Leica M6 with 50mm Summicron Rigid

According to the serial numbers, my Leica M6 was made in 1987 and lens in 1957.

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The lens has its distance scale in feet only. It’s a bit annoying for me as I think in metres. Oh well. This teaches me to check before buying. But there’s a broad depth of field to work with when zone focusing at f16 so that’s fine.

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The lens and camera were a good combined bargain way back in 2011. I remember walking into a shop in Singapore. It’s either at Peninsula Plaza or Peninsula Shopping Centre – my favorite place for vintage cameras and electric guitars. I asked for the lowest-priced Leica M6 and 50mm lens. Didn’t like the first option and so I went with the second. They came with a 6-month shop warranty.

The prices for both the camera and lens had increased over the years. Could you say the same for digital cameras? A digital camera is like a smartphone these days – there’s built-in obsolescence at work.

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There’s no such thing as a purely analog process anymore, especially if one is scanning the negatives and displaying the images on the Internet. I can’t help but tweak a little bit for contrast.

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Film photography is about slowing down and understanding the light. The Leica M6 has a meter I can check to ascertain the range I can work with.

Zone focus, decide between f8, f11 or f16 depending on whether the scene is in the sun or shade and snap. It’s pure poetry – camera and lens and the mind are one.

We all need to find a sense of calm in a time of Covid-19. (My second-hand Washburn HB35, a semi-hollow guitar, is also getting a regular workout: “Mama take this badge off of me … I can’t use it anymore … it’s getting dark, too dark to see…” )

Zone focusing is actually faster than auto focusing with my digital camera. I missed a few shots with the Canon M50 as the lens hesitates once in a while and takes a little too long to decide.

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Neat display.

IMG_20200721_0036 15In the midst of things.

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I aimed at the wall and waited for someone to walk past.

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Selfie on glass display. This was outside my go-to place for film development, lenses and cameras, where I got the film (Ilford XP2 400) processed right after this shot. It’s sunrisephotohk. You could find it on FB.

There’s a Leica M3 in there for a nice price. The ground rule is you put down the cash and go for a spin with the camera and develop the film right there to check for issues. If you don’t like what you see, you get your cash back.

There’re other pricier places in Hong Kong you could go to in Mongkok and Tsimshatsui and they generally give you a 6-month or 1-year shop warranty. But a Leica M is a simple mechanical thing, relatively speaking, and generally serviceable. They are built to last.

I could pair the current lens with the Leica M3, and the M6 will be a permanent home for my Voigtlander 35mm Nokton Classic. Hmm…

 

 

 

When Streets Are Busy

When streets are busy, they look like this:

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No one notices the guy with the camera:

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People are too preoccupied:

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Work work work.

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Sell sell sell.

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Buy buy buy.

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Go go go.

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Thanks for reading!

Camera: Contax TVS II

Film: Agfa Vista 400

 

Art-making

Street photography is about found action.

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It’s when you realize the environment is a material you could draw from.

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It’s arrested action.

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There’re inadvertent art displays.

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Someone positioned these just so.

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The goods are guiding our eyes.

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The entire environment is for consumption.

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Colours are for sale.

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Shoes are waiting.

Thanks for reading!

Camera: Contax TVS II

Film: Agfa Vista 400

 

Olympus XA 3

Sometimes, it is a pain when you realize that what you have is actually good enough.

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Sad is the man who realizes he does not have a good excuse to buy another camera.

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What happens if you’re already happy with your Olympus XA 2 as a street camera?

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You go out and buy an Olympus XA 3, of course.

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It’s the same difference.

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There’re differences between a Olympus XA 2 and XA 3, of course.

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What this also means is that I could go out with 2 different films.

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One could be loaded with a colour film and the other with a b/w film.

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Or they could have films of different ISOs.

Ah – the joys of street photography.

Camera: Olympus XA 3

Film: Kodak UltraMax 400

Walking Around

I have so many posts of the street markets at Shamshuipo.

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My only excuse is that things are always changing, and the streets are never the same from hour to hour.

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I’d wonder about the kind of life stories people have.

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What would we say, if we have had a chance to speak about ourselves to one another?

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I’m the guy with the camera who thinks too much.

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While someone else is having his siesta.

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The streets are so busy.

Camera: Olympus XA2

Film: Ilford XP2 400

Corporate Cliches

We need to avoid doing the same thing and look out for or even create the next paradigm shift.

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We need to think about how we can add value to our work.

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It’s all about win-win.

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What’s our ROI on this?

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We need to think outside the box here.

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This is inevitable – it’s because of creative destruction.

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We need to synergize our mission and vision.

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Let’s pluck the low-hanging fruit for now and circle back to this discussion later.

Camera: Contax TVS II

Film: Kodak BW400CN

Purchasing Schemes

Again we choose.

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We decide.

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We look.

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Hmm…

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That one! Yes!

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This is the season.

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We’re in season.

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We stop to think.

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And buy wisely.

All images are taken with my stealthy Contax TVS II with Ferrania Solaris 400 film.

For collectors: some images here are available as open edition affordable prints at my Saatchi Art page.

Thanks for reading!

 

Decisions

So many to choose from!

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We follow our appetites.

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We make the effort.

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We are exasperated.

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We lose ourselves.

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Oh yes! A real decision!

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We have the luxury of time.

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We calculate.

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We choose again.

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All images here are from my trusty Minolta AF-C, loaded with Kodak Professional BW400CN film.

Some images from this post are available as affordable open edition prints at my Saatchi Art page for collectors.

Do drop by to have a look.