Leica Update - M9 vs M6

2001_031_28.jpgRemember way way back I was excited about the Leica M9. Well I was and I still am - sort of. If I have a need for something like a Leica but I must have digital output for some reason I will probably consider an M9. I am glad that it exists in the world. If I was a PJ and had to get images out right now I would definitely use one for a lot of my work. I am not so I decided that before I went and plunked down $8000 I would dust off my old M6 kit and shoot with it for a while to see what happened.

I have been toting the M6 and a lens or two around with me just about everywhere. I was even inspired to start a couple of longer term projects with it. I have shot only black and white so far and have used a mishmash of old 7 or 8 year old film I had laying around. Tri-X, TMAX3200 TMZ, etc. I have liked it so much that I actually put in a big film order for 35mm film last week. It cost me about $170 this will probably hold me off on "needing" an M9 for a long time.

The camera is great - having it with me is great - being "limited" to 35mm and 50mm is great. It is a freeing experience. I forgot what it is like to travel light. The film I have shot so far has it's flaws. The biggest one is me but I am sure I will get back in shape in another month or two. The other flaws are that the TMZ is almost useless after 8 years. You have not seen fog like this. It's bad. The Tri-X is useable but still fogged a bit. That is why I got new film. Point is it is cheap and it is fun and on top of that I get fantastic results - at least by my definition.

I also noticed that people are still voting on my Leica M9 poll. The results have cooled off a lot since the introduction. Far more people are not considering it as a purchase now. I wonder if the same demographic decided to make a future investment in something else or just decided they don't really need a new camera? I hope it is the latter.

The image at the top was shot on my Leica M6 with a 35mm Summicron wide open or thereabouts. Really slow shutter speed - like 1/8th-ish, hand held in very very low light - very low backlight. A nightmare of an exposure situation when you need to shoot quickly. I kind of like the image  - it is interesting to me. Yea I know that everything is not in focus that is what happens when you shoot about wide open and close. Yea I know there is a little flare - that is what happens when you shoot into your light source in a big big way wide open. Yea I know there is subject motion. It is still interesting to me - I love the expressions on each of there faces - this was the moment when the wedding planner let the bride and her best friends know 5 minutes before the wedding was supposed to start that A) The flowers were not here and could not be located and B) The best man was not here with another one of the ushers and could not be located. Priceless and a great example of why you do not want me as your wedding photographer.

RB

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