G’day everyone, former G.A.S. sufferer here! Although in my case it’s more accurate to call it Gear Experimentation Syndrome since I would typically enjoy using one vintage film camera/lens combination at a time before selling it on and buying something different. With a bit of luck, this process is fairly cost neutral too, given that the new gear depreciation already happened decades ago. My own experimentation trail involved most film formats and brands, until it slowly narrowed to small 1970s rangefinder cameras and TLRs. The trail ended perhaps unsurprisingly at the Leica M6, which was a gift from a close friend of mine.
Much has been written about this legendary camera! One less-known fact is that its 35mm frame lines are actually consistent with a 40mm view for subjects more than 2-3m away. This just happens to be how I prefer to capture the world so…drum roll…enter the Voigtlander! This is a truly exceptional lens. It is fast, tiny, very well-built, plenty sharp from wide open, and quick to focus with a finger tab. It can also be easily modified to show 35mm frame lines on any Leica M camera instead of the default 50mm frame lines. Taking it apart for lens helicoid lubrication is straight forward too with guides readily available. Bokeh is “classic”, meaning that out of focus areas are generally pleasing but can be a bit unpredictable wide open with an outlining effect for some busy backgrounds.
The final puzzle piece was Rollei 80s black and white film. I personally value high contrast, high sharpness and low grain, and this film delivers in spades! Best use is on overcast days or subdued light as contrast can be difficult to tame when sunny. This is due to its extended red sensitivity compared to other films but on the upshot, it has a hidden talent in infrared photography. All in all, a wonderful film!
This camera-lens combination has been an absolute joy to use and more than anything, it just works. Thank you for your interest!