The Dumbest Idea Ever: Leica M Edition 60

OK… so after a nice post this morning on the new film Leica M-A they apparently could not help themselves and had to make this monstrosity:

Why??? Shooting digital already has its limitations and the preview screen is one of the only features I even like… so lets make a precious, pretentious (note white gloves in the video) digital camera with NO LCD screen and pretend that to quote Leica’s own tag line that it is: “The Essence of Photography”.

This Leica worship crap drives me nuts and will be their undoing. Save yourself money and sanity and just get a M4 and call it a day.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

Leica M-A Announcement!

Leica M-A Available in Silver & Black..
Leica M-A

So apparently the folks at Leica still believe in film, or at least think they can make a buck off film camera sales. Announced today the Leica M-A…. basically a Leica MP Classic… no electronics, pure mechanical M! Let’s hope the rest of the industry takes notice and stops the rush to our digital demise as a medium.

There were a lot of rumors about a new Monochrome camera this year…. apparently the rumors were true- load a roll of Tri-X in this and it is a true Monochrome camera!!prettyPhoto

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

Cine Still Film Review

Cine Film





Click on the play button to here my quick review of this film.

From the FAQ page at CineStill Film

Use CineStill 800Tungsten when photographing:
   – tungsten/incandescent light
   – candle light
   – fluorescent light
   – mixed tungsten and fluorescent
   – mixed tungsten and limited daylight

Avoid using CineStill 800Tungsten (or expect a unique look) when photographing:
   – open shade
   – cool light
   – daylight overpowering tungsten
   – heavily backlit images
   – strong window light
   – content including intense points of light (christmas lights, chandeliers, neon signs, bright windows)    

Here is a difficult test shot I did… I was quite impressed and this is pushed to EI 3200!!!!!! Max usable EI in my opinion is around 6400 with a 2 stop push….


Lance Braided Leather Strap

I have a lot of experience with camera straps after making over 4,000 Y Straps some years ago. I have been looking for a beautiful and functional strap for my new Leica Monochrome and have found it in the new Lance Braided Leather Non-adjust camera strap. At $75 it is a great value and is far nicer for my needs than the AA straps or the Barton leather strap I have been using recently. I also own the Lance Nylon straps which are nice but this one is in my opinion is spot on!

Check them out at:



Film Testing Kodak 400TX and Diafine Developer

Amazing couple of days running dozens of different developer tests all with 400TX… love the look of the grain and depth of this film! In the end I came back to an old friend but with a new twist. Diafine is back in my life in a big way! Diluted 1:1 and used as a one shot developer it is spot on in my JOBO with very nice grain, great tonality, no processing issues and best of all a usable EI from about 100-1250 (the chart shows 200-1600… I think 1600 is a bit on the edge for my works but is totally usable in a pinch. So again, in a JOBO speed is 4, temp does not really matter but I ran at 75F, Dilute part A and B 1:1… I did 3.5 minutes in each followed by a 2 min wash with water then fix (box time), clear (box time) and hang to dry…. easy as pie!


Of course an advantage of Diafine that I have written about here before is that many different films can be souped at the same time which is a huge time saver. Diafine negs are a bit flat and do requiere an “S” curve in PS to make me happy but I am now quite happy indeed. I will post links to Diafine articles I have written and a great one from a friend Sandy King from View Camera.


My suggest EI…. 800.

Viva la Revolution– Stephen

All images shot with a Leica MP with a 35MM Summicron ASPH… on Film!


Sandy King Article Diafine…. a must read!

as for articles here… there are a lot!!!! Just type in Diafine in the search box and enjoy!

Also please note these were just quick scans (first set) as I am leaving tomorrow for a week of shooting but the final scan (last image) is quite nice and shows the real potential for this amazing combo.

Film Testing

So I very recently got a Leica MP Black Paint a la carte with a matching black paint Leica 35mm F2 ASPH Summicron… Nice! But what film? I’ve been shooting a lot of 4×5 film recently, mainly Kodak 160 Portra and there is NO way a 35mm negative was going to give me the tonality or depth of color that I had grown acustomed to. So what to do?!

Here are the results of my first tests…. Kodak 400TX processed 1:100 at 68F for 20 minutes with gentle agitation every 3 minutes. The negatives when scanned on my Imacon scanner at 6300 dpi were fantastic- I love grain! I made a test print at 28″ x 40″ on Canson Aquarelle 310 on my Epson 9900 using the BW mode and it was spot on. But…. was it perfect? No.  Since this first test I have run many others and now feel that a bit more agitation is needed, perhaps one gentle inversion per minute. I also have ran a test with D76 1:1 using my JOBO and the results were quite nice but the grain was not as crisp as the Rodinal.



So today I am running one last test as I am leaving tomorrow for a week of shooting from FL to VT (will mainly be shooting 4×5 color but want the Leica for my reportage work.

My test today will use PMK developer which I used a lot back in 2006-2007 and I remember how amazing the never ending highlights were…. more as that test concludes.

Viva la Revolution- Stephen

The Leica M9… Coming Very Soon So Hide Your Wallet!

Ok… my birthday is only a few days away but somehow I don’t think this new Leica M9 made my wife’s shopping list… damn! If Leica fixed all that was missing in the M8 (which I am sure they did… fingers crossed) this would be the first digital camera I could be excited about in quite some time… of course it will cost an arm and a leg but thats nothing new in Leica-land. I for one will be tuning in on September 9 to see all that is new… will I consider buying one if everything is perfect?… not any time soon as I love the look of scanned film and my wife would KILL me if I spent that kind of money in this economy… I have kids after all!

Below is the promo teaser for the live broadcast release:

Link to Lecia for more info.