Saint Louis Wanderings with the Leica M & Noctilux
With a trip to Japan looming in three weeks I am officially approaching crunch time for both actual trip planning as well as decision making on camera choices for this possibly once in a lifetime journey. My recent travels to Paris (“Four Days in Paris”) and Norway (“Work In Progress: Norway”) have been very Sony heavy as the A7 series is proficient and easy to shoot in just about any context. But for Japan I am thinking about packing lightweight and slowing down my shooting after a lot of rapid fire biking related photography in recent months (“A Different Type-A”, “Intelligentsia Cup 2018: The Introduction”).
To test this theory I borrowed some Leica kit for a quick trip home to Saint Louis for Thanksgiving. For a whole variety of reasons it wasn’t a photography focused weekend in the slightest, but from the actual flight to frying turkeys, and some exploration in and around town, I did manage to sneak in a few images with a Leica M10 paired with the Noctilux 50. Make no mistake, the M10 + Noct is a ridiculous set of kit in nearly every regard including in particular the price point. It is more camera than I needed for a quick trip home (or most circumstances for that matter), especially since I was generally shooting in well lit conditions. And there is a definite downside with weight as the Noctilux manages to turn the lightweight M10 into a hefty beast to hold - I was legitimately surprised by just how much the Noctilux weighs.
But the combination is an absolutely sublime pleasure to shoot. No other camera + lens combo comes close to the joy I have gotten out of this pairing. While the M10 manual focus can be a bit much to handle in high speed (bike racing) circumstances in the slow paced context that was visiting family in Saint Louis - for example wandering around Laumeier Sculpture Park on a beautiful fall day - it was a pretty perfect kit to experiment with. The final images probably wouldn’t go on any of my ‘favorite images’ lists but they do get me excited to head to Japan in a few weeks to see what memories I can capture there.