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'
I thought I had missed this picture when looked at the screen after taking it.
The sunlight was just breaking through the mist over the fields highlighting the dew across the grass and some people we know with their dogs walked into the frame, perfect I thought. Reviewing the image over a cup of tea at the local cafe, all I could see was just a two tone black rectangle and I felt sure I’d got the exposure wrong after which of course the scene had long since gone. Thankfully on the computer back home with a light adjustment in Gimp, I was able to bring the image out and found there was a lot more detail than I first thought. Reminded me of the occasions you get a film negative which on first sight seemed very dark and overexposed until you scan the frame.
Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, at Barton’s Point Coastal Park, Isle of Sheppey, England. October 2021
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
A couple of years ago I dismissed digital photography as not being ‘real’ photography. My perception of digital was all wrong, believing that the digital photography was just computer manipulation and could never replace film was a very naive perspective on my part.
Now having used the M-P for a few weeks, I’m beginning understand where I was so wrong. Few years ago I owned a crop sensor Nikon D7000 and just didn’t get on with the camera or understand the controls let alone how use the it creatively. My images back then were to say the least, were terrible, so I sold the camera and returned to film photography. While I know manipulation in the digital can be done, I learned the format doesn’t have to be or need to use such techniques to get a pleasing image. To be perfectly honest this dim witted fool would have a clue or any idea of how to manipulate a digital image anyway.
It’s helped by the fact the Leica controls are, how should I say, to me are normal. Using the digital Leica like it’s film counterpart has helped a great deal and limiting my post processing to what I would otherwise use for negative post production. By sticking to just cropping, brightness and contrast editing plus some dodge and burn has not only won me over but made this very enjoyable experience. To only worry about composition, not be concerned what the camera is doing, which is probably where I went wrong the first time round with the Nikon.
I found these two young ladies in Canterbury and asked if they won’t mind a letting me take a street portrait of them. The jewellery and tattoos lent themselves to a black and white image.
Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, taken in Canterbury, England. September 2021
Last Friday I spent a day street shooting, while the wife was shopping in Canterbury, England. Standing on the junction of Burgate and Butchery Lane near the Cathedral, this elderly gentleman walked up, stopped, looked up Butchery Lane, I focused. Then he turned to look back down Burgate, just as I pressed the shutter. I was for a moment concerned he might be lost or a little confused but then a woman called to him.
Luckily for me I had focused the Summilux spot on with aperture wide open and later viewing the image on the computer, to my amazement the picture is pin sharp. Indeed I’ve had to do very little to the picture other than a bit of dodge and burn on the buildings behind plus add my copyright at the bottom.
This for me, this has got to be my best image of this year so far.
Click to enlarge
Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, using a B+W Neutral Density 2 Stop filter.
I took this picture of a father and sons collecting their crab pots from the receding tide. This was two days ago on a cloudy, very dull looking the morning giving a almost winter feel to this image but later on Sundays weather would turn out fine and bright day. Shot wide open at f/1.4 with the Summilux 50mm lens once the picture is enlarged, the detail in the middle of this image I’m really impressed with.
Click to enlarge picture
Cropped top and bottom, it almost to me gives the image a look of being taken with a wide angle lens but without the distortion. Here’s the original image below before post processing.
Minster on Sea, England. September 2021
Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, using a B+W Neutral Density 2 Stop filter and digital yellow filter.
I was lucky with this shot. I’d taken a few images of people sitting outside this public house in Faversham, England on market day and as the sun had made an appearance I couldn’t clearly see what I had captured. Later, having got home I found this one which I thought was ideal with the gentlemen’s mouth wide open to the right and the woman covering her eyes from the sunlight.
I shot the images with the Summilux wide open, ISO 200 using my Leica M-P (Typ 240) and using a B+W Neutral Density 2 x Stop filter.
I just love the way street subjects get distracted by my dog Charlie. In this shot he is down to my left side. Charlie has got to know me well that when I stop and hold funny black box to my face he knows he’s to stop. He’s very patient, he waits and sometimes wag’s his tail, which is very useful for distracting people. Perhaps it should be a tip for anyone starting out in street photography, take your dog with you!
Taken on my Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens and using a B+W Neutral Density 2 Stop filter.
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.
Funny how you take a shot and don’t notice a small element of the image until post processing. I was taking pictures of the grasses lit up by the morning sunlight using my new M-P and having shot a number of images I returned home.
click to enlarge image.
Even while finishing the image I still hadn’t noticed the spider until as always I view my finished pictures large on my 30 inch computer screen. Although the spider is very small, the detail of the web when seen large is just amazing to me and completes the picture in a subtle way. Think this image is going to used a large wall print for our new home.
For those of you struggling to see the creature and think Martin has lost his marbles, below in a close up of the image above.
Taken with my Leica M-P and Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH