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom and perhaps what you can do with full manual focus while filming. All those features we have learned to love such as shallow depth of field and bokeh or selective focus suddenly become available for integration into movie making. The mind boogles at the potential this holds.

Now if your still with me and I have you somewhat interested and perhaps even a little excited by this then please check out some videos I have enjoyed care of Youtube.

Canon Shooters:

Nikon Shooters:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Leica D-Lux 4 Safari.*

The new and limited edition Leica D-Lux 4. With only 6000 units world wide this limited edition camera offers great versatility, and exceptional image quality all in a convenient size. Great for your next expedition where ever it may lead you.More at Leica's Flickr page.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Leica X1, M9 and S2 System Preview

We are pleased to host Justin Stailey, Product Specialist from Leica Camera, at Monterey on Oct 12th and to Walnut Creek on Oct 13th. We will have on hand a prototype X1 camera, specially sent from Leica AG, for our event. We will also have a second version prototype S2 system for review as well as production version M9's. This is a rare opportunity to see all of these cameras at one time, before their market release!

The evening presentation will be shown with Leica's new Pradovit D-1200 digital projector. This will be busy event and evening space is limited, so RSVP will be greatly appreciated. We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Welcome to the new Camera West Blog site!

We will begin posting in the next week and look forward to providing you with information for new products, upcoming workshops and for personal product reviews.

Sean Cranor
President, Camera West