5 frames with...

5 Frames with a Leica CL and Jupiter-8 – By Simon King

January 9, 2018

I’ve gone through a handful or so of Leica CL cameras, which is more than I expected to when I first started photography. Film was never my area, so when I bought my first CL it was as an experiment, and not intended to become a part of my workflow. I have since sold and bought on a new one every so often, and this time I found one at the cheapest price I’ve seen – so I bought it, attached a Jupiter 8 lens and then blacked out he logos so its resale value would go down and I’d be less tempted to sell it.

So far this has worked, and the CL has accompanied me out the house on several more occasions than any of its predecessors were capable of. It is light enough that I never have any excuses to leave the house without it, and for my personal photography it has been very fun to integrate alongside my digital camera.

With film I have made myself a promise: I will do everything slowly and methodically, and to adulterate the images as little as possible digitally. I have made very sure to frame, meter, focus, set up my shutter speed and aperture correctly, and to render the light as I want it to be seen, without needing to edit exposures later. For me the point of film will be to train my eye and my responses, as well as my brain to analyse light carefully and creatively.

The images here are from my first roll of street photographs taken very recently. I hope to write a longer article for 35mmc at some point in the future, when I’ve had more rolls developed and have formed a better opinion of film photography overall, and how I end up finding that alongside my digital rangefinder workflow.

You can follow my photography on Instagram, and also on my personal blog where I maintain my thoughts and experiences working as a creative and street photographer.

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  • Reply
    Dan James
    January 9, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Simon, I’m not really sure why you’ve had a number of these and sold them on before using, and have almost had to force yourself to use this one by blacking out the logos etc? If you really don’t feel like using it, then why not just use the camera(s) you do like using and forget about the CL? Am I missing something?

    • Reply
      January 9, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      Hi Dan! I’ve always been tempted by film, but whenever I had the funds to buy my camera of choice I then los my motivation, and ended up sticking with the convenience of digital. Now that I’m dedicating more time to my photography I can justify really forcing myself to go ahead with experimenting with film!

  • Reply
    January 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Love that last pic Simon (well all of them really), but the last one is upside down, even though it is the right way up…


    • Reply
      January 9, 2018 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you! I really enjoy playing with perspective!

  • Reply
    Ken Hindle-May
    January 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    I really like these shots. Great moments and I love that high contrast, grainy look. It’s something I want to try and develop with my own B&W shooting. I haven’t figured out how to get those really deep blacks yet – probably I need to underexpose a little more.

    • Reply
      January 13, 2018 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Ken! Good luck with your B&W workflow!

  • Reply
    jeremy north
    January 12, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Apart from your rather bizarre account of your relationship with the CL I enjoyed this post Simon. I really like that you’ve a style of your own. Would I be correct in thinking that some of these images are cropped?

    • Reply
      January 13, 2018 at 10:31 am

      Thanks Jeremy, I think I have an odd relationship with my gear for sure – but when I’ve settled with what I like then there’s very little that can sway me!
      The images are not cropped, no. What makes you think that? If you like I can try upload a photo of my negatives to this post to show this?

  • Reply
    July 31, 2019 at 12:33 am

    Great photographs !!! Love them. Bravo !!! Demonstrated that surgical sharpness is not the key 😉 Thanks for the lesson

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