More about Less

Different sisters, one surplus lever

Different sisters, one surplus lever

The first days with the new Leica M10-D are strange and full of new experiences. In use, the camera feels positively small.
The dimensions are very similar to the M film cameras from the M3 to the M-A. I very much like this compact feel. This is a camera I won’t bulk up with a case, a grip or a protector. About the “film advance” lever: I’ve yet to use it as a thumb rest. Doesn’t seem necessary, doesn’t bother me.

Yeah o.k., I solarized the German garden gnome's heads in Color Efex 4

Yeah o.k., I solarized the German garden gnome’s heads in Color Efex 4

When I see a subject like the self-deprecating display in an Erfurt gallery, I take up a standpoint relative to it and the light. Then there’s a process that takes less than a second and feels very fluid to me.
Taking the M10-D out of a bag, it is only natural to switch it on by the outer ring of the dial on the back. Only then do the rangefinder frames appear. They are lit by LED, their brightness adapts to the environment. Together with the frames, a fraction appears in the finder that tells you about the charge left in the battery. The inner disk of the dial that sits where a screen would be in a run-of-the-mill digital camera adjusts exposure compensation. As you’re preparing your camera, now it’s a good time to figure out the light and reflectivity of your subject. Rotate the EV compensation disk and you’re set. In good enough light, I set the aperture and shutter speed manually and use Auto ISO. Focus, recompose, shoot.

My daughter remembering when she met her husband for the first time. That's him at left.

My daughter remembering when she met her husband for the first time. That’s him at left.

The only aspect of this little workflow that challenges me is focussing fast and accurate enough for people shots. It’s just a matter of practice.

Not a problem with a subject I’ve been fascinated with lately, graffiti and street art:


This new Leica has opened a dark palette for me.

Pressure washers

Pressure washers

The M10-D has a superb sensor plus electronics that help you capture such night scenes. As through a mirror, darkly.

The mothership

The mothership

Or like this, wetter, but a bit more colorful.

In these halcyon days of getting used to a new camera, I find myself compelled to see color in new ways.

P.S.: Reading through this before posting, I noticed I didn’t even mention the M10-D’s distinguishing lack of a feature. The screen. I simply didn’t miss it. Perhaps I’m too old-school …

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3 Responses to “More about Less”

  1. Michel Birnbacher Says:

    great blog entry, you are absolutely right, I would hav de one “M10-D” – the one and only without a display. The only reason not to have it: during my foto classes, I would like to show the pictures to the participants and the M has one great problem with the WLAN-comnection: it takes you 30 to 60 seconds to connect to the camera – and this ist too long for a short view…
    Looking forward to your pictures
    – Michel –

  2. Bag Snobbery | Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] flexible. The leather protectors at the keyring attachments are a bit thick. They might scratch the M10-D‘s black chrome over time, but the top plate of that camera is in brass, so that’s okay. […]

  3. An Experimental Platform | Mostly Black & White Says:

    […] a Visoflex electronic viewfinder on a Leica M10-D seems nonsensical. This is supposed to be a camera that brings you back to basics. But then, how […]

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