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Archive 2016 · My Year with a Rangefinder
  
 
canerino
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · My Year with a Rangefinder


Congratulations to canerino for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 19 votes - View Previous Winners


I posted very similar over to the Alternative Gear Forum, but thought this could be of value for anyone considering a rangefinder camera.

Plain and simple, the People Forum on Fredmiranda was where I learned photography. I picked up my first camera in 2005 (Canon Rebel 300D) and cut my teeth on digital. The process of learning was slow and steady and at times bordered somewhere between obsessive and passionate. My primary purpose of picking up a camera was to provide a shoebox of photographs for my growing family. My photography was awful, but I loved it like few things I had ever done. I like 'stuff', so naturally, I bought better cameras...Canon 20D, Canon 5D, 1d2, 1d3, 1ds2, 5D2, 5D3 as well as Canon L prime lenses. Over the past two years, I transitioned from Canon to Nikon and have also owned an Olympus OMD, Fuji x100, Sony RX1. I slowly became competent with my gear and began to shoot weddings. But my passion remained with documenting my family. Professional site www.merklephotography.com. Personal site: www.growingupanerino.tumblr.com

During that gear journey, I bought a Leica M6 in 2008. Loved the Leica, hated film. But during my brief stint, I shot my all time favorite image of my oldest son and wife. I was hooked on Leica, but just could not afford a Leica Digital camera (no matter how much lust I had).

As time moved on, my intrigue of Leica seemed to strengthen and this month last summer I found myself in a position to buy a Leica Monochrom. I have two friends that owned one and have chatted with our very own Allen here. They swore that I'd enjoy the camera...and they were more than right.

Below are my thoughts after one year and some images from the camera.

In short, this has been the one camera I have owned that I enjoy more each time I use it. The new gear feeling that I've experienced with every other camera has not worn off with the Leica. I have a thing for well made items as I get a little older, and Leica gives me that appreciation just about everyday.

Documenting my family (wife and three boys, 11, 8, 5) is where I use the Monochrom. I use it 4-7 times a week, often times in short sessions. It has not been 100% reliable as many of my DSLRs have been. I've experienced some file corruption (on different Sandisk Pro Extreme cards), although I was able to recover the files. But in general, the camera has been very reliable...just not 100%. I have also used the camera on a few occasions at weddings. I enjoy the camera so much that I do not touch my DLSRs unless I am shooting a wedding or other hired work.

I owned two Voightlander lenses when I first purchased the camera. The 28mm f/2 Ultron and the 50mm f/1.5 Nokton ASPH. I found both to be fantastic performers. My only criticism (and this is minor and perhaps snobbish) is that in operation the Voigtlanders were not smooth focusing. I have since sold those lenses and now own the Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron ASPH and the Leica Summicron 50mm f/2 v5. Both are stellar in operation and performance.

The 'why black and white only' question. If you look at my work prior to Leica Monochrom ownership, you will find a VERY heavy BW portfolio. I was fighting to like color quite often. Shooting color has never (or since) been natural for me. What I have found is that I relish the limitation. Color isnt even an option...so I shoot accordingly. It allows me to strictly zero in on the things that I believe make a great image: emotion, form, composition. Color never enters the equation as a distraction (for me).

One thing that I feel is VERY overhyped is how discreet the Leica is. Yes, its smaller and quieter than most cameras out there. But it also has a very cool appearance that people are intrigued by! I have had more people talk to me about the Leica Monochrom in the past year than all previous years combined using all other cameras. So while its small, it is certainly not discreet (in my experiences).

Why a rangefinder? Check out this brief explanation about how a rangefinder camera works: http://petapixel.com/2011/04/26/how-to-focus-a-rangefinder-camera/ What I like most about shooting a rangefinder camera is that the viewfinder has 'framelines' in it. Anything inside the framelines will be in the image, anything outside will not. This has really inspired me to shoot a way that I always want to shoot...frame a scene and wait for critical elements to enter in and out of the framelines. At this point, it all just become a matter of timing. It really forces me to commit to a composition. I like that.

I can see myself owning this camera for a very long time. I all but stopped my gear lust as each quarter a new camera is released from sony/canon/nikon/fuji. I will say that there are cameras that produce better, denser files, with more dynamic range, but this has been BY FAR the most enjoyable camera for me to shoot.

You will recognize some of these images if you have followed the "M Images Thread" and I posted some here. But these are some of my favorites over the past year. As an aside, every personal image posted here has been printed on exhibition fiber paper or baryta paper to either 6x9 or 12x18 via an Epson r3000.

1
http://66.media.tumblr.com/c8b6b21573d94191565ba3ea92ca2207/tumblr_o9xcdh59aQ1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

2
http://67.media.tumblr.com/7ab733e5d0bd9350ee98ec65369ea471/tumblr_o9e8m9uND81qfs74po1_1280.jpg

3
http://66.media.tumblr.com/782da065b134ef55494374328c26c084/tumblr_o9a65rqzqy1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

4
http://66.media.tumblr.com/ff64cf3e817d42d5f1442bbbe753b3f4/tumblr_o8kzkeqAXE1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

5
http://66.media.tumblr.com/cbe5abc1f5b2a0c91ff5fefcb699e064/tumblr_o86buxE9m81qfs74po1_1280.jpg

6
http://65.media.tumblr.com/e1211c5418703f200c346c8ee1819687/tumblr_o82krdQcyb1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

7
http://66.media.tumblr.com/b21838a036082b1820af9291917ddcd0/tumblr_o827uqLeWx1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

8
http://67.media.tumblr.com/4833d8d6f48aa06143499e13b45c95ee/tumblr_o6ilhfB7H01qfs74po1_1280.jpg

9
http://67.media.tumblr.com/edb9998a9460fc568f17beb22dbaac11/tumblr_o6ilf5jIE91qfs74po1_1280.jpg

10
http://65.media.tumblr.com/437f76023d781577a96c95d86640e98c/tumblr_o6ilc1qsDN1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

11
http://67.media.tumblr.com/485c79d5db573bbf30c8c1ae5322e41f/tumblr_o6il9zJZyn1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

12
http://67.media.tumblr.com/0785101eb13de791c3cd25789c2d91e9/tumblr_o4iew8xiSR1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

13
http://67.media.tumblr.com/49b011ee09200143862be3e6d15880e6/tumblr_o3c90qCjgU1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

14
http://66.media.tumblr.com/7f026a1c2106d7cdd1dd32a97ffc697e/tumblr_o2lut2DMxw1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

15
http://67.media.tumblr.com/a41dc1f9ec379aef63b7880f5dc7c5f2/tumblr_o26wm8Prbx1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

16
http://67.media.tumblr.com/29eed5e9a709e729300e4ae65c82ca58/tumblr_o1q53g080B1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

17
http://66.media.tumblr.com/fe60dbde2d6a65d1eb24bea39e6f9243/tumblr_o1fui8xkpV1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

18
http://67.media.tumblr.com/97be45211546a8e9cf643f3645f90448/tumblr_o0ro4bLl581qfs74po1_1280.jpg

19
http://67.media.tumblr.com/cbd6ebb632565135da82f4340593d9f9/tumblr_o0ro0yqE1a1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

20
http://66.media.tumblr.com/458ea9f7cf5be450a4e4c2719e960197/tumblr_nzzcimb6M91qfs74po1_1280.jpg

21
http://66.media.tumblr.com/aad663a8031f2b1933dd6ced3bb2bc3c/tumblr_nzzcheYiz01qfs74po1_1280.jpg

22
http://67.media.tumblr.com/39497f936c485ff70597e3bfcf5e0fa6/tumblr_nzzch0oyHA1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

23
http://65.media.tumblr.com/3256bc0442638b2cca8f94a9c8043916/tumblr_nyx5qsIu6d1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

24
http://67.media.tumblr.com/d3e3f58989afe1fd2b339fd563b0e940/tumblr_ny6xuyT5gv1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

25
http://67.media.tumblr.com/0bb34732e75f117cb2b548267ba23826/tumblr_ny6xq40nNy1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

26
http://66.media.tumblr.com/6e889b8c2cd2142b0880d7137e4d0283/tumblr_nve6gggEhs1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

27
http://67.media.tumblr.com/48da22163f9d823959d1a45475ae1465/tumblr_nszeu8uPmC1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

28
http://66.media.tumblr.com/bc8bfd02c751abf76670577c83d3e313/tumblr_nszetw4BwJ1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

29
http://67.media.tumblr.com/a340a3cf32fcfeb1867441f079a52caa/tumblr_nsm30gBBWl1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

30
http://66.media.tumblr.com/d9a82d5088d7d86b6fc35c34954ae04b/tumblr_nsfampVImc1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

31
http://66.media.tumblr.com/cac079b68777787a1bec128bb8e33cec/tumblr_ns204eAXag1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

32
http://66.media.tumblr.com/4d3cdec48f716bc8d5d3517313590832/tumblr_ns202p4pZW1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

33
http://66.media.tumblr.com/3ef36133ec6840a87f9a5648ff14ff16/tumblr_ns201hSzHg1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

34
http://66.media.tumblr.com/b67d01d983fc36fe1ff4b17cc96d40d6/tumblr_ns1zytJ1XT1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

35
http://65.media.tumblr.com/c631c4118acb5195404bddd9ec879536/tumblr_ns1ztkVSHq1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

36
http://66.media.tumblr.com/91a8701b30f3cf6f837daaffce61f007/tumblr_ns1zpcMiG01qfs74po1_1280.jpg

37
http://67.media.tumblr.com/ec239e7d6821f9109be1bb7ee50f9cf6/tumblr_ns1zf0fkSC1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

38
http://66.media.tumblr.com/0b83f83e0f545742b7d84a7ebac8f384/tumblr_nr9837yLDg1qfs74po1_1280.jpg

39
http://65.media.tumblr.com/b2094b0ac12abc30a1ecfaed063b83ee/tumblr_nqhcl35oat1qfs74po1_1280.jpg



Jul 18, 2016 at 03:42 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · My Year with a Rangefinder


Treasures, every one!

Bob



Jul 18, 2016 at 06:48 PM
emandavi
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · My Year with a Rangefinder


Wow. Love em.



Jul 18, 2016 at 08:20 PM
Lightsearcher
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · My Year with a Rangefinder


Beautiful set, I love it.

Marcelo



Jul 18, 2016 at 08:23 PM
Sharona
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · My Year with a Rangefinder


Lucky kids.


Jul 18, 2016 at 09:06 PM
airfrogusmc
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · My Year with a Rangefinder


I commented on these in the other thread but these are WONDERFUL Chuck. And it seems that you have really found a great tool for you and the way you see and work. Voted....


Jul 18, 2016 at 10:43 PM
jodo
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · My Year with a Rangefinder


Don't know which to admire more, your imagery or your fathery.
Joe



Jul 19, 2016 at 12:10 AM
haleym77
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · My Year with a Rangefinder


Love these images...each a different every one!


Jul 19, 2016 at 04:11 AM
JakAHearts
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · My Year with a Rangefinder


You're one of the best there is.


Jul 19, 2016 at 04:20 PM
brick33308
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · My Year with a Rangefinder


these are all superb, and collectively tell the story of a close and loving family.


Jul 20, 2016 at 02:37 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



JThomas
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · My Year with a Rangefinder


These are so, so good!
Every one of them.



Jul 20, 2016 at 10:08 PM
eSchwab
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · My Year with a Rangefinder


I've seen most of these images before. But to put it into perspective. This is an amazing collection of images to take in a year.


Jul 21, 2016 at 06:11 PM
zalmyb
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · My Year with a Rangefinder


I've seen most of these, and I love them every time. They're so darn good. I really need to try a digital rangefinder, just so much $$$$...

Do you frame them all or...?



Jul 23, 2016 at 12:58 AM
Cottonmill
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · My Year with a Rangefinder


I've been shooting Leica for close on four years now starting with an 8.2, then an M9, and now an M240. I also have the Summicron 35 ASPH, Summicron 50, and I have a Summicron 75 ASPH, which is a stunning lens. I find all the same things this writer did--handy, attractive, inspirational, and so forth. I like these images they have the Leica intimacy that seemingly only comes with the rangefinder. I just don't get the same kind of images with my DSLR set--it makes great images, but just not the same kind of closeness, intimacy, and involvement. With the 35 in particular one is in the scene. Thanks for the images and the thoughtful discussion.


Jul 24, 2016 at 12:21 AM
RolfJ
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · My Year with a Rangefinder


You should feel incredibly proud and satisfied with ALL of the images.


Jul 24, 2016 at 12:53 AM
nolaguy
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · My Year with a Rangefinder


Chuck, my friend, you're a fine example of the thinking photographer.

Profoundly artistic, yes. A gifted educator, yes. The sincerest of family men, yes.

But you are also so intuitively cerebral in your approach to all things photography, I always read your words and study your images with anticipation.

I appreciate you and all you share - most of all your lovely family.

Voted.


Blessings,

Chuck



Jul 24, 2016 at 01:54 AM
patotts
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · My Year with a Rangefinder


You are a blessed man, Chuck. Blessed with a beautiful family and a great eye. Well done and thanks for sharing!

And when you win the lottery, please try out the Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH :-)



Jul 24, 2016 at 06:44 AM
chuhsi1
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · My Year with a Rangefinder


Oh my. I love this. Thank you for sharing.


Jul 27, 2016 at 04:31 AM
sridhar_125
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · My Year with a Rangefinder


Wow ! The B&W's look so good !


Jul 29, 2016 at 06:26 PM
pegeland
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · My Year with a Rangefinder


Amazing... and so inspiring to us just starting our journey of passion and obsession.

Thank you!



Jul 29, 2016 at 07:26 PM
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