Leica Place - Leica User Group
I don't know how much traction this thread will get, but I couldn't find another suitable place for these pictures of Buddha statues taken at Wat Sisaket in Vientiane, Laos. The Wat was Chao Anouvong's personal Wat, which makes it all the more surprising that it is almost the only Buddhist temple to survive the Siamese invasion and sack of Vientiane after Anouvong's bid to free himself from the suzerainty of Siam.
Of the 2000 Buddha statues housed here, some have been restored from that invasion, apparently, and others have found shelter after having suffered the ravages of time. Walking the edge of the courtyard where the Buddhas are housed it is hard not to be deeply moved.
Ten photos follow, all taken with the trusty Leica X1, using the accessory optical VF. I find it an absolute joy to shoot and am attached to it in a way that the Buddha would have advised against.
Not cheap at $649- but this is a fast Rangefinder lens with two triplets in it. About 1/2 the price of a new C-Sonnar, and a bit less than a 50/1.5 M-Mount Nokton. A near-mint J-3 runs $300, and you can figure that it will need a full CLA. This "Jupiter-3+" looks like the original Jupiter-3 design has been updated to close-focus to 0.7m. Chrome-plated brass is used rather than aluminum. I have modified a couple of original J-3's to focus closer, it is not hard to do. Basically a few cuts into the metal allows the close-focus position to exceed 1m and the focal length of the lens must be brought closer to 51.6mm.
The engravings are different in the new J-3. I suspect the optics are the same, why change a winner. At $649- I expect KMZ quality control, which was much better than the late Valdai lenses. ALSO- with a change in the barrel, setting the rear triplet in closer will reduce the focal length to the Leica standard. This is certainly necessary to allow accurate focus from 0.7m to infinity.
There are fast Sonnar formula lenses that I do NOT own, the Tanar 5cm F1.5, 500 made. That one would cost more than this new J-3+, and I already have the Nikkor 5cm F1.5. You could buy a few of these new J-3+ lenses for the price of the Nikkor. Both are chrome over brass, both focus close, and both made to the Leica standard.
I have Five cherry-picked Jupiter-3's that span from 1950 through to 1984, two KMZ's with Zeiss serial numbers, a late 1956 KMZ, 1975 ZOMZ, and 1984 Valdai. Also a 1949 ZK Sonnar. I have a lot of Fast Sonnars. The KMZ Jupiter-3's are among the best 50/1.5's ever made by anyone.
Leica released a lot of cameras in 2015. There is the Q, the new monochrome, the 262, the S 007 and few others including the X series and a bunch of special editions. For a small company like Leica, that is quite amazing feat. What is in store for us in 2016? Can they continue the trend? More importantly, with their limited market, can the market absorb the number of products that Leica is pushing out? 2015 is also a year when we finally saw the bubble burst for the high end camera market. It was years in the making but I felt that it really hurt company like Leica. They even reduced their price for a change. Have you seen the prices of used Leica lately?
I predict that with the great success of the Q, the next one will be the Q vario. I wonder if we will see a new M, not the strip down M 262 but a flagship version. It seems like they usually start with flagship version, followed in 2-3 years with an upgrade version, then immediately followed by a strip down version. Then repeat the cycle. M9 - M9-P - ME. M Type 240-M-P Type 240 - M Type 262. Think its about time? If not this year, it will probably be next year.
I would love to see a camera similar to the M 60th anniversary, no screen at the back, no video but should be as small and as light as the old M6. I missed the old size.
Will their be a new T since they have invested so much in the lenses already?
Can't wait to see what's in store for us. In the meantime, I will hold on to my M Type 240 and enjoy the images from this camera.
My 3D camera with a possible history of having been used in WWII to take photos of targets for the A-bombs is now displayed in the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, side by side with a proto-type of the A-Bomb.
Here is an inexpensive alternative for shooting very close up and macro photography with the M240. The live view and the EVF make it easy to use these old, wonderful (and inexpensive) lenses. The Canon 50mm f3.5 Macro is a very nice lens and with the tube extension one can get really close for very interesting photos.
The first 3 were taken with the adapted lens alone the last one with the tube extension...
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