Recently (Well in truth it was last December) Guardian photographer Sarah Lee wrote a brilliant article about her Leica M-E and why it was worth the money! So Many things resonated with me. From having the nearly the exact same price tag conversations on a regular basis and getting nearly the exact same reaction (truth be told as I have an M9 my price tag can be even more of a shock) to all the points she makes about getting back in love with photography again! Her article so resonated with me that I felt the need to mention it and demand that everyone read it!
I also find it refreshing that someone out there across the pond is thinking the same things and having similar experiences!
In fact I pretty much agree with her on all fronts! As she says, & I badly paraphrase, It is not the ‘best’ camera out there based on features. In fact I agree on all her points about the ‘technology’ I personally don’t shoot above ISO1600 or even bother chimping photos using the LCD (seriously shut of the automatic photo review and your battery will last way longer) and the buffer is not great for any of the wedding work that I do. Not to mention that, unlike Sarah Lee, I couldn’t even afford an actual Leica Lens so I am using a Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 (not that there is anything wrong with zeiss it is just not a Leica 50mm 1.4 or a Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 but at 1/10 the cost I am ok with it.)
All that being said I have never been more free in my life! Seriously all the shortcomings just make me rethink the process! I zoom with my feet a lot more! I am free! People ignore me! I ranted on this two years ago when I got the camera and I stand behind and could expand on every single statement that I said then a mere month into shooting with it. This article from Sarah Lee just makes me remember just why I love my camera!
In Fact here is my camera bag from back in 2008! Now back then, I truly considered this to be a minimalist kit. I have always affirmed that it is not about the gear, but comparing back then to now, I was a horrible gear slave!
This is my current camera bag…
…. You may notice there isn’t even a bag there! I load the M9 with either a 16 or 32gig card (I go for the super fast Sandisk Extreme Pro cards if anyone is interested) and I stick the extra battery in my pocket! That’s it! The camera has all the case it needs! That is all I need! Thank you Sarah Lee for refreshing my belief in the simple experience of taking a simple photograph is still far better than shooting with the latest & greatest technological marvels!
It is not the price tag that is attached to the camera it is the shooting experience!