Leica Place - Leica User Group
Early September this year I participated in one of the big WW2 living history trips organized by 2nd Armored In Europe.
This time we followed the route of the 9th United States Infantry Division "The Old Reliables" through Belgium during that first week of September in 1944. We started in the village of Cendron at the French border and ended at Eupen on the German border.
The entire column consisted of some 110 re-enactors, 3 M8 Greyhound armored cars, 17 jeeps, 2 Harley-Davidson WLAs for traffic control and 5 Trucks (GMCs, Chevy etc) for transporting the infantry, their bagage and the field kitchen.
We camped at various locations along the way; Cendron, Phillippeville, Haut-le-Wastia, Goesnes, Jalhay and finally Charneux.
I was asked to participate and keep a sort of photographic diary of the trip, like I've done on all previous trips I've been on. I was a little limited in my freedom of movement as I was also asked to bring my jeep. Driving a jeep and taking pictures doesn't really work very well.
A lady "War Correspondent" from my own living history group was assigned as my passenger, so at least I'd have some company while on the road.
On Thursday morning, September 1st, most of us arrived at Charneux where our civilian cars would be parked for the duration of the trip. From there we moved by coach to Cendron. Our jeeps and trucks were transported there by low loader.
Upon arrival the vehicles and helmets were painted up with the correct unit markings. The "A-A-A-O" markings on the 39th infantry regiment helmets denotes the slogan "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere, Bar Nothing", given to the regiment by Colonel Flint during the Sicily campaign.
My gear consisted of an uncooperative Epson R-D1, my user Leica IIIc camera, a Contax II with 8,5cm f/2 Sonnar and my Anniversary Speed Graphic with 127 f/4.7 Ektar.
I'll be sharing my photos taken with the Leica here. I shot 7 rolls of Fomapan 100 loaded in Kaiser cassettes with a Watson 100 bulk film...
I love my various Sonnars, but until late last year my main lens was the Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron v5. That changed when I got the urge to "upgrade" to the 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH, and I did so selling my trusty Cron and buying a 50 LUX from fellow Leica Place member Mijo. The 50 LUX was perfect and the price was very fair, but after shooting with it for about ten months I just found it was, if anything, too perfect. My biggest complaint was that I had no complaints.
So, I'm back full-circle and have sold on the 50 LUX and bought another 50 Cron. I prefer the lighter weight and smaller size. I love the lighter touch to the focusing ring and the tiny 39mm filters. I like the "Mandler Look" and slightly harder edge to the way the lens renders. I like the bokeh, which to all conventional wisdom is busier and therefore inferior to that of the 50 LUX ASPH, but it works for how I imagine a 50mm should look.
Here are three exceptionally boring pictures of my messy desk that show well how the foreground and background bokeh look with this classic lens. First shot is focused near MFD on the text in the upper left corner of the computer screen. Second focused at a little over one meter at the Chinese characters on the pen and scissor cup (black text on green). The third is focused at about five meters on the hanging bell chime. All on the M Monochrom at ISO 320, f/2 with an orange filter.
L1000129.jpg by Andrew F, on Flickr
L1000130.jpg by Andrew F, on Flickr
New KMZ-Zenit lenses for rangefinder cameras (L39 / M mounts) | Leica Rumors
I was hoping a J-9 from Zenit/Lomography would come along. The original is very difficult to get to work wit a Leica, really needs the internal translation cam to be redone. The J-9 held to the original 7/3 optical layout and did not simplify to the 5/3 used by Nikon and Zeiss after the war. My opinion- the Bokeh on the original is smoother than either.
This J-9 is one-of-a-kind, 1950s Optics repositioned in a 1975 barrel, placed in a 1960s focus mount.
Spring 2016 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr
Focus is good from 1.15m to ~30m. Lots of time.
I'll be saving for the new J-9...
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.