Photokina 2012 - Part 1

23rd September 2012
As I write this, Photokina 2012 is drawing to a close. So what was interesting from my point of view?
Well obviously "Das Wesentliche" (The Essentials) - the Leica presentation and party on the eve of the show (Monday 17th). I was lucky to be present, amongst around 1000 others; I believe the initial number was to be 700! Champagne (Laurent Perrier if you must know) and canapes while we gathered, then an award ceremony where Nick Ut was inducted into the Leica Hall of Fame.
If you don't know why, think of that iconic image of the napalmed young girl during the Vietnam War. Nick took that shot (with a Leica of course) then immedaitely drove the girl and her siblings and cousins to hospital. The girl, Kim Phuk, survived and now a mature lady, was present at the ceremony and spoke movingly of the experience and her life since.
I bumped into Nick the next day and spoke briefly with him - a charming diffident man.
After that it was an hour's break for "finger food" and to view the Leica Gallery of the work of 20 Leica photographers.
Then what we had all come to see, the presentation of Leica's new offerings.
First off was the S - no number, just S. Looking very much like the previous one, it does however have around 80 internal improvements. The CS lenses for it are due very soon, as are two new lenses, a 30-90mm zoom, and a 120mm Tilt-shift lens.
Then we saw the Paul Smith edition of the Leica X2 compact - only 1500 are to be made and sold through selected dealers, and yes RDC is one and we've had an order already! THe X2 is also to feature in the a la carte programme - which is great news and I am going to order one as soon as possible (end October).
Then the "one more thing" moment - the new Leica M. What a camera! A CMOS sensor sepcially developed for it, the Maestro processor from the S range, live view, video, and adapter for R lenses (watch those prices rise) an EVF, special hand grip adding to the facilities available. Availability 1st quarter 2013.
After the excitement died down we were allowed into the main show area for a while and then it was back to the gallery zone where Seal had set up and started a set to entertain us all.
A super evening - thanks Leica!

Images from the show in Red Dot Collection -> Photokina; Part II to follow ......

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