Leica – The end or the new beginning?

When I first started photography, I have already came to know about the existence of Leica. During that time, I got no idea what the hell rangefinder was. Well, to be exact, I got no idea what Leica was in general. All that I knew was that they are very expensive cameras, and being expensive, they must be very good, premium and top of the line… Like Ferrari or Lamborghini in the context of cars. And I have never thought that I will own a Leica one day, very much like I’ll never own a Ferrari anyway.

As I progress with my photography, I get to know a little more about what Leica and rangefinder are all about. For people like me who started with compact camera to DSLR, rangefinder is something… unique and alien. After all, I’m so used to seeing the actual framing via the DSLR viewfinder/rear LCD that having an OVF that frames more than what my lens can capture is simply… weird and interesting at the same time.

“But people are making great pictures with the Leica cameras”, that’s what made me curious and started to read more about how to use a rangefinder, the advantages and disadvantages and so on. Once I get a better understanding about it, I started to feel like trying on it. Yes, the whole rangefinder concept has grown its interest within me. Is it really that good? Well, I believe at the end of the day it is still very much depending on the skills and vision of the photographer, getting a Leica will not make you take better pictures instantly.

Perhaps there’s people who feel at home with the rangefinder control and focusing, hence allowing them to create something better than what they can managed on SLR. My first taste of “rangefinder” is with Fujifilm’s X100S, follow by the X-Pro1. Well, they are kinda like rangefinder, offering OVF for you to view through the scene. However, they are not really a rangefinder as focusing and framing is still very different from what Leica is offering. X100T gets a step closer with the additional focusing screen on the lower right corner, but still… There’s a difference.

Recently, my friend is selling his used M9-P at a very attractive price. Therefore, I have decided to bite the bullet and got it for myself. There’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to enjoy using manual focusing all the time, and also the whole rangefinder experience, is it really my cup of tea? These are the questions that I need to answer. Whatever it is, I believe this will be a very good experience to me and hopefully it can spark some new views and thoughts in me. Till then.

2 thoughts on “Leica – The end or the new beginning?

  1. If you mesh with the rangefinder, you’ll soon find that nothing else will do. If you don’t, then you’ll off-load it to eBay and move on.

    I find Leica cameras to mesh with me and my style of photography. Not seeing the exact image through the viewfinder doesn’t bother me, as I’m adept at visualizing what I’m seeing as the end result. Are they perfect? No, but I like them anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Mitch. You’ll either love it or hate it. It’s a very different way of shooting, but it’s a way I enjoy and can’t see myself switching to something else. You’ll eventually get better at focusing manually and start to “know” your distance based on the lens scales. Zone focusing is your friend as well for quick snapshots to capture the moment. Looking forward to seeing your images. Enjoy!


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