Part 1: History
Most photographers know the long history of Leica and photography. Because of this, many at least wonder what all the fuss is about.
The first Leica I ever held was the M8 back in 2006. It suffered from some significant technical issues so I honestly didn’t think too much about it. A few years later I met the M9. Leica had made up a lot of ground and I spent more time with the camera. Because of my background I’ve had the good fortune to shoot with a lot of different kinds of cameras and I have to say there is something very different about the feel of a Leica. Unlike DSLRs, Leicas (and I’m talking about M rangefinders) feel like precision instruments. Maybe it’s the lack of a “rubberized” exterior. Maybe it is the weight and density. Maybe it is the feel of the focusing mechanism. Somehow this feel resonates with me. But given the M9 specs it still didn’t seem like a viable camera for me.
Fast forward to my photography workshop with Peter Turnley in Venice a number of years later. Peter is an amazing person, photographer, and story teller. One night the class went out for dinner and Peter snapped this photo with his Leica. I was mad (that I hadn’t seen this photo) but amazed at what he was able to capture in a very dark alley. There is something amazing about this photo. Obviously it is a great capture but the tone was what really caught my eye. It is also what started me seriously considering Leica for my own purposes for the first time.