5 frames with...

5 Frames with a Leica MP, Portra 400 & Lots of Sun – By Nelson M

It’s easy to love a Leica M camera as an object. Handsome black-painted metal, simple design cues, and legendary build quality make them attractive even to passersby catching a glimpse of one on the street.

Beyond its looks, I also knew that I loved some of the images I was capable of creating with the camera. Getting comfortable with zone focusing, trusting the characteristics of a given film stock, and letting Leica’s lovely glass do its thing were all a matter of practice.

This past summer, on a trip from my home in California to France and Italy, I finally fell in love with the entire experience of analog photography. My particular camera is a black MP, complete with hints of its brass core peeking out from beneath the paint. Though I had two lenses with me, a 28mm Elmarit and 50mm Summilux, the 50 was what found itself mounted to the camera for most of the trip.

Unencumbered by autofocus settings, metering systems, and batteries altogether, I was allowed to focus, find a frame, click, and move on.

The anticipation of what was captured on those negatives kept me on my toes throughout the trip — I didn’t want to miss a moment, yet I had to be frugal with the 36 frames I had available on a given roll.

Of the 15 rolls I shot, here are a few Kodak Portra 400 frames I really enjoyed. Kudos to the talented folks at Richard Photo Lab for bringing these images to life.

Nice, France

Calanque de Sugiton, France


Marseille, France

Marseille, France

Check out more of my photography on Flickr and Instagram.

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  • Avatar
    Karl Valentin
    February 21, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Travel light and watch things happen in the viewfinder.
    Old analoge cameras make it easier to just focus on the picture
    instead of settings and LCD screens while missing the moment.
    For the most of my trips even one lens is more than enough.
    A few month ago I run in a Nikon S2 with a Nikkor S.C. 1,4 50mm
    and found my interrest for film again.
    For people who want to try a viewfinder camera the first time
    this would be my suggestion !

  • Avatar
    jim arnold
    February 21, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I used Richards once. Vastly overpriced and mediocre IMHO. Process and scan at $21-$23 per roll for medium sized scans. That’s INSANE. By the time you add in mailing cost and the cost of the film, every click of the shutter is running $1. If you really want to scan film effortlessly invest in a Leica BEOON with a Rodagon APO enlarging lens paired with a Fuji X camera or a Sony A7 as the “scanner” and take control of the process. Use someplace cheap like Dwayne’s to process the C-41 and scan. My local pro lab (Dodd’s in Cleveland) processes and scans for $8 a roll and usually does a good job.

  • Avatar
    February 21, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Am I right in thinking you are using the summilux hood on the elmarit? Great idea. Congratulations on owning such a beautiful camera.

  • Avatar
    February 21, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    When people look for the ‘film look’, this is it. Over Portra

  • Avatar
    February 21, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Sorry that should have said:

    ‘Love Portra’

  • Avatar
    February 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Com’on man we definitly need more than 5frames =)
    Ah… Portras…

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