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Seeing in the Dark

Some reflections on using an f/0.95 lens

Advertised as a lens that outperforms the human eye, the LEICA NOCTILUX-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH. is considered the best 50mm lens by many. Beyond bokeh worship and any aficionado praise for the romantic, dreamy and surreal look it produces, it is indeed a lens with state-of-the-art optics and unique characteristics. So I was happy to spend some time with lens and see if all the fuzz is for real.

“The world’s fastest aspherical lens”

Source: Leica Camera AG

During a recent lens service by Leica, I was able to lend the Noctilux lens for some weeks through the company operated Leica Store Düsseldorf, while my lens received some love and care in Wetzlar. …


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New Leica M10-R Camera

I attended the Leica M10-R release event July 16, 2020 in Düsseldorf to test the new M 10 family member.

As it happens, I was invited by Leica to attend the Leica M10-R release event July 16, 2020. With current COVID-19 restrictions also applying to this event, I joined a small group of people at the official Leica flagship store in Düsseldorf for the release event, that was streamed live on YouTube from Wetzlar.

Different from previous releases of new camera models, most of the relevant information was already spread on the internet weeks and days before through numerous leaks. But even Leica hinted at what was about to come on their website and social media channels. …


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Leica M10-P White Edition

Following the lead of all past and present Leica M-Cameras

The all-white design takes its cue from the extremely popular M8 White Edition released in 2009. This time, it’s even better.

So here it comes. After months of consideration and deep soul searching, the day has finally arrived. Ever since my last endeavour with rangefinder photography, I knew I would return to the Leica M System at some point. Little did I know that it would happen in white. And yet, here I am sharing my first in depth encounter with a marvellous piece of German engineering and product design, the Leica M10-P White Edition.

Even though I unpacked various Leica cameras before, it felt considerably different this time. It was almost a meditative process. It resembled the feeling from unboxing the first iPhone back in 2007. The process also incorporated an at the time unparalleled shopping experience at the Apple Store. The new Meister Camera Leica Store in Hamburg is also certainly one of its kind. It is the most impressive Leica Boutique in Germany. …


This is my take on the Leica SL, the new world it created within the Leica ecosystem, how I used it and why I left it behind.

The Leica SL (Typ 601) is a 24 megapixel full-frame mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera introduced by Leica in October 2015. It is a L-mount camera that natively supports both SL and TL lenses from Leica as well as any L-mount lenses from other vendors of the L-Mount Alliance (Leica, Sigma, Panasonic). Also, it supports literally all Leica lenses ever made through use of adapters for M-Mount, R-Mount, S-Mount and even Leica CINE lenses. More importantly, it is Leica’s first full-frame mirrorless system with autofocus and promoted as a weather sealed camera system for professional applications.

As in late 2019, Leica introduced its successor, the Leica SL2, with some significant but two folded improvements (5-axis image stabilisation, higher resolution of 47 megapixels, up to 5.5EV of compensation, improved viewfinder, improved grip, USB Type C connector etc.), I thought it was time to write up my reflections on using the Leica SL (Typ 601). …


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As an obvious and long standing Leica aficionado, I must admit that I fell for the promise of the Leica CL:

“Dream Big. Pack Small.”

With its iconic design, its mechanical precision and compact construction made in Germany, it felt like the perfect candidate as an everyday camera and light-weight companion. It offered fancy new features such as WiFi, an outstanding EVF, 24 megapixels, the Maestro II processor and all kinds of bells and whistles. It even supported the Leica Photos iOS companion app. With Leica’s latest L-Mount bayonet it also allowed access to newer (and also considerably more affordable) Leica lenses as well as to nearly all lenses ever made by Leica with adapters to M- or R-mount. I was intrigued. And so I got the Leica CL Vario Kit with an Vario-Elmar-TL 18–56mm f/3.5–5.6 …


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Leica R8 — The quintessence of photography

I still remember the times during my studies of media technology when I dreamed of someday owning a Leica camera. Although I was happy with the Nikon F2 SLR and Nikon 24mm f/2.8 setup I used during the photography classes I took at university, I kept longing for more. A close friend and I spent many nights debating used camera options available at local Leica dealers but always decided to stay away from it. To be completely honest, we dreamed mostly about rangefinder photography and the M System, but this felt out of reach (for reference: at this time the first digital M, the Leica M8 was about to be introduced). So we focussed on what we could realistically acquire on a student budget. …


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The CSTI — Creative Space for Technical Innovations is an interdisciplinary platform for research and knowledge transfer in areas such as human-computer-interaction (HCI) or smart systems at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. The lab is part of the Computer Science department and collaborates with areas such as mechatronics, design, art, social and culture studies. It takes part in a network of other facilities at Hamburg universities, e.g. base.camp at Hamburg University, TUHH Lab at Hamburg University of Technology and the City Science Lab at HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU) in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab.

The main goal of the lab is to provide a workspace for development of innovative ideas and agile prototyping in collaboration with small and medium sized enterprises ( SME). The main fields of research are virtual reality / augmented reality, smart objects / user interface, machine learning / data mining or science and technology studies. Furthermore the lab focusses on design methods and reflective discussion of “digital transformation” phenomena. The CSTI Academy offers workshops, hackathons, keynotes and seminars with a special focus on STEM promotion ( MINT in German) and education among others. …


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WWDC 2009 — Apps Wall

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone on January 9, 2007 at Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, no one was expecting the revolutionary effect it would have on most of our lives. Most important component of the Apple led smartphone revolution is undoubtedly the App Store that was introduced in parallel to the iPhone 3G, the second generation iPhone.

When it was opened on July 10 2008, exactly 10 years ago today, it started out with just 500 apps. …


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heart/work iOS app generates original interactive artworks based on unique health information and real time workout data collected on the Apple Watch. Bridging the gap between wellbeing and health data, heart/work creates a new type of data visualisation. It uses meditative breathing exercises, real time heartbeat data and environmental information.

The app was developed by a group of students during one of the many challenges at the Apple Developer Academy in Napoli, Italy. It is available for free on the Apple iTunes App Store with In-App-Purchase premium features.

Why Generative Art?

Health is not a number. Anyone should be able to easily understand the insights hidden in quantified self data sets. In-depth understanding of medical and biometric data is very complicated. No matter how beautiful charts and numbers are presented, people still have to know which graph should have an upward or downward trajectory and what certain numbers mean in relation to others. Most prominently, the activity rings on the Apple Watch are often referred to as the most engaging activity tracker. Still, despite providing relevant and most salient information, the rings are limited for an overall perception of wellbeing. …


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Something to try: NoiseGate is the only iOS application that focuses exclusively on the dangerous impact of noise pollution on health and mental wellbeing. The app was developed by a group of master class students during one of the many challenges at the Apple Developer Academy in Napoli, Italy, and is available for free on the Apple iTunes App Store as the first app published in the 2017/2018 academy alumni.

Why Noise Pollution?

To date, noise pollution is one of the most dangerous forms of pollution because it is silent. Most sounds around us are random or unpleasant. That’s why we call it noise and we tend to ignore them. As a recent review published in the European Heart Journal pointed out, the role of noise as an environmental pollutant and its impact on health are increasingly recognized. …

About

Moritz Philip Recke

Engineer. Essentialist. Explorer.

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