Portraits with Russell Shakespeare

Russell Shakespeare recently ran a portrait photography workshop in Sydney where we encouraged all the guests to make portraits of each other using the techniques demonstrated by Russell.

We used both available light from large windows and Profoto B10 strobes fitted with softboxes; and a mixture of the two. It was very interesting to see that most people were more comfortable using available light at first – I expect that is because they could ‘see’ the results better and control things visually. However, once people started to introduce lighting they soon realised how much more control they had.

Here is a gallery of the results from the day. we have not added names for privacy reasons but those who contributed will know their own photos.

Matthew Abbott - News and Documentary Photographer

Matthew Abbott is a documentary photographer based in Sydney, Australia. He is widely recognised for covering social and political issues that define Australia. He studied International Photojournalism at the Danish School of Journalism and completed a Masters of Studio Arts at Sydney University. Matt’s coverage of the terrible bushfires in Australia in 2019/2020 was published right around the world in most of the top newspapers and magazines.

Christian Fletcher - Landscapes and the SL2

Christian Fletcher is a landscape photographer based in Western Australia, he operates a successful gallery in Dunsborough and currently shoots on the Leica SL2. This is a recording of a Webinar from September 30 2020. Christian also touches lightly on his Photoshop methods, not in depth but more as a way to show a few of the things that are possible.

You can see more of Christian’s work here: http://www.christianfletcher.com.au

SL System Lenses with Peter Karbe

Peter Karbe, Leica’s Senior Lens designer, discussed the development of the SL-System lenses and the new technology that has been incorporated into these amazing lenses.

Shooting with the 75mm Noctilux-M

Akademie Instructor Nick Rains discusses his experiences of shooting with the amazing 75mm Noctilux-M on the Leica M10 and and Leica SL cameras.

SL2-S at high ISO

We have been getting quite a lot of questions about the high ISO ability of the new SL2-S when compared to the SL2, so here are the results of some tests done by Nick Rains. These are simple visual tests, not optical bench tests, but should serve to give you an idea of the differences. All images are straight out of Adobe Lightroom V10.1 using default settings. Noise Reduction is on defaults of 15 (Luminance) and 15 (Colour). The SL2 images have been resized down to match the size of the SL2-S and so this test takes into account the downsampling advantage of the SL2.

The test subject was shot in semi-darkness rather than daylight. This makes it a very realistic low light test and it’s even harder for the camera to record good data under these conditions. Black objects in the dark are very hard to record! The base exposure was 8 secs at f8 @ ISO100, then adjusted from there to account for the higher ISO settings. The lens was the Vario-Elmarit 24-90mm at 90mm and f8.

Please bear in mind that these are 100% crops from unadjusted raw files so are brutally unforgiving. The noise you see in all the images is only seen like this on screen and, when printed or reduced in size for device viewing, this noise is much reduced.  At the bottom of the page you will find a link to download some original DNG files so you can see for yourself.

Executive Summary.

The advantage of the SL2-S over the SL2 increases with the ISO. At low ISO they are identical but by ISO3200 the SL2-S clearly takes the lead and by 12500 it is well ahead. Low noise is related to higher Dynamic Range and this is born out by the results.

The SL2-S clearly has more detail in the deepest shadows at high ISO compared to the SL2. This is exactly what you’d expect to see – the SL2 is the best camera for high resolution imagery, and the SL2-S is best for difficult lighting and shooting conditions.

Test Image

Two original DNG files can be downloaded here – both at ISO 25000, one from each camera.



Leica M Lens Design

In this online presentation Leica’s top lens designer, Peter Karbe, shares his insights into the process of designing and manufacturing M lenses.

Leica CL - Customising the Controls

In this Youtube video Leica Akademie Instructor Nick Rains explains how to customise the controls of the Leica CL to suit your shooting style.

Leica M10R Menu Settings

Leica Akademie Instructor Nick Rains takes an M10-R to Noosa National Park in Queensland to shoots some sample images, and explains in detail how he adjusted the menu settings before heading out to shoot. Lenses used were the 18mm Super-Elmar-M, the 50mm Summilux-M and a vintage 180mm Elmarit-R adapted to M Mount.

Portrait Photography with Russell Shakespeare

This is a 1 hour 13 minute recording of a Webinar featuring magazine photographer Russell Shakespeare who specialises in portrait photography – Russell’s work has appeared in well known publications such as NY Times and Time Magazine, as well as many of the major Australian magazines and newspapers. Russell was also the face of Leica Camera Australia’s launch of the new M10-R, the 40MP rangefinder released in July 2020.