Sony DSC-RX1 Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Sonnar vs. Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Biogon ZM comparison review

The Sony DSC-RX1 ultra-premium compact full frame camera with Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Sonnar lens has received a lot of praise for its technical achievements. Not only is it the smallest camera in its class (it’s perhaps in a class of its own at the moment), but it also attains very high levels of image quality, comparable to what one can produce from full frame interchangeable lens systems.

The Sonnar lens is the purpose of this review. More specifically, an examination of how well it and the RX1 hold up against currently available Carl Zeiss 35mm ZM-series lenses on the Leica M9 full frame 18MP camera.

Why the ZM lenses and not the ZE/ZF lenses? For a couple reasons:

1) It has been stated by some that for the price of the RX1 and a few accessories, one comes into used M9 territory. This is more so the case now that Leica has released the ‘M’ and used M9 prices have dropped below $4,000. For ‘only’ another $1,000 or so, one can add a quality ZM lens to the M9 and benefit from an interchangeable lens system not much larger in size with more flexibility than the RX1. Both options are much smaller than currently available full frame DSLRs with Zeiss ZE/ZF lenses.

2) I happen to use the M9 and am curious about how well the RX1 compares, and have access to both ZM 35mm lenses. If time and opportunities permit, I may revisit this comparison with some additional Leica M-series lenses.

Click on the image at top or here to continue to the review.

Pelican 1440 roller case for Elinchrom Ranger Quadra kit

An Elinchrom Ranger Quadra transportation solution

Added to my TechTalk section:

As a follow-up to my extensive review of the original Elinchrom Ranger Quadra system, I thought I would share a storage and transportation option I’ve recently added for my Quadra kit: the Pelican 1440 roller case (link to B&H – also called the Pelican 1444 for the divider set configuration).

Click here or on the picture above to go to the full review.

Fast M-series 21mm lens shootout on Leica M9, NEX-7 and Ricoh GXR

Can the $1249 US Voigtlander Ultron Aspherical 21mm f/1.8 compare favorably to the $7000 US Leica Summilux-M 21mm f/1.4 ASPH.?

I’ve added an extensive write-up to the TechTalk section of this site comparing the following lenses:

Leica Summilux-M 21mm f/1.4 ASPH.
Voigtländer Ultron Aspherical 21mm f/1.8
Zeiss Biogon T* 21mm f/2.8 ZM
Leica Super-Elmar-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH.

Click on the image above or on this link to proceed to the full review.

Canon EOS-1DX and EOS-5D Mark III image review glitch explained

Here’s another glitch/bug with the Canon EOS-1DX (and shared by the 5D Mark III):

Immediately after creating an image and during the time in which it automatically appears on the camera’s display, if you zoom in to check the focus, then try to scroll to a neighbouring image, the camera will remain locked on the image just captured.

I’ve posted my findings in the TechTalk section: Canon EOS-1DX and EOS-5D Mark III image review glitch explained

Canon EOS-1DX lock up Err 80 code

There has been some online discussion about the Canon EOS-1DX locking up randomly and reporting Err 80 error code. I recently received mine and have been able to reproduce the problem repeatedly and consistently.

I’ve posted my findings in the TechTalk section: Canon EOS-1DX lock up Err 80 code

Spain wins EURO 2012 – fans in Hamilton celebrate

Chants of España, España, España echoed along James Street North in downtown Hamilton on a beautiful, sunny and comfortable Canada Day afternoon, following Spain’s stunning, though not unexpected, 4-0 win over Italy in the UEFA EURO 2012 soccer championship in Kyiv, Ukraine, seven time zones away.

Early in the tournament, James Street became the place to be for soccer fans in Hamilton, following wins by countries such as Portugal, Italy and Spain, all represented by communities in the city. Especially Italy. Following each Italy win, and more so later into the tournament, large crowds of supporters gathered, to the point where the Italy win over Germany shut down James with hundreds celebrating, some decked out in wigs, face paint, and even a gladiator costume.

The anticipation was high on Sunday for an even larger celebration should Italy win. The police made plans to shut off vehicular traffic and I hoped logical favourite Spain would find its match and Italy would prevail. After all, it would make for some great images.

Sitting in my car nearby, listening to the game on the radio with 15 minutes to go, it was clear Spain would win. Downtown seemed eerily quiet, perhaps not unusual for a Sunday. With the game over, I walked a couple blocks to James Street, passing a few subdued Italy fans, dressed in azure jerseys walking the other way. Still very quiet, I reached James to find perhaps 30-40 Italy fans quietly milling around on the sidewalk and in the middle of the street. The police shut down traffic as soon as the game ended, but there were hardly any Spain supporters in sight. A woman draped in a Spanish flag danced in the middle of the street near the Italy fans. It was underwhelming. A quick walk a couple blocks south and back was disheartening. I contemplated a quick exit for home to get equipment ready for the night’s fireworks at Bayfront Park.

Slowly more and more Spain supporters arrived, perhaps initially stymied by the road closure that prevented the usual parade of flag-draped cars slowly driving by, honking their horns. CHCH TV was there, with a few Italy fans jostling to get in front of and block the Spain fans. All in good fun.

That seemed to get the Spain fans worked up a bit. Soon a critical mass of young fans gathered in the middle of the street chanting to a drumbeat and a real street party got underway. Well, at least for 30 minutes before police on a mounted patrol pushed everyone back to the sidewalks, restoring the street to traffic.

But of course that wasn’t the end of it. Now those in cars were able to join the party and parade through, extending the the revelry another 30 minutes, until the crowds on the sidewalks slowly dissipated.

It was fun, definitely worth sticking around for the experience. I still wish Italy had won, as the party would likely have been many times longer and more intense. So, there’s hope for next time, the World Cup in 2014.

Some more images:

For even more images in a gallery, click on the image below:

Equipment notes:


Canon EOS-1D Mark IV (now replaced by the 1DX) and Leica M9


Canon EF70-200 f/4L IS
Leica Summilux-M 21mm f1.4 ASPH.
Leica Summicron-M 28mm f2 ASPH.
Leica Summilux-M 50mm f1.4 ASPH.

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