After months of agonising, thinking, weighing pros and cons, research and just plain giving myself a migraine, I’ve finally done it. I bought a used Leica M6 TTL and a brand new Leica 50mm Summicron f/2.0. And the agony was worth it….
The first few rolls I took truly sucked and the pictures were awful. The top 2 were just about the best I can salvage. They were taken with the 90mm f/4 Leica (I had to wait a day for my Summicron to arrive but I bullied my local dealer to lending me something to use).
It was a strange feeling as I begin to get a feel for the camera. The all manual stuff (metering, focussing) made me realise how truly dependent I was on technology that came with the camera. I really had to slow down and get back to basics.
The viewfinder is wonderful. I read about the fact that the rangefinder system allowed the photographer to view what is outside the frame when looking through the viewfinder. Having experienced it myself now 🙂 I can now understand how it can change the way I compose pictures.
When I did get my Summicron things didn’t get any better until I forced myself to really slow down and think about making the image (instead of taking a shot). I began to experiment taking pictures at the hyperfocal distance (which is actually very easy). This shot below was one where things just ‘clicked’ together. That lens is sharp.
Tomorrow I am going to start taking pictures using black and white film as well as slide films. The M6 has opened up a whole new world for me. I am now enjoying the actual process and experience of taking the pictures. Over time as I get used to it I know I’ll get better at it. As I become more familiar with the technical side of things (and then forget them), it will truly become a tool for me to express myself.