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Adam Marelli

Traveling with a Leica

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Before I used a Leica I used to travel with a Hasselblad, but my neck could not carry the weight all day. When I bought my first M6 (and now an M9), portability, size, and image quality were the most important features.

 

But I wonder, how many Leica users buy their equipment with travel in mind?

 

Thanks-Adam

 

Adam Marelli Photo

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Adam -

 

Probably the main reason I've not sprung for a really long Lieca lense is size and weight for travel, so yes, travel figures into my kit purchase thoughts.

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Travel was probably the biggest thing that pushed me into Leicas. Of course now they are what I use for everything except fast-action sports, where I still use my Nikon D3 and long fast glass.

 

Kent

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My travel camera is a Hasselblad SWC. It is light, and has awesome IQ. The Leicas are there, too, but in a second bag.

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Adam,

 

The Leica camera and lens compactness, yet combined with the premium lens quality, were the main reasons for me adopting the rangefinder for travel.

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Size and weight both originally inspired me to adopt the Leica for travel many years ago. Nowadays it's strictly size. My 5D and 28-135mm zoom weighs quite a bit less than an M9 plus 28, 35, 50, 75, 90 and 135 lenses! No, I don't travel with all those lenses, but in not doing so I accept significant gaps in focal length (one can't always entirely compensate by "zooming with the feet"...Venice is a good example

) not to mention lost shots while exchanging lenses. But when jostling through crowds, sitting on public transportation, or even eating in a restaurant, having a little purse-sized camera bag is a lot less of a nuisance. If my travel were entirely about photography, I suppose I would carry a DSLR and 2-3 zooms, but my travel is equally about enjoying the experience, so I stick with the Leica.

 

When I look at my old IIIf and the 35, 50 and 90 Elmar lenses I wish somehow Leica could manage to do them in digital. They're just so much more compact than the modern M equivalents.

Edited by bocaburger

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Size for travel was what originally got me into the M digital. I had been moving into primes with my DSLR for my non-work pictures, so I was amazed at how little volume the camera and three lenses needed.

 

With the M9 and the SF58, I now use it for work travel, once again enjoying the size. A small messenger bag instead of a midsize backpack does the job. Also much easier on planes.

 

Over time I have come to appreciate many of the other aspects we all enjoy as part of our rangefinder experience. I was reminded of one as I got out my 600mm and D700 for some wildlife work- I seem to always forget how bright the viewfinder is in respect to DSLRs.

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Leicas are made to document things, travel, partys, events, etc. Theyare the ultimate camera for such.

 

Sports, macro work, larger prints, telephoto work are the domain of the SLR, visoflex, medium or large format. They excell at that usage.

 

Of course there is lot of overlap. I did a polo match once with a 280 on a viso. One shot had the pony with all four feet off the ground, the mallet being swung with the shaft in big curve, and the mallet head in contact with and half crushing the "ball". Lucky shot. Could not do it again in a million years.

 

My son did one with a 200 on a viso at an air show. Two Blue Angels fly at each other and quarter roll to wings vertical at the last moment so they do not collide. The noses are about 6 feet apart and each aircraft is going 300 MPH minimum. Lucky shot for a 16 year old photographing his first air show.

 

I think I would have a better chance with a motor drive today although that guarantees nothing except a bunch of wasted frames for maybe one good one.

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Before I used a Leica I used to travel with a Hasselblad, but my neck could not carry the weight all day. When I bought my first M6 (and now an M9), portability, size, and image quality were the most important features.

 

But I wonder, how many Leica users buy their equipment with travel in mind?

 

Thanks-Adam

 

Adam Marelli Photo

 

Adam, yours is a very nice WordPress "photoblog."

People were talking about one on another thread.

WordPress blog

Edited by iShutterbug

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Adam, welcome aboard the Forum. I'm a Harlem based photographer & various members of the Leica Forum that live or work in NYC get together for various reasons from time to time. If you would like to be added to our email group to be apprised of events, just sent me an email. Here's my email & website: ben@nysity.com NYSITY

 

BTW, I love my blads!

Edited by roguewave

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Hey Pico,

The SWC has always caught my eye. I love how compact it is, but am yet to buy one. Do you have any pics online that I can tease myself with in the mean time?

-Adam

 

SWC Pictures (Large so they are links to the pictures.)

 

our new library. The metal type foreground is a ground-piece for the outdoor forum. (Yah, it's way too Velvia.)

 

Alma, Wisconsin, looking South down the Mississippi River, looking over the coal-fired electrical plant.

Edited by pico

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Guest WPalank

Adam,

For me it's not just the weight but the unobtrusiveness of the M system (yeah, I know they somewhat go hand in hand). It's about being able to blend in with the surroundings and hiding my camera next to my thigh or behind my gluteus if necessary.

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Tobey,

Cools story, now I want to see that polo shot! I know what you mean about lucky shots. I think like Eddie Adam's said "...in 1/500th of a second, the picture changed the world."

Best-Adam

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