Friday, May 29, 2015

It's Not All About the Camera, but the Camera Matters

Basement Cafe, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Zeiss Sonnar C 50mm f1.5 Lens
iso 640, f2, 1/45 sec.
As you most likely know, this blog is mostly about the interface between cameras (more broadly, photographic equipment) and creativity.
The Leica M9 is certainly one of the most wonderful cameras I've ever owned. It's by far the most expensive. But, it's also quite unique in the world of digital cameras. It makes images that just aren't quite like other digital cameras.
I recently went through the experience of being convinced that my M9 had the famous sensor corrosion issue, and as a result planned my exit from the M9 experience. Scenarios included an upgrade to the Leica M240 (which I was not thrilled about), or a complete exit from Leica digital (which I was less thrilled about). But, I could have made it work. My shooting style when using the Leica, any Leica, would not suffer much from shooting only film. I'm still deeply into shooting film, so there's no barrier to me in that respect. The only exception would be for travel, where film has become a large pain in the a$$.
Luckily, Leica informed me that my sensor was fine, cleaned it, and sent it back to me. No troubles since then. But, I do still think about the upgrade once in a while. The truth is, none of the features of the M240 really seem like an advantage over the M9 to me, with the exception of high iso capability. Let's face it. I don't need to adapt Nikon lenses to my Leica rangefinder. Nor do I need an electronic viewfinder on it.
Anyway, I'll stop rambling and just say that I'm glad my M9 is still chugging along. I'll continue to use it alongside some great Leica film bodies.
What got me started on this subject? An interesting post on a blog called "Into the Foto," where the author sent his Leica M-E (same sensor as the M9) in to have the sensor replaced, and reverted back to his Ricoh rangefinder and Olympus SLRs. Very interesting. (Click Here) to read that post.
Yes, the camera matters. What matters more is creativity and the motivation to get out and shoot. That's what I'm working to maintain and continuously improve.