UNTIL 6 months ago I had never used a Leica. So I felt neither the nostalgia or fanaticism attached to the 100 year legacy of cameras and lenses. In a strange way this allowed me to objectively use the Leica M - the latest iteration of the well revered rangefinder system - and measure it against my FX Nikon system.
What is immediately obvious to anyone to handles the camera is the finish. It’s beautifully constructed, compact size and simplistic design seems to reiterate it’s stance as a purest tool. As a photographer I’ve always had to justify the economics of my equipment purchases - cost benefit analysis doesn’t always lend itself to emotional purchases.
Leica to my mind has always been an emotional choice over a balanced one - by the end of my assignment in India I can honestly I’ve changed my position.
Whilst aesthetics add to look of being a photographer - it’s the technology inside that ultimately allows one to be one. I’ve never been much about how I appear - for me photography is about the subtlety of capturing stories - not being them.
Ironically enough however the small form factor became a strange blessing as it allowed me to blend much more naturally into environment - nothing worse than being spotted as a photographer and breaking the forth wall.