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Leica Blog + Film Cameras

Interested in film cameras or specifically Leica?  Perhaps you are looking for product reviews or just a source of photography inspiration.

“Love teaching photography so blogging and now YouTube! helps me to do so”.

MrLeica.com is a free and fast growing resource for cameras, lenses and film comparisons.  With over 300 published articles this site caters to everyone.

“I enjoy using old film cameras but I do my research before buying.  Here I share the answers to the questions I had to save you searching the internet”.

Why is MrLeica.com different to other camera review sites? 

“My camera reviews include many comparisons to similar cameras and are based on up to 10 years of hands on experiences using the equipment”.

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MrLeica.com started in March 2013 after Flickr followers asked for my thoughts 

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Founder / Story

I’m a self taught photographer with around 10 years experience of photographing portraits, models and weddings.  After my first 3 years I was teaching photography to fellow professionals in the UK and overseas and after 4 years I bought my first Leica camera.  As a child my Grandfather inspired me to draw and taught me to paint with watercolours.  As a teenager I taught myself very fine detail acrylic painting but went on to study science (and later finance) rather than the arts.

Photography came to me later after an ex girlfriend kindly bought me a camera one Christmas.  I was immediately hooked and 3 months later a bought a better camera and then another.  My inquisitive data driven mindset and tendancy to document things inspired me to start this blog as a personal project.  When reading about photography and researching new cameras I find it is the perfect place to record everything I learn and I can share it with others.

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Mr Leica Photographer Blog

Coventry UK studio based portrait and wedding photographer using digital Leica cameras and a wide range of film cameras.  Analogue cameras include 35mm, medium format and large format and film developing is done in house.  Cameras, lenses and films are tested during model photography photo shoots both in the UK and overseas.  Blog reviews include a combination of technical detail, example images and side by side comparisons.

Before starting MrLeica.com I used to write technical articles for UK photography magazines.  As I continue to collect and test cameras and photography equipment I now share the information here.  I hope you find the content as enjoyable to read as it is to document.

Join me on YouTube! to see the latest and visual of some of the cameras!

Thanks

Matt Osborne

Behind the Scenes (2)

Where to find MrLeicaCom!

If you want to follow me on social media just search for MrLeicaCom or Matt Osborne.  It’s always great to hear from like minded people so feel free to get in touch!  You can find me on Instagram and I share images on Flickr and Pinterest too.

Minolta Rokkor 40mm f2 Review (M-Rokkor for Leica!)

Minolta Rokkor 40mm f2 Review (Leica Summicron Alternative!) + YouTube

If you love the idea of buying a Leica Summicron lens but the price is above your budget then keep reading. The Minolta-M Rokkor 40mm f2 lens is near identical to the Leica Summicron-C 40mm f2 lens. The Minolta 40mm f2 lens also comes for a fraction of the price of a Summicron 35mm lens!

Minolta 40mm Review - Blog Cover Photo
Leica CL digital + Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f2 Portrait

Unplanned discovery of the 40mm Minolta lens!

I hadn’t planned to buy the Minolta 40mm Rokkor lens for Leica M mount.  It was a purchase fueled by photography GAS (gear acquisition syndrome!) when I was looking at the highly regarded Leica Summicron 35mm f2 lens.  Summicron 35mm lenses are crazy expensive and I didn’t want to spend that much money.  I saw the size of the Leica Summicron 40mm f2 lens and the much lower price tag and I was immediately interested.  I headed over to Flickr to find examples of this lens and reviews seems very positive.  

Leica Summicron 40mm vs 35mm 

The verdict online seems to be that the Summicron- C 40mm isn’t quite as good as the 35mm Summicron lens but the 40mm offers exceptional value for money.   The 40mm Summicron is said to be the smallest Leica M lens but I’m not sure that holds true.  Collapsible lenses like the Leica Elmar M is smaller when collapsed.  Some Leica LTM lenses are also smaller and other brands made small lenses such as the Voigtlander Skopar lenses (M mount and LTM mount)(examples – Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f4 lens / Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 lens) and Canon LTM lenses.

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Minolta Rokkor-M 40mm vs Summicron 40mm

If you come to buy the Leica Summicron 40mm f2 lens you will find there are 3 similar versions.  The Leica Summicron-C 40mm f2, the Minolta Rokkor-M 40mm f2 version 1 and the Minolta Rokkor-M 40mm version 2.  Optically I understand that all 3 lenses are identical but the Minolta 40mm later version is said to have better lens coatings.

Minolta CLE 40mm lens or Minolta CL 40mm lens

The version 2 of the lens was the Minolta CLE 40mm lens whereas the version 1 was the Minolta CL 40mm lens. Better coatings makes the Minolta 40mm v2 less prone to flare (unlike the Leica Summicron and Minolta v1).  For this reason I purchased a later copy of the Minolta 40mm.  

Great Value! Minolta 40mm lens on eBay

Being non Leica branded the Minolta lenses also often sell for less than their Leica sibling.  That works for me!  I called myself MrLeica.com some years ago but I’m not loyal to any one brand. I just try to use the best cameras and lenses I can afford regardless of the name.

Check the latest prices on eBay

Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f2 Portrait
Leica CL digital + Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f2 Portrait

Leica Summicron-C 40mm f2 lens 

If you are a loyal Leica brand only shooter then you might prefer the Leica badged version. If you search online for the Leica Summicron C 40mm lens you will find it is particularly affordable for a Leica Summicron lens (and tiny!). It is almost unbelievably cheap when you see the cost of a Leica 35mm Summicron lens.

40mm Viewfinder

If you use a Leica M film camera you will know that these cameras do not have 40mm framelines. To get around this I use a 40mm hotshoe viewfinder. See the YouTube video embedded below for a visual.

Camera with 40mm Framelines

If you want a film camera with 40mm framelines “build in” to the viewfinder then check out these two cameras –

minolta m-rokkor 40mm + Leica CL
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Minolta Rokkor 40mm Portrait Examples – Digital

Minolta Rokkor-M 40mm f2
Leica + Rokkor 40mm Portrait
Minolta Rokkor 40mm f2
Leica M240 + Rokkor 40mm
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Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm Sample Photos – Film

Voigtlander Bessa T Portrait
Leica M3 + Kentmere 400
35mm Leica CL + Minolta Rokkor 40mm Portrait
35mm Leica CL Film Portrait
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Summary of the Minolta 40mm Rokkor M f2 lens

This compact lightweight affordable lens for Leica M mount offers excellent value for money. It seems a bit of a forgotten gem in the Leica lens option line up. I would have bought the Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f2 lens in my early Leica days if I knew it existed back then. The size and weight makes this a perfect travel lens. I’ve been really happy with it so far both for shooting film and digital.

YouTube: Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm f2 Review

Related Leica Posts

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Leica Q Lightroom Preset B&W – 28mm Portraits

Leica Q Lightroom Preset B&W – 28mm Portraits

This is a short article to share my Leica Q portraits from the recent YouTube camera review I did (also embedded). All portrait images were edited with my MrLeica B&W Leica Q Lightroom preset. Examples photos showing the before and after LR preset included below.

Leica Q Lightroom Preset B&W
Leica Q + Leica Q LR Preset B&W + Photoshop to finish

28mm Portraits – Leica Q

When you think of the ideal focal length for portraits the first lens that comes to mind is probably not 28mm. Personally I tend to prefer 50mm for my model portraiture but equally I was interested to see what I could achieve with the Leica Q. Here are a series of photos of the lovely Astrid (Bame agency) during a model test shoot in London. All photos are shot with the Leica Q fixed lens, the Leica Summilux 28mm f1.7 ASPH lens at f1.7.

(Join us on Patreon to see behind the scenes (“BTS”) footage from this model photoshoot and every model session since. You get to see what the models really look like and often get a glimpse of my lighting setup, cameras used, back of camera photo reel preview etc).

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MrLeica Leica Q Preset for Lightroom

All the photos shared above are Leica Q RAW files converted to JPEG, reduced size in Lightroom, with my B&W Leica Q Lightroom preset applied. The Leica Q black and white preset is designed to give me images which have that classic Leica look and are influenced by my B&W film photography scans from the Leica M3 and so on. Modern digital sensors cannot replicate film so this is not trying to emulate film but hopefully it gives the images more of the “organic look” that I love.

Leica Q Portrait (From YouTube Video)
Leica Q + Preset + PP to finish

Leica Q Images – Before and After Preset

To help demonstrate the effect of this Leica Q preset here are a series of screenshots from Lightroom showing before and after. On the left is the unedited RAW file, on the right is the final images (*Pre any retouching in Photoshop).

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More Leica Q preset example photos to show some variety..
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Leica Q LR Preset – Now available to download!

The Leica Q LR preset (B&W) is now available to download from the MrLeica Shop for the usual price of £4.99. If I buy a Leica Q camera in the future I will look to make multiple presets available as I do for the Leica CL, Leica M8 and Leica M240.

YouTube: Leica Q

If you’ve not already seen the video, here is the related YouTube episode for more on the Leica Q camera –

YouTube: Leica Q2

I also tested the Leica Q2 camera. See how it compares to the Leica Q here –

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Additional MrLeica Custom Leica Lightroom Presets:

Thanks to Leica UK

A special thanks to Leica UK and the amazing guys at the Leica Mayfair store on Duke Street, London. They kindly loaned me the Leica Q camera to test. I was interested to see if the Leica Q could offer me something that the Leica CL and Leica M240 can’t.

Leica Q2 Review (+ Leica Q vs Q2) + YouTube

Leica Q2 Review (+ Leica Q vs Q2)

To compliment my Leica Q and Leica Q2 reviews on YouTube here is a short written article including example photos from both cameras. Links to the YouTube videos also included.

Comparing the Leica Q2 vs Leica Q

Since the release of the new Leica Q2 camera in 2019 I was interested to see how the images compared to the original Leica Q. Having worked with Leica UK Mayfair store before I was able to arrange a Leica camera test in London. Thank you Leica! Next I organised some agency models and then we were all set. (See below for the resulting photos).

Camera Specs – Leica Q2 vs Leica Q

If you are looking for a detailed Leica Q2 vs Leica Q camera specs guide there are a few well known websites already geared up for that. Below are a few of the key improvements/ facts about the Q2 verses the original Q. The notable changes are the Leica Q2 now comes with an impressive 47MP CMOS sensor and has a much improved battery capacity. The Q2 camera retains the same impressive Leica Summilux 28mm f1.7 ASPH lens and at first glance looks very similar in it’s design.

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Portrait photography with the Leica Q2

As a UK portrait photographer when it comes to testing cameras I test them as if this was my main digital camera. By that I mean shoot portraits! The fixed 28mm Summilux lens of the Leica Q2 is probably not deemed an ideal focal length for photographing people. I say this as wide lenses such as 28mm can easily add distortion to an image. If you then photograph people up close with a wide lens as I do this can magnify that effect.

Camera test: Leica Q2 portrait images vs Leica Q

As I had the opportunity to test both the Leica Q2 camera and the older Leica Q I thought it might be nice to do a comparison. The plan was to take two sets of similar looking images with the same model to make it comparable. Here are the resulting images. All photos taken in the street outside the Leica Mayfair store.

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Leica Q2 Portraits (Lightroom Edits)

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Leica Q Portraits (Lightroom edits)(As Comparison)

Can you tell the difference!? Leica Q vs Q2?

So from these two set of similar images taken during my photo shoot with model Astrid (Bame agency), can you see a notable improvement with the Leica Q2 photos vs the Q?

Lightoom edits (Leica Q Lightroom preset)

All photos were shot in camera RAW mode, imported into Lightroom and my MrLeica Leica Q B&W preset applied. (I adjusted exposure if needed on a few of the photos but otherwise they are as shot). (*Reduced size for web viewing).

Edits for Flickr (Full resolution)

When I post images to Flickr I normally select a few favourites from those in Lightroom. I then export the full size JPEGs into Photoshop to finish processing. For full resolution example photos see the Leica Q2 portraits embedded below.

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Leica Q2 Portrait (28mm Portraits)
Leica Q2 Portrait! (BTS on Patreon)
Leica Q2 Portrait
Leica Q2 Portrait - As seen on YouTube!
Leica Q2 Portrait

YouTube: Leica Q2 (and Leica Q2 vs Leica Q)

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More Leica Blog Posts!

Leica EVF-2 vs Olympus VF-2 (Why you need one!)

Leica EVF-2 vs Olympus VF-2 (Why you need one!)

Yes when comparing the Leica EVF-2 vs Olympus VF-2 I realise I am around 5 years late to this topic. Better late than never I say and it is just as relevant now as it was back then. In this review I look at the benefits an EVF (electronic viewfinder) will give you if you use a Leica M240 camera. *If you now use a Leica M10 camera this video still applies but you will need the specific Leica Visoflex “Typ 020” version instead.

Leica EVF - Olympus VF-2
Olympus VF-2 on my Leica M240 camera

Electronic viewfinder for your Leica M240 camera

When it comes to getting an Leica M240 EVF there are two options –

  • Leica EVF-2
  • Olympus VF-2

Both units are said to be identical and as I read it both EVF are many by Epson. It just depends what name you want on the front.

EVF Prices

The Leica EVF-2 and Olympus VF-2 are both still available new on Amazon or used on eBay. I bought my Olympus VF-2 EVF on eBay used to get a great price.

Here are some links if you are looking to buy one –

Used:
New:
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7 Benefits of having an EVF on your digital Leica M

*This holds true whether it is the mentioned Leica M240 EVF options or the Leica Visoflex Typ 020 for the Leica M10.

  1. Focus non-rangefinder coupled lenses on your M camera. This could be the amazing Leica R lenses or any third party lens such as those made by Nikon, Canon, Minolta etc. You just need the correct adapter to mount theses lenses to Leica M.
  2. Accurately focus “non-calibrated” rangefinder lenses on your M camera. A good example of this is some Soviet and Russian rangefinder lenses do not focus accurately on a Leica M body via the RF but are fine with the EVF.
  3. Use rangefinder coupled lenses on your M camera at distances closer than 0.7m. Some lenses made by Zeiss and Voigtlander for example can focus as close as 0.5m if you use the EVF. (With the optical rangefinder they only focus to 0.7m).
  4. Compose wide angle lenses via the EVF when the lens is wider than the 28mm frameline. Common examples might be a 15mm or 21mm lens. These both normally require an additional external hotshoe optical viewfinder to compose.
  5. Focus long lenses easily using an EVF on your M camera. If you use a 135mm lens for example it is much easier to focus with an EVF. The 135mm frameline is very small in the camera viewfinder window so composition and focusing can be less accurate.
  6. Focus fast lenses easier and more accurately. Lenses like the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1, 75mm APO and 90 f2 are all easier to critically focus with an EVF as you can zoom in to focus.
  7. For anyone that focuses their Leica M lenses via the LCD normally, the EVF can also help. In bright conditions it is much easier to see the image via the EVF than on the LCD itself.

Leica EVF cameras

Another option is to just buy a digital Leica mirrorless camera. These cameras offer the same EVF benefits as those listed above plus many more on top. Two great examples are the –

YouTube: Why you need an EVF for your Leica M!

Photos taken with the Olympus VF-2 on the M240

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Leica M240 + Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 ASPH
Olympus VF-2 on Leica M240

More Popular Leica Blog Links

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Leica SL Portraits + YouTube Review

Leica SL Portraits (Black & White) + YouTube Video Review

Here I share my Leica SL portraits using a Voigtlander M mount lens (not the autofocus Leica SL lenses). The article also includes my YouTube Leica SL review view (comparing the SL to the Leica M240 and Leica CL) + my first impressions!

Leica SL Portrait

Leica SL with M lenses – Portraits

So in this short post I share photos taken with the digital Leica SL camera. (As seen on YouTube! – linked below). My interest was to test the SL with a manual focus M mount lens, in this instance made by Voigtlander, but I use Leica M lenses too. The autofocus Leica SL lenses designed for this camera system are said to be fantastic but I wanted a smaller setup and using M lenses.

Leica SL Portraits

The Leica SL camera “Test”

So I shot the Leica SL against my digital Leica M240 and crop sensor Leica CL to see how it performed. You can see images from all 3 cameras on YouTube but here I concentrate on those taken with the SL only. For this shootout all 3 cameras were set to ISO 200, daylight white balance and shot in RAW mode. All photos with all cameras were taken with the manual focus Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii lens M lens (Review to that lens also linked below). **You will need a Leica M-L adapter to mount M mount lenses onto the Leica SL camera. The Leica CL also has the same L mount so I used my existing Leica M adapter L.

Leica SL Fashion

Why use a Voigtlander lens not a Leica lens?

Being fortunuate enough to own both Leica lenses and Voigtlander lenses you might find it strange that I chose Voigtlander for this test. If you dig a little deeper you while find that the Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 lens offers something that no Leica M mount lens offers. It focuses at 0.5m close focus. (This is not possible with Leica M rangefinder cameras as the coupled rangefinder only focuses down to 0.7m*). One of the main reason for testing the Leica SL is that it can focus closer than 0.7m. So to make use of this aspect many of the photos are shot at less than 0.7m with the amazing Voigtlander Nokton 35mm 1.2 II.

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Leica SL Photos with Voigtlander 35mm f1.2

So to confirm all images in this post were shot with the Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii at f1.2 (**With the exception of some of the close up glasses photo portraits which were taken with a Nikkor 28mm f2.8 AI lens.. yes a topic for another day!)

Leica SL Portraits – Gallery

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MrLeica Leica SL Preset for Lightroom

All the images shared in the post were Leica SL RAW files converted to JPEG, reduced size in Lightroom, with my Leica SL B&W Lightroom preset applied. The Leica SL black and white preset is designed to give me images which have that classic Leica look and are influenced by my B&W film photography scans from the Leica M3 and so on. Modern digital sensors cannot replicate film so this is not trying to emulate film but hopefully it gives the images more of the “organic look” that I love.

Leica SL Images – Before and After Preset

To help illustrate the effect of the Leica SL preset here are a series of screenshots from Lightroom showing before and after. On the left is the unedited RAW file, on the right is the final images (*Pre any retouching in Photoshop).

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Leica SL LR Preset – Now available to download!

This Leica SL LR preset (B&W) is now available to download from the MrLeica Shop for the usual price of £4.99. If I buy a Leica SL camera in the future I will look to make multiple presets available as I do for the Leica CL, Leica M8 and Leica M240.

YouTube: Leica SL First Impressions!

To see more about the Leica SL camera and also the images shot with the Leica CL and Leica M240 (with this model – the lovely Hannah), check out the full video on YouTube:

Additional MrLeica Custom Leica Lightroom Presets:

Thanks to Leica UK

A special thanks to Leica UK and the awesome guys at the Leica Mayfair store on Duke Street, London. They kindly loaned me the Leica SL camera to test.

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Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii Review

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