5 frames with...

5 frames with a Leica M-A, 35mm Summilux and Ilford Delta 400 – A Walk in the City in Crazy Times – by Marc Wick

November 22, 2020

In crazy times like now, where Covid 19 has spread all over the world and you do not know what will happen next week, I enjoy every minute outside. Banalities like walking around, eating in a restaurant, meeting friends, traveling have now become very precious moments. At least in many European countries, the mask found its way into our daily life. Also in pedestrian zones, the masks are everywhere.

During a walk in Munich I tried to take some photos of “people in disguise”.

I took my Leica M-A (loaded with an Ilford Delta 400) and the old pre ash 1.4/35 Summilux lens.

The Leica M-A is an anachronism in times of digital photography. Up to now, Leica are still produces analog M rangefinder cameras. After the production for the M7 was discontinued in 2018, they still have the MP and the M-A. The M-A was released at the photokina in Cologne in 2014 and surprised photographers all over the world. Who can be so crazy, to produce such a camera? Well, you know the answer.

Like every M the haptics are unique and it feels heavy in your hands when you look through the bright viewfinder. The most important features is the lack of any electronics, metering system or control buttons. No battery, nothing. Only you, the aperture, the shutter speed and your lens which has to be focussed manually. The good thing is, you do not depend on any electronic devices to improve your photo. The bad thing is, if your photo is too dark, bright or whatever, it was always your fault.

For street or documentary photography, the pre-asph 1.4/35 Summilux is my all time favorite. And on most travels, this very compact lens is my only lens. It is the most compact Summilux from Leica and was produced from 1961-1993. My version is from 1987. This lens is not perfect but has very special characteristics. At full aperture the contrast is very low and there is a very high flare level as Erwin Puts describes it in his Leica Compendium. But from f/5.6 it becomes razor sharp with much stronger contrasts. So it’s perfect for street photography with an aperture of f/8 or more.

The Ilford Delta 400 was developed with X-Tol (1:1) and digitized with Negative Lab Pro.

You can combine the mask perfect with your clothes

Maybe he doesn’t wear the mask perfect, but for sure he is the king of cool

As much mask as possible

Smoke a cigarette and relax

Take a break 

Who would ever have thought 6 months ago, how this virus changed (and changes) our world and our daily life.

Thanks for looking at the photos. You can find more of my photography on instagram

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  • Reply
    November 22, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Viewing your photos would be much more enjoyable if there wasn’t an ad on every one of them. It’s aggravating enough that I will probably stop visiting this site.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      November 22, 2020 at 3:40 pm

      You can support this website and get an add free experience by subscribing. There is a link at the bottom of every single posts.

    • Reply
      December 7, 2020 at 10:11 am

      You’re enjoying free content and complaining about how they can afford to bring it to you. How about suck it up and support them.

  • Reply
    Harry Machold
    November 22, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Thank you, Mark, for this article and its photographs. I was also swallowing the adds and survived; at least so far..
    The M-A strikes me as a modernized M 4 P but I prefer the MP in its black paint version., with a meter working or not.
    However, the M – A is a wonderful camera though not available for me because of its price.
    I sold mine M 4 P and use the M 4 instead, 4 frame lines are just enough to look through.
    And so is the M 4 the best and most perfect to use Leica M for me.
    And still available for 3 digit prices; at least locally over here in Austria.
    Best regards

    • Reply
      Marc Wick
      November 23, 2020 at 7:43 am

      Thanks a lot Harry for your kind comments. I also used the M4 for some years and it worked very well too. Looking at the different analog Leica M models, you can really find a camera which is useful for your kind of photography and no matter which model you use, the beautiful haptic is always the same. And for sure in comparison to the digital version you do not loose money on the long run.

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