Meeting with Leica in Vienna with my 50 Summilux ASPH

Meeting with Leica in Vienna

It’s Sunday July 3rd and here I am in my hotel in Budapest after a 4 hour drive on the tour bus from Vienna. While I did not have time to walk around Vienna we did go back to the amazing Westlicht camera, the most incredible camera shop, used shop, museum and gallery I have ever seen in one spot.

If you have not ever been to Westlicht camera I HIGHLY recommend it for all Leica fans. Peter who runs and owns Westlicht is super passionate and has extensive knowledge of everything Leica. In fact he let us see and touch the Leica camera that just sold recently at Auction for 1.3 Million…amazing!

Seal giving the 1.3 million Leica a kiss

Seal picked up some goodies at Westlicht but I couldn’t let him have ALL the fun. As you guys know, I have been shooting my Noctilux 0.95 but the weight does start to get to you day in and day out so I managed to pick up a 50 Summilux ASPH to use as my daily #1 lens. I have owned this lens several times but could not pass up the opportunity to get one since there is a 9-12 month wait to order one these days.

As with all of you, anytime I get a new lens, even if I have owned it before, I want to use it immediately so I put away the Nocti for a while and used the Lux as my lens cap 🙂 All images in THIS post were shot with the 50 Summilux ASPH.

While at Westlicht Camera I was able to Meet Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, head honcho at Leica camera. Was so cool to meet him as well as all of the others I have been in contact with for the past two years.

The man himself, Dr. Andreas Kaufmann

Steffen Keil with Seal, probably the coolest guy at Leica who has some GREAT ideas for their future. Cool shirt huh?

We had lunch while there and check out this lovely M3…it was AMAZING and would have bought it on the spot if it were for sale. I love the look of well worn Leica black paint cameras. In person it was a true  thing of beauty. Being at Westlicht was like being a kid in a candy store, for me and Seal both. Look at the rendering of the magical 50 Summilux when wide open. Click image for larger version.

Riding up the elevator to the 2nd floor..ISO 1600, no NR

saw this woman  in the gallery and looked like a good shot…

Here is the girl who was in charge of the Polaroid store. In case you didnt know, Westlicht is home of the IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT. Some of the Polaroids in the gallery were some of the best photographs I have ever seen in my life. Made me want to buy a Polaroid and some of their new black frame film. It was amazing.

We spent a few hours at Westlicht and had to then head to the venue for the show at the Opera House, which was BEAUTIFUL! I decided to shoot the entire show with the Summilux to see how it compared to the Nocti in this setting. I was NOT disappointed. I’m only posting a few here and if you want to see them all you can do so at

Enjoy the latest shots! I will be posting more articles tomorrow and getting to all of my e-mail as I have a day off in Croatia. Looking forward to a day of relaxation and getting caught up! I am also looking forward to Paris where I will have a day off and I plan on doing some street shooting, which has been something I have always wanted to do ever since I have seen the work of Yanidel. Until next time!


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  1. Great job as always, specially concert picture of Seal. Very interesting to see the 1.3 million Leica in the hand of someone so we can have an idea of the size.

  2. Hi Steve,

    Did you buy the silver 50 mm? In previous articles on your site you mentioned liking the silver lens better than the black version. Or did you buy the black lens, which will look very smart on your black M9-P? Because of your article I decided to bite the bullet and order the black lens. I do always buy my Leica lenses 2nd hand, but this one is impossible to find 2nd hand. And if you do find one, they are always more expensive than a new one from the factory. While waiting on this lens I keep myself busy with my Summilux 35 asph.

    Kind regards,


  3. Another thread in this wonderful series.

    A smallish art Book would be perfect.

    Would have liked a bit more on the Poloroid story, otherwise perfect.

    Congrats on the Lux, now my 2nd favorite M mount 50mm (the 1.2 is now it). The Cron is my 3rd favorite M mt. 50, with the .95 Noct in 4th – beauties all.

    My 2 cents, worth what you paid for it …

  4. Echoing other I know but the blue/black silhouette of Seal is fantastic, right up there with the grainy B&W silhouette shot.

  5. Steve
    would like to see some photos you made in Hungary on the concert, since I was there as a Seal fan and I realized you were also there with your Leica on your neck. Like your blog, Seal and Leicas… thanks, Peter

  6. Ah Steve, you should have picked up a nice SX-70 and some Impossible film! They’ve come a long long way in the last 2+ years and even though color film has been a bumpy ride, it’s looking really good these days. Not the crisp saturated look of the original polaroids but it has it’s own soft warm look that I like. As we go further down the digital road, I’m starting to enjoy shooting Polaroids more when shooting analog. There’s a nice gap between the two that not only gives a great contrast in shooting experience but a great feeling when looking at the final products too.

  7. Steve

    I see your tour is coming to Cascais in Portugal. If you need anything while you’re here, let me know. All the good tickets for that show have gone 🙁

  8. Steve, perhaps you should have bought a few extra 50 lux lenses to sell to those of us who have been waiting forever to get ours.

  9. Hi Steve!

    i must send this e-mail to you.
    your photo from seal with the # L9995064
    is the best picture i have ever seen. this is magic of photography! i think this is you picture of the year 2011.

    thank you for this magic moment of photography!!!

    kind regards from the near of vienna

  10. Awesome purchase on the lux. But please, enough good press about the 50 lux. Have been waiting since December 2010 for one. With these photos your just going to make it harder to get one. Guess I am going to have to fly to Vienna to get one. Thanks for all your hard work and reviews. Photos on this tour just keep getting better and better.

  11. I read your site every day for inspiration Steve and although it will be many years before I can afford a Leica, due to recently getting married and working in the non-profit world, I truly appreciate your work.

    I had to post today because those pictures are subliminal. I can feel your passion in the frames.

  12. Very inspirational and yes my favourite was the blue outlined Seal, simply breathtaking.
    I also thought that found the rendering on the Summilux was my preference and so much lighter to carry around as well .
    Enjoy Paris Steve

  13. I actually think I prefer the rendering of the Summilux to the Noctilux. The photos just seem to have more ‘life’ to them. Hard to explain.

    Steve – what was your ‘hit rate’ like compared to the Noctilux? Did you get any more due to the greater depth of field, or any less due to the higher ISO or shutter speeds required?

    Oh, and I’d definitely recommend the Impossible Project film – I’ve got an SX-70, and love the photos it produces. Flaws and all. Lots of flaws… but lots of feeling too.

  14. I’ve been watching this site for a while, but I feel the need to comment right now – your pictures (especially from the last concert in Vienna) are absolutely stunning. That is a real masterpiece!

  15. There he goes again with his camera porn. 😉 if there’s one lens I’m craving is the summilux asph. My pre-Asph is lovely, the sharpness of the Asph is amazing. Enjoy Steve!

  16. I see Seal picked up the M3-P by the looks of it? So many cameras and not enough money sigh… Great Photos Steve!

  17. Thanks for sharing! Wonderful images, as always, and a nice story to match. Wien, a.k.a. Vienna, has been a goal of mine, and now I have another reason to visit: Westlicht!

    Congratulations on acquiring the 50mm Summilux!. Down here in Texas, yesterday, I traded an older DSLR and three older lenses to score a Canon 35mm 1.4L, and while it is no Summilux, we are sharing the joys of fast 1.4 glass, for our respective systems. (I will sell more non-photo stuff to help pay the AMEX bill, but I reckon sacrifice will make me appreciate the 35 L more.)

    Be safe over there in Europe!

  18. You are definitely developing as a photographer, Steve.

    I second the motion to sell those t-shirts through your site.

  19. Wow image ID ending in 5064, the 11th, the one of SEAL in silhouette of blue – could be perfect album cover. This lens is meant to be yours! Congrats. Jaon

  20. Agree that the blue silhouette of the amazing Seal (long time fan) is simply one of your best shots. Love it.

  21. Great! Great! Great captures!!! Amazing Steve ! For a Great! Great! Great! Seal!!!

  22. Very nice photos, Steve … makes me want to go back to Vienna. I should use my 50 lux more.
    Perhaps you could get some of those shirts that Steffen Keil is wearing and sell them via your sight

  23. Steve, you recent pictures have been FANTASTIC! The blue silhouette of Seal in this post, and the picutre of Seal with a flare corona around him are both simply breathtaking!

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