Leica or Lumix???

Leica or Lumix???

As I was packing for yet another trip, trying to figure out what to wear in the next three countries with temperatures varying from -10 to 90 degrees, my main dilemma was not the clothing but what camera equipment should I bring. A few years back, my husband offered me an M8 Leica digital camera.  Most camera buffs have heard about the reputation of Leica cameras and lenses; however, if you are not familiar with the M series, you might not know that they are rangefinder cameras.

“They are called “rangefinders” because they focus using a dual-image rangefinding device.  You turn a ring, and when two superimposed images line up, you are in perfect focus.” ( i.e. no autofocus here, you have to find those lines!)

I have a number of cameras that are used for different projects.  For my portraits in “Barely Exposed”, I used the Canon 5D SLR with a number of zoom lenses.  I love that camera because I can quickly zoom in or out and have less risk of focus errors with a moving subject or capturing a fleeting expression.  Auto focus was a wonderful invention, especially when ones eyes start failing. (Like mine)  The problem I have traveling with the Canon and its lenses are the heavy weight.  I carry two computers,  two phones, iPod, galaxy pad, adapters, wires, etc. etc. and so unless I am working on a specific project that necessitates all that equipment… I leave it home.

The Leica M8 was to take the place of my “ point and shoot” since it was one of the smallest (at the time) cameras with interchangeable lenses.  So I decided to make the effort this time to carry the extra weight and packed it along with my 3 lenses: a 35mm wide angle, 50mm normal, and 300mm portrait lens.

While flying over the Kamchatka Peninsula, an immense mountain with sharp, vertical ridges came into view with a smoking volcano in the background.  I quickly grabbed the Leica and squeezed off a few shots while a friend did the same with his Panasonic Lumix. I tried to find similar photographs showing the same view.  (See examples)

So, my question is this:  Is it worth it to travel with a camera like the Leica to take snapshots?   When you consider all the inconveniences that it entails like weight, speed (impossible to change the lens fast enough), manual focus, etc. etc. in comparison to a lightweight and simple “point and shoot” like the Lumix???   Take a look at the examples and you be the judge!


~ by latanaphotography on January 10, 2011.

One Response to “Leica or Lumix???”

  1. bare the weight, Leica

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