Musings on Photography

M9 first morning

Posted in Leica M9 by Paul Butzi on February 27, 2010

ra-100226-0025.jpg

Ah, yes. Battery charged, I dove in to figuring out this camera. It is, as you might expect, pretty straightforward.

So far I have had only the 50mm f/2 Summicron, which is perhaps my favorite lens ever. It took only a few exposures and a few quick reviews on the display of the camera to remind myself of that look. Once I got started it was hard to stop.

The actual praxis of photographing with a rangefinder is coming back quickly; little habits like picking out the right edges on which to focus, picking distance proxies, leaning forward or back half an inch to tweak focus, and being aware of the framelines but also aware of what is falling outside them.

The only thing that is chafing so far is the minimum focus distance. I don’t recall that rubbing at me before, but I think all that work I’ve done in the past year with the 100mm macro has gotten me in the habit of photographing close and small, and it will be very interesting to see how that practice works with the M9 and how the M9 affects that SLR photography.

14 Responses

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  1. Alex Brikoff said, on February 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Just out of curiosity, is the photo at the top of today’s blog entry from the M9?

  2. Chris Klug said, on February 27, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Wonderful, wonderful. Looking forward to more.

  3. John Taylor said, on February 27, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Lovely (i assume the current picture was taken with that summicron) Couldn’t help but notice the wine choice, i lived for the last twenty one years in Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Brings back many memories (i’m in Baltimore these days, missing friends…)

  4. David said, on February 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    In my brief fling with a rangefinder ( an M7 & ZM 35mm f/2 ) the minimum focus distance drove me batty as well – I’m too used to getting up close and personal with either the macro or the 24mm on my SLR.

  5. Ed Richards said, on February 28, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Very nice! Does the M9 parallax correct for close focus? I remember that being an issue for the old rangefinders I have used. On my Technika you have to manually dial it in on the external viewfinder. Not elegant, and I always forget to do it.:-)

  6. Paul Butzi said, on February 28, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Yes, the M9 does parallax correction.

  7. Amy said, on February 28, 2010 at 10:03 am

    <envy>

    *sigh*

    </envy>

  8. Paul said, on February 28, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Lovely photo, nice to see a change from so many outdoor images!

  9. Paul said, on February 28, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Oh and by the way nothing against the outdoor images, just surprise to see something different. Don´t know if it´s my imagination or because it´s an indoor image but it doesn´t seem to have that canon digital colour look either.

  10. Ed Richards said, on February 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I will be very interested in your views on framelines and being able to see past the image you are capturing after your work with the Canon. I was fooling around with the D700’s electronic rangefinder – you can set one of the focus points to be a static rangefinder patch, and the display will tell you both which way to go to focus and when you have achieved focus with manual lenses. While it does work pretty well for manual lens focusing, you do not get the ability to see beyond the frame. Of course I could also go into DX mode, which puts a smaller frame in the viewfinder, but I hate to throw the pixels away.:-)

  11. Paul Butzi said, on February 28, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I will be very interested in your views on framelines and being able to see past the image you are capturing after your work with the Canon.

    Yes. I’m interested to see how that goes, too.

    Remember, I’m not doing this for the first time. I’ve made so many exposures with M6 rangefinders (and the same lenses I’m using now) that I can’t easily count them. Tens of thousands.

    So there’s a lot of learning, there, that’s not being done now, it was done in the past and I’m calling it up from the vasty deep of my past.

    To some extent, you could go back and read this story in reverse by going and reading what I wrote when I bought the Canon EOS 5d, and had to switch from rangefinders and view cameras.

  12. Ed Richards said, on February 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    > To some extent, you could go back and read this story in reverse by going and reading what I wrote when I bought the Canon EOS 5d, and had to switch from rangefinders and view cameras.

    I remember that, it is the recapitulation that interests me. Can you go home again? You have been doing one of the things that an SLR does really well – macro, limited DOF where DOF is a major compositional element. With macro all you need to do is move your head back an inch and you get outside the frame, so even framelines should not matter.

    But I have not seen any of your Leica work – as far as I remember, only the LF was on your WWW site. Perhaps you did this same work with the Leica, but would be very un-Leica like.

  13. Mike Peters said, on March 1, 2010 at 8:09 am

    As far as minimum focus, there’s always the DR Summicron, or the 90 Macro-Elmar, both very nice lenses.

  14. Paul L. said, on March 1, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Good luck in your journey, Paul. I’ll be following it closely.


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