Musings on Photography

Handheld

Posted in equipment, process by Paul Butzi on January 19, 2007

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Two of my friends who live close enough for me to visit have finally gotten their hands on a Leica M8.

In a fit of folly, I stopped by Rob’s house last evening and helped him play with it and make the first few exposures.  And, of course, despite my New Year’s resolution to NOT buy one, in the first 15 seconds I was thinking how nice it was and how I had that camera bag full of Leica M lenses, including that wonderful 50mm f/2.0 Summicron-M and the very nice 35, which would now be like a short normal lens.

But, of course, despite Colin Jago’s weird perversion of putting a RRS L bracket on his M8, you don’t actually put a Leica M on a tripod, you use it handheld.  The M6 is the only camera I’ve ever owned where using it handheld felt even remotely natural, and the M8 feels remarkably similar to the M6 in that regard.

So this morning, as an experiment, I went out with the Canon EOS-5d and made some photos of the clearing slush that remains of the snow (said melting snow/slush being about 2 billion times more interesting visually than the snow that was pissing me off).  And I left the tripod in the studio.

It felt very weird.  Very very weird.  Rather to my surprise, I found myself making six or seven exposures just to make sure that I had one where the camera hadn’t moved and I got that black spot where I wanted it and so on.  It’s not entirely clear that it was faster than I would have been with a tripid, actually.  But it was an interesting experiment.

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