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Old Dec 19, 2009, 9:21 AM   #1
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Default Got a new toy an L1

My first camera was a used Leica IIIf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leica_III). Build like a precision watch and fun to use at the time, but you had to disassemble the bottom of the camera to change the roll of film, and the viewfinder would focus any lens but only compose the view in a 50mm lens; to compose with any other focal length you had to mount an accessory viewfinder in the flash shoe (you can see one on the right side of the above link).

I had SLRs after that but I’ve always had a soft spot for the look and feel of a rangefinder. When Panasonic worked with Leica to rework the Oly E-300 into the retro-style Panny L1/Leica DigiLux 3 (with real shutter speed and aperture dials), Harj and I both thought it might be a great cam – the look and feel of a Leica rangefinder but a DSLR so it can compose any lens in the OVF. I bought one back then, primarily to get the Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm for my E-500 – the lens has IS which the E-500 didn’t and it is a great lens. I was disappointed with the L1 body because the viewfinder was pretty dark, even with that lens (which isn’t a slow lens). So I sold the L1 (to Tom McCarty who still loves it). Harj and I were expecting Panasonic to upgrade the L1 over time but they never did, even though it had a good reputation and a loyal following, and now they’re abandoning 4/3 for 43. (It’s interesting to see real progress since the 1951 Leica - the 43 cams need an accessory viewfinder if you don’t want to use live view.)

So I gave up and bought an L1 body on eBay, figuring the viewfinder would be bright enough with the super-fast PL 25 f/1.4. Plus the PL 25 front-focuses on the E3 and I figured it wouldn’t on the L1. The L1 arrived yesterday and so far I’m really liking it with the PL 25 – viewfinder is OK (although not as bright as the E3), and autofocus is spot on. I’d be out shooting today if there wasn’t a severe snowstorm out there.

Ted

PS: The Leica version has a better jpeg processing engine but not $2,000 better...

Last edited by tkurkowski; Dec 19, 2009 at 9:29 AM.
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Old Dec 19, 2009, 12:06 PM   #2
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Default First Image with the L1 & PL 25

The height of the snow on the wall is only part of what's supposed to happen here by tomorrow.
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Old Dec 19, 2009, 12:08 PM   #3
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Default Snowflakes

The PL25 is fast enough to allow a fast enough shutter speed to stop a few snowflakes blowing in the wind.
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Old Dec 19, 2009, 12:18 PM   #4
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congrats Ted on your reacquisition.

I always wanted the L1/Digilux3, like you I had a softspot for the retro-rangefinder-esque body design. Image quality looked great from the samples I saw and that lens was really special. It was just always out of my price range at the time, and well with my whole kit being Canon didn't make much sense.

anyways, i look forward to seeing more examples as your weather improves. and i am sure you will enjoy shooting the L1! (again)
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Old Dec 19, 2009, 12:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hards80 View Post
congrats Ted on your reacquisition.

I always wanted the L1/Digilux3, like you I had a softspot for the retro-rangefinder-esque body design. Image quality looked great from the samples I saw and that lens was really special. It was just always out of my price range at the time, and well with my whole kit being Canon didn't make much sense.

anyways, i look forward to seeing more examples as your weather improves. and i am sure you will enjoy shooting the L1! (again)
Thanks! That kit really was expensive when it hit the market, a lot of which was because of that lens, and Panny probably didn't sell as many as they would have liked. The reviews at the time said both parts of the kit were excellent but it was overpriced. The IQ on the L1 is great and the only real problem with its older sensor is that it's not very good over ISO 400.

I love the E3 but I'm enjoying the shutter speed and aperture dials on the L1 - I guess it's an indication of how many years I did film photography. Kinda depressing in one sense (grin).

Ted
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Old Dec 19, 2009, 12:51 PM   #6
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Yea, I was a little disappointed when they went with the conventional styling on the L10, as well as disappointed they dropped out of the conventional slr market altogether. I think were they able to do something similar in size and weight as the oly e-400/420 series in the rangefinder design and improved the viewfinder, they could have carved a nice niche.
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Old Dec 19, 2009, 12:56 PM   #7
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Congrats to you Ted. I remember how expensive that setup was when it came out. I like my Olys, but I wouldn't mind having the PL lens to try. You make me want to buy that setup myself if the price is right.

Post some more shots of the snow. And best wishes to get thru that storm.
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Old Dec 19, 2009, 1:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steven R View Post
Congrats to you Ted. I remember how expensive that setup was when it came out. I like my Olys, but I wouldn't mind having the PL lens to try. You make me want to buy that setup myself if the price is right.

Post some more shots of the snow. And best wishes to get thru that storm.
Hi, Steven

OK - I guess I can force myself to shoot the new toy some more. This is our patio table. And we still have over 12 hours of snowfall to go...
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Old Dec 19, 2009, 1:29 PM   #9
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And here is my split rail fence. Yesterday it was a 3-rail fence; jeeze I hope that tomorrow its not a 1-rail fence. (The previous pix were with the PL24, but this one is with the 14-50 Elmarit.)
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Old Dec 19, 2009, 1:29 PM   #10
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I was another who craved the L-1, but was held back by pocketbook concerns. Perhaps it is a Christmas that we cave into these old desires.

I just purchased an Olympus C-8080 on the Bay because I had alway regretted having to sell my C-8080 to purchase the E-500. So I have been sort of bitten by the same bug.

Have a great day and a Merry Cjristmas.

Sarah Joyce
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