An M for every occasion By Cris Rose

An M for every occasion

By Cris Rose

Hi Brandon, Steve,

They say the best camera, is the one you have with you – thats the most important rule I offer to anyone that asks me about photography, and one that lead me to the Leica M. I was probably around 15 when I first saw a Leica, silver and black with a simple form and intricate dials. I had no idea how much they cost, but it looked amazing and clearly made an impression on me. The decade or so afterwards saw a wide range of cameras in my hands, from compact APS, to IXUS digitals, through to my first digital SLR in University. I learned a lot from that Canon 300D and soon moved to a 20D and the well-loved EF 50mm f1.8, the “nifty fifty”. That setup got a lot of use and I learned a lot about photography with it. Then a few years ago, when I stumbled upon your site, I was reminded of that Leica again. The shots from Leica Ms were amazing. I’d picked up a 60D by then, and while it was great, I’d never quite taken to the SLR style of use and I found the digital files cold and clinical. I’d also found the camera and lenses so large, that I never took them out places with me. I was taking my Lomo LCa everywhere instead and while I was really enjoying the look of film in comparison to my Canon, my Lomo was no Leica and the results showed. I followed your blog, and lamented on Twitter, one day, that Leicas were so beautiful, but that I’d never afford to own one. Certainly not your M9.

Then suddenly, I found myself with an M2. An online friend hadn’t used it for years and offered it to me if i put it to good use. I was overjoyed, to say the least. The style of shooting with the M2 was the breath of fresh air I needed, I took to it immediately. It wasn’t long before I realised the Leica bug had bit me, I’d saved up for 9 months, sold my 60D, and bought a used M8. If the best camera is the one you have with you, then my M8 was the best camera I’d owned. I took it everywhere. Today, I find myself, once again, amazed, as I have an M9 that came to me through equally unlikely circumstances, and a solid set of Voigtlander, Zeiss and Leica lenses to use on it. If I arrange to go somewhere, specifically to take photos, I take both digitals, a film M and 4 lenses, all of which fit easily in a very small shoulder bag. But even if I’m just popping to the shops, I take my M9. I never leave the house without it. I like to keep it by my side, strapped to my wrist, ready to shoot. It really is a camera for all occasions and subjects. A landscape, a street scene, a portrait or pet, the flexibility of the M system is fantastic, the quality of the M9 continues to amaze me and the shear compactness of the form it all comes in, means it can always be with me. Every shot here is a result of random encounters.

The M system may not be the newest, or most advanced, but for me, the M9 is my ideal camera.

Contact details:

My photo portfolio can be found at, my photoblog at My Flickr is and my twitter is @crisr. I also have a Tumblr at if that’s not already enough places to find my photos

Thanks for such a great, inspirational site. I can squarely blame you for my M2/6/8/9 ownership and probably many more Ms to come.

Cris Rose

0163: M9 + CV 50/1.1 Nokton

Midnight Cycle

0587: M9 + ZM 25/2.8 Biogon

Fly By

0799: M9 + ZM 50/2 Planar

Watching The Chef

0808: M9 + ZM 50/2 Planar


0935: M9 + ZM 25/2.8 Biogon


0328: M8 + CV 50/1.1 Nokton


0463: M9 + CV 50/1.1 Nokton


1524: M9 + ZM 50/2 Planar


2825: M8 + CV 35/1.4 Nokton Classic


5713: M8 + ZM 50/2 Planar


5846: M8 + CV 50/1.1 Nokton


6336: M8 + ZM 50/2 Planar


6464: M8 + ZM 50/2 Planar


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  1. Love the first image (cyclist), outstanding composition and use of light, shadow and selective focus.

  2. You have definitely found the right tool for yourself, Cris! Love the imagery you are creating now that you have the tools that make your vision show through!!!

  3. Tones are great. However the Voigtlander shots leaves nothing to be desired. You’re struggling with focus and DOF it seems or maybe you just have bad copies. Though I have to admit, I’m partial to ZMs having owned a Planar and Biogon which would go toe-to-toe with the same focal length cron ASPH I also had.

  4. Fabulous photos thank you for sharing them
    I love the m9 it’s still the best leica in my opinion the photos are very organic and natural looking
    Almost filmic

  5. Your photos conveys how passionate you are with your work. Exceptional black and white photos.

  6. Chris,
    Your photos speak for themselves. They definitely prove the harmony between yourself and your gear. You write that your system is not the latest one. It does not have to be. M9 is an exceptional camera its quality will still remain unsurpassed for years to come. As far as the M2 is concerned, it is the kind of those old workhorses. If you master it and you do not feel the need of a built in exposure meter, does not have to offer so much over the latest film Leicas.
    Keep on going.
    Best regards,
    Dimitris V. Georgopoulos
    Photographer at Large
    Athens, Greece

  7. These are all so good, my favourite being the cyclist, blonde kid and horses.
    Can you give us a little info on your B&W process?

    I fully agree with the sentiment. The best camera is the one you cannot put down, nor leave the house without. Whatever that may be.

    Best regards

  8. This could have been a post about a P&S camera…..completely irrelevant! The passion is what made this post so compelling…..thank you for the words and pics. I like the third one a lot.

    Best regards,

  9. its infectious when you hear someone speak so passionately about the tools that help them create their artistry. Thanks for sharing your love of the camera and your images.

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