Daily Inspiration #172 by Andrea Diener

Hi Steve,

I have been following your blog for a year now. Back then I have been googeling for some information on the Leica M9 when I found your site. Then I spent some months on a waiting list (I live only 70 Kilometers from Solms, but that doesn’t help a bit), working hard as a freelance journalist and saving up money. You know how it is when you want something badly but unfortunately you are not rich. During that time your blog was really helpful in regards of lens choice and general reassurance that ruining myself financially is the right thing to do ๐Ÿ™‚

In February I got my M9 and now I take it everywhere: To work, to parties, shopping, on vacations. (I convince myself the more photos I take, the cheaper each photo becomes. This thing has to pay itself off.) And bad weather is no excuse for leaving the camera at home. In fact, wet cobblestones and colourful umbrellas often make nice photo opportunities.

So I send you three examples of bad weather in Europe, taken with cold wet hands and a camera that has so far survived everything from summer heat to hard rain. (Snow has yet to be tested this winter.) I hope you like them. No.1 was taken in Frankfurt, my hometown, with a Voigtlรคnder Nokton 35/1.2. No. 2 in Brescia, Italy, with my old Summilux 50 pre-asph. and No. 3 in Mantua, Italy, with the Voigtlรคnder Nokton again. (Yes, I love Italy.)

You find my flickr here:


and my photoblog here:


Keep on blogging and shooting! Thank you for what you do!



  1. Congrats on knowing how to enjoy life and doing the things you enjoy. I’m sure it was a tough decision, but you never know when your time has come, and if you are capable of fulfilling a dream, I say go for it!

    Love your photographs too, well captured of the mood and you can almost feel the chill.

  2. Nice photos Andrea! Glad you are enjoying and getting good use of the M9. Followed the link to the Flickr site, and I’m enjoying your photos. Keep up the good photos!

  3. Andrea, I just went out and snapped some snow pictures with no protection and quite a bit of snow coming down. That is rain, dust, beach and now snow… tick ๐Ÿ™‚ with a still resounding and reassuring… “click” still going strong ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad to hear the M9 is giving you good, hardy service.

  4. Really great Daily Inspiration! Stunning images, well captured! I honestly think if you have a bond with your camera and take if everywhere with you, the extra love and commitment translates in the photographs as well as the reward of extra unforeseen opportunities that present themselves!

    • You’re all really encouraging, thank you.

      I think you are right, it’s not about brands, it’s about what tool is made for you and you like to use. My Dslr might be more versatile and practical, but I just can’t bring myself to carry it around. So it is actually useless for me and not practical at all.

  5. Great shots, and the rain/umbrella thing makes for a recognizable theme, common to all three images. Really creative work!

  6. Andrea,

    My favorite is also the second one, and I really like so many shots on your flickr (concert, train, street…)!

  7. “if you have the cash then why not?”

    Yes, absolutely. My point is that I’m frequently baffled precisely because it’s hard to believe that so many people just “have the cash”, as in “spare cash”. As Andrea said, she was “working hard as a freelance journalist and saving up money.” That doesn’t sound to me like she just had a bunch of spare cash under her mattress. Now I’m not making a judgment call – if you want to save up for something you really desire, and sacrifice other stuff in the process, hey, more power to you. I’m just amazed at people’s priorities I guess ๐Ÿ™‚ Personally, do I think these are great pics? Absolutely. Do I see $9000 worth of difference in the pics? No.

    Andrea: yes, that baffles me too ๐Ÿ™‚ hope you’re enjoying your M9, in the end that’s all that matters.

    • Can I add my 2cents here about the notion of ‘spare cash’? My question is, why are you baffled? Obviously, the amount of money in a one-lens M9 combo is insane, let alone in these 2-5 lens sets that I keep reading about. I mean come on. 10K+ in photo gear. Seriously. I own an M9 and the 50mm Lux since August and it has transformed my approach to photography quite a bit. More importantly, I am having so much fun working with it. So. People ask me ‘Is it worth it’? If you are looking for a return on investment (or shall I say Equity, or Assets, for that matter) then probably not. Was it worth it because I rediscovered an old love (as in, photography), then definitely yes. I had toyed with the idea of getting an M9 for about a year before I finally concluded that I really wanted it. Full disclosure: Yes, I am lucky enough to be in a position to essentially just go out and buy it but there is nothing wrong with that, is there?

      • Mark: Nothing wrong with just going out and buying it. I could easily afford it and buy one today. Does that mean it’s a good spend? That depends on your priorities, obviously, and for me the answer is “no”. I’d rather spend 1/10th of that and put the other 9/10th into a savings account for my children or invest it with an actual ROI somewhere. And my photographs would still come out more than acceptable. But that’s just me, and obviously everybody has their own preferences. If it made you rediscover your old love, and that old love is worth that kind of expense to you, then good! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Lovely pictures! But once again I find myself baffled as to why somebody would want to spend $10,000 on gear… you could easily take the same pics with a Panasonic GF1 +20mm f/1.7, and in blind tests hardly anybody would be able to tell which camera was used. Not hating on Leicas, I’m just genuinely surprised about how many people decide to spend 10 grand… But hey, personal preference I guess ๐Ÿ™‚

    • If you have the cash then why not? It’s not only about the image but also about the experience of getting the image. Shooting an M9 is MUCH different than shooting a GF1 and is much more enjoyable. ALso, #2 would not have been able to be captured with that mood and look with a GF1 and 20. Not even close actually.

    • Thanks, Jay!
      I am always baffled as to what people spend on cars just to get from A to B. Or a new kitchen. Or designer wear. Or the newest gadgets. Or a horse. Different priorities, I guess โ€“ I own or buy none of the above, but I have looked for the perfect digital camera for a long time. That’s all.

  9. The second one does it for me. Love the colour! That camera is ridiculously good but you have to know how to use it and you clearly do. Well done.

  10. Thanks for sharing Andrea! I love the color rendition on the second photo and the look on the subject’s face. On another note – were you able to save enough to pay up the full amount of the M9 ?


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