5 Frames with a Leica M4-P on a Whisky Pilgrimage – By Nick Holt

Leica and film. Two words that seem to be forever linked in my mind. After playing around with a Leica Monochrom digital for a while it was inevitable that I would end up trying out a Leica film camera. After hours of pondering I decided to go for an M4-P body and a 1976 Summicron 35mm lens. My thinking was that I would save a bit of money by going with a meterless camera body and spend the majority of the cash on a vintage Summicron lens. I admit there was some trepidation in going meterless but I reasoned that it would help me build up more awareness of lighting conditions and add to the magic.

The camera and lens arrived a week before I was due to go to the Scottish island of Islay on my annual ‘whisky pilgrimage’ with a friend. I decided to leave my digital camera at home and document the trip entirely on Tri-X film. We sampled all 8 Whisky distilleries on Islay and also visited the distillery on Jura. Islay and Jura are very special places and I think I made the right choice going with black and white film. I shot 3 rolls of Tri-X on the trip, many after a whisky tasting. These 5 frames are some of my favourites and they are also the straightest!.

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You can find Hamish’s Leica M4-P review here

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18 thoughts on “5 Frames with a Leica M4-P on a Whisky Pilgrimage – By Nick Holt”

  1. The last time I was there was 1969 but you are right Nick the western highlands of Scotland are very special, as is your choice of photographic tool.

    Having said that, I would say that you would take good snaps like those above, with or without a wee dram, with or without a proper Leica, with or without a light meter… And you would probably even make a decent snap with a digital jobby.

    In other words, excellent snaps sir, great framing and contrast.

    BTW: I like your Pythonic foot from your Paris flâneur.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Stephen. 1969.. wow! Some things might have changed on Islay since then but probably not the important ones! I shoot digital on most of my trips but somehow Islay seemed to scream ‘shoot film’ at me for this one. It’s always a bit of risk though. Results not guaranteed. But thats part of the magic. Sorry for not repying earlier I was away for a few weeks.

      Re: Foot. Yes.. big Python fan here!

  2. I like whisky, I love Scotland, and it has been too long since I’ve shot Tri-X. Lovely images, it reminds me that I still like Tri-X, so I’m going to shot some tonight!

  3. Dominique Pierre-Nina

    Great choice. I can’t understand for the life of me why would Leica want to keep making cameras with the idea of or a sudo sole of a film camera such as the M10-D when the M2, 3, 4, 5,( 6 and 7 with light meter) are all one needs.

  4. Beautiful and full of feeling, makes me want to take a trip there even more. That barrels shot is especially perfect.

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