The “Q” … My First Experience with a Leica

The Leica Q has been on my wish list since I first read about it when it was announced on June 10, 2015.  Why?  Well first, it’s made by the renowned German camera maker, Leica, plus it has a full frame sensor, fast Leica Summilux lens, excellent EVF, and for me the image stabilization is important.  I kept trying to get the same general features but at a lower cost by using different cameras, and I thought maybe the Ricoh GR would scratch that itch since it had the 28mm lens and an excellent APS-C sensor.  It didn’t.  In the end, I think it came down to the fact that I had never used a Leica and I just wanted to … Continue reading “The “Q” … My First Experience with a Leica”


Castle Pines Walkabout with the Sony Nex-6 and 10-18mm Lens

I was up early this morning, about 5:30am, so I grabbed my camera and headed out the door.  These morning excursions usually involve two important decisions:  First, which camera and lens to take, and second, where to go for coffee.

Today, the first was one was easy since I have a new Sony 10-18mm f/4 wide-angle zoom.  The obvious choice was the Nex-6 so I could try out the new lens.  The coffee decision, while never certain until I walk in the door of the coffee shop, ended up being the nearby DazBog coffee shop, only about 1/4 mile away.  Of course, the three Starbucks are also always likely choices since they’re even closer.  🙂 The cool morning air was refreshing and just warm enough to hint at the hot day ahead, but still just the perfect temperature for a morning stroll around Castle Pines.

After getting my first “cup of Joe” and thoroughly diluting it with cream and sugar, I settled in to take a few images with the new wide zoom.  As I shot, it occurred to me how so much of the discussion on the photo websites these days seems to concentrate on fast, sharp lenses that can give you a paper thin depth of field (dof) and thoughts about which of these lenses produces the best, the smoothest, the most pleasing bokeh.  And I don’t disagree that these are important characteristics … for “some” subject matter.  But not all.

What I discovered with this lens, especially at the widest setting of 10mm (15mm FF equiv.) and an aperture of f/16, was that the dof was almost complete.  In other words, just about everything from the front of the lens to the back of the room was in focus, and bokeh was not even a factor.  Nice!  So for interiors, landscapes, and other subjects where you want just about everything in the image to be in focus, this is a great lens.  Some may say, “the f/4 maximum aperture is too slow”.  Well, with this piece of glass, it will probably be a rare occasion to use the f/4 max and much more common to have it at f/11 or even higher to take full advantage of the huge dof.  And since it has built-in image stabilization, you could probably hand-hold this baby down to some very slow shutter speeds.  Like maybe 1/5th of a second or slower.  I’ll have to test this.

As you can tell, I’m very pleased with the lens.  And the coffee?   …… Well, it was great, too.

BTW, if you’re shooting either the Nex-6 or Nex-5R or even thinking about it, check out our e-book about these cameras at:

Spring Time in the Rockies

Spring time in Colorado brings snow and cold one day, and bright, beautiful spring flowers the next. These two images were both taken just 2 days after a spring snow storm blew through, dropping 10 inches of fresh snow in the foothills of Colorado.
Both photos were taken with the Olympus PEN E-PL1. For the top image I used my new Pansonic/Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens which I am really loving after just one day. As you can see, it gives great color and contrast and what I think is a beautifully smooth, soft bokeh. Plus, at f/1.4 it’s still sharp enough to give nice sharp photos and also allow you to hand hold in some very challenging low light situations.
For the bottom photo, I used the Olympus 14-42mm kit lens which continues to impress me with it’s sharpness and detail.