Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A MODERN RENAISSANCE OF THE CLASSIC LENS – THE LEICA THAMBAR-M 1:2.2/90



LEICA CAMERA AG PRESENTS: 
A legend reborn: following the Leica Summaron-M 1:5.6/28, Leica Camera AG has further expanded its lens portfolio with the Thambar-M 1:2.2/90, the modern renaissance of another classic lens. Just like its namesake from 1935, the contemporary incarnation of the lens is distinguished by its characteristic soft-focus effect and unmistakable bokeh. Its focal length of 90 mm is suitable for photography in a multitude of scenarios and is as good as predestined for capturing portraits with a uniquely aesthetic atmosphere that cannot be reproduced in digital postprocessing. The new Thambar-M is thus an exciting addition to the existing Leica M lens portfolio and brings photographers entirely new possibilities for creative composition.
The optical design of its ancestor remains almost unchanged in the new Thambar-M 1:2.2/90. It has therefore also inherited the characteristic properties of its predecessor. The only difference is that the four elements in three groups that make up the design have now been single-coated to protect the glass against environmental influences and surface corrosion. The 20 blades of its iris deliver a unique bokeh with perfectly round rendition of point light sources.
The soft look of the Thambar is the result of intentionally accepted under-correction of spherical aberration. This under-correction increases towards the edges of the optical system with the consequence that not only the depth of focus, but also the degree of softening can be precisely controlled by means of the stepless aperture setting. The effect is more pronounced as apertures increase, and is continually reduced as the lens is stopped down to smaller apertures.
The design of the original lens has been almost completely preserved in today’s Thambar-M 1:2.2/90. The black paint finish, the proportions of the lens and its aperture engravings in red and white correspond to the appearance of the original. In addition to this, slight modifications have been made that bring the lens into line with the current, minimalist design of modern M-Lenses. These include the knurling, the lettering and scales and the specific use of sharp edges and bevelling that underline the precision of the lens design.
‘The name Thambar has always been preceded by the adjective ‘legendary’ – rightly so. It portrays people with a wonderful aura, in a romantic way – but landscapes too are raised to a higher, incomparably aesthetic plane. The addition of a new incarnation of this classic lens to our selection of vintage lenses was one of our greatest wishes – to my great delight, this wish has now been fulfilled.’ emphasises Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of Leica Camera AG.
As is the case with all Leica lenses, the Leica Thambar-M 1:2.2/90 is also manufactured in strict compliance with the most stringent quality criteria. The use of only the best materials in its construction guarantee the familiar long working life of all Leica lenses. As was the case with the original lens, the lens hood, the ring of the centre-spot filter and both front and rear lens caps are made of metal. Even smallest details, like the felt lining of the lens hood and the front cap, contribute to the exceptional perceived quality of this lens. The design of the rigid lens keeper in ‘Vintage Brown’ leather is identical to that of the original from 80 years ago in almost every respect and, as in the past, the centre-spot filter can be safely and conveniently stowed away in its lid.
The Leica Thambar-M 1:2.2/90 will be on sale from mid-November 2017.

Here is additional information from our friends at Leica Store Miami

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LEICA ANNOUNCES THAMBAR-M 90MM F/2.2 – A LEGEND RETURNS

By Josh Lehrer

Today, Leica has announced the new Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 lens for the Leica M-System. Much like the Summaron-M 28mm f/5.6 re-issue last year, the Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 features a similar optical design to the original Thambar, which was produced from 1930-1939, but with modern construction and lens coatings (and it’s 6-bit coded too!).

Leitz_Thambar_Leica Thambar-M_RGB
The original Thambar, left, and the reissue on the right.

The original Thambar (which comes from the Greek word for “blurred” or “out-of-focus”) was designed with portraiture in mind, and has become an extremely collectible lens due to its low production numbers and unique rendering. The lens has two aperture scales, with one designed to be used when the included center filter is attached, which further increases the soft-focus effect. This design feature has been carried over to the reissued lens, which has now an E49 (49mm) filter size.

The new Thambar brings together classic design with modern construction.
The new Thambar brings together classic design with modern construction.

 Leica Thambar_00028_rgb

The official release, from Leica:

Leica Camera is pleased to expand its line of classic lenses with the Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2. First introduced in the mid-1930s where only about 3,000 units were produced, the new Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 has the same optical design but a modified exterior. The lens still produces the same dreamy, soft focus look of the original 83-year old lens.

When the Thambar was originally released in 1935, Leica lenses were already renowned for their exceptionally sharp rendition. So it was all the more surprising when Leitz introduced a soft focus lens which – despite being named after the Greek term ‘thambo’, meaning ‘blurred’ – gave rise to images whose romantic aesthetics are not only unmatched by any other lens to this day, but also impossible to replicate in digital post-processing.

This makes the new Thambar-M an exciting counterpoint to Leica’s other 90mm focal length lenses, and allows the modern-day photographer to experience the unique characteristics of this classic lens; or as the Greek would say, ‘me thambose me teen omorfia tis’ – ‘to be blinded by beauty.’

The Leica Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 offers the following benefits:
  • Optical design similar to the original Thambar-M 9cm f/2.2.
  • Lens elements are now single-coated to protect the glass from the elements and corrosion.
  • Ensures the same, distinctive dreamy, soft focus look and unmistakable bokeh.
  • Provides unmistakable imaging signature which cannot be reproduced by other lenses or digital processing.
  • Same proportions as original lens, with black paint finish and red and white aperture scales. Red scale applies when the included center spot filter is in place, for a more dramatic soft focus effect. When working without the center spot filter, the white aperture scale is used.
  • Meticulously crafted to the highest quality standards, with a primary focus on high-grade materials and durability.
  • Made in Germany, with a delivery scope that includes: metal lens hood, center spot glass filter with metal rim, metal lens cap and a hard leather case in vintage brown color – similar to the original.

The Thambar-M 90mm f/2.2 will be available from late November 2017.

Leica has provided a variety of images which show the lens’ soft-focus properties.

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With an almost painterly rendering achieved entirely in-camera, the Thambar creates images like no other lens in Leica’s current lineup. I imagine this lens could add a unique twist to a wide variety of subject matter, especially when paired with live view on a camera like the M10 or SL, which would allow for precise control over the focusing effect. Although this could be a fun lens on the TL2 as well, where it would become a 135mm f/2.2!

Thambar_M_Ambient_7

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The lens is priced at $6,495 and should begin shipping in November. Leica StoreMiami is currently accepting pre-orders, either by calling 305-921-4433, emailing us or clicking the link below:


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Monday, October 16, 2017

NEW HUAWEI / LEICA “MATE 10” SMARTPHONE






The daily Wetzlar newspapaer, [m]ittelhessen, reports about the new “Mate 10” smartphone with a dual lens Leica camera.  It is made of high-quality metal and glass, water and dust resistant and features a 6 inch Amoled display. Two Leica cameras on the back are equipped with extensive software, which should allow recordings as by a professional photographer.

Huawei wants to prove themselves as an innovation leader with this new flagship product.  They hope to advance to the second place in the international bestseller lists.
The high-tech device will be launched in Germany in late November. The heart of the unit, a new "Kirin 970" chipset, is designed to give the smartphone artificial intelligence. It is the first system worldwide with a computing unit for neural networks. This smartphone will work in many respects similar to a human brain.  With the “Kirin 970” it will be possible to translate languages in real time and to analyze image contents without increasing the use of battery power.

Huawei states:

"With the new Leica Dual Lens with f/1.6 aperture, you can easily take beautiful shallow depth of field pictures, crystal clear low-light photographs and blur-free shots of objects on the move. The 20MP monochrome sensor and 12MP RGB sensor with Optical Image Stabilization captures more light to perform at an expert standard.

With intelligent photographic algorithms, the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro identifies, in real-time, different types of scene and object, automatically adjusting color, contrast, brightness, exposure and more to produce vibrant, sharp, perfectly framed photographs.

Powered by AI to ‘learn’ from our data cache of portrait images, the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro can seamlessly evoke a professional bokeh effect by shifting the focal point onto the subject of the photograph, for picture-perfect portraits and selfies."


Huawei will also offer a version of the "Mate 10" designed by Porsche.

The cosrt of the phone is estimated to be 800 euros with the Porsche version being noticeably more expensive.


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