A Visit to the Brewery: Shot Exclusively on the Leica D-Lux 109

The D-Lux 109

It is so easy for us photographers and filmmakers to get carried away with the tools we use rather than getting carried away with the subject matter we are pursuing. I used to regularly shoot Canon DSLRs, Sony cine type cameras and the occasionally RED camera. Sometimes I still use those tools. Are they amazing tools? ABSOLUTELY, but they can slow things down, require extensive rigging, and more times than not they can dampen the aura of a moment. In the work I typically do I am shooting on the fly and trying to capture moments that are not staged. When I point a camera at a person, and they see me I don’t want to disturb them. I also have to get shots while remaining unnoticed, which requires minimal rigging.

I have never encountered a camera that was so capable at taking amazing pictures, and filming than the Leica D-Lux 109.  Per square inch the D-lux 109 packs more power than any other camera. The D-Lux is phenomenal!

My recent visit to the Coachella Valley Brewing Company presented the perfect opportunity to get some spectacular black and whites. I recently visited there, and the only camera I had on me was the D-Lux 109. So, I immediately got to shooting some shots around the brewery and then switched to free handing some 4k shots on the fly. The ability to pull a camera out like that and start shooting some really incredible material was extremely liberating!! 

Not only is the D-Lux inconspicuous, and readily available, but it is also has a GREAT lens. I Love the f1.7 @24mm and the macro mode. The lens is sharp at all focal lengths and apertures. 

Honestly the 4k out of the camera is just outstanding. Below is a frame I pulled out of the video once I had finished grading. Again, this not a photograph, this is one frame of video! I could make a nice print of this frame if I wanted to.

4k frame

The video has low compression at 100mbps @4k 24fps, and since this is a Leica camera (yes, I know they aren’t made in Wetzlar) the color is lovely.  Now, I don’t appreciate 4k for the immense amount of resolution it gives me, but rather for increase in bit rate, grading opportunities as well as reframing capabilities. The D-Lux’s settings do require some tweaking to shoot serious video. I messed with the Gamma curves to get a in camera flat-ish profile, and there are a few other oddities that are required to get the camera from being a “stills” camera to being somewhat of a cine camera. Below is a piece I shot in about 10-15 minutes, all by hand with nothing but my D-Lux 109.

I plan to use the D-Lux 109 for a lot more than just personal projects in the near future. I plan to use it in a couple up coming documentary films I will be heading up. The D-Lux will not simply be used as a B or C camera but as my primary camera. The 4k is absolutely lovely out of this camera and so is the color. Convenience, and great color when paired with a outstanding lens, and nice 4k for 1080 or 2k downscaling makes for the right tool for the job.

Cheers!

About the Author: Ben Carpenter is a photographer and filmmaker originally from the Midwest. Ben now resides in the Coachella Valley where he works as a sales representative at Camera West Rancho Mirage. Ben shoots a variety of films ranging from wedding and commercial films to documentary films in the southern California region. He also enjoys leading a variety of workshops at our Rancho Mirage store.

New Wide Angle for the Hasselblad

New H System lens from Hasselblad, the HCD 4.8/24 mm is equivalent to 17 mm on 35 mm DSLR format. A perfect pairing with the new H5D!

Founder and CEO of Camera West Sean Cranor is in Cologne, Germany bringing you the latest news, updates and photos from Photokina 2012. Watch for these updated daily reports here on the Camera West Blog.

New Think Tank Bags

Think Tank has announced two new camera bags. The Airport Navigator (seen above) is a rolling pilot’s case that allows both top and front access to your photo gear. The bag is designed to hold two pro-size bodies and 3 to 6 lenses, 2 flash units, an iPad and laptop. Like other products in the Airport series, this bag is designed to meet the restrictions imposed by airlines for carry-on luggage for both international and domestic (US) flights.

Think Tank has also announced a new line of City Walker messenger-style shoulder bags. These bags come in 3 different sizes, each capable of holding at least a standard-size camera body and medium range zoom. Both bags should be available at Camera West in November.

Founder and CEO of Camera West Sean Cranor is in Cologne, Germany bringing you the latest news, updates and photos from Photokina 2012. Watch for these updated daily reports here on the Camera West Blog.

Lunar – Hasselblad’s ‘Ultimate Luxury’ Mirrorless Camera

Hasselblad, manufacturer of the world’s most advanced medium format camera system, has announced a revolutionary plan to market a state-of-the-art, Italian-designed ‘ultimate luxury’ mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera early next year.

Luca Alessandrini Hasselblad’s New Business Development Manager said: “The Lunar is a celebration of the passion that the company’s founder Victor Hasselblad had for photography. We’ve developed this model in the traditional way, using handmade wooden prototypes to ensure superior ergonomics and functionality. This is a camera for both serious photographers and enthusiasts who aspire to shooting with a Hasselblad.”

He added: “And for the first time ever we are using carbon fiber, titanium, wood, leather and precious metals – including gold. The camera grip itself offers unparalleled ergonomics and has been developed to embrace both compact E-mount and the larger professional A-mount lenses.”

The Lunar, which is set for launch in the first quarter of 2013, will be priced approximately $6,500.

Key Lunar features will include:

  • DSLR-like performance thanks to the highest technology APS-C 24.3 MP sensor with 25AF points focusing matched to an Ultra fast Processor with real time image process ing and accurate RAW to JPEG translation.
  • Accurate composition for both still and video in any light conditions thanks to the Ultra-bright 3” high definition display and revolutionary OLED viewfinder that guarantees superior contrast and ultra fast response.
  • One-touch instant full HD video recording to shoot in Auto or fully manual mode. Focus and exposition control plus the connection for an external microphone and the option to use larger A-mount lenses for professional video creation.
  • Instant shutter response (0.02 second release time lag) ten frames per second and an extremely Wide ISO 100 -16000 range.
  • The camera software includes an exceptionally comprehensive set of creative styles, picture effects, scene selections and the smart ”intelligent face registration” making the shooting experience even more fun.
  • Auto HD, DRO and Anti-motion blur mode.
  • An Innovative TriNavi system for DSLR-like tuning, two flash options and Anti dust system complete the Lunar state-of-the-art package.

Founder and CEO of Camera West Sean Cranor is in Cologne, Germany bringing you the latest news, updates and photos from Photokina 2012. Watch for these updated daily reports here on the Camera West Blog.