Author Archives: Photographs by Peter

Serious Honey.

Serious Honey

↑Leica M9 and Voigtländer Nokton 40mm @ f/1.4.

Freddy, the camera hog.

The rest of the gang played it cool.

(the quickly melting Freddy, Olaf, and Big Poppa are courtesy of my kids.)

Freddy was a camera hog

↑Leica M9 and Voigtländer Nokton 40mm @ f/5.6.

Twin Pearls.

Twin Pearls

↑Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 110mm @ f/2.8, and Kodak Tri-X 400.

Wave Crashing.

Wave Crashing

↑Leica M9 and Leica 24mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4.

Exhalation.

Exhalation

↑Leica M9 and Leica 24mm Summilux ASPH @ f/4.

The Ship of Theseus, and my Leica M3.

Theseus' Ship

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In Greek mythology, Theseus was the the hero who slayed the Minotaur in the Labyrinth of Knossos.

He then sailed home, on a ship that — having long been in service — was in obvious need of repair.  Wooden planks were therefore removed and replaced.

Theseus’ Paradox arises from the following thought experiment:  suppose, over time, more and more aging planks were removed and then replaced with new pieces of wood until — eventually — no original plank remained.

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Would the ship still be the same ship?

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Most people would still consider it Theseus‘ ship, but… Would it still be the same ship that served him so well?

There are several potential answers to this question, and one further wrinkle that involves taking all of the old discarded planks and re-fashioning another ship, thus creating two Theseus ships (the one with all of the replaced parts, and a new-old one with the old parts).  It’s very mind-bending.

So…what’s this have to do with photography?

Nothing.  But…

I recently purchased a 1963 Leica M3 in completely original condition, and sent it in for servicing.  Even though it was working well enough in most situations, several of its optical and mechanical parts were in poor condition and needed to be replaced.  The exterior covering was replaced too.

I’m currently waiting for its return.

While I’m waiting, the question I keep asking myself, after all of these changes is:

Is this the same M3 that allowed me take this image?

Or has my ship sailed?

—Peter.

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Her Path.

Her Path

↑Leica M9 and Leica 24mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4.

Happy.

Happy

↑Leica M9 and Leica 24mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4.

Time Painting.

Time Painting

↑Leica M9 and Leica 24mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4.

Five in the window.

Five in the window

↑Leica M9 and Leica 24mm Summilux ASPH @ f/2.

About a horse (cinematic).

About a horse (cinematic)

↑Leica M9 and Leica 24mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4.

Ahead of the curve.

Ahead of the curve

↑Leica M9 and Leica 24mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4.

The Truth.

The Truth

↑Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 110mm @ f/2.8, and Kodak Tri-X 400.

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Guest Post: Aaron C. Greenman’s vision for a digital Leica MP.

As most of the visitors of this site know, I have written an Open Letter to Leica requesting an updated CCD sensor on a future Leica M model.  Thus far, over 200 of you have signed it.

Today’s Guest Post by Aaron C. Greenman will likely generate some discussion because, in addition to requesting a CCD sensor, Aaron goes further and requests a digital iteration of Leica‘s iconic MP film body.  Although several elements in Aaron‘s post have been previously circulated in various fora online, Aaron distinguishes himself by proposing a cohesive vision of his ideal camera — a camera which represents a sort of anti-modern photographic device for the photographer placing simplicity, quality, and reliability above all.

Although I cannot say I agree with every facet of Aaron‘s articulation, I certainly admire the consistency of his vision, and therefore wish to sincerely thank him for this contribution to the Leica community.

—Peter.

Aaron C. Greenman writes:

“Peter,
 
Firstly, I wanted to thank you for your work on the Open Letter to Leica.
 
It is important for the company to know that there is a reasonably sized photographer community that still prefers the CCD-based Leica digital rangefinders for their rendering style. As Trusense Imaging (and others) are still developing and producing later generation full-frame CCDs, the sensor architecture is anything besides obsolete to photographers looking to dedicate themselves to high quality “stills only” work. Later generation sensors are bound to offer higher resolution than the 18MP in the Leica M9, coupled with 1-2 stops better ISO performance (making ISO 1600-3200 useable in color, even higher in B&W). Coupled with summilux and summicron lenses, such useability would easily cover 90% of normal shooting requirements, while still preserving the wonderful low ISO rendering style of M9 files.
 
It is also clear, based on the better than anticipated success of the Monochrom, that Leica customers above all are interested in embracing what they believe to be the best photographic tools, with little regard to features that they simply do not need or ancillary specifications that are sometimes included for true progress and sometimes included to motivate planned obsolescence/unnecessary purchase upgrading. So with a relatively modest commitment to further research and development, Leica could create a real alternative to its “M(240)” product line and at the same time a successful, profitable and unique (counter-culture) item that would generate revenue and profit for the company.
 
While I agree with your letter, I believe the time is right for Leica to go even beyond your request, toward a true and faithful next generation (i.e. digital) version of the Leica MP:
 

  • Body with same indestructible build quality and exact dimensions as the current MP, offered in both high gloss painted black and chrome silver (no paint) and weather sealed.  With the A7 and A7R, Sony has proved that it is technically possible to sufficiently condense the depth of the camera body;

  • Identical viewfinder to the MP, with a la carte options for different magnifications and single framelines

  • Aperture priority mode as in Leica M9

  • High resolution (36MP or more) Truesense CCD – could even be produced in color and monochrom-only versions, which would effectively carry forward both the M9 and Monochrom product lines;

  • no video;

  • no rear LCD;

  • small top info screen (like frame counter on MP or M8) for battery charge and shots remaining, could even be mechanical dials similar to Epson RD1;

  • manual MP-like dials on rear for ISO (auto + each manual setting) and exposure compensation;

  • only RAW shooting, auto WB only;

  • extremely low power usage, long battery life;

  • manual shutter re-cocking with lever (like Epson RD1)

  • no “motor drive” to save battery life (could have an optional motor drive that replaces the bottom plate);

  • Ideally a 1/8000 maximum shutter speed, though this should take a back seat to low power usage and manual shutter re-cocking; and

  • Frame preview lever.

 
While the world moves toward EVFs, the above would offer a real alternative and reinforce the heritage and mechanic quality of the Leica M rangefinder. I, for one, am waiting.”
 

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Leica MP - Black

Leica MP - Silver

Leica MP - Top Plate

↑Camera body photos © Leica Camera AG.

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Aaron C. Greenman has been a photographer for over 25 years and has lived and worked on four continents. His online portfolio is available for viewing at acuitycolorgrain.com, and his work has been published in various places online including The Leica Camera Blog. His first monograph is now available for the iPad.

[Note:  Aaron was previously a Featured Photographer on this site.]

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Let it go.

Let it go

↑Leica M9 and Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4.

Guest Post: Roel van Noord.

Today’s Guest Post is from Roel van Noord, who has often contributed to the discussions on this site, but has otherwise been quietly modest about his own photography.

Well, that’s about to change.

Roel, in one of his projects, had the courage to head out on the street and ask total strangers to pose for him.  The result: a plethora of fascinating portraits.  Despite the diverse cast of characters captured in his images, there is one unifying element: they are all wearing hats.

I’ll let Roel explain how this came to be:

“Hi Peter,

I have been visiting your site almost everyday and I still love it. Thank you for putting in the effort of sharing your images and thoughts which are, at moments, very personal.

Has been a while since we connected… just started my second exhibition this year with a series of street portraits.  The theme is goed gemutst (“well hatted”), which in Dutch means something like “looking good” but also “feeling good” (well spirited).  Don’t know if there is a similar translation for that in English.

The series was shot in winter and shows people comfy dressed (hats/shawls) against the cold (a bit like ‘if you snooze you loose’, or as we say in Holland, “if you stay at home because of the weather you are always wrong”). You will see here that the weather was fabulous ;o) “

Roel.

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Wolfman Jack

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100% Pure

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Dreads

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Smiling eyes

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Just did it

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Thank you very much Roel!

To see more of Roel‘s work, please see here.

—Peter.

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