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Hello Again,


The Leica M is shipping!  Pre-ordered very early and greatly anticipated, one arrived just recently.  We were very pleased to present it to Bay Area photographer, William Palank.  He has very exciting plans for it and we will have details very soon on our blog.  


Other industry news, updates, and splendid photography events are listed below.


You can follow our events here: Upcoming Events   and our new and used equipment updates here: Equipment Updates.   Thank you for your trust and support.





Camera West


A Special Delivery - the First Leica M

 M Opening

We at Camera West were happy to deliver one of the first Leica M Typ 240 cameras released in the US to one of our good customers Saturday. Professional photographer William Palank of San Francisco took delivery of the long anticipated successor to the M9.

The Leica M is the most innovative and versatile M system camera Leica has ever created. It unites decades of experience in rangefinder technology with groundbreaking digital technologies, featuring a completely newly developed high-resolution full-format CMOS sensor that, in combination with its high-performance processor and the legendary M lenses, delivers outstanding imaging results. With live view, 1080p video and new additional focusing methods, it is also the M for photographers who do not wish to miss out on any of what modern digital technology has to offer.

If interested in a new M, give us a call and we'll do our very best to put one in your hands.
M Look
Camera West Walnut Creek manager Dan Leto and William Palank look over the menu of the new M.

M & Noc
The new M with a Noctilux
 Check out William Palank's fine work here.
New! Monochrom Leica Akademie

M Monochrom  
Join us for a full day of black and white photography in Palm Springs, CA with the unique M Monochrom on April 27, 2013 from 9am to 6pm.

Many of the world's most memorable images were shot in black and white, and as any experienced black-and-white shooter can attest, there is still something unique, compelling, and beautiful about this traditional medium.

This one-of-a-kind workshop will let you explore this fascinating monochromatic world using the unique M Monochrom camera. This program combines a class lecture with real world shooting experience. Under the guidance of a seasoned Leica Akademie instructor you'll gain a more profound understanding of the nuance of the M Monochrom and its ability to capture light, texture, contrast, and tonal gradation.  This workshop will focus on capturing images and getting the most out of the unique sensor used in the M Monochrom.

Topics covered include:
  • Pros and Cons of shooting M Monochrom vs. M9 and converting.
  • Test Shoot with the M Monochrom.
  • Maximizing capture from the M Monochrom, resolution and tonal range.
  • What makes a good B&W image?
  • Developing a new way of seeing.

Cost is $249 and participants will receive a $150 voucher that can be used toward the purchase of a brand new serial numbered Leica M product. 


Please contact us at Camera West for more info      

Last Chance to Sign Up!

Joshua Tree  
Join professional nature photographer Jason Bradley and the staff of Camera West for a 3.5 day workshop photographing the stunning landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park. Learn how to produce beautiful images not only during the day, but also at night where you will learn all about proper exposure at night and the fine art of light painting.

April 18 thru the 21st, 2013

Cost : $995.

Please contact Michael for more info and to sign up    
More Jason Bradley Workshops
Natural Flow
Contact Camera West in Rancho Mirage for more details on these and other workshops Jason is leading this coming spring.
New! Camera West Photo Walk 
Monterey Bay Aquarium  
                                                                                                                           Photo by Michael Maloney 

You are invited to join Michael on this very special Camera West Photo Walk where we will explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Located at the ocean's edge, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a window to fascinating marine life. It is home to sea otters, penguins, sharks, jellies and thousands of other marine animals and plants.

A three-story, 335,000-gallon tank with clear acrylic walls offers photographers stunning views of leopard sharks, sardines, anchovies, and other creatures swimming through a towering kelp forest. There is also a 1.2-million-gallon Outer Bay tank that houses open-ocean life, including yellowfin tuna, large green sea turtles, barracuda, sharks, giant ocean sunfish, and schools of bonito.

Unlike past photo walks, only 6 participants will accompany Michael for this one giving you the opportunity to work closely with him to hone your photographic skills and come up with images you'll be proud of.

Sign up quickly for this photo walk as it is almost filled. Note that it is on a Thursday, to take advantage of less crowds.

Thursday, April 18, 2013       
Cost  : $50.00 + admission to the aquarium


New! Nikon D7100


Nikon has just announced the D7100 DSLR, a $1200. 24 MP DX sensor with improved speed and focusing, placing it at the top of their DX lineup.

Nikon D7100 Key Features & Specs:
  • 24.1-megapixel DX-format (APS-C) CMOS sensor 
  • EXPEED 3 image processing
  • 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type sensors
  • 2,016-pixel RGB metering sensor with Scene Recognition System
  • Sensitivity: ISO 100 to 6400, expandable to ISO 25,600 (Hi-2)
  • 6 FPS high-speed burst at full resolution, 7 FPS in new 1.3x Crop Mode
  • 3.2-inch 1.2-million-dot RGBW LCD display
  • New, "i" button provides quick access to key functions in Live View
  • 1080p full HD video with built-in stereo microphone and headphone jack
  • Full HD video at 60i in 1.3x Crop Mode
  • Uncompressed HDMI output video
  • Full time auto focus in video mode
  • Dual SD card slots - UHS-1 and SDXC compatibility
  • New viewfinder with 100% coverage and new OLED info display
  • Shutter assembly rated for 150k actuations
  • Magnesium alloy top and back plates
  • Weatherproofing equivalent to the D300S

New! AF-S Nikkor 800mm f/5.6

Nikon 800

Nikon has launched the lens, first announced in the summer of 2012. Already tested by professional sports photographers at the London Olympics, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR is a super-telephoto lens featuring twenty elements in thirteen groups - including two ED and two fluorite elements , an iris diaphragm with nine rounded blades and electromagnetic diaphragm control, and vibration reduction.

This lens includes the also-new TC-800-1.25E ED teleconverter - the first teleconverter to employ an ED glass element to correct chromatic aberration.

The suggested retail price of the new 800mm Nikon lens is $17,899.95 and will be available in April.

Specifications : 
  • Max. aperture: f/5.6
  • Min. aperture: f/32
  • Lens construction: 20 elements in 13 groups (plus one protective glass)
  • No. diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded)
  • Closest focusing distance: 5.9 m (19.4 ft) in AF mode; 5.8 m (19.0 ft) in MF mode
  • Filter size (drop in): 52 mm
  • Diameter x length: 6.3 x 18.1 in.
  • Weight: 161.9 oz with the teleconverter attached

New! AF-S Nikkor 80 - 400mm f/4.5-5.6

Nikon 80-400

Nikon has announced the new AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR , improving the auto focus issues inherent in their previous lens of the same focal length.

The new 80-400 features four ED (extra-low dispersion) elements and one Super ED element, a built-in SWM ultrasonic focus motor, and second generation VR that claims to provide four stops of vibration reduction. It also features specialized VR correction for tripod shooting when that four stops isn't quite enough to shoot by hand.

The lens will be compatible with both FX and DX format Nikons - reaching 120-600mm equivalent on the latter - and will be available in early April for $2,700. 

New! Leica Binoculars 

Leica Geovid HD-B

Leica has introduced the revolutionary Geovid HD-B Laser-Range Finding Binocular at the recent SHOT Show 2013. These binoculars use the Perger Porro prism system, an updated ergonomic bridge construction, and a laser rangefinder with a multifunction ballistic computer to deliver high-quality optical performance. It's extremely simple to upload the ballistic information to the micro SD memory card, made even easier by accessing the internal database of the card that contains practically all standard caliber ammunition's ballistic curves.

The Advanced Ballistic Compensation function of the Geovid HD-B allows hunters navigating steep terrain, with difficult shooting inclines or declines, to make those long-distance shots much more accurately, and makes shots that were nearly impossible before a reality. 

Geovid HD-B 8x42 - $2945. 
Geovid HD-B 10x42 - $2995.

New!  Hoodman Custom Finder Kit


Hoodman's new custom finder kit for 3.2 inch viewfinders includes the new H32 Hoodloupe with German glass optics, diopter adjustment and a 1/4-20 mounting solution. The kit's custom finder base plate provides an elegant way to mount the HoodLoupe for DSLR video capture and live view. The custom finder kit retails for just $199.99 and will be available mid March. For Hoodman customers already owning a HoodLoupe 3.0 or 3.2 and wishing for a great way to attach it to their DSLR, the custom finder base plate can be purchased separately for just $99.99.

New! Pocket Wizard PlusX


The PlusX is the simplest PocketWizard radio ever and the perfect entry into the PocketWizard Wireless System.

How simple? Attach one PlusX to your camera, another PlusX to a remote flash using an included cable, set both radios to the same channel and start taking pictures.

The PlusX is compatible with all Standard Channel-capable PocketWizard transmitters and receivers, so it's the perfect companion for your existing radios and new flashes.

PocketWizard PlusX will be available towards the end of March at a suggested retail price of $99.

New! Hasselblad Scanners 


Camera West Flickr Photo Group  


We have set up a special Camera West Flickr Photo Group and would love to see your photos!

Our Camera West Flickr Photo Group is for friends of Camera West to share their photos. We invite you to post pictures taken with equipment or supplies you have bought from either the Walnut Creek or Rancho Mirage stores.

Please tag the pictures with "Camera West" so they can be enjoyed by others.

We look forward to seeing your work! 

Recent Updates



Leica Camera released firmware update v1.1.0.2 for the new M Typ 240 which contains vignetting correction improvements for many of the M System lenses.


Canon has announced that firmware update Version 1.2.1 for its flagship EOS-1D X DSLR  is now available for download. Firmware Version 1.2.1 for the EOS-1D X  allows you to disable the image size selection button and also fixes Err 70 and Err 80 issues.


Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its X-Pro1 and X-E1 mirrorless cameras and the XF 35mm F1.4 R lens. The updates for both cameras introduce compatibility with the XF 14mm F2.8 R wide angle lens, and promise improved auto focus performance. Version 1.04 for the X-E1 also includes tweaks for users of external remote releases and the MIC-ST1 stereo microphone. Meanwhile v2.02 for the XF 35mm lens promises better auto focus accuracy, and requires the latest camera firmware to be fully effective.



Nikon has issued a firmware update for its D4 professional DSLR. Versions A 1.04 and B 1.02 improve the performance of the camera's Subject Tracking AF feature in AF-C (continuous-servo autofocus) mode.

Nikon released Capture NX version 2.4.0 which adds support for RAW images captured with the Nikon 1 J 3 and Nikon 1 S1. Modifications have also been made to white balance settings along with compatibility with 64- and 32-bit Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8 Enterprise. And on a mac, support for the built in retina displays.

Nikon has released firmware update 1.21 for the Nikon 1 V1. This update resolves an issue where immediately after the camera is turned on after attaching a lens, the shooting display on the LCD or in the electronic viewfinder sometimes appears to move.

Sony has announced a series of firmware updates for its NEX-7, NEX-6, NEX-5R, NEX-5N cameras and two E-mount lenses. Version 1.02 for both NEX-7 and 5N adds automatic lens correction with the 16-50mm E mount lens, as well as a number of other improvements and bugs fixes. Firmware v1.01 for NEX-6 and 5R provides Fast Hybrid AF support with multiple E-mount lenses.

Sony has also announced firmware updates for its SLT-A37, A57, A65, A77 and A99 digital SLRs. Firmware version 1.01 for the SLT-A99 adds Dual-AF compatibility with key A-mount lenses. Updates for the rest of the SLTs including the A99 add automatic lens correction with several A-mount lenses.

Apple has released Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 4.04, adding
RAW image compatibility for the following cameras to Aperture 3 and iPhoto '11 : Leica D-Lux 6, Leica V-Lux 4, Leica X2, Nikon D5200, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1, and others.

The Camera West Blog

Horsetail Fall Golden Nugget                                                                         Photo by Michael Maloney

Miracle of Rock, Water and Light

Every year in February, hundreds of photographers stand in a snowy forest in Yosemite Valley, staring upwards in hopes of seeing a miracle of rock, water, and light appear high above them.

Michael from Camera West in Walnut Creek made the pilgrimage to Horsetail Fall in Yosemite last month to witness the firefall made famous by the late Galen Rowell in 1973. Read more about his trip on the Camera West Blog.

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