Alternative views on the Leica world by Erwin Puts

A basic dilemma

The first choice is the film: the Ilford Delta100 for now. This choice also limits the selection of the lens: the most compact is the Summarit-M 2.5/50 mm. Because I intend to take pictures in situations where the light intensity is low, the Summilux-M 50 mm will be the choice. I feel dubious about the Apo-Summicron-M 50 mm because of its higher level of definition at the wider apertures, but the ability to collect the faintest photons that can hit the emulsion settles it. Then the camera: the M3 has the finest finder and the most pleasant shutter noise and the smoothest shutter release. The M-A is almost identical, but has a brighter finder and a more accurate shutter. The 0.72 finder has to be supplemented by the magnifier which makes the body a bit more voluminous. Both cameras require an external exposure meter. The Gossen with the 1 degree spot is the obvious candidate, but only when the pictures are Zone System oriented. Exposure metering with the incident light method is extremely simple and adjustments can be made by experience. I am a bit lazy for now, as I wish to explore some new techniques of photography. Then the M7 with the 0.85 finder will do. The semi-automatic mode suits the style of photography and the accuracy of the shutter is excellent. The shutter sound is hardly audible. This M7 has been cleaned and adjusted recently, and should be in perfect state.
As Wim Wenders noted, the beauty of the analogue photography (in itself a strange reference as the digital photography is also analogue to start with, but the word is now so familiar that it makes no sense to be purist) is the expectation to see later what has been captured and to reflect on the captured details. Usually we see only what we know and the detective approach (to know what we see) takes some effort. Not every photographer is a Sherlock Holmes. The Dutch photographer, Aarsman, has made it a specialty: the photo-detective to collect information from the photograph that was not intended by the photographer when he took the picture. The time period between taking the picture and observing the photograph helps to hone this attitude. And you have to focus on picture taking as there is no second chance. In this respect the immediate review possible with the digital camera makes things easier, but also less attentive. There is no single stairway to heaven!