Australian Photographers fight for freedom to take images in public places.

This weekend a rally was held and attended by photographers who are increasingly becoming marginalised by licenses, permits and silly laws that make going out and taking photos downright dangerous. You could end up in goal or with a criminal record.

Organised by Ken Duncan in conjunction with Arts Freedom Australia the rally was a great success with over 700 attending,  now we need to keep the pressure on the government to change all these silly rules and laws. Otherwise we could all find ourselves without the freedom to carry out our profession or passion.

Mainline customer Paul Julius sent us these images he shot with his new Leica X1. Thanks Paul.

Watch this video clip for more info:

Support the cause! Spread the word! Buy the T shirt here.

P.Lynn Miller revists the Nokton 1.1 50mm Lens 1 year later…

And discovers it takes time to form a long term relationship… This is a story about a man, a lens, and photography that we can all learn something from.

P.Lynn Miller writes:

The announcement of the Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f1.1 was one the most exciting moments in my photographic memory. I had been actively pursuing a Noctilux for almost 2 years, and while I had finally saved up the funds for a Noctilux, I was more than happy to put the extra few thousand dollars toward film and my retirement when the Nokton was announced at a price of 1/4 of a used Noctilux.

I pre-ordered my Nokton 50/1.1 the same day from Mainline Photographics and was one of the first to receive the Nokton in Australia. And I was sure the Nokton 50/1.1 was going to be a lens that I would never put down, a body cap for the M5.

Well… I have never been so disappointed in a lens… ever. The Nokton 50/1.1 simply left me cold and emotionless. I felt like I had a big lump of coal attached to the front of the M5, it was the biggest let-down in my photographic career. It came as such a shock since I connected instantly with the Nokton 35/1.2 and the Nokton 50/1.5 is a gem of a lens. The Nokton 50/1.1 lens was sharp, very flare resistant with plenty of contrast… so it was a technical marvel… but seemingly without a soul. Maybe I had over-hyped the Nokton 50/1.1, maybe I was expecting miracles, maybe the lens was just a dud, maybe all the rumours and gossip about the Noctilux was true… there really is no inspiration beyond f1.2. I put the Nokton 50/1.1 on the shelf.

And it sat on the shelf unused for almost 12 months. I even gave my M5 to a friend on long-term loan for nearly 6 months. I returned to using my trusty Nikon F’s and Nikkors. I had given up on Noktons and M5.

I decided about a month ago that I was selling all my M-mount gear including the Nokton 50/1.1. I collected all my M-mount gear from friends and boxes to sell.

But something kept bugging me… the Nokton 50/1.1. I had to give it another chance. So I decided that I would treat the Nokton as I would any other 50mm lens. Forget about the magical f1.1, and simply shoot it… at any f-stop that I wanted, f1.4, f2.0, maybe even f8.0, just like I would use any of my fast Nikkor’s. Just use it… and let the lens speak for itself.

So I shot it in the dark,

Then straight into the scorching Aussie sun,

Took candids with it,

Even shot the girls one more time,

Yep… it is a rangefinder lens… a very capable, predictable lens. The Nokton 50/1.1 has delivered sparkling negatives no matter what I have thrown at it. Flare is very well controlled, resolution is high across the field at all apertures. Contrast is maybe a touch higher than I normally prefer, but not overwhelming. Shadow detail is exceptional with this lens even when pushing the contrast up deliberately with film and developer choice.

The Nokton 50/1.1 is a quiet performer. It does not impose itself on every photo, like the Noctilux or 35/1.2. Thus it is not a ‘magical’ lens, but this dull and sterile attribute, allows for far more creativity than I first imagined since the lens does not limit the ‘look’. By not trying to force the lens into some preconceived look, rendition or signature, just concentrating on the images, not the lens or f1.1, I was able to actually learn how to use the lens as another fine tool in my photographic toolbox.

So in the end, the Nokton 50mm f1.1 is exactly what I needed(wanted), an all-purpose, dependable 50mm lens with extra speed. Sort of a like a family station wagon with a big V8, not flash or trendy, but reliable and dependable for daily use.

And my Nokton 50mm f1.1 is not for sale!

P.Lynn Miller

Photographer Sydney Australia

Movie Review ” The Cove”

This weekend we watched the ” The Cove”, I honestly rented it thinking it was a thriller of some type… but it turned out to be a documentary about the secret cove in Japan where each year 23000 dolphins are killed and sold as whale meat to the unsuspecting public! This is hands down not only the saddest film we have seen but the best produced documentary ever. Quite simply you have to get your hands on a copy and watch it… then tell all your friends and family.

Click on the image above to go the movie website.

This is one of those doco’s that will make your blood boil! While watching you will vow to never buy anything Japanese again but… then you find out that this up until now was going on without the public’s knowledge.

Personally this really hit a cord with me as when I was studying my degree in Zoology I worked as a research assistant for a PHD project on Tiger snakes. I ended up with 17 tanks of reptiles and a couple of ex research snakes in my house. I became obsessed with keeping reptiles. Then one day I had an Epiphany after watching a program on conservation in Peru. These animals had more value in the wild so I released all my snakes and lizards back into the wild where they truly belonged. I have never looked back… best thing I have ever done.

Viewfinders for the Panasonic Lumix LX3 & Leica Dlux 4

It seems that smart folks have discovered how to turn the Panasonic Lumix LX3 or Leica DLUX 4 into very usable street and travel photography cameras,  with the addition of an external viewfinder. Even though the wide setting on these cameras is 24mm the finder of choice is actually a 21mm! Judging by the amount of finders we are selling this has proved very popular.

Read one customers report below:

Scott, terrific service – arrived today. Thanks!

You may want to add this to your Web site.
The Voigtlander 21mm Viewfinder works perfectly on the Panasonic Lumix LX3 (and presumably the more expensive Leica d-lux4 equivalent). And it’s lots cheaper than the (very hard to find) Panasonic version.

WITH glasses, the bright frame is clearly visible and accurately frames the 24mm fully wide setting. No idea why a 21mm viewfinder is accurate for a 24mm lens but it is. It’s not immediately obvious but if you go into the SETTINGS menu and turn the “External Viewfinder” option ON then multiple presses of the “Display” button turns the LCD OFF completely but leaves the Focus LED working. Since the default of the camera is 24m you have an instant no-display street camera with a quality viewfinder. The flash cann’t pop up, but who cares. Very nice.

Regards, John

I myself have been using these finders on both the M6 and M8 for a few years now and have been very pleased with their performance and durability. I even accidentally dropped one down a set of stone steps at Machu Picchu thinking… oh no ! When retrieved it was fine, just a tad scuffed. Handy tip: to store your finders get a small velvet jewelery bag.

They are also available in other focal lengths for all other viewfinder needs. You can see them all here on our webpage in Voigtlander Viewfinders.

Image overload? Have we become victims of information overload…

When was the last time you really took a good look at the files on the computer? How many files named DSC98760.jpeg do you have? How many passwords and user names do you need to remember? Is your desktop cluttered with files and icons? The list goes on… The Digital age allows us to do thing’s we never could have imagined a few years ago.


We are suffering from an information overload… so rather than saving all this stuff on ever bigger hard drives, should we be getting back to basics and using that delete button more often? The answer is a very big yes!

Photography is fast becoming a big part of the information overload… maybe it’s time for some image discardia. I know I need to do it.

Image chaos

Are your folders like this full of unnamed and unsorted images? If so time to start organising.

More and more folks are taking zillions of images and our hard drives are filling up.  So then time to change and get a plan to keep the best of your photography on the computer and discard the rest.  Plus a promise to print the images you really like and put them on display. Maybe us camera clickers need to click the shutter less often and click the delete button more often. As Ansel Adams used to put it “concentrate more on the seeing” that is what photography is all about.