Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Leica Out & About

A small shop in Thornes Market had the most exquisite handbags that looked like pieces of art!

An old Royal Typewriter in a shop window.

A shop called 25 Central in Thornes Market.

My sister at the restaurant. The light from the window made it harder for me to get the right exposure. I tweaked this in Photoshop.

My sister and I went to Northampton, Massachusetts today to have lunch and do some window shopping. I took the Leica with me, of course. I carried it in my North Face backpack, which has an area to hold a laptop computer. (I don't really have a camera bag for this camera yet. I have to find something small enough, but able to carry my wallet and a few personal items too.) I placed the camera in the backpack for safe keeping but mostly carried the camera around my neck. I had a jacket on that concealed the camera a bit, which made me feel better. I'm a little nervous about carrying around such an expensive camera. I know I'll get over it after a while but I never like to flaunt any equipment on the streets. There weren't too many outdoor scenes I thought interesting enough to photograph today, and the lighting was too harsh. Instead, I photographed indoors at Thornes Market. I am still slow about focusing the camera, but like I said before, I'm getting a feel for it. I have a few okay shots to show. Nothing fancy. I converted some to black and white. I even colored some parts of the photos because I liked the effect. I think all of the photographs were shot at ISO 320. I varied the shutter speed and aperture. At one point I set the camera to Aperture Priority to see how it handled. The only bad thing is that the EXIF data won't show what Aperture the camera was set at for some odd reason, and that's even with the lens being 6-bit coded! Does anyone know why that is? (I wonder if Leica fixed that issue with the M9 model?)


  1. Elaine, I've corresponded with you a bit on Steve Huff's site. You are getting some really good shots and it sounds like you are getting more comfortable with your camera. Not having used a Leica before, I was especially interested in reading about your experiences because I was a little leery about investing so much into something I've never shot before. Anyhow, I'm glad to see that you've been sticking with the Leica despite your initial difficulties. Is it safe to say you'll be keeping the Leica?
    Your B&W shots look awesome. Keep up the good work!

    By the way, I had a change of heart on the color and now want the steel gray model. After looking at more pictures, it kept calling to me LOL. So I cancelled my order for the black, but by then it was too late to order the gray. So I have to order from another dealer and have no idea how long it will be.

  2. Those are some sharp photos of your sister. Nice detail!

  3. Thanks so much. I'm still having difficulties, but it's a wonderful challenge. It's more of my fumbling around and not the camera, as it's a precision instrument. I'm just rusty from using AF for years.

    Kevin, you canceled the order! Oh No! I thought you were getting one from B&H photo? I don't care if it's grey or black, as long as it's a M9. The grey model shows less scratches, but more people want the black model, so I think resale value is better. Am I wrong here?

    I'm still on the waiting list with a dealer. I don't know if I'm going to upgrade, though he will take this camera in and apply it for a good price. I'm enjoying this camera, and I think it's enough for me right now. I decided to invest in lenses instead. One day I may upgrade. Of course, this could very well change in a heartbeat.

    And trust me, I'm still looking at upgrading my Nikon gear. I love Nikon, despite the size. I would be so pleased to have a D700 in my arsenal, and a few choice lenses.

  4. I was tempted to order a M9 when B&H was taking orders ... but alas ... I resisted the urge. Ultimately, reason won over the heart. Having never even held a Leica (or a rangefinder) in my hands before, I couldn't justify paying $7K. Or maybe I can! Sites like yours and Steve Huff's will destroy my credit cards! :)

  5. I totally understan what you're going through Armanius! I couldn't justify what I spent as it is! I am living on a limited income, am NOT rich, and figured I'd try the used M8.2 first to see if I even LIKED rangefinder cameras. Now, let me tell you, they aren't perfect. They can be a pain in the ASS at times. The whole manual thing is something you must embrace.

    But...there is something magical about the camera, the feel of it, design, and the files it produces. I'm sure the M9 is wonderful too, but I couldn't spend 7K on it. I'd have to get a job that would cover the cost!

    The amount I spent on camera equipment in these last few months is INSANE, and I can only say I must be going through my mid-life crisis, because I've NEVER spent this kind of cash on camera gear. I figured that I'm getting older, (48 yrs old), and if I don't try this now, when the heck am I going to do it? I sacrifice other things to get this camera.

    Leica cameras don't need to be as expensive as they are. I think it's an elitist cult thing at times. I love the lenses, but only the richest people can afford this gear. (Unless you make a compromise and cut back a lot like I did, and also get used gear.)

    If film weren't so expensive compared to digital, and if I knew I wouldn't be wasting a lot on paper and the like, I would have gotten a M6 film camera. I may still do that. I love film, but frankly, I am a digital junky now. Most of my stuff goes online to albums or websites. On the rare occasion I make a print, it's due to someone asking me for it. Then again, get a M6, and an Epson V700 flatbed film scanner. Good to go. I've thought of that angle too. It's a little more qork, but less money! LOL!

    Also, maybe checking out the Leica X-1. I've thought about getting that camera too. The quality is wonderful and it's only about 2K. Yeah, I know I start rationalizing the Leica prices thinking a P&S Leica is okay to be 2K! LOL! See how it goes? I love the quality of photos coming out of that camera though. Steve did a good job of displaying that. I'm no Pro, so it's a viable option for people like us. I hear the D-Lux 4 is wonderful too. Maybe a 4/3 system would be a good idea? I've thought of that too.

    I'm still wishing for that Nikon D700 and some nicer lenses. I shoot mostly dogs so it's a perfect kit for me.

    The Leica is my DREAM artsy camera. I feel much calmer when using it. I take my time. It's almost like sketching a photograph instead of blasting through with a fully auto D-SLR on AF all of the time.

    The one good thing about a Leica is that you get a good chunk of change back if you sell it.

  6. Sorry for all of the typos. Not wearing my glasses and in a rush to make an appointment. :) Cheers!

  7. LOL! You know there is a problem when you write that a camera is "only about $2K"!!! :) But I know what you mean, in a smaller scale. I started really liking photography around Christmas 08. Went from wanting to get a nicer P&S at about $400 (and thinking that was expensive) to eventually owning as many as six cameras at one point (but finally gifting two of them to my sister and dad). My most used camera nowadays is an Olympus EP2, a Micro 4/3 camera. I just ordered a Voigtlander 35/1.4 M mount lens to use with the EP2. So I'm going to see if I enjoy the whole manual focusing thing. Although I'm sure focusing through a rangefinder's viewfinder is still going to be vastly different than focusing through the EP2's electronic viewfinder. Ken says that he should have an used M8/8.2 for me soon. Hopefully, I'll get some dual use out of my soon to be arriving Voigtlander lens. I think it'll be a while before I ever splurge on a Leica lens (if ever).

  8. Armanius, Yeah, I bought everything used. Not new at all. It was still expensive. I like the Olympus EP2, and the Panasonic GF1 series cameras. I love the Olympus filters too.

    What would you use on the Leica M8.2? Just curious.

    Yeah, just 2K is cheap in Leica terms, but not cheap for my "blue collar" terms.

  9. I don't have any M lenses yet. I am expecting to receive a Voigtlander 35/1.4 this Friday. I also ordered a M mount to Micro 4/3 adapter, so that I can use the Voigtlander on my EP2. With the 2x crop factor on my EP2, the 35 becomes a 70. Is the crop factor 1.3x or 1.5x on the M8.2?

  10. Elaine,

    I feel like an idiot for cancelling the order and now I'm even more confused. This past weekend I had the chance to shoot with my cousin's Nikon D3 with a variety of lenses (most notably the 14-24mm ultrawide) and it was awesome to shoot with. I got some amazing landscape shots with it as well as some documentary type photo from shooting a wedding I attended. They came out great! So now I really want a D700, since its basically a D3 in a smaller body. So I hear you when you say you want a D700. Its an amazing camera and you won't go wrong with it. I still really like the Leica look, especially with B&W shots. What a dilemma!

  11. I know. I have the same issue! Isn't that funny? I already bought the M8.2 because I couldn't wait any longer for the M9's appearance. I know I'd use the Nikon D700 a lot too. I like the smaller size of the Leica, and the quality of file that comes out of it. Each has its own purpose. Guess you have to decide which you would use the most at this particular time. The nice thing about the M9 is that you could use it for a while, then sell it and recoup most of what you paid. Then go get the D700. Or go get the D700, or whatever the D700 will be in a few months, and shoot. Then wait for the M9 to come down in prices. A Dilemma!

  12. Ideally, I would have both the D700 and M9....the D700 for landscape shots and M9 for street shooting. Of course my wife wouldn't be too happy about that but hey, you only live once right? Haha!

    The problem is that I would only be able to afford 1 lens for each camera for now. I would probably get the 14-24mm wide angle for the D700 but not sure about the M9. Do you like your 35mm cron?

  13. See, now I'd get the 70-200 lens for the Nikon, as I have a wide lens and a 50mm. THe M9, I'd have the 50mm Lux. I love the 35mm cron. Absolutely LOVE it. I'm only getting used to the 90mm, which is a Summircon E55, not ASPH, which I heard is better. I can't afford the higher priced one. The 90MM which is 1.3 crop on the M8.2 is good for portraits, though a tad long. Still, if I were to eventually get the M9, then it would be the perfect kit. I would just them need a 50mm and a wide angle, wider than the 35mm.

    For the M8.2, the lenses I have are perfect though. I don't need too wide as I like the 35mm on the M8.2. It's a 47mm, almost a 50mm, and it produces wonderful results. It's the perfect lens for me.

    I know. I can't afford any of this. I don't even work right now. LOL!

  14. Ah I you think something like a 24 or 28mm would be better for wide angle on the M9? I heard the 50 lux is to die for but it is completely sold out from what I hear. Hopefully Leica will be making more soon. I wish Leica lenses weren't that expensive because it would be nice to have a 3 lens set up: wide angle, 50 and 90.

    Keep the pictures coming! Love what you are shooting so far. Have you tried much landscape yet?

  15. If I were to choose one lesn for the M9 it would be a 50 Lux or a 35mm Lux or Summicron. Lenses are expensive. I would use the 50mm because you can still shoot pretty cool portraits with it and street. Plus, it was HCB's lens of choice.

    Thanks for the compliments. It means a lot to me. :)