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.
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