I first used Leica M Camera in 2010 when my mentor asked me to shoot couple of roles with his M6 and 50mm Summicron. The whole experience was like going back to basics and with every shot there was a sense of joy, which I felt after a long time. Photographers who’d started their journey from film cameras can only feel that kind of nostalgia. By this time, M9 was already in market and it had earned great reputation among Leica aficionados. The kind of micro contrast, great sense of depth and bokeh, Leica optics is able to produce no other company could possibly match. Here are 16 images of Himalayan landscapes taken with the Leica M (Typ 262).
Finally, when Leica announced the Leica M (Typ 262), I decided to go for it. This could be the best possible rangefinder for me to have. Once I was sure of my first M body, I initially tilted towards 35mm Summicron ASPH. It was one of the most favourite lenses among photographers as first lens with their M. Just before I could order for this combination, Leica announced new 28mm Summicron ASPH (2016). Also, another positive news was that Leica opened its India store at New Delhi. Although it wasn’t officially launched, they were still able to take new orders.
Most of the time for my editorial assignments, I am taking environmental portraits and I knew that my favourite focal length was between 28 and 32mm, I finally ordered for newly launched 28mm Summicron.
For one of my personal projects, I was planning to visit Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh state in India. I was really excited to use my new Leica for the famous upper Himalayan landscapes. While packing my camera bag, I kept my DSLR quite reluctantly, knowing that I might not use it, but then one should always have a back-up body. The duration of whole journey was 10 days and in total I used my DSLR only 1 day and that too when I wanted to compare the results.
The sheer joy of using a complete manual camera was indescribable. It was like I am in different zone. It slows you down, as I was shooting landscapes most of the time. I realized that not only I was shooting less frames, but also I wasn’t missing anything. My attention to details increased a lot in the whole process. As if my camera was forcing me to think a lot, before pressing the shutter release. In the end, less shots to delete while editing the final shots.
The new 28mm was able to produce good amount of contrast while wide open and in my experience it starts producing sharp results from f4. I was using it for the first time, so tried all the apertures in various situations of landscapes. Later I realised that my lens is able to produce sharpest images with nice contrast between f9 and f11.
I have a keen interest in monochrome images but I didn’t opt for Leica M Monochrom, as I also wanted to use it for my editorial assignments.
In the end, I can say that each one of us can have different opinions about Leica M. In my opinion, the best way to judge this tool is to use it once. I guess in most cases, it will force you to fall in love with it.
About Amit Verma:
Amit Verma is a New Delhi based photojournalist who specializes in editorial photography especially portraits. Currently affiliated with Forbes India magazine, he has worked for various international magazines in the past eleven years of his career. Presently he is working on couple of long-term projects in monochrome.
To know more about Amit’s work, please visit his official website.