AND I’VE BEEN SHIFTING GEARS ALL ALONG MY LIFE

First of all – massive apologies for the lack of Porsche content and photos. I’ve been busy. Generally, I don’t work a lot of overtime but spent my Friday at work from 8AM – 9PM. Not how I wanted to end the week but such is life. Also, my spare time has been dedicated to the long overdue make-over of my home studio.

I haven’t even pinched off a 100 snaps with the M9 even though I’ve had it for eight days. They’re mostly shots from the backyard or around the house…snooze fest, right? So this is more about my immediate thoughts on the transition from a Canon 5DII/24-105mm lens to the Leica M9/Voigt 40mm accompanied by some quick snaps.

The M9 is such a different animal from the 5DII. In many ways, The 5DII is like a Japanese luxury SUV and the M9 is perhaps like a…backdated 911 (vintage exterior but more modern mechanics…after all, it’s digital). The 5DII will do everything and then some with very little effort. It’s got plenty of creature comforts and a lot of automation. The M9 is limited and requires far more effort. You need to row through the gears and be far more engaged as the driver but the drive from point A to point B is far more rewarding.

The biggest transition for me is the inability to focus on anything closer than 2.5′. The fixed lens and “zooming with my feet”, the manual focusing and no “live view” are things I can work around.

Anyway, here are the “teething” shots restricted to around the house until I find some free time and an event.

The bokeh is incredible with the full frame sensor and this is not even shot wide open.

The side yard. When we first moved into our house this was all dirt and waist-high weeds. In “designing” this area, we wanted a place to chill with a strong beverage. I’m responsible for maintaining our yards. I’m not allowed to hire a landscaper because I look hispanic. If you think I’m racist then go have words with my neighbors who asked me how much I charged when they would see me doing the front yard work. This was when we first moved in and before they realized I (we) was the homeowner. I’ve had to learn to say, “Lo cientos, no soy Latino” to all the people who automatically start speaking Spanish to me. That means “sorry, I am not Latin” for you gringos. Even then, they think I’m lying.

The tonal range is really outrageous on the M9. I’m barely touching these in post processing. It almost seems inappropriate to do so when the images are so unique. You don’t feel the need to dump a bunch of salt, pepper catchup or anything else on them.

Lucas, the grey one – aka Fool No. 2, is such a punk. He can never leave Gabriel alone.

At times, he can fool you that he is so innocent…totally not true. I showed my wife this picture and she asked why it was so “splotchy”. Bokeh baby!

One of the things I notice I’m doing is centering all the subjects due to the focusing system on the M9. It’s something I NEVER like to do. The other thing that is strange for me is how distant everything feels. Originally I thought I wanted a 35mm lens but I may go 50mm when the time comes to buy a Leica lens. I think I need to shoot cars before I make that decision.

As mentioned, the home-studio is currently in progress. Everything has been emptied from the room. It will be a “floor to ceiling” make-over which is why it has been consuming a lot of my time. I scraped the acoustic ceiling last weekend which is just a totally messy job but worth it. I was going to apply a knock down texture but man…I did such an excellent job in prepping the ceiling that I am going to leave it smooth. Seriously, it’s that good and I’m that anal.

However, I did ruin a good pair of Vans in the process…oh well, they were getting kind of stinky. The carpet is going to get replaced so I’m not sure why I keep protecting it.

Here is an example of zooming with my feet and learning to adjust to not having a wide angle lens. Before I would have put myself in the corner and shot at 24mm. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”. I’m totally sorry that I know that line from “that” dreadful movie. What can I say? I’m married and my wife has the DVD.

Overall, I am liking the M9. I’m not able to say at this time if I will be ditching the DLSR rig. I need to become more fluent with the M9 which will just take time but yeah, everything I had to sell and the sacrifices I had to make (and will continue to make) to own a Leica…totally worth it. Heated seats, cruise control and duel climate control are so overrated. There’s no reason the M9 can’t be the daily driver.

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7 Responses to AND I’VE BEEN SHIFTING GEARS ALL ALONG MY LIFE

  1. Paul Moseley says:

    The neat thing is that you “know” what 1.4, 2.8, 8 and 11 look like and what you want at that time, the framing will come faster, focus-reframe, shoot, you won’t even think about at after some practice. Walter Heun, the Leica pro rep in the 80’s, taught me to know the distance of things, like my arms, height, etc. So I knew when I was at arm’s length from someone I had already set 3 feet on my lens, so I was halfway there before the camera was at my eye. Congrats, it is a lifetime camera. And yeah, the lenses are scary-great, detail in the highlights AND the darkest shadows….

  2. Paul says:

    What Paul Moseley said plus, those photos are beautiful. I am impressed.

  3. Kent says:

    Well done man. The change in “gears” certainly makes you more engaged in making a photo rather than simply snapping one.

    Kent

  4. Bob Tilton says:

    Thanks guys – looking forward to really using the camera and sharing more appropriate subject matter.

  5. Peter says:

    Hi Bob.

    Here´s and bloke whom traveled 800,000 km. around the globe with a Leicaflex a M6, and a G-Wagon naturally…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18910560

  6. Peter Kane says:

    Thanks for helpin’ keep up the neighborhood!

  7. Bob Tilton says:

    My pleasure but no one ever sees the side yard. 😉

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