Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/10/27

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Subject: [Leica] Initial 0-series experiences
From: Marc Attinasi <>
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 16:10:06 -0700

My 0 series came in and I spent an afternoon shooting some b/w negatives
of the local landscapes, buildings and general street happenings. What a
treat! Here are my initial impressions, in case others are interested in
the camera and the shooting experience.

First, like my Leica Screw cameras and copies, it is a bit of a pain to
load. If only there was a swing open door like on the M. Anyway, you
trim the film and load it and make sure it winds - no different than
with a LSM. Once loaded, the camera is not hard to use at all! The only
thing I had to continually remind myself of was 'keep the lens cap on
until just before you shoot! Take the lens cap off before you shoot!' I
did not fog one shot on the first roll, and I didn't shoot any pictures
of the back of the lens cap either, probably because I took my time,
relaxed and savored the experience. After an hour, dealing with the cap
became *almost* second nature. It dawned on me that If I did this with
my other lenses I might be able to get rid of those pesky UV filters

Normally, I carry my M6 around cocked and more or less set to fire
(shutter and aperture approximated, and focus set to either a nice
middle range or infinity). With the 0 I made sure to carry the camera
around NOT cocked, but still with the aperture, shutter and focus set to
'be ready'. Of course, the shutter speed is slow to set since you have
to partially wind the film, then set the speed, then finish winding, but
it was daylight so I just set it to ~1/200 and figured I'd play with the
aperture for exposure tuning. This worked out well for the shots I was
doing, and on a couple of occasions when I wanted a specific DOF I took
the extra time to fiddle with the shutter speeds.

Rewinding and unloading the camera is a piece of cake - no surprises
there. I generally bulk load rolls of 10,20, and 30, but for this camera
I may well load 35's because it is not easy to load on the road (or on
the side of a mountain, on a park bench, or in a horse pasture...).

So, to the images! I had some terrible exposures - partly due to my bad
guessing, partly due to my lousy meter, and partly due to being stupid
and shooting BEFORE I set the aperture (this shot was made quickly - not
the 0 series forte). But, for the 14 well exposed shots, they are very
very nice. The kind of negatives I expect from my
Summicron/Summilux/Elmarit brigade. I have not printed any yet, and none
are really great compositions, but they are pleasing to me and showed me
the quality and characteristics of the optic. The bokay, BTW, is very
nice :) The resolution at 1 meter is fantastic, and at 1 meter and f 3.5
the background is warm and smooth. Also, the shots I made at 1/20, hand
held, were very sharp, probably because of the tension of he strap...
The whole way of shooting, holding the camera way out in front of your
face, is very cool. I will probably try shooting with a standard 50mm
viewfinder too, but I really like the flip-up viewfinder. People did
look at me more than I would have liked when I was shooting though - it
is just an unusual way to shoot.

I really enjoyed shooting this roll of film. The camera definitely
requires you to slooow dooown - and that is good, for me anyway. Each
shot has to be deliberate and carefully executed. This is a drawback in
some cases, so having a Minilux handy is a good idea :) The 0 series is
a beautiful and very enjoyable camera, well worth the premium I paid. If
you are thinking of buying one, do it! It is a real treat and the camera
is absolutely beautiful to look at, hold (and, yes, smell - very nice
leather case!).

Happy Shooting,
- - marc

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