You might recall that in December I took a look at all the sets that feature LEGO stores. Another one has just been released, 40359 LEGO Store Picture Frame, and is starting to become more widely available, although not that widely judging by the small number that are available on BrickLink.
I picked one up in Billund the other week so let's take a quick look.
The set consists of 170 parts and a stiff piece of card into which a 4x6 inch photo can be inserted.
The card sits in a frame with a slot which connects two halves of a tiny LEGO brand store.
The three sections are connected using Technic pins so can be separated easily.
The two halves of the store join together to make a larger one, complete with sets on shelves, till, pick-a-brick wall and even a build-a-minifigure station.
I believe the the store worker is unique although it uses a torso that has appeared in a couple of other sets, including the roller coaster.
The rear is printed with a large LEGO logo.
Overall, then, a decent enough model that does a good job of packing the attributes of a brand store into a small space.
It would make a nice souvenir from a visit to LEGOLAND or a brand store, but probably not worth going out of your way to track down.
The main reason for positing this review was to put my new camera through its paces. I've been using a full-frame Nikon D610 and 60mm macro lens for the last 4 years or so and it's served me well. But, it's big and heavy so I don't use it for anything other than LEGO photography.
So, I decided to trade in a lot of my Nikon gear in and downsize to a Panasonic G9 with a Leica 12-60mm lens. It appears the combination takes perfectly good LEGO photographs and will also be small and light enough to carry about on holidays.
The pictures above were taken at f16 at 25mm and illuminated using studio flash lighting but I think they might need to be turned down a bit. I don't think the white highlights are burned out, but it's close. There's no post-processing whatsoever, other than cropping.
One advantage of shooting with a smaller sensor camera is that the lens focal length for a 'normal' view is shorter (25mm in the case of micro four-thirds Panasonic) which has the side effect of increasing the depth of field, the amount of the subject that's in focus. Often that is undesirable but for close-up photos of LEGO it's definitely a good thing.
Do let me know if you have any comments about the photos.