Gear

Leica Update

I own 3 Leica cameras. I bought my first in 2010. A Leica M6 film camera with everything you need on it. It has a built in light meter, interchangeable lens system and shoots lovely lovely film. I bought it because it won’t age so in 30 years time I’ll still be learning from it whereas everything else will be virtual reality drone cameras. I’m not very good with this camera. I guess I simply don’t know how to really use it so I use it like a digital camera. The results are bad because the way I use digital is to take a photo and then correct my mistake.

My second Leica is a Q. It’s a fixed lens camera and a camera I’ve been heading towards since the Panasonic GF1. It’s a wonderful camera and I’m still adjusting to it.

My third Leica (that sounds so bad) is a M. The M. Leica names are funny so it’s technically a M10 as it comes after the M9 but they dropped the numbers so it’s just the M. There’s an M10 now too. shrugs I bought the M240 for two reasons. First I got a great deal but more importantly the Q really sold me on the Leica line. The M10 showed me that Leica plan to stick to their design for a long time that is unless they consider the 10 the journey to digital complete… Let’s hope not because I want it to drop in price. Anyway. I have faith that the system I’m buying in to will be around for a long long time and I’ll be able to switch between the M6 and the M240 (or whatever I have later in life).

I’m also a bit of a digital / analogue kind of guy. I like pens and paper but also iPads and iPhones. I like Apple Music but I’m also building a vinyl collection. The Leica M line is analogue but it has a digital bit where the film should be. Perfect.

Or is it? Let’s just say the past year of using Leica’s has not been smooth.

I fondly remember my Canon 10D, feeling like I’m Joel Meyerowitz with the x100 in Budapest and Paris. My first Q memories are conflicted. A story for another day. The M240? Maybe I’m just too used to cameras now that I’ve lost that exciting new discovery feeling?

Manual focusing is very very hard at f/2 and f/1.x. It’s just really hard and the display on the M is not up to scratch so its hard to judge whether you nailed the focus. I guess I’m used to the Q which has an incredible display and EVF. The M is more like using film in that you can’t rely on the screen all that much and you need to wait till later to see how the images turned out. But because of this I don’t feel like the M is slowing me down. I feel like it’s getting in the way. That’s maybe a problem. It should be helping me produce new and interesting work. The Q is but the M isn’t. Still, it’s nice to essentially be carrying a big bulky DSLR like camera around but in the size of a compact.

I’ve made a video which may help illustrate things.

I do feel like I’m getting better with it. It is taking time though, but as I mentioned in this weeks podcast I think taking time to do something is what I need.

Here’s some more recent work with it. I should do a best of post when the camera turns 1.