Leica and lenses

Leica M9 Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Biogon

Location - Lyme Regis, Dorset
Equipment - Leica M9, Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Biogon

On Phillip Blooms site there's a fascinating piece about him buying a Leica M9 and learning the joys of rangefinder photography. 
http://philipbloom.net/2010/09/10/from-dslr-to-rangefinder-learning-to-shoot-stills-again-from-scratch/ Phillip is a cameraman and general all round video guru, particularly with regard to digital SLR's. He claims that he's not really a photographer, and certainly some of his first shots with the M9 are not that great. However he has a great eye for his video work and it will be interesting to see what he comes up with.


His downright enthusiasm for the system is quite infectious however, and reminds me of what I was experiencing just over a year ago when I bought my M8. I decided to have a "Leica Day" myself. I've been taking the M9 out occasionally for the last two weeks and have even tried some occasional lens changing, after the problems with the dust spots. Yesterday I took out the Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Biogon, Zeiss 50mm f/2 Planar and Leica 90mm f/2.8 Summarit-M. 


Leica M9 Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Biogon


Leica M9 Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Biogon




Location - Lyme Regis, Dorset
Equipment - Leica M9, Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Biogon

Both the above pictures were taken at Lyme Regis harbour with the 21mm. Its a long time since I've used this lens on the Leica. Its the lens that shows up the dust spots most of all. I'm still cleaning up images from a previous trip to Somerset earlier this year, and I have been very reluctant to use it. There is also slight vignetting and a colour cast in the corner. However these images were still relatively clean and the lens problems weren't that bad considering that I forgot to change the lens selected in the lens selection menu on the M9. (There's a manual preset mode in the M9 which allows you to select a certain lens and then it takes account of vignetting etc and alters the image in software. No Zeiss presets but there is a very close Leica equivalent)

Leica M9 90mm f/2.5 Summarit-M


Location - Seaton Tramway, Devon
Equipment - Leica M9, 90mm f/2.8 Summarit-M

Leica M9 Zeiss 50mm f2 Planar


Location - 

Seaton Tramway, Devon


Equipment - Leica M9, Zeiss 50mm f/2 PLanar

The second location was the Seaton Tramway. These restored old trams travel from the seaside resort of Seaton to Colyton station, shown here, alongside the River Axe.

The final location was the Dorset coast micro resort of Seatown. After two weeks of this fatigue is definitely setting in and a lot of time here was spent lying in the sunshine. I did however raise myself to take some shots with the 21mm.

Leica M9 Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Biogon

Leica M9 Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Biogon


Location - Seatown, Dorset
Equipment - Leica M9, Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Biogon



So my first Leica M9 excursion with lens changing for over 3 months. It wasn't as bad as I feared with regard to the dust. I really would like to use these lenses, particularly the 21mm, and I'll see how it goes.

One observation about using a Leica. I don't know whether its the rangefinder frames or fixed lenses but I'm often not sure about the composition when I take the image, but when I view it on the computer screen, I'm always very happy. Admittedly the screen on the Leica is very poor quality and doesn't give great feedback, but it does still take some getting used to.

One more day of this trip left and I'm planning to use the Leica again.

Words - D
Images - D & A