I’m happy to say that I finally have a Leica rangefinder camera. This is something I’ve been wanting for ages now and the opportunity to get one finally arose. I’ve been shooting with it nearly two weeks now. I have been extremely busy during this time, and only now I found some time to write this short update about the camera and other news. I’ll go into more detail about things later.

New camera — Leica M4-2 + Leica Summaron 35mm f2.8

So anyways… a Leica. Seems like a dream coming true. I’m a huge fan of the M models. I have now the M4-2 from late 70’s and a really nice Leica Summaron 35mm f2.8 lens to go with it. Pretty much my dream setup. I’ve had few rangefinder before, but they just weren’t the same. I’ve liked the idea of a rangefinder for a long time, but it had to be a Leica M series. You really cannot even compare something like Canon QL17 GIII (which was my previous rangefinder) to a Leica.

Let me tell you some of my criteria for deciding which model to go for.

  • Vintage model from circa 1950–1970’s (basically M3 or M4, even M6 is too new for my taste)
  • No expensive collector’s item — just something for pure shooting
  • No light meter (going as simple and manual as possible)
  • Black body
  • Classic M design, so M5 is out of the question
  • Leica lens, 35mm focal length
  • Few cosmetic details such as bubble window frame counter etc.

Based on these criteria and availability, I narrowed the search down to couple of M4-P’s and a M4-2. The M4-P’s were sold before I had the chance to grab one of them. M4-2 doesn’t the iconic red dot, which was a minor downer, (yeah, I’m superficial — I know) but otherwise I could not be happier about the camera. I works perfectly and it’s just as perfect as I imagined. I’ll post some sample photos of course, but in the meantime, you can see the ones I’ve posted on Instagram.

So far I’ve absolutely loved shooting completely without a light meter. Geez, I just wish it would be spring already. It is now the shittiest and darkest time of the year. It’s christmas soon, but there isn’t even any snow. The weather and light are far away from optimal at the moment. The days are so short and it is hard to arrange quality shooting time.

Getting into medium format too and starting a huge film stock test with Kameratori

I hope I don’t have to change my website name because of this, but I’m getting into medium format too. Super excited about this! Let me give you the background. I’ve been in contact with the guys from kameratori.fi and we decided to kick of an awesome long term project. We are going to test out all the current film stocks that are currently available here in Finland. At the moment I have almost 50 rolls of film in my fridge, including 35mm and 120 roll film. I’m going to shoot all of them and document everything. We are posting the images and review (in Finnish) at www.kamerakoulu.fi blog. We wanted to include medium format films too, which means I’ll be shooting a boat load of 120 film too. How awesome is that?

I’m now borrowing a Rolleicord TLR camera for the 120 tests, since my own medium format camera has seen it’s better days. So far I’m loving the Rolleicord and I can’t wait to share you guys some thoughts and images. Also… once again — I have to complain about the weather just a bit. I have a ton of film, but we have about 4h of “light” per day. And mostly it’s raining. And muddy. And grey.

Portrait project

Oh well, if the weather is bad then I’ll have to arrange my own shooting conditions. I’m starting a portrait project alongside with my documentary endeavours. This means posed shots with possible artificial lighting etc. I have already one enthusiastic model. We have a bunch of cool ideas for the shots. I have such an amazing selections of different kinds of films, that I can pick and choose the perfect one for each individual photo shoot. For example, we are planning to do a film noir inspired model shoot and something like JCH Street Pan, with it’s infinite contrast, will be perfect for bringing that vision to life.

And hey, speaking of models! If you know any, or are one yourself, and want to contribute — please get in touch and we’ll make art together! We’ll be shooting in Helsinki area, here in sunny Finland.

Other things

I feel like I have such a vast amount of different cool things going on at the moment. It’ll be a busy winter and spring. In addition to these, I’m also having my current photo exhibition Ajaton Helsinki, which is running at the moment. Please go check it out if have the chance. And as I mentioned in my previous post, I’m planning the trip to the Arctic ocean too. Somehow I have the feeling I won’t get bored anytime soon!

Peace! 🙂