Shooting with the Leica M9-P
|Leica Elmarit-M 21mm f/3.4 ASPH @ f/8
Abandoned Church, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota (Eric Becker)
Scott Everett and Eric Becker
Seattle-based documentary and commercial director Eric Becker, recently joined dpreview's own Scott Everett on a weeklong trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, where they are working together on a short film. Filming entirely with Canon DSLRs and lenses, they brought along the Leica M9-P as a 'change of pace' camera for shooting stills to document their experience. Eric and Scott, both Canon shooters, share their thoughts on what it was like to photograph with the M9-P.
The M9-P is beautiful because it's simple. There's an elegance to having it dangling from your shoulder. If I had to chose one camera to bounce across Europe with this would be it. And not just because it would make me look more sophisticated than I am. Extended time in Europe means I would be on vacation. Two things I would not want with me are my iphone or a video-capable DSLR. As a director, my working hours are spent with those devices in constant use. And that's why I love the M9-P; it's pure. Clients can't email me on it, I can't use it to update my facebook page, and it does not shoot 1080p24. It's 'just' a camera, and a remarkably well-handling one at that. Yes, the screen is terrible for reviewing photos. Its menu interface is cryptic. The shutter makes this loud, drawn out noise. It can't shoot faster than 2fps. It's hard (for me) to focus. These are the reasons that I am completely in love with it.
It's almost as if...you have to think about the photo you are making. I've shot some of the best photos of my life using it for the simple reason that it allows me to enter a type of shooting where I'm forced to pay attention. In a world where we're so distracted by images, where apps like Instagram are starting to define an era of ubiquitous social photography, I believe it is more important than ever to be able to enter a thoughtful, introspective space when composing images. That's what the M9-P allows me to do.
|Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/4
The interior of a house in Manderson, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota (Eric Becker)
My experience with the camera mirrored Eric's to a large degree. The M9-P's elegance stems in large part from its simplicity. No bells and whistles. No distractions. And this had a discernible effect on my shooting.
Typically, if I have access to a 'fast' lens I can't resist shooting wide open a lot of the time, which of course leads to an excessively narrow depth of field and ultimately a bunch of shots lost due to slightly missed focus. Yet, when shooting with a lens like the Summilux-M 50mm/1.4, and using the rangefinder patch on the M9-P, I actually increased my ratio of keepers to rejects. How? Using a rangefinder to manually focus is a slower process, which forces me to take a little more time to frame my shots, and identify more specifically the area where I want to place focus; a generally more thoughful, contemplative process. Then there's the fact that, even wide open, the Summilux is ridiculously sharp. With the M9-P I take fewer photos than I would with my DSLR, but come away with a higher ratio of in-focus and extremely sharp results.
|Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/1.7
Vintage truck, Packwood, WA (Scott Everett)
|Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/4
Rolling hills just outside of the Badlands, South Dakota (Scott Everett)
|Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/11
Alder Lake, Washington (Scott Everett
Of course, a competent autofocus system can produce the same hit rate, but the Leica M9-P simply provides a different type of shooting experience; one that forces me to consider options before pressing the shutter button. Don't get me wrong, I love my Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Paired with a 50/1.4 or 35/1.4 it's more than enough camera for most of my needs. But for certain types of shooting, if I had the option to take an M9-P instead, I probably would.
|Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH @ f/1.4
Eric Becker caight mid air (Scott Everett)
|Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.7 ASPH @ f/1.7
Portrait of a metalworker (Scott Everett)
Over the years I've read and participated in many forum arguments about the limitations of a rangefinder, the cost of a Leica, or the 'look' of its M-series lenses. There's no getting around the fact that even if you don't require autofocus, versatile metering options and other advantages of a modern DSLR, a Leica M9-P/Summilux combo, at $12,000 is a purchase that is difficult to rationalize. But each time I look through the images I've taken on the M9-P, and remember the shooting experiences I've had with it, I keep wanting to reach for it, and go shooting again.
May 5, 2015
Apr 19, 2015
Apr 14, 2015
Apr 30, 2015
|Al Fateh Grand Mosque by mallen1976|
from Your City - B&W Night Picture
|Beakable by Hobbyfotograaf|
|St Paul's - DT NYC by mollymcd|
from Modern - Old-Fashioned
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.
When a prospective client approaches you, don't just say "yes" right away. Here's a useful list of questions you should be asking before you decide to take the job and name your price.
Samsung just revealed a blazing-fast new Solid State Drive capable of data transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s.
DJI has developed a 'Local Data Mode' that lets pilots fly without being connected to the Internet. The mode should calm recent fears over data privacy and security when flying DJI drones.
After 1.7 million downloads on Apple computers since the launch in November 2015, Aurora HDR will be available for Windows PCs for the first time with the 2018 release.
The company behind the new Meyer Optik Goerlitz lens manufacturing business has formed a new brand to bring back the Biotar 75mm F1.5 that was made by Carl Zeiss Jena in the 1940s and 50s.
The updated Qualcomm Spectra system is a dual-camera setup that is capable of sensing depth and motion in real time.
A sizable swath of the United States will be treated to a total eclipse of the heart – er, sun – in just under a week. Here are a few excellent guides to help you photograph this rare occasion.
f11 Magazine—an ad-supported, free magazine for 'photographers and aficionados' that focused on photos rather than gear—is suspending publication due to financial troubles.
The Minolta MC Rokkor-X 40-80mm F2.8 is unlike any zoom lens you've probably ever seen. Instead of a helicoid, it uses a gearbox, and because of this it's still one of the sharpest zoom lenses out there.
If you're looking to switch to Sony, the company's new limited-time "α trade up" promotion can snag you up to $500 + trade-in value towards a brand new a9, a7 II, a7R II, or a7S II when you hand over your DSLR or mirrorless camera.
The Google Camera app exclusive to the company's own Pixel phone has been unofficially ported to other Android devices. If you're willing to take the risk of installing, you can now use features like HDR+ on the Galaxy S8, LG G6, OnePlus 5, and more.
49-year-old David Hilos is known by the Singapore photography community as the 'camera whisperer.' When a service center says a camera is beyond repair, Hilos can usually coax it back to life.
Photographer Ryan Kelly captured one of the most viral and graphic images of the horrifying events in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. This is the harrowing story behind that photograph.
Data storage manufacturer Synology has added a new, lower-cost NAS to its DiskStation j line that has a maximum capacity of 40TB, and which is aimed at home users and photography enthusiasts.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but here it is: the $500 interchangeable lens camera is about to go the way of the $200 compact.
On April 16, 2016 disaster struck in Kumamoto in the form of an unprecedented 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Here is the public's first look at Sony's sensor factory during the quake, the resulting damage and the efforts to restore operations.
Last August, travel photographer and Resource Travel editor Michael Bonocore escaped to the island of Tahiti for a month of cool adventures and amazing photography.
Curious just how tough Nikon's KeyMission 360 action camera really is? This one got chewed on by a tiger for several minutes and recorded the whole thing.
The EOS 6D Mark II is essentially a full frame version of the EOS 80D. However, we weren't exactly bowled-over by it, when we reviewed it. Does that mean it's not worth the cost of upgrading? Let us walk you through the differences.
Hiker and amateur photographer Ben Bauermeister talks about his experience taking an Olympus PEN-F on an ultralight backpacking trip. When every ounce counts, adding 2.8lbs to your pack is a serious decision.
Sean Tucker tells the story behind these two portraits of the Himba people he captured for a personal project in Namibia.