Nikon to Leica to Nikon.

Inspiration, Q&A, Teaching point

Ever since I sold my Leica gear last year, I’ve had many of you write to ask me whether I’ve regretted my decision.

Even within the last 24 hours, one of my dear readers contacted me to inquire about the very same thing.  The short answer is: no, I haven’t regretted it… not for a second.

On a related note, I just wrote a response to a fellow photographer, Donald Barnat, in the comments section of one of my posts (a micro-review of the Nikon 28/1.4E) that I think summarizes my current thinking on this issue.

The response is here.

(Incidentally, Mr. Barnat has recently written a wonderful review of the Nikon 58/1.4G — check it out if you’re in the mood for great street photography, insightful thinking, and very eloquent prose!)




15 thoughts on “Nikon to Leica to Nikon.

  1. I admit to being surprised that you chose a DSLR system, but I think there is room for every kind of camera in the market. If everyone shot with a Leica it would be great, but at the same time, you would have to rebel against that eventually.

    Diversity is the current socio-political buzzword, but in the realms of any kind of marketplace, diversity (or heterogeneity, or variety) is healthy.

  2. Thank you for the warm shout out, Peter. And the traffic boost! These are certainly fascinating times. It is so nice to be happy with the gear we spend so much money on, but it’s a whole different thing entirely to have lifelong gear dreams fulfilled as has been the case for me. I’m reall now, however, looking forward to a second body and the 28 1.4 for my (rare, but well paying) private parties. Anyway, thank you again for the mention and continued happiness to you and yours.

      1. Lol. When they first started coming my way, I thought, “Boy, you’re onto something now.” That’s not quite how things have gone. If I was younger and more aggressively pursuing clients, I think I could have quadrupled the amount of work I’ve gotten. In California, there is just so much affluence. You don’t necessarily think that private parties, holidays, children’s birthdays, are a potential career path in photography, until you start doing a little bit of it… then you see that yes, others are doing this as well. It’s who you know, I think, also. But we’re not talking about an income. It has paid for some of the gear which has, along with reselling stuff I don’t want any more, kept me in the game in terms of being able to afford the stuff I’d like to have. Big issue for me is that I just don’t like being hired by people and all that that entails. That’s a whole different and very complicated subject. And I don’t like selling (marketing) myself. Anyway. Good luck with any of that stuff. You actually do this kind of photography far better, IMO, than I do.

        1. donald barnat said:

          …Big issue for me is that I just don’t like being hired by people and all that that entails. That’s a whole different and very complicated subject. And I don’t like selling (marketing) myself.

          That is EXACTLY how I feel, Donald. And I have turned down multiple requests because of it. Being the “paid photographer” materially alters the vibe for me so that I can’t do what I like to do .

          Having said that, if I could just be sponsored somehow to show up to private parties and act as the proverbial fly on the wall (observing and taking photographs)… I’d think I’d died and gone to heaven.


          1. YES. I think we both missed our calling (and era) as fly-on-the-wall high society Manhattan photogs. Or newspaper photographers covering politics etc. I wouldn’t mind answering to a paper but being on the lesser side of the dynamic between very wealthy people and the hired help isn’t for me. I’m the nicest most amicable guy with all the professional discipline one could ever require but at the end of the day, and at this age and in the already grating socio-economic environment of Beverly Hills etc., I just don’t like to do things that make me feel diminished in any way.


              1. We will. Everyone comes to visit LA sooner or later and if you already have you probably will be back. Please let me know when you do. You know, this review and another photo feature that I’m going to be posting in few days is kind of marking a coming out, so to speak, of me talking about photography a little more. I just have such a different perspective on things. It’s been a burden actually in terms of being myself and feeling free to speak my mind. Etc. So stay tuned. 😉

  3. I thought I saw some recent posts with an M3 and a Summicron DR. Have you moved on from those as well? Either way, it’s all about the tools that best meet your needs, and since those needs often change – especially with a young family – it makes sense that the tools will follow.

  4. Feel truly happy for you to reach/near one’s defined Perfection with your favorite canvas and drawing pen(s).

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