I had this beautiful well crafted 1800 word post that I wrote over the last three days all about how awesome this camera is and how awefull canon has become, but wordpress ate it and I am not particularly interested in writing it again. sssooooo…… You get this instead.
It has taken years of working on how, drooling over the website, and basically becoming more and more dissatisfied with the garbage gear that Canon keeps releasing, but we finally got the Leica M9. Â It has only been a week but I can say that I have officially been converted. In fact I picked up a Canon 5D Mark II to shoot these photos of my Leica and it just seemed so foreign, so wrong and cumbersome by comparison.
However, before I delve into just how awesome this camera is, let us take a step back for a moment and highlight the path that led us here.
It all starts way back in 2001 when I was running about the city with a borrowed Pentax K1000 with a 50mm f/1.4 lens shooting rolls of Ilford HP5 pretty much like it was going out of style (sort of funny cause at that time I guess it sort of was) Its where i originally found my love of photography ad while loved it, I felt at that time for me to become a better photographer I simply needed a better camera and more lenses. How wrong I really was. I was dazzled by features and the bells and whistles of new technology but really a camera is just a box with a hole in it and all the auto DX coding, Â frames per second, &Â exposure features in the world wouldn’t change that fact.
The one thing that I miss about that original film camera was it’s unassuming nature. I wasn’t hauled into conversations about the camera every time I whipped it out like I am with my pro canon gear. It was quiet non-intrusive and basically everything I loved about photography.
I recall some advice that I received from a random old man at a protest once. I was lamenting to my friend Mike that if i had a long zoom lens I could get better photos. This random old guy turned to me and said ‘you already have the lens you need, just zoom with your feet’ A lesson that I have come to hold truer then most lessons I have learned even if it was a decade late. Mostly It’s NOT ABOUT THE GEAR. to steal & modify the Chase Jarvis line The best camera is probably the one you already have.
While I do have a vast collection of SLR/TLR film camera’s and I do still love shooting with all of them, they are film cameras, Â and thus delegated to the realm of fun non-time sensitive artistic photos. Our studio workflow has always been digital and always will be. As such we were basically left shooting with standard SLR digital cameras.
Just like that original Pentax K1000 the M9 is so unassuming. I wandered around different areas of the city this week taking photos of strangers with impunity. Not a single person seemed to care about the jerk in the hat with the camera. Conversely previous wandering about with my Canon SLR’s I would constantly get all sorts of looks/comments/contempt usually without actually doing anything other then having the camera in my hand.Â The few people that did notice the camera actually wanted to have their photo taken. I am not even kidding.
You can totally see how excited this guy was to have his photo snapped.
The camera is super small and super light especially as compared to a Canon 1D Mark IV and once I got used to the rangefinder focusing part of it all I find the focusing to be as fast or faster then Canon autofocus.
Basically I love it!