The storyteller

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.

Faversham Market, England. September 2021

Suncream

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.

Faversham Market, England. September 2021

Gymnastic decorating

Gymnastic decorating

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!

‘Painting by numbers’ – Headcorn, England.

Both images taken with Leica M-P (Typ-240) Summicron 50mm f/2.

September 2021.



Decisions.

Jacks‘ the Doberman Pinscher – 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.

‘Choppy waters’ Isle of Sheppey, England – Summicron 50mm f/2

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.

Conclusions.

…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!

New acquisition.

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.

Image courtesy from Leica AG

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.

https://www.reddotcameras.co.uk/

Legs

I came across this Peugeot J7 van converted into a camper among the many that are parked up at the seafront, Minster, England. Apart from the vehicles aged look, I liked the hanging lantern lights and stencilled monkey advertising on the side panel. Lady inside didn’t want her picture taken but did not seem to mind or notice her legs being on show which added to the picture.

Taken with my Leica M-P (Typ-240) Summicron 50mm f/2

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

Thoughts

I love this picture, it has so much within it, her mobile phone she is texting on, her face staring into space as she pulses between sentences and the glasses at the bottom of her nose over the face mask. I took this shot by the same vintage carousel in my image ‘Merry go round‘ Honfleur, France.

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

Hiding

Vimoutiers, France. August 2020

Taken on a very dull morning this image is a bit grainy but it I think it works. This shy little boy was standing in front of his mother while she was talking on the street outside this cafe. Sitting at a table opposite while drinking a morning tea, waiting for a possible shot, the moment came when peered under his mothers hand for me.

Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and taken on Ilford HP5 plus, rated at 800.

Smile!

Back from France, but in quarantine for two weeks …oh. 😞

This time I was able to go to France with two Leica’s, M4 with black and white the other loaded with colour. Taken in Vimoutiers town square and sometimes if I catch someones eye, I still take the shot, but now just saying smile! …sometimes you get a great reaction.


Leica M4-2, Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH and loaded with Kodak Tri-X, rated at 800.

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.

Taking notice

Street photography in Honfleur, France. As this couple walked past, I barked to get the dog attention and the woman looked at me instead of her Pappion, much to the amusement of the people sitting at the caf’e opposite.

48996262171_7a153f5307_b

Leica M4-2, Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH, taken on Kodak Tri-X film rated at 800 ISO.