Auf Wiedersehen, Leica

Honestly, I had never imagined that this day will come, and yet it came to me all of a sudden. The day when I decided to pack it back into its box and say “Auf Wiedersehen” (or goodbye) to it… the day my Leica M-P Typ 240 leaves me and move on to its new owner.

This is the camera that was most hated by the Leica fans. Bulky, heavy, it shoot video, it uses EVF… everything that’s “not Leica” present here, in the iconic body of a Leica M rangefinder. Despite that, I believe this camera is a very important milestone in Leica M history. It marked the transition of a tradition rangefinder camera to a modern one, it served Leica well as a platform to test out a few ideas (like the cost down version of Typ 262, the screen-less M-D and so on) and not to mentioned all the cash cow limited edition Leica managed to release along the years. Without all these, I would argue that the M10 will not be as great of a camera as it is today.

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“But why?” That’s the question I got from everyone. Nothing major, really. It’s just that I’m currently undergoing some self reflection phase (which I often do once in a while) and decided to make some tweaks and changes to things in my life. Just like with my film photography, I was thinking about having a short break from the M-P as well, at least for now. I had shot some pictures with this camera that I really loved, and despite all the complaints I have on the M-P and Leica Singapore’s customer service, I still enjoyed every moments and frustrations I endured with it. It’s something that I’ll cherish as a part of my journey in photography for the days to come.

So after selling my M-P off, what’s next? M-10P? Well, I don’t know. At least for the short term, it’s unlikely. I still enjoy shooting with rangefinder camera, that’s for sure. Will I ever get back to owning a Leica M? Probably, but no one knows what the future lies. So we’ll just have to wait and see. But for now, I’m only left with a Fujifilm X100F camera with the two conversion lenses. Maybe this will be my pure setup for next year? Or maybe I will buy something else since the market is so on fire with full frame mirrorless camera nowadays? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Till then.

The fear of “don’t know”

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People who act like they know everything and wanted to comment on everything… we will bump into this kind of people once in awhile, don’t we? Or perhaps we are one of them?

Looking back, I was once behaving like this as well in the older days. Fear of being left out, fear of missing out in the conversation, fear of being alienated, so I will talk and act like I knew about it when I wasn’t. There were times when I got by, there were times when I screwed up of course.

In the end, I reflected and thought: What for I need to feel the fear? If I don’t know about it, just ask, and then I will be able to learn more about it. The conversation will still continue. For things that I don’t know, I’ll try not to comment too much on it. 

The same goes to every other thing… be it work related, photography related or life related matters. The moment you acknowledged you “don’t know”, you emptied yourself to absorb more. Hence, there’s nothing to fear anymore. Just open up your heart and mind, and fill it up with knowledge you would have lost when you act like you knew.

A break from Analogue Photography

As 2018 approaching to an end (yes, it’s ending really soon!), as usual I’m taking a look at my stuff and trying to make some changes and tweaks in hope to improve myself, improve my life, reduce clutter, streamlining stuffs, getting closer to minimalistic and so on. 

This time around, my drybox gets a makeover. I sold off all my film related stuffs, from all the film cameras to scanner, all gone. Many people asked me why. Had I lost my interest in film and analogue photography? Is film dead? Is analogue not something worth to shoot anymore?

Well, not really. There’s a point of time in my life where I’ll need to make the decision, whether to stay or leave. Just happened that after some serious consideration, I decided that now is the time. I still love film, I still enjoy shooting with analogue camera. However, looking ahead, after completion of my study, I’m actually planning on something else, which will probably keep me busy again most of the time. I may end up having little time to shoot, let alone shooting with film.

Will I ever return to analogue photography? I don’t have an answer for now, but I think it’s pretty likely. As of now I still have a soft spot in my heart for films and film cameras. Hopefully after this break, someday… I will be back. I’m glad that I had captured some great photos with my film cameras, and I will cherish them for the days to come. Till then.

Time management?

I can still recall when we wanted to do a group project, some of the members said they were not free because they need to complete other tasks first. And then you will see all sort of other reasons given when we were planning for a meeting. This happened all the time, and perhaps on you and me as well. We always complaint that we are busy, we do not have time to do this and that, but when you take a step back and see, where have you spent all your time on?

I used to play a lot of games on my phone when I’m commuting. In the end, I ended up having “no time” to read news or to do other things at night after work, no time to exercise, no time to read, no time to social with friends and so on. In the end, I decided to stop playing games on my phone all together, and suddenly I realized that I have spare time now to read books and news while I’m commuting.

I’m not saying you should stop playing mobile games just like me. My point is, everyone has the same 24 hours a day in our life, it’s up to us to decide what to do with it and stop making excuse for not doing it. For me, I chosen to drop mobile game because I realized that it brings no value to me other than entertainment, and I can easily get entertained while reading too. Furthermore, reading books will add more values to me by giving me different perspectives, learning new things and so on.

Back to the case of group project, so why others can manage their time better and make the commitment to spare time for the group work while some can’t do it? I wonder. But when things like this happened, it breaks the harmony and rhythm, which I found very disturbing. You need to be responsible for your action, especially those that will affect others.

I’m not a guru in time management, and I’m still working very hard and learning everyday. Hopefully one day I will stop saying “I’m too busy for this or that”.

Goodbye Zeiss Ikon ZM

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The last film camera that leaves my hand. That should say a lot about this camera I guess? I can still recall the time when I was deciding what film camera to get, probably over 2 years ago. To go the SLR route or rangefinder route? If rangefinder route, to go with the Hexar, a Leica, a Voigtlander or a Zeiss? In the end, I had chosen to go with the Zeiss for all its excellent attributes, and I had never regret for doing so.

I sold off my Fujifilm GW690 III and Hasselbld Xpan earlier on, and was contemplating whether I should keep this camera with me as my only film camera moving forward should I choose to continue to shoot film. The camera feels good, much better than a Leica in my opinion. No nonsense, practical and just a pure joy to use. It had never let me down, not even once. Hence, I’m reluctant to cut away this emotional tie that I have with this camera.

I pulled out my last roll of film from my drawer, loaded up this camera and went for a shoot the other day. I enjoyed the feeling of using this camera, I really do. As the frames tickling down, I kept pondering in my head about “What’s next? What will our future be? What will my future be?” I was trying to think logically and rationally, without being influenced by my emotional connection with it.

As the last frame was shot, film rewinded, I made up my mind to put a pause to my journey on film photography once again. I want to take a break out of it, and I think now is the time to move on to something else. I might come back again in the future, just like how I did in the past. But for now, is time to take a break. I sold off my Zeiss Ikon. I hope the new owner will take good care of it. Till then.