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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

Heading up to Hall 2.2

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.

Leica Booth

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.

Leica Pro Studio

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!

Busy press area

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.

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.

About The Author

Leica Specialist

David Farkas is a self-admitted Leica junkie and an avid photographer since he was seven years old. He also owns and operates leading Leica dealer Leica Store Miami in beautiful Coral Gables, Florida with his wife Juliana. David has years of experience shooting with just about every Leica camera and lens made within the last few decades.

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3 Responses

  1. Gary Morris

    From your shots it appears that this show is well attended. Is it or are there some vendor areas that are substantially more crowded than others?

    Were you able to get any sense in the L Mount meeting whether or not a new SL is around the corner or the current model has some more years left? The current trade-in discount could be interpreted as clearing out inventory.

    • David Farkas

      Hi Gary,

      Yes, the show was very well attended from what I could see. In fact, the attendance just kept growing every day, as the weekend approached.

      I will have the detailed interview about the L-mount alliance up within the next day. I’ll let you make your own determination about the SL.

  2. JVV

    Very much looking forward to the article on APS-C. I was very pleasantly surprised by the 2 new bodies plus 18mm lens last year only to be very disappointed again this year because of the total lack of any new announcements. As somebody who owns the T, TL2, CL and the 7 native lenses I would really like to know whether Leica APS-C is going anywhere and whether Leica believes in the system and is committed to its future. Right now with only 7 lenses in 5 years time that is really hard to say. Additionally all articles about the L-mount alliance did not mention APS-C at all… Any insights would be hugely appreciated.


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