Back to the M


In the last year, I have mainly been using either my Leica Q or CL for my walks, and recently with the D-Lux 7, I felt that my flagship camera been left in the dry cabinet for far too long. The Leica M would be almost 4 years old now but it still gave amazing return if you have the time to fiddle around with it. Certainly not an ideal tool when you were pressed for time or on a trip somewhere when the convenience of autofocus trumped everything else.

But last weekend, I decided to go back to basic. I dusted off the M and updated the firmware. Took my time walking around Bukit Bintang amidst the pre-CNY crowd as the sun was falling. Got a mixture of outdoor and indoor snaps but street photography was where the setup excelled. 

The quality of the snaps rivalled the medium format coming off the Fuji - which I had the chance to use on a couple of occasions. It was less clunky and after using it for a few minutes, the snap counts just went up. Focussing with a rangefinder required a different approach but after a while you would appreciate the simplicity. It was point, adjust and click. 

The snaps may not look great on the back of the backscreen - which was why some version of the Leica did not even come with a screen. Opening the files back home during post-processing was when the quality really stood up. The sharpness of the lens coupled with the exact focussing was just unrivalled. In 30 minutes, I managed close to 100 snaps. That was how seamless it was.

There are limitations though. The lens was static - I used the Summilux-M 35 FLE - without the convenience of a zoom. Nailing the focussing point may be hit and miss. But the overall tone and bokeh was just amazing ...

Beware, once you were hooked with a rangefinder, there will simply be no turning back. That camera is addictive!