Lincoln LCE Photo week thoughts

LCE Photo Week 2014

Last week was the Lincoln LCE Photo Week, I visited both stores most days of the week and during that time I spoke to most of the reps as well as the LCE staff. Here are my miscellaneous notes and thoughts from the week.

Tuesday (High Street Store):
I spoke to the Fuji rep first and you can read my separate blog post about that here. Thanks to being linked by Fujirumors, Scoop IT and nearly every other Fuji rumour and Fuji forum site I had the most visits to my site ever, it’s a pity that it has almost dropped back to normal levels again. 😦

I had a nice chat with the Manfrotto rep about their bag range he did suggest that I try a tripod but decided not to bother when I told him I already had a nice Carbon Fibre Gitzo. I remember hearing somewhere that Kata bags are actually made by Manfrotto and this was confirmed. In fact as the bags are renewed (might only be the Pro bags though) they are going to be re-branded as Manfrotto. I would have liked to have seen one of the Pro series 20/30 bags as I might get one but at £189 is too much sight unseen, I need to gauge the bulk which I cannot do online.

Tuesday (Silver Street store):
I spoke to Nikon the rep and he does not see a successor to the D300/D300s, his reasoning was that the model numbering no longer fitted in – I have never heard a more strange reason than this before. I suggested the D9000 series which he nodded to. I pointed out the D610 and D7100 had their microphone and headphone jacks in different places, on the D610 they are under the same flap on the D7100 under different flaps. He thought this was due to legacy reasons (i.e. the D7000), I said it was because it was a Nikon and they do strange things for no reason – that didn’t go down too well.

On a different note, by handling the cameras (particularly the D610 with its 24-85 f3.5-4.5 VR lens) I was reminded why I use Fuji although having access to a D7100 with the 80-400 MkII lens from time to time would be nice for the wildlife when far away – if I could stand the weight.

Wednesday (High Street Store):
The Tamron rep was fun to talk to as he was representing lots of different firms. They had the Tamron 150-600mm f5-6.3 SP Di VC USD Lens and I tried this on a D700 – boy was this heavy. The lens was very nice and the extreme focal length was impressive. The rep was showing photos of the quality and how low you could go hand-holding the lens with the VC. We spoke for quite a while about their nice lenses the 24-70 f2.8 VC and the 70-200 f2.8 VC as well as their 105mm VC macro lens – they are all weather sealed.

He mentioned that Tamron have opened a new factory that is specifically for the smaller sensor camera bodies. It also came out that Tamron makes lenses for Sony, the Sony 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 OSS LE Lens that I used to own was a prime example, but they make a lot of Sony’s other (non Zeiss) lenses too. He didn’t see why Tamron might not start to make lenses for the Fuji and micro 4 thirds (MFT) market going forward as he agrees that most photographers are looking for light weight & smaller cameras with lenses to go with them; at least this is the case in Europe and the Far-East.

He was representing Samyang but had no Fuji mount versions to try but he did show one of their new Cine lenses and the build quality was impressive.

The Metz flash system was discussed, I asked why it that their “Metz 44 AF-1 Digital Flashgun” supports all of the camera manufacturers except Fuji (they support Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Samsung, you read that right – Samsung!!!). He mentioned that Metz will have a lot to show at Photokina in September so you never know.

Thursday (High Street Store):
Popped in to see what Panasonic had to offer and they didn’t have the GH4 so not much to see there – I was given a free pen though.

Sigma were there with some of their nice glass as well as some of their telephoto lenses too. I got to try out the new version of the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 DG OS HSM Lens and again like the Tamron it was very nice but very heavy too and my arms ached after a while.

Friday (Silver Street store):
Spoke to the Sigma rep again who remembered me which is nice. Also had a quick chat with Lee who I don’t see as much as I used to as I visit the High Street store more often as they stock more of the Fuji range than the Silver Street Store does.

Final thoughts:
I was planning to visit the Silver Street store on Saturday to see the full Canon range Consumer to Pro but there is nothing new to see. I have already played with their newest member the PowerShot G1 X Mark II Digital Camera and I wasn’t really impressed. It shows that marketing have been designing this camera and there are a few “why have they done it that way” features that have hindered what might have been a really fantastic upgrade. Also (rhetorical question time) why is it that Canon and Nikon insist on removing Electronic View Finders from their top end mirror-less and high-end compact cameras?

Now the photo week is over and I would like to pass on my thanks to all of the staff at both of the London Camera Exchange Stores as well as the company reps (particularly the Fuji and Sigma reps).

If you have a local camera store make sure that you support them as these kind of events are not easy to arrange. They make it easy for us to try out some of the more non-stocked items to see what they are like and can really help when it comes to purchasing items to have tried them out which isn’t possible using Internet based stores. I certainly do purchase certain small things from Amazon and WEX as well as more specialised stores such as PhotoMadd and Really Right Stuff but most if not all of the large purchases are through my one of my local London Camera Exchanges:

  • High Street Store details can be found here.
  • Silver Street Store details can be found here.