How lucky can one guy be? By Steve Huff
For the past 20 years or so I have considered myself to have an unusual amount of luck in life. Today that lucky streak continues on for me as I am the happiest I have ever been in life and have everything I could ever ask for. While I do not ask for much, I have everything I could need. A small and modest home, a lovely & adorable super sweet and caring fiancée, an amazing Son who never gives me an ounce of trouble or worry, my health, great family dogs, and the basic necessities of life that make it all fun.
I also have this blog/website that I have become quite fond of as it gives me the ability to share my photo experiences as well as allow the readers to share theirs so we can all learn, even me. I can share my passion and that is what I do every day when I wake up. Sometimes I am awake at 5AM, sometimes at 9AM. That is the beauty of running your own blog, you make your own hours! While I am far from rich or well off, I am happy with what I do and how I live. I do not stress about growing the blog, I just keep on doing what I have always done. To me, that is all that matters, staying happy and passionate about what you are doing. If it starts to feel like “work” then it is not fun anymore, and that would not be cool.
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The friends I have made due to this site are also a bonus. Yep, this blog has changed my life over the past 5 years. Crazy. In the 80’s when growing up all I had to read was Photo Magazines. Today we have instant information. It is a whole new world, one I embrace.
I also have other things going on that have taken off dramatically in the past 9 months and I attribute that to my passion and dedication as well as my luck 🙂 Many years ago an old friend once accused me of having a horseshoe up my rear. Sure, I had some hard and very tough times over the past 5 years as well, but overall I feel very lucky and blessed to have what I have.
But this post today started out with me thinking about how I could be so lucky as something “fell in my lap” this week that I could not pass up! As many of you know, I sold my Leica M 240 a few weeks ago to keep my Leica MM. I knew I made the right call for ME at that moment and knew that I would one day own that M again as it was indeed a camera I thoroughly enjoyed. I figured it would take 9-12 months for me to save money and to be able to get another one from a dealer. So away I went..shooting like a B&W madman with a Monochrom.
A few days ago I had an email come in from a very nice guy, Andrew Wonder. He is a reader here and also has his own pretty cool website here. He told me he ordered a Leica M 240 from B&H Photo months ago and it was coming in but he was going to refuse delivery…unless I wanted to buy it, at his cost. Andrew decided it was not for him and offered it to me.
Wow…what luck. While everyone else in Leica land is waiting months and months and months I had the opportunity to buy another M 240 NOW. New, untouched and still sealed in the B&H shipping box and I would be able to buy at normal price, not the $9000 price they are selling for on e-bay. I am the kind of guy who looks at certain things in life as signs. I have followed these signs for 20 years and attribute most of my “luck” to instinct and the choices I make when presented with an opportunity. Not that shelling out $7k for a camera is really “opportunity” but in some ways it is, for me.
I knew there were many waiting for this camera and that it would be sold within minutes if I posted here for Andrew. I also remembered why I sold the 1st one. Money, expenses, my bank account 🙂
But I also had some luck over the past two weeks with some trade deals, lens sales and an odd surprise check in my mailbox that I had no idea was coming. It was all there, lined up for me…like it was meant to be. I always tell people who life is short and you have to live it, so… I bought it and I now have the M 240 once again in my hands and it feels good. I really did miss this camera along with the color shooting with a Leica. The Monochrom is a masterpiece but shooting only B&W for the past month for me was not fully cutting it. I have learned that I crave a mixture of both B&W and color as not every shot I want to take works in B&W and not every shot is best in color. I realized this a couple of weeks back when I rented a Leica M-E for a few days. I missed the Leica color experience 🙂
What I do with every camera that comes through my hands..the mirror shot. I do this because I have been doing it for 15 years and have a collection of them. When I am 80 it will be fun to look back at them all 🙂
The 1st shot with a classic 50 Summitar attached at 1.5
So yea, I sat there and made excuses as to why I made the choice. I posted about this on my Facebook Wall and had those who were upset because many thought I found one at a dealer through “special connections” which was not true at all. It was luck. When you run a large blog such as this you are indeed in a way connected, but not to manufacturers and dealers..instead, I am connected to the thousands of readers here who frequent this site and it just so happened one of them decided against the M 240 and I was able to take it off of his hands. Some of you will ask “why didn’t you just buy a used M9” ? Well, after using the M-E last week it made me appreciate the new M even more. I much prefer it along with the color and the files it produces.
As I always say, everything always works out in the end.
It has been a wonderful past few days. My buddy Ashwin Rao just got engaged and is happier than ever, I am planning a trip with my fiancée next week to spend some fun and quality time with her, the Palouse road trip is inching closer, my Son is excited about his trip to Japan in June, I am stress free and the M is back in my stable 🙂 I am surrounded by happiness, and that is one of the secrets to a happy life!
I wrote this post for those of you who would be wondering why I am posting images from the M 240 again when it was sold a month ago, not to make any of you waiting for your own M upset or jealous. I also wrote it to let all of you who are waiting for your own M to know that my 2nd body was not obtained through any special dealer or Leica connection, but through a little luck, a load of cash and an awesome reader of this site.
PS – Those vintage lenses I have been testing look great on the M 240 so far!
The old Leica Summarit 1.5 on the M. A $500 lens with classic glow, bokeh and rendering. Soft in all the right places for the vintage vibe.
My recommended sources for the M or the MM:
Ken Hansen – Email him at KHPNY19@AOL.COM
PopFlash.com – They may have a MM in stock now, and they have the cool A&A straps in stock as well.
The Pro Shop – They may also have an MM now and they may have a short M list, not sure. Call them at 561.253.2606
$$$$ if you spend a fortune on the Leica body and want to get quality lenses while saving loads of cash I recommend some of the Voigtlander lenses like the 35 1.2 II, 50 1.5, and 21 1.8 at CameraQuest.com
Whats that saying….. The harder you work the luckier you get….. Steve you deserve all the luck in the world as you give so much.
All the best
Steve – much like you I am blessed to have a wonderful and understanding wife that allows me to spend this obscene amount of money on Leica gear. While I don’t have the MM, I own the M9-P, the M 240, and the Sony DSC RX1, with a host of Leica lens gems (e.g., the Lux 35, 50, and Cron 90 … Lux 21 ordered). And this is merely a hobby for me albeit a very expensive hobby.
After seeing the devastation I am seeing daily in Oklahoma, I am feeling in more blessed with my life in general. I encourage everyone here debating on which $7K camera or $11K lens to acquire next, to spare a few dollars for the Red Cross or whatever disaster relief of your choice, to help our fellow citizens in dire need of the very basics. I told my wife that I am eliminating one purchase for an accessory for my Leica M 240 and donating that money instead.
We are blessed that we here live on the top of the economic pyramid, and we need to return some of that good fortune to those of our fellow comrades that have had disaster befall them. It is also a great feeling to know that your money is going to a lasting cause and that whatever you were going to buy next will inevitably become yesterday’s news no matter how hot of a product it is today. 🙂
I agree, I donated a few days ago. Something we all should do if we can. Thanks
Luck? Blessed would be a better description. I’m happy for you!
Am I the only one that thinks the new M looks weird without the framline illumination window on the front? LOL
Thanks for such a straightforward and honest post. So, with both the M and the Monochrom, how do you decide which to take with you (or do you always now carry both)!
I got a call today that my Leica M 240 had arrived and was being shipped today.
That’s pretty good considering I didn’t put myself on their list until after the first ones started shipping 🙂
Now I can’t wait to play 🙂
Nice, but even better would be an article on how you share your good fortune in ways that broaden the meaning of what it is to be a conscious photographer.
Great writes up Steve ! I think when you are a positive guy… you bring even more positive things to you 🙂
I have basic incomes but I love your blog and I became found of Leica thanks to you.
Right now I have a M3 with a 50 lux ASPH. Yesterday I was lucky to put my hands on a 35mm lux ASPH for 2500$…I am planning to get a 90mm APO (or Elmarit-M) as my next lens and my 35/50/90 set up will be ready ! Then…with a bit of savings I’ll put my hands on a Leica M240 by the end of this year.
It’s amazing how all the expensive stuff you can succeed to get when it is your goal and you do efforts for it. Again…I am very far to be a rich guy but I realized you can afford almost anything if you really want it and work positively on this task everyday !
Have loads of fun with you new M ! And now if you don’t need that MM… please drop me a line ;-))
Steve, hold them tight, your lucky days,
Hi Steve, we all make our own luck – the harder we work the luckier we get 🙂 Mind that makes me a lazy bugger as I considered myself lucky yesterday to find an as new boxed Pentax PC35-AF M in my post – just love those earlier AF point and shoots 🙂 Thanks Paul
Steve you do what you love.
You true to who you are.
You content with what you have.
You live in the moment.
Keep staying this way bro.
Ah Steve, I thought you were going to announce your wedding day to your beautiful fiancee!!!! Great post though, and your luck is well deserved – you’re an inspiration to us all mate. Cheers, Si, Clevedon, UK
So nice to read this wonderful post on a grey cold wet “spring” morning in Germany. Keep on being a really lucky guy, Steve! I love to check your fantastic site as often as possible, in particular if I need some positive energy to inspire me.
That is wonderful. Much as I love the output from the MM, I was missing color test shots for Leica gear that came your way. Now you have two of the world’s great cameras. Oh, wait, there is also the RX1. You need three heads for all the great shooting you could be up to.
Good on you Steve!!
But hey! When are those Zeiss Touit reviews coming? 🙂
This is a really inspiring post, many thanks for sharing it and congrats for the M…
Steve, why dont you have a get together wiht the foreign community of hobby photographers while you are in Japan?!
Nice story Steve. If you’re in to photography, you start to “see” more around you, you see the beauty in things, people, situations (unless these can be very hard or rough or sad, but there is some beauty in it) you improve your awareness and become a bit philosophic too.
Enjoy your M! I still doubt if this is for me the way to go, my first camera was an Ilford p&s and then a new Pentax Spotmatic F (which I still have!) and after a D90 and reading this website I changed to an EP 3 and could not restist the Fuji X100. Changed the EP-3 for an OM-D and a few weeks ago the x100 to an x100s. Still miss the EP-3 for the color output, OM-D is a great shooter, had too many missers with the x100 and had a lot of fun with the X100s. But… o o o man the Leica, can I live without AF again??
I think you deserve every single bit of your ‘luck’ Steve. What you’re doing is much bigger and greater than just a blog. You’ve built a great community and hub! From my perspective, manufacturers should be giving you everything for free and none of us should have a problem with that if that was the case (which I know is not). Have a great day!
Congratulations steve! Keep up the good work and the happy vybe!
I hope i can invite you a beer when I go to Phoenix in November.
Fortune favors the prepared mind. If you should decide to part ways with the m240 (again,) my mind is prepared!
Ah yes, the Leica 240 boomerang came back at ya. Happy for you Steve! More bliss wishes sent your way.
Glad to hear that all worked out well for you. Until the “next big thing” you will hold on to the M you just got and enjoy more luck.
Everything works out in the end. Yes it does. and “If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same,” (Rudyard Kipling) it’ll continue to do so. I’m glad for you that Providence continues to provide. I’ve not only enjoyed reading your blog, my craft has benefited from it as well. 🙂
Your upbeat spirits always bring a lot of happiness to this site. Thanks.
Congrats, Steve… First, I had similar “luck” recently in unexpectedly finding a 50 APO at a local store; I was able to purchase at retail… Second, to my question, I now have an MM and an M9. I totally agree that shooting B&W only would eventually lead someone to seek out the Leica color experience; do you anticipate holding on to your MM long-term? I love the MM with the 50 APO; simply marvelous…
Hi Steve: Very Hippy happy for your friends and Luck in Life-Chalk it up to Karma Karma-home son GF and Grace (Jeff Buckley) joke…Hate and all that is a waste of energy-Happy life-Sharing info with others -what comes around Goes around…Very happy for you and Leica Beauty…Right on as always Great site and to all the Photo fans out there…Hippy er I mean Happy Shooting.
Enjoyed the LTM and other ways to ‘Obtain’ near ‘Leica’ optics on a budget.
Getting back a M3 thru Canton MA YYE Camera member of MLHS and a Very good Leica M/Lens repair.
Highly recommend to Leica M users on a budget.
Please Steve Keep this site going and T-Rex Tanks for the inspiration.
Thanks for the great pick me up I laughed with joy-Very Pleased you got Fist dibs thru a Fan of your site.
E bay Prices…Yikes.
Any Rock A Fellers out there or Leica LG folks can throw me some…
Oh Yeah Karma doesn’t work out that way.
Congratulations. It is so nice to have friends and they think of you in this type of situation. My M is on the UPS truck for delivery tomorrow. Can’t wait.
Kudos to you and your well deserved luck, really happy for you. You first inspired and helped me go for the X1 two years ago. Now I own an M8u for 6 months and summilux 50 ASPH. I love the b&w (and some cool colour too) Will the new M hold up with the M8 for B&W or (obviously it has its ISO limitations) but quarter tones and general results are to my view superb. I have to decide between Monochrom and keeping M8 for colour, or selling M8 and going for typ240. I am torn so much about the right decision. Any thoughts ?
What a treat to wake up to some good news of yours, congrats from down under.
I look forward to more of your experience using vintage lenses with the new M.
It always makes me smile, when good fortune comes to people who do nice things for others!
Very happy for you Steve, but really, with a title like “How lucky can one guy be?” I would expect to see a picture of your beautiful fiance rather than a pair of Leicas!
Oh I post pics of her all of the time 🙂 – I even have one in the “About Me” section and she is in every review these days. This post was about the camera 🙂 Thx
Happy for you Steve! Health and loving family is the base. Then is all the rest.
Please maintain your passion to your site.
Quote 1:You will attract everything that you require. If it’s money you need you will attract it. If it’s people you need you’ll attract it. You’ve got to pay attention to what you’re attracted to, because as you hold images of what you want, you’re going to be attracted to things and they’re going to be attracted to you. But it literally moves into physical reality with and through you. And it does that by law Quote 2:Be grateful for what you have now. As you begin to think about all the things in your life you are grateful for, you will be amazed at the never ending thoughts that come back to you of more things to be grateful for. You have to make a start, and then the law of attraction will receive those grateful thoughts and give you more just like them.”
― Rhonda Byrne, The Secret steve both quotes apply to you very well ..congratulations ..for welcome addition in your extended family , i have a feeling that someday leica will have a camera by them called steve huff limited edition 🙂
Well the Leica m240 have problems : banding, severe color problems (trying to be like Fuji or Nikon ) and finally the precautionary check for all leica m (typ 240 ) posted in leica news
Good for you Steve. Someone above said great things happen to great people. I agree. You follow your heart and I love that. There’s so much positive energy around your blog, it’s no wonder this kind of thing is going on.
Just great. I always enjoy that first smile in the mirror.
A request for the future… if you ever get your hands on another 50 Apo F2, could you compare how that stacks up on a M9 vs a regular Cron or Lux 1.4 on the M?
It would be interesting to see which gives a higher quality pic – the latest lens on an older camera, or an ‘older’ lens on the latest camera.
Great things happen to great people. Hope you take lots of mirror shots before “80” pays you a visit!
Thanks to all!
Well written and beautifully said. In sharing your joy, I considered my own life and everything I’m grateful for. You’re truly an inspiration, with photography, and life in general. Thanks Steve!!
Congrats Steve. You really deserve it. I am still waiting for mine and in the meantime I am using my Sony RX1. Keep up your good work and all the best to you!
Congrats on the M! What would you recommend for someone wanting to get into Leica? I’ve been looking at M8’s but I’m not so sure the image quality is better than my OM-D with the Leica 25mm. I also think I could go the RX1 route and have better image quailty. Then there’s the M9 but for $1000 or so more, you can get the M 240 (including a wait).
And in addition to the starter body recommendation, what lens to begin with? It seems like the Voigtlander’s would be the most economical as starter lenses for the system.
Tough one. If you have an OM-D and 25 1.4 you have a great camera and lens right there. If you want an RF you can get your feet wet with a used M8 which will have better IQ at base ISO and a 1.3 crop sensor for more shallow DOF. But ISO will suffer in comparison when you crank it up. The M8 also needs IR/UV filters for all lenses. Still, it is an awesome B&W camera as well.
Voigtlander has been making some great glass. While they do not have the brilliance and micro contrast of the Leica glass, they are superb and for the money hard to beat.
If it helps, like you I wanted to get into owning a digital Leica (having owned an M6 some years ago). So without access to large funds I after some months managed to get (thanks to eBay) a really good condition M8 for just £900 and also from another seller a Leica 28mm (so 35mm on the M8) f2.8 Elmarit for around £500. Having really good fun with it, you can see some of the results from it here : http://flic.kr/s/aHsjCZseGe
[insert statements of tiny-minded jealous rage here]
Nah, I’m kidding. When a deal comes your way, you take it. I don’t think any one of us wouldn’t have jumped at the opportunity, had we been in the same position. If I had the cash, I would have.
Opportunity meeting Preparation = Luck
You are indeed a very lucky man two of Leica’s latest and greatest cameras its a great feeling when everything just comes together. A bit over the moon myself as finally took delivery of my new Leica Monochrom on Saturday. Unlike you though I can only afford one camera and after reading the reviews and seeing some examples of the Monochrom decided to sell my M9 and order the monochrom as this will most probably be the last Leica I purchase as nearly 60 years of age and wanted a camera that won’t be improved on well not by much I don’t think for quite some time and one that would see me well into the future. Enjoy both of your new Leica cameras Steve and I always look forward to reading what’s new from both you and your contributers to your site. Many Thanks from the Uk
Kudos to your “luck”, Steve! I am lucky to have found your interesting blog as well. It’s amazing that this blog affords you the luxury of pursuing photography full-time, paying the bills, and being able to afford the Leica System! Keep up the good work, sir! ~Steve
We can all appreciate and benefit from your outlook on life Steve. All the best to you
Good for you Steve! Never really agreed with your original decision to sell the M 240. In my opinion the versatility of this camera far outweighs the singular output of the Monocrome. But who cares, you now have BOTH! All the best.
Thanks Dom 🙂
Nice post Steve! Enjoy the M240. But most importantly, keep enjoying and cherishing your family! 🙂
Always! Thank you.
Steve, KARMA BABY, you deserve it. You see, it was OK not to have it and then it fell in your lap. Enjoy my friend. You give so much to all of us. I too am totally blessed and I just try to be as nice and giving as possible to those around me . And I know it comes back. Ciao buddy
Hey Louis! Thanks, I know you are enjoying your M as well 🙂
“Eighty percent of success is showing up” as Woody Allen says
Enjoy every minute 🙂
Thank you Thorsten
So happy for you Steve! I definitely think the M belongs in your hands, color and all. Best to you.
Glad to see the M back in your hands. Looking forward to your work with it!
Thanks Duane, appreciate it!
That’s pretty good fortune there. I had the same kind of luck only once and it was with a guitar. My whole life I wanted a real classic 1959 Gretsch guitar. One day I opened the mailbox and there was an unexpected royalty check that allowed me to purchase the guitar of my dreams.
Someday, I’ll probably get an M240, but it will probably happen out of luck as well. Since I make my money shooting Nikon gear that’s where most of money goes.
Congratulations! For me, I think you deserve it. Not only the M, but the luck and satisfaction in your life in general. I enjoy your posts and your blog in general. Positive people attract positive things 🙂 All the Power to you. Greetings from Switzerland, Peter
Thanks so much Peter!
AWESOME, you make 90% your own luck by being “in” the moment, the other 10% is actual luck! Good on ya with the new toys. Really like the look of that Summarit…
Thank you 🙂
Your honesty, outlook and enthusiasm is so refreshing!