First of all, I love your site. I love your reviews and your. You give me inspiration. I am a photographer in the Netherlands and I have to admit, I am (was) a Canon man. I have shot with my 5D MK2 for years and it is like second nature to me. I don’t have to think, I can hear by the sound of my camera if I set it up correctly in any situation. But Leica was something I have been longing for. There is something special with this brand, something mysterious and Leica photos have something. Difficult to describe what it is.
So, I got myself a M8. Off course, like everybody who wants a Leica, the M9 is the sum mum, but also like many others the budget is the limitation. I have to be honest. The first time I had my M8 in my hands I was like a little boy who got something he dreamed of for a long time, but thought it would never be something he could ever have. I bought it because I do a lot of street photography, especially in third world countries and I wanted to have some smaller equipment.
I loved the size, the feel and the beautiful small lenses. And then I started using it.
For a 10MP camera the pictures have a great sharpness. They have beautiful bokeh, you can make great shots with this camera. I found out that people think you have an old (silly) camera and don’t ask you all the time “What are you going to do with that picture”. Really nice. But it was difficult. I really had to get used to this camera. I had to think about everything again. For example the manual focus, I used the whole swing of the lens to go up and down and checked the focus three times by turning it into focus, out of focus and back again. I had to think about exposure and diaphragms. I did this on my 5D, but there it was like a second nature and with the M8 I had no automatism at all.
So it was love and hate and the Canon and the Leica where used side by side. The Canon was my working horse, the Leica was for love. But the strange thing is, though when I really had to trust myself with my camera I took the Canon, the Leica never left my side and I started to use it more and more.
Now I am at a point that the Canon stays home. My M8 is my companion. I trust myself with this new friend. And he is becoming more and more of a friend.
At first I thought that you could only take good photo’s with a Leica if you had plenty of time. Now I look further ahead, think more in advance, set up my camera in advance, use my depth of focus strategic and I even think that I am faster now.
So, if anyone is asking what it is to step into Leica? Just tell them it is a hustle at first, but once you get it, you will not go back.
The pictures I sent along are from my trip to Bangladesh. I had to do a shoot in Dhaka. I had both camera’s with me to Bangladesh, but this was the first shoot I was confident enough to leave my Canon in my apartment. The first time I had to rely on my M8 without any escape. I taped down all the Leica indications and just went for it. And never went back. All the photos are shot with my M8 and 28mm Biogon.