At an event held today in Berlin, Leica unveiled several new products, in addition to the new M Monochrome digital rangefinder PDN’s Dan Havlik has reported on.These include the new X2 compact digital camera, the V-Lux 40 compact camera, the APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2, five new central shutter lenses, and the Leica S-Adapter H, which allows the Hasselblad H- system lenses to be mounted onto a Leica S2 camera body.
Dan is in Berlin and will be posting more in-depth information for Leica’s raft of new products shortly. For now, here are excerpts from Leica’s announcements to the press.
Leica Announces X2 Digital Camera
Leica Camera AG presents the X2, a new addition to the X-line of compact digital cameras. Handmade at Leica’s headquarters in Germany, the Leica X2 features a new APS-C-format professional CMOS image sensor with over 16.5 megapixels (effective 16.2 MP). In combination with the high-performance Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens, a classic focal length for photojournalism, this sensor ensures maximum image quality and sparkling brilliance. With its refined styling and high-performance technical features, the Leica X2 offers unsurpassed performance in a compact package.
The Leica X2’s autofocus system has also been enhanced, allowing the camera to adapt to all shooting situations with enormous flexibility and enabling fast, extremely precise and almost silent focusing. The camera’s profile is complemented by numerous setting options from full manual control to automatic functions and an intuitive handling concept. These features make the Leica X2 the ideal premium-class compact camera for discerning photographers who wish to concentrate completely on their subjects and appreciate creative and true-to-life pictures.
The CMOS image sensor of the X2 is unusually large for a camera in the compact segment. Despite its high resolution of over 16 megapixels, each individual pixel on the sensor is very large, allowing the X2 to gather more light. The resulting benefits include low image noise, a high dynamic range and accurate color differentiation. The crop factor of the sensor is 1.5 in comparison with 35-mm film format, meaning that the Leica Elmarit 24 mm f/2.8 ASPH. lens of the Leica X2 becomes a universal reportage lens with an effective 35-mm-equivalent focal length of 36 millimeters. This is considered to be a classic focal length amongst prime lenses and has captured innumerable iconic images. The moderate wide-angle character and natural rendition of dimensions by the high-performance lens of the X2 open up a broad spectrum of different options for capturing those decisive moments in outstanding, authentic and richly detailed picture quality. As a result of its simple operating concept, the Leica X2 offers clearly laid-out functions and intuitive handling. At the same time, it offers an impressive range of automatic and versatile manual setting options. Thanks to the ease of switching between manual and automatic control, photographers can concentrate completely on composing their subjects and choosing the decisive instant to shoot in any situation. The dials on the top deck provide grip when setting the shutter speed and aperture. Moreover, changing the plane of focus, the white balance and other imaging parameters allows photographers to consciously influence the look or mood of their images. In live view mode, the generously sized high- contrast 2.7″ monitor offers photographers complete control at all times and a bright and detailed view, even in strong light.
Leica V-LUX 40: Compact Camera
Leica Camera AG presents the V-Lux 40, a new addition to Leica’s digital compact camera portfolio. Incorporating numerous new features in comparison with its predecessor, the Leica V-Lux 30, this latest model offers greater performance of its 15.3-megapixel (effective 14.1 MP), 1/2.33″ CMOS sensor and a Leica DC Vario-Elmar 4.3–86 mm f/3.3–6.4 ASPH. lens with a zoom range now extended to 20×. As a result of the broadened range of focal lengths, now equivalent to 24 to 480 mm in 35-mm format, the Leica V-Lux 40 is a much more versatile camera. In addition, the LCD touch screen ensures the fast and simple handling of the camera. Its compact design, comprehensive functions and additional features, such as an integrated GPS module or video recording in full HD quality, make the V-Lux 40 the ideal companion for capturing lasting memories whether traveling the world or enjoying time with family at home.
The Leica V-Lux 40’s new 15.3-megapixel (effective 14.1 MP), 1/2.33″ CMOS image sensor guarantees outstanding picture quality in all situations. It enables a higher dynamic range as well as particularly low- noise images at sensitivities up to ISO 3200. In comparison to its predecessor, the Leica V-Lux 40 now offers significantly improved image quality, even in low light. Additionally, an autofocus speed of 0.1 seconds enables even faster focusing on moving subjects.
The enormous range of focal lengths covered by the V-Lux 40’s Leica DC Vario-Elmar 4.3–86 mm f/3.3– 6.4 ASPH. zoom lens (equivalent to 24 to 480 millimeters in 35-mm format) makes it ideal for almost all photographic situations. For expansive landscapes, finely detailed macro studies at short distances or for shots of distant objects with its super-telephoto setting, this Leica lens with high-precision aspherical lenses and an image stabilizer delivers outstanding results for all still images and video recordings.
The Leica V-Lux 40 offers a comprehensive range of camera functions. Users can choose from a diverse selection of creative imaging options, from a continuous shooting rate of ten frames per second at full resolution and 60 frames per second in high-speed mode, to creative modes with effects like miniature, panorama and retro.Ideal for capturing video, the Leica V-Lux 40’s entire 20× zoom range is available during recording. In addition, an integrated stereo microphone with an electronic wind noise filter guarantees a crystal-clear soundtrack. Videos can now also be saved in Internet-friendly MP4 format and uploaded directly to social media or mobile devices, for example, without any need for conversion.
An integrated GPS module completes the list of features and functions offered by the V-Lux 40, allowing users to save the geographical coordinates and local time of every shot captured in the Exif data of the image files.* In addition, the camera can display the sightseeing highlights of the immediate neighborhood (1,000,000 so-called ‘points of interest’). A DVD included in the package contains maps of important cities and regions. After transfer to an SD memory card, these can be uploaded to the camera and used for orientation in unfamiliar places. Photos can be stored in the maps as thumbnail images.
Particularly easy handling is ensured by a large, 3-inch LCD touch screen that allows users to select or set numerous functions in capture and review mode simply by touching controls displayed on the monitor screen. This oversized screen has a diagonal of 7.5 centimeters and its resolution of 460,000 pixels displays images with outstanding brilliance. As a result, the Leica V-Lux 40 is an ideal tool for reliable and precise assessment of images both during composition and after capture. The Leica V-Lux 40 is available now from Leica dealers…
Leica Apo-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 Lens
Leica Camera AG presents a new milestone in the history of lens construction: the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. With the goal of creating a lens that fully achieves the opportunities offered by high-resolution camera systems, Leica engineers have successfully redefined the limits of what is technically possible. The result is an extremely high-performance lens that sets entirely new standards and currently stands as an exceptional talent amongst the standard lenses of the Leica M portfolio.
This new reference lens achieves the best test results ever seen in the Leica M-Lens program. The MTF curves of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. that describe the contrast of fine details and, in turn, the image sharpness, confirm its outstanding performance. Even the finest details are resolved with more than 50% contrast across the entire image field. This previously unattained value confirms the exceptional positioning of this lens. All images captured with the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. in any photographic situation show extreme sharpness and resolution of details from corner to corner of the image. Additionally, the apochromatic correction of the lens minimizes chromatic aberration on sharp edges to ensure natural rendition of every detail. As a result, photographers benefit from the best possible reproduction results at any print size.
The new design of the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is based on the optical design of its predecessor that has been on the market since 1979 and is the oldest lens represented in the Leica M portfolio. The classical specifications, 50 mm focal length and a maximum aperture of f2, offered an ideal starting point for further development.
In its optical design, the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. is oriented on particular features of the Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. and the Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. lenses. For instance, the Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. also incorporates a floating element. The lens group behind the diaphragm is designed as a floating element that changes its position relative to the front group during focusing, ensuring that the lens achieves outstanding imaging quality throughout its focusing range, including at closer focusing distances.…. The Leica APO-Summicron-M 50 mm f/2 ASPH. in black finish will be available from Leica dealers from late July 2012.
Leica Releases S-Adapter H, Enables Use of Hasselblad H Lenses on the Leica S2
Leica Camera AG presents a new accessory for the Leica S professional camera system: the Leica S-Adapter H. This adapter allows the portfolio of Hasselblad H- system lenses to be mounted onto a Leica S2 camera body with all lens functions, such as autofocus, central shutter control and automatic diaphragm, retained. The smart electronics of the adapter facilitate the complete integration of the lenses into the Leica S-System.
The Hasselblad H-system features a total of 11 central shutter lenses with focal lengths from 28 to 300 mm. As the S2 features a dual shutter system, users may toggle between the focal plane shutter (FPS) in the camera body or the central shutter (CS) in the lens utilizing the main switch. Photographers now have access to numerous additional lenses that increase the photographic options offered by the Leica S- System.
Hasselblad H-system users also benefit from the new adapter. The versatility of Hasselblad H lenses is expanded considerably when combined with an S2. For instance, as a result of the dual shutter system of the Leica S2, H lenses can be now used with the focal plane shutter at speeds of up to 1/4000th of a second. In combination with the Leica Maestro high-performance image processor, the camera’s image sensor enables perfect, noise-free exposures up to ISO 1250.
Furthermore, the DNG format of images from the S2 enables direct connection to Adobe Lightroom 4 workflow software and seamless data transfer to Adobe Photoshop. The dedicated lens correction profiles computed by Leica for both programs help photographers to achieve maximum performance from the H lenses. In cases of a longer shooting session with high image frequency, the S2 also offers significant advantages due to its low power consumption. The optional multifunctional grip S with separate controls is a particularly useful aid for optimum camera handling for portrait-format shots.
The Leica S-Adapter H is now available from Leica dealers…
Leica to Offer 5 New S-Lenses with Central Shutter
Leica Camera AG is expanding the product range for the Leica S professional camera system with five new central shutter lenses, available from October 2012. The new models are the Leica Elmarit-S 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. and Leica Summarit-S 35 mm f/2.5 ASPH. wide-angle lenses, the Leica Summarit-S 70 mm f/2.5 ASPH. standard lens, the Leica APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120 mm f/2.5 tele-macro lens and the Leica APO-Tele-Elmar-S 180 mm f/3.5 telephoto lens, all of which will also be available in a CS version with a central shutter. Designed and constructed exclusively by Leica, the central shutter available for all S lenses is not only especially compact and efficient, but also has a guaranteed service life of at least 100,000 shutter cycles, making it extremely reliable.
The Leica S2-System features a dual shutter concept, allowing photographers to choose a shutter system to meet their needs and the particular situation before every shot. The camera body is constructed with a metal focal plane shutter offering a top speed of 1/4000th of a second and flash sync at 1/125th. The main switch on the S2 camera body allows users to rapidly change to central shutter use as soon as a CS lens is mounted. With a top speed of 1/1000th of a second, the central shutter offers a working range expanded by three f-stops. Users now have considerably more leeway for creative lighting, such as studio flash systems that may be used to suppress ambient light or to create fill light in bright surroundings at larger lens apertures. As a result of the seamless integration of the central shutter function in the camera’s electronics, photographers can switch rapidly between the two shutter systems at any time.
With a guaranteed life of over 100,000 shuttercycles per lens, it is also extremely durable and dependable in constant use. For the first time, the dust- and splash-proof construction of the lenses and camera now makes it possible to use the system under difficult conditions for ‘on location’ shots with the central shutter without any fears of equipment failure.
The first shipments of the CS versions of the Leica S lenses to Leica dealers including the Leica Store Washington DC will be available from October 2012.