Gaining Creativity, Passion and Motivation from your Camera. You MUST love it.

Gaining Creativity, Passion and Motivation from your Camera. You MUST love it.

By Steve Huff

Being a camera reviewer and passionate enthusiast I get to test so many cameras, lenses and accessories. At times it can burn me out, and in fact it does sometimes. No way around that. When you get cameras sent to you week in and week out you can start to actually…GULP…LOSE INTEREST in photography. Sort of overload. Always trying to find images for reviews, especially using a camera you may not like…can be a bit depressing actually at times. Only sometimes though, and I maybe get in a slump once every 2-3 years. That slump lasts until I figure out what is causing it, and usually, it is indeed gear related. Even so, when I get a bit of burn out I stop back a bit.

I will take small breaks with 1-7 days off from even touching a camera. It usually doesn’t take long though to get my juices flowing with excitement when something comes along that just feels right and speaks to my heart. Yes, I am talking about cameras here! Lol. One can bond with, and LOVE a camera. I know as it has happened with me (and I assume, many of you reading this) many times over the last 20 years. With countless cameras being used by me over the last 10 years just for this website, I can count on one hand the number of cameras I truly loved…and had shooting experiences that were actually sort of “romantic”. A love affair of a different kind, with a camera. In fact, I can count on a half of hand as there have been only three camera models that have truly inspired me to be creative, use it and even go farther than I normally go to get images.

Video below…

These three? Leica M, Leica SL and more recently the X1D from Hasselblad. As good as my Sony’s and Olympus cameras are they are different from a Leica or Hasselblad in so many ways. Less features, slower, and unfortunately much more expensive as well. But they all offer something that the Sony, Olympus, Fuji’s and others do not, at least for me. THEY MOTIVATE and allow you to truly bond with them. This makes your photography more fun, more pleasing and gives you more motivation.

Leica M9 and 50 Lux  – Winter Time in Illinois with that 50 Lux and M9 SNAP!

Yep. When a camera speaks to your heart, your soul and your mind it has done an amazing job, and it is tough to put a price tag on that because when you own and shoot with a camera you truly LOVE and adore, it inspires you to use it. I have written so much on this over the years but it is more true than ever today, especially for me. Being a reviewer and shooting everything under the sun, I KNOW what ticks my boxes. I know what inspires me to shoot. This is why I have always loved and praised many Leica models, namely the M and the SL. Two cameras that for me, were VERY “Romantic” and still are when I think about them. I have been without a Leica for a long while now. Nearly two years without an M (Owning one) and 7-8 months without the SL. What has taken the place of the SL is the Hasselblad X1D which for me, is another that gets me pumped to shoot just as much as the Leica’s do. But that M…it has been in the back of my head again, especially after handling an M10 again recently, after a year of absence from it.

Leica M10

While in Hawaii recently one of the guys from SLR Lounge brought a Leica M10 and 50 APO lens along as he was testing them. With my lagging eyesight hurting my keeper rate (back when I owned. the M) I felt I did not need a $15k combo to tote around. But these last few days..seeing that M10, holding it and getting to fire off some frames with it really had me remembering the “Good old days” when I ate, drank and slept photography WITH AN M8 AND M9. It was that damn Leica that motivated me back then so much to shoot, and yes, even start this website 10 years ago! This very website that has allowed me to live a life of happiness, and joy from allowing me to do what I love to do, for a living no less, is all because of the Leica M8 which was my first review ever, and only put up because no one was talking about it or reviewing it back then!

The Leica M8 was the camera that is responsible for THIS VERY site being here today. Amazing! As I ponder and remember back to those early days of this site, I loved waking up at 6am most days and driving out to see what I could discover with my M8. Back then I lived in Illinois, in a small rural town and loved taking treks and adventures with my son or my Mom or even by myself, just to find things to capture. As I said, the Leica brought good things. Motivation, a love of shooting the camera and the joy of seeing those unique files back then.

I have never been rich, I have never even been “well off”. While it may appear to some I have loads of cash, I do not. I just have a philosophy with life that we should LIVE IT. ENJOY IT. And DO WHAT WE LOVE TO DO WHILE WE CAN. I mean, that is why we are here. To experience life and what it has to offer. This is why I owned the M’s, the SL’s and now the X1D. All Cameras that are considered crazy by some but I will say those are the ones who miss the point of these “Romantic” cameras. Romance is not dead. Leica is delivering it. Hasselblad is as well. No one else really is but SONY can and should. Will they? Unlikely but that is what Leica and Hasselblad is for I guess ; )

I’ve always had a desire for a beautiful camera, even as a kid! 

Leica M8 with 50 Noct f/1 from many years ago. My son posing with his “new-old”  Bike I bought him for Xmas. Always loved this shot. Today my son lives on his own, works full time and drives a BMW and is nearly 22. Most of his early life was documented with a LEICA and it was awesome. 

As a teen I would read photo and video mags, looking at the ads from B&H Photo and I would drool over the equipment offered up for sale. Usually it was video back then, and the camcorders of those days, for that time, were pretty cool to these eyeballs. I remember buying one at 18 and I was so motivated by this camcorder that I took it with me everywhere, even my job, where I made little documentary films. It motivated me to USE IT. The same way a Leica does today. In fact, being away from Leica for a while has me realizing that some of that motivation and desire has left, and yes I am getting the “Leica Itch” once again, and if I go back down the Leica lane I am sure I would be re-invigorated and have an all new passion as well. This has happened a coupe other times over the last 10 years when I figured I could be 100% happy without owning a Leica. When the Leica returned so did some of that missing passion.

It’s crazy how a camera can motivate, can teach, and can bring happiness to ones soul. Some of you may have no idea what I speak of here and others will be moving your head up and down in agreement. CAMERAS can motivate and get us out there to shoot, and when that happens only good can come of it. You get more creative, you have more shots to be proud of and you may even shoot your own personal masterpiece. All from being motivated by a beautiful camera. This makes me realize that cost, well, it really does not matter. If a Leica is not going to make me homeless or not have food for a while then it is not a good idea. But if a Leica and one lens (50 APO is gorgeous) can be purchased without financial strain then the good it can do (for me at least) is well worth the cost.

Creativity, passion, motivation. Sure, a Sony A7RIII is a much better value, and when photography is not a passion for you, and just a job, some cameras will work better than others. Sony, Nikon, Canon, Fuji and Olympus/Panasonic can get the job done but if you are a romantic, like me, nothing gives the feel and romance of a Leica. ; )

Hmmm. Maybe an email to Ken Hansen is in order ; ) 

See my Leica M10 Review

See my old Leica M9 Review

See my X1D review

Buy a Leica at B&H Photo, and help support this site and help fund a new M for me ; 0 LOL. 




  1. Steve,
    I totally applaud your honesty.

    Bravo! Deserves to be said.

    I have been using leicas since the iii series and own an m6 m4 and m240 and a host of lenses (21/35/90). They have their peculiarities but you want to shoot and that is what matters.

    Control and artistic freedom is what drives us and a leica though over priced is the only kit u need to buy.

    See my instagram for a few. @andreshortell

    • Awesome Steve! Do It!
      Your response to my question regarding the photoshoot with the Seal tour, has brought me to this conclusion.
      M10 50mm apo. or the new 75mm
      thank you for all your insight

      John Nichols

  2. As I see it, being an amateur photographer implies a) to love making photographs (“amateur” means “lover”) and b) a sportsman attitude, in the sense of achieving the best within the limitations of the tool.
    If you are fortunate enough to ever find THAT one camera that feels right, just keep it – most cameras are more capable than their owners anyway.

  3. So tell me Steve what would one get if they wanted to get that Leica M experience. I mean what glass and what camera would you get if you wanted to go in on the cheap and go secondary market. Would the new CL suffice? A M9? A M240? Just looking for ideas. Intrigued by the whole M experience.

    • The CL will not give you the M experience. No camera can besides an M as it is a rangefinder and no digital rangefinder is made today other than the M. So there is no getting an M experience from anything other than one of the M cameras. Wish there was!

  4. Hi Steve your site is great im sure you got a leica m10 ordered by know 🙂 understand the leica thing for sure had most m3 , m4 ,m5, m6 ,m7,m8,m9,mono,m240 , and just got m10 second hand with a bout £1000 of regular price thank goodness would like a x1d but thats pushing it bit maybe in a year or 2 , im in a rut with my leica though but will get out to shoot when finished my Kitchen revamp ( random ) your photos are super many thanks for sharing m10mp ???

  5. Steve,
    You can give people whiplash when you are already thinking of going back to the M series, I am enjoying my X1D. Remember you gave me the motivation to consider this beauty back in September. I love shooting before sunrise because of the ability to handhold, the high iso and the colors. I have not played golf in months since I am using my private time to shoot. In fact, I am sitting in a coffee shop in DTLA downloading my images from my morning walk.
    If you do decide to give Mr. Hansen a call, let me know if you want to sell your Hasselblad promotion kit, I never received mine.
    As always, it is the love of photography that drives us.

      • Great to hear that the X1D stays. I just worked on a X1D street image and used my old M10 Lightroom preset and I am very pleased. I enjoy it when someone says, “I can’t believe you are street shooting with a Hasselblad.”

  6. A great article for the gear and software obsessed age of photography.

    I think we’ve lost sight of exactly what photography is in the digital age. Personally, after shooting and processing thousands of RAW files for many, many years, I find it liberating to shoot JPEG’s with the PEN-F and just the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 .

  7. I agree with you steve that a cam you like will inspire you.
    But for me it was not Leica or Hasselblad but the Sony A7II. Itested nearly every brand of mirrorless and rangefinder cams, but I could not get warm with Oly, Fuji and even the grip of the M10 was not “feel at home” for me. The first generation A7 doesnt feel good as well, but now the second generation ticks all boxes for me and inspires me (with manuel and af glas of many brands, especialy the nice Voigtländer offerings)
    Cheers, Reinhard

  8. Nice images and well said. If you don’t have passion – or sense of romance – what do you have ? Or rather, what’s the point… ?

  9. Great article, Steve! I know what you mean. But I want to emphasize that I believe this is first of all a matter of concept, and it doesn’t mean that it has to cost say 7000$ for a body. To me, the most important sentence in your article was: “Romance is not dead. Leica is delivering it. Hasselblad is as well. No one else really is but SONY can and should.”
    Indeed, SONY SHOULD!!! Let us all SCREAM AND SHOUT that we want an “essential version” of the A7Riii. A real shooters camera, like so many of your readers long for. THIS WOULD BE A TREMENDOUS SONY HIT! Everybody says that Sony listens to the photographers. Well, let’s make them hear us! Let’s keep on bringing this issue in the media!

  10. In response to your video:

    I guess what I don’t understand is how many photographers go through these cycles buying, selling and re-buying. You’re talking about a challenge where you only use the M10 and a 50 for a year. But why not try that with the X1D and its 50mm equivalent lens? Its true it is very different from an M in that the X1D is not a manual system in the same way. Difficult to compare straight off.
    You’ve had many M’s before and decided to sell them. What gives that the same thing won’t happen again? You’ll have it for a year and then will sell it again when for example the SL2 comes along no?

    Seems expensive to invest both in the Hasselblad system and the Leica system and Sony for video. Why not just use something small and inexpensive for your video production, like an Olympus EM5II and settle either on Leica or Hasselblad for stills? Personally I don’t see the point of a 135 format Sony for Youtube videos.

    • I do much more video that what you see on my YouTube here. I have a 2nd YouTube that is much more popular, and I also have been working on a documentary film, which I need a full video rig for, and Backups. An EM5II will not work for what I do ; ) I tried with the EM1 MKII, no go. I tried with a few actually and settled on the Sony, a Canon M6 and a GoPro/Gimbal setup for what I do. As for photos, some will never ever get it, and some will. ; ) Simple as that. Thanks.

  11. The camera I always return to is the Hasselblad 500CM with a bright screen and the 80mm f2.8 Zeiss Planar. It is the camera that inspires the most and nothing has ever been close. Not even Leicas. The Rolleiflex is also nice, and for sure more practical as a carry around camera but doesn’t have the magic of the Hasselblad.

    In the digital world the X-Pro2 feels very good. Much better than the other Fujifilm bodies in my opinion. Better build quality than the X100 or XT-2.

    The Fujifilm GFX isn’t tempting at all. The Hasselblad X1D though, what a dream camera! Close to perfect.

  12. Hi Steve,
    During the old days I photographed analogue, one camera was enough for all applications. In the digital age, for me the diversity of the available cameras is the added value of this time. A Leica M has its own unique value. It is the camera where I feel the strongest bond. Although my daily bag always carries a compact Leica X2. I can well imagine that a Leica M is a useful addition to your Hasselblad camera. The colors of the M10 are gorgeous and very similar to the M9. The M240 has a different color rendering, which could never tempt me.

  13. In general, people love more what was more expensive for them. In that sense, Hasselblad and Leica have an advantage. Maybe Sony not expensive enough yet.

    • Not that at all. IN fact, I hate that mostly all cameras today, good ones, cost a fortune. As a fortune I do not have, not even close! In fact, I live a very simple life. Small (cheap) house, nothing extravagant, and I own no fancy watches, cars or boats. But the couple of things in life I enjoy, I go all in as we only go round here once ; )

      If the Leica M 10 was $999, believe me, I would own two and several lenses and be done. You do get what you pay for in many respects with a Leica, Hasselblad or even Sony. Some do not get the whole “passion” thing or even the “bonding” thing. Those who do, understand what I say here.

      • Thanks Steve for the answer. Believe me or not. I think I understand the idea underlying to what you say. I drive a Sabb 900 25 years old, and I still dig it. I shoot a Hassy 503 cx, an M3, a K01 with old lenses, and an iphone 4s, which I like a lot. I completely understand your passion for the M8, for instance, and for your idea of establishing a special bond with some objetcs and tools. But, being radical, why to change then? I’m sure that if you had stayed with that M8 your pictures would be now as good as they are if not better, and your bonding with that camera would be even stronger. But you didn’t, for whatever reasons. Life is a matter of options, but at the end sometimes there are other reasons that the mere bonding (which I practise a lot, joyfully and willingly). You can come and go but why don’t just stay there?

  14. Perhaps not love, but I find the A9 and 35 f2.8 to be a joyful combination – so capable for the modest size. Of course I use a lot of different lenses to meet specific needs, but I’m happiest shooting with just one or two primes on a responsive camera.

  15. For me it’s lenses that inspire me to shoot more than cameras. Three in particular: 50mm summicron-M, ZM 35/1.4 Distagon, and 28mm Contax g biogon.

    With camera bodies, all that matters is that they play well with my favourite lenses. Currently, it’s my A7s that wins over my A7r, unless I need high resolution. Sadly, Leica isn’t an option as it doesn’t work with all my lenses, but I’m curious about Nikon & Canon’s 2018 mirrorless options.

  16. You’re right Steve. Leica is a love mystic. I remember very well my first affair with Leica, an M8, and how I took to the streets with it, snapping shot after shot, with true exhilaration: until it suddenly shut down one morning and it took Leica 6 months to repair it. I decided to sell it, and have been lurking at the Leica fringes since then, with the M 10 exerting an extraordinarily strong attraction. I couldn’t afford the M8 then and I really can’t afford the M 10 now, especially with the body and a Leica lens requiring an outlay of 10K. So I agonize about buying a body and using some of my old Voightlander M lenses. But then I think I will have an ersatz system, where all those Leica buddies will look queerly at me with my M10 and its ‘questionable’ lenses. In the meantime my Sony A7RIII with the great 40mm f1.2 Voightlander manual focus lens and focus auto magnification quickly nails my shots and still gives me the ‘old time’ feeling. I know that I will never shoot better pictures with a Leica than I do with my Sony-Voightlander combo. Yet I continue to look at the B&H Leica M10 ads every day. Ah, the pain of love!

  17. Yes (in one word)

    Your best photos’s (and Peters) were always with M’s. Yes it’s the pop, yes it’s the glass, range finder etc, etc, but most of all (as you say) it’s your heart, brain & eye being connected more than any other camera.

    I’ll be watching with interest, as finally we’re getting back to the wonderful old days of M! (P.s can you review the Konica Hexanon 60mm f/1.2 M when you get your M10 😉

  18. I bought used Leica M9 which is 4 years ago and the path has never end till now. Rangefinder cameras like Leica M till today are able to suit most of my needs such as landscape, architecture, and portraits, travels and streets photography. I have been using Leica M system for the past 4 years extensively and really enjoying the experiences. Therefore a recent purchase of M10 was made and i believe i will keep using it for many years to come. Follow your heart desires and you won’t go wrong.

  19. While it’s a romantic notion to sell all one’s gear and just shoot with a Leica M, I have a feeling that novelty would get beaten out of one after a while when they started missing shots that the Leica is not really optimized to capture by virtue of its design.

    There is an undeniable mystique about the Leica M, and they’re lovely works of art in their own right (which probably is why they inspire so many people to want to shoot with them). I think for a skilled photographer they make sense (as much as a $10K+ FF body makes sense) as a tool for personal work, e.g. street, travel, landscape, etc. Certainly, Leitz optics are almost always universally stellar.

    However, speaking as a professional, they do have limits. For example, I mentioned street photography above. Zone focusing with the Leica can work brilliantly for street. But what if you want to shoot on the streets at night, or use shallow DOF to separate a subject? You need to open up the lens. Focusing a rangefinder wide open at f/1.4, either at night, and/or if your subject is moving around erratically, is very, very difficult. A good AF tracking system is far more likely to mean the difference between getting the shot, and missing it. So while the “romance” of shooting with an M may be lovely much of the time, there will be times where you’ll be cursing under your breath because you blew what might have been an amazing image. That’s what I meant above when I said the novelty might get beaten out of one after a while, IF one got rid of all their other gear.

    Like everything else, the M is a tool. A tool that is well suited to certain types of photography, to be sure…but less than ideal for many other types. That’s why if you go back and look at what photojournalists from the 1960s and 1970s used around the world, they often had both a Leica M and a Nikon F (or F2) around their necks (see Nick Nolte in ‘Under Fire’), because each was better at certain types of photography.

    My 2 cents…

  20. Hן Steve
    Loved your article as I feel the same as you do.
    When I first saw the M8 I thought it cost a small fortune. Too much for a camera, but than a friend of mine convinced me to try it , I held the camera and felt this was a different tool, went to the sales man and asked him if he could take my Canon 5D + 3 lenses and give me the M8 + one lens. his brother was a wedding photographer and needed the Canon so I became a proud father of a Leica M8 all of a sudden,
    What can I say this little camera simply drives me to go out and shoot, whenever I hold the Leica M ( it is the M10 now)I feel happy and excited , and I know many will laugh at me now ( I don’t care) but that is what I feel.
    I am not young ( over 70) and I use glasses and sometimes in the dark it is hard for me to focus and shooting in scares condition is my favorite shot , and yet I will never buy a different brand. LEICA and probably only M.
    I love your article and felt I wrote it

  21. Hi Steve, You have had the Hasselblad for a such a short time . Will you keep it if you get a M10 ? I hope you see your way to keep both as you say your eye’s are not as sharp and the X1D can keep you shooting as your eye’ s. I am 70 now and last year the Leica store gave me a M10 to try for the weekend and I loved it. It feel’s so good in the hands and I slowed down and took more time to take my images. They look so good when in focus and the color has the Leica look I have heard about. I have looked at the CL and the images from it look great too but I think slowing down is the key enjoying Photography. So should I get a X1D or the M10 and maybe get 30% out of focus.What do you think Steve as you have used the Camera’s

  22. Can’t disagree with you Steve, and I’m sure that comes as no surprise to you, knowing my preference for Leica rangefinders.

    What may surprise you though is my current “other” camera gear (in addition to my beloved Leica M3): a Nikon D850 and D500. I thought I would never go back to DSLRs, but Nikon convinced me otherwise with these two DSLRs.

    If my house burned down tomorrow though, the one camera I would grab on the way out would be the M3 and 50mm Summicron DR; they’re not only functional, but also a work of art:


    • I bought used Leica M9 which is 4 years ago and the path has never end till now. Rangefinder cameras like Leica M till today are able to suit most of my needs such as landscape, architecture, and portraits, travels and streets photography. I have been using Leica M system for the past 4 years extensively and really enjoying the experiences. Therefore a recent purchase of M10 was made and i believe i will keep using it for many years to come. Follow your heart desires and you won’t go wrong.

  23. Awesome article as usual Steve! The last camera I truly enjoyed was my Nikon D750 but then I just got tired of carrying a body that big. Switched to the EM1 when it came out and thought I found my answer due to the weight and size. I missed the full frame quality though of the D750.

    Sold the EM1 and went with the Sony A7Rii when it was released. Loved the images I was getting from that sensor but then as I started to buy the pro lenses, I felt the package was getting too big again.

    Tried the RX1r briefly but it just didn’t feel right. Sold off the Sony gear and went back to Oly with the Pen F. It too is a great camera, but now I’m missing the full frame quality again that I was getting from the Sony.

    I could just go back to the A7Riii but I’m not sure. Perhaps I need to look into a Q to get in the Leica door or perhaps I could splurge for the X1D. I rarely find myself using the Pen F at this point because I just don’t love it.

    • Victor, if you don’t mind manual focusing with adapters, then you might be better served by buying a few great lenses, and then matching them with a camera that plays well with them. Because bodies & systems come n go, but great lenses last forever.

      • Forgot to mention, if you use adapted lenses (primes), then rangefinder lenses will be much smaller and lighter, but you can still get the full frame experience. E.g. nearly all the contax g lenses are less than 200g and their adaptors don’t add that much. Similarly, with Leica and voigtlander. Then if you want to change your brand of camera, you only need to get new adapters, which are cheap. E.g. Nikon & Canon are rumoured to release FF mirrorless bodies in 2018.

        • Hi Anthony,

          Thanks for the advice. I actually do have the Contax G 45 and 90 and the TechArt adapter I bought to use with the A7Rii. Great lenses and definitely keeps it a small package. Didn’t use them that much because it was just easier to use the FE lenses but perhaps if I had used them more, I’d still have the Sony. Love the images with them and they often had quite of bit of “pop”. The Bokeh was a little busy though. That may be an argument for an A7riii.

          I had a Contax G2 at one time and regret ever selling it. Even though I wouldn’t use film anymore, I had the 35,45, and 90 lenses.

  24. Best article in months! Like you, I have owned MANY cameras: Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, Fuji, Sony. When shooting my kids sports, I was more limited in choices. But for travel, street, daily, my favorite all time camera was a Contax G2. I could carry an entire system in my pockets – the glass was great – the build was magnificent – and 80% of the prints in my home came from that camera. Nothing in the digital world has ever compared – until….

    I was never a huge fan of the M8, M9. the slight extra bulk over the M6 just didn’t feel right to me. But, on Jan 18, 2017 I placed my order for an M10+28+90 (Cron) and 50 Lux. 10 months after receiving these items, I still have the romantic infatuation of a first date. No other manufacturer or camera FEELS like the M10+glass. Nothing has ever inspired me to shoot daily, like the M10. For me, my GAS has disappeared for the longest period in 20 years. Your thoughts in this article spoke directly to me. Thank you!

  25. You’re absolutely right about bonding, Steve. I u s e my Sonys, because there are certain things they do well, in some situations more flexibly than Leica. But it’s my Leica cameras I b o n d with!

  26. Agreed. Leica M just feels right now they got rid of the gimmicks which they’d never be able to compete on anyway. Sony’s A7m3 feels like the camera they should’ve started with … the first 2 seemed half-baked. But although the A7m3 is awesome to use, it with all of the menus, etc. makes it more of a piece of electronics rather than a creation tool like the Leica M10. But I think those are the two —both great but the Leica just inspires me more.

  27. Superb writing and thoughts. Steve, you ignite folks to do photography.
    Your site is simply incredible. I have at times disagreed with your results but nevertheless was NOT censored or banned. Bravo!
    My Leica M3 soon 51 years in service. Ziggy (after so many years it has a name)simply part of my life. An M camera makes one “see” images.
    MY A-series Canons, Pentax Sp and K models and my final pro camera, Nikon F and F3 were pro work. Great lenses, specs so far ahead of a Leica.
    The Leica the camera part of my eye, body and brain.
    Said simple, either one has a Leica or one does not.
    There is no similar, almost same or better.
    Get your Leica back!

  28. Steve,

    Does the Q give you that Leica tingle?
    I find the simplicity of the Q intriguing
    The SL otherwise makes me start looking at hitting the button to complete purchase

    • I like the Q, but it feels much different than an M in use. It also only allows 28mm. I am more of a 50mm guy. But the IQ of the Q is fantastic, as is the simplicity. Feels sort of hollow next to an M but IQ is lovely.

  29. Thank you so much, I just thought it was me. I started in 1976 with a Konica TC, then migrated through a bunch of cameras, including the Olympus OM-1, and Nikon FE. As of late, I have used a Nikon D7000 and a Lumix GX1, both with a suite of lenses, including various primes. But, it was not until I turned 65 last March and acquired the Leica Q that I actually turned all of my attention to the hobby. I have now traveled sufficiently around with the Q to find that I am stopping more, taking more pictures, and for what ever reason, searching for the right light and composition. I have begun to post pictures on social media, and have been very gratified with the response from photographers and artists from around the world. I am not a professional and will never be, but I have embraced the camera, and view it as an extension of me that previously never existed. It is similar to an athlete who sat on the bench until his time was called, and when so, became a star. I would be remiss in not saying that I been following this site for many years, and view it as an inspirational learning tool. Thanks.

  30. I agree Steve, after owning a couple of Leica Q’s ( the gateway drug ) I bought a M10 and 35mm Summilux FLE and could not be more inspired. The purity and quality of Leica makes it very diffucult to resist, even when there is nothing special to shoot. My sony a7rii and gmaster lenses are awesome for portrait and my real estate work, but the M10 is what is on my shoulder daily.

  31. Electronic sensors are electronic sensors, and digital photography is and always will be video phrames. I think that romance is in analogue photography and paper. I know that is expensive and time consuming but digital cameras are analogue mockers.

  32. This is so true in many ways I’ve used a lot of great cameras but my X1D and Fuji XPro are the ones that inspire me.
    By the way I really enjoy reading your posts and reviews.

  33. I pretty much agree with what you wrote. Some people say that the camera doesn’t matter, but much of the time, they’re lying. Not caring about your tools is not virtuous. The best cameras – or the ones we really love – are not usually that much more expensive than average cameras.

    $6,000, or even $10,000 for a camera might sound like a lot, but many people buy cars costing much, much more, and we’re not talking about BMWs or Audis here.

    Having said that, I could shoot with almost any camera you gave me, if I had to.

  34. I have owned the Leica SL for 2 years now and I use m lenses only.the 35m summilux and the 50m apo summicron and the 90m apo summicron.i love the setup.the viewfinder of the sl just blows me away.i love shooting street photography.but lately I have been digiscoping the sl on Leica apo-Televid 82 spotting shooting the wildlife in the wetlands.what is so great in shooting street with the sl is you see what the lense sees through that beautiful worry about the viewfinder going out of focus like in the m camera.also no blockage in the viewfinder using a wide angle The sl reminds me back in the day when I used Nikon f slr in the vein you see what the lense sees.i am inspired every day to get out and shoot.street or wildlife thank you steve for your review on the sl it’s why I bought it.

  35. I can feel the romance coming through your words, Steve. I think about what camera does that, or would do that, for me. I have no answer. You are lucky to know yourself in this realm. Keep shooting, and keep writing.

  36. Ditto. Unfortunately, just sold my M10 because my old eyes generated a very low hit rate without the visoflex. Now using the SL and M lenses. Just love the Leica glass and images it produces.

  37. If Leica could finally produce something sized and built like the X Vario, simple minimalistic controls, with same great APS-C JPEG IQ, but decent grip, faster continuous aperture short zoom lens (f/2.8 28-50 would suffice), blazing fast autofocus, and high resolution integrated EVF, I may indeed find true romance and would gladly pay the price. Image stabilization would be a bonus but not essential. Until then, I remain having fleeting courtships with a long variety of cameras, but alas, no romance.

  38. Steve, love that shot of your son with the green bike. In fact, that shot was what convinced me to buy my M8 years ago. I remember the first time I downloaded the files from my M8 and was amazed by the crisp, tack sharp files I got out of it. I’ve been a Leica fan ever since.

  39. Steve, you could have summed your review up in a few words “….right I must finish this article quick so I can place my order in for an M10!”
    A couple of years ago I met up with my older brother who lives on the other side of the world where he sold me his Leica Q. I badly wanted one but couldn’t afford a new one so he sold me his as he knew I’d use it more than he was. It is my most expensive purchase and I thought I was crazy at the time. Now however, I have had many happy memories with it and the link to my Bro makes it even more precious (and a guarantee that I can never trade it in when GAS strikes!)
    Every shot with it stands out even compared to my EM1ii. Enjoy your upcoming Leica 😉
    All the best,

  40. As a constant and avid visitor to your site I am not surprised with this post. I could tell you were flagging. Ming Thein has just written similar comments. The commercial versus the passion. Always a fine balance.

  41. Steve, I agree fully with your pragmatic insight and enjoy your genuine passion and wisdom on photography. People get hung up on incompetent reviews and resolution tests which have little to do with the joy of creation and the magic rendering that cannot be measured by DX0. I have owned an embarrassing amount of camera equipment and the only 4 cameras that I have had a romance with are Nikon FM2, Leica M4-P, Leica M240, and now the Leica SL with the amazing 24-90. I never got on with the Sony A7R as I missed so many pictures due to the poor haptics for me and the design and build was nowhere comparable to the Leica M240 (understandable considering price difference but I am willing to save and pay for the Leica difference). However, the Leica M is really only truly ideal for 28mm, 35mm, and 50 mm (which is fine but my eyes are failing – age 63 – and I have a whiplash injury which means I cannot carry two cameras anymore) and I love using lenses outside that range and the EVF is not Leica quality or anybodies quality in my opinion in this price range.
    I debated, with myself for months on the Leica SL versus the Hasselblad and the Leica SL eventually won out as the glass for medium format was just too big for me at this point in life. However, if I could have been content with two primes I would have probably lover the Hasselblad. We are so lucky to have so many amazing choices that are way beyond the realistic needs of 99% of enthusiasts/professionals – Ansel Adams would be shocked at all the whiners today that just don’t get out and appreciate what we have today. I find, after spending an hour setting up my SL, that it just gets out of the way as a tool and I love the magic of the files it generates. It is bigger than I would like but it is the best camera of my life and makes me want to go out with it.Also, it is the only camera besides my M that draws comments from all ages on how gorgeous it looks. It is a keeper – and if a new model comes along I will stick with this one for at least 5 years as it exceed my skills. Sorry, I must leave for now, as my SL is feeling neglected while I right this and she wants me to spend time with her. Cheers! Brian P. S. Get out with the love of your life – I have been married to my first love for 37 years and will not be changing her out based on DX0!

  42. Steve, those pictures…OMG love that first in the snow. You are right where you have said all you would have had is an m9 and lux if you were not into camera reviews.
    Talking about M10, hang on tight. I’m sure full frame leica with evf will be out by next year 🙂
    They got CL now when people said leica and evf is not going to happen!

  43. As a Leica shooter I know just what you mean when you talk about Gaining Creativity, Passion and Motivation from your Leica. I purchased my M240 about 6 months ago and gained a new enthusiasm for making art. Yes, the M has a number of shortcomings but it makes up for them with the way it leaves you feeling the moment you have it in your hand. I know I should sell it and purchase a new Nikon D850 or Sony a7riii to serve my all around need for the commercial work that I have to do. But, I keep telling myself that if I just keep working with the Leica and become more proficient, I will be able to use it for my personal and professional needs. My Nikon D700 has served me well for a number of years but the new cameras with the 40+MP sure would allow me to step up my game…especially when making those 36″ + prints.
    May just have to somehow buy one of those new non-Leica cameras after all.

    Thank you Steve for letting me know that I am not alone regarding how I feel about my Leica.

  44. I LOVE this post Steve. It’s exactly how I feel. My wife was concerned (to say the least) when I mentioned I wanted to buy a Leica M almost 2.5 years ago. We are not millionaires, so of course a purchase of that size has to be considered. But she was not worried so much about the money (ok, she was a bit!), but mostly about how much I would use it and would it fulfill the very lofty expectations I was placing upon it – reigniting my passion for photography.

    Two and a half years later, that is not a concern. I carry the camera everywhere, I shoot it as much as possible, print the images, have books made and we have loads of great memories captured with that beautiful look from the Leica glass (that image of your son with the bike is what I mean! Amazing!)

    So even though when I first wrote the check and sent it to Ken it seemed like a lot, its been worth every cent.

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