Daily Inspiration #155 by Enrico Gutierrez


I hate your site!

Because of your site I am lusting for a Leica M9 or a Leica X1.

Because of your site I am now trying to shoot my Nikon D90 and my Panasonic LX3 rangefinder style. Meaning I turned off the annoying beeping AF sounds as well as the LCD at the back of the camera and am now focusing manually.

Because of your site, I sold all my Nikon zoom lenses and have focused in Nikon Primes. I currently have a 24mm 2.8 (36mm equivalent), 35mm 1.8 (52.5mm equivalent), 50mm 1.8 (75mm equivalent) and 85mm 1.8 (127mm equivalent).

I wish I could afford an M9 or an X1. But being from the Philippines, multiply the current prices of an M9 which is almost $7,000(USD) by P43(PHP) and you get the picture : (

Two years ago I was excited to discover that a Leica D-Lux 4 was similarly made by Panasonic. Since I was saving to upgrade my Nikon D70 to the D90 I was again short for the elusive Leica brand. So I settled with the Panasonic LX3(after all it is “like a” Leica : ).

After discovering this site last year I am once again haunted by the Leica brand. Like everyone else here…I long to shoot with just one camera and two lenses…heck I will even settle for one… the 35mm Summarit. I do shoot professionally on occasion, mainly still life and portraiture. I am an AD man by trade. Lately, I am focusing more on my photography. I love street shooting which is probably why I am lusting for a Leica M9 or M8.2 or an X1.

While I don’t have the budget for the X1 I will try to shoot RF style with the gear that I do have. Recently, I bought an external VF for my LX3, a 25mm Voitlander and it has helped me compose well. Below are some shots I took(recently) with just the LX3 while on my honeymoon in Macau and HongKong.

I challenged myself to just shoot wide open at F2 at 24mm. As usual, the LCD was off as well as playback(after each shot). I will shoot for the day and review my shots at night. I guess in a way I was simulating shooting with film on a Leica RF.

BELOW, Title: On a gloomy day ( It rained on our first day in Macau)

This shot was a happy accident. I just wanted to get a shot of the moody rain with the bridge and some buildings on the horizon, when this man walked in my frame. Details: ISO 80, F2.0 24mm, Aperture priority, Panasonic LX3. Shot in color, processed in Photoshop and Silver Effects pro.

BELOW, Title: Waiting for the bus. (Hong Kong, Kowloon side)

My wife was shopping and I was bored. So I stood in front of this street and liked the perspective lines of the words “Bus Lane.” This is what I mean by focusing on composition. When looking through an external VF all that’s left is how to compose a scene. I enjoy this kind of shooting.

Details: ISO 80, F2.0 24mm, Aperture priority, Panasonic LX3. Shot in color, processed in Photoshop and Silver Effects pro.

BELOW, Title: Venetian Macau

Again, waiting for my wife while she shopped. This was at night so they turned down the lights to simulate evening light. There was a small spotlight at camera left and it gave interesting shadows on the people walking by. I like the way the LX3 handles lowlight. There wasn’t much post processing done here except convert to B&W using silver effects pro. I was surprised at the 3D or hdr(ish) effect of this scene. Tip always shoot in RAW and in Color. I like the option of converting to b&w later.

Details: ISO 400, F2.0 24mm, aperture priority, Panasonic LX3.


  1. Great article Kabayan! Nice shots too. Like you, I’ve been using my 5Dmk2 rangefinder style, replaced my zoom lenses with prime ones, and also I’ve been using a couple of P&S’s (LX3, G10 and EP-1). So far I am happy with the output from my cameras. However, there is still a feeling that something is lacking. Somehow I still feel that I have not yet felt the complete photographic experience. Im sure a lot of people here will say no but will a Leica fill that missing feeling? The will is strong but the wallet is weak.

  2. Enrico, since you like b&w – like myself – why don´t you buy something like a Zorki 1 for about 50$ with a nice collapsible 50mm Industar 22 on. Load it with b&w film and have the results processed and printed in traditional silver gelatine. Shoot it alongside your LX3 and you will be amazed about the outturn. Alas, i´d whish, I could keep my gear that simple 🙂

    • Hear, hear! I would second Dieter’s excellent suggestion!
      ‘…something like a Zorki 1′, would be a Kiev 4 – even cheaper than the Zorki and still excellent. The Kiev 4 is the camera with which I learned photography. The Zorki is a copy of a Contax 3 rangefinder camera – which was claimed by Contax to be a better camera than its rival, the Leica 3. Believe me Enrico, this little beast (the Kiev 4) is very capable of taking Leica-like photographs. It is a very rugged camera too – looking as if it were manufactured from melted down Russian helicopter gunships… which it probably was. But seriously, you could buy one of these incredible rangefinder cameras for less than the price of a genuine Leica lens cap and be Cartier-Bressing on the streets of Hong Kong in no time! Of course, the Kiev and Zorki don’t have the prestige of a Leica, but what the camera lacks in prestige, it largely makes up in street cred’ ! 🙂

  3. I think it sad that so many amateur photographers should hanker after after equipment that they can not possibly afford and probably do not need. I am not a professional photographer, but it seems to me that so often amateur photographers crave great equipment, whilst professional photographers crave great pictures. Once, many years ago when I was an art student, I was hitch-hiking and a truck driver picked me up. Our conversation turned to photography – a mutual passion. At some point, the driver asked me: ‘…so, if I bought the Nikon, do you think my photography would improve?’ (it should be noted, that this was during the early 80’s and Nikon basically only made very expensive reflex cameras… ) My reply was this: ‘If you bought a Rolls-Royce, would your driving improve? ‘ He got the point!
    Enrico, judging from these 3 pictures reproduced here, you really, really do not need a Leica camera – you are doing just fine. I have never had the opportunity to use a Nikon D90, but I have read only good reports of this camera. In the Nikon D90, you have everything you need to take great pictures. Isn’t it the camera – the tool – that makes the photograph, but the eye and heart of the photographer that creates the picture…?

    • While I do agree with you about most of what you say, I disagree about why so many amateurs want expensive equipment. In the film days I used a Nikon F-401. When I went digital I started out with a D70, but after a few years got me a D300 since I wanted to be able to meter with my older MF Nikons. After a few years in the digital world I have reached a point were I feel that my DSLR is too heavy and I don’t like to use it at more private settings (too big). The lenses are too big and I don’t want or need AF-S, VR or whatever it is they add. Maybe that’s why I prefer the older AI-S?

      I’ve had quite a few P&S but except for the Panasonic LX3 I was never satisfied with the output. It may definitely be my own fault, but I have more misses with my P&S than my DSLR. I shoot a lot of nature and landscapes, and leaves always looks a little more washed out with a P&S than my D300.

      Anyway, last year I bougt a GF1. I’m very satisfied with. I feel that the results are almost as good as the D300. I do miss an optic viewfinder on it and can’t really use the LCD in bright daylight. Except for this, I love it. Now, why do I also want a M8/8.2/9? It’s nothing rationally behind it. I don’t need it. I’m not a pro, but I believe a pro would prefer a DSLR. Maybe it’s just the feeling of it. Maybe it’s like driving a Harley. Something classic. More fun to use. Don’t know, but I feel very much the same way as Enrico.

      – iau

    • I have recently shot a few (quite good) paying jobs on a mostly broken, held together with gaffer tape Mamiya RB67 and really rough looking 90mm lens. Camera doesn’t matter at the end of the day. If you have the right light and composition, camera is irrelevant.
      A lot of my armchair photographer friends talk about how i should buy a Phase One/Mamiya digi setup and while that would be awesome to have, it’s not going to get me higher paying jobs and it’s certainly not going to make me a better photographer. In fact, if anything it will probably over complicate my workflow and frustrate me. Not to mention the price (AU $60,000+)
      a sample from my poor Mamiya RB67:

      I worked for Canon Australia for 3 years and saw heaps of photographers who were constantly upgrading to the latest “pro” gear but all that was changing was their bank balance (or credit card in most cases)

      As for your images, Enrico – i love the third one. I love this style! 🙂

  4. Great shots… especiallly NO. 3 there is agreat 3D feel there like you said.

    Some excellent work whilst waiting for your wife, but if you want to save up for a Leica, maybe you shouldn’t let her shop so much lol 🙂

  5. While you’re waiting for an M8, you might try a classic Yashica Electro 35 or Olympus XA. Both nice rangefinder film cameras for not much money.

  6. Enrico, That third shot is my favorite. Love that magic glow!
    I wish you success, and the Leica of your dreams – Soon!

  7. Hi Enrico,
    I have the LX3 and it is a fabulous camera. Nowadays it doesn’t see much service as I am always with the Olympus EP1 with the Panny 20/1.7. Nice pictures, keep up the good work.

    I can teach you one more trick that makes your LX3 raw files appear as Leica D-Lux 4 files under Capture One. You get different colors than the default ones (maybe Leica-like).

    1. Download: exiftool.exe (it is a free PERL tool) and move it to a folder
    2. Place your LX3 raw files in the same folder
    3. Open a command prompt window and navigate to that folder (I am guessing that you are using windows)
    4. Run this command: exiftool.exe -make=”LEICA” -model=”D-LUX 4″ *.rw2

    You will have a backup set of files created. Your RAW files will now open under Capture One and you can now access the fantastic Leica profiles.


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