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'The LEICA DG 12-60mm delivers stunning results' - Daimon Xanthópoulos


‘The optical image stabilisation (POWER O.I.S) in the lens works well together with the Dual I.S. 2 system.
They eliminate movement especially at longer shutter speeds, resulting in sharper images even in very low-light situations.’
LUMIX GH5 with LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.(H-ES12060)
1/60 sec, F4.0, ISO 800

Câmara de Lobos is a typical fishing village just outside Funchal.
The village is characterised by its many colourful fishing boats docked in the harbour.
LUMIX GH5 with LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.(H-ES12060)
1/1000 sec, F10, ISO 200

‘During the weekend, it can be very crowded on the famous colourful fruit market of Funchal where you can find a wide variety of exotic fruits and vegetables. The crisp contrasts and vivid colours also make the market very photogenic.’
LUMIX GH5 with LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.(H-ES12060)
1/200 sec, F2.8, ISO 200

‘The low sunlight creates a nice shadowplay on the old streets that reflect the low-hanging sun. This light is not easy for either the camera or the lens but in my opinion, they do a very good job of keeping the image crisp and retaining the highlights and the shadow details..’
LUMIX GH5 withLEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.(H-ES12060)
1/2500 sec, F8.0, ISO 200

‘Aiming to capture the special atmosphere of the Madeira forest I walked for days to find the right light and mist to make the shot I was after. When I finally found it, the camera and lens were being splashed by the falling water but since both are weather sealed it didn’t matter.’
LUMIX GH5 with LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.(H-ES12060)
1/4 sec, F2.8, ISO 200

Choosing the right equipment for your next journey can be a challenge, even for an experienced professional photographer like Daimon Xanthopoulos: ‘Having a good zoomlens in your camera bag can gives a photographer flexibility in the field’.

Daimon explains, ‘The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (H-ES12060)lens looked very impressive on paper so of course I wanted to try it out on one of my documentaries. I decided to use it on my journey through the magical island of Madeira, in the Atlantic Ocean’.

Best performance
The LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (H-ES12060) lens, which is comparable to a 24-120mm lens on a full-frame camera, has a variable aperture of f/2.8-4.0. It has a lens configuration of 14 elements in 12 groups and delivers its best performance directly at open aperture. This is very special, as most lenses on the market need stepping down 2 or 3 aperture stops before getting to their best optical performance. Another very strong point of this zoom lens is that it can focus at very close range (20cm from the sensor). This is ideal for photographing small objects but also for close portraits and documentary photographers, who like to get close to their subject.

The first impression
For the first few days on Madeira I photographed the old and narrow cobblestone streets of Madeira’s capital city Funchal and its famous flower and fruit market. I wanted to test the lens performance before going to remote areas with it. I started looking for extreme light situations like the small cobblestones reflecting the hard sun at the end of the day. Also, I wanted to see how well the lens would reproduce the many vivid colours at the local fruit market. This lens delivered stunning results.

The next day I travelled into the mountains and the misty forests of Madeira where another key feature became apparent. This lens is weather sealed which was a major advantage when I placed my camera on rocks and in between small water streams to photograph the amazing waterfalls. I worked for hours in the extremely humid forest environment to capture the mystical atmosphere. Also nice is that I was able to shoot with a wide variety of different angles without having to change lenses, thereby avoiding the risk of getting water, dust or dirt on the sensor. Weather sealing might not seem very important for the optical quality but having a lens error due to water or moisture penetration can cause a lot of trouble. Knowing you can work with your lens in any weather or environment is for me as important as the optical performance. This LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT 12-60mm / F2.8-4.0 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. (H-ES12060) has gained it’s place in my camera bag for many more journeys.

Daimon Xanthópoulos

Daimon Xanthópoulos

Daimon Xanthópoulos has dedi-cated himself to documenting the stories he believes need to be told.
Photography for him is a unique way to communicate, allowing him to focus on social issues,
injustice and human rights, and the plight of people, especially children, in the aftermath of conflict.
[instagram] @daimonx