Leica M6 with 50mm Summicron Rigid

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

IMG_20200721_0002 50

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.

IMG_20200721_0004 50

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.

IMG_20200721_0030 20

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.

IMG_20200721_0031 15

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.

IMG_20200721_0034 15

Neat display.

IMG_20200721_0036 15In the midst of things.

IMG_20200721_0039 10

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

IMG_20200721_0040 10

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…

 

 

 

Against a Wall

It’s a simple idea – one I’ve used many times.img_20160929_0023-640

A simple wall with interesting texture.

img_20160929_0024-640

A window.

img_20160929_0025-640

And equally interesting people.

img_20160929_0026-640

The composition takes care of itself.

Thanks for reading!

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander 35 Nokton 1.4 SC

Film: Venus 800

 

Finding Flow

Part of street photography or art-making is about finding flow.

img_20160929_0002-640

Such that one is immersed in the activity.

img_20160929_0013-640

Such that you could forget yourself.

img_20160929_0018-640

And find meaning in it.

img_20160929_0019-640

The notion of flow – many thanks to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

img_20160929_0021-640

It’s about looking, constantly looking.

img_20160929_0022-640

Thanks for reading!

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander 35 Nokton 1.4 SC

Film: Venus 800

 

The Street Makes Sense

The thing with Shamshuipo is that one could walk slowly amongst pockets of crowds.

img_20160929_0005-640

You could flow along comfortably.

img_20160929_0006-640

Even if you stop, there’s space enough for you to do so.

img_20160929_0008-640

So many people and things to look at.

img_20160929_0014-640

Hope and dreams of finding a space.

img_20160929_0015-640

The street belongs.

img_20160929_0016-640

The street can disintegrate.

img_20160929_0017-640

The street makes sense, if you keep looking.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander 35 Nokton 1.4 SC

Film: Venus 800

 

 

Cheung Chau Again

Some more thoughts of Cheung Chau.

IMG_20151127_0001(0) 640

One photograph, one thought.

IMG_20151127_0002(0) 640

It’s a nice local economy one could believe in.

IMG_20151127_0003(0) 640

It’s a personable economy.

IMG_20151127_0004(0) 640

A joyful economy.

IMG_20151127_0005 640

Though sometimes you’d have to wait for a bit.

IMG_20151127_0006 640

Public sculptures.

IMG_20151127_0007 640

There’s time for a conversation.

IMG_20151127_0008 640

Time to stroll.

IMG_20151127_0009 640

Time to sort it all out.

IMG_20151127_0011 640

It’s all very laid back.

IMG_20151127_0012 640

Part of it is in shadow.

IMG_20151127_0014 640

It’s not always peachy.

IMG_20151127_0015 640

There’re always things to buy!

IMG_20151127_0016 640

People to look at.

IMG_20151127_0018 640

And a wall to lean on.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2

Cheung Chau

On Cheung Chau island.

IMG_20151126_0012 640

The atmosphere is rather relaxed.

IMG_20151126_0014 640

One could dream of a life here.

IMG_20151126_0015 640

It’s one of those possible doorways.

IMG_20151126_0024 640

One could just stand here and admire the wall.

IMG_20151126_0022 640

Lack of love?

IMG_20151126_0025 640

An advertising and laundry space.

IMG_20151126_0026 640

Very homely.

IMG_20151126_0028 640

Though sometimes we could be in a hurry.

IMG_20151126_0029 640

Oh I’m dreaming I’m dreaming of a slower pace of life.

IMG_20151126_0030 640

Is it possible?

IMG_20151126_0031 640

It is possible.

IMG_20151126_0032 640

Maybe I’m romanticizing too much.

IMG_20151127_0004 640

It’s a possibility, I suppose.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2

 

 

A Short Hike

There’s nothing like a short walk to get away from the city, even if it’s just for a bit.

IMG_20151126_0016 640

We all need breaks.

IMG_20151126_0017 640

A short climb.

IMG_20151126_0018 640

Getting there.

IMG_20151126_0019 640

So one could disappear.

IMG_20151126_0021 640

There’s a haiku in there waiting to be written…

 

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2

The Management of Space in a Village

It goes without saying that space is at a premium in Hong Kong.

IMG_20151126_0001 640

This is true even in the more rural areas.

IMG_20151126_0002 640

Things need to stay organized.

IMG_20151126_0003 640

Nature needs to know its place.

IMG_20151126_0004 640

Heidegger: “Everywhere everything is ordered to stand by, to be immediately at hand, indeed to stand there just so that it may be on call for a further ordering. Whatever is ordered about in this way has its own standing. We call it the standing-reserve.”

IMG_20151126_0005 640

It’s all standing by.

IMG_20151126_0006 640

Nothing is to be wasted.

IMG_20151126_0007 640

It’s all about discipline.

IMG_20151126_0008 640

Places to go, and places you can’t go.

IMG_20151126_0009 640

All these structures are standing, even in our literal absence.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Ilford XP2

 

 

A Short Story

It begins with a journey.

IMG_20150929_0036 640

Then there was land.

IMG_20150930_0011 640

Then there were people.

IMG_20150930_0012 640

It doesn’t take much to make a world.

IMG_20150930_0003 640 A house and a car.

IMG_20150930_0008 640

Neighbours.

IMG_20150930_0007 640

Some rules.

IMG_20150930_0005 640

Some more neighbours.

IMG_20150930_0009 640

And then you have a government.

And then we wait for things to sort themselves out.

In the meantime, my exhibition is still going on – come by if you’re in the area!

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Kodak BW400CN

On Being Careless

To be interested in street photography is to be careless.

IMG_20150929_0045 640

The above might look better if the boats were cut out of the photograph. The subject would be clearer.

But the eyes don’t always discriminate properly.

IMG_20150929_0046 640

Found scenes are things as they are.

IMG_20150929_0048 640

Boats and paths as they are.

IMG_20150929_0049 640

A child as he is.

IMG_20150930_0001 640

There’s an accommodation of sorts.

IMG_20150930_0002 640

An ordering of nature.

Camera: Leica M6

Lens: Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f/1.4 SC

Film: Kodak BW400CN