Monday, December 2, 2013

Chinatown San Francisco - Leica M9 and Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 - Whole Lotta Leica

In October, I traveled to San Francisco for the annual meeting of the LHSA (International Leica Society). One of our events was an evening photo tour of Chinatown. All of these shots were made with my Leica M9 and my Whole Lotta Leica lens for October, the venerable Summicron 50mm f2 (version 3).
 
Pre-Tour Briefing, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
iso 400, f2.8, 1/125 sec.
 
There was enough interest that we split the group into two, and headed out on the short walk from the Marines Memorial, host hotel for our meeting.
 
I have an affinity for Asian culture. You'll see that when I visit a major city, I usually end up in Chinatown. Stayed tuned for a future post of NYC's Chinatown, for example.
 
One of the things I always enjoy is seeing signs written in the native language of the immigrants who live there. To me it means I'm really visiting where these people from a very different culture actually live, not just cook for and sell to Westerners.
 
Native Language, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
iso 400, f2.8, 1/60 sec.

Straightening the Sign, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
iso 400, f4.8, 1/350 sec.


Of course, there are plenty of signs and advertisements aimed at welcoming non-Chinese guests to the area:
 
Chinatown Mural, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
iso 400, f3.4, 1/125 sec.


 
If you've read my post about tea-tasting at Ten Ren's in Chinatown, here's the back of the tea shop, replete with graffiti:
 
Ten Ren's by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
iso 400, f2.8, 1/125 sec.
 
Far more interesting to me than the signs, however, are the people. Here's a sampling of how I see the people of Chinatown, part of and separate from their city environment.
 
Through the Shop Window, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
iso 400, f2.8, 1/125 sec.

 
Twins, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
iso 400, f3.4, 1/125 sec.

 
Fishmonger, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
iso 640, f2.4, 1/125 sec.
 
Our tour went into the dusk. As the lights come on in Chinatown, the feeling completely changes. I need to work on a night time series in Chinatown at some point, maybe my next visit to San Francisco. I hope that trip comes soon.
 
Chinatown Lights Up, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v.3 Lens
iso 640, f2, 1/125 sec.
As you can see, I decided to shoot with one lens and one camera on this tour, to minimize the need to fiddle with gear. That worked out pretty well for me. There is so much you can do with a rangefinder like the M9 and a fast 50mm lens like the Summicron. The lens is unmatched in my collection.
 
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