Two Years Shooting With Rangefinder Camera

It’s been two years since I made a switch from my Fujifilm X-series mirrorless to Leica M rangefinder camera. Within the short two years of time, I started off by trying out on the Leica M9-P and subsequently decided to go for the Leica M-P Typ 240 as my main camera system. This is followed by the addition of Zeiss Ikon, Hasselblad Xpan and Fujifilm GW690III, where all of them are rangefinder cameras.

Any regrets? Well, there were of course moments of rant, but all in all I’m fairly happy with what I can achieve with these cameras and the shooting experience they provide. Using a rangefinder and manual focusing is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, just like not everyone can appreciate driving a vintage or manual car. Yes I do missed out some moments, I do screwed things up occasionally and ruin my shots, but that just proven to myself that my skills are still lacking and needs to be improved further. I have nothing but myself to blame if I get things wrong.

Throughout the two years, I really learned a lot, and I do saw the rooms for further improvement, though my growth process is somewhat slow. Well, it’s okay, I shouldn’t stress myself up, end of the day it’s my hobby and it should be enjoyable rather than stressful. I’ll try my best to stay focus and stick to what I have now. I want to spend more time improving my skills before I make the next change. What will my next change be? When will it happen? I wonder. For now, I’ll just indulge myself in using my rangefinder camera to shoot and create more pictures that I’ll be proud of. Till then.

Leica M goes on holiday

The title is a little misleading, but you will get what I mean as you read on. I’m back from my holiday in Japan for around 10 days, travelling through a few locations, utilizing the JR Pass. I spent a few days in Tokyo before flying off from Haneda Airport, and I dropped by at Leica Ginza Salon to send in my friend’s Leica M for rangefinder calibration. The calibration took about 1-2 hours to complete, and it only cost 3,240 yen (tax included), which in my opinion is a very reasonable price (in fact it’s cheap by Leica’s standard).

I also dropped my M for general cleaning and checking of rangefinder at the same time, if there’s any problem I’ll get them fixed as well. So after dropping both cameras at the store, I went off searching for lunch and shopped around that area. It’s Ginza, you get all sorts of funky trendy shops and not to mention some famous camera shops around the corner. Later on, I just pop back to the store, flipped through some photography books and both cameras were serviced. It only took them 3 hours in total for both cameras.

Based on my understanding, general checking and cleaning of sensor usually took about 1 hour, while rangefinder calibration may goes up to 2 hours. Either way, it’s considered a very quick turnaround time for me and I’m very pleased with their services.

So here’s the thing: in Singapore, any rangefinder calibration of Leica M camera can only be done by sending your camera back to Germany. Apparently they can’t do it locally because the lack of tools. At least that’s what I was being told. I’m not sure how much it will cost to send in the camera for rangefinder calibration, but I would assume it will not be as cheap as 3,240 yen. Furthermore, it will take you months (usually 3 months based on average feedback) for your camera to travel for holiday in Germany while you are still stuck at home. Sensor cleaning turnaround times will depends, fastest I have experienced so far is 2 days, but I do heard before some cases of minor cleaning can be done on the spot.

So, that brings us to my point. Instead of letting my M goes on holiday for 3 months, why not I go on holiday myself to Japan instead? At anytime I would rather go to Japan, send in my camera and get it serviced, and then I can start using it on the spot in Japan. At the very least I get to enjoy with my camera, but not leaving it to be attended by some unknown person who just anyhow pack it and deliver it back to Germany.

I wonder when will Leica Singapore be improving on their service level. Anyway, not putting much hope on them either. I’m more than willing to spend my time and money in Leica Japan instead. For those of you who are facing similar problem, do consider to check out their services in Leica Ginza Salon. Till then.

Blessing for our new member in the family

I was never good in expressing my feeling, indeed. That’s part of the reason why I started blogging, as I found myself being able to express better through writings than physically in real life. That’s probably something I need to work on to improve.

I have just finished my short vacation to Hong Kong. The main purpose of this trip is to bring my grandmother and mother to visit my eldest sister and her new born baby. Having a new member in the family is always very special. It’s a new chapter of life for a married couple to become parents. Some say they became like baby again as they learn to take care of one.

It’s definitely not an easy decision and task to handle. Nowadays, it’s getting more and more financially demanding to have a baby. Not to mentioned the time, energy and effort required from pregnancy until delivery. I have saw many parents who are irresponsible, and I have saw many children who was born to this world but was not receiving the love that they should.

Watching my sister, my grandmother and my mother taking care of the baby, it made me feel touched seriously, I had probably received similar blessing and love when I was a baby. It’s really… magical, heart warming and… lovely. It’s hard to put it in words, really.

So am I ready to be a parent? Will I be having my own baby? Seriously, I do not have the answer now. I was born from a single parent family, perhaps a lot of bad memories in my childhood had prevented me to take the leap and move on. Anyway, only time can tell what will happen in the future, so we’ll just wait and see.

When we leave Hong Kong, tears can’t help but falling from the eyes of my grandmother and sister. It’s going to be awhile before we will meet again. My grandmother keep mentioning about all the things that yet to be settled by my sister before her maternity leave ends. She felt worry for sure, and I can certainly understand. But deep in our hearts, we all know that there are going to be more and more obstacles and challenges ahead, but things will probably ironed out when the time comes.

There’s nothing much I can help in baby sitting, nor I was able to convey my feeling and blessing properly to them. For the very least, I tried to took some pictures during our stay and hopefully this will become the memory for us to cherish in the days to come.