First shots

It’s been a few days and I am struggling a little to get the settings right with my new Leica M-P. Keep forgetting to press ‘set’ on the back of the camera and finding the images are not black and white, forgetting I can change the ISO mid shoot or I’ve not used the manual setting for my Summicron 35mm or my 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit lenses nether of which is a non 6 bit coded lenses.

Early days I suppose, other than my user errors I cannot fault the camera.

This one of the first pictures I shot Dahlia in our new garden. Taken using the Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 hand held, with Weston Euromaster lightmeter. I then find out having read in the instruction manual that this camera actually has a spot meter. Think I’ll still carry my Weston lightmeter regardless. You know how it is, your dying to use your new camera when really you should sit down and read the camera instruction manual first. Still all was not lost, my wife likes the image enough it’s now used as a wallpaper on our desktop PC.

When I can get the hang of this thing, it is really something! Think it’s going to make street photography easier, both to shot and post process. Above taken at Minster Leas, England using the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH.

One decision I have made is to solely shoot JPG files. As I’ve said before, I don’t alter images very much nor use digital manipulation so I cannot see any reason to use RAW files. Most of my work is going to be black and white anyway and reading reviews it’s suggested that JPG files a better for monochrome pictures particularly for street images.

Image taken at Minster Leas, England. July 2021 with the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH


Leica M3

Just after we moved into our new house my wife was given some flowers, pink and white lily’s to be exact. Having a moment to spare I used the M3 plus the Summicron duel range 50mm and this was the result of my efforts. Not bad considering the Fuji Color 200 was from my late father’s refrigerated film stock and was dated 03/2002.

Natural light and exposure taken with my Weston Euromaster lightmeter. Film development was done by AG Photographic lab.

I suppose I’d better think about changing my blogs name now seeing as I’m using digital as well as film.

Changes

Things change, everything in our lives seems to have changed one way or another. Photography, particular street photography for me has changed in the last 16 months, a laugh, smiles or talking are hidden by masks and so my photographic life has put on the back burner these last seven months. The first three months of this year both my wife and I had a self imposed isolation at home, neither of us being the most healthiest of people. My wife Helen is a larger lady with related problems. Myself, I’ve had pneumonia twice before, an ex-smoker and was recommended by our Doctor if possible, that we both kept away from others. Other than going out with the dog for a walk, I find myself no longer carrying my camera because everyone is wearing masks, no one is either getting close or even socialising for the fear of the virus and restrictions on any unnecessary travel, my photography shutdown.

I’ve also had to change since moving into our new home. Developing films in the new house isn’t very easy as it was in the old property. The bathroom, (also known as the washroom in the colonies) in the new house is in fact just a shower room with a very small hand basin, not even big enough to get a Patterson developing tank in and so it’s the kitchen then. While my wife is pretty easy going with most matters there’s a line been drawn …I can, but only on a Saturday morning while she’s out doing her volunteering job. There’s no room in the new home although bigger house, for a dedicated developing room. Also with work commitments and continuing work for yours truly to do around the house, I’m finding very difficult to allocate time for film developing but hopefully as this latest lockdown ends I’ll be able to start getting out shooting.

Having time think while driving the truck at work has given to the idea that maybe I should think about using a digital camera, no developing, just upload to the computer …but then I would dismissed the idea a number of times before, cost, new system, not understand what all the buttons, knobs do, file systems and sizes, finding my mind going in circles back to where I started to the original answer, I don’t need one.

I’m not a technophobe, I am just don’t like a lot of unnecessary controls and features that I’ll never use or just confuse the hell out of my simple brain! For me a camera needs just three things, an aperture dial, manual focus and shutter speed dial and this why I couldn’t get on with digital cameras in the past. I’m not interested in noise, histograms or any of this digital manipulation, a bit of dodge and burn, cloning out any spots and adding a frame, then yes.

Then I was reading Thorsten von Overgaard blog about using a Leica digital rangefinders which I know these cameras are very good but getting one of Leica bodies are somewhat expensive. In the back of my mind is also the worry of the electronics with second hand cameras around the £3000 to £4000 mark which could become an expensive problem. Further on, his website has a link to Thorsten’s Youtube videos, one is about buying and using Leica M9, M240 and the new wallet busting Leica M10 in which he mentions the price of second hand cameras. He also goes on to explain about the simplicity of the camera menus which from what I can understand seem no worse than my Samsung phone.

So we come to today, after a lot of research, I decided on a Leica M (Typ-240) body which now retail for around £2500 for in good condition. This went slightly awry when I discovered the Leica shop Mayfair in London. It have never occurred to me that they sell second hand Leica cameras, let alone ex-demo cameras. Having a little money from my late fathers estate I made a telephone call, card in hand. I’m now the owner of a ex-demonstration Leica M-P (Typ-240) complete with it’s box, papers and associated accessories, plus 12 months warranty as it’s classed as a new camera still. Don’t ask how much!

I’ll be selling my M4-2 body to off set the dent in my bank account a little but will continue to use from time to time my Leica M3 with it’s Summicron 50mm duel range lens.

Just hope this new acquisition works out for me …wish me luck.


All images taken with my Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and shot on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800.

The M3 image was taken with a Nikon FE, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on Kodak Tri-X film.


Thorsten Von Overgaard website link below

https://www.overgaard.dk/thorsten-overgaard-photography-lounge.html


Fascination

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.

Testing, testing.

As many of you know I don’t often shot colour C41 or even E6 films, which for the life of me I don’t honestly remember when I last shot slide film. Having taken some colour images in Honfleur, France and watching Youtube videos, like by the German photographer Robin Schimko who sometimes uses colour film for street photography, I’m coming around to the idea of shooting a little more colour in my photographic life.

Kodak Pro Image 100 film

So I thought next year on our next trip to Normandy I try and use only colour film, just carrying my Leica M3 and Summicron 50mm. There is a possibility I might have a Leica Elmarit 90mm f2.8 lens as well in my camera bag if I can find a good example. I have both the Summicron 35mm lens plus two 50mm Summicron’s and for a long time now have been thinking about getting a Leica 90mm lens. Don’t not think I’ll be buying a Summicron 90mm non APO or APO versions as although it’s extremely good lens, it is enormous! The Elmarit 90mm f2.8 is far smaller with a E39 filter thread as my other Leica lenses and having seen the specifications on the Summicron 90mm lens I think will be like shooting a rangefinder with a house brick attached to the front of the camera. This lens weights in at 17.1 oz or 484 grams compared to the Tele-Elmarit of 7.957 oz./225.6g

Ken Rockwell review of the Summicron 90mm lens https://www.kenrockwell.com/leica/90mm-f2-m.htm


Onto the results of using Kodak Pro Image film, in a funny way to me this film look reminds me of the old Kodachrome in these pictures below. All pictures have been shot with no filters, shot with different light conditions and where exposed by using +1 stop with my Weston Euro Master lightmeter.

Click to enlarge images.

I used various C41 films over the years, I think mostly either AGFA Vista 200, Fujifilm Superia 200 or Kodak Color Plus 200 but like many I miss the good old days being able to purchase reasonably priced 100 ASA colour print films. There are of course a few options on the market, Kodak Professional Ektar 100 is a great film but the colours look a little rich for my taste, Kodak Portra 160 Film for a pack of five is twice the price of the Pro Image film pack. Another option would be to use a slide film like Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100 but the price at £15 or $19 a roll with the processing cost on top seems somewhat high and to me looks as it would be better used for high end portraits or landscape images as would any of the dwindling offerings from Fuji’s Fujichrome stable. 

Recently I purchase a five pack of Kodak’s Pro Image 100 film and am pretty pleased with the results of this first test roll. I don’t do reviews but this film I found to give a very good render of all the colours I observed when shooting this film. The only issue I found was during scanning with my Nikon Coolscan V scanner was I did find the images appear with a blue cast and never noticed this with either Agfa Vista or Kodak’s Color Plus films. This was corrected easily with Gimp 2.8 and the only other step I had to undertake was a little straightening on some of the pictures.

One simple click of Gimp’s white balance control cured the blue cast.

All images taken on my Leica M3 with the Summicron 50mm f/2 on Kodak Pro Image 100 film in October of this year.

Development of this film was done by https://www.ag-photolab.co.uk/

Robin Schimko website: https://www.fotodesign-rs.de/

Postcard from Honfleur

I took this shot of Honfleur harbour purely for my own use as a desktop wallpaper for the computer, then decided to share with all of you because my wife and I love Honfleur, but not only that to show the harbour town houses which as you see are very tall.

In some case seven stories high townhouses, many of these buildings are very old dating anything from the 16th to 18th century and is a tourist hot spot in the summer. The streets and harbour front are lined with café and restaurants with other street hiding hidden gems like Saint-Catherine’s Church which dated from the 15th century.

If you are find yourself visiting Normandy, Honfleur is a must for a photographers for harbour views, scenes and street photography.

There’s even a very large ferris wheel which my Mrs just had to have a ride on and no you wouldn’t get me on it …I cannot stand heights!

All images taken with my Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 and Summicron 35mm f/2 lenses on Agfa Vista 200 colour film.

Enjoying the day.

Came across this gentlemen having a rest enjoying the day after lockdown restrictions had been eased. Nothing to special, but it made for a pleasing image and shot at Barton Point Coastal park, England.

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Taken on my Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 and shot on Fomapan 100 @ 400 ISO using sunny sixteen.

World goes by

Street photography is a little thin on the ground until I spotted this little fellow waiting for a family member to return from a corner shop. Great images come to those who are patient.49939458332_190946f7b5_b

Taken on my Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 and shot on Fomapan 100 @ 800 ISO using sunny sixteen.

Lockdown Street

Sheerness, England, parking around what use to known as Marine Town is hard to find many spare spaces during lock down. This only means one thing, no one is at work and it’s like a Sunday but everyday.

NHS

During lockdown I notice there seems to be an awful lot of discarded belongs around where I live. Most of what I see being left out are children’s toys and part of this I think is due to the shutdown the recycling, refuse sites and charity shops are all closed at the moment, yet from what we have seen don’t look like they are going to open anytime soon. Just walking a mile or so from home with the dog brings some surprising finds nearly every morning.

Roadworks

Unsightly to some, great street photography for me. I find it amazing sometimes what some residents will discard onto the street and this not a big city but a sleepy seaside town. 

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Looks like war zone but this is just one back alley in the town, many alleyways are now like this or even worse still.

Bad Parking

Walking back along the seawall brings another discarded find, a child’s scooter. If I post every picture of all the finds I make this blog would go on for ever and a day.

The Sweeper

Further along the wall yet more cars parked everywhere, still on the brightside does keep some people employed I suppose and photographers something to shoot during the lockdown period.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 all images taken on Fomapan 100 Classic film at an ISO of 800

Dad’s photographic life

I don’t often do still life photography and this picture has come from an album I found while sorting out my late fathers estate. In the 1950’s he was stationed with Royal Air force in Malta and during that time there he purchased a Voigtländer Vito B camera. It’s a wonderful album full of images he had taken with this camera of the island during the two years he was stationed there.

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I used my late father’s Leica M3 with a Summicron 50mm f/2 duel range lens. Shot on the dinning room table using just natural light from a near by window and taken with a timed exposure of f/8 at 1 second on Fomapan 100 Classic film.

Linda

This is Linda, she is a fellow dog owner and while out walking our dogs by the seawall I asked if I could take her portrait with her mask, which typifies the way our day to day lives have become during this pandemic.

Linda

Leica M3, Summicron 50mm f/2 taken Ilford Delta 400 film using Sunny 16.