The Goods: Our Favorite New Premium Photo Gear


Bare Backer
Leica’s gone back to the future with the M-D rangefinder. The Leica M-D (Typ 262) is the first full production model in the digital M line that has no rear LCD monitor. Instead, the stripped down but classic-looking Leica M-D has an ISO sensitivity dial on back. (A few years ago Leica did release the M Edition 60, which also had an ISO dial instead of a rear screen, but that model was limited to 600 units.) The 24-megapixel M-D is loaded with other digital amenities to complement its functional form factor, including Leica’s fast Maestro processor and the ability to capture Raw images in Adobe’s DNG format for quick editing. Other than that though, the M-D is pretty minimal, even ditching Leica’s classic red dot logo from the front plate to create a discreet design. There’s also an extremely quiet shutter and cocking system that can shoot at 2 frames per second (fps) in single exposure mode. In continuous mode, the M-D can shoot at up to 3 fps to help capture candid moments.

Leica M-D (Typ 262)


Sure Grip
There are tons of grips and cases for smartphones out there but nothing quite like Pictar. The Pictar camera grip is an ergonomic device that lets iPhone users take mobile photography to a whole new level thanks to an array of SLR-like external controls. Pictar, which slides over your iPhone, includes five user-programmable wheels and an ergonomic grip for one-handed shooting. The grip communicates with the iPhone via a dedicated camera app that unlocks some key imaging features previously inaccessible to iPhone users. In one of the more clever concepts with this device, Pictar uses “high-frequency dual tone sounds” to control camera functions and settings. Each physical control is assigned a specific tone, and when you turn a dial, press a button, or twist a wheel, Pictar omits a sound which—when detected by the app—generates a corresponding action. The high-frequency dual tone (18,500-20,000kHz) is inaudible to the human ear and increases battery life when compared to Bluetooth connectivity. Other key features include a useful exposure compensation dial, a customizable “smart wheel,” a standard 1/4-inch tripod mount on the bottom of the device, and a cold shoe on top. Pictar will initially be only compatible for iPhones 4 to 6, but support for other models will be forthcoming.

$90 (available in December 2016)


Impossible Camera
It seemed improbable but the long-awaited instant film camera from The Impossible Project is finally a reality. This reimagined Polaroid-style instant camera uses Impossible’s new I-type film as well as standard 600-type film. The I-1 features a built-in ring flash for diffused light that’s perfect for portraits. Used alone, it functions as a simple point-and-shoot instant camera, but when paired with an iPhone and an app, the creative possibilities emerge. When coupled to your iPhone, you can experiment with light painting and double exposure, as well as access additional controls such as aperture, shutter priority, and manual modes. The Impossible team acquired some of Polaroid’s assets back in 2008 and embarked on a project to modernize the business and sell their own instant film. Along the way, they have repeatedly hinted that a new camera was in the works. It has finally arrived.

Impossible I-1


Legendary Lens
German optical company Meyer-Optik Görlitz is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its acclaimed Trioplan line by relaunching the legendary 50mm Trioplan “Soap Bubble” lens, so named for its unique bokeh characteristics. The new 50mm f/2.9 Trioplan features premium build quality, modern coatings, and a 1:4 reproduction ratio for macro photography. Meyer-Optik Görlitz was founded in 1896, and their current mission is to “make the best art lens on the market” using superior design, engineering, and materials. The new 50mm f/2.9 offers the same soap bubble bokeh of its predecessor and utilizes a moveable front element to increase the reproduction ratio to 1:4 for close focusing to under 12 inches. The Trioplan 50mm f/2.9 will be available in mounts for Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E, Fuji X, Micro Four Thirds, M42, Leica M, Leica L, and Pentax K.

Trioplan f2.9/50
$1,299 (available in January 2017)


The Goods spotlights the hottest premium photo gear out there. If you have a product you’d like considered for The Goods, e-mail images and info to