I'm Martin, a amateur photographer from England that likes to shoot street photography, landscapes, seascapes and odd image of dogs on digital as well as film. I use a Leica M-P (Typ-240) with a Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens and a 1959 Leica M3 single stoke with Summicron 50mm duel range lens. My blog was formerly known as 'The 35mm Shootist'
Came across this little scene of the grandchild in the push chair outside the grandparents caravan in Barton’s Point Coastal Park.
My wife was with me at the time and answered little one with a hello, without thinking I took this image. I didn’t compose the picture or really take in the scene properly. A few days later review my images I noticed the dog in the background. I don’t ever remember seeing a dog there at the time. Without the dog to the left of this picture looking over as well I don’t think the image would have worked somehow.
Taken with the cameras digital yellow filter and a B&W 2 X Neutral density filter does give the image a vignette look which I quite like. Only post processing has been a bit of dodge and burn on the grandfather in the doorway.
Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, at Isle of Sheppey, England. September 2021
This was the first shot taken using the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH on the Leica M-P of my dog Charlie on the beach. Shot wide open at an very bright afternoon yesterday, the ISO was set to 200 with a B+W 43mm Neutral Density 2 Stop filter attached, and the camera set to black and white plus digital yellow filter. I waited for Charlie to come back up the beach until he moved into the depth of field and this is the resulting image. Shot JPG I have done nothing to the picture other than uploading it here for you all to see.
Click to enlarge images
Today the my wife Helen and I spent a day at Broadstairs in Kent and wherever possible I shot this lens wide open. Having had lunch in this little fish and chip shop I roughly set the distance, leaving the f stop on 1.4 and the camera on Aperture priority (which I think is the first time I’d used AP on this camera) and the resulting picture I think is amazing considering the lens is wide open.
I can now appreciate why they say this lens is so good, it’s like using autofocus lens …you can’t miss!
While visiting Headcorn village yesterday, on the drive in my wife pointed out this young lady painting the front of this old grade two listed building. I believe it was an old Inn but now houses a couple of small businesses, one of which I think is a ladies hair salon. I managed to get an informal portrait of her on what was a very hot day for us all in the south of England. To be honest I’m surprised the paint wasn’t drying out before she could apply it with the brush!
Both images taken with Leica M-P (Typ-240) Summicron 50mm f/2.
Recently I made a decision regarding my Leica lenses which I have mulling over for quite sometime. For the last few years I have been mainly using a 50mm lens for my photography and I like the idea of using just one lens but couldn’t make my mind which focal length I wanted stick too. There’s always that thought in the back of my mind that you’ll need different focal lengths for every occasion.
Two years ago I purchased the Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH partly out of wanting to make it easier to do street photography by using a wider lens and the fact that everyone else seems to use a wide angle lens for street images these days. The other thought was it to be used for any landscape images and could even eventually be my go to lens. On conclusion I think this was silly idea on my part and shooting zone focusing at f/11 or f/16 with a fast ISO all the time just to guarantee getting a street shot is not my style of working. While I’ll done it, I didn’t really enjoy shooting street images this way and as for the odd landscape or seascape I might take, interestingly I found most of the this type of images I’d previously taken where with the 50mm lens.
Another point was finding my dislike for the finger or focusing tab. I found every time I used the 35mm after using the 50mm Summicron (which on version V has no focus tab) I would find the finger tab annoying and did not use it. I think, you either like using a focusing tab or you don’t and I now find it just getting in the way all the time. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great lens but the focal length is just not necessary for me now some how.
The 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit, at the end last year before Brexit came into force I bought this lens from the Leica Vienna store online. It’s a lovely little Canadian made lens from the early 1980’s and wasn’t expensive at all. While thinking it was a good idea to have such a focal length available to use I in fact only used this lens twice since purchasing it. Once for testing and the other occasion for my image ‘Shoes’ you can see below.
…So I have decided I am a 50mm focal length photographer.
Having rambled on, how I have come to the conclusion, I do only really need one lens, a 50mm lens for my photography and going through my images I found nearly 80% of them were shot using a 50mm lens, so why use anything else. I’m glad I had use of the 90mm but I so rarely shoot portraits or have the need to take pictures at this distance that I found they can also be done with a 50mm lens. I got 35mm Summicron for street photography but it’s not a necessity for shooting the subject nor do I need to have it in my bag for a landscape I might take. Yes it wasn’t cheap but I knew that either way if I sold the 50 or 35 I would get my money back.
Not wanting the 35 or 90mm to be collecting dust on the shelf, I’ve decided to sell them both. While looking up current prices of used Leica lenses on the internet I see a review on a 50mm Summilux lens, a version I wasn’t not aware of, the Leica Black-Chrome Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. Knowing all about the older Summilux’s and yes there’s always that envy factor of the f/1.4 …I know. For sometime I have had half an eye on maybe purchasing an example but the not the new version Summilux ASPH, model: 11 891 with it’s built in hood and focusing tab.
On a side note regarding the Summicron 50mm f/2 version V hood design. I have found the built in hood on the Summicron can get damaged very easily and I read some other photographers having had the same issues with Summilux and it’s built lens hood. Two years ago while in Le Mont-Saint-Michel in France, a woman lost her footing going up some stone steps and fell against me and in turn knocking the lens into a stone wall. While the damage to the lens didn’t seem that great at the time, a small nick on the other edge of the metal lens hood, later I found the hood would not retract properly back into the Summicron lens body …expensive repair!
So onto the new acquisition, this lens is a modern version of the 1959 Summilux 50mm f/1.4 but with 2014 aspherical optics, made with solid brass, it has no focus tab, comes with a detachable brass hood and should last my lifetime. The extra stop will be a great bonus and the Summilux gives very smooth creamy bokeh which is as far as I know is unrivalled by any other lens.
I didn’t see the point of owning two Summicron 50mm lenses, so I’m keeping the Summicron 50mm Duel Range lens to use on my M3. By selling three of my Leica lenses, this will cover three quarters of the cost for a used, excellent condition Summilux from Red Dot Cameras, London which hopefully I’m expecting to arrive tomorrow morning.
One of those days that was really far too hot to have dogs outside really as the temperature was up in the 90’s. Anyway this fellow had spotted my dog and along with the girl at the back of the group peering over at him made for a interesting street scene at one of the many Cafés in Honfleur.
Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800.
This little fella is a rescue dog from eastern Europe and his previous life was to be tied up outside all day. Now living in the UK, with long walks everyday, everything is curious, fascinating or puzzling for this little dog. He stood staring at us for a good couple of minutes while we chatted to his new owner.
Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 using my Weston Euro Master V meter and taken on Fujifilm C200 film.
Shot before the current curfew, on a dull overcast day, this lady was taking her Pomeranian puppy for his first outing at Minster Leas, Isle of Sheppey, England. Wasn’t happy with first image I uploaded yesterday, so with a little dodging and burning in Gimp the result I’m pleased with. To tell the truth I don’t like messing around with my pictures too much, some might say I’m lazy but if it’s not right, I scrap the image.
Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 Duel range on Ilford HP5 plus expired 2006 from my father’s old stock in his fridge and push one stop.
These beauties are Newfoundland dogs and are often having a meet with their owners over at Mote Park, Maidstone England. This the second shot from the same roll of Fomapan 100 Classic film but pushed the ISO three stops. This image I haven’t done much other than removing a hair, the usual spots, slight sharpen and framed the picture. OK the Fox Hound in the background is a little burnt out but I think this is to be expected as I did meter for the black coats of the Newfoundlands. This may well be my go to film stock from now on.
Taken on my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and shot on Fomapan 100 @ 800 ISO, developed in stock Kodak D76 at 20ºc for 15 minutes.