The Leica Curse

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Hey, man, nice camera.

 

Wow, how retro..  that's so neat.

 

Oh - is that a Leica?  You must take really good pictures!

I take my M2 almost everywhere.  Class, work, home, the city, walmart, local errands - just about anywhere.

People often stop me and compliment me on my camera.  I reply with a thank you, and try not to geek out about it.  Occasionally someone will pass the implied litmus test and  comment that it's a Leica and knows that I sold my soul to Lucifer in exchange for the camera.  I'll entertain them with the "how to use a rangefinder 101" tidbit and my  "this was what Canon made before they got really big" spiel  about the Canon-Serenar f/1.8 that adorns my M2.

I really hope people don't think I'm a hipster - I'm not.  I wanted a camera that didn't use batteries and one that will be brutally honest with me.  The Leica spitefully chuckles at you when you accidentally under expose a scene by three stops.  When you finally take a beautiful photo, it remains silent.  It makes you wait to see your newly crafted masterpiece - as if chimping at a preview spoils the succulent main dish that chef Leitz has meticulously labored on.

What really bites me is when folks ask me if I'm a "good" photographer. Am I? I don't think I'm great, but I know I'm not horrible neither. But am I good enough to justify my camera?

I have a Zorki 4 and Canon IIF screwmount bodies lying around that I can use my Canon-Serenar 50 on.  I don't need the Leica, and the Leica doesn't need me.  But there's something about the Leica that I crave.  There's something about it that motivates me to rack the film advance over and over.  Honestly, the Leica is a device of pure emotion.  I probably can frame better with an SLR.  wpid-2014-09-24-04.47.46-2.jpg.jpegI can be more discrete with my dead silent and miniature Olympus XA.  I can take an unfathomable amount of pictures with my Olympus OM-D.  There is no rationality or reason to Leitz.

But I love it.  I love my M2.  I love film.