I started to take photography as my serious hobby over 10 years ago, when I was even in middle school. Since I got to learn more about different gear, and developed my interest in street photography, the Leica M-system inevitably occupied one place in my mind. I had experience with DSLRs, some Minolta film SLRs, later the compact cameras such as T2, T3 and Hexar AF. For a few years I stopped taking cameras and film out but just using my phone.
When I first got my Leica M10-P I referred to it as being brilliantly underwhelming. This isn’t the most complimentary sounding comment I don’t think, but actually it comes from a place of feeling really very satisfied with it as a camera.
For a specific set of my needs, the Leica M10-P does exactly what it’s supposed to and does so in a way that I needn’t put a second of thought into how I use it and what I use it for. But none of this is because it’s the most technologically advanced camera I own – instead it’s because it feels like it’s the most well refined as a concept. And for that alone, I see it as only a little less than a complete success as a camera.
Months back, I talked myself (quite easily I should add) into buying a Sony/Minolta A-mount 135mm STF lens of regular reader Rollin Banderob. I was beyond intrigued by this unusual lens, and seeing Rollin shooting it on his Leica M10 made me want to do the same.
Unfortunately, it was one of those bits of GAS that came to nothing. In fact, the only thing I ended up using it for was as a slightly longer lens in combination with the Sony A6400 for video at work. That camera has a 1.5x crop sensor and with the “clear image zoom” which just uses a smaller part of the sensor and still give full HD video, it made for a ~400mm equivalent which turned out to be very useful for a few event videos we made.
For Christmas last year, my wife bought me a flight in a helicopter – it was one of those “red-letter day” gifts. I’ve always quite liked the idea of going for a ride in such a machine, but it’s not an opportunity that arises particularly frequently. As such, I was thrilled with the gift and excited about the potential photographic opportunities!
A couple of months ago I got myself up very early one Sunday and travelled to Plymouth to take some photos for the production company of a stage production called “The Simon and Garfunkel Story”. As I do with most of my professional work, I shot the job with the work kit: the Sony A7riii and various Zeiss lenses. In between the times I was shooting for the client, I also shot for myself with my own camera: the Leica M10-P and the 50mm ZM Sonnar. I got the results I wanted with both cameras, but the experience and reasoning behind shooting each of them was very different.