Here are the cameras I use regularly enough to claim that they are “being used”, in order of most-to-least used.
- Ricoh GRIII
- Leica Q
- Fuji X-Pro2
- Fuji X-T3
- Leica M6
- Fuji Instax SQ6
- Leica M3
- Hasselblad 500C/M
Obviously, this list is way too long for anyone claiming to be a serious hobby photographer: “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer, blah, blah…”. On the other hand, it’s a fine list for someone—me, for example—who enjoys photography but really likes cameras.
The past few months have seen me shoot very little film, but I must admit that the Leica M film bodies are so wonderful to hold that I pick them up and shoot a frame or two of whatever just for the tactile pleasure of it. They really are more to me than just cameras. They feel astonishing and could be the most beautiful man-made objects I’ve every used.
And yet, I mostly grab the little GRIII. I’m kind of in a digital mood lately.
What if I could have that Leica M feeling, but with digital? Good question! That’s what I’ve been wondering! :). So right now the camera I want is a Leica M10. Or specifically, the M10-P. I don’t want the new M10-R because, well, there’s no used market yet and who needs 40 megapixels? I don’t.
I can’t stop thinking about it. I already have the 35mm Summicron ASPH which is my favorite small-format lens of all time. Wouldn’t that be a wicked combination? I had an M8 years ago and that camera sucked. Chunky, slow, terrible in low light, and needed a filter so the blacks didn’t go all magenta on me. From what I can tell, the M10 is finally there. It’s a true M camera, but digital.
On the other hand, there’s the Leica SL2. In-body IS, wicked-good construction, world’s greatest EVF, damn good video (the M10 doesn’t even have video), and the option of using fantastic auto-focus lenses or my M lenses with an adapter. It’s a huge beast, but I kind of want one.
Then there’s Linhof 4x5 Master Technika. Of course I wouldn’t get a new one, at that price. I still enjoy making 4x5 portraits, but my 1950s Crown Graphic is beat to shit and doesn’t really “spark joy”, as they say. I think the Linhof would.
I can only have one of the above, and probably shouldn’t have any, but I’ve found myself trolling eBay and the other usual outlets. I can’t wait to see what I do.