Yesterday, I posted some images of the Leica M2-R I was fortunate to acquire. The photos were taken with a Leica M10 and processed in Lightroom with relative ease.
In contrast, today I set upon the boring and arduous task of testing the M2-R without — of course — the immediate feedback of digital photography. As I subsequently stood in my basement processing the film, I must admit that I had second thoughts about whether all of the hassle was worth it. It’s especially frustrating when the effort of processing and scanning is undertaken only to find out that the camera is in some way defective.
Fortunately in this case, all is good.
And as I watched the images magically appear — first on the negative as it was unspooled following its final wash, and then in more detail on my monitor as the scanner did its thing — I realized for the 1000th time why I keep coming back to film: even mundane test shots look better on this antiquated “sensor”.
The following images are not meant to be interesting. However, they are useful to me. In them, I’m verifying:
(focus is on the small word “Elect”, above the J)↓
(focus is on the number “50”)↓
(focus again is on the number “50”)↓
(focus is on the letter “G”)↓
(focus is on the poor sap )↓
(focus is on the faint word “KeepRite”)↓
(focus is on the round thermometer)↓
(focus is on the door of the house across the street)↓
↑ Leica M2-R + Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH f/1.4.
The darkness on the left side is, ahem, part of my camera strap. I could tell you that it was intentionally placed there, but then you’d know I was lying.
Unfortunately, there were no do-overs on this one… it was a candid moment.
↑ Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summicron Dual Range, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.
People sometimes write and ask me how I test a given Leica lens + rangefinder combination for focus accuracy.
Well, for near distances I trust the good people at Vaseline.
On a related note, I dislike the grunt work of testing film equipment. The arduous process of developing and scanning film seems even more arduous when the test results are off. That is why I rarely sell gear that I know is working well (ha, ha…).
Fortunately, this time everything looks good.
↑ Leica M3, Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH, Kodak Tri-X 400, and Plustek 8200i.