I can recall the moment like it was yesterday. I wanted a rangefinder. I wanted a camera that was tidy, discreet and would shoot like a boss.
My friend, Mike Levitt from LAT USA, let me try two of his… a Leica M8 and an Epson RS. Both very, very cool looking and equally as cool feeling. So off I went to roam the paddock.
Upon my return to the photo room, you have no idea how disappointed I was. Sixty images… three in focus. I was stunned and totally disheartened. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to focus, after all, I started shooting in the 70’s…. all you had was manual focus. No… the problem was my eyes. Time had caught up with me.
Fast forward a few years, I had found a reasonable source of satisfaction for my rangefinder jones and was shooting with the Leica Digilux 2. I loved the camera.
But along the way, I picked up a couple of converted Polaroid Pathfinders… vintage folding Polaroid’s from the 1950’s. Oddly… they used a rangefinder focusing system. Lo and behold, I discovered that if I used my reading glasses I had great success in focusing.
From there I jumped into a Leica M5… it was great. I was shooting with a rangefinder and loving it. But I wasn’t loving the workflow involved with film. The next step was obvious.
I soon swapped the M5 for a digital Leica M8.2 and ultimately the full frame Leica M9. Heaven.Read More