Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Grandfather's 1954 Leica M3

Due to ailing eyesight, in 1989 my grandfather, Max Wilson, officially retired from being an artist and gave Susan his painting supplies and me his camera gear.  I've had the cameras sitting on my desk for a while, just to admire the design the elegant design.  This is a picture of a double stroke Leica M3 from 1955.  The lens is a unique collapsible Leitz 50mm f2.8 Elmar, still in fine shape with no fungus.  I love the M3, but the reason for this quickie shot was to test the indoor accuracy of the budget Columbus nGPS unit for Nikon DSLR cameras.

The Columbus nGPS clips into the camera's hot shoe and tethers into the 10-pin accessory jack for power and data I/O.  Indoors, from a cold start, the unit locked into position in 30 seconds.  After the initial fix, warm start acquisition is a barely noticeable one second. Positioning was accurate for all pictures taken inside the house, beating a Garmin eTrex, which works only near a window on the South side of the house.

Recorded with each capture is latitude, longitude, altitude and UCT, but not bearing.  

Very thoughtful and missing from most competing GPS units is a remote release that operates through the nGPS plug.  Without this feature on a Nikon D700, you'd have to choose between the GPS and a cable release.  The build quality seems very solid, but only time will tell.

Technical: Nikon D700, Micro-Nikkor 105mm f2.8, ISO 1600, f/16 @ 1s, hand held.  GPS
RAW file processed in Lightroom 3 Beta 2.

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