Test shot #1 from my 1957 Leica M3 DS.

I think the shutter speeds are off as most of the images in this first roll of film appear underexposed. Yet some look fine, so I’m at a loss.

I’m using Kodak Portra 800 here, which is more grainy than Portra 400, but I have a nagging feeling…

Anyway, I’ll take a grainy film image like this over the most polished digital equivalent any day.

Something more real about it.


Leica M3, 50mm Summilux ASPH @ f/1.4, and Kodak Portra 800.

12 thoughts on “Real.

  1. mewanchuk says:

    Fantastic, plain and simple!!

  2. Ian says:

    Agree Fantastic, the thing with film is you can be under/over, out with your development, and almost ready to throw your scanner out the window but still end up with a masterpiece. I have been looking at Wet Plate photography recently WOW how good.

  3. Thank you Mark and Ian!

    Ian, let us know if you venture into WP!

  4. This is wonderful. I prefer it to the previous one (not just in terms of image quality). Some people would read your comment and say, “Yeah, yeah, sure, as if you prefer grainy film to digital,” but then when they see the results they might change their minds.

  5. A:Hackauf says:

    I like the natural looking skin tone!

  6. John G. says:

    “The point is, ladies and gentleman, that grain — for lack of a better word — is good.”

  7. Sean says:

    It’s fascinating to see the contrast from the previous days image from the M9, in isolation the M9 looks Film like, but next to the film image it looks digital again. (funny that!). It does look underexposed. Perhaps the film was feed up with all the digital film simulations and getting it’s own back by mimicking the M240.

    • Hahaha… good theory. Incidentally, the M9 output never looks like film to me, but it has something very special over any other digital camera that’s for sure.

      • Sean says:

        Peter of course your right, I’ve never thought my M8 pictures look like film either. I only have the Fuji XT1 to compare it to digitally and indeed much prefer it. (my first generation XE1 had nicer output in my opinion, but the focusing hit rate was well below that of the Leica!). I’m quite excited to be waiting for the return of my M3 from Malcolm Taylor. Malcolm is the gentleman Dr Leitz commissioned to restore the “Genesis” circa 1913 Ur Leica along with others to be housed in the Leica museum. Partial Extract from an interview with Leica Society Mag. LSM: To ‘clean, lubricate and adjust’ seems far too simplistic a description of the work involved. MT: I have always worked by completely stripping down a camera to its component parts, which is the way Leitz taught me. That way I can find the problems and sort them out, then check carefully at each stage of re-building. Link to full interview:

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