Farewell to a trusty ol’ friend

Mamiya Leaf has just announced the end of production of the Aptus-II product line. For me, this marks the end of an era and the end of a long and mostly beautiful relationship!

It was announced on Sept’ 7th 2004. Since then Leaf moved from Creo to Kodak and was then sold to Phase One. The Aptus went from 17MP to 80MP, from FW400 to FW800, from CFI/II to UDMA and from Leaf Capture V8 to LC10, LC11 & Capture One. It had a 3.5″ touch screen only rivalled by the latest smartphones and it used Bluetooth for image preview when BT was still in its infancy and used to connect headphones to mobile devices…

I’ve demoed hundreds if not thousands of units and was involved in thousands of sales. I’ve shot with every single model (all 13 of them) in every single mount (all 5 of them) on more than 60 different camera bodies. I’ve even serviced a few…taking them apart, changing some bits and putting them back together…

The Aptus has brought dinner to my family’s table even before we had children. We now have 3 with the oldest being 8 year old!
I’ve taken the Aptus (or Apti?) on business trips and on holidays to North & Central America, Africa, Scandinavia, Russia, Australia and  Asia and took some of my most memorable images with them.

I cannot think of another modern days electronic device which has been in service for more than 3-4 years, let alone 9 years!!! just think about all those 35mm DSLRs that came and went during the last 9 years…Canon 1DsMkII? MkIII? Nikon D2X anyone???

This is not the end of the Aptus as thousands of them are being used daily by both amateur and professional photographers, creating art and making money!

I would like to use this opportunity and to wish all my friends, colleagues and customers (many whom are close friends) happy holidays and a healthy and successful new year!


 One of my personal favourite images which I took on an early foggy morning in British Columbia, Canada in June 2006. Click on the image to see a larger version and read more HERE

The Leaf Story

I wrote a small article for a friend’s blog about the history of this incredible company I’ve been working for for the last 12 years, here it is enjoy:

From Science to Art: The Story of Leaf

Been travelling A LOT lately and am currently in Auckland, New Zealand after a week in Australia and before heading for Hong-Kong…a very hectic schedule but I’m really enjoying it and I promise to write some more and of course post some photos as soon as I’m back home in a week’s time.

Love for planes

I’ve just gone through the last 11 months in my diary and realised that I have boarded a plane more than 75 (75!) times during that period…

To me it is clear that I would not have done that had I not have a weakness for planes.

i grew up in an air base, where jet fighters used to be scrambled at first light every morning. Imagine two F-4s taking off at full whack with after-burners ON…the sound of the J79 engines, the smell of heavy fuel burning and the view of those magnificent birds tearing up the sky!!!!

As you’ve already learned (especially if you follow me on Facebook), my work involves with quite a bit of travel to all sorts of places, mostly cities but sometimes it is a matter of hiring a car and doing a bit of driving, or moving between cities and towns using public transport.

Some of the low-cost airlines in Europe, due to the still-suffering economy, have increased their use of small turbo-prop aircraft, usually a twin-engine, 60-80 seater, which I find much more fun than those White & Orange (guess which airline) A319s and A320s…partly because you can actually smell the jet fuel burning while inside the cabin.

The overall flight time, even though they do not fly so fast, is not increased since take off and landing are much quicker and they don’t have to reach 34,000ft for cruising…

Anyway…I recently had a great opportunity to mix work and pleasure when I visited the Farnborough 2010 Air Show

The first day was a trade day and as the place was so big, I spent a lot of time running between the halls and the many stands I wanted to see and the meeting I had scheduled. I did have a big camera with me (a Leaf Aptus-II 10/ Phase One 645DF combo) but other than a few sample images for demonstration I did not get much chance to shoot anything interesting:-(

So this gave me a good enough excuse to drag the family over to the show on the weekend. On top of the educational part (thst’s the one where daddy explains to wife & kids about the airplanes and their history etc.) I had an opportunity to shoot a few frames of old WWI/ WWII planes doing their air display and also a few static frames of the more modern planes on the ground.

This time around, I only had a “lowly” DSLR with a zoom lens, which did a fantastic job, although I kind-of wish I had a bit more megapixles to work with:-)

I’ll let you be the judges and I hope you enjoy them…click on an image to enlarge it.

These photos are available for purchase as downloads and can print nicely at A4 (8″X11″) size. please contact me for pricing and availability (info at yaypro dot com)