I spent way more time in the forests in 2020 than ever before, thanks to the absence of other outdoor activities one can easily pursue (especially travel). Mind you, I have never been much of a forest photographer, I was (probably still am) more interested in fine art dramatic landscapes or blue hour cityscapes. But between sitting at home and complaining or trying to adjust and make the best of it I chose the latter, so here we are.
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.
My opinion on the 35mm focal length hasn’t shifted much since my recent attempts to adopt it into my workflow. Despite being happy with a lot of the snapshots I’ve produced on my Olympus XA, my constant 35mm companion, I still feel that the focal length has one clear strength, and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to put it into practice in a way where I simply can’t make excuses in the way that I often find myself doing when I fail with it in my snapshots.
For over a year I had been contemplating plunking down money for a digital body one last time and committing to shooting that camera for 5-10 years. In the film days I had the same camera for six or more years at a time and there are real benefits of knowing a camera in that way. After shooting Sony’s for almost three years and changing bodies frequently, I was now eyeing a Leica. Why? Well, like Hamish’s gear journey that is 35mmc, that answer cannot be said in short order.