Jono Shields

New Camera Day

I recently acquired my grail film camera. The Leica M2. Leica is a heritage brand and has a long history with press and documentary photography. The build quality is beyond excellent and their cameras have always been built solid. This bad boy is roughly 60 years old.

Why not the M3? It doesn’t support 35mm framelines, so shooting with a 35mm lens means that I wouldn’t be able to see the whole frame. Why not the M4? No good reason. I am just a little less fond of the plastic trimming and the fastload take up spool is a bit harder to know if you have the film secured properly. Why not the M5 or newer? These started getting out of my price range very quickly. And from the M6 you get a bunch of features I don’t really need. Especially because I am quite keen to learn to shoot without a lightmeter.

But Jono, you don’t even really like using a range finder! This was true. Before this the oly rangefinder I had used was the Yashica Electro 35, and I really didn’t like having to use the rangefinder patch because it was too hard to see.

My digital camera though is a Fuji X-Pro2, kind of like a hybrid rangefinder. Okay, yes I know it isn’t a true rangefinder, but I love the feeling of shooting it.

Besides the thousands of people shooting Leica M series cameras can’t all be wrong. I particularly enjoyed EduardoPavezGoye’s youtube channel, I spent hours watching his videos with his M3 before I made this decision.

I received it on Thursday and the next day I was off to Wellington. The following photos were taken over that weekend. These were shot on a combination of Superia 400 and Kodak Color Vision2 500T.

So how am I finding the M2?

I love it! It feels so good in the hand. The film advance lever is so slick and smooth. The shutter is so quiet, perfect for street photography.

I got a Voigtlander 40mm f/1.4 with it because I couldn’t afford to buy this and a summicron at the same time. But honestly after seeing these photos coming back I might never upgrade.

And I am slowly learning the Sunny 16 rule so I can quickly pick my settings without needing a lightmeter. I thought these shots would come out a lot worse than they did. I’m stoked.