I used to be ‘into’ photography. I started with my Grandfather’s old Praktica 35mm camera, a camera so old I had to use a handheld light meter. I learnt the basics of photography with that camera, and used it until its lens fell apart.
I had a succession of 35mm cameras after the Praktica: a cheap and cheerful Chinon bought in Dixons, a Canon AE1P (I loved that camera, I sold it to insure a motorbike – silly boy), and a Nikon model with some of the most unintuitive controls I’ve ever used.
My last 35mm camera was a Canon EOS 5 with a gorgeous, but heavy, 28-135mm IS lens. This is the camera I took to India.
Then came digital photography and a family; a marriage made in heaven you would think, but with the kit you end up carrying with kids, and not forgetting the kids themselves, lugging a extra item quickly loses its appeal. I did have a Nikon D40 for a while, but it was replaced by good quality ‘point ‘n shoot’ cameras. Which in turn have ended up being left at home, and my iPhone has become my principle camera.
Earlier this year I started to get the photographic itch again; I started my ill fated Photo 366 project, and started to look at ‘proper’ cameras again.
What I want is a digital equivalent of the simpler 35mm cameras I used to own, with classic camera design, controls and simplicity. Even the cheapest digital SLRs are massively over featured, with more bells and whistles than I want or need.
Then I discovered a range of cameras that seem to match my requirements made by the legendary manufacturer Leica. Leica have an unmatched reputation for design and quality, and sadly this comes with an eye watering price tag. So near and yet so far.
For a flavour of the attention to detail and quality that goes into the creation of a Leica:
For now this is the closest I’ll get to a Leica without selling my children. Oh now there’s a thought…