The camera, a week in my hands, and I am in love. Their are warts for sure, but all in all it is a joy to use. I can't remember having said this about any camera in recent memory. I ran across an old ad for the Leica M4, and the words, while not totally accurate for today's modern M, certainly rung true to my ears.
More than anything, the camera makes you focus, slow down, and think. None of which are a bad thing unless you are a sports photographer, in which case, fire away (no disrespect intended as I love shooting sports as well). With the Monochrome, I am challenged to see and think my way through an image or through a scene. Simply pointing and shooting is no longer possible.
I am totally taken back to the days of shooting chrome where I spent all of my time looking for shapes and lines and evaluating colors and luminance, working all the while to think in terms of zones... For some, in this modern age, that is just too much work. For me, short of the focusing issues I am working through, it is a godsend. Their is an indescribable Organic feel to the camera. Its weight, form and function, all feel like a camera. I don't have to touch the menus and when looking through the view finder, I am simply presented with my subject, the shutter speed, an indication if I am below my 'auto iso' preset (in the form of a flashing shutter speed) and a small dot that indicates I have locked my exposure. Nothing more is needed. If I blow out the highlights, well, it was my fault, not the camera.
There is nothing else there, nothing else to confuse or mess with my mind. I am simply focused on the task at hand -- capturing the image that my mind has already seen unfolding in front of me. The camera, well, it feels like a camera and acts like a camera. I can see where for some, it is too minimalist, but for me, not so much.
These past few days have been challenging on a very personal front, and I found the Monochrome to be the perfect tool for the job. Unobtrusive, relatively quiet, and capable of performing in a variety of conditions. I will share some of those images tomorrow, but for now, I sit, drink a glass of wine, and contemplate how lucky a man I am.