I’ve decided to be impetuous and buy a Leica M-A. To achieve this I need to sell some gear, some quite special gear at that…
During my winter shopping spree, I was spending laughably small amounts of money on various P&Ss and fix focus 35mm plastic cameras. I saw this camera for 1 CZK (about 4 us cents) on our local auction server, I placed the 4 cent bid, set max for 50 and let it its own devices. Most of the time, no one else bid on those weird cameras. That’s how I got my Canon Prima BF-80 Date.
If you’ve read my Leica M3 post you might be aware that I went to some pains to buy a late model M3 with all the various “upgrades” Leica made to the camera over the course of its production run? Had you read that, you might now be surprised to read about me shooting with a M3 DS (double stroke) early model… It was, after all, a firm conclusion that a late model was the right camera for me.
I read on a forum somewhere a comment relating to an individual’s initial response to the Leica M-A as being – in their words – “underwhelming”. When I first read this comment I didn’t think a great deal of it, it was just another comment on just another forum; I dismissed it as an empty or shallow opinion from just another naysayer. That’s pretty much the usual response to forum commentary I feel in someway doesn’t echo my own views, there is so much of it that it’s easier just to filter and disregard as much of it as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Of course, dismissal of this comment on my part was at best unfair to this person, but it was also entirely shortsighted. I hadn’t even seen a Leica M-A in the flesh at the time, so how could I possibly judge the validity of the statement? Well basically I assumed that being underwhelmed by something that’s pictures I had all but drooled over would be impossible. I was wrong, when I first played with a Leica M-A, I was also somewhat underwhelmed.
I am finding myself more and more able to get particularly consistent results without the use of a metered camera. In fact, I feel I’m making the right decisions about exposure to see a consistency in my results that’s greater than that which I achieve with cameras that have a built in meter. Without the meter to distract me in the viewfinder, I’ve found myself able to concentrate on the thought processes needed to correctly expose my colour photos.
After giving up on the idea of a software approach to modifying the Mju II, I decided to go analogue, which is how I came across Hamish’s article. I followed his advice and within 5 minutes my camera was rid of that one decisive flaw that had relegated it to the display cabinet: the inability to retain flash settings.