I am now using a Leica ME. Before you discard this post as yet another leica fanboy article or blind faith, kindly spare me a minute..or two and read up. I started using Leica M9 three(3) years ago when i started portraiture, because of the cost of the camera, i was constantly mastering it and speeding up my rangefinder focus so that i could produce good results during model event shoot. As time goes by and as i progressed in skills and photography, i decided it was time to move on to “serious” photography gears, so i dump the M9 and moved to Nikon D4. I felt that M9 was a stupid camera, rangefinder being silly and in need of tweaking after some years (my own unit never needed any though) and too slow to match against my buddies that have autofocus. So in came the D4.
Did studio shoot, outdoor flash, outdoor remote flash with over 3 flashes, reflectors, you name it. In my blog here if you have the patience to trace back my postings you will see various works and album done using various cameras. In between i do have various other cameras like GXR, Xvario, Sigma SD15, Olympus Ep5, but to shorten my sharing and thoughts i will just refer to only the “big guns” that i switched to.
Then came Sony A7r, that mirrorless evolution that gave me loads of joy using all kinds of lens, vintage and other mounts. But soon it down upon me that using vintage lens, while produces interesting bokeh and results ends up distracting me with just more gears, lens, weight and less photography. The weight of my A7R with the collection of lenses i took easily overshadow the d4 and the nikons lenses i had by a magnitude of four (4)times. Sony taught me a valuable lesson, that i really missed the time when i don’t need to be bothered with so many lenses and instead on making beautiful images of people.
So i sold off the A7R, took just one (1) 58mm f1.4 nikon lens and use the D3000 for my portraiture and street projects. Tried my best to use that focal length (~90mm in apsc) and was really happy with the CCD colors and results. I adopted the motto of “lesser gear” and was really happy doing it. When i was offered a DF, i see that i could use the actual 58mm which would be very useful for street vs 90mm. So the DF became the main gear and i kept the D3000 because of its unique CCD output.
Now the thing is. I have improved in many ways. My projects are getting better as undertook more and more models project with different style. Its actually pretty ironic that on the DF i only use the centre focusing and focus-recompose as my main focusing and composition method. That reminds me of how the same “silliness” that i attributed to the M9 rangefinder, is now my only reliable way of focusing and recomposing quickly. Yesterday a friend borrowed my DF and offered me the ME instead, he is a wedding photographer and needed a working horse camera after selling his own D4. I took the ME.
Its pretty epic that after three (3) years of shuffling thru gears and understanding myself, shooting myself on my foot, changing stance that i came back to the M system. The Leica ME/M9 has everything i needed to maintain the motto of lesser gears and more photos. It has the CCD signature i wanted, small lenses of which i needed only two(2) 28mm and a 40mm (both of which are not even leica). In terms of simplicity and usage, i was never happier. I guess lesser gears and lesser menus works on me.