Following my two other posts introducing the Leica R5, I wish to get back on this topic again.
I wanted to find out if the R5 could fit in my working method, how it could combine simultaneously with other gear, namely with Leica-M equipment. Switching from reflex to rangefinder and back, could maybe produce some discomfort, I feared.
I was concerned that I could lose my focus and concentration.
Working on a visual story, I think that one must be careful enough not to allow for “gaps” to happen, the pictures ought to provide some emotional continuity, a certain smoothness, the viewer should feel interest without strain.
Like a river flowing naturally to the sea…
I have used some brands of equipment that tend to give different shooting sensations. If you change from one piece to the next (inside that same brand, I mean), you clearly notice the variation: some focusing helicoids are stiffer, some aperture rings are looser, the color balance changes a bit, the list could go on and on...
I have seen all of that in rather famous names!
One of the attributes that I cherish the most about Leica, is consistency.
Lenses (cameras or whatever you name), may be built decades apart, but you instantly feel “at home”.
The common handling senses, the same color characteristics, the unequalled high-quality finish…
That famous undefinable “Leica Feeling”?
Yes, that is how legends are born…
Nonsense! – I read a lot of knowledgeable opinion in many Photographic Forums and the like.
Foolish hype! - The experts keep shouting and screaming, crammed with indignation.
It’s only that they (the Leicaists!) can justify the high prices they pay! – I read on, and on…
I very often ask myself if all these defenders of my poor sanity have ever touched a Leica…
Oh, don’t understand me wrong! I know that photographs are made by photographers, not by brands or cameras, not by soulless machines…
But I also know that Leicas do have soul!, and that they can help a hell of a lot to accomplish your goals!
I should know: I have been having a lot of that stuff stuck up my nose…
Looking for a verdict, I put some gear in the bag (wide-angle + normal + an old M2 from 1959, and the R5 + tele), and went out in the fairground, shooting away.
How did it feel? Well, I guess that I can say that it felt... "at home"...
Please, take a look and make up your mind. Do you feel any "gaps"? (They are nobody's fault but mine!...).
You are the judge this time!
Cameras - Leica M2 + Leica R5
Lenses - Elmarit-M 28mm + Summicron-M 50mm + Elmarit 135mm
Film - Agfa APX 100
Developer - Rodinal, diluted 1+50
Location - Feira de Santa Iria, Faro, Portugal
Date - October 2010
Scanner - Epson Perfection 4990 Photo