A man and his new Leica X2 by Lasse Jorgensen

Hello Steve and Hello everybody!

Shortly about my self.

46 years, Male, Danish, use to be pressphotographer from 1985 – 2005. Lost my inspiration, my energy and my “photoway” of thinking. So I gave up and played some bass guitar instead. But I did not sell all my cameras, so on hollidays I took pictures like you do on hollidays. I still have a Nikon D200 and a 17 – 55 mm.

I have had all the professional Nikon cameras, often three or four at the same time. All the good lenses – incl. the brilliant 300mm f 2,8 😉 The manuel one. AND I had the Leica M6 with some good lenses. I sold everything for digital Nikon system – and then – I gave it all up.

The past three – four years I have taking almost no pictures. Except with my iPhone. I had it always by my side. So I though that if I should have the inspiration back, I had to find a small camera with high quality that I could have on me all the time. I was thinking of my Leica M6 and the way I took pictures when I had that camera in my hand. I was more focussed and more creative than with my Nikon. Don´t ask why. Do anyone have an answer to that ?

I researched around the web and found the Leica X2 test on this site. So here I am. With a black beaty in my hand. Included the electronic viewfinder.

The X2 give me what I need. When I take it in my hand I feel we are a team. I use it fully automatic, and fully manuel – I only take black and white – I expose the pictures in BW and I run them thrue Photoshop and Silver Efex Pro 2. (I do not have the money for a Monochrome. Let´s see if there´s a M10 soon.)

Thanks for the X2 test and thanks for all the stories from around the world. You have all giving me a lot of energy and inspiration back

The chosen photos are all taking when I was on tour.or just down town.

All the best

Lasse Jorgensen




  1. Hej Lasse. Have only just seen this. I really like your B&W work. Just shows also the sheer quality of a Leica lens. My only reservation is your close-ups of people with 35mm: that bulbous nose syndrome shows. I’d be happy doing three-quarter length and cropping afterwards if you’re not going to be doing mega enlargements. Plenty of sharpness left with that lens! – John (also Denmark).

  2. Hola Lasse,

    I think I understand how you feel after years of pro photographer. I have been pro editorial photographer since 1993 and now I’m a bit like you. In 2010 I bought the X1 after having the Canon G10. This X1 was so good with it’s sensor and lens. Yes, a bit slow. I sold it three months after to go for the M9. I thought I did not want to wait until I’m 70 to shoot with Leica M.
    But reportage and portrait in magazines in Spain have go down A LOT, so I do not shoot as often (daily) I used to. And also going most of the time with my four year old son and now a newborn, I feel I do not have the time needed to concentrate on a full manual camera like M9 (which I love). Therefore, I am selling the M9 to buy a X2 and maybe move from Canon 5DMkII to MarkIII.

    X2 may not be the fastest and only has a 36mm but it’s so sharp with it’s lens and the the sensor Is amazing. After shooting with my iPhone 4 for two years as my compact everyday camera (you can see my Tumblr blog here below) I think it’s time to enjoy children and photography with a Leica X2.

    In the future I might go for a future Leica M.. Or who knows what other camera, as the market is improving a lot lately and releasing very interesting options.

    You can find M9 and X2 photos in my Flickr.



  3. Although it is dissed on this site, another contender in group is the Canon G1X. It is slightly larger than a G12 but has a nearly ASP-C size sensor comparable to the X100 and Leica X and good IQ. When shut down everything is there but nothing protrudes and is easily carried in a pocket. The other advantages are a very sharp zoom and an articulating screen, which I find useful for shots from different perspectives and for shooting without bothering others. Unfortunately, it is sloooow. The lens has a slow aperture (but about the same as most competitors), is slow to focus, and the frame rate is terrible. I have found it not useable for shooting anything in motion.

  4. Does the X2 have the Leica X1 “pop” 3D effect? Or did it lose it? What did the new firmware do?

    Ignoring speed of AF, which one offers better IQ? Skin tones?

    • Well…I feel the X1 may have better overall color and IQ. Just read the reviews of the X1 and X2 and go from there. The X2 is almost like an X1, just a bit faster.

  5. Love the images, I have a question…
    I can’t afford an M9pnwhich is what I want, But I am looking at an X2 or possibly a Fuji X-Pro-1. At the moment I have top spec Canon DSLR kit and a Leica D-Lux-5, the image quality ofthe D-Lux is amazing. The lack of a permanant view finder on the Leica, I find is a terrible and very basic mistake. You can’t use the back display in anything but the dimmest light. And if you have the EVF attached you can’t use the accessory shoe, or put the camera in a case/bag.


    Purely on Image quality what is the best camera ?

    (As the D-Lux is the only one I have experience with, if anyone has experience with all three a ref to the D-Lux would be helpful) many thanks

    • (..Puts on doctor’s hat..) ..What’s the matter with the Canon? Too noisy? ..Too big? ..or what?

      The sensor in the D-Lux 5 is smaller than the sensor in your “..top spec Canon DSLR..” so what d’you find in the image quality ofthe D-Lux that’s “amazing” compared with the Canon? D’you mean that the wider aperture of the little D-Lux lets you take better images in low light that the smaller maximum aperture of the Canon kit lens? ..Maybe all you need is a different lens on the Canon. D’you mean that the contrast appears sharper with the D-Lux, or its depth of colour saturation is better? Most differences are just the result of the camera’s built-in software which manipulates the image “as shot”, and then you can further manipulate images any way you want with suitable computer software.

      Maybe you just need to adjust the Canon’s shots in some photo-editing program, and then they’d match, or surpass, the D-Lux images.

      Your Canon has autofocus, and so has the little D-Lux. You may find the X2’s autofocus a little too slow ..you’d need to try one to find out. Ditto the X-Pro 1. The Leica M9 doesn’t have any autofocus at all, of course. And there are no zooms for a Leica M9, so to get what you get with your Canon and a kit zoom (..or with the D-Lux and its zoom..) you’d need to buy SEVERAL M-fit lenses.

      You cannot buy extra lenses for the X2, as it comes with just one fixed lens (..though you might find a wide-angle add-on adaptor). Three separate lenses are available for the X-Pro 1 ..but then again, that means buying three separate lenses to get the versatility of your Canon, or of the D-Lux 5 – which is really a pocket Panasonic with a short-range 24-90mm (equivalent) lens.

      So you’re comparing very different cameras:

      M9 – Great images with full ’35mm frame’ sensor. Takes individual wide aperture single focal length lenses, and no zooms. No autofocus. Slow replay of photos ..very slow, if you zoom into them. Can’t shoot close-ups. Optical viewfinder doesn’t show exactly what the lens sees. CCD sensor doesn’t show image on rear screen before shooting. Not-very-quiet shutter and noisy shutter-wind-on. Versatility, about a quarter of Canon.

      X2 – Great quality images with smaller APS-size sensor, but one fixed lens. No zooms available, nor any other lenses. Slow-ish autofocus (compared with Canon). Optional, pay extra, add-on electronic viewfinder shows what lens sees. Quiet shutter. Versatility, about an eighth of Canon.

      X-Pro 1 – Great quality images from ‘EXR’ (extendable dynamic range) APS-size sensor. Only three separate lenses currently available. Slow-ish autofocus (compared with Canon). Optical and electronic viewfinder. Quiet shutter. Versatility, about a fifth of Canon.

      D-Lux 5 – Fairly good images from teeny sensor. 3.75x wide aperture zoom. Decent autofocus, but not as fast as Canon. Silent shutter. Versatility, about a seventh of Canon.

      Canon DSLR kit – (possibly full frame) but you’re probably writing about an APS-size sensor. Very good images (stunning if you mean a 5DMkII). Enormous range of lenses, both zooms and primes. Fast autofocus (depends on lens). Fast replay. Wide range of features in-camera to set or manipulate images. Noisy shutter and mirror-flap. Versatility, 100%.

      So what, exactly, d’you want that the Canon doesn’t give you..?

  6. Exceptional photos. I use my X1 on occasion, and still amazes me how good the photos are. I’ld take the X2 over the Fuji any day. Your photos prove the Leica lens is superior. Nice work.

  7. Oh Yes! Stunning pictures. Absolutely my cup of tea!

    Keep goin’ on and let us know, if there is a chance to see more of your pictures (maybe a homepage)…

    All the best

  8. Hi Lasse, same situation over here, more then 20 years of work for mostly local newspapers. Big question: how to move on? I think you showed a lot of courage to stop and to try something else. Even I am in a difficult situation concerning my approach to my job, I still love to take pictures. So recently I started to work with a 4x5inch camera and believe me, its so nice to come back to film again. I needed a big change and so far I like it a lot. I hope to find a way to express myself as good as you do with your “new” Leica. Good luck to you, Aldo

  9. Very nice photos Lasse! This is what it is all about: the moment, the people, the good emotions. There is a lot of love and soul in there. These frames made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Show us more. Thanks for making my day!

    Remember: a photographer never stops – he waits 😉

    (Nikon gear for sale: who want’s to buy?)

  10. Hi Lasse,
    amazing shots with high emotions, please do not give up again making photos, your are still inspired !
    Matthias, Germany

  11. Very lovely pictures- make me want to go out of my house with my camera now except that it’s raining heavily.

  12. I fully understand the benefits (and joy) there is with a small handy camera, especially when it comes to holiday and time off, and here you come really far with your new Leica X2.
    Nice narrative pictures, which I will highlight # 7. What’s perhaps the thoughts that lies behind this beautiful portrait, where I could get the urge to say: Tell me more, tell me more…
    I myself am fascinated by the images in B/W, but do you have completely discarded the colors, that (not always) can give an extra dimension to the experience?

    • Hi Jorgen

      Thanks for the fine respons on my pictures. I have not giving up the colors – I am just kind of blown away by Silver Efex Pro 2. That program (plug in to Photoshop) gives me the same feeling as I had many years ago in the darkroom. You can really boost the picture in the contrast and structure in another way than in Photoshop. And then I can make my black frames. I know some people hate them but I like them because I think they finish the photo in a rough way. It´s the same frame that I had on my Leitz Focomat 🙂

  13. I really enjoyed reading yor post and viewing your images! You sure know how to compose a photograph!
    Very beautiful!

  14. Hello, I’m also a press photographer. I started in 1991. I can see from your photos that you haven’t missed a beat! Excellent work from a refined eye! I too have picked up a mirrorless camera and love it so much. I’m hoping to use it for more of my paid work. As better/faster lenses get released, I’ll be able to use it more and more. I too am ‘burned out’ on the press (daily newspaper) work. It’s become more about quantity or even worse, “A warm body with a camera.”

    Excellent work, keep shooting!

  15. Great shots. I dont use the X2 so dont know its capabilities or shooting options. So my question is are these Black & Whites straight from the camera (picture profile) or you processed them later? If so what software you used? Thanks for sharing:)

    • Hi Laura

      Thanks for replying my shots.

      The first days I took pictures in RAW and then made it Black & White in Photoshop Plug In called Silver Efex Pro 2. But the colors in the RAW picture disturbed me. (Because my thinking were B&W)

      I tried different kind of settings, but ended up with straight B&W camera setting, so now I have B&W in my viewfinder and on my SD card. (And in my head) 🙂

      Regarding Silver Efex Pro 2. Take a Trial version for 15 days. If you do that you will find the Plug In in the menu “Filters” in Photoshop. It´s not a complicated program and it has a lot of pre settings that helps you to find the way you wanna go with your picture. And it has 14 lovely frames 🙂

      Best wishes
      Lasse – Denmark

      • Hi Lasse,

        Great portraits, congrats! I’m also a fan of Silver Efex (although I also used Topas B&W Effects). Do (did) you use Silver Efex on your color pictures or on BW too (?!).
        As for straight B&W camera settings, do you use just “Film simulation – Monochrome” or Monochrome with filters (yellow, green, red)?

        Thanks in advance

        • Hi Valerij

          Thanks for the nice reply !!

          I have only used Silver Efex on my “Straight from the camera B&W photos”. I havn´t tried it on color yet.

          The B&W settings on the camera are: Preset Film in the camera menu and then “B&W high contrast”. I don´t have the options you describe. Or I havn´t found them 🙂

          Regarding the TOPAS. I have to check it out. Don´t know it.

          Best wishes

  16. Having spent some time in rural Jutland in the last few years, I recognise those Dansk faces which you have lit so well. No harsh contrast, just making great use of soft light.

  17. really nice pics. glad you rediscovered photography looks like a shame that you spent some time not shooting.

    • Hi Roland

      Thanks for the nice words. I really don´t know why I went with the Leica X2 instead of the X 100. Strange to say !! I think that there was some M6 spirit from the past coming over me. And it just felt
      good in the hand. And I think if the quality is very close to be the same – pick the one you feel for.

      • I’ve had both the x100 and the x2 and they are not “almost the same.” The start-up time alone on the Fuji had me missing too many shots, and the focusing time was slow enough to kill any spontaneity. The x100 is a great accessory, and a great idea, but it is not a great camera.

        • Guess you have not tried the Fuji with the newer firmware as it’s a hair faster than an X2. Start up is instant on the X100 IF you do not use a memory card that was inserted in your mac and written to (I hate this as well, one of my X100 complaints) but the X100 is indeed a great camera. I have shot the X100 and X2 both side by side on MANY occasions and while both are fantastic, I am more drawn to the X100 for its faster lens, faster overall operation, built in EVF/OVF, color quality and other small things like changing aperture on the lens barrel. I always get more keepers with it as well.

          IQ of the X100 is damn close to an M9 with 35 cron (which I also have a post on). If you say the X100 is not a great camera then what is the X2 (which is not any faster, has no built in VF, can not focus anywhere near as close and has a slower lens)? Both are very fine cameras and both have their fans and haters. Personal pref. I like both and have both.

  18. Hej Lasse,
    very nice work!

    “I had to find a small camera with high quality that I could have on me all the time….
    I was more focussed and more creative than with my Nikon. Don´t ask why. Do anyone have an answer to that ?”
    Same experience here. I feel there is something relaxed, casual about using a small camera. Something that sets creativity free. Has nothing to do with getting sloppy. You’re still sharp at seeing and composing.
    I also feel that when taking pictures of people, a small camera appears less “serious” than a DSLR, especially when mounted with a large lens.

  19. These are wonderful shots and a great story you’ve told.

    You mentioned above, “…..I was more focussed and more creative than with my Nikon. Don´t ask why. Do anyone have an answer to that ?….”

    I had the same happen to me and my Nikon gear. Most of it is sold, just waiting for someone to buy the body. But I believe the answer is that a large camera does not and cannot become one with the shooter due to its size.

    Whereas, like you’ve said, you can always have the X2 or small camera with you all the time. You’re one with the tool. Plus the tool has to get out of your way when shooting and I bet the X2 does that for you! Something the Nikon could never do.

    • FWIW, I bought an X100, despite having a few NEX cameras, and I can’t put the X100 down. It’s really the most fun I’ve had with a digital camera.

  20. Excellent work. As a press photographer myself, I understand how Lasse lost his ‘mojo’ for photography. I’ve been there, and found a way back. And like Lasse, I’ve used small cameras on days off, compacts and m4/3rds, to revive my ‘eye’, a break from the heavy work kit. Maybe I should try an X2 too…?

  21. Hi Lasse
    Great shots. Keep on going 🙂
    Your story sound familiar to mine.!
    But as Steve always mentioned …Its you ..not the cam!

    Best greetings from Germany

  22. nice work/compositions. I must admit IMHO these would look better shot with your old M6 on Tri-X. less waxy and with more soul. just an opinion

  23. I remember how the X1 revived my love for photography. Having something this compact with such a high-quality output on me was a liberation. Enjoy it. Great photos. But no need for the funkny borders. Keep it simple.

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