Why I bought a Leica?

'Why did I buy a Leica?

Well I asked some chums down the club, what was the most expensive camera I could buy. I was off to Gstaad for the winter and wanted to take some pictures of the gang. They told me about this German camera called a Leica. Very expensive apparently & hard to get. So I popped down to this little shop in Mayfair & said I'd like one. The chappie behind the counter said I'd have to wait as they were in short supply. Well I was flying out the next day so I couldn't put up with that. A couple of grand over the odds soon sorted that out however & off I went.

It looked a bit odd to me, a bit retro, but the man in the shop said it was the best. Gave me this lens thingy to go with it, a knockedilox or something like that. He said it was very fast, whatever that means.

Things didn't turn out that well with it though. I took a few pictures on the slopes and went off to the local photo shop thingy to get my film developed. The chappie there said it was a digital camera, whatever that is. I said "Oh fine, where are my pictures?" He said that I had a series of totally black images and asked me if I had removed the lens cap. I told him that the shop in Mayfair said that I should look through the little hole in the back and press the shutter. I'd been doing that, so where were the pictures? He showed me what the problem was and it looked a bit complicated but I had a go anyway.

The next day I went back and said I'd seen the pictures pop up on the little screen thingy on the back but I'd really need them a bit bigger than that as I'd like to show them around. He said he would print them out for me. They looked very blurry however and I wasn't happy. He then asked me something about "Had I focused the lens" I asked him what that meant & he showed me some little box in the hole thingy and told me about lining up edges or something like that. I asked him if it was faulty since all my chums used cameras where they just pressed the button and their pictures looked fine. He told me it was a manual focus camera. I told him I worked in the city and didn't do manual work, but he said I'd have to do this to get a decent picture.

Well by now I was getting a bit ticked off. I left the shop and ran into some friends. They asked me about the pictures I had taken and could they see them. I showed them and apologised about the bluriness. However there was this chap called Alistair who said they were fab & he had a sister who had a gallery who might like to display them.

Well when I got back to town I went to see her and she thought they were fab too. So I've got this exhibition coming up and there's rumours of a book deal with this other chap Alistair knows in New York. American but a decent chap apparently.

I did have to go back to Mayfair though and get a black camera though since Grey is so last year.

So to all you photographic chappies out there I'd like to say how good these Leica thingys are. All my friends have one now and we're thinking of opening up a studio for photographing all that thin girls in frocks stuff. Apparently Alistair knows the editor of some magazine called Rogue or something & he thinks we might be able to jet off to Mustique with some girls for a shoot. Sounds great but I'd like to take a few snaps as well, since this photography thing is great fun.'

Originally posted 2010.

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Many Thanks

David Taylor-Hughes