Monday, January 7, 2013

Leica M Digital - No Longer Just a "Dentist's Camera?"

Photographer Sarah Lee from the UK's Guardian has started using a Leica M-E, the camera that's nearly identical to the M9 (missing only the frameline preview lever and USB connection), yet significantly less expensive.
The Leica M-E Digital Rangefinder
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(Click Here) to read Sarah's thoughts on the Leica M-E on the Guardian's blog
Sarah discusses how the Leica M9 was not well-adopted by professional photojournalists because of price. In fact, she says that the pros refer to it as the "dentist's camera." I suspect a little of this is also involved in her decision to tape over the red dot on her M-E.
Like the M9, the useful iso is limited at about 1250, and it shares the slow write speed and small image buffer of the M9. Otherwise, her comments are quite positive, and par for the course as other photographers have reported. For Sarah, it has taken her back to shooting for fun, and to the reasons she became a photographer in the first place. It even has her printing images again.
Sarah Lee with her gaffer-taped Leica

Sarah Lee with her gaffer-taped Leica. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

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Another comment by Sarah is interesting to me - it has to do with her Pentax K1000 (my featured "Skeletons from the Closet" camera for January), and how she still appreciates it. That's cool.
You should read the whole article if you're interested in Leica digital rangefinders. But, to sum up, she says that once you can afford this type of camera, "it changes everything."
I would venture to add that going back and shooting the K1000 for a while may change everything as well. Don't get me wrong - I'm no dentist, but I do own an M9, so am certainly not a detractor of Leica. I just think that shooting with the basics, whether it be an M9 or a manual film SLR, changes the way you look at photography.
Buy your "inexpensive" Leica through my link below :).