Leicas are for street photography, right? Perhaps reportage and situational portraits, too.
But then, the newest incarnation of the Leica M Gestalt is one of the best digital cameras on the market. It’d be a shame to limit it’s potential to hand-held use. And as every photographer worth his salt knows, the simplest way to make your photos sharper is to use a tripod.
A Leica on a tripod is an abomination. But not with this:
California aluminum miller extraordinaire Really Right Stuff produces Arca norm compatible plates for almost any camera, and this is his creation for the Leica M9. Note the cleverly intergrated handgrip. The base plate goes on the M9 instead of the usual base plate. Yes, you can carefully maneuver the camera body and the strap lugs so that it all just falls into place although this contraption has objects on both sides of the camera body. Close, but well considered tolerances.
Mounted, the lithe M9 becomes kinda ruggedized (and regains the substantial weight that the M film bodies have). There’d be no problem with the Winogrand maneuver (except for the recipient of that move).
And how’s it working out in the field? Well, fine as usual if you avail yourself of the splendid Arca system in it’s RRS incarnation. For the lead shot, I set the camera on a RRS BH-40 LR II ballhead (on Calumet CX8144 carbon legs) and exposed for 30 seconds. Working like this is controlled, safe and a joy as the equipment works precisely and just gets out of your way.
That’s what we want, right?