Love & Pain - the Leica Q / by nicole struppert

The last few weeks I got many emails where people asked me what settings I use with my Leica Q. I thought it would be the best to write a blog post to share my settings and how I use the Leica Q.

Honestly shooting with the Leica Q is a bit like love and pain. I usually prefer to work with the rangefinders - with the Leica M I am quick and precise - no lack of time while using the AF of the Q. But I really love the Leica Q files so much, that I am constantly working on improving my workflow with the Q.

So here are a few topics of the questions:

DNG & Jpeg
The Leica Q can shoot DNG & jpegs site by site or just jpeg. The color jpegs of the Q are not as good like the B&W jpegs. Unfortunately it is not possible to shoot just DNG - which I would prefer. Shooting DNG & jpegs site by site eats the memory card and slows down the writing process especially while shooting continuously. What I have done is that I have changed the jpeg resolution to 12/ 8 / 4 M. This gives me bit better writing process. I really hope that Leica is doing a software update to shoot just DNG.

B&W Settings
I like contrasty B&W images. My current settings are:
Contrast: High
Sharpness: Medium High

Rome, 2015

Full auto mode
It is possible to use the Q in full auto mode like a point and shoot camera. The AF is fast - but depending on light situations the AF can search sometimes a bit too long, that situations can pass by.

Full auto mode, ISO 3200, Rome 2015

1Point AF Mode
Like with the Leica M - 90 % of the time I am using Zone Focusing - 1 Point AF Mode. I put the AF square in the center of my screen that I am quick to focus my object and by half press shutter I can recompose my image.

Multi Point AF Mode
I used the Multi Point AF Mode a few times - depending on the subjects the AF didn’t focus that well as I wanted and often my object wasn’t in focus but the surrounding.

Rome, 2015

Tracking Mode
I used this while shooting my dog or kids running around - this mode works pretty good.

Touch AF & Release
This is a very easy to use AF mode. Just press on the screen where you want to set the focus and at the same time the photo will get shot. This focus mode works pretty good and fast. I got brilliant results.

Touch AF & Release Mode

Touch AF & Release Mode

Manual Focus
Since a few weeks I started to work more and more using manual focusing. I found out that there is much better control and precise results whenyou are using the manual focus. In the beginning I used the focus peaking mode - but you got more distracted by the red/green/blue or white peaks, that I now just use the MF Assistant - Auto Magnification. I am still working to get better and faster with MF - but I am pretty optimistic that with a little practice I am getting as fast with the Leica M.

Manual Focusing @ f 1.7 , London 2015

Aperture Mode
80 % of my time I am using the Q in Aperture Mode. I put the time on Auto and depending on light situations I have the ISO !00/200 (sunny weather), 800 (indoor), 3200 (night). Sometimes I am lazy and put the ISO on Auto Mode. The Aperture Mode gives me the freedom just to be focused on the Aperture without thinking about time and ISO.

Fully Manual
More and more I am using the Leica Q fully manual. I think you get pretty good results using f 5,6 with 1/125 and set the AF to 1,5 to 2 meters - The ISO I mostly put on Auto / Max ISO 3200.

The Leica Q is a fantastic camera. It takes a while to get used to it. I still need to learn how the camera reacts in certain situations but I hope I could help you a little bit with the Leica Q settings. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me...