Electronic Aids and Leica M

Leica M8 50mm Summicron
Leica M8 50mm Summicron

The above shot is straight from my Leica M8 with my standard Adobe Lightroom M8 People preset applied, I left the White Balance as the camera had set it.

One of the advantages of modern digital SLR’s from Canon and Nikon is that you can rely on them to get the technicalities of a photograph right.

White balance, exposure, and focus; all taken care of and generally done very well.

With Leica until the new Leica M 240 and the recent Vario X and Leica T; while the optic’s of the older cameras could never be faulted the electronics were always a little behind the times.  The Leica M8 which I use and even the M 240 when first released had a poor colour profile and decidedly iffy white balance.  Now with the latest updates both cameras are very good, though I do still carry a grey card for those tricky situations with my M8 as it can still get caught out more often then a Leica M9 or M 240.

Its an area that at least Leica and also a few other of the more minor camera manufactures are doing well at, continuing to release updates and improving there older camera.

With the dark of the Drill Hall and the overhead spotlights I suspected my little Leica would have a hard time getting the white balance right but it surprised me.  With the old CCD sensor I did not shoot higher then ISO640 and stopped my lens down half a stop to f/1.8 so depth of field was at a minimum, with moving subjects and manual focusing I am very pleased with the results.

Would a digital SLR been a better choice, well possibly, there were others there with SLR’s and they were also using flash, they would have gotten technically better images but people were noticing them and reacting to them.  People either did not notice me or ignored me.  The small rangefinder in these situations has an advantage and one that is shared by many of the latest compact system camera’s, though many of them would have struggled to focus in the low light and with there laggy EVF’s may have struggled to get the shot in those conditions.  If I had any choice of camera then I think a Leica M or Fuji X100s would have had the best chance of getting the shots.

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