🔴 MrLeica – April 2023
Hi friend! Here is the latest edition of the monthly MrLeica newsletter – Photography related posts and videos, upcoming events and a hopefully source of inspiration!
- 30 Day Recap + Updates
- Latest YouTube Videos
- New Blog Posts
- Workshops – UK & Overseas
- Digital Users (NEW!)
- Film Shooters (NEW!)
- Featured Photographer (NEW!)
- Viewer Comment of the Month (NEW!)
- Gear/ Supplier – Spotlight (NEW!)
- Featured Patreon Post (NEW!)
- Patreon VIP Member – Spotlight (NEW!)
- Coming up next month!
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New Format for April 2023
Hi! I’ve changed the newsletter format for April to try to make it more useful for you. I started the blog back in 2013 sharing my stories, experiences and reviews of various Leica, film cameras, lenses and more. As it evolves I’m trying to make it more of a source of information to help others. That being said..
What was I up to last month?
I can still keep you in the loop as to what I’m up to and what’s in the pipeline. I got to escape to Spain in March to teach a model photography workshop so that was a nice break from the grey, cold and rain in the UK. Getting away from my desk and weekly routine also works well for creating new ideas for future videos, blogs and events. It was like a brain storming, creative, healthy retreat in sunshine. Running along an empty beach at 7am with the sun coming up and the sound of the waves is very hard to beat. All for £22 a night. With that, onto the info – It’s a big one this month!
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Workshops in March
Three private 1:1 workshop sessions in March, two in London, one in Spain. I was teaching model photography for all three but students brought various cameras, Leica, Hasselblad and Nikon. I even got to test all sorts of exciting cameras and lenses for YouTube so videos to come on those. A big thanks to Jawaz and Hidde for letting me use some of their nice kit!
If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know my preference for digital Leica cameras (over other brands) and simple metal and glass small manual focus lenses. That said my eyes continue to be opened on a monthly basis.
Cameras – Testing the full frame mirrorless Nikon Z6 camera made me realise that digital Leica sensor images are not so different to some other brands (BUT also Leica bodies inspire me to shoot, Lumix/Nikon etc don’t). I also got to use the new Hasselblad H2D 100MP camera but more on that next month!
Lenses – Owning the cheap plastic Lumix S 50mm f1.8 and comparing it to the new Leica Summicron-SL lenses made me realise that some of the cheap plastic lenses can punch above their price and still take nice photos. Sigma DG DN lenses continue to impress me. Nicely built and great optics. That said, I still rather invest in “proper” M/ LTM glass as I want to use my lenses on film cameras too (stay tuned wink wink!)
Recommended kit – In recent videos I mentioned that I use a mist filter with modern lenses to get the look I like. See my KitList for the exact products that I use.
Film – Film continues to get more expensive but it’s not dead yet. My plan is to shoot the last of my colour film and from then on stick with B&W film. 95% of the time I prefer the results of B&W and it’s both more affordable and it’s easier to develop at home in small batches. See my video on how cheap you can shoot and develop B&W film. Colour film is more expensive to develop at home in small quantities. Shooting old stock movie film and bulk loading used to be a cheaper way to shoot colour (if you can find the film).
Cameras – I still have hopes of bringing out my 4×5 cameras again but currently 35mm keeps ticking all my boxes. (I just love small, beautiful, functional rangefinder cameras such as Leica III, Leica M and even Kiev 4 cameras). I have perhaps 8+ rolls of exposed 35mm B&W film in the fridge to develop from my recent trips when I find some time + 120 film. Soon!
Directory: Leica Repairs + Leica YouTubers
If you have feedback after a Leica service, repair or CLA I’d love to add it to the Leica Repair Directory page to help others. Equally, if you love watching YouTube, let us know you favourite Leica YouTuber channel?
Need Leica Presets?
My recommended photography gear list – https://mrleica.com/kitlist/
Latest YouTube videos
Below is a catch up of all the YouTube videos I published last month. If you’re new here see previous month newsletter for more!
They Tried to STEAL My Leica ..
Smallest AUTOFOCUS Lens for Leica | Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN L Mount
Leica Photos With a NIKON Z6? Is That Possible?
NO DIFFERENCE!? Leica vs Nikon Z6 with Voigtlander 50mm APO
SERIOUSLY Good! | Leica APO-Summicron-SL 90mm f2 Lens
Stop Down & SAVE $9K | New Leica SL Lenses vs Lumix
FAST Portrait Lens for Leica | Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN
Latest blog posts to read
4 new blog posts shared last month. I enjoy blogging much more than YouTube but both are very time intensive!
- Lightroom Presets – GAME CHANGING!
- Cheap Autofocus Lenses for Leica
- Leica Portrait Photographer: Best Leica Camera for Portraits
- Leica Street Photography Code: 55 Tips to Protect You & Your Camera
Written posts to supplement my YouTube review videos including full res images. 300+ existing blog post articles so feel free to browse the back catalogue!
Workshops and Photowalks
Travel coming up
- April 2023 Travel – Italy (I was kindly invited to a private model photography meetup event by a Patreon!)
- May 2023 Travel – Paris TBC – to teach a workshop – Get in touch if you want to meet for a workshop or photowalk
- June 2023 Travel – TBC (Possibly Poland + Czech Republic)
- July 2023 Travel – TBC
Featured photogragher of the month
This month I feature a Leica M6 photographer Matthew Dainter, who attended one of my Leica workshops in London.
I had the pleasure of meeting Matthew at one of my London workshops. Matthew is one crazy smart guy and a Leica shooter too! Normally photographers use digital cameras and might join me to learn how to shoot with their Leica film camera. Not Matthew. He’d already done extensive travel shooting on film (Leica M6 TTL and others) and approached me to learn how to use digital! Matthew had a really nice Leica SL2-S Reporter camera and booked my 10 hour Leica workshop option to make the most of his time in London. (He’s normally based in sunny San Francisco so it was great that he could visit the UK). I organised 2 models for us, Vanessa and Eliza plus a studio session for half of the day. The reason I feature Matthew is not because of the workshop but because of his amazing film work prior to us meeting. See his sensational Cinestill 800T images shot with a Voigtlander Bessa R2A in Azerbaijan and Armenia. Almost everyone I know that shoots film does so as a hobby. Seeing film being used in “real situations” in the digital age is very inspiring and hats of to matthew for the skill needed to get some of his shots. Shooting film in the dark isn’t easy!
Viewer’s comment of the month
“I got the Leica III from my grandfather on my mother side. He went to Austria with his family in 1936 to visit some relatives. There, in Vienna, he bought this Leica III with an Elmar 50mm. For driving back to France they had to cross several borders. As the Leica cameras were already pricy and to avoid taxes, each time they crossed a border, my mother, who were 6 years old at this time, was laid on the camera and slept deeply. Checking the serial numbers, I found that the camera body is from 1934 and the lens from 1933. Both were probably sent back to Leitz after the war for upgrade. A flash connector was added to the body and the lens got a coating. The Leica III and the Elmar work nicely. My Granddad had 4 Leica. When he died in 1987 I took the 2 I have presently. My aunt took all the rest (there were 2 cameras, 2 35mm probably a wider lens and a 90mm sure). She told me years later she put everything to the trash can!” – Yves Tuset, Paris
M43 cameras – work well with small vintage lenses!
If you love small cameras and lenses such as Leica iii cameras but you don’t shoot film you might consider the small M43 cameras. They will give you a 2x crop so 50mm=100mm but they are very affordable.
Featured supplier/ gear of the month
Suppliers are often reaching out to me with offers of free gear to test. Normally I say no thanks but if it’s a product I use on a weekly basis I jump at the opportunity.
This month I want to give a special shout out to Vintage Camera Dreams. They are a film camera store plus public darkroom (and more) in Lisbon, Portugal. When I was in Lisbon earlier this month I “accidentally” found them when searching for possible cameras stores to visit before I went to the airport. They gave me a guided tour and even treated me to lunch! I plan to do some sort of collaboration Patreon event there in the future so stay tuned! Equally if you live in Lisbon or are visiting definitely check them out!
Meet my awesome Patreons (NEW!)
Each month I will feature one of my loyal (and awesome) Patreon VIP members. If you want to be featured in a future newsletter join us! Please welcome Thomas van Zoggel
“Hi! I’m Thomas from The Hague, Netherlands. Started photography as a hobby when corona gave us all a lot of free time on our hands. Quickly graduated from a gifted Nikon APS-C body with kit lens to a Sony mirrorless (which were cool at the time). Seeing me enjoy the hobby, my dad (professional photographer) decided to pick up the hobby of analog photography again with a Leica R6. A world opened up for me! It’s around this time I found Matt’s YouTube channel and blog where he talks about numerous developing techniques and analog gear. I bought a Minolta XD7 because it’s a close relative to my dad’s Leica R6, which he taught me manual and analog photography with. Because of Matt’s rather creative video on the Nikon F5 (that thing was on fire), decided to upgrade my analog experience a bit. Bought a Nikon F5 with a 20-35mm f/2.8 AF-D lens and discovered the great value in sharpness and character that these older AF lenses offer, especially for model photography which at this point was starting to be my main interest (after having tried many different things). A friend had a professional Nikon FX body and I was impressed enough to abandon the spaceship Sony for an ‘ old school ‘ DSLR again, but this time the D810 with a host of AF-D lenses that were soon to join the collection. Today I still love and use the D810 with mostly the 20-35mm f/2.8, 85mm f/1.4 and 135mm f/2.0 as my favourites. They offer great sharpness combined with a slight but sufficient artsy look for digital if used properly, and they fit on my F5 too. Although ofcourse by this time I have watched enough MrLeica videos to have ‘ invested ‘ in numerous other analog cameras, just to see which ones I like best. Obviously I wasn’t satisfied until I finally bit the bullet and opened my wallet for a Leica M3 (finally Matt started to love me haha). My favourite lens of all is the 90mm Summicron (the old chrome/brass one) but I also have the 50mm Dual Range for the goggles. On Matt’s recommendation I ordered the 50mm Elcan replica to be a better match for the more painterly 90mm output, excited to try it out. Apart from this I also enjoy using a Rolleicord Vb, there is something about the square format and the quality of these images that makes me want to go out and shoot! In a way I find myself walking down Matt’s path a bit, starting with a Nikon DSLR, finding my way to model photography, Leica and various other old school cameras. These days I am even looking at a mirrorless Leica or Panasonic so I can use the older lenses on that, just cannot really say goodbye to the more traditional optical experience of the DSLR yet.. I followed a workshop with Matt about a year ago and have slowly improved and added to my model portfolio since then. I also enjoy the Patreon community, mostly for the regular calls with Matt and the group, a diverse set of photographers with each offering a bit of unique knowledge and experience relating to everything from old school photography and cameras, to the newest Leicas and lenses, along with photo critiques and general ‘ cameraderie ‘! Some of them have helped me to improve in my latest adventures in dark room printing. Along with my dad who helped me set it up and taught me the basics as he used to be a photolab technician, the guys from Patreon have given me some old school tips on making my analog portraits prints that bit more interesting. For those out there interested I mostly print on Fomapan black and white paper (one day might make the step to colour just to experiment, but I like B&W portraits) going up to 30x40cm depending on how interesting the picture is. For chemicals I guess these days you just use whatever is available which in my case is Ilford developer, stop and fix. The negatives obviously are also developed in my kitchen using Kodak HC-110, and lately I’ve started to experiment with stand developing. I find myself actually quite enjoying not having to look at a screen to see my photos, as that’s already what I do on a 9 to 5 basis anyway and my eyes need a little bit of rest! For the future I’m looking forward to meeting Matt and the gang in London for a Patreon get together weekend, and I will probably do another workshop as well just to turbo charge my learning and portfolio, as I already feel this little community and Matt’s help have propelled me further and motivated me more than I would go alone!”
Patreon post of the month (shared)
To give you a taster of what we get up to on Patreon I will start sharing a featured post each month. Join our 200+ active monthly members!
Post: “Model photography – Bring all your hats!” – Read on Patreon
First Patreon meet up
We will be having our first Patreon face to face meetup in London in May. I’m looking forward to meeting some familiar faces from our monthly Zoom calls plus Patreons I’ve yet to talk to on calls.
Coming up next month..
April will see my first model photography in Italy after a Patreon kindly invited me to a private event he was organising. If you saw the 2 new videos shared last night I can’t wait to try these lenses out with models in some sunshine. New full videos on both lenses to follow and on a few more lenses i’ve not yet mentioned. Have a great day!
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts to try to improve the service!
YouTube video – spotlight
If you were busy enjoying a normal Saturday social life yesterday you may not have seen the 2 back to back videos I posted last night. They were unplanned but I was so excited to share my lens test results that 1 video became 2. Watch here – Part 1 / Part 2.
Monthly Updates: Videos+Blogs
Previous Newsletters (+ Video Links!)
First Time Reader? See Below
> UK Workshops
- UK – London (Most popular)
> Overseas Workshops
Happy to travel worldwide to run photography workshops. See list below for some of the planned countries. Join the mailing list to submit your interest.
- Poland – Gdansk, Bydgoszcz, Warsaw. (Same price as London )
- Hungary – Budapest. (Same price as London workshops)
- Spain – Alicante region. (Same price as London )
- Tenerife/ Lanzarote – Suits multi-day bookings
- US – New York. I will trying to plan a visit perhaps later in 2023.
- Your country – Want me to fly to your city? Get in touch!
Some advantages of meeting in your city include (1) you don’t need to travel (2) I will give you model contacts in your city that you can keep in touch with after I leave. This has worked well for photographers in the past. The flipside of that is, if you rather come to the UK for a London workshop you have the excuse for a holiday!
Want to learn how to take portraits?
Join my Patreon where I teach model photography and we have 2x 1 hour general photography Zoom calls each month
Meet the models! Join a workshop
Do the same as Jorge from Mexico and book one of my 1:1 workshops