So having just had my pension drop into the bank account after finishing my 22-years with the military and then, just as quickly, watching most of it leave said account to pay off a few things here and there I made the ridiculous and totally inappropriate financial decision to drop a few more pennies on a Leica M9 and a 35mm f2 Summicron lens.
Having recently left full time employment, started my own business and generally living from photo-job to photo-job without the previous financial security of before this was, of course, totally the right thing to do! But sod it. Can’t take it with you!
So after waiting for my memory cards to finally be delivered after the camera sat idly on my desk for two days I took it for a little spin earlier to try and get a feel for what is a very different way of shooting. I always shoot manual for 95% of my work anyway – manual focus, manual exposure etc. I also shoot the majority of my work on prime lenses as it suits my style of shooting so that part of the process wasn’t a problem.
But, just as with a new car, it takes a little time to get familiar with the feel of it. So I found myself wandering around town earlier feeling a little strange at the lack of D3s hanging over my shoulder and was a little ‘fingers and thumbs’ as I tried to get shots that otherwise come naturally and quickly. But it’s a learning curve that I’m looking forward to and a simpler style of shooting that I think, I hope, will suit the way I do business.
As for image quality, file size, pro’s and con’s of a Leica versus a Nikon or whatever and all the other techy stuff well all that bores me to tears to be honest and there are plenty of reviews, forums and blogs out there that are dedicated to the more technical aspects written by far more Leica knowledgeable folk than I so bring up Google and go crazy. Although I have to say the files did ‘pop’ nicely when I took them into the edit!
All I know is, from my first foray into the world of rangefinder shooting, is that I look forward to become faster and slicker with how I operate with it and to fully incorporating it into my workflow and, dare I say it, I really enjoyed shooting pictures with it and at the end of the day, that’s what photography is all about.
So take a look at a few of my dodgy first attempts below as I work out how to buy food this month!