Sep 2016 Garage sale: all gone, thanks!

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Despite how this may appear, no, I have not lost my mind. I’m simply (rationally) moving along the things I haven’t used in six months or more; photography for me must run as a business, too. Which is why it’s best for me to allow other people the opportunity to enjoy the stuff I’m not using – plus I’m feeling the slight guilt of underutilisation, and the Alpa FPS is really, really expensive…

In summary, here’s what’s available:

  1. Nikon AI-S 58/1.2 Noct-Nikkor, with original hood Sold pending payment
  2. Leica Q Typ 116 (review), with extras Sold
  3. Nikon F2 Titan Sold
  4. Carl Zeiss Contax/Yashica 2.8/35 PC Distagon AEG Sold
  5. Novoflex C/Y to Sony E adaptor Sold

Full details after the jump, and first come first served. I don’t expect these items to stick around very long. Prices are in USD.

Nikon AI-S 58/1.2 Noct-Nikkor $3,500 reduced to $3,400 (click to buy) Sold pending payment
Similarly pristine condition to the Titan, and a great pair; this is a relatively late-model AI-S variant. All Nocts have that hand polished aspherical element to reduce coma (and famously make them cost a fortune because of the labor required!). A couple of small marks to the edge of the filter thread ring, otherwise pristine. Includes correct and original clip on hood.

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Leica Q Typ 116 $3,800 (click to buy) Sold
Unique tan calf leather skin, with warranty remaining til June 2017. Includes box and all contents, additional original battery, two additional Sigma batteries (identical, fully compatible) for a total of four, and an original Leica but ergonomically modified handgrip. The grip is not pretty, but it is extremely comfortable for extended use. There is some minor wear to corners of lens hood.

Nikon F2 Titan Sold
Probably the best condition example of this camera I’ve ever seen; mint- condition (one small mark to the frame counter window, hence the rating). Shutter speeds are accurate, winding is smooth, finder and mirror are clear and without dust or marks, all light seals are tight and foams are in excellent condition. Paintwork, leatherette and prism are pristine. Approximately only 3,000 cameras made in total. This version has the ‘Titan’ script.

Carl Zeiss Contax/Yashica 2.8/35 PC Distagon AEG Sold
The only modern shift lens Zeiss ever made, and in vanishingly small quantities (HQ told me under 500 of these were produced). Incredible optics that can keep up with the 5DSR even fully shifted, with a very clever shift and rotation mechanism. Two small (~2-3mm lines) cleaning marks to the front element of the lens that do not have any visible effect on the image – I tried it extensively before purchasing it, and was advised by Dr. Nasse on my visit to Zeiss HQ not to have it recoated as the marks are on the outermost layer of the coating only. My problem now is I have nothing to mount it on! An excellent companion to a Canon DSLR or a Sony A7 series. Includes original friction-fit front lens cap and normal C/Y rear cap.

Novoflex C/Y to Sony E adaptor Sold
You’ll probably need this if you go for the 35 PC. Boxed and mint, save a pile off a new one.

Fine print: prices are inclusive of DHL shipping but not insurance (as some would prefer to risk against import duties, plus insurance varies quite a lot by destination) anywhere in the world, plus paypal fees. If you prefer to pay by bank wire, that’s also possible – but transfers must clear first. First to confirm payment takes the item. You may click on the checkout links by each item to buy directly, after which I’ll delist and refund any duplicate sales, or send me an email to arrange wire transfer or ask for further details. Make me an offer if you feel my prices are unreasonable (but I have done some looking around and feel prices reflect item condition generously.) Camera straps are not included as you probably don’t want my sweat-sponges. Please note that I will need your phone number for the courier. Thank you! MT


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  1. Brett Patching says:

    Hi Ming, have you found the HTS 1,5 adapter inadequate for your work, seeing that you’re saving up for an Alpa FPS?

  2. John Giolas says:

    If not the X1D, surely you must have something in mind for a small travel camera to replace the Leica Q. On a related topic, to you still have the D810? In proportion to the H5D, this could become a “travel” camera. Like you, I’ve lugged the Hassy across the country and even the world on three separate occasions, but I always bring a smaller rig along, too.

    Did I read correctly that you have an H6D? As in own, or on loan for testing? I’m still thinking of trading my H5D for the H6D-100c. I’m sure a review from you is in the cards, and I’m certainly in no hurry–I’ve fully acclimatized to (and fallen for) the H5D. But I’m anxious to read what have to say. Perhaps by design, you’ve become the only credible source for MF insights in the industry, at least of whom I’m aware.

    • The smaller rig is a 501CM, CFV-50c and single lens – usually a compact 80 C T*. I’ve come to realise I’d rather have scalpel than a Swiss Army, and one or two precise cuts rather than a hack job. It actually packs smaller than a D810 and decent lens, too – the regular shape helps.

      I have an early H6D-50c for development/debugging work. No sign of the -100 yet, but I’m always asking when given the opportunity to do so! Like you, I’ve fallen for the H5D, too; part of it is probably because it’s pushed me both creatively and technique-wise and as a result produced some of the best images of my career to date. Part of it is irrational and because it was issued to me as an ambassador loan. I suspect my loyalties will shift when the H6 receives final final firmware, though… 🙂

      • John Giolas says:

        Well, designating as an ambassador has created at least one new customer for Hasselblad…

        I shot with a V system for years, both with film, and later as my first professional foray into digital with the 16mp back. There’s something pure and simple—and therefore exceedingly satisfying—about the V system that still appeals to me to this day. It forces you to slow down, think, compose. Some would suggest that this process and workflow merely accesses a different part of the creative brain, one no better nor worse. I’m not so sure about this. I have a good friend who earned an MFA under Garry Winogrand. Garry, who shot on the street with a Leica M, taught his students that they must divorce themselves from conscious thought, give into the subconscious, let the unthinking artist within the photographer to be freed with in the mind—to simply “see.” When I hear stuff like this, my cynical BS meeter pegs. And while this certainly seems to have worked for Garry (assuming he practiced what he preached), it seems to me that this impetuous, unthinking, prolific approach to photography is an excuse for laziness, ignore good shot discipline, and in general, produce bad photographs. It’s certainly easily facilitated by modern digital cameras.

        Perhaps I need to accept that there are many ways to skin the proverbial kitty. And to employ another aphorism, each to his own, and all that. But I do gravitate toward a thoughtful, considered process. The H5D allows it—demands it, really. But perhaps the V system facilitates a contemplative approach to an even greater degree.

        • Winograd didn’t bother looking at most of his results: how does the iterative feedback process work then? I can’t help but think he sort of ‘stopped’ developing after a certain point because of that. You simply can’t improve if you don’t know the result of your previous actions…

          Actually, I find the H5D can be shot with the same kind of intensity any other camera – not machine gunned, but more disciplined rifling. Put another way: its speed isn’t a limitation for me. The V system does force you to slow down, but it also unburdens the thinking process by removing most of the digital ‘overhead’ we have to deal with in other cameras (the H is probably the least burdened of the fully featured ‘modern’ style of camera, but it’s still considerably more than the V).

          • John Giolas says:

            Winogrand also benefited, almost certainly, from the 10,000 hour theorem. Sheer repetition and prolific output (along, to be fair, with his eye for a good story) meant that he was bound to have some good stuff in there somewhere. But I have to agree, at some point he was almost certainly shooting just to be shooting, at least so it seems, since much of his later work went unseen.

            I haven’t shot with the H5D much in the “rifle” mode. I’ll go to work.

            Any sense of what the H6D will include in terms of added features over the H5D? I don’t want you to scoop your own review, but… In truth, what I thought I’d actually miss (auto iso, auto white balance, auto bracketing) I find really don’t miss at all. Conversely instead, the overt simplicity of the H5D, which as you say, is as free from the detritus of digital software features as any modern digital camera. But there is room for improvement in certain areas to be sure.

            • That seems little better than raw statistics though. I think he had some talent, but could have done much better with a bit more of a feedback loop.

              Sheer repetition of bad habits only ingrains them rather than fixes them…

              The H5 does have bracketing, actually. H6 should gain auto ISO, much better live view, faster overall operation and file handling (mine is as fast as an iPhone to zoom and review when using CFAST) plus video and more customisation. If you use live view a lot, it’s a world of difference. If not, then I daresay only upgrade if you’re going for the -100.

              The review has to wait til I’ve used final hardware – my camera has ‘DEMO’ on the bottom in big letters (and is known preproduction) 🙂

  3. Will you use the X1D at all? Heard it is starting to ship yet no reports of final firmware and related capability around focusing speed, etc.

    • Not sure at this point. I have a H5 and H6, so another MF camera would be overkill…but I won’t say no if they issue me with one 🙂

      • Have tried it since final firmware? Seems to have gone quiet in terms of further and final information.

        • Nope, not had a chance to use one since much, much earlier firmware. Hopefully the bugs I found during development have been fixed and some of the operational suggestions incorporated.

      • I was thinking of getting an x1d when it came out because it isnt that heavy or large, but after reading these comments i am seriously considering a 501cm or 503cw with a digital back. What are your thoughts? Portability is important to me, because I never want to be in a situation where I regret leaving my camera at home or in the hotel.

        • The V series is definitely heavier. Lacks AF and max shutter is 1/500s, but the viewfinder experience is something else 🙂 Lots of lenses and accessories available, and the whole system cost is about the same.

          • Thank you very much 🙂 the new medium format from Fujifilm has thrown a new contender into the ring. It is probably prudent of me to wait a while. I shoot 35mm film with Carl Zeiss manual focus lenses and Nikon bodies at the moment, so AF is not completely necessary. Was also wondering where a good place to buy a V system in Singapore would be.

            • No idea, sorry – I don’t tend to buy stuff in Singapore because it’s one of the more expensive places in this part of the world…

              • No worries, Thanks. Now that I know, I will look for cheaper shores. I’m very unsure if I would like the experience of shooting with an electronic viewfinder, The beautiful V series ground glass viewfinder is something else indeed :). I have a friend who can show me his 500c, but I don’t have an X1D to compare it to unfortunately. A robotic eye as opposed to the view through a lens in many ways.

  4. thankyouforhearingme says:

    For the love of sanity, someone please buy that Noct before I do.

  5. Egmont Bonomi says:

    Hello Ming, thank you for helping me justify the decision I made earlier this year to move to medium format and more specifically to ALPA bodies. When I see someone of your caliber make the switch, I know that I am not too crazy for spending all that money! Granted each of us needs the correct tools to accomplish his/her goals and that can be anything from micro four thirds all the way to full frame 645 or even 8×10 film. However, with some hindsight, I can say that I am happy with my decision and I hope that you will be too!

  6. I hope to God that the person that bought that Titan is going to use it and not just look at it, though it is a lovely thing.
    Yes you are crazy for selling that one. Like selling a vintage JLC in perfect condition. Ouch.

  7. Ricoh GR to Alpa FPS! That’s quite a journey. I can’t wait to see the results. 🙂

  8. Samuel Jessop says:

    Pretty surprised to see the Q on here. Does that mean you are moving to a different street camera?

  9. Bart van Hofwegen says:

    I already own the Q and like it. Does this mean you will not use a Leica Q anymore in the future at all? I know that your main focus is on MF right now, but if there is any specific reason for getting rid of it other than not having used it lately? Thanks!
    (I will try hard to ignore the Noct-Nikkor… )

  10. Bill Walter says:

    It’s Saturday and in about an hour I’ll be headed out to some local garage sales. Every so often you can find a great bargain on a lens at these sales. Concerning your sale, that Noct looks great and I wish I had available funds to buy it. That rare Contax Zeiss PC is a beauty as well! Good luck with the sale.

  11. richard majchrzak says:

    the Q please……just joking …not enough operational funds at the mo

  12. Jonathan Hodder says:

    Especially the titan!

  13. Jonathan hodder says:

    I’m sorry. You are crazy. If I had the money both would have disappeared by now.

    • Well, of course. I thought one could actually make a decent career out of photography, amongst other things! 🙂

      • Jonathan Hodder says:

        Not a bad choice to make H.E. Ming of Hasselblad!

      • L. Ron Hubbard says:

        That’s a tough call. I’ve watched entire departments of photographers at my home newspaper get laid off. I’ve seen many past friends leave the photo industry because all their business has dried up.

        I can’t for the life of me figure out what it takes to make a living, a good living, at photography. Digital has absolutely wrecked that profession. Far far fewer people earn a good living wage shooting images. Back in the film era, you simply HAD to have a set of skills that the average photoshooter did not have. That is no longer true.

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