Daily Inspiration #331 by Salim Al-Harthy

Dear Steve,

I just want to share my experience with you and your fans during my trip to Istanbul with the LeicaM9. As usual, I was not confident enough, so I also tagged along with me the Canon 5D Mark II with the two lens (24-105 and the 17-40mm). However I am happy to say that the M9 with the (35mm cron, the 50mm lux and the 21mm 2.8 Zeiss) was more than enough for my type of photography. I was lucky as I bought the Zeiss in Istanbul itself, without it, I would have been in trouble, because most of my photography in this trip was wide, especially inside the palaces and mosques. Now that I am confident, I will definitely in my next trip will leave the Canon behind from now on and just take the Fuji X100 as a backup. If you only knew the pleasure of carrying a small camera and at the same time being able to produce the results I am looking for. Anyway, below are some of the photos I took.

Thanks and looking forward for your fans input on them

Please visit my website (www.salimphoto.com) for more


  1. Salim,
    I visited Istanbul last October. Like you I carried a DSLR (Pentax K-5) which never came out of the suitcase. My M9 was perfect for this trip. My Zeiss glass was very versatile and true to what my eyes saw.

    I love all your Istanbul images (and the additional ones on your site). They brought back some beautiful memories…thanks for sharing.


  2. they are fine pics, but, i feel uncomfortable with the temperature of the color of the pics in this collection. Is it originating from the camera or Lightroom, O don´t know but it´s too “warm”.

  3. The Zeiss 21 has become my favorite indoor lens for sites like these. It’s sharpness is unsurpassed, speed is decent, and Zeiss glass, while different from Leica glass, has it’s own unique color signature which I am quite fond of. Some great use of it here!

  4. Beautiful images and an impressive body of work on your website! With an M9, Mark II, and X100 at your disposal and the means to globe trot the planet – the world is your oyster.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Your photos are great. I like the first one the most. You would probably make great photographs with just about any camera.

  6. Completely badass from start to finish! My favourites are the first and the last for the mood and atmosphere. All are great though. Nice work man!

  7. I have been using the exact same lens combination on my M9 and find it perfect for travel. I had a 90mm as well which I rarely used. Especially the 21 2.8 Zeiss surprised me and has become one of my favorite travel lenses. Great shots. D!RK

    • Tell me about it. I was very fortune to buy the lens in Istanbul. Otherwise I would have faced alot of problems, probably I wont get the shots I attended to.

  8. I really enjoyed your photos. I like #5.

    The Mosque is quite beautiful. You did it justice with your photo.

    • It`s NOT the mosque. It is Hagia Sophia which was the largest christian cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years and which Turks still dishonour by hanging their muslim symbols and invocations.

      • The Hagia was also a Mosque for a long long time. Currently the upper floors are restored to there Christian origins, and the lower floors are left in the decoration of the years as Mosque. It is now a museum and historic site (not like the Blue Mosque nearby). I feel it’s as close a compromise as possible to honor both faiths and history at the same time.

        And regardless… nice shots.

  9. Lovely pics! Just returned from Istanbul and I am anxiously awaiting my films to be developed.

    Is pic number 6 more post processed than the others or was the lighting at the time quite strong

    I really like the overall look

    • Not its not, the spot light nearby was very strong, I had to use the PULL ISO to minimize as much as possible. It was Blue hour time and its exactly how I saw it. Little bit of touch up in lightroom

    • Fabio,
      I, too, thought the same about the quayside image #6, and the interior of the cathedral. Lovely images, but I suspect a little too much Photoshopping, especially for my own tastes; colours not quite natural.

      Can you comment, please?

        • The Zeiss lens is not for its juicy colors. So no guys, I dont use photoshop, i just use lightroom, and did the simple touchups (contrast, sharpness, bit of brightness, maybe leveling if required). What you see is more or less is what I saw.

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