2x Leica M9’s, 50mm Redundant

2x Leica M9’s, 50mm Redundant – First Wedding with 2 Leica M9 Cameras!

Matt Osborne (“Mr Leica”)

On Saturday I covered Dutch photographer and fellow Leica M9 shooter Patrick and his now wife Sam’s wedding at Upper House, Hayfield in the Peak District.  Patrick is a successful architect with a keen eye for detail so the pressure was really on this time!

Wedding Photography – One Camera

I normally shoot with a single Leica M9 and have a Nikon D800 in the car as a back up camera.  Using one Leica M body keeps things simple and me nice and mobile.  For the last few weddings I used the 50mm Leica Noctilux f1.0 as my main lens for as much of the day as possible shooting it wide open.  I have a Leica M8 but the rangefinder suddenly shifted out of focus six months plus ago so it is currently out of action.  The only problem with one camera and prime lenses is if I want to quick do a wide shot then say a telephoto shot such as during speeches or the first dance I have to quickly change lenses.  Although this can be done very quickly and on the go there is always a chance I might miss something.

Wedding Photography – Two Camera Bodies

As I knew Patrick also had a Leica M9 body I asked if I could use it for the day to give me two Leica M9 cameras and a similar setup to what I used in my pre-Leica days when I used a Nikon D800 and a Nikon D700.  Patrick agreed so I was all set for the day.  I knew the indoor photos would be in some tight spaces so wanted wide angle lenses on one body and then telephoto lens on the other to get closer to the action when I wasn’t able to on foot.

Lens Choice (for the 95% of the day*)

Camera 1 (M9)

  • 21mm – Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f2.8
  • 28mm – Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2

Camera 2 (M9)

  • 75mm – Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO
  • 90mm – Leica Summicron 90mm f2 Pre-ASPH

*There were a few photos taken with the Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH and some also with the Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4.

Verdict

When using one camera for wedding photography my most used focal length is 50mm, then followed by 35mm.  When I had two camera bodies for a wedding both of these FL were hardly used.  I really enjoyed the 28f2 / 90f2 combo for much of the day and I think I kept the ISO on both cameras at ISO 200 all day despite it being typical overcast British weather.  I am happy using slow shutter speeds and enjoy using off camera lighting.

Anything else new?

Yes, my style continues to evolve.  For my last 2 or 3 Leica weddings shot over the summer I used my Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 wide open for much of the day.  That followed the same style of my model photography that was also taken at the widest lens apertures to give the shallow depth of field look.  Recently, and perhaps since getting my Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO I have started to enjoy stopping my lenses down my lenses to give sharper results.  The model photography photos take on more of a fashion look in my eyes when they are sharper.  I often use any apertures from f2.8 to f11 depending on the lens. The lens I stop down the most is the Leica Elmar 135mm f4 as it can be softer at wider apertures.  This was the first wedding since my current taste had changed so many of the photos were shot at f2.8-f5.6 on the day where in the past I aimed to shoot wide open as much as possible.

Here is the first sample from Sam and Patrick’s wedding, taken of the beautiful Sam just before she met her Dad to walk down the isle.

Leica Wedding

Would I buy a second Leica M9 for weddings?

Not at this stage but I think I will get my Leica M8 repaired and use that as my second Leica M body for wide angle shots.  The 1.33x crop factor of the M8 would make my Zeiss Biogon 21/2.8 the equivalent of a 28mm f2.8 lens on the M9 which is perfect for my needs.  This is what I started to do when I first bought the M8.

See my Leica weddings and engagement photography on my sister site, http://www.LeicaWeddingPhotographer.co.uk

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About matthewosbornephotography

Coventry, UK studio based Model and Wedding Photographer offering both Medium Format Film and Digital Images. 1-2-1 Photography and Lighting Tuition also available.
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2 Responses to 2x Leica M9’s, 50mm Redundant

  1. Dave Green says:

    Interesting post Matt. I sometimes think that if i had two bodies i’d probably look at a 35/90mm combo…but as i only have the one body the 50mm is my prefered lens as a great all rounder :))

    • Thanks Dave, I think it depends on the job in hand. If I was doing a model shoot i’d take maybe 50+90 if 2 lenses and a wide if 3. For models it is normally 1 person in the photo. For weddings it is often several people so I tend to favour the wider lenses. Like you if I can take one lens it would be a 50mm. 😉

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