Gear Thoughts

The Leica APO-Summicron-SL 75 f/2 - A TRUE WINNER

After only a couple of days with this lens, my worst fears have come true. It is absolutely as brilliant as everyone else has written about. After I ship it back to Lensrentals later this week, I will promptly place my order from B&H for a brand new copy. Simply stunning with nothing bad to say at all. I do look forward to the release of the SL2, but in the meantime, the Panasonic S1R provides the resolution necessary to show off what this lens is capable of capturing.

Leica 75 SL - OMG

I got this lens in for testing yesterday thanks to Lensrentals. This has been on my list for quite some time. After 24 hours I can’t imagine sending this back. The images below were capture this morning on the Panasonic S1R, hand held, morning light. Minimal processing in LR (Curves, Clarity, Texture. The results are simply stunning. .

Below are as shot images followed by detailed crops

Below are a couple of samples, again, hand held, indoors, right after the lens arrived.

Leica Super Vario Elmar SL 16-35mm f/3.5-4.5 ASPH Lens

Thanks once again to the team at Lens Rentals, I have some very cool Leica SL lenses to use on my upcoming trip. From my first trip to Iceland I discovered that about 70% of my shots were taken from 18mm down and the other 20-30% were either shot long >200mm or on my Q @ 28mm. So for my trip this coming week, I have rented the amazing 16-35 to pair with my Leica SL. The lens arrived two days ago and the weather here in SW FL has not been conducive to much testing. However I did manage to get out the first night at sunset and capture a couple of images at the beach.


My first reaction was that like all of the SL lenses, this glass is super well built and relatively large. In a perfect world, I would love to see these lenses be somewhat smaller, but on the same hand, I appreciate what Leica has done. Solid build with weather seeing and state of the art optics with AF comes at a price. Having also shot a great deal with both Nikon FF and Sony FF gear, I can say that size wise this lens is on par with their offerings. As for weight, well, the build quality of the Leica gear is definitely on the more robust side. Very reminiscent of the MF Zeiss glass that I used with my D800 series cameras.

Shooting into the sun, B&W conversion done in LR

Shooting into the sun, B&W conversion done in LR

After an evening shooting a couple of test shots I am definitely very excited to use this lens in Iceland. I think on the beaches, around the water falls and in the ice caves it is going to perform brilliantly. Paired with a B&W ND filter to slow things down in the bright reflective light, I am excited to see what it can do.

As we travel the coast of Iceland I will be updating the blog infrequently and instead focused on building out my Iceland Story over on my exposure site. You can follow along there.

For my long work, I have rented the Leica APO Vario Elmarit SL 90-280 which I have to say is quite the beast. I was unable to do any real testing with that lens other than an obligatory selfie in the mirror. More on that lens will be forthcoming.


DJI Mavic Pro Smart Controller

It now appears that the new DJI Smart Controller is in stock and shipping. This also includes the Mavic Pro 2 combo pack. I have my order for the controller coming but unfortunately it will not arrive before I leave for Iceland tomorrow. The trip to Iceland would have been a great location to evaluate the combo and removed the necessity to rely upon my phone in a foreign country. With that said, I will still be able to get a good sense of the Mavic Pro 2 during the trip and will post a follow up review and thoughts upon my return. By then my Smart Controller should have arrived for my own internal review. I will be sure to share my thoughts and experiences.

Mavic 2 Smart Controller