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Leica Digital Cameras 2005LEICA Digital Cameras

Digital Module R
Digilux 2
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Leica Newsletter 01/25/06:
30 Years of the Leica Gallery; Photo Competitions; LF1/2006

December 25, 2005

LEICA M Series Digital in the works according to LFI

Leica M7 DigitalLEICA FOTOGRAFIE INTERNATIONAL the official Leica magazine has announced that "The Digital M will be introduced as a complete package that will include new wide-angle lenses".

I have not seen the complete article yet, which is entitled "Leica Will Face The Digital Age" and can be found in the January 2006 issue, but the accompanying photograph and the text below comes from that article. Stefan Daniel is the chief of product management at Leica Camera AG.

"... LFI: Which are the concrete projects? Will Leica be entering new technological areas?

Stefan Daniel: It is a fact that we will continue to advance our product lines: the M system, R system, digital compact cameras and sports optics. ...

LFI: Advancing the M and R systems means, most of all advancing them digitally, right?

Gero Furchheim: Right! We will be complimenting and expanding these systems with digital components, so that they remain attractive for our customers. At the same time, no one speaks of reducing or discontinuing the M and R analogue segment. Yet, the innovations will clearly focus on... "

Current digital offerings from Leica are the Digital Module R (digital back) for the R8 and R9 Leica SLRs, the Digilux 2 (5 MP EVF), D-Lux 2 (8.6
MP Compact), and the D-Lux (3.2 MP Sub-compact). Leica cameras can of course not be judged purely by the numbers. Anyone who has ever used a Leica camera, even for just a short time, has a hard time changing back to any of the other cameras that are used by mere mortals. Leica, Hasselblad, Rollei, and the now extinct Contax are the Porshes, Maseratis and Ferraries of the photography world.

As the saying goes if you need to ask how much the M Series Digital will cost, you more than likely will not be able to afford one. The following story on the Titanium Leica M7 Auction, should give you some indication of the cost of a high-end Leica. And just in case you are in a generous mood, my birthday falls in June, any old Leica will do but I would sure love a Digital M.

December 25, 2005

All-titanium LEICA M7 auctioned for 90,000 euros - a world record for modern cameras

Photographer Sebastião Salgado to use proceeds to plant trees in Brazilian rainforest

Photographer Sebastião Salgado has raised the money for 120,000 trees to preserve the Brazilian rainforest with the auction proceeds of one single camera. The all-titanium Leica model fetched 90,000 euros, a new world record for cameras built after 1945. The highest bid at the camera auction of the Viennese photography scene 'Westlicht' was made by a collector from Thailand by phone. The LEICA M7 with the special serial no. 3,000,000 was awarded to Salgado by Leica Camera AG, Solms in honor of his extensive and extremely human photographic work.

Particularly with his large-scale cycles 'Workers' and 'Migration', Salgado made important contributions to the discussion of topics that affect the whole of mankind. As a documentary photographer of human fates in times of poverty, suppression and war, for example, the Brazilian has captured not only fear and sorrow but also moments full of hope, pride, incredible energy and enormous will to survive. Sebastião Salgado has already won the prestigious Leica Oskar Barnack Award twice for his photographic work.

The Leica Gallery in Vienna is staging a tie-in photo exhibition of children's portraits from Sebastião Salgado's 'Migration’ project until February 5th, 2006. Details of the auction and the photo exhibition can be found on the Internet at www.westlicht.com.

The distinction of famous photographers, scientists and statesmen has a long tradition at Leica: The camera and optics manufacturer has been awarding cameras with special serial numbers at irregular intervals ever since 1925. For example, the 25,000th Leica was given to the Swedish Asia explorer Sven Hedin in 1929, the 750,000th Leica to the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1955, the 800,000th to the first German Bundeskanzler Dr. Konrad Adenauer in 1956 and the 2,500,000th to Czech president Václav Havel in 2000.

The LEICA M7 with the serial no. 3,000,000 comes from a special series of the company to mark the 50th anniversary of the Leica rangefinder system in the year 2004. It is made of solid titanium. Limited to a quantity of 50 cameras engraved with the years from 1954 to 2004, the special series has three lenses and was sold for a price of 20,000 euros.

For collectors of particularly exclusive items, the Solms company is also offering the anniversary set of the titanium LEICA M7 together with just one lens - the high-speed universal LEICA SUMMILUX-M f/1.4/50mm ASPH. . The titanium cameras in the set also bear the anniversary engraving and have a special serial no. from 3,000,050 to 3,000,550. The exclusive set combines the tradition of a proven photographic tool - the Leica M camera - with the modernity of the high-tech material titanium and state-of-the-art lens design. The homogeneous silver-gray titanium finish gives the camera and lens an unmistakably exclusive look, making the anniversary edition an elegant collectors' item.
October 14, 2005

Leica at Photo Plus Expo

Leica will be presenting their newest camera the D-LUX 2, the much anticipated Digital Modul-R back for their flagship R8 and R9 SLR cameras, and the Leica MP 3 LHSA Special Edition.

Leica Digital-Modul-R

The LEICA DIGITAL-MODUL-R is a digital camera back designed to fit regular production LEICA R8 and R9 cameras. LEICA R8 and R9 cameras will thus become the world’s very first hybrid 35 mm cameras that can be used for digital or analog photography. The LEICA DIGITAL-MODUL-R combines tradition and progress in a unique way. Nearly all high performance lenses in the LEICA R system since 1965 can be used for digital and analogue image recording. The LEICA DIGITAL-MODULE-R makes full use of their exceptionally high imaging performance.

Leice D-Lux 2Leica D-LUX 2

The latest pocket sized digital camera from Leica has a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 6.3-25.2 mm f/2.8-4.9 Asph. lens with a 4x zoom that has a (35 mm equivalent) range of 28 to 112 mm. There is no optical viewfinder but the camera has a very large 2.5-inch LCD that displays 207,000 pixels. Camera resolution is 8.4 megapixels and the camera settings are controlled either by 14 different scene modes, or through completely manual aperture and shutter speeds. There is even an adapter available for attaching the camera to a spotting scope for nature photography.

The Leica D-Lux 2 makes an ideal digital camera, both for discerning amateurs and professionals who would like to have a high quality pocket sized camera with them at all times. http://leica-camera.com

October 18, 2005

Leica names Pinat Ozger as the Winner of the 1st Jim Marshall Scholarship

Leica LogoAllendale, N.J. – October 2005 - It took two legends to create this unique contest-- Leica Camera, and Jim Marshall, a photographic legend and inveterate Leica shooter. Its aim is simple but profound: To encourage talented young photographers and to provide them with the best possible equipment to express their vision—a Leica M7 camera and Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron ASPH lens valued at $5,000. In addition, the award includes a $2,500 cash prize.
After poring over the 275 portfolios entered for more than 6 hours, the 5 judges, including Jim Marshall himself, selected the 2005 contest winner--Pinar Ozger of Berkeley, California, who is studying at the Academy of Art University. The judges were moved by her compassionate and revealing images of the harsh life in the Kackar Mountains of Turkey.
We congratulate her on her outstanding achievement, and trust that both the camera and the award will help her further her photographic education and put her on the road to a successful and fulfilling career.
About Jim Marshall
Jim Marshall has worked in the music genre for most of his career, providing editorial coverage for magazines, and shooting everything from publicity and documentary photographs to album and CD covers. He was one of the chief photographers at both Woodstock ’69 and the Monterey Pop Festival. He was also the only photographer granted backstage access at the Beatles’ last concert, and was also the only person ever to succeed in squeezing Janis Joplin and Grace Slick into a single memorable frame.

About Leica Camera Inc.
Leica creates cameras and optical photographic accessories that empower the artist in every photographer.  The company creates instruments that provide photographers with the tools they need, as well as inspire their artistic spirit within.  Leica is dedicated to developing the finest in cameras and optical photographic instruments.  For the entire history of the company, a tradition of precision manufacturing and technological innovations has steadily positioned the brand at the forefront of the photographic industry and has enabled it to establish an unsurpassed standard of excellence.  Leica Camera USA, headquartered in Allendale, N.J., distributes a complete line of Rangefinder & SLR cameras and lenses, compact and digital cameras and sport optic products.  For more information, please visit the web site at www.leicacamerausa.com.

October 18, 2005

Leica creates a Special Limited Edition Ralph Gibson Signature Leica MP

Leica LogoAllendale, N.J.- Leica Camera is pleased to announce Ralph Gibson’s collaboration with Leica on the Ralph Gibson Signature Leica MP. This special edition camera has been custom crafted to Ralph’s personal specifications. This MP will be offered in a limited edition of 50 pieces worldwide.
Ralph Gibson, being perhaps the quintessential Leica photographer of our time, has been an internationally acclaimed photographer and teacher for nearly 40 years. His photographic goal has always been, “to move further and further into the medium, shedding light on the essential nature of the photographic process itself,” says Gibson.
Gibson configured his personal Leica MP with only the 35, 50 and 90 mm frame lines, visible one at a time and without a preview lever, allowing fingertips of one’s left hand to have no obstruction and allowing more sensitivity to the mechanism of the camera.
More specifically, the Gibson Signature camera is an MP with an M7-type angled rewind crank for speed. The color is matte black in order to not reflect light onto the subject. Additionally, the shutter release and shutter-release socket have been blackened in order for the frame counter to be the brightest highlight when one looks down and not distract the eye. A burgundy leather covering was chosen because it compliments the camera’s classic contours, and of course, Ralph Gibson’s signature is engraved on the top.
The camera will be available through authorized Leica dealers in October 2005 and will retail for $5500.
For more information about Leica, please visit the website at www.leicacamerausa.com.

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