How much the Leica M2 Means to Me

featured, Film, The Streets

It’s hard to even begin to type out the feelings i developed when I first laid my hands on this camera lol

The Leica M2 is very important to me as it taught me so much about photography and just plain ole figuring out what kind of photographer i wanted to be.

I had always had friends and family who did studio photo work and also within club/dance scenes but i knew i was into something entirely different right away when I chose to pursue photography more..i longed for the type of photography that felt more free and in a way rebellious of what most people think photo taking is about.

When i first purchased my Leica M2 (from Ebay) i had saved up only enough to get the body.

So just think i had finally had this amazing, beautiful camera in my hands…BUT I COULDN’T EVEN USE IT YET #fail

I then had to save up for a lens, that being the Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm F2.5 after a while of saving up more cash.

-nice-voigtlander-color-skopar-f2.5-35mm-p-ii-for-leica-m-249.99-35282-p

It was a great lil pancake type lens that allowed me to put my M2 in my jacket pocket most of the time and just wait for inspiration or the “Decisive Moment”

The focusing was so NEW compared to what I was used to with DSLR and SLR cameras! It was such a change from the norm of what i had experienced in Photography previously, specifically due to the fact that it was a rangefinder style camera.

Now I was no stranger to film really or manual focus as i was usually walking around shooting with a Canon A1, Minolta SRT 201, or Nikon F3 but this i felt was a truly new experience.

Even the whole Zone Focus aspect made me enjoy it more using these M mount lenses.

Here is a video explaining a bit more about the way Zone Focusing works (if you had any questions about what i mean)

Now i know a lot of Leica shooters say that you gotta try to “Shoot from the Hip” less AND I HAVE now but as i was just beginning to figure it out, it was really cool.

I would be so excited to get back home and just check out my pics.

I develop on my own, at my house, in my kitchen sink most of the time.

I purchased a 35mm film scanner which makes me able to scan directly into my PC

I still do it to this day..

As i continue my venture into Street Photography and even into the notion of what i see as a Street Photography “Philosophy”, i can owe it all to this Leica M2 that started it all off for me.

Of course it also gave me access to some of the greats such as Henri Cartier Bresson and the rest of the Leica Legends.

Super big shoutout to the guys over at DigitalRev and Eric Kim for continously feeding my insanity towards the Leica M series Camera throughout the years as well lol

Now on top of all this, recently i purchased this lil beauty 🙂

Leica M3 with Canon F1.4 LTM Lens

This being another recent purchase from Ebay, i had Youxin Ye, the great Leica repair serviceman CLA it soon after receiving and convert it to Single Stroke.

Some versions of the Leica M3 were Double Stroke, which meant you had to wind the film advance back twice in order for you to prepare for your next shot. It actually wasn’t as bad as i thought but as i see now i like it better Single Stroke.

I know i’m rambling on and i apologize, but i just want to say one more thing that the Leica M2 camera taught me.

As i mentioned before, i had worked with a number of film cameras throughout the years.

I also have with a bunch of digital:

Nikon D3200, Nikon D7000, Nikon D7100

Canon XTI, Canon XSI, Canon T5i, Canon 6D

I really only have one digital camera now..but don’t ask how many film ones i have! 0_o

There was one thing that they all had which i didn’t really think about much..Light Meter, or Auto Exposure.

With the Leica M2, i learned how to read conditions ON MY OWN and how to meter with my own head.

There was nothing more satisfying than coming home and seeing the results of something that you manually did all on your own.

I SET THE SHUTTER SPEED

I SET THE APERTURE

I CHOSE THE FILM (which is probably the only real difference aside from white balance) and set these according to the speed of the film and conditions

Majority of the time, I DEVELOPED and SCANNED IT

It felt so free..more than any other camera i ever held or shot with

Very sad day to see 5 Pointz like this..

Now i’m not saying this can’t be done with any other camera, or even any other rangefinder..i’m just speaking of my experience.

I hope everyone appreciates my lil love affair story with this camera lol and as soon as i get my Leica M3 back from Youxin (currently getting CLA’d) i’ll be shooting with it! 😉

Can’t wait to post about it and it’s great results

Take it easy!

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3 thoughts on “How much the Leica M2 Means to Me

  1. I’m glad you like the M2. I’ve got an M2 with a Summicron f/2 lens. It was a gift from my grandmother when I graduated high school, and had belonged to my grandfather. He was a semi-professional photographer who owned quite a few Leicas and Hasselblads. I’m honored to have one of his cameras, and a great camera at that.

  2. I’m going throigh this exact experience with my film cameras as we speak! I finally pirchased my Leica M3 from a local shop in Atlanta and havent stopped smiling yet. I’ve shot a good ampumt of 35mm rolls with my SLR; Yashica super 2000. Thank you for making this post!

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