I knew I was in trouble as soon as I saw the Leica M2 and 35mm Summicron in the store window. “Shoot few rolls. If no like bring it back for full refund” the shop owner said with a thick Austrian accent. We both knew I was never coming back.
Strangely though, this purchase alleviated my gear acquisition syndrome. There’s a beauty to the simplicity of the Leica system, surely familiar to the readers of the website. And somehow that simplicity stripped away my desires for cameras, lenses and filters. A reminder that photography, as a concept, is actually simple.
Anyone who has ever considered purchasing a Leica lens is probably aware of the rabbit hole of forums one can fall down deciding which version of the lens to buy–anguishing for hours over which surely imperceptible but essential characteristics result from the minor build differences. This is the loved and hated Summicron 35 v4. After a few years of shooting through this glass I would say I’m happy with it. It’s certainly imperfect–soft when opened up and sharply distorted when closed. But if you’re after the oft-used Leica adjective (creamy, dreamy, glow, etc), the imperfections of the 35 ‘cron seems to be what your after.
These five frames are taken mostly over one night in Seoul, South Korea. I don’t keep a log of settings but the film is Portra 400 and I’d guess the lens is opened up at f2 or 2.8 with the shutter around 60-125. The small size of the kit make it a perfect travel companion and somehow the “look” does justice to my memory of the city.