Leica M

5 reasons why I stick with my Leica Q - instead buying the Leica M10

The last few weeks I received more and more requests from you asking " Should I get the new Leica M10 or stick with the Leica Q?". I decided to write a blog post for you, which may help you to decide.

I have a Leica Q since day one. The people who read my blog, know that the Leica Q and I haven't been in love at first sight. But with time and lot of patience, the Leica Q became a unique camera for me with a brilliant image quality.

In the beginning of this year, I had some sensor issues with the Q. Leica Wetzlar was so kind to lend me the brand new M10 with a 35mm Summilux while my Q was being repaired. I was in heaven and enjoyed every second shooting with the M10 - on the same site I started missing the Leica Q. The M10 with the 35mm Summilux is magic and so I started to be caught in a dilemma. Should I sell my Leica Q and get a M10 instead? 

Shots with the Leica M10 and 35mm Summilux

Here are 5 reasons which helped me to make my decision:

#focal length & Image quality
I love to shoot 28 & 35mm. The Leica Q with its fixed 28mm lens gives me both possibilities. I don't mind if the 35mm is in cropped mode. I do shoot mostly architecture, documentary or street photography. For this, the Leica Q is the perfect match. I can get very close to my subjects or use perfectly the wide angle lens. The image quality is superb - and the colour and B&W rendering of the Q is top of the notch! 

The 28mm Summilux fixed lens is the perfect match on the Leica Q. I have shot with many different Leica Summilux lenses on the M Body. But I never have been happier with the result like the one of the Leica Q. I don't know what Leica has done! This lens is magic, fast and sharp! The colour and B&W rendering are so aesthetic and there is no need to do a lot of post-processing.

Of course, a 35mm or 50mm Summilux could give you the same result - but just the lenses cost around 4000€ ...

#silent shutter
There is not much to say about the silent shutter. Compared to the Leica M10 it is so silent, that in nearly any situation you wouldn't be noticed while taking a picture.

#Manual & AF
I am a big fan of shooting with the manual focus on a Rangefinder. I always get really fast and precise results. But shooting all day long with a Rangefinder can make your eyes pretty tired. Then it is helpful to have an autofocus. Shooting with the Leica Q gives you both possibilities. It took me a while to get used to the manual focus of the Q, but with some patience it works really good. Most of the time I use the Zone Focusing, but if I am too lazy, the Q gives me the possibility to switch to the AF mode, which is fast and precise.

Last but not least - the prize! Shooting with a Leica is pure luxury. With a Leica camera, you will not make better pictures like with any other camera from another brand. But if you have the money and want the Leica experience you should first ask yourself what kind of images you want to shoot and do you need to shoot with different focal lengths. 

The new Leica M10 is a brilliant camera, but the body already costs 6.850 €! With one Summilux lens on top, you have to invest around 10.000 €! This is a lot of money! The Leica Q costs already 4.190 € with the 28mm fixed Summilux. 

Shots made with the Leica Q

Final thoughts
After a lot of thinking I decided to stick with my Leica Q. The Q is the more modern camera with an amazing image quality and a fantastic lens. So why should I change my system? The Leica M10 might have one or two stops better ISO, but for me, it is not worth to pay around 6000 € extra. With the Leica Q I am able to get nearly the same results. 

Another important reason for me is, that travelling with a combo of 10.000 € makes me feel very attentive that nobody steals my camera. With the Leica Q, I don't have that feeling. The Leica Q is a light and trusty travel companion. This camera helps you to grow as a photographer. Even after owning the Q around 2 years - I still learn new things about using the camera and I really enjoy this experience.

Finally, I hope that I could give you some aspects to make your decision. Both cameras are amazing and if money doesn't matter, I am sure you will be very happy with both cameras.

If you have further questions, just get in touch with me. I am always happy to help. Best, nicole

Camera with character - One Hour with the Leica M262

Leica M262. 35 mm Summicron, ISO 200

Last week the Leica Team from Munich was so kind to give me the new Leica M262 with a 35mm Summicron to test. Some of my friends asked me for my opinion about the latest M, that is why I want to share my thoughts about it.

I was curious if the Imagequality of M262 is different to the M240. Shooting with a Rangefinder is such an experience. I love the worklflow and I dont feel the need to use the liveview or video with a rangefinder, that is why I was happy to see that Leica put out a „cheaper version“ of the Leica M.

Leica M262. 35 mm Summicron, ISO 200

Shooting with the Leica M262 is not different to any other M. Everything feels right. I had the M262 for an hour. I took some random shots in the streets of Munich - to test the ISO and compare it to my files of my Leica Q and the Leica M.

Leica M262. 35 mm Summicron, ISO 800

The M262 produce slightly more noise than the Leica M240. But the noise looks more like film grain, which gives the M262, in my opinion, character. For me it seems that there they used a different sensor - but the Leica team told me it is the same sensor of the M240. They use a different software version, which I like a bit more than in the M240. The files of the M262 produce a but more noise, but in my opinion it looks more „natural“. 

Leica M262. 35 mm Summicron, ISO 3200 

I also compared the M262 files to my Leica Q files. I have to admit, that the Q files are much  crispier, produce less noise and show more details… This might have something to do that the sensor and the lens of the Leica Q is the perfect match up. 

Leica M262. 35 mm Summicron, ISO 1600

Would I recommend to buy the M262?
Yes. If you are looking for an experience to shoot with a rangefinder and don't feel the need for a liveview or video - go for it. But be sure that you are not a pixelpeeper and want clean files at ISO 3200 - you won't get this with the M262 or M240. There are other camera brands which do a much better job in handling noise. Of course you can fix this later in the computer.

The best camera is always the one who helps you to transform your vision. If you are looking for a camera with character I can highly recommend the M262. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Back to the roots... Shooting film again!

After shooting some years with my Leica M8 I traded the M8 for a M6 in mint condition. Many people asked me  "Why film? Film is old fashion, too expensive - you are insane buying a camera film body for 1000€"  etc..  

London, Olympus Trip, Ilford HP5

London, Olympus Trip, Ilford HP5

Well, it all depends on what kind of photography you like to do. In this times we are getting more and more obsessed by gear... Every few months companies launch new cameras with more MP, faster AF, more menus, stuff like eye detection, wireless remote shooting and many more... It seems that most of us get infected in all this details and forget what it is about photography! A camera is at least a tool which helps you to tansfer your vision and style.

You can take great pictures with nearly every camera - if it's an iphone, DSLR, point & shoot, mirrorless, rangefinder or anything else. The most important thing is at least finding the right camera for YOUR vision and style. For me it is a bit like finding the right partner - once you found it you should stick with it! 

I also was infected by all the gear talk. I was reading reviews, I wrote reviews and I was consuming photography. I tried to shoot as much as I could - to get better - to work on my vision and style - to get a sense on what I like and don't. As a photographer you go through different stages...

First, it is all about gear and shooting everything and everyone. This is good, cause you'll start to feel safe with your equipment and settings... After a while you will notice that you start to analyze your shots - that you want to shoot better images, you'll rise your demands... You'll also will get bored of your stuff, frustrated and will loose the fun...

We all went through these stages... and it is difficult from time to time... The best thing what you can do then is taking a break! Don't be harsh on you and push you to limits... My believe is that all photos we take come straight from our heart... If we feel something - we can take great shots! 

So be confident and don't push yourself too hard if there are weeks of shootings with boring and useless pictures. You'll see that the fun of taking pictures will come back when you don't put too much pressure on yourself! 

London, Olympus Trip - Kodak Tri-X 400

London, Olympus Trip - Kodak Tri-X 400

I shot with various cameras... Nikons, Fuji x-Cameras and Leica Rangefinders... I found out that it is better for your photography to stick with one camera and one or two focal lengths. It all depends on what kind of photography you are into. There is no perfect match for everyone... Each of us has to find out his perfect match! 

I decided to concentrate just on two cameras this year. One digital and one analog - the Leica M6 and the Fuji x100s. Both cameras are fantastic tools - which fit perfectly to my workflow. 

So why going back shooting film?
2 years ago I bought a point and shoot Olympus Trip at Camden Market. The camera just costs 25 pounds and I wasn't sure if it would work. But I thought it would be nice to give it a try to see if I would love going back shooting film.

The last time I shot a roll of film was in 1990! I spent my summer in Hawaii and my father gave me his Rollei 35! Me and my friends spent one perfect day at Waimea Falls Park, hiking, swimming - having just the best day of our lifes. I captured nearly everything to freeze this special moment in my life. When I got back to Germany I found out that the film didn't wind. I got no pictures! I was so frustrated that I stopped shooting film!

I restarted with photography when digital cameras entered the market! This was a bitter experience - now I can laugh about it- all the pictures are still in my heart and I feel great to remember that day. 

When I got back the first rolls of film from the Olympus Trip I was so curious about the results. The camera has it quirks and I knew that I wouldn't get clean, perfect shots... But this wasn't my intention.

London, Olympus Trip, Ilford HP5

London, Olympus Trip, Ilford HP5

First of all I enjoyed shooting with film. It slows down your workflow - it keeps you in the process to think before you take a frame. You need to understand photography - you need to understand the play of aperture, time and ASA... I just shot my first roll of Tri-X  with the M6. I am curious about the results... I am curious if I can get great pictures out of it. Working with the M6 makes me work to become a better photographer... I do need to go more into details - I will have frustrating moments, I will miss shots of certain situations - but the day will come and I will understand my camera and be able to get great and beautiful shots out of it.

One reason why I am going back to shoot film is that I love the texture and grain of film. Film has soul - a blurred, under- or overexposures picture will still has its fascination and artistic look. This is an expression I love and I tried to develop with my digital files... I come close - but it will never look as film.  

London, Olympus Trip, Kodak Tri-X 400 

London, Olympus Trip, Kodak Tri-X 400 

This year will be an exciting journey... it will be a lot about experimenting, learning and just having fun! 

Shooting with a Rangefinder | Craig Semetko: How to use a Leica M Camera

I love shooting with a rangefinder - for me, the Rangefinder system is the perfect match for my kind of photography. Rangefinders are compact, discreet, intuitive to control and an extension to my eye.

Fabulous photographer Craig Semetko shares in this video how to use a Leica Mincluding techniques on focusing, and tips for expanding your photographic approach. For all those who might be interesting in shooting a Rangefinder get in contact with a Leica Dealer nearby. Leica is always kind and let you try their cameras.

Shooting Sport with the Leica M240

Last August I was testing the Leica M240 for a week. As a Leica M user I felt "home" after a few shots... The M is actually not meant to be for sport photography - but I was curious what I can get out of the camera shooting the Eisbach Surfer in Munich.

The M shoots 3 frames a second - not much compared with other cameras. But my goal wasn't to get as many shots out of the camera  - my goal was to find out if I could shoot action and freeze a certain moment. Would the camera respond quickly and would it be able to get the shot I want.

As I mentioned in my earlier review - the M240 is a joy to use! Everything feels just right, at the right position and it is easy to control the camera. There are just 3 simple ways to control light, ISO, aperture and time. The M is not having an autofocus, a menu for sport shooting, face detection or anything else. The M is simple and focusing on the essential. 

With manual focusing I am in total control of the shot. It takes some practice to get used to it. For most of my shots I pre-focus the scenery using the zone-focusing method. I highly recommend Thorsten Overgaards blog post where he writes about using the Leica M with giving lots of information and tips how to focus right.

For my shooting I had the M240 with a 35mm Summarit 2.5.  The weather was good and I was shooting all day long with ISO 200. I used aperture mode (f8) , pre-focued and was just focused on the action. The M240 was very responsive and so I could freeze great moments.

I wished I would have had more time to test the M240 - to experiment more in different settings, like how does the M240 behave while setting the camera to f8, 1/1000 and bump up the ISO or shoot wide open with 1/800 sec. and an auto ISO - and how could I freeze moments with a faster lens... I am sure I would have get much better results - but for the short time and was pretty happy with the result I got.

What showed me that day was, that the M240 is a great partner on your side for almost any situations. For me the Leica Rangefinder is my most favorite tool to use. It feels just right as an extension to my eye which I can use and trust blindly.  

Nominated for the "People & Spaces" Public Photo Award

I am so thrilled to announce that my project "ABSTRACT REALITY" just got nominated for the public award of the Photography Award "People & Spaces" of the German Bundesstiftung Baukultur! It would be fantastic if you could vote for me! Just make a cross at no. 36 if you like to support me! THANK YOU!