Saturday, October 29, 2011

Leica D-Lux 4: Joe's Farm & Scooters

Agritopia Community Gardens
If I bought property on Joe's land, I could plant a garden on my own plot of land.
The landscape designer gave me a quick tour. Agritopia is part of a community in Gilbert. Joe's Farm Grill and The Coffee House are two restaurants in that community that I adore. 
Hello Kitty Vespa!
Isn't she cute? She's all Vespa!
Scooter Meetup at Joe's Farm Grill. No, I don't own a Scooter...yet.
Someone has this pink beauty.
Pretty in Pink!
Getting ready for their ride. they had quite the turnout.
Some of these Scooters go as fast as 85 MPH without modifying. 
Well, these pictures are something different than my dog. I bet you're happy. I know I am. LOL! I just happened on this scene one mile from my apartment. There was a Scooter meet-up which also involved two or three Pet Adoption Groups. They had all of these dogs, cats and puppies up for adoption located at Joe's Farm Grill. They were in the back by the picnic tables. The Scooter Club was sponsoring them? I think that's how it was explained to me. Anyway, there was also a meet-up for a ride later in the day around 2pm. They were riding to some mountain. (Yeah, I know. I'm surrounded by mountains here in Gilbert, Arizona! I can't recall the name of the mountain.) I just happened to get thirsty for one of The Coffee Shop's Pumpkin Monsoon drinks, which is coffee with crushed ice, cream, sugar, pumpkin flavor and whipped cream. It's like the Starbuck's version of a Frappuccino. Yum! 

So, I got here, took a short tour with the landscape designer who happened to be there with his tricked out black Vespa, (one of the older ones that has shifting gears! I didn't get a picture. What an idiot I am! Luckily, he lives in Agritopia, so I'll catch a picture of it at some point.) I was so fascinated with the whole scene. Meanwhile it's hot and I'm trying to shoot in BRIGHT sun with this little Leica D-Lux 4 and was having a tough time shooting it in manual mode. Why? I couldn't see the little LCD! I couldn't make out what I was photographing due to the glare. What a pain in the ass this little guy is without a viewfinder. I ended up switching it to all Auto a few times. I took primarily RAW and in manual mode though, so I didn't cop out totally. Camera manufacturers need to reincorporate the optical viewfinders in these cameras. (Fuji listened with their X100 camera.) Boy, do I miss optical viewfinders. So much so that I almost sold this camera...but I just couldn't do it. It's my only Leica. (More on that in a bit.) 

Now, I have the Canon S95, which I use on occasion, but mostly my sister uses it. I also have the Sony NEX 5, which has somewhat soft kit lenses, but a nice APS-C sensor, and my trusty Nikon D90 with a 50mm fast lens. Each of these has its own pluses and minuses. The simplest solution is to have a small camera with optical viewfinder and a big sensor. Shouldn't be that hard to build, but apparently it is. 

Plum. My favorite besides the expresso color which wasn't here.
They want six thousand dollars for this Vespa. Why not just get a regular motorcycle then?

Agritopia will be expanding at some point with a few stores and restaurants. No food or store chains. Yippee!

The Leica D-Lux 4 is not fun to use in bright sunlight. Neither is the Sony or any other camera that has just the LCD screen to view. The only camera that I enjoy using in all conditions is my Nikon D90, and that's only because it has an optical viewfinder. I can hold it up to my eye. If any of the smaller compacts had this, I wouldn't be so aggravated. Ahh, compromises! When I moved here in July of this year I had to sell a bunch of Leica gear. I had no choice. Now I bit the bullet and have purchased another Leica M6, and a 35mm Summicron 2.0 ASPH lens. They will be arriving at some time next week. Both are used but in good condition. We shall see. I am in debt again, but I couldn't help it. I want to shoot 35mm film with that M again. Now that the weather is better, I will be using my medium format film cameras as well, but this blog is about my experience with Leica Gear. I can honestly say, the film M is my favorite Leica right now. I have never tried an M9, so I can't compare it to that. I owned the M8.2 but found it not to be what I really wanted, which was originally the M9 camera. Being that the M9 is too much money for me to spend right now, and it isn't exactly up to specs in regards to quality, (failing sensors, sensor dust issues, back focusing problems, freezing up cameras, and more), I've decided to stick with film until an M10 or better comes out. Of course I don't have the cash to blow on such extravagant gear, but I can dream and wish for that perfect camera. I don't believe the M9 is it yet. But it's coming. The M6 film camera is as close to nirvana as I can get right now. It's the only camera that felt just perfect in my hands and seemed intuitive to use. I embrace digital as I can take as many pictures and dump them too without all the waste. But I'm finding out that digital isn't as good as film in regards to results. Film looks better to me. There are only a few pictures that I've taken with various digital gear that I loved for the quality in the file, but I'm always chasing the film look, so why bother?

I honestly don't know what the answer is here. I've come to love digital, but pine for film. The film quality is so addictive that I long for a day when the film labs come back. I wish I knew enough about film developing that I could do my own lab work. ( Black and white and slides)That seems to be the path I'm starting to embrace. I can always scan the negatives for a quick look on a blog, but will still have those lovely negatives and slides to hold in my hand and print on fine papers.

I'm very happy with my decision in biting the debt bullet to get that M6 and 35mm cron. Will I keep the little Leica D-Lux 4? Well, yeah! I think it's a great compact camera, and I may get the viewfinder for it! I love the different size formats, especially square format. I don't need a ton of megapixels. I've gotten beautiful prints from all the digital gear mentioned above. Going full frame is just another expense I don't need, and I figure I am going that route by using film. I'm just happy that I will be using a Leica M again. Now I have to go find a job to pay all this shit off. LOL! 


  1. You have really catchy scooters. I know that it is hard to plum scooters in market. i having also cannon which i usually use for new and standard pictures. I having passion to collect more and more scooters pictures. Love your article.

  2. I don't own any of these scooters. The ones in the shade belong to a dealership. The Hello Kitty Scooter is one of them. I wish they had a Scooter with a famous dog on it. LOL! I use the Canon S95 but for these I used a Leica D-Lux 4. Thank you for the compliment on my article. When there is another major meet up at Joe's Farm Grill, I will try to catch more pictures of the event. I don't own a Scooter myself, but I love them too.