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Leica M Bergen

Leieting.no the brainchild of Christer Hansen Eriksen, indirectly made this post possible. This guy created a website, where registered users can rent their belongings. In case you need an L lens, a circular saw, a boat, a console, a drone, a Tesla, whatever. You will probably find a user who is willing to rent just that or a very close alternative. This is how I had the chance to get my hands on a –insert epic music here– Leica. A Leica M Monochrom supplied with a nifty-fifty lens, the f/2.0 Summicron and some filters that I tried but never used.

I’ve been curious what all the fuss is about. I’ve ‘been gathering info, testing digital and film cameras, all sorts of lenses within my reach in order to be able to finish a book I started writing that will be aimed at beginner photo enthusiasts. This old post on steroids. With new findings, photos and info, in a neat little book form like you guys asked for. For as cheap as possible. The primary goal here is the legacy, not profit. This mentality is not making life easier for me but it is nice to still have values.

Stumbled upon the before mentioned website and I almost heard the camera asking out for my name. Much like in LOTR. :P Was quite nervous. Pinched myself several times after laying me’ fingerprints on IT. After all, a “stranger” just handed me over his Leica gear. The body was from around 2012-2013. The lens (also based on serial numbers) was manufactured in 1989. Looked almost like it was made yesterday, freshly off the shelf.

Dayum’. What sorcery is this?! The body goes for around 4-5 grand and the lens for between 1-2 grand. So with good intentions this averages out at about 6000$. Given to me by a “stranger“. Easy as buying tacos. Sure it is insured and the whole renting system is figured out well but still.

Happy and shaking. My mere mortal hands were finally experiencing such highly regarded photographic gear. On a side note about the “stranger“. Based on my short experience, besides being a pleasant personality, he is also a fellow photog’ who actually uses the Leica as a photographic tool, not just like some seals, I mean celebrities who use it like jeweler or paperweight. I didn’t initially know that he was also the owner of the business. Anyho’. Highly regarded. Thumbs up! I wish him good luck with all his future endeavors.

Don’t even know where to start. I know you are waiting for media but bare with me a while longer, or not.

Rented it for a day. 24 hours-ish (as I said, C.H.E. is a really nice guy). The range-finder rage was initiated by a film camera. In the process of boiling down gear and focal lengths (more on this in the book). The analog Canon 7 rangefinder, that currently lives in symbiosis with a Russian copy of a Zeiss C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM lens. My intention was to test the poor man’s Sonnar on a full-frame digital mirror-less body.

Leica and Sony are the two available options (wtf Canon?!) Disregarded Leica-s in a heartbeat because I knew they were out of my bracket. Renting also (so I thought).

Sony. Checked prices, reviews of angry photographer-s and concluded that that route is also overpriced and still very much in beta, with focus on milking the cow (us customers) and getting more market share. Sell cheaper iterations of the same plastic for more, kind of thing.

That is how I ended up renting the Leica. Unfortunately I did not do proper research beforehand and impulsively went for it. Fearing I’ll miss out on the opportunity (the owner will change his mind or raise the price or something) only to find out later that the Leica screw mount (type M39) is not the same type of mount “my” 24 hour Leica M uses.

Had no time to be sad tho’. The clock was ticking and I intended to milk the time-frame as much as I could. By this time my hands stopped shaking and I tried not to focus on the financial meltdown I would face if the gear got damaged or stolen. The pinching continued but it seems it was a real experience after all.

Another reason I hesitated to look at Leica-s was because they managed to become a snobbish brand. A luxury accessory brand. Mostly self absorbed celebs can afford Leica-s. Oh lookat at ‘im. ‘Im got a Leica’. Oh look at ‘im rich boy showing off his genital extension. Who wants to be that company!?

Enthusiast photo gear sold to people on the complete other side of the spectrum. There always are exceptions. Good job Leica. I’m glad Fuji kicked you in the nuts and continues to do so. You’ll go the way of the Hasselblad if things don’t change. Wonder what direction the company takes now that they no longer trade their stock and Leica is now 100% privately owned.

I am a firm believer of the old saying, cheap things are not good and usually good things are not cheap but dayum’. Does greed have no limit!? …and yes, I am just rambling because I can’t afford one :) There. I’ve said it. Truth be said tho’, I didn’t think I would want to own one even after I tried one.

Now that I managed to piss some people off, let us move on.

Morning coffee. Check.

Fresh haircut. Check.

The universe’s way of signaling one who is on the way to pick up a Leica M Bergen. Check. “I know what you are up to meh-he-he. I know everythang’. I’m the freakin’ universe meh-eh-he!


Thigh shot.

Wonder how the Leica Bergen would handle this situation.

Old vs New.

Picked up the relic and some beard soap from them’ barber-ninja-s. First time for both. Hope I don’t drop either.

The TP is there for contrast. The Leica fever was already growing on me with no signs of ever intending to stop. Went trough the menu system. Got to know the camera a little. Did a lot of reading after I gave it back btw.

The fever and the GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) it gave me didn’t leave me for days. As I dived into Leica-s a little deeper online (plus what the owner told me) I found that they also have issues with sensor corrosion (like them Sony-s). The company just forgets to market that. Imagine that. New flagshi Leica! Get it while it’s hot! No only 8999 dollars! Comes with free sensor corrosion!

This particular 18 megapixel CCD sensor equipped Leica also suffered from it (as I was told) but since Leica owners get free CLA services (Clean, Lubricate, Adjust) the issue has since been resolved (replaced sensor). From what I’ve read, alltho’ free, the waiting list is pretty hefty. Not the kind of news you want to hear after you spend a gizillion dollars on something ey’?!

Before any of you get excited, there will be no MTF charts or photos of walls or cats in this post. This is not for forum geeks but people who actually like to shoot. Had no time to prepare for this so ‘T-is what it is. I’m sure some fellow not-so-wealthy enthusiast will find it interesting.

Picked up the camera around noon. Walked around the city with it until, usually I’d say night but that word don’t mean much here in Bergen. In winter time, 3-4 pm for someone new to Scandinavia could easily be mistaken for 9-10 pm. So yeah, until my feet hurt.

First two shots. Nothing exciting. Figuring things out. Chimping.

Some more chimping.

Intended to do visual ballet with it, since frame one. After all this was a Leica! It is supposed to make the bearer a better photographer :)) Anything I’ll touch is supposed to turn into gold… :) not. I was falling apart much like you see depicted above.

Bring, special division.

Shoot, chimp, repeat.

Message the brain. It wouldn’t hurt if we captured something worth sharing, viewing.

No time to cock around. The missis was waiting for me @ the office. Took a shortcut trough a park.

What addiction will do to you.

Quick aperture test in the slideshow above.

Oh, for those of you wondering. Why Leica M Bergen? Well…

All these shots might have well as been shot in color. It would still look pretty much the same :)

Bergen can be monochrome sometimes :)

The opera house. GriegHallen. Here it is on a not so Monochrome day.


The one in the middle spotted me.

One thing is constant. Change.

Arrived. Met the missis just before she checked out. HUB (Bergen) and some cute bokeh. While we’re at it, let me brag about a new website I’ve set up. A sort of guide for tourists and newcomers to Bergen with lots of useful info, videos and stuff. Check it out. Welovebergen.com Bookmark it even. Working on it in my spare time. Another legacy thing. I’m sure some of these projects will be noticed sometime. Probably right after I kick the bucket. Next day everything goes viral.

‘Yello :*

She still didn’t notice the Leica.

I slowly unpacked the things one is not supposed to drop, like this soap.

Here it is in color and proper focus. Prison made.

Test photo A1

Test photo A2

She still didn’t notice. Was not as excited as I was, as you can tell. :) I don’t blame her. I for one don’t get a hard on when it comes to knitting. We’re different. Anyho’. Sitting there chimping the new toy while sipping my beverage, took some test shots. With both cameras. Brought the king of all lens, the Canon 50mm 1.8 with me. This was premeditated.

Wonder if you guys can guess which one is which. Just leave your guess in the form of a comment and after the fifth individual, I’ll reply and unveil. Something like this, A1 = your guess on which camera brand it was shot with.

Test photo B1

Test photo B2

Test photo C1

Test photo C2

Test photo D1

Test photo D2

Test photo E1

Test photo E2

Test photo F1

Test photo F2

Hot stuff :P

Frank Jackson time :P

Expensive blur. Desktop wallpaper maybe.

One more and we can go.

There was a lot of chimping involved. Steep learning curve. Poor me, lol.

Hear a lot of bad things about the M9 iso performance. Seven-ish years ago many people were turned off by the poor low light performance of the M9 flagship Leica. Don’t know what the M9 is like but I really like the grain of this here sensor. Not digital-esque at all in my opinion. Pleasing, especially when I think of what the Fuji was like.

Oh Jackie… :) You are welcome. Both of you.

Bokeh tests.

How out-of-focus of me. The signs of a spoiled by autofocus photog. That is where comfort gets you. Still like it. Sharpness is overrated.

Watch your step dude. Note to self, lower the camera a bit next time so his feet are not chopped off.

Here is a photo of what things are supposed to look like.

The little overexposed gnomes are working on it.

Avoid straight lines at all cost.

Learn as you go. Fake it until you make it. Make our ears bleed and ask for money in the process. “Hustlin’“. I wish I could be more like that. I don’t mean begging, but selling nothing. I’m not even very good at selling the skills I am confident about.

They fit baby’.

Yes, period.

Wasn’t the only one chimping but focusing still took some time so I missed the “moment” as these two were sitting in front of each other scrolling trough their feed.

Coffee-ffee. The McDonald’s of Coffee.

Impossible is nothing. Float!

Took a small detour as we headed towards home.

Saw some millennials. Future tax payers. Cutters.

Waved to a friend.

Touched on Stasi’s store. “One of the most feared institutions of the East German communist government“. :)

First impressions.

I was always curious what makes a certain thing look or feel good. What is that thing that makes it good to hold, touch, look at. My first personal encounter with a camera was in around 1999 and I’m into them ever since. I like well made, dependable, fixable things. Modular things even. Tried as many cameras as I could and continue to do so. This particular camera… feels incredible.

Boiled down. The materials. The work and thought put into it. You can feel all that just by touching it. If any sober camera manufacturers are listening, this is where you should start taking notes. :P

Next time you create a tool, do it from some sort of metal alloy. Something that will last and ages attractively. 25% of the success is assured just by doing this one thing. Oh and do not release beta products. I know Apple made this a trend mostly with their fruitphones (and made a fortune) but in the long run you are chopping wood under your own feet as we, people from the land beyond the forest like to say.

I’m not a material guy but I believe that when John Doe crafts a ‘thang and he puts all his heart and skills into it, some of that gets transferred, captured in that particular ‘thang. Whatever that might be. A watch, the bodywork of a car, the shape of an axe, a knife or a hammer, a camera.

Like these little streets. Like the feel of the camera so far. Pretty flawless. The sound that it makes and the little vibration you feel is also cool. First a shutter sound followed by a sound that resembles film rewinding (this latter actually being the sensor being electronically discharged or something ’round that neighborhood). Wanted to record it but it eluded me. You can youtube it if you want tho’.

Everything is manual. Mechanical precision. High quality stuff. Except for the sensor corrosion and maybe the lcd screen and the plastic buttons on the back.

You really have to experience it yourself.

The  dynamic range of the human eye is said to be around 20 stops. 1.000.000:1. The dynamic range of a digital sensor in today’s cameras is about 10-12 exposure values but let us stop before forum geeks get a hard on. In this little research journey I’ve ‘been doing on the side, whilst roaming full speed towards the hug of the reaper.

Came to the conclusion that the lens… is what really matters when it comes to picture making. Good lens are for life and they keep their value. Camera bodies will come and go. You could have the best camera body with the best sensor out there, paired with shitty optics. Still wouldn’t matter.

The secret, the holy grail is the lens. The recipe, the materials used. The number of elements. Very well guarded secrets, those are. Mmhhhh. Know them, we never will, mmmhhhh.

Found some glitches.

The light coming trough the little window that illuminates the frame-lines (I think) was being recorded (the neon text upside down in the top part of the photo).

Only showed up from certain angles.

There it is again. On newer iterations of the M series cameras, I think this wouldn’t be a problem. The frame-lines are led-illuminated and that extra little window is gone.

Another thing I can conclude is that (this makes it a personal opinion), the tool one uses influences the way you shoot. You see things differently trough a DSLR. When you look down and see the world trough a TLR, it is a completely different experience. You notice different things. Same with rangefinders.

The shape, the size, the placement of features on the camera, the materials you touch all influence the way you use it. The tool matters. The materials matter. Nothing else matters. :P

Won’t make you a better photographer but it influences the photos you choose to take, what you notice. It doesn’t hurt if the tool improves the levels of enjoyment in the process is all I’m sayin’ and I for one search for that tool that maximizes the quality of the creative output and the enjoyment while being at it.

How am I supposed to justify that amount of money for a camera…

Nobody home but this plant.

What graffiti is supposed to look like. Street art in Bergen.

Hot chocolate.

Everything is branded. Even my photos :)) but joke aside I really wish there was a store that exclusively sells clothes with no branding. It would be a hit.

Oh and Happy New Year btw!

Dude. No context.

Dude in context.

Scrubbing shit off. We all know what that feels like. Except maybe Leica owners :P

Leica-s are like this door. Expensive.

Waiting for our turn.

Exclusive. Luxury. VIP. Oh btw, did you notice the little pirate labeled lunch box? :)

Another wallpaper maybe.

Overexposed smile.

Smiling is good for you. Just like Mayo’.

C is for cookieeee… :) Hi, cookie monster.

Bye, cookie monster.

Some more tricky situations. Light, that is.

Still life. Creative environment. In a messy state. No fucks are given. This ain’t no museum. People actually live here.

Inspirational photo and the bonsai from Ikea.



That one time when we still haven’t redone that part of our home (because not only Leica-s are overpriced) featuring that red/white tapestry from “what the fuck were you thinking previous owner” -store and some dishes waiting to be magically washed by the holy spirit.

Of course I’m taking the camera to the grocery store.

Looked the same in color.

This Leica M as in Mini magnet.

Dang’ reflections again. It must be a feature.

Peek into the not so distant future. When acid rain and Skynet will prevent us from going outside. We’ll just stare at posters of what nature used to look like.

Why so creepy?!

Step 1. Chop down them trees. Step 2. Build another shopping center. Step 3. Miss nature. Step 4. Bring in a tree from outside. Put it in a pot next to a picture.

Stock photo but this one is expensive-er’ than others because it was shot with a Leica. :P

A certain gender just has to touch everything. It must be their way of peeing on stuff, like dogs do.

I bet the number 9 is the most often used number on the whole planet.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if we had to hunt for food again. It would suck big-time.

We take everything for granted. Fill up the basket. Done. This is normal. Snowflakes still complain.


I’ll just take a nap…“aaaand we’ll call it a day.

Next day. Clock’s’a’tickin’. No time to waste. Let me get my professional, minimum-focusing-distance-measurement-tool.

Minimum focusing distance. The most overlooked spec. when shopping for a lens.

Test photo G1

Guessing time again. Leica or Canon. Canon or Leica. Maybe both were shot with the same. Who knows. Place your bets in the comment section, ‘pillow.

Test photo G2

New day, new coffee. Birds are singing, sun is shi… oh wait. Where is my daily dose of fish oil?!

Sidekick tools ready. Trying to take advantage of the few hours I still had left. Took some photos of the camera from all sorts of angles. Next to all sorts of artifacts as you’ll see around the end of this post. For comparison. For science!

This would almost look the same in color.

Another aperture test.

Dynamic range tests.

50 shades of Bergen.

Example of today’s disposable-everything mentality. Including human beings. We are degraded to resource. Human resource. Batteries. Matrix. All that. “Just buy a new one“.

Shipyard be’gone. New residential area will be replacing it soon.

You can not live in Bergen and have a negative attitude towards life. Fish oil is also compulsory.

I’ve seen very few curtains since I live in Norway.

Hey, you can see MIR from here. ;)

There are more than 99999 EL(ectric) vehicles. The EK numbers are also running out fast.

There are a lot of poles in Norway. Phun intended :D

Another wallpaper maybe.

Building the future.

No straight lines were used in the building of this building.

Friends, when I sometimes send over snaps often ask, where are all the people? It looks like a ghost town. True dat’.

It eludes me why people don’t go out more often especially in such nice weather. Maybe they are all out of town, hiking.

There. See? There is a car and a chopper in this frame (and some sensor dust in the upper left part).

One of our neighbors goes to work in one of those. Hello Hans!

Boom. There. Another one. See. This ain’t no ghost town.

There is a bird in this one. Plenty of life on this rock.

Oh. Listen to Rain, thunder and wind on noisli.com if you want to set the mood. It is  hard to see but it was pretty cool as the water was coming down in waves here.

Live fence.

Owning a boat here is like owning a bike.

Straight lines. Finally, some order.

The banksy-s alone make Bergen worth visiting. Check the weather forecast beforehand tho’.

Some more poles and a tank. It is getting old huh’.

An old workshop. Millennials will have to look up terms like “fixing things“, like they did with “What is brexit?” after they voted for it.

A reminder.

Heavy metal. Just imagine. You on this ship. In a storm. Listening to Metallica or something. :)

The cake is a lie. Google’s street view depiction of Bergen is also an over-saturated lie. Wallpaper material, this one.

Pay up and go. There is no avoiding these automated blood suckers. They are installed everywhere. There was an article on this in the local newspaper that I’ve read online (that makes it an e-paper ‘init?!). One guy summed it up pretty well. Until now these taxes were collected to build new roads, expand and maintain infrastructure. Now they are there to prevent one, from using the roads.

Just another herd management tool. “Encouraging” citizens to use public transportation or go electric. No gate tolls and sometimes free parking for them who embrace electricity over little explosions. You can even use the bus lane and some tunnels if you ride electric. Even the annual taxes are significantly lower. Until the needle flips and enough people are converted. That is when they drop the hammer again.

On the other hand yes it is also a good thing, because air pollution is a bad thing. In Oslo diesel cars are banned effective this week I think. The problem is with greed. Which is again, a bad thing.

That bitch“. Maybe not the best neighborhood to walk around in with a Leica. Oh well… Don’t worry I had my you-betta’-not-mess-with-me face on. I was walking around like I was packing heat anyways. Camera holding hand tucked in my jacket close to my chest. Only getting it out when I popped a frame.

Another winged citizen.

The tallest and most awkwardly placed wooden building is what I call this one.

Face to face, symmetry.

More jaevla utlendinga… :P “They ‘terk our ‘jerbs!“. Truth be told they do dominate the construction industry. Diligent peeps.

Metal and rain. \m/

This one, I wish I had color. The garage behind the fiesta was flooded with warm orange light. The contrast was so cool. So-so cool.

Leca” AG. :) Even the font they used… #lazydesigner

High demand for #pussesand these days.

Work. You could buy 3-4 of those cars with what this camera is worth.

Pukk, but no need to change the glass, we’ll just use some tape.

A little encouragement.

Pessimism or Realism? Or maybe he just had a bad day because he ran out of fish oil. I really can’t think of any other reason for this mental state, especially in this part of town.

Repeating patterns again.

This part of town is not going to stay like this for long either. It is being torn down and replaced by such ambitious photoshop projects. Promises. The color version depicts a sunset, lol. Expectations.

Instead you get this. Reality.

Focus Leica-san, focus!

Floating castle.

Let me just park the house honey. I’ll be right with’ ya’.

Kifflom, brother-brother.

This one would have worked better if I haven’t have dicked around and captured the guy on the bike passing by.

Floating houses and electric toy cars. Welcome to the future!

Floating district.

Ships are so 2016.


Transformer bridge.

Godus. We live in boxes.

I google-d it.

Norway in one photo :D

Closeup. We all live on a rock, floating is space…

Lens rendition tests.

Glass box.

Had to wait a bit for this frame, van.

Selfie time.

Still don’t know what this is. Must be art.

You’ve had me. Now walk me.

Could have easily held a slower shutter speed. Maybe next time.

Sensor dust test. Being on a Leica sensor is a privilege. Not all dust is equal. Some dust is more equal-er’ :P

Sometimes I feel like… hmm-hmm-hmmmm-hm-hm-hmmmm.

I’m under a bridge.

Missed a few shots here also of a flock of kids all on their phones… I can piss myself off real bad sometimes, like others pissing me off wouldn’t be enough.

Further rendition tests.

Another failed shot. They were all pointing in that direction. 2 slow. Maybe I’m a bit hard on myself. It was my first 24 hours shooting a rangefinder after all…

Because, random.

The weather today will be like Hank. Moody.

I miss the viewfinder.

A few more wallpapers.

Now I miss autofocus.

Darn hard to find the range on them’ bubbles.

This Summicron glass is fiihiiine.

Wonder what the summiluxes are like… not to mention nocti-s.

Not going out because it is raining is like saying… well nothing good comes to mind now but it is nonsense.

Liking the rendition… a LOT!

Lesser lens made based on lesser recipes don’t have these qualities.

Wide open the thing that is supposed to be in focus is a soft blur. The out of focus parts are like they’re greasy and the transition from sharp to blur has also a less attractive look to it. Not this glass. This draws things so pretty and this range is the low hanging fruit, the Summicron.

Johnny, is that you?


Versus horizontal. What you see in the viewfinder is not 100% what you get. On the vertical shot, that edge in the upper right corner was aligned with the edge of the building, like on this horizontal shot. I had to correct it with that in mind on this second one.

Babies and phones. That’s all we need.

Fixing the railway station, why u take so long?! ‘Been stocking the place for a youtube video preview photo for almost a year now.

Scotch tape: 0 – Rain: 10


Multitasking. Because everything is important. Except ourselves.

Another missed shot. Fractions of seconds. Damn it. Not sure if this guy is a hair dresser or some soccer fan/player. Maybe it is some sort of special breed in-between?

Smoke break. When I’ll grow some balls I’ll take a shot like this again but this time from her left side and if my balls grow humongous I might even ask her straight up for a portrait… I look up to folk who can do that.

Good people and shitty graffiti. Wonder which one got there first.

If you are a bad person and some sort of reincarnation does exist, you probably come back as a bike… in Bergen.

I know I’ve said it before but I really like these small ass streets in this city.

Even plain shots like this look better, taken with a Leica… or maybe not, but at least with a rangefinder you care to take them.

Orange house.

Oh, Romeo…

I rarely see tourists in these parts. People are missing out. You should not come to Bergen for the aquarium, bus tours or segway tours (yes, that is also an option). Use your feet. Get lost in the city. Or not.

This shot is in focus.

Mr. shaky-hands was way too confident here.

This one is meh’.

In pursuit of the lady and the little boy, except it was a dude and a little dude.

Cuteness overload.

I’m telling you, I wouldn’t have believed this if somebody told me but holding this camera really makes you invisible… or maybe one has more confidence and your aura gives off a different vibe. I don’t know what sort of sorcery is behind all this but I swear, people payed less attention. I kid you not. I was surprised as well. Still am as I think back. #anotherreasontolustafteraleica.

Started our new life in Norway at Mr. Mc’Donald. I’m not ashamed. No wonder I can’t afford a Leica.

In-fucking-visible I tell you.

Missed the kissing so what the hell, let’s make it a homeless shot.

This dude hiked a lot. Read more about him here if you are interested.

#inequality, #storeplacementfail.

I’d write something like: trying to keep up, under this one. If I hadn’t missed the moment and used proper shutter speed but didn’t because of lack of testicles aka afraid of being caught. Like I was doing something horrible… Jeeez’, what is wrong with me?!

Gave it another try. Boom. Caught, but nothing happened except a slight smile but not from the right gender. Not as if I was seeking the attention of the opposite gender.

Posters are always watching.

They can spot you even with a Leica.

Trying to build up courage to shoot in these kinds of situations. Smooth out the vibes… and focus properly.

Exibition’ :P This shot also sits somewhere in the fridge of an undeveloped roll next to them’ eggs. Curious how that will turn out, but just to be sure. Digital does have advantages.

The crow felt like chatting but my trigger finger didn’t comply 100%.

Desirable weather/rain-proof merchandise.

Stop. Raise camera to eye level. Focus. This is when batteries give you the finger and deplete. Stood right next to the guy. Changed batteries. Zero fucks were given. Could have stood in front of him. Leica magic?

If he only knew or have seen the things I have seen… but I don’t judge. As bad memories fade I also sometimes feel an impulse to devour a burger but then I remember among other things the fact that it has 0 nutritional value and I won’t be less hungry after eating one, on the contrary.

Sometime in the future when people will read about this corporation in history books the fact that there was some sort of really nasty addictive ingredient in those “products” not fit for human consumption will see the light of day.

Date but not the first one based on the guys facial expression. Or maybe this was Tinder. Reality / expectations kind of thing.

Somebody is always building something, somewhere. Constant change and not only in construction. Girls wait for them boys now.

Our time is almost up my precioussss… C Bergen City. Cookie.

You’ll soon be just a blur in my memory, much like this guy.

But I’ll always have the shitty weather. That one is constant. It is funny tho’ that sometimes when it doesn’t rain, you kind of miss it. Wata’ gives you this sense of cleanyness-ness, life. After all, wata’ is the source of life on this rock. Drifting off topic again.

Rain records broken again in 2016.

…and we had to part and go our separate ways. Thanks again, C.H.E..

I have to say that I picked up the camera with a fair amount of antagonism. Looking back at it now, that emotions cooled down, although making this post brought some of the fever back again and what a coincidence. Leica just launched a new product yesterday. The Leica M10. Reviews and first impressions are already showing up like mushrooms after rain.

Dear Leica. You will be missed. Your body, viewfinder, shutter sound… lens. Mhmmmm. The negative emotions toward the company, on my part… are gone. Poooof.

I am a believer.

But I’d still consider all other available options (winks at a certain Japanese camera manufacturer), because the Japanese proved that they could make a serious contender with the Canon 7 RF. Which would be my choice over a Leica M6 any day. Although the light meter could have been solved in a more elegant manner. The normal film loading, metal shutter curtain, non proprietary lens mount type (think of it like non-proprietary usb vs. apple’s proprietary cable solutions) and shutter lock just to name a few, make up for it. Them Japanese just didn’t want to for some reason. They just wanted to show that they could.

Unfortunately I have to also agree that the days of DSLR-s with those big prisms and floppy mirrors are numbered. Still, Canon doesn’t have a full-frame mirrorless camera in the market that they dominate in and make most profit off of. They have several iterations of cell-phone competing quality crop sensors, following the trend. Instead of leading.

So until I can afford German gear, I’ll stick with the Japanese and Russian alternatives.

I’m not sold on this bottom brass plate coming off to access the memory card and battery solution.

Now give me a minute to mourn the loss in silence… I’ll really miss this little kit.

Moving on. Time to pull out the “big” Japanese guy from my pocket. Yes, I have big pockets. Brokeback building.

Hello color, my old friend. :) It sure is nice to have some color after all that B&W. Murky but color nonetheless.

Something ain’t left. If I’d pixel peep, I’d see that the transitions and 3d depth effect is only 89% there, compared to the Leica. The soberness I’ve still got left tells me that 11% is not worth the huge jump in price… and I can’t wait for the votes on the test pictures but the Leica fever still has me in her grip. I talk like a drug addict. Anyway, if you can’t tell the difference between a 100$ glass and a 2000$ glass that will be sobering.

Only have a second hand L lens. Buhu. Poor me. Get a grip. When a younger version of me, the owner of a 400D with a 50mm 1.8 thinks of the sour face I had on after giving the Leica back and pulling out the 6D with the 35mm 1.4 on, not to mention my even earlier self who was lusting over a 400D. I’m even more disappointment with myself. Like a panda. A sad dissapointed panda.

There always is a next level out there floating on the horizon that seems unreachable but the thing is I shot more and with more passion back when I had the 400D. The Leica brought back some of that passion…

Maybe this is a somehow similar path all those rich folk’ I talked trash about in the beginning walked to get a Leica, :) maybe that is what motivates the economy. Owning a Leica :)) Sorry I talked trash about people I don’t know. Everybody has a story… and we can have an opinion but that might be closer to science-fiction than reality.

The Leica glass renders things differently, smoother. The sharp bits are as sharp even wide open. I’ve owned an older 55mm “extreme” (f/1.2) manual lens but wide open it was as soft as a newborn baby’s behind. Like the brass on the Leica. :) You pay hefty extras to use these lens at their widest aperture. Kind of defeats the purpose of having and 1.2 lens if it only begins to perform well at f/4. Sold! Franken-cameras are exciting but only temporary. If you have a Canon body use Canon glass. If you own Nikon go with Nikon glass.

A Mini again. Wtf?! I already gave the Leica back, let me be.

Metal and rain in color. In rain. Oh I already said that. I wasn’t so considerate with the Canon like I was with the Leica. I didn’t really give any sort of fucks, because, 1. I was pissed I don’t own a Leica and took it on the Canon, 2. The Canon was mine, 3. I knew it can handle it. Never heard any Canon owners complain about sensor corrosion. That is a privilege of Leica and Sony owners. :P I think we can all agree that Leica-s are a more delicate breed.

This is what they mean when they say rock solid. Like Canons.

The little things.

Fart museum. Where all the farts are locked up and do time.

A full-frame camera with L lens is good enough said one hemisphere. Yes but the form factor and materials could still be improved said the other spoiled brat part.

Some more out of focus color on the way home.

Would it look better in BW?!

Light is light.

It rains so much in these parts even the most persistent seagull shit is no match.

Bergen fashion statement.

I take my Kayak with me everywhere, just in case. AF is useless if you ain’t prepared. The van pulled up and ruined the frame.

Wroom. Needed to have a Leica to get back in the mood to play with slow shutter speed shots.

iCurry. Didn’t bother to google this one.

Wetness. I’m developing a gill as we speak.

I’m blu dabadi dabadai… oh God I’m old :P

Toyota-s and Audi-s is are popular brands in Bergen. Right after Tesla, which is becoming the folks-vagon of Norway.

Parking lot.

Duck it.

Shadow play.

Nothing like a relaxing walk home at noon.

A map.

Wet color.

Any other camera would have given up the fight by now. Not the Canon. These things are built like tanks.

It rains so much even bokeh’ gets wet :)

Chewed trough two batteries that half day and another two the day before. I was expecting Fuji like battery “performance” from the Leica. I am used to Canon batteries (LP-E6N) that last forever. Especially compared to them batteries Fujifilm uses in their trendy mirrorless hit wonder cameras. The Leica batteries (1860mAh) were a pleasant surprise and from what I’m reading the batteries in the Leica M 262 (that got on the whishlist) are even better. Maybe even on par with these Canon batteries. Leica seems to understand that people would choose lasting batteries over slimness. (Tim C. are you paying attention?) Although’ one of the main features of the new M10 is that they made it thinner…

Arrived home. Copied the digital negatives off the SD-cards and did some peeping. I always shoot jpg but with the Leica dng seemed to be the recommended standard.

Before picking up the Leica I was like, naah’… what could it possibly offer that other brands can’t?! …and now as promised, let me enrich my ramblings with some photos taken with a fruitPhone 6s. Canon 6D with a Canon 50mm f/1.8 size comparison.

Honestly. There is not a huge size difference.

Chop off the prism, move around some buttons and dials and it is not far off. Lens are a different story. You don’t get autofocus tho’.

AF being the reason behind the size bump in these Canon lens.

Canon 6D and 400D. Toilet paper. Canon 7 and Leica M. :)

Leica M and Canon 400D with their respective nifty-fifty-s attached. Excuse the dust. Look how tiny the 400D is. Was.

Canon 7 and the Leica M Typ Bergen. :)

Russian lens 50mm f/2 on the Canon 7.

Canon and Leica side by side.

Jupiter 8, 50mm f/2 that you’ll find even for as low as 30$ vs. the Summicron. Even this “old one”  keeps its price in the 1000-2000$ range. 2017.

The metering is much more elegant on the Leica…

Canon could easily get in the ring. I’d really be curious why they choose not to. Maybe there is an agreement between the big boys. Conspiracy theories.

Digital vs film.

Instant gratification vs. I have to get it developed, scanned (and sent back to me) before I can see them.

Unpacked the main contents of the bag.

To think that even if I’d liquidate everything (including the bag and the toilet paper), it would still be just maybe barely enough for a single, used Leica 262 body, for example. Not a very tempting thought.

Last but not least, minimum focusing distance. The most overlooked spec. when buying lens. Minimum focusing distance, as in get closer and you won’t be able to focus on things that are closer than… in this case 70 cm. Some of you might find this info useful. I’m here to serve :) Also looked up the prices for your convenience. Just look at prices grow exponentially as apertures grow. How reasonable. I guess you have to pay extra if you want to separate yourself from poor people. That is what Leica is selling. That mentality. I’m thinking of the test photos again and I smile and cry at the same time.



Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH – 70cm (~3000 USD)

Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH – 70cm (~5000 USD)

Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 – 70cm (~1500 USD) – the one I used.

Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 – 58cm (~2100 USD)

Leica Summilux M Aspherical 50mm f/1.4 – 70cm (~3800 USD)

Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH – 70cm (~4400 USD)

Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH – 100cm (~10650 USD) Yes, 10 GRAND!


Desirable exotics for testing purposes:

Zeiss C Sonnar T* 50mm f/1.5 ZM (zm = leica mount) (c = compact / classic) – 90cm (~1000 USD)

Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL-II N Manual Focus Lens for Nikon AIS – 45cm (~600 USD)

Konica Hexanon 60mm f/1.2 – 80cm (~8000-9000 USD)

SMC Takumar 105mm f/2.4 – 100cm (~ 250  USD)


Canon lens wish list:

The Canon 35mm f/1.4L – 30 cm (~1000 USD)

A Canon 50mm f/1.2L – 45cm (~1400 USD)

Canon 85mm f/1.2L Mk2 – 95cm (~1900 USD)

Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM – 120cm (~1300 USD)


Draw your own conclusions.

Tried all sorts of film and digital cameras. I keep gravitating back to Canons. In case you wonder why Canon and not Nikon or something. I like the warmer colors that Canon’s sensors produce. Their menu system seems much simpler, logical. The shape of their cameras, placement of controls are also more appealing. The Japanese giant, like all other corporations seek dominance in market share and maximizing profit. In a strange way the direction these goals take a company not always coincides with what consumers really want. That being one of the reasons cameras nowadays have wifi, touchscreens, gps, can cook food and sing you lullabies to easy you to sleep at night but they do none of those things really well and they do all that just because the competition did it also.

Leica on the other hand seems to take the other approach. Does fewer things but better and since the market seems to be smaller for that sort of thing they charge 70x the manufacturing costs. I’m sure I underestimate. How much can brass cost or those plastic parts. Ok, developement does comes at a price but still. Can’t justify those prices. Sell tools, not self-esteem.

I’m from 1984. Started with digital. First relevant one was the Canon 400D, followed by the 5D Mk2. The 5D was sold because the 6D was smaller and brand new. Fewer megapixels but better autofocus. Better vision at night, but mostly the size was what drove me to it. The 6D has no dual card slots, uses SD instead of humongous CF cards. Also has GPS… that I never used and never will. Also the center -3 EV focus point is all I need.

Cheated on Canon with Fuji for a while but it turned out to be a mistake. Owning several brands is a pain in the butt. Different kind of batteries, chargers, cables, colors, workflow, file formats, file naming conventions, time-stamps, different lens mounts.

Really wanted to like the Fuji-s (X-Pro1). Honestly. The form factor was nice. Although had a very cheap plasticy-toy feel. Don’t hold their value either. Battery life was horrible. The different sensor structure that is advertised to be film-esque after a while began to look more cellphone-esque. Murky flat shit. It looked fine on smaller screens like an instagram feed on a phone or pad but on a real monitor in full size it was really repulsive to look at. The longer I looked at them, the worse this feeling got.

Also missed the full frame size and depth of field that produced. The larger the sensor the better. Debatable. I see the difference and it bugs me. Cropped sensors are fine but I want full frame. Personal preference. I think that size is a sweet spot.

Just like there is a sweet-spot for pixel density and sensor size. Scientists could surely explain this better. The megapixel difference between the 5D mk2 and 6D is also noticeable. The 5D sensor was closer to that sweet spot.

Always wanted a small, film camera-like form factor. Wanted the film look. Experimented with hardware and software alternatives. Some software solutions can get you really close but at the end of the day…  if you want the film look, you have to shoot film. Period.

If you want to draw and want the paper feel and real pencil or brush feel. Use the real fucking thing. Want to read a book. Read a printed book. Stop researching e-paper vs ipad pro or kindle or whatever.

There are always alternatives to everything that promise all sorts of comfortable features and there is a huge business built on these aspirations.

The obvious eludes people, including me. You don’t really need that iPad Pro with that Apple pencil if you want to draw. You won’t draw more often or better after you buy one if you haven’t been drawing before. Believe me. :P

I’ve judged people giving me the high and mighty preach about these things. “Yeah, it is easy for you to say. You can afford -x-thing-.” Now that I also can afford some of those things I always wanted and that I walked the walk and learned on my own skin… I understand.

There is always a next camera. A better one, with a bigger sensor, better lens… but sometimes when you finally get it and that junky-like addiction fades or wears you down eventually, you realize… I don’t shoot more since I have the L lens. I don’t draw more, since I have that expensive gadget, so what use did all that research, time and energy and hard earned money that you invested in it, have?! You could have created something (or in some cases you could have shared all the things you have created but didn’t show the world). It was easier to procrastinate.

Sure is a cliche but if you are passionate about something… get your hands dirty with the tools you have at your disposal now or don’t and be a fool, like me and learn from your own experience. :)

In my defense I do use whatever camera I have on me but I do have a list. A list that is getting smaller but at the same time significantly more expensive.

To finish the thought about the “perfect” camera. Here is how I imagine the outlines of that near perfect 35mm fullframe, digital, mirrorless camera body.

Hardware wise:

  1. Is made from a metal alloy that ages attractively.
  2. Has a long lasting battery.
  3. Is modular and uses no proprietary connectors or mounts. Standard SD cards, standard tripod mount.
  4. Has some sort of wireless means of communication and has an accompanying app that works well and is easy to use.
  5. No wired connections of any kind. The only orifices with moving parts should be where you put in the battery and memory card (standard) and these two better be replaceable. This would also make it easier for it to be made >
  6. Weather sealed.
  7. Has a 1/8000 shutter speed.
  8. Maybe having an integrated ND filter would also be nice.
  9. Big, bright OPTICAL viewfinder that puts minimal strain on the eye and makes focusing as easy as possible. No EVF (electronic view finder)!
  10. Just copy the embeded lcd screen and the multifunctional thumb wheel as is from a Canon 6D + add two more buttons for Menu & Live view. That’s it for the back.

Software wise:

  1. Can import presets you design or are pre-designed, on a computer, that emulate film stock for example. Colors and/or grain.
  2. Has funky features like, overlaying random light leaks, or dirt/dust. Can be turned on or off. You could call it “surprise me“. :)
  3. It only takes stills. No movie mode.
  4. Has a native intervalometer built in.
  5. No noise reduction feature or other software magic aid.

That would be pretty sweet. Another thing that would be sweet, developing the best digital sensor us humans can craft, together. Focus all the effort in one spot kind of thing and use that sensor. Maybe I’m wrong and competition takes us further.

In the meantime a Leica 262 with two batteries and two lens, a 35mm & 50mm even if “only” old crons, would be a nice kit. Would leave a lot of extra space for socks and underpants in the backpack… but not a whole lot of “space” for travel :) I’m not sure how well it would handle the elements tho’. Still. It would be a nice, minimal kit (5400+3000+7800$).

On the other hand, maybe an old M9 with a 50mm nocti 0.95 welded to it would be a smarter option (2200+10500$).

Or maybe an M9 with the Zeiss Sonnar 50mm 1.5 would also be a nice entry to Leica (2200+1000$).

Or maybe buying the Canon 50mm 1.2L and the 70-300L and ‘thus completing the photo gear for life for the price of just the old M9 body would be the smartest (1400+1300$ new).

(Definitely not) The end.

More shooting and testing needs to be done. For science!

If you enjoyed this, consider donating to my virtual piggy bank. Starting today, I’m saving money for a Leica :P


gerdez - I’m sold. Really.

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