Everyone seems to have an opinion about the Leica M series rangefinder cameras, yet so few people have actually picked one up and used it for enough time to understand the unique features and benefits that make it one of the finest tools for certain kinds of photography.
Then on September 01, 2002, Kirk abruptly "went digital:"
For the past two months every professional and personal assignment I've shot has been done with one of two digital cameras....I find the files generated by the S2 pro and the D100, at iso 1600 to be cleaner and sharper than what I was able to get with high speed films and/or push processing. The work flow is much quicker. In the various RAW modes the color looks better than most films and I love not spending money on film and processing. The M's go largely unused but I am too nostalgic to let them all go. The time to jump to digital is now.
Hence I was surprised recently to encounter this followup by Mr. Tuck, dated September 29, 2007; 07:54 P.M:
I've shot hundreds of thousands of frames, digitally, since [I went digital]. What have I learned? That black and white film is absolutely glorious! That black and white film shot in a Leica rangefinder is even more glorious. There is a difference between the look of film and the conversion to black and white in digital. It's hard to put a finger on but it really exists. I tried so hard to make digital work for my personal, black and white work but it never seemed as rich and nuanced as the real deal.
Short ending. I pulled the Leicas back out and started shooting tri-x again. It's gorgeous and I must say I (temporarily) gave up on film far too soon. Now I am able to push my clients to use film again and they are delighted with the images. Many jobs are still digital but the Leicas come out when the taste level rises and the budgets are there.
My M6's live on. Thank God I didn't get rid of them. Now........what about the Lecia M8? Who will be brave enough to write the "real" review on that camera?