Entering the Koelnmesse for Photokina never loses its excitement, even as I head into my sixth show. The hustle, the bustle, and energy of the show hits you as soon as you weave your way through the crowds of eager photo enthusiasts waiting to get a taste of the latest and greatest innovations from their favorite brands. Photography is more popular than ever and the technology continues to advance in amazing ways.
For my part, of course, I headed straight to Leica. Before the show even started, most of the announcements and news broke at the Leica press event. You can read my coverage here: Photokina 2018: Day 0 – Leica Press Event
This year, Leica has moved upstairs to a large space in Hall 2.2 from their usual 2.1 location. The booth is a simple, open floor plan with information/demo tables spaced around. Last year's pro focus is out, even though the S3 was announced and a large focus of this year's showing. The idea was simply to let people get hands-on with whatever they wanted to play with.
There was also a small studio to check out the S3 and SL in action. By the end of the show, people lined up down the corridor to get their portraits taken.
Most of my time at the show, though, would be spent inside the press area and meeting rooms. Needless to say, I had a very full few days.
In back-to-back meetings, I had discussions with Maike Harberts about the newly introduced Silver CL and the direction of the APS System, Jesko von Oeynhausen regarding the new M10-P and possibilities in the M System, as well as investigating the story behind the L-Mount Alliance and getting hands-on with the S3 and the 35mm APO-Summicron-SL. And that was just the first day!
Day 2 became a deep dive into the new Leica S3 with Toni Felsner, the S3 product manager, but not before a private breakfast interview with Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, chairman of Leica Camera AG, at my hotel. The following morning, I started the day with over an hour with the optics team behind the Leica SL lenses, then ended with background on the L-Mount Alliance from the head of professional products Stephan Schulz.
Rather than try to cram everything in to my typical day-by-day articles I've done in the past, I'll be posting my conversations on each topic as stand-alone articles. This way, getting information on a per-system basis will be a lot easier.
Here's links to all the Photokina 2018 content for easy reference. The links will be updated as my articles are posted.
- Photokina 2018: Day 0 – Leica Press Event
- Photokina 2018: The Leica S3
- Photokina 2018: The Leica M-System
- Photokina 2018: Details on the L-Mount Alliance
- Photokina 2018: The Leica CL and Future of APS-C
- Leica APO-Summicron-SLs: A Discussion with Peter Karbe and Dietmar Stuible
- Breakfast with Dr. Andreas Kaufmann
It's been a extremely productive few days, with lots of information to process. These are exciting times to be sure. Leica is firing on all cylinders right now, with an amazing product portfolio. The L-Mount Alliance looks to be a good thing. I can't wait to get my hands on the S3 for some shooting in the field. The FOTOS app is modern, sleek and well thought out. SL primes appear to be extraordinary and can't come soon enough. And the APS system seems to really be hitting its stride with the CL. I hope you'll find all of these interviews as informative as I have.
This Photokina marked the last time the meeting will be held every two years in the fall. Starting May 2019, Photokina will now be a yearly affair. So, in about six months, I'll be back in Cologne, Germany for more. Really curious to see what that show will bring. Until then, stay tuned.