Thursday, January 2, 2014

Introducing My Leica Monochrom ANALOG!

One of the very few cameras that I currently lust over is the Leica Monochrom. It's one of those cameras that only those close to Leica will understand at all. I mean, really. A $7,000 camera that only shoots black and white? But, what a job it does with it. I was convinced of that by David Farkas, one of the LHSA (International Leica Society) Directors at the annual meeting in San Francisco. It really is somewhat of a super-camera, with astounding dynamic range and spatial resolution.
I decided to select one of my Leica M film cameras to treat as a Monochrom for a while, to evaluate whether I'm really going to enjoy monochrome-only photography with any camera. I do absolutely love shooting black and white, with either film or digital.
I did a similar thing a couple of years ago when considering the purchase of a Leica M9. I committed to shooting my M8 a lot, to help me decide whether or not the M9 was a good investment; it was. I remain happy with that decision.
I think referring to this camera as my Monochrom Analog is apt for two reasons: 1) it is the closest thing I have to a camera analogous to the Monochrom, really only because I've decided to commit to shooting only black and white with it for a while, and 2) because analog can be interpreted to mean "non-digital." Both are fitting.
My Leica Monochrom Analog, by Reed A. George
I shot this picture with my iPad camera, since my computer is currently down for file transfer / recovery operations. So, it doesn't make me unhappy to shoot a film camera for a while. It's my silent protest against the digital world (not digital photography in particular, just my own dependence on digital files for basically everything I do).
My Monochrom Analog is made up of my M4-2 film body (my first Leica ever), which is definitely in user condition (meaning it has some cosmetic bumps, scratches, and peeling Vulcanite, but is completely 100% functional), a Voigtlander VCII exposure meter (mounted in the hot shoe), a Leica yellow filter (for when I want to increase sky contrast) and a recently-acquired Leica grip. Quite a nice little package, I must say.
I loaded up a roll of Kodak Tmax 400 film in it today, and got outside in the unseasonably nice weather here in Virginia. We'll see how I did in a week or so when I have the film processing done!