Daily Inspiration #136 by Adam G.

Here it is in #136! The magic of the M9 and Noctilux…enjoy these superb street shots by Adam Goldberg…stunning!

Hi Steve —

Your contagious enthusiasm for Leica and rangefinder cameras inspired me to look at an M9. I’m currently traveling through China with an M9 / Noctilux f/0.95 combination forcing me to take my time with each exposure, carefully thinking about composition, depth of field, lighting, and the other components my 5d Mark II does automatically. I just wanted to share some of my first photos of Shanghai with this new combination. I’ve found that with the rangefinder, the reaction from subjects is completely different: I never realized how intimidating an SLR can be until seeing first hand the genuine reactions of people when presented with this camera. It’s as if the M9 is camouflage.

Not sure if any of these would be suitable for your daily inspiration, but nevertheless, here are some of my favorite shots and I hope you enjoy them as much as I had fun taking them.




  1. Adam, what amazing shots. THe first one deserves a large print and frame…speaking of which, if you have any interest, just PM me. Lovely work!

  2. @Susan: I didn’t use an ND filter but shooting in RAW with ISO 160 let me tweak the exposure afterwards.

    @Kah Hoe Wan: You’re definitely right. But be it a psychological self-fulfilling prophecy or not, I genuinely get the impression of being less intimidating with what appears to be an older, smaller, quieter camera when compared to an SLR.

    • Great shots Adam and I have to agree with the ‘intimidation factor’ of an SLR. I also shoot Canon EOS for work as well as pleasure but people definitely react totally differently to my little Leica and and 40mm! Mind you, the guy in the first pic looks like he’s making a gun gesture at you…lol

  3. “I never realized how intimidating an SLR can be until seeing first hand the genuine reactions of people when presented with this camera. It’s as if the M9 is camouflage.”

    It doesn’t matter what the type of camera is. It is in the photographers power to capture what he in visions.

  4. Fantastic shots…do you use an ND filter when shooting wide open in daylight? If so, which one? I really love the look of these-especially the second one with the man, dog and scooter and the cityscape!

  5. Thanks guys! I’m used to traveling with a Canon EOS 5d MII and 50mm f/1.2, so the switch to the M9 / f/0.95 was a breath of fresh air! It really wasn’t too bad in terms of weight.

    • Great photos, fresh. The first one is a classic. Adam, let me know if you pass through Beijing, would be neat to chat about rangefinders etc. There are some good neighbourhoods for street photography here. hletterbox@fastmail.fm

  6. Noctilux on an M9 is actually pretty easy to use in the street. Yes it seems heavy compared to just a summilux or summicron but focussing is easier than you think. I’ve got an f/1.0 and i always leave if set to 10ft when walking around. From there, it’s only minor movements to get to the needed focus when the time arrives. And i shoot mainly at f/1.0. The larger ‘throw’ of the lens actually helps precise focusing. On the smaller lenses, i seem to overshoot the focus sweet spot but as the noctilux is slower to focus, you stop right on the sweet spot. It does require some familiarity with the lens but it’s damn fun.

  7. Beautiful!

    What’s it like traveling with a Noctilux .95? It seems HUGE! Is it one of those things that gets smaller with time as you get used to it? Or are you always aware of it? Is it your main lens or do you swap around a bit?

  8. its that damn 0.95
    It takes pictures like an f2 tele but its a 50. why does leica have to play with .05 f …

    Adam is treating it well too.
    somehow the city-scape looks like its from a ultra wide ??
    or is there a curved glass in-front of the camera?

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