Speaking through emails to TOD contributor David M. we chuckled a little about the propensity of some Leica owners to treat their cameras as the hobby rather than photography itself. David had earlier pointed me in the direction of the PetaPixel website where there was a post about a new Leica TAAB.
If you're a Brit of a certain age you might be excused for thinking this must be a new brand of cigarettes straight from a production line at Solms in Germany. But no, it's a piece of fancy rubber that slips round your lens and is supposed to make focusing easier (this is manual focusing we're talking about here).
|The TAAB focusing ring|
I suppose it could be seen as some sort of homage to the well-known and genuinely useful focusing tabs found on some Leica lenses which many users say make focusing somewhat simpler for lenses that can, after all, be quite small.
The "tab" is a small protruding piece of brass or aluminium that is shaped in such a way that it makes a comfy resting place for a forefinger. The lens is then capable of being focused by the aforementioned single digit. Once you get used to it, it's also possible to work out with a fair degree of accuracy just what distance you've focused on by remembering the 12 o'clock, 6 o'clock, etc positions.
Anyway, on to the TAAB on PetaPixel. I'm the last one to knock private enterprise but I had to wonder about the efficacy of this neoprene band idea. Then I looked at the comments and found that there were a lot of people thinking just like me.
|The real deal on a 35mm Summaron f2.8|
The Leica lenses with tabs focus from their nearest distance to infinity with a short throw of the focusing ring so the tab doesn't move too much. On some other lenses such as Zeiss, the rotation from near to far is considerably longer and you'd then find that single digit having to perform some contortions as it pushes the TAAB around, up, over and down the other side of the lens barrel. As one PetaPixel commentator said, "Nice, pointless device."
I had to have a look on the PetaPixel site to see if there was anything else for the Leica pimps. There seemed to be quite a few products that might well appeal to certain owners. How about a nice Lomo lens for your Leica? You remember the crappy lenses that are found in the just as crappy Lomo cameras, the kind we'd give to our kids back in the film days because we didn't want them breaking something valuable? Well, you can get one of those custom made to fit your Leica. That'll by $349, sir. It looks like this:
|Lomo lens. Cool? Possibly, but still crap.|
Leica pimping is quite a wee cottage industry with everything from soft buttons for the shutter release to very expensive Italian leather cases which, in some instances, can cost more to buy than the old screw mount Leicas they're supposed to be protecting. Still, it's all good, clean fun.
Whilst browsing the PetaPixel site, I also stumbled across a post that made me glad I no longer bother with digital - assuming, of course, that I'd won the lottery and was in the market. It seems Leica has discovered a bug that can affect owners of the new £5750 Monochrom Typ 246 that is due to go on sale this month. The camera's DNG raw files seem to have an incompatibility issue with Apple's new Photos app. According to PetaPixel, it's not just that the files can't be opened. They said, "...the files could corrupt your library and cause you to lose your entire photo collection."
And that includes all other photos taken with cameras other than the Leica. Can you imagine the mixed feelings if your new pride and joy, costing just shy of £6000, wiped out 25 years work? Unlikely, maybe, but it's a possibility. Bloody hell, that would be like your house burning down and all your negatives going up in smoke!