Updates have been few and far apart on this site, but this is going to change. The day before yesterday, I traded in all my Nikon gear for a Leica M9 body. I had been thinking a long time about getting that digital rangefinder camera. In my gear acquisition history (It’s a veritable saga, I tell you! Repeated raids on my wallet combined with never-dying hope for the next great piece of gear that’s going to advance my photographic prowess. So I thought.) is an Epson RD-1 that I never should have sold. I still think back fondly and remember the quality of the 8 MPix files that I got from a Summicron 50 mm f/2.0 (stupidly also sold) on that body.
Yeah well, seller’s remorse … Selling all that Nikon gear was a sacrifice that had to be made. I will especially miss the F6, the 70 – 200 VR II zoom and the 50 and 25mm Zeiss ZF lenses with their wonderful bo’keh. But then, equivalents remain with the new setup and the Canon gear that I wrote about here.
So, what’s in it for you, dear reader? I wont bother you with the 999-th “test” of the Leica M9, this has been done to death. But I will from time to time post about my subjective impressions from working with the camera, the “feel in hand” so to speak. And I’ll show you picture examples that shine a light on the capabilities and pitfalls of this digital rangefinder.
First of all, it is a Leica, a close embodiment of the gestalt of the street camera. If you want to do street photography and reportage straight and in the style of the great of photographic history or if you want to modify in the admittedly questionable way like I did in the example above, it will provide.
One more impression from the first two days of using it: Characteristics of the M lenses you have will be exaggerated in comparison to them projecting their image on film. So, both my Leica Summarit 75mm f/2.5 and my Voigtländer Heliar 50mm f/3.5 appear sharper. Film, even SPUR DRX, didn’t bring them to their resolution limits. And, as is evident in the picture above, my Nokton 35mm f/1.2 appears softer at open aperture with a more pronounced falloff into that swirly bo’keh that I like so much.