Enter the XVario

I really need a break from my routine types of shoot. Typically consisting of models and a big aperture camera and lens.

The idea of doing street photography and casual shots of people that are “non posed” have been tugging at my heart for a long time. Yeah, they would not garner as much likes and attention to my page in fb as much as pretty images of models would, but having seen really amazing street photos, i can’t deny that non-posed shots are nothing short of awesome.

Enter the Xvario

I have read many many reviews before i embark on this journey. What i did is basically sell of my perfectly working Nikon D4 and all the lens except my favourite one, the 24 mm 1.4 nikon. Why would anyone sell off such a perfectly working camera and get a Leica. Just a few articles back, i was criticizing the non-bokehlicious-shallow-dof camera a loser and now i am owning one.

Hmm, let me put it this way. The only way i can learn to appreciate deep DOF and embark on a new journey of photography, is to limit myself to a gear that does precisely this.

My sigma with the 18-35 art lens in currently in Japan undergoing perfect focus tuning and i have no idea when it is coming back. That leaves me with the superb Oly EP5 which my wife will be using in her trips and tours.

Now that you have read my complete my self-justification list ;-), that started my move towards the Xvario.

Why? Isn’t this the shit-sandwich camera that everyone been pissing at? Isn’t this the slow lens and overpriced camera?

Yes, this is the Xvario. From various reviews, Steve Huff, all the way to general mags, this camera won’t pass my 2nd glance on normal day. But what got my attention is this guy’s review :


Looking at his flickr set, he has Canon 5D MK III with 50 1.2 and all kinds of lens and works for ELLE publication in the middle east. His images are good, damm good. I asked myself why would such a person even buy a Xvario. That started me on reading up more reviews and dropping by the Avenue-K Leica store to check out the camera myself. I must say the price in Avenue-K is not in synch with the world, its expensive by nearly USD 500 compared to BHphoto, but i bought from them anyway, i guess its nice to see a local boutique shop here constantly supporting this brand.

I also bumped into this other guy’s review that seems to have access to all kinds of latest gadgetry :


..and yet he calls the Xvario, “I’m not even going to bother to write yet again about how good the IQ is, apart from mentioning it now. So I’ll go back to m4/3 and Fuji X for the next group of posts, since that is what people want it seems. And I’ll be continuing to use my ‘secret’ camera, but not writing about it much.”

As the moderator for Leica forum in Dpreview, i had a few chat with Rodriguezahr about the issues on the Xvario and was satisfied with it.

Here are the major shortcoming and how u overcome it :

1. The oversensitive 4way controller. 

Buy the case, its beautiful and adds grip and additional thickness to the side, enough to shield the right thumb from hitting the pads unnecessarily.

2. The slow focusing

Set to 1 point focusing. To move this point, long press on the “Delete/focus” button and use the 4way controller.

As for the aperture being small and hence a “slow lens”. Well, consider it this way,  how much would u pay for a Leica Elmar like prime for : 28mm, 35 mm, 50mm, 70mm? Did you know that the 50mm of Xvario performs near on par as the 50mm APO that cost USD 7350.00? Go figure.

I have not start shooting yet as today is my first day with the camera, just snapshots here and there with the family. Will be posting more as i put the camera thru its pace and undertake various photo projects and limit myself to only use this.

xvario, edited with silver efex pro ][

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