Haven’t said anything much in a while, anybody miss my rambling on anything photographic that nobody cares about? Probably not and I don’t blame you. But just in case you do…
A couple weeks ago I had the privilege to borrow a Leica M2 with the Summicron 50 f2 Dual Range. The instructions were simple, “Play with it until you are bored with it.” That’s easy, I can totally do that. Leica range finders are widely considered to be the holy grail of cameras, so, obviously, I always wanted to get my hands on one to see what the fuss is about. Fact is, the last two blog posts contain photos from the Leica, I just didn’t announce it. What did you think? Did they look any more special than when I did’t tell you it’s a Leica?
One or two people did catch that I got this new toy from the last posts. Now is the time to answer your question: “How is it?”, “Is it what you expected?”
First, I will answer “is it what I expected?”. Yes. I expected it to be a well made machine, where everything is tight-fit to the teeth. I have confidence that it will produce decent photos, however, it will not turn rainy days into sunshine and lollipops like some people claim.
Now, how is it? It’s a nice camera, solid, heavy, feels good in your hands. The shutter sounds amazing unless it’s 1/30 or 1/15, very very very quiet. Shutter speed and aperture select are in the right spot. Film rewind is like any knob rewind. Loading film is definitely not the fastest thing in the world, however, I understand it has a superb pressure plate.
The range finder patch is one of the brightest I’ve seen, but then they are never bright enough with all the zombie hang-outs I like to be in. The lens is quite capable, it delivers sharp images with nice bokeh. (however I can not tell you it’s the sharpest lens I’ve ever used). But remember, sharpness is overrated. More importantly, let’s just say the lens is capable of delivering a very nice aesthetic on the whole. The coating on the lens indeed delivers lower contrast images. (Some say lower contrast equals to higher resolution.) In certain lighting conditions you will have to get used to it, it looks rather different.
Anything wrong with the camera? Most certainly. First, it’s a Leica, secondly it’s not mine. Meaning you can’t get it dirty, can’t get it wet, always afraid you will scratch it and lose hundreds of dollars, can’t leave it in the car, can’t touch it unless you washed your hands etc etc. In a way, it’s an uneasy feeling while photographing.
This is photographing with a Leica casually. I’ll let you decide: has a Leica made me a better photographer? Or does a Leica turn everything into sunshine and lollipops?
Leica M2 – Summicron 50 DR – Tri X – XTOL 1+2 – Without Meter.
When I go out with my Yashica(s), random people will ask me “Hey, is that a Leica?”, and I’d have to reply, “No, it’s a Yashica” while they scratch their head over what a Yashica is. Now that I have a Leica around my neck, all I got is, “Hey is that a Yashica?”…..
Now, Anyone wanna loan me a 35 Summilux?!