Which camera to take?

I have several cameras, not as a back up (which I should have), but for to use for different purposes. Having several cameras, means I also have to make choices on what gear to take with me.

Studio work is one thing, long exposure another, or shall I take a light camera when I am gong for long walks? Which camera to take, is always the question. When I go by car, its rather easy, I take whatever I think I might need. But when I am traveling by plane, it gets more complicated. I must chose.

This time it was an easy choice. 3 days Lisbon by RyanAir. RyanAir means not much luggage. A trip of only 3 days (2 nights) close to the longest day of the year, and the boring blue sky, doesn’t make long exposure ideal. So no use to drag along my Nikon/Tripod/filters.

Now just last week I was browsing through some old pictures that I particularly liked. Among them was this one, taken on the train, of my husband and daughter reading a book.

There are many good cameras, there are many great lenses, but what beats whatever other lens I have ever held in my hand, is the Noctilus f/0,95 ASPH by Leica. I bought it years ago, on my Leica M (type 240), which I stopped using last year, when I replaced the M by the Q for practical reasons : the M with the Noctilus, weighs about a ton. I was getting back problems, I went out more and more without my camera, feeling frustrated every time I missed a shot.  I replaced it with the Q, which is a light camera with fix 28mm lens.

My dream is to one day replace the M (type 240/digital) with a analog M6, but I haven’t come to that yet.


Now seeing these old pictures I became nostalgic. And I decided to take the old camera with me, instead of the Q. I how I enjoyed it!

It is a fully manual camera, extremely slow, takes ages for it to turn on, and the manual focus is not easy (or rather : slow). Especially when you shoot wide open which I usually do with this camera when the focus has to be perfect.   It had been so long since I used this lens that I had forgotten to take my ND filter, and I was unable to shoot completely open. So the one below is shot at f/2,8, and the one at the top of the post at f/4



What immediately strikes in these photos is the bokeh. Other brands might have a great bokeh, but Leica in general, and the Noctilus in particular,  beats them all by far. Although I might exchange the M camera, I will never, ever, sell the Noctilus!


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