So... I got my hands on a Leica by Saurav Chowdhury

Last Thursday when shooting the Room 6 show, I had my chance to get my hands on a  Leica M with a Summilux 50mm f/1.4 courtesy of Shahi. It was a first for me using a range finder like that. let alone one of such prestige and I definitely wanted to shoot the gig later that night with it to see how well it shot in low light but first I had to try it outdoors with it still being light outside.

First I'd like to apologise with some of the photos because I didn't realise that the ISO was set to something like 1600, and I was trying to shoot at golden hour at f/1.4 so naturally the images were overexposed and I had to compensate by dropping the aperture (which is buttery smooth to use as the lens de-clicked) to f/2.8-f/4 which really didn't help when I wanted to get a taste of that bokeh.

Canon 5D MKIII and the Leica M

Canon 5D MKIII and the Leica M

On top of the loss of DOF I lost a tonne of dynamic range and colour from the higher ISO so bad quality images was on the part of me not knowing how to change ISO till later, not the camera and then trying to correct for it.

The focusing is very difficult to get a hang of due to it being a range finder with a single centre focus point but after a couple of minutes I got a hang of it (definitely taught me to be greatful for complaining about my Canon 6D's single cross type), my only issue with it being in direct sunlight the focus point flaired out making it impossible to focus with. The 50mm lens has a nice throw to it which allowed me to cover the entire range without shifting my hands at some weird angle as most videographers can vouch for with long throw lenses, but the de-clicked aperture ring made it very easy to bump it and change the DOF when you're not being careful.

The camera is very quick to respond, mainly because it doesn't have to wait for focus confirmation and definitely fun for journalism or day to day use, but highly not recommended for waist level street shooting unless you're okay with a tonne of out of focus images.