I've wanted one since I old enough to know what it was, as a child it was sold to me as being the McLaren F1 of cameras and when I turned 30 I was gifted one by a very kind and sweet person.
It would be irresponsible of me to sell this as a necessity, its vein and I've never used it in a professional shoot. I'm pretty confident with most cameras but for some reason it makes me a little nervous. I wouldn't say I'm clumsy but I've dropped almost all of my cameras and although it feels like a work of art to hold I get the feeling it's not as sturdy as other 'workhorse' cameras. That said it's a divine object. It feels like a piece of history, commodity fetish in motion. Its mechanisms are silent. Notoriously it was for years the only camera (the Leica M series) allowed in a court of law as it was so quiet, I think that's in the U.S... anyway.
I've been making myself known to it lately, it even stayed in my bed a few nights, albeit accidentally, I fell asleep reading the manual and mucking about with it. I've been carrying it around like a kid with a new toy, and quiet often I want to know where it is. I shoot a roll of film through it recently, it's got the classic rangefinder focus, separate from the lens, so a common mistake might be shooting with the lens cap on for example and you wouldn't know until after you've shot your film.
The focus is a little hard I find. I'm usually pretty good with focus but this flummoxes me. Anyway, here are some results, the camera did all the leg work here, I barely touched it the film AND it's very poor quality film from Poundland ha! If you're not living in Britain that's translated as 'bargain film that is likely stored in some heinous conditions prior to you buying it but it's cheap so you have 60 rolls of it because one of your students tipped you off on a discount store's closing down sale (thank you Neil)'.
My feelings on this camera, are that it's just so cinematic, the way it captures colour and the lack of bias from this camera is really striking, I can see why it's been a favourite with documentary photographers historically. It's very much a way of depicting reality in a stoic but romantic way. I'm really looking forward to shooting with this a lot more; however I do feel I will use this to capture my everyday life rather than my art work. It just doesn't seem appropriate to use it for anything other than depicting honesty; well that's my gut reaction.
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