A little bit ago, I wrote an entry into the Viewpoints section of my blog. At the time, I thought it was best served as an entry there, because it was going to a Opinion piece. However it developed into a far more sophisticated piece. I'd like to hear your feedback on it. Here it is:
My Little Leica IIIC
So a few months ago, while suffering from a severe sprained ankle, I purchased a Leica IIIC camera in very rough shape, from a guy off of Craigslist. I got a great deal. He found it in his recently deceased grandfather's attic. Of course he didn't know anything about it; or if it even worked. But the price was outstanding and it came with a Leica 50mm F2 screw mount lens.
The one thing I loved about the Leica photos above other cameras, is the feel they possess. Even throw away photos has this feel.
In an effort to make my reentry back into 35mm film photography, I went back to what I knew worked. Ilford film and unfortunately the great desire to buy a Leica M4.
Why did I say unfortunately the Leica M4? Why the M4 over all other Leicas? I fell in love with the mechanics of the camera. It was simple. A brick. And felt incredibly well in my hand. This was the time shortly after buying my Canon 5D. So I didn't want to get into another digital camera system and there is of course a substantial amount of capital investment needed for the latest Leica M9 (circa 2010). But let me tell you something... the Leica M9 is an amazing camera.... But I was stuck on Leica black and white photography. I've seen color images taken from Leicas. My friend Cubie (Kew-BEE) is a fantastic photographer. His color Leica photos look amazing. Unfortunately I never took any color photos with it. I just go into the fun of black and white photography.
What I was able to do at the time, was reach out for advice from other photographers as to which 35mm Film Camera would be a good one to reenter the film world, noting I was using a Leica M4. A woman named Ruth H. contacted me and offered me a Canon AE-1. I was blown away, and wouldn't have dreamed of choosing anything else. What she gave me was an entire camera system. Lenses, filters, the camera of course and even a camera bag. Cubie lit the black and white fire... Ruth built a rocket ship for me to travel on. I was able to take some amazing photos with it. My very first roll produced this amazing photo, of my friend's son. It was taken in his house while he watched his Pittsburgh Steelers play the Patriots.
After a few years, I finally got myself a Leica... The Leica IIIC. But as I said at the beginning of this massive entry, it was in rough shape. In fact it's currently awaiting repair. What was wrong with it? Take a look a the photos to the right. Click them to see much larger images. The aperture on the lens is hard to turn. The shutter speed dial doesn't allow you to choose the proper shutter speed. And God only knows how much more. The fact is, there's a waiting list for it's repair. I should get it back in December or January. I sent it in in August.... Yeah that bad. But when I get it back, it will be mine. And the Leica IIIC will be as good as new.