My photographic journey started when I fell in love with a Leica M. I have the privilege to say that I have two now, a digital Leica M (Typ 240), and a vintage M2 film camera. I am a big fan of the rangefinder focusing mechanism, although there is no autofocus. As a matter of fact, there is not much ‘auto’ of anything on this camera. Most of the time I shoot with automatic exposure, but that’s it. You can find more info on the Leica M on the official Leica page.
In September 2015 I started exploring film photography. After practising with a Minolta Hi-Matic 7S and a Olympus 35-SP I bought a Leica M2 from 1960. This camera is still compatible with modern Leica (M-type) lenses, so I can use all my glass on the M2. Total Bliss 🙂 !
Since the film bug is kind of getting to me, I also acquired the quirky Rollei 35 S. This camera is one of the smallest 35mm film cameras, and it doesn’t have rangefinder. For focussing you solely have to rely on the distance scale on the lens barrel. But it is fun to shoot! If you are interested I recommend reading the review on www.35mmc.com.
I also own the cheaper but never disappointing Minolta Riva Panorama, a fun automatic point-and-shoot camera that crops the frame into a panoramic format. It performs really well, and I enjoy the format during travels.
Last fall I fell for the quirky characteristics of instax photography, so I bought the Fuji Mini 90 Neo Classic. This camera has a few more advanced features such as double exposure and a bulb mode. I started a project with instax this year, and when the light is right the results are really charming.
My latest addition to the film camera collection is an odd one, the Nikonos V. It as a fully waterproof camera with interchangeable lenses. I use it to shoot underwater while snorkelling in the Caribbean or Greece. I own two lenses for this system: the standard 35mm f/2.5 lens (a hybrid, or amphibious lens), and the also hybrid 80mm f/4.0.
I have four lenses for my Leica M. The one I use the most is the Leica Summicron-M 1:2/35mm ASPH. This lens has amazing micro-contrast, beautiful color rendering and just delivers all the time without any effort.
I also have the vintage Leica Tele-Elmarit 1:2.8/90mm. This lens lacks microcontrast compared to the Summicron, but it is a very light and compact lens for this focal length. It is actually quite sharp, but the colors rendered from this lens are less bright than the colors from the Summicron. But considering this lens was built in the 1970’s it is a real gem.
My third lens is a Russian Jupiter 8, a 50mm f/2 lens, also from the 70’s. This compact lens delivers reasonably well. Between my three lenses, this one has the best value for money. And it is quite fun shooting with it. It is less sharp than the other two, but sharp enough to perform, and it gives the images a nice vintage feel.
The latest addition to my collection is the Leica Summilux-M 1:1.4/50mm (Type 2). This lens was built in 1970, and it still delivers beautiful images. This one has the largest aperture, giving me the option of smaller depth of field. I wrote a review of this lens here.
I have a Leica-C (Typ 112) , which is a small point-and-shoot camera manufactured for Leica by Panasonic. It is a fun camera to shoot with (find info here), and I use it when I really want to travel light or to shoot underwater. I use a cover from DiCaPac.
I have a vintage Leica swing-out polariser filter (see photo above). What can I say, you just can’t help smiling when you put this filter on your lens.
I carry my gear in a sage hadley pro bag from Billingham, or in the imperial blue hadley digital (also Billingham).
For post processing of my images I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC, and occasionally Photoshop.
A lot of my exploring trips are close to home. This can be on foot, or on my bike. I have a Santos bike, a Dutch brand, with Brooks saddle and bags. I also drive my bike to work and I keep at least one camera in my handlebar bag at all times.