Leica CL vs Leica Q Review & Photos (+ Q2 / QP)

Leica CL vs Leica Q Review & Photos (+ Q2 / QP)

Have you ever wondered how these 2 cameras compare!? Here is a short Leica CL vs Leica Q review including a Leica CL vs Q model shoot photo comparison, Leica Q wedding pictures, pros of both cameras and a quick Leica Q vs Q2 vs Q-P overview.

Leica Q camera – quick overview

I’ve never owned the digital Leica Q camera but had the opportunity to try it out to see what it could do. The full name of the Q is the Leica Q (Type 116) and it was first released in June 2015. It is a 24MP full frame digital camera with a fixed 28mm f1.7 ASPH Leica lens. The Leica Q offers touch screen and autofocus and has an electronic viewfinder. All very modern compared to a traditional Leica M rangefinder camera that uses manual focus lenses.

Leica CL camera – My go to digital camera

The Leica CL camera is currently my main digital camera body that I use day to day. I bought the Leica CL last year as the backup camera to my Leica 240 for Leica weddings. (The older Leica M8 camera is great but it can be too slow for fast paced client work). As it happens the Leica CL impressed me more than I expected and it took over from the Leica M240 as my primary digital camera. I was interested to see how the Leica CL images compared to the fixed lens Leica Q camera.

Leica CL Digital

Leica CL camera – quick overview

To recap my previous Leica CL reviews and blog posts, the CL is a 24MP APS-C (crop sensor) digital Leica camera. The Leica CL was first released in 2017 so it 2 years newer than the original Leica Q. Like the Q the CL offers autofocus (with compatible lenses), touch screen, focus peeking and EVF.

Leica CL vs Leica Q size comparison

Leica M240 vs Leica Q size comparison

Thank you Leica Mayfair!

Jimmy and Yumi at the Leica Mayfair store kindly made this review possible by letting me borrow a Leica Q camera for 24 hours. I was extremely grateful and wasn’t expecting them to say yes when I asked so thank you! If you ever visit London I highly recommend that you stop by the Mayfair Leica shop to say hi and check out the latest Leica cameras and lenses.

The Leica Q vs Leica CL test conditions

My visit to London was to be a busy 48hrs. I had three model shoots booked and a Leica wedding photography booking at The Dorchester hotel in Mayfair. The plan was to test the Leica Q both in the controlled environment of a model photography shoot and also in the uncontrollable conditions of a real wedding. (For the wedding I was using my own Leica cameras too. There was no risk to the client that using the Leica Q could result in me not getting wedding photos). Of the three models I used the Leica Q with two of them and then tested another Leica camera for a future review for the third model.

Leica Q Portrait

Leica CL vs Leica Q Shootout! (Side by side)

28mm focal length

For my usual non scientific style of camera shoot out test I shot the Leica CL vs Leica Q during my normal pre-booked model photo sessions. The 2 Leica cameras were shot side by side both with 28mm equivalent lenses on. (The Leica CL 18mm Elmarit-TL f2.8 lens equates to the 28mm fixed lens of the Leica Q).

You may not realise but we are all quite used to seeing the world via a 28mm lens as that is the view an iPhone camera gives! For anyone that takes a lot of photos with their iPhone the Leica Q or Leica CL option should prove to be an easy transition.

Shot wide open – f1.7 vs f2.8

Both camera lenses were shot wide open so the Leica Q at f1.7 vs the Leica CL at f2.8. If I bought the Q I would use the lens wide open so I wanted to see how it would perform. The Leica CL only offers f2.8 so I used that aperture.

Raw format + LR preset applied

All photos were shot in DNG format and the Leica RAW files were processed through Lightroom. I applied my Leica M8 LR colour preset to all the images to apply the same amount of contrast, sharpness and saturation to the files. Any variation would then be due to the camera or lens.

Leica Q Portrait Shoot
Why Leica M8 LR preset?

Why did I apply a Leica M8 preset to Leica Q and Leica CL files? I have Leica CL LR presets but I was shooting in colour and my Leica M8 preset is the most saturated. I tend to use the Leica M8 presets the most at the moment regardless of what camera i’m shooting with.

White balance

Interestingly when I applied the same white balance settings to the Leica Q and Leica CL files the photos looked very different. More pink of the CL vs green-yellow of the Leica Q at the same WB. I’ve never seen this with any of my other Leica cameras so perhaps something was set wrong on the Q. I manually adjusted the WB of both camera files by eye to get the images as close as I could.

Models

Thank you to models Danush and Sandra for letting me use both these cameras during the photo shoots. In all honestly I normally have 2-3 cameras on any shoot anyway so it was normal practice for me. The only difference being I didn’t shoot much film (Danush) or any film (Sandra) as I wanted to concentrate on the digital photos. It was that but more so the fast pace of the shoot with Sandra didn’t give me the opportunity. I regretted not shooting film immediately afterwards of course so hopefully next time.

Leica Q portraits vs Leica CL

Photoshoot 1 – Male model shoot

All the photos of Danush were shot at 28mm for the Leica CL and the Leica Q. I even shot some 28mm colour film with a Nikon FM!

Photoshoot 2 – Female model shoot

For the shoot with Sandra I was using the Leica CL with different lenses as I needed to get the shots we wanted and 28mm wasn’t always the best choice. To recap the Leica Q is full frame so the 28mm lens gives a true 28mm focal length in 35mm terms. The Leica CL has a 1.5x APS-C crop sensor so the standard 18mm kit lens equals 28mm. For other lenses used I put the equivalent focal length in brackets.

Leica CL lenses used:

  • Leica Elmarit-TL 18mm f2.8
  • Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii
  • Leica Summicron-M 28mm f2 ASPH
  • Leica Summilux-M 50mm f1.2 ASPH

Leica Q wedding photography

Congratulations Jo and Mo! Just a few sample Leica Q wedding photos from The Dorchester hotel in Mayfair, London. I will share the full wedding at a later date.

Leica Q Wedding

Leica Q macro photography

Macro photography or more specifically, close up and detail photos using the Leica Q macro mode setting.

Leica Q Macro

My first impressions of the Leica Q?

As a Leica M photographer my first impressions of the Leica Q were (1) it is very lightweight vs a Leica M, (2) The Q is similar in size to a Leica M but bigger than a Leica CL, (3) The Leica Q menus remind me of the Leica M and CL.

Leica Q image quality

I used the Leica Q 28mm f1.7 lens at it’s widest aperture for all photos. I also used the camera in autofocus mode for all photos (single spot focus). Using these two settings I feel that I can get sharper images using manual focus lenses on either the Leica M240 or Leica CL (in most cases)(especially subjects greater than 1m away). Scanning through three cameras worth of photos in Lightroom the sharpest photos that jumped out at me were normally not the Leica Q. That may have been user error but I get more ‘keepers’ shooting with manual focus than I do with autofocus. That is one reason why I love the Leica M system (and Leica CL with Leica M lenses). I would expect the CL to be sharper in this test as the lens is f2.8 vs f1.7 for the Q.

28mm fixed focal length of the Leica Q

Generally speaking I am a 50mm lens kinda guy so I was not sure how useful the fixed 28mm lens of the Leica Q would be. I also love to experiment with my photography such as using a wide range of different Leica M lenses on the Leica CL (via an adapter). (Everything from 15mm – 135mm). Having only a 28mm lens keeps things simple but it also means that you would probably need a second camera to use longer lenses on. If you are a wide lens only kind of person then you would probably want a 21mm lens for wider shots, and so on.

28mm model photography

For the first model shoot with Danush I wanted a wider angle look so the Leica Q 28mm lens worked well for me. For the second photo shoot with Sandra it was quite handy to have a 28mm focal length indoors. That said as the shoot progressed I gravitated more to the Leica CL with longer lenses on. (See examples below). For female model photography especially a longer lens tends to be more flattering. I was using a 35mm and 50mm lens on the Leica CL crop sensor giving me roughly 53mm and 75mm approx.

28mm wedding photography

For Leica wedding photography I am a big fan of using wider angle lenses. In the past my most used lens at a wedding was often the Zeiss Biogon 21mm f2.8 or Zeiss Biogon 25mm f2.8 (on the Leica M9 then Leica M240) (both full frame cameras). The fixed 28mm of the Leica Q camera seemed to be perfect for the wedding in Mayfair and it was nice not to have the temptation to keep swapping lenses!

Leica Wedding

Leica Q or Leica CL? Pick one!

If you could only have one of these two cameras which would be best suited to you? Leica Q or Leica CL? Both cameras have their pros and cons and there are already plenty of reviews online. For this article I will just bullet point the three main advantages and disadvantages of each camera for me. This will be based on me using various Leica M cameras and other non Leica cameras over the last 10 years.

Leica CL vs Q – Leica CL pros x3

  1. Lighter: CL, 483g (with 18mm lens + battery) vs Q, 640g (with battery)
  2. Smaller: The CL with the 18mm kit lens attached (28mm equivalent)
  3. Interchangeable lenses + will accept Leica M system lenses w/adapter

Leica Q vs CL – Leica Q pros x3

  1. 24MP Full frame sensor vs 24MP APS-C sensor
  2. Fast 28mm f1.7 fixed lens vs most wide lenses that are f2-f2.8
  3. Macro option is great for detail photos (0.17m close focus vs. 0.3m CL)

Leica CL and Leica Q – similar features x5

  1. Leica Q battery and Leica CL battery are the same
  2. Both cameras are said to have ISo 100-50,000
  3. Leica CL and Q both have the autofocus option
  4. Leica Q and CL both have touch screen LCDs
  5. The CL and Q both have similar menu systems
Leica CL Fashion

Leica Q review (vs CL) summary

The Leica Q camera impressed me more than I was expecting. If I did a lot of Leica wedding photography, street photography or travel photography the Leica Q is a great option. Yes the Leica CL with 18mm kit lens is a lighter more compact setup but the 18mm lens is only f2.8. Also if like me you use the Leica CL with Leica M lenses attached it soon becomes heavier than the fixed lens Leica Q.

For portraits and fashion photography it depends on your style. Some fashion photographers love the wide angle look but traditionally a longer lens tends to be more useful. Personally I usually chose lenses more than 28mm wide for my model photography so the Leica Q would not suit my day to day portrait work.

Leica Q2 vs CL?

You could ask why I didn’t review the newer Leica Q2 vs Leica CL instead. It was for the simple fact that the weekend I was in Mayfair, London, the only Leica Q camera available to test was the original Leica Q camera. If I get chance in the future perhaps I can review the Leica Q2 vs CL to see how it compares but the Q gave me a good appreciation of using a fixed 28mm lens.

Leica Q-P vs Leica Q2?

In addition to the mentioned Leica Q and Leica Q2 there is also the Leica Q-P camera version. The Leica Q-P is pretty much identical to the Leica Q camera except it is missing the famous Leica red dot and has an engraved top plate.

Leica CL Fashion Shoot

Leica Q vs Q2 (price)

One advantage of the release of the Leica Q2 camera is that the price of the Leica Q is now cheaper. At the time of writing the Leica Q was roughly £750 cheaper than the Leica Q2 in the UK (July 2019):

  • Leica Q – £3500
  • Leica Q-P – £3590
  • Leica Q2 – £4250
Latest prices – Amazon

More digital Leica camera reviews

You may also like… What Gear I Use for Portraits!

  • My portrait photography lighting kit – HERE
  • My portrait photography equipment kit – HERE

Leica Lightroom Presets – DOWNLOADS!

Advertisements

New Kodak Ektachrome vs Fuji Provia 100F, Ektar, Velvia – Portraits

New Kodak Ektachrome vs Fuji Provia 100F, Ektar, Velvia – Portraits

To follow the Kodak Ektachrome E100 release blog post here is the new Kodak Ektachrome vs Fuji Provia 100F comparison, shooting portraits in Poland. The review also includes Kodak Ektar 100 portraits and Fuji Velvia portraits as a reference.

My first roll of the new Kodak Ektachrome E100 slide film

It took me over 6 months to get my first roll of pre-ordered exposed Kodak Ektachome E100 slide film finally lab developed. I’m always stretched for time and the weeks past faster than I realised. Prior to the release of the new Kodak Ektachrome film I had previous experience using Fuji Provia 100F slide film. I was interested to see how Kodak Ektachrome compared to Provia as they are both 100 speed E6 films.

Kodak Ektachrome vs Provia shoot out – Poland

Poland was already booked for the end of last year so I took my pre-ordered roll of 35mm Kodak Ektachrome E100 film and a roll of the Fuji Provia 100F film ready for a mini shoot out. (Poland trip write-up)

Cameras and lenses used in the test

In addition to trying out the new Ektachrome film I was also testing a new lens for my Nikon film cameras. As such rather than shoot Leica vs Leica which would be the obvious choice and make more sense I shot Leica vs Nikon. (It’s not like digital where the camera brand sensors and computers play a huge part in the final image. With film cameras they are just different brand boxes to hold the film in. That’s why I use some many different film camera brands). The camera lens will have some impact on the resulting photos but not enough to notice for this type of review.

Cameras:
Leica M240 vs Leica CL - Ektachrome vs Provia
Lenses:

For both the Leica and the Nikon setup I used each camera lens at f2 aperture to make it more comparible. Both lenses missed some photos to my annoyance (mis-focused).

Voigtlander Nokton35mm f1.2

The Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 ASPH lens can focus to 0.5 meters but a Leica film camera rangefinder only works to 0.7m. That means if you don’t concentrate you can have the lens set to 0.5m-0.69m and the camera rangefinder set to 0.7m and it will mis-focus. Easily done during fast paced model photography.

Tamron 45mm f1.8

The Tamron 45mm f1.8 lens is an autofocus lens and it missed on some of the images. I don’t remember the lens hunting for focus and I use single point autofocus to lock on to what I’m shooting. The models may have moved but there was a higher miss rate than usual that why I think it was the lens.

Or I guess I could say I missed on some photos with both cameras! Not a good thing when shooting expensive slide film and especially when I tend not to miss when using cheap film back in the UK ha.

Non-scientific film test

To see what each film could do I tried to shoot Kodak Ektachrome E100 and Fuji Provia 100F in a variety of lighting conditions. E6 slide film is known to have limited latitude compared to colour negative films. As such it is more common to shoot slide film in subdued light where there is less contrast. Personally I love hard light such as direct sunlight so I put the films to the test.

Spoiler alert

Please note that my main interest was to test the new Kodak Ektachrome E100 film as I had shot Provia before. That being the case I was shooting with the Ektachrome in mind and if I got chance I tried to shoot some Provia too. This is not a side by side film A vs film B test of each photo. Sorry. There are lots of those types of reviews on YouTube already. This was more for my interest but I enjoy sharing the results.

Film test in different lighting scenarios

  1. High contrast lighting
  2. Direct sunlight
  3. Mixed lighting
  4. Open shade

Kodak Ektachrome Portraits + Provia examples

1. High contrast lighting

Here are some portraits shot in high contrast direct sunlight and metered for the mid greys (exposure). The Kodak Ektachrome image may have been shot just as the sun went behind a cloud as it was less bright vs the Provia example. Some of the Fuji Provia 100F film highlight detail was lost but the image was not terrible.

Ektachrome

Ektachrome Portrait

Provia

35mm Provia 100F Portrait
2. Direct sunlight

Shooting with the sun rather than across it the Kodak Ektachrome blue skies looked good and the film captured nice skin tones. (See below for blue sky examples of Fuji Provia).

Ektachrome

Kodak Ektachrome Colours
3. Mixed lighting

These images shot in the blue hour mixing cool daylight and warm tungsten light were my favourites of the Ektachrome images. Sadly there were no Provia examples from this set. (Rubbish test I know! Apologies!)

Ektachrome

Ektachrome 100 Portrait
New Kodak Ektachrome Portrait
4. Open shade

Some images were taken in complete shade. The characteristics of the Ektachrome film in this light are completely different to the colours captured when shooting in direct sunlight.

Ektachrome

Kodak Ektachrome vs Fuji Provia Review

Provia

Provia vs Ektachrome!

More Kodak Ektachrome portraits

Kodak Ektachrome skin tones
Kodak Ektachrome skin tones
Kodak Ektachrome red
Kodak Ektachrome Portrait
Ektachrome + Leica M2
Kodak Ektachrome B&W
Kodak Ektachrome B&W

Kodak Ektachrome vs Fuji Provia – Thoughts?

Would I buy Kodak Ektachrome again after seeing the results? I would if Fuji Provia 100F didn’t exist! I tend to prefer Fujifilm colours to Kodak colours. When I’ve shot colour film in the past I find Kodak films can often be too yellow for my taste. This is the same when I view the work of others so it is not how I process the film which causes the yellowing. Kodak film is just more yellow. That is the look Kodak go for. Personally I prefer the cooler tones of Fujifilm. From my photos I would say this is true for Ektachrome vs Provia and also Kodak Portra vs Fuji Pro 400H. Provia blue skies look slightly cooler to me (see below) and the skin tones slightly less warm which I like. All personal preference so it depends what you prefer.

Slide film vs Colour negative film (E6 vs C41)

As a portrait photographer colour negative film would usually be the film of choice for skin tones. (I shoot a lot of black and white film normally but of the colour film photography I have done it was mostly C41 film). The colour film I’ve shot the most is probably Kodak Portra but I prefer the Fuji Pro400H look. I just happened to be gifted a batch of Kodak Portra when working with Kodak a few years back.

Would I shoot portraits on slide film again? Absolutely! I plan too. I really like the colours of slide film, specifically Provia and Ektachrome as featured here. Velvia can often be a bit too saturated for portraits but it is not impossible (again see below).

Film grain

The fine grain of the E6 slide film is far superior to the detail captures than most colour negative films. Kodak Ektar 100 grain is finer than Kodak Portra and Fuji Pro 400H. Cinestill 50D (Kodak Vision3 50D) is also very fine grain but with it’s own colours. Personally I find 35mm Kodka Portra 400 often too grainy for my taste and I sometimes opt for the cheap Fujicolor C200 film that has less apparent grain.

Film expsoure latitude

Slide film is not suited to all conditions due to the limited exposure latitude. It is easy to blow the highlights (lost highlight detail) and crush the blacks (lost shadow detail) with slide films. Colour negative films however can be massively over exposed yet still retain the highlights or slightly under exposed and still show some shadow detail. For an every day film colour negative film is definitely a safer option.

Colour grading film

The best thing about E6 vs C41 film is slide film colours scan true to what you remember seeing. That means no colour grading / colour correcting required. That saves hours in post processing for me! When colour negative film is scanned the colours can often need adjusting to get them back to how you remember and it takes me much longer than I would like.

Slide film cost

One big negative against E6 slide film is the fact that it is not cheap. No film is cheap, especially colour film but slide film is some of the most expensive. If you have a special holiday or photo trip booked, or perhaps a client shoot that would benefit from slide film then definitely treat yourself to a few rolls to try. It is good stuff but I couldn’t afford to shoot it every week!

Film prices – Amazon

Film prices often fluctuate a little depending on supply and demand. Fuji Provia 100F is currently slightly cheaper than Kodak Ektachrome E100 (at the time of writing). Kodak Portra 160 seems to be the cheapest option if you want to shoot medium format colour photos. In the past 120 Kodak Ektar was cheaper than Portra 160.

See the latest film prices by clicking the links below –

E6 Slide films:
  • 35mm Kodak Ektachrome E100 – Amazon UK / US
  • 120 Kodak Ektachrome E100 – Kodak are working on it! 🙂
  • 35mm Fuji Provia 100F – Amazon UK / US
  • 120 Fuji Provia 100F – Amazon UK / US
C41 Colour negative films (some):

Kodak Ektar vs Ektachrome

The closest match colour negative film to the colour positive slide film Ektachrome, is Kodak Ektar 100. Both are Kodak films, 100 speed, fine grain, saturated colour film stocks. Here are a selection of Kodak Ektar portraits to help give a comparison between the colours of Ektar vs Ektachrome shared above.

Kodak Ektar portraits

Kodak Ektar Skin Tones
Kodak Ektar Fashion
Hasselblad Fashion Shoot
Hasselblad Kodak Ektar Fashion
120 Kodak Ektar Portrait
Fuji GA645
Hasselblad XPan Portrait
Kodak Ektar Fashion

Fuji Provia portraits

Here are some more Fuji Provia portraits to give additional examples of the colours of this film stock. I’ve not shot a huge amount of colour film portraits but I was really impressed by the colours and detail of Provia. As with the Kodak Ektar portraits, the images are shot with a variety of film cameras (click each image for more info).

120 Fuji Provia 100F
Pen F Half Frame
120 Fuji Provia 400
Olympus Half Frame Camera
Rolleiflex SL66 E Tilt Portrait
Expired 120 Fuji Provia 100F Film
120 Fuji Provia Portrait

Fuji Velvia portraits

As many people think you can’t do Fuji Velvia portraits here are a few portraits that I shot on Fuji Velvia film. It wouldn’t be my film of choice for portraits but it’s not that bad either (and can be quite nice!). I think of the Fujifilm stocks available Fuji Provia is more suited to portraits than Velvia.

120 Kodak Ektar Fashion
Velvia 100 Light Leak
Fuji Velvia 100 Cross Processed

Portra 160, Provia 100F & Velvia 100 – Video

If you want to see how slide film compares to colour negative film this video is a great resource. The video includes side by side portrait examples and shows how each film behaves when underexposed and overexposed. It really illustrates what I described above with regards to lost highlight and shadow detail. (Great video!).

More colour film stock reviews

Film developing/ processing

You may also like… What Gear I Use for Portraits!
  • See full details of my portrait photography lighting kit – HERE
  • See full details of my portrait photography equipment kit – HERE
iPhone portrait - iPhone 5
Leica CL 35mm & 50mm Portraits (+iPhone Portraits!) – Poland
Leica M240 vs Leica CL - Leica CL LCD photo
Leica M240 vs Leica CL – Polish Models
Leica vs Mamiya
Leica vs Mamiya: Budapest Models

Kodak TMax 400 Review (120 + 35mm Film Portraits)

Kodak TMax 400 Review (120 + 35mm Film Portraits)

A short Kodak TMax 400 review / article to share some of my 120 and 35mm film portraits using this film. For me T-Max 400 is one of the best black and white films currently manufactured / available.

TMax 400 Portrait

TMax 400 Film – Specs (The Blurb!)

“Kodak Professional TMax 400 is a fast, medium grain black and white film suitable for sports/action and lower light situations, sharpest 400-speed black and white film with Kodak’s T-Grain emulsion”.

“TMax 400 film has a high efficiency, multi-zone T-Grain emulsions, raises the bar for 400 speed black and white film performance. T-Max 400 has fine grain, high sharpness and delivers , a level of clarity previously only achievable from a 100-speed film”.

Leica M3 Film Portrait

Kodak Tri-X vs TMax

When people think of Kodak black and white film they probably first think of Kodak Tri-X not TMax. Kodak T-Max 400 film was revised in 2007 to the fine grain film that we know today. 3 years earlier, in 2004, Kodak celebrated 50 years of Tri-X which was first released in 1954. Kodak Tri-X has been around a lot longer than TMax and was popular with photo journalists and amateurs alike. For me however I prefer Kodak TMax vs Tri-X. I don’t mind 120 format Kodak Tri-X film but for my portraits I find 35mm Tri-X too grainy. Kodak TMax 400 however is amazing in both 35mm and 120 formats (*for my taste).

Leica Summilux 50mm ASPH Portrait

Kodak spotted my early TMax photography

It was merely coincidence but at the time I was starting to get into film photography Kodak had released their new T-Max 400 film/ formula. I was shooting Kodak TMax 400 film together with Tri-X 400 and other black and white films, enjoying experimenting with this new-to-me photography medium. I shot an image of a young girl/ model-to-be in Ukraine while there on business.

My camera at the time was a rebranded Kiev 88 called an ARAX-CM, also know as a “Hasselbladski” or a poor man’s Hasselblad. I shot an image of Julia on Kodak TMax 400 film and Kodak spotted it and got in touch. Kodak invited me to write a piece for their Kodak 1000 Word Blog and to share some of my work. At the time it was pretty amazing to be spotted by a big brand and it was all thanks to the TMax 400 film I was using.

Mr Leica on the Kodak Blog!

Here is the article I wrote for Kodak after they spotted this image I took of Yulya (“Julia”), Uzhgorod, Ukraine – Kodak 1000 Word Blog – Shooting Film

Fashion on FILM

Kodak TMax 400 120 film

Even though at the moment I shoot mostly Fomapan 100  Classic 120 film (due to the low cost and reliable results) I still shoot the occasional roll of Kodak TMax 400 120. (More so in the past but only because I currently bulk buy Fomapan film) Using 120 Kodak TMax 400 in my Hasselblad cameras and other medium format cameras (Mamiya RZ67, Fuji GF670 as two examples) has given me some nice images. I enjoy the fine grain and sharpness especially from TMax so for this reason I find 35mm TMax 400 particularly impressive/ useful (see more below).

120 Kodak TMax 400 Portraits

Horse Model Portrait
Hasselblad 500CM Portrait
Fuji GF670 Portrait
Fuji GF670 is back! :)
Hasselblad Portrait
Model Photographer - Film Photography
Hasselblad High Key
Mamiya 7 Fashion
Mamiya 7 Portrait

Kodak TMax 400 35mm film

I use Kodak TMax 400 35mm in the Leica film cameras (currently the Leica M4-P or Leica M3 mostly), the Nikon SLRs (usually the Nikon F5), the Hasselblad Xpan plus other 35mm film cameras. I love the sharp detailed images and TMax is quite forgiving when it comes to developing.

35mm Kodak TMax 400 Flickr photos

Leica Model Photography
Hasselblad XPan 45mm
Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5
Leica M3 Film Portrait
Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5
35mm Kodak TMax 400 Portrait
Black and White Fashion Photography
TMax 400 Portrait
Leica 21mm Architecture
Leica M3 Portrait
Perfect 10!
Kodak TMax 400 Review
35mm Kodak T-Max 400
Olympus PEN-F Diptych

Favourite 35mm black and white film?

My current favourite film in 35mm format for when I need great results is Kodak T-Max 400. I’m still a big fan of Ilford Delta 100 (and Ilford Pan F 50 film) but when shooting in the UK often there is limited available light. T-Max 400 gives me a 400 speed Ilford Delta quality (to my eyes) and coming from shooting mostly Kodak B&W film I tend to go for TMax 400 vs Delta 400.

Kodak TMax 400 developing

My usual Kodak TMax 400 developing method is to use Kodal Xtol developer or to use a soup of Xtol and Rodinal. Most of the example images in this article were developed in Xtol. When I first started out with film photography I used to develop Kodak TMax 400 in the Rodinal developer. See below for a few older images and some Rodinal – TMax examples.

Kodak TMax 400 Rodinal Stand Development – samples

Large Format Photographer
Mamiya RZ67 Pro II
FilmIsNotDead
The Dancer - Rodinal Stand Development
Available Light Photography
Leica M2 + Zeiss ZM Biogon

Ilford HP5 vs TMax 400

For Ilford HP5 Plus film I was a bit of a late comer. When I started out with film I was been using mostly Kodak black and white films, both TMax films and Kodak Tri-X. I wouldn’t consider buying 35mm Ilford HP5 today as I prefer fine grain films but for 120 Ilford HP5 I have started to use it, especially for low light. I would happily shoot Kodak TMax 400@800/ 400@1600 but I don’t think I would try it at ISO 3200 or ISO 6400.

For Ilford HP5 I shoot it at ISO 3200 and have meant to shoot it at ISO 6400 but haven’t had chance yet. HP5 is a low contrast film so is easier to push process from my experience. Kodak TMax 400 has nice contrast normally but when pushed too far I expect to lose shadow detail. (*I still need to do a write up for Ilford HP5 film – I will link it once available).

Here is a Ilford HP5 Plus Teaser as an example –

Hasselblad 120mm Portrait

Kodak TMax 400 Pushed (400@1600)

Rollei SL66e Tri-X Portrait
Rolleiflex SL66E + Tri-X 400@1600

Kodak TMax 400 price

As with all film stocks, sadly in the time I have been shooting film the prices seem to increase year on year. I buy multi-pack film as often as I can to try to get to lowest unit cost. Amazon stock both Kodak TMax 35mm and 120 formats. Click here for the current TMax 400 prices –

Hasselblad + T-Max 400

Kodak TMax 400 Review – Summary

As you probably gathered from this article, I am a big fan of Kodak T-Max 400 film. I especially enjoy the 35mm TMax and just hope the price of film doesn’t keep increasing at the rate it has been doing. (The price of TMax 400 film today is 50-60% more than when I was buying it 3-5yrs ago).

More Black and white film posts (a sample of!)

You may also like… What Gear I Use for Portraits!
  • My portrait photography lighting kit – HERE
  • My portrait photography equipment kit – HERE

Godox AD200 Review + Portraits (Godox – Leica Setup)

Godox AD200 Review + Portraits / Godox – Leica Setup

Late to the party I know!.. here is an article I wrote last year but didn’t quite finish – My Godox AD200 Review:

Are you looking for a high power portable strobe for location work that packs down as small as a speedlight and needs no additional battery pack?  Meet the Godox AD200 light. My Godox lighting solution for overseas photoshoots where I travel with only cabin luggage. Here I compare it to the Godox TT350, Godox V850 II and Godox AD360, all of which I use with my Leica cameras (and other film cameras).

Leica CL + Elmar 135mm

Leica CL + Noctilux Portrait

Godox AD200 Flash – Why I bought one!

This is the new Godox light that I bought ahead of my model photography trip to Poland.  The Godox AD200 is powerful enough for fashion photography on the beach yet small enough to fit in my carry on luggage for when I work overseas.

Godox Ving V850 vs AD200

The reason I found the Godox AD200 light attractive is because of the option for an open bulb light similar to the Godox AD360 that I use.  Unlike a standard speedlight head the open bulb design sprays light in all directions filling a softbox or umbrella more evenly that a flat fronted standard speedlight head.  The Godox Ving V850 and Ving V850 II that I have are both great lights using lithium batteries instead of 4x AA. 

Leica M8 + Noctilux

The problem with the Ving V850/ V850II is that the light modifiers I use (excluding a few small umbrellas) don’t fit in my cabin bag.  I have a nice Godox rapid box / umbrella box but it only fits the open bulb design Godox lights (AD180, AD360, AD200).

Nikon F5 B&W Fashion

Godox AD200 vs AD360

I have a Godox AD180 and a Godox AD360. Both lights have the open bulb design and both have separate power packs.  The additional power pack makes these lights quite bulky to travel with.  Due to their size I also mount them in a Godox Bowen S mount bracket which adds more bulk and weight to the setup.  I love these lights for seemingly endless power, especially for wedding photography lighting. For my overseas trips however I find them too big to carry. 

Hasselblad 500 Portrait

As mentioned, my smallest nice light modifier is a Godox rapid box design mini umbrella box which also works as a beauty dish.  It mounts directly onto the open bulb of the Godox AD180/ AD360/ AD200 system but is not compatible with standard speedlights/ Godox speedlights.  The Godox AD-200 gives me a light similar in shape and size to a standard speedlight yet the same power output of 3 normal speedlights.  It fits in my travel bag and can mount directly to a light stand so requires minimal additional brackets (less to carry). 

Godox AD200 Review

Both the Godox AD360 and AD200 will do a similar job with the AD360 having a bit more power output.  The main advantage of the Godox AD200 for me is size.  The Godox AD360 requires you to carry yet more additional reflectors and light modifiers if you want a beam of light rather than an open spread from the bare bulb.  The Godox reflector head that comes with the Godox AD360 allows more control of the light output but again adds to the bulk of the Godox lighting system when using a Godox AD180 or AD360 flash.  The Godox AD200 with the standard speedlight head attached provides a tighter beam of light without needing to carry additional equipment.

Leica CL + M lenses

Godox TT350 vs AD200

You would probably never compare these two lights but as I have both I will.  If you need the smallest lightest Godox light kit for travel or to mount on top of a Leica camera get a Godox TT350.  I use a pair of Godox TT350s to add a pop of light when working in low light situations.  (I used them for my Budapest model trip last September). 

Godox TT350 lights take 2x AA batteries and are perfect size for an on camera flash for small cameras such as a Leica M or Leica CL. I use them as both on camera flash and off camera flash. I also use the Godox TT350 on camera to trigger larger Godox lights like the AD360 and AD200 from my Leica camera hot shoe. I tend to avoid on camera flash but the Godox TT350 can be useful for weddings when they provide ‘backup’ light on camera yet also trigger the lights off camera (best of both).  If you need a larger off camera flash (only) that has a higher power output and option of open bulb design, get the Godox AD200 instead.

Leica Elmar 135mm Portrait

13 Advantages of the Godox AD200 vs Yongnuo/ other standard speedlights

  1. AD200 gives 3x more power output than a standard speedlight
  2. Similar compact design to a normal speedlight
  3. Lithium battery vs 4x AA batteries give faster recycle time and life
  4. Bare bulb design option (clip on bare bulb head) for even fill light
  5. Can also operate as standard speedlight with normal reflector head design (clip on head) to help provide a tighter beam of light
  6. 3.5mm jack port for using pc sync cable (good if use old cameras!)
  7. Multiple screw mount sockets to mount AD200  directly to a light stand
  8. AD200 compatible with all Godox AD180/ AD360 light modifiers
  9. Compatible with standard speedlight light modifiers 
  10. AD200 compatible with other Godox wireless flash units that can be used as a trigger (Ving V850II and TT350 of those mentioned)
  11. Built in LED low power model light – to help light a dark scene
  12. Optional Godox AD200 LED head attachment available (to use as a video light)
  13. Godox accessories available to use the AD200 as a power pack to power a separate lightweight head unit attached via a cable

Leica CL + Summicron 50

Godox AD200 light modifiers / Godox AD200 accessories x11 (+ for the AD360)

  1. Godox rapid box / umbrella box / Beauty dish (in 1)
  2. Silver reflector head
  3. Wide reflector to use with umbrella (to reduce light spill)
  4. Godox round diffuser dome (white)
  5. Standard snoot
  6. Narrow snoot
  7. Godox bulb protector
  8. AD200 LED video light head
  9. Godox barn doors with colour gel kit
  10. Grids to control light spill
  11. NEW! Godox H200R round head attachment (like Profoto)

Zeiss Biogon 25mm

Godox AD200 trigger?  Compatible triggers x4

  1. Godox XT-16 wireless flash trigger
  2. Godox X1T wireless flash trigger
  3. Godox TT350 flash
  4. Godox Ving V850II flash

*It’s worth noting that I use Nikon version Godox triggers to work on my Leica cameras.  I’m not sure if Canon and other versions will work too.

Hasselblad 645 Portrait

Godox wireless trigger not compatible with AD200

  1. Godox FT-16 wireless flash trigger

I was disappointed that the Godox FTR-16 433MHz USB port legacy flash receiver will not work with the Godox AD200 flash. The Godox FTR16 receiver does work with the Godox Ving V850 II flash making it compatible with either FT-16 or XT-16 triggers which is helpful.

Leica M3 Film Camera

2 Godox AD200 – Power up! Shoot in them in pairs!

If you need more power than the output of of 1x Godox AD200 light  then you can get the bracket that mounts 2x AD200 units in a standard Bowen S mount bracket.  Using 2x AD200 at half power will give a faster flash recycle time than one unit ran at full power. It also gives the option of both units at full power if you are using a large light modifier and need a high power output. Perhaps something like a Broncolor Para 88 (parabolic umbrella). (An awesome light mod ..but then if you had that much money to spend then you would probably be using different lights too! Profoto!?)

Leica CL Portrait with 50mm f1 Noctilux

Profoto B10 vs Godox AD200 flash

If you are like me you probably lust after the Profoto lights. I remember the Profoto B1 release and it seemed to tick all my boxes without the wire distractions of the Godox AD360.  When the wire free Godox AD200 flash arrived it seemed to offer me much of what he Profoto unit offered but for much less money.  The Profoto B10 is a newer design of the B1 and is even more comparable to the Godox AD200 (especially if you fit the Godox H200R round head to the AD200 (see below for more). 

When I do wedding photography or blue sky day high power flash photography the Godox AD200 gives me the power I need in a compact setup.  I’ve managed to resist the Profoto lights so far but they are nice!  For the majority of photographers the Godox AD200 should be able to provide much of what the Profoto B10 offers and the money saved can be invested into a nice lens instead.

Leica Summicron 28mm Portrait

How I use my Godox AD200 flash

1. Godox AD200 softbox (60×060) setup (UK photo shoots only)

When I am not limited by cabin bag capacity I use the Godox AD200 flash with the open bulb head into a Godox 60×60 softbox or a large umbrella (most commonly)

2. Godox rapid box + AD200 (Overseas photo shoots)

When I was in Poland I used the Godox rapid box/ beauty dish light modifier setup.  A rapid box provides a more compact kit yet still offers a nice soft quality of light (if used close to the model).

3. Godox AD200 bare bulb

Regardless of where I am I use the Godox AD200 bare bulb mode to bounce light off a wall as a soft fill light.  This is especially handy for event photography such as weddings to spray light around the room.

4. Magmod kit + Godox AD200

If I want a controlled spot of light I use a Magmod magnetic grid onto the standard Godox AD200 reflector head.  The Magmod gives a smaller setup for travel than using studio reflectors and grids.

 

5. Godox AD200 round head diffuser dome

For wedding photography I find the white Godox round head diffuser dome the best lighting solution. The dome attachment gives a similar quality of light to a white shoot through umbrella yet doesn’t blow over in the wind!  The diffuser dome also helps protect the bare bulb if it was to be knocked over. (I’ve used the dome for the last 3 years on my Godox AD360, AD180 and now on the Godox AD200 flash).

6. Godox AD200 modeling light

If you shoot with fast lens (small f stop) like the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1 or Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH the Godox AD200 modeling light provides enough light to illuminate a face for portrait work.  It is also great when working in low light with strobes to light the model so it is possible to focus accurately prior to pressing the shutter/ the flash firing.

Voigtlander Nokton 35mm 1.4

Behind the scenes video including Godox AD200

Godox AD200 portraits

Mamiya RZ 645 Back

Leica Fashion

Nikon F5 B&W Portrait

Digital Leica CL Portrait

Noctilux Portrait

Leica CL + Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5

Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH

More Godox AD200 sample photos – colour

Leica CL Colours

Leica CL + Voigtlander 35mm Color Skopar

Leica Summicron 90mm Portrait

Leica M240 + 35mm

Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5

Leica CL + Summicron 50 DR

Godox AD200 Review – Conclusion

I was an early adopter of Godox lights ever since they hit the UK 5+ years ago.  I have quite a few Godox lights now but I think the AD200 strikes the perfect balance between a portable studio light and a speedlight.  I use the Godox AD200 in the studio mixing it with studio lights as well as out on location.

Leica M8 Photoshoot

Links to some of the mentioned Godox kit I use

Tamron 45mm Portrait

New! Godox H200R Round Flash Head for Godox

It took me so long to get round to posting this article that Godox have now released their new Godox H200R round flash head to fit the AD200.  This allows the Godox AD200 to complete with the round head Profoto A1 AirTTL flash, but at a fraction of the price.  (The Profoto A1 is more like a Godox Ving V850 II design but with the Godox H200R round head available for the AD200 if you need a visual).  *There is actually a new Godox clone of the Profoto A1 which is a standard speedlight design but with a round head called a Godox V1 TTL.  I’ve not tried it but it is basically a Godox Ving V850II with a round head (in very simplified terms).

Summicron 50 Portrait

Godox AD200 – Whats in the box + Spec

What other Godox lights do I use with my Leicas?

To see the other Godox lights I use with my Leica  cameras (and other brand) see my Photography Lighting Kit article – HERE

More Leica Blog Posts

Godox AD200 Portrait

Zeiss Planar 50mm Review (Zeiss 50mm f2 ZM – Leica M mount)

Zeiss Planar 50mm Review (Zeiss 50mm f2 ZM – Leica M mount)

The Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f2 ZM lens was one of my first lens purchases when I bought the Leica M9 camera. It was said to be sharp and cheaper than a Leica Summicron 50mm lens. Here is a short Zeiss Planar 50mm review with sample photos (from when I had the M9).

Leica M9 Fashion

Zeiss Planar 50mm f2 ZM lens for Leica

If you want a compact reasonably priced (*in Leica camera terms!) 50mm lens for your Leica M camera then look no further! The Zeiss Planar 50mm f2 ZM lens is a compact sharp lens with good contrast. At the time of buying my digital Leica M9 I decided I wanted a “sharp” lens. My main lens was a Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 which is an awesome little lens but not killer sharp wide open. Once I got the Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm I then decided it was too sharp for my female portraiture. I can’t imagine ever saying that now about any lens as us photographers normally love sharp lenses (and nice bokeh)! This article is a bit of a retrospective post to fill the gap in my blog lens list and to settle my OCD issues!

Leica M9 Colours (2)

Zeiss Planar vs Summicron 50mm

When looking to buy a 50mm f2 lens for a Leica M mount camera the first obvious question is Zeiss Planar vs Summicron 50mm? For me it was an easy choice as money was limited. A Leica Summicron 50mm f2 (non APO version) lens cost more than 3x the price of a Zeiss Planar 50mm ZM lens. I knew Zeiss glass was good from using Zeiss lenses on my other cameras so I happily purchased the ZM Planar 50mm f2 without concern. (*I did buy a Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 and a Leica Summicron 50mm f2 DR at later dates – used condition and at seemingly bargain prices).

Summer Love!

Zeiss Planar vs Sonnar ZM

If you didn’t consider a Leica Summicron 50mm lens when being tempted by the Zeiss 50mm Planar lens then the other lens that probably caught your attention was the Sonnar ZM 50mm f1.5. When deciding between a Zeiss Planar vs Sonnar ZM 50mm lens I chose the ZM Planar lens as the cost was 2/3 the price of a Zeiss Sonnar. I already had the mentioned Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 lens if I needed something faster (with a wider aperture). (*I was later too tempted by the Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f1.5 lens so bought one but later sold it when I got my Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 lens).

Zeiss Planar 50 Portrait

More Zeiss Planar 50mm f2 Flickr Photos

Available Light Photography
Leica Black and White
Zeiss ZM Planar

Zeiss ZM Planar – Cheap 50mm Leica lens?

To my knowledge the cheapest new 50mm lens available for a Leica M mount camera is the Zeiss Planar 50mm f2 ZM or a Vogtlander Nokton 50mm f1.5. Both lens can be a similar price depending where you shop but the Voigtlander is usually a little cheaper. As I already have various 50mm lenses (see the 50mm Lenses Compared post) plus a few Voigtlander lenses I’ve never been tempted by the Nokton 50mm. I did use a Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f1.5 during one of my Leica workshops in London that a student brought along. I didn’t dislike the Nokton 50mm photos but equally I was not blown away by them either. (*Bare in mind I have quite a few nice 50mm lenses).

Leica M9 + Zeiss Planar 50mm Portraits

Zeiss Planar Portrait
Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2
Leica M2 + Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2 Portrait
Leica M9 Model Photography
Zeiss ZM Planar 50 + Leica M9
Leica M9 & Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2 Portrait
Leica M8 Studio Portrait

Leica Glass

If you are only interested in Leica lenses and money is limited, and you only want a 50mm lens then you could consider the Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 lens. The Summarit 50mm is smaller than a Zeiss Planar 50mm ZM lens but not as fast in terms of aperture. Being Leica glass it costs quite a bit more than the Zeiss but it is cheaper than a Summicron 50mm or Summilux 50mm. I love the balance of a small 50mm on my Leica M3 camera (especially) and the Summarit f2.5 is sharp and contrasty.

Zeiss Planar 50mm Bokeh!

Zeiss Planar Bokeh

Zeiss Planar T 50mm f2 Price

The Zeiss Planar 50mm f2 ZM lens is available here on Amazon.com if you want to see the price and lens spec details.

Leica M9 Portrait

Zeiss Planar 50mm Review – Summary

The Zeiss Planar 50mm is one of the few lenses I’ve sold during my Leica photography days. Just by coincidence the other 50mm lens I sold was the mentioned Zeiss Sonar 50mm f1.5. While I’ve never missed the Planar 50mm (despite it being a good lens) I have missed the Sonnar on many occasions. I even bought a second copy of a Sonnar 50/1.5 but it was sub-standard/ expectation shot wide open due to focus shift issues so I returned it. Putting this post together the main thing I notice is the amazing vibrant Leica M9 colours! These CCD colours are unmatched by the Leica M240 or Leica CL. (Luckily I shoot mostly black and white so this is less of an issue for me).

Related Leica blog posts

You may also like… What Gear I Use for Portraits!

  • My portrait photography lighting kit – HERE
  • My portrait photography equipment kit – HERE