Daily Inspiration #349 by Jon Schmidt

Dear Steve,

I follow your website since about a year and it’s always a pleasure to read your articles, see photos from you and others. Thank you very much for your work which is very inspiring to me.

I live in Switzerland and started photography about three years ago for fun. This summer I made a trip to Kathmandu, Nepal with two friends and famous photographer Matthieu Ricard. I recently purchased a Fuji x-pro 1 and first thought a about only taking this body with the three fujinon lenses: 35mm f1.4, 18mm f2, 60mm f.2.4.

I also have a second-hand Leica M8 with 50mm summicron and 75 summarit for a few years now. I love this camera but didn’t used it so much since my purchase of the Fuji. I first didn’t want to take the two cameras but then decided to do so, in order to be able to continue to take pictures if something happened to one of them.

I honestly didn’t really had any intention of using the Leica since I had that brand new, shiny, fuji xpro 1 with me as well, but as our travel went on, I found myself with the M8 in my hand all the time. I don’t know if it’s the simplicity of use or the handling, but I found myself having much more pleasure and at ease shooting with my M8 even if those two cameras are quite similar in the “external look”.

I mainly got the Fuji out of the bag for low light situations and panoramas, and even if the image quality of the Fuji are simply amazing, to me all the brilliant electronics in it made it almost difficult to use: starting time, EVF or OVF, focus time, starting from sleeping mode etc…

I don’t know but with the Leica, the simplicity of switching it “on” (or simply leave it “on”) lifting the camera to your eyes, focusing, and shooting. That’s it…

Anyway, I love both cameras and will keep on using them both since they are quite complementary depending on where or what you are shooting, but the simplicity of use of the Leica just made my days during this wonderful trip.

Take care.

Jon Schmidt

1st two X-Pro 1, last two Leica M8



  1. Wow, number 1 is phenomenal! I found myself selling the XP1 shortly after purchasing it because it was too complimentary to my M9. That said, I regret selling my x100. Really looking forward to an X200!

  2. 2,3 and 4 are quite unremarkable but No. 1….Wow!!!!!!! That composition is a stunner! Would be very happy to get a shot like that with any camera.

  3. Hi Jon

    This post comes in very timely. I’ve had an X100 for 16 months now and just got an M8. Now that I have the M8, I find myself less interested in the X100. It’s more of the shooting experience that makes me enjoy it very much, similar to my film RFs. Odd as it may sound, the shooting experience of a true RF makes me want to go out an make more pictures.

    The X100 has awesome image quality and the high ISO performance makes it great for low light and that seems to be my justification for keeping it around rather than selling it off to recover the cost of the M8 🙂

    Nice photos!

    Cheers, Taffy

  4. I’ve just started to use my M8 that I’ve had for a few years, I find I really ‘enjoy’ the actual ‘bother’ of manual focussing. I find the simplicity shooting with the Leica quite refreshing, almost liberating. It is a very good camera to ignore. There are no beeps that some will find intrusive, it’s small enough to make you very inconspicuous. Though the DSLR is very good, I can’t wait to see the Monochrom. My film SLR of choice was my lovely OM4Ti, always with a 50mm/35mm, the latter lens being close enough to our own focal length. 40mm independent Voightlander, superb.

  5. Very nice work – thank you for sharing. How did you find ‘switching’ between two rather different cameras during your trip?

  6. Very Nice photo’s,my favourite are the top two! Both sets of colours seem a bit muted, but very pleasant on the top two, the colours on the Leica shots aren’t as pleasant as the Fuji.

  7. Hi Jon I have The X100 which is great but at base iso i think M8 might be better. At The moment i decide to buy M8 but Xpro1 seems to be a great tool also. which One would you buy if you were in my Situation.
    Thank you for reply.

    • I would recommend to learn how to use Fuji X100 for 100% first 😉 I found a book “Mastering Fuji X100” recently and it helped me for example to get rid of blown highlights and dark shadows in settings easily.

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