Out & about with the M6

First roll with my new/old Leica M6 circa 1986 model.

Also new to me, I used Rodinal film developer for the first time processing these negatives. I’ve only ever used D76 or the equivalent ID11 developer.

For these pictures I solely used the Summicron 35mm ASPH lens and I shot two rolls of Fomapan Classic 100 film and rated it an ISO 800. The jury still out on the focusing tab, I’m 50-50 about using it and I mostly zone focused the lens on this photo walk. But by the end of the day I forgot the lens even had a tab and I have to admit with the smaller E39 size lenses the focusing tab used for precise focus does work well. Maybe I was a little too quick to dismiss it first time round and will get use to the tab in time. Glad I purchased the black chrome 1959 design of the Summilux which doesn’t have a tab unlike it’s modern sibling and really I think is totally unnecessary for a lens of that size.

‘Close up’
Tenterden High Street.

Do you think he forgot his reading glasses?

I’ve been pleasantly surprised how responsive the meter is on the M6 and it matched my Weston Euromaster lightmeter readings everytime. Despite the poor light, the LED’s in the viewfinder are clear, easy to use and very bright, if anything I found it easier than the Leica M-P (Typ 240) display, not bad for a 35 year old camera!

So this is Tenterden in Kent, England on cold, overcast December day, very soft light.


While walking along his gentlemen suddenly leaned in front of me talking on his mobile phone looking down the service road to the supermarket. Oh well, might as well take his picture now! Other side of the street, girl on the right was staring into space for ages, while the woman on her left, I think she was writing her memoirs.

Stop!

Gentleman in the middle of the image amused me, thought I was some sort of local litter enforcement, I was wearing flat cap, navy blue top, trousers, black body warmer along with my Domke F-5 bag and camera, hmm?! …think he might of dropped something he shouldn’t have.


Few pictures from the Sheerness, England.

I was amused by the local butcher was wearing a rubber turkey on his head for Christmas, taking a shot through the display window, relying the cameras meter for the exposure. On the right, a mother enjoying some phone time with her young son. I took the shot through the Cafe window, where we were having lunch at the time and guessed the exposure on this occasion by an extra stop.

Cyclist Dismount

Cyclists, you’ve got to love them!


All in all I’m very pleased with the results, what else did I expect with a Leica Meßsucher.

Well at £2400 British pounds or $3200 for just camera body you could say it’s an expensive tool or toy. Really with this camera other than different frame lines and a built in meter, is no different to my old Leica M4-2. While the Leica M3 was a lovely old camera with a fantastic built qualities, I personally found the viewfinder on the M3 much darker than my old M4-2 0.72x and the new M-P 0.68x viewfinders which both give a great view outside their frame lines too.

With prices of used Leica film cameras still climbing, I think I have made a good investment overall.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Winter Weather

Finally the cold weather has arrived in the UK. For some ice and snow, for me biting cold winds and rain …not great holding a brass camera with bare hands!

Brisk

Following morning, calm but very cold on the island. One lonely brave soul walking along the top of the shingle bank in the icy weather to work.

Chilly Commute

This has to be my favorite image. The storm is brewing over the other side of the Thames Estuary, heading south towards me. The sea is getting rougher, clouds darkening, beginning of hard rain and sleet, Storm Arwen is coming.

Click to enlarge above image

Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens.

Autumn View

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

Folkestone

I had not been to Folkestone, England in some twenty five years and it has somewhat changed. Last time I been there it was a very run down seaside town, with little or no investment or jobs after the demise of the ferry service to France was closed down in 2000 and the Channel tunnel which had opened six years before. Today it’s a very different place to town I knew.

Although very harsh light all day, I made this work in my favour and managed to get some great street shots and this was after I’d realised I had left my Weston lightmeter at home, so leaving me with no choice but to use the Leica’s own built in meter. Think I’m starting to get the hang of the of the M-P now.

I even got some abuse from a young woman who told me I was breaking the law taking pictures of people in the street. I do love these individuals who like quoting laws that don’t exist in the UK!

Walking along this shore path made out of old railway sleepers located on Folkestone seafront I was looking at the light was shining off them. Just waiting for the right moment, this girl walked pasted me and managed to catch her in the 1.4 depth of field.

Coffee Folkes

Along the old harbour railway station this coffee vendor was parked between a gap under the old railway station canopy with sun lighting up his auto rickshaw. Little tricky getting the metering right but I got there in the end.

Art

Out of tune

Since last being in Folkestone, there’s a lot of art work around the town now. This one is by Norwegian artist A K Dolven called ‘Out of tune’

Quote from the Creative Folkestone website

“It features a 16th-century tenor bell from Scraptoft Church in Leicestershire, which had been removed for not being in tune with the others. It is suspended from a steel cable strung between two 20m high steel beams, placed 30m apart”

…must make a terrible noise on a stormy night!

Reading the news

There was two men on this bench but this larger gentleman appeared in the frame, sat down virtually pushing the other guy off the seat. Then started reading the other man’s newspaper.

Dots & spots

The above image is a crop from a landscape picture, annoyingly other people kept walking into the frame …hard life being a street photographer! This been a film negative I don’t think I would have got away with such a crop without losing detail.

The 50mm Summilux and digital imaging shines through again. If you can get your hands on an example if only for a day, I highly recommend you give it a try. It’s sharpness even wide open is unbelievable. The harbour shot below was taken wide open as was the other images in this post.

House boat

Folkestone harbour …don’t ask!


If your ever visiting the seaside town of Folkestone, I can highly recommend ‘Marleys’ café for a great cuppa at only £2.00!

Marleys

Also back down the same street there’s Nik & Trick Photo Services store. Well worth a visit, cameras, film and darkroom supplies. Link below.


All images taken with my Leica M-P (Typ 240) with the Summilux 50mm f/1.4 ASPH lens, using a B+W Neutral Density 2 Stop filter.

Final image at ‘Marleys’ taken with my Samsung A12 phone.

Nik & Trick Services Photographiques

The revealing tide

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.

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.

Tails wagging

Honfleur, France – August 2020.

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.

Retirement

Taken on another very warm day in Arromanches-les-Bains, France, 2020

Moments after I took the shot our dog Charlie barge in to make a fuss and luckily for me they where very accommodating to him but didn’t notice me taking pictures.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800

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.