πŸ”΄ MrLeica – June 2023

Monthly Newsletter

Hi friend! Here is the latest edition of the monthly MrLeica newsletter – Photography related posts and videos, upcoming events and hopefully a source of inspiration!

CZJ 75mm f1.5 Biotar Portrait
Flickr Digital Model Photo of the Month (Likes)

Features

  • 30 Day Recap + Updates
  • Latest YouTube Videos
  • New Blog Posts
  • Workshops Dates – UK & Overseas
  • Digital Users (NEW!)
  • Film Shooters (NEW!)
  • Featured Photographer (NEW!)
  • Gear/ Supplier – Spotlight (NEW!)
  • Featured Patreon Post (NEW!)
  • Patreon VIP Member – Spotlight (NEW!)
  • Coming up next month!

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Coming up..

Hi there! I changed the newsletter format 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. If you’re a new reader check out the last 100 blog posts and to search all 400+ articles use the toolbar on the homepage.

What was I up to last month?

It was a relief to finally move the last of my things from the old place I’d been renting from my brother for the last 19 years (*I thought it was 15 years). That’s way too much time to accumulate a pile of cameras and studio gear so it was a mammoth task as I was not looking forward to. Lazy me would have just stayed there but the place was going up for sale. I’m so glad it forced me to move as it’s the best thing I’ve done for years. Moving closer to London means rent prices are higher so I downsized from renting a full house to a 2 bed studio. I finally came to appreciate that location is key. Everything is now on my doorstep and i’m looking forward to what life brings next!

I was in Warsaw Poland at the start of May. Not many models were available so I did more tourist-style street photos testing lenses. I missed the many model shoots so I booked Gdansk Poland within 24 hours of landing. Despite high hopes, again there were very few models available so the night before the trip I turned off my 3:30am alarm and didn’t go. (I’d found very cheap flights and always find affordable places to stay). Luckily, I was then booked for a private Leica workshop the same week so that money covered my loss. Not going to Poland was the right decision. It gave me time unpack a few boxes, buy a bed (after sleeping on the floor for 2 weeks) and get myself sorted at home. Sometimes I try to do too much.

The highlight of May was our first face-to-face Patreon meet in London. Photographers flew in from France, Germany and the Netherlands and we had a lot of interesting cameras between us. I’ll do a full blog post but here is a little spoiler video to give you an idea of what to expect.

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Workshops in May

Two private 1:1 workshops sessions in May, one London and one in the British Countryside (including Cambridge). Long standing Patreon Rich flew in from Chicago with his Leica M11 and Leica SL2 for a hybrid workshop. (Rich is the guy that made my Contax T2 review possible, and others). My hybrid workshops are getting very popular. In the morning we focus on mastering the use of your Leica camera(s), then in the afternoon I arrange a model for us to work with. Leica M cameras are still king for street photography then we switched to the Leica SL2 for the model photography/ portrait session in the afternoon. Thanks to Rich, I was also able to bring you the recent version 2 Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 video.

Leica SL2 Workshop
Rich at the workshop with his Leica SL2/ 50 SL APO combo (Maria modelling for us)

The second private Leica workshop might be the start of something new that I offer. Jon and his girlfriend flew in from Vegas for our session. I offered to meet in the city of London but Jon asked if we could meet in the British countryside instead. As a keen cyclist and with me now living in the area outside of London i’d discovered some beautiful quaint little villages when out exploring. Jon hired a car so they met me and I showed them some postcard style English villages. We then drove to Cambridge which looked stunning in the sunshine.

Team Leica - From Vegas
Team Leica! With their Leica M11 + Leica Q2

Jon wont mind me saying this. I’ve never in my life seen two people so happy at photographing.. “free range” cows! The lush green grass and buttercup meadow, the sound of the babbling brook in the sunshine all made for a dreamlike experience for them. For us in the UK it’s normal but apparently not if you live in Vegas! So with that, if you are flying into the UK and would like a similar experience let me know and I can organise it.

Leica Workshop.. with Cows!
Jon and his girlfriend comparing cow photos..

Leica+Model Workshops

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Digital photographers

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.

Cameras – With the release of the new Leica Q3 many of you wrote to ask if I’m getting one? Currently, I only use the Leica Q for some of my wedding photography and prefer the Leica SL for most of my work. My interest is experimenting with exciting lenses on either the Leica SL or Leica M240 (and APS-C Leica CL sometimes). I will try to get a Leica Q3 to test for YouTube but I’m not planning on saving up for one currently.

Lenses – Last month I mentioned buying the Light Lens Lab (LLL) Speed Panchro II 50mm f2, LLL ELCAN 50mm f2 and LLL 35mm f2 8 Element collapsible. I’ve shot them a fair amount on digital but want to test them more on film before I make full videos for each.

Recommended kit – For portraits I love the Leica SL but for travel and street photos Leica M cameras are my choice. See my KitList for the exact products that I use.

New Lightroom preset! (Warsaw Colour) – You can now find this new LR preset available to download here.

MrLeica Make Money with Photography eBook

Film photographers

Film – I moved my expired film supply from the old house fridge to the new fridge. Trying hard to shoot more 120 film but 35mm cameras are just so good!

Cameras – Just got my Leica M6 back from a CLA and a Russian 6×6 folding cameras. I shot a roll of 120 film in it yesterday on a bike ride. My eyes were seeing either wider or longer than the 50mm equivalent fixed lens. Next I’ll go out with my favourite 1931 Leica Standard and LLL 35mm f2 LTM lens for the wider shots. Following that I’ll take ride with the little Nikon FG-20 + Voigtlander 90mm f2.8 APO lenses (in F mount.. I use M and F mount copies) for more compression.

*Fellow cyclists / hikers – If you are wondering how I carry my cameras, I now use an EVOC hip pack. Brilliant for cycling (or if you like to carry the weight on your hips not your back). I can fit my Leica SL plus a big SL lens if needed. I show the hip pack in this video in Lanzarote. For something more casual I use my Wotancraft bags as I showed in this video.

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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?

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My recommended photography gear list – https://mrleica.com/kitlist/
Canon L3 Portrait
Flickr Film Model Photo of the Month (Likes)

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 newsletters for more!

Was I IMPRESSED? Leica M11 & M11M (+ $9395 Diopter)

LEICA SHOOT OUT! 35mm Summilux vs Summicron APO M?

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Bomb Proof RANGEFINDER CAMERA Setup | Zeiss Tessar 5cm f3.5 Contax RF

LEGENDARY Leica Portrait Lens – Leica SUMMILUX 75mm f1.4

WATCH BEFORE BUYING! | Voigtlander 75mm 1.9 Ultron SC + MC (Leica M)

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Exotic! Zeiss BIOTAR 50mm 1.4 (Leica M)

Should you buy this CULT CAMERA!? Plaubel Makina 67 + Makina W67

Remote Learning!

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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! Trying to catch up!

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!

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1931 Leica Standard, Lisbon
Flickr Film Non-Model Photo of the Month

Workshops + Photowalks

Kick start your photography with a private 1:1 workshops or a group workshop. For notification and dates of photowalks in your area join my mailing list.

Group Workshop Dates:

  • June 2023 – N/A
  • July 2023 – Dates to be announced at the start of July (in the newsletter) for mid-late July
  • Aug 2023 – Dates to be announced at the start of July (in the newsletter)
  • Sep 2023 – TBC

SeeΒ workshop prices and testimonials

Dubai Leica Model Photography Workshop, 2022

Travel coming up

  • June 2023 Travel – Poland + Czech Republic
  • July 2023 Travel – Maybe Vegas! (I’ve been invited to teach a workshop)
  • August 2023 Travel – TBC
  • September 2023 Travel – Possibly teaching in Spain (TBC)

Featured photographer of the month

This month I feature the new-to-Leica photographer (now using the Leica M11) James Popsys. James is a popular YouTuber with a large following and great humour!

James describes himself as “I’m a Travel and Adventure photographer from the UK, and I make videos all about landscape photography, except I don’t like tripods, long exposures or golden hour, and I don’t have any patience”. If you enjoy landscape photography definitely check him out!

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Featured supplier/ gear of the month

This month I feature not a camera nor a lens. The supplier doesn’t know I’m writing this but I was so impressed I think it can benefit many of you!

This month I want to tell you about my new FLEXISPOT standing desk. I love it and the purchase was well overdue. Have you ever heard the term “Sitting is the new smoking“? If you’re like me, you sit for so long you wear out the padding on your chair so need to sit on a blanket. Then you come to run or just stand for a long periods and wonder why it hurts. I used to suffer from tight hip flexors. Why? “Excessive sitting causes the muscles to relax and deactivate”. I sat at a desk all day for my old day job then live at my desk now as a blogger/ YouTuber/ photographer.

These standing desks let you adjust the height so you can sit or stand. I thought it would be too tiring to stand for 1+ hours at a time but I don’t notice it when i’m busy working or replying to emails/ YouTube comments. Why FLEXISPOT? If like me you read a million product reviews before buying you’ll find that most of the more affordable standing desks have two drawbacks. First, many other lower cost desks are less tall (only important if you are 6ft or taller). My FLEXISPOT desk raises up to a maximum height of 121cm or nearly 48 inches. Second, and more importantly, the desktop surface of many desks is 2 pieces of board that you need to screw together once delivered. This looks less clean but it’s also less stable (as some customers note in their review comments). My desk has been great and it’s perfect to stand at to record my YouTube videos too. Here are a few photos (I’d just had those 2 cameras back from CLA!) –

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 Richard Smith!

I’ll look to feature Rich again later in the year as he’s not had a chance to write a piece for the blog. I can tell you that he flies big planes and lives in Chaicago! He’s a very generous guy and kindly donated multiple cameras to me including the awesome Contax T2 (and a big pile of film!)

Viewers comment of the month

Each month I feature the most memorable viewers comment. “husshardan3511” writes –

“My new Leica M6 2022 production scratched film and the ISO dial was defective. It took Leica over three months and multiple attempts to repair it. It ended up the pressure plate was defective, and this affected a whole bunch of them as I was told that there was a bad batch of pressure plates. This also can affect the MP and M-A as they share the same part. Problem is Leica has no idea which cameras are affected, as they do not keep track of which pressure plates went into which camera. So if you buy a new film M, get it from a place where you can just return it if it scratches film. Not wait four months for a repair like I did (I made the mistake of buying it from abroad mail order). And when you get it, first thing to do is check to see if it scratches film. This is very easy – take a roll of the cheapest film you have and shoot it off until you reach the end. Wind it back in, take out of the camera. Put the film out of the cassette and carefully check its entire length. You want to do this with undeveloped film as it is opaque and so very easy to see if there are scratches. With my 2022 M6, the scratches were on the last third of the film. I had to tell the tech at Leica NJ how to check for scratches which was not at all confidence inspiring – that he would not know how to do that. Once he did, he confirmed and eventually I got the story from them about bad batch of pressure plates. This bothers me on many levels – 1/ I’ve never had a camera scratch film before whether it was a $20 plastic disposable camera or an expensive ‘high quality camera’. 2/ Leica ships those signed quality control cards that claim they meticulously examine the camera (or lens) multiple times during production to make sure it is perfect. Obviously that is just theater. I really like my M6 now that it works correctly (they also fixed the ISO dial – you could not set it to indicated speeds) but this experience – and knowing that mine was not a one off – would dissuade me from buying a new film M ever again. All film Ms feel great and are a joy to use, so my advice would be to buy a nice used one whether it is an M2/3/4/6 etc and save your money. Leica’s quality controls have slipped so badly I’d never go through buying a new M again”.

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Patreon post of the month (shared)

To give you a taster of what we get up to on Patreon I here is a post you missed! Join our 200+ active monthly members and look for the 10% off discount!

Post: “How I store my cameras and lenses”Watch on Patreon

Coming up next month..

I’ve got some exciting stuff coming up later next month for you and i’ll meet fellow YouTuber/ model photographer Peter Coulson at his London workshops. Have a great weekend!

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! (What can I change on the blog to try to improve the service?).. I tried to simplify the homepage for mobile users*

YouTube video – spotlight

You may have already seen it but coming up in June is the review of the amazing Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 version 2! (Pre-ASPH)

Monthly Updates: Videos+Blogs

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Previous Newsletters (+ Video Links!)

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β€”

First Time Reader? See Below

> UK Workshops

I teach basic to advanced level photography to anyone with a camera. For full details see workshop prices and testimonials + join the mailing list for dates.

  • UKLondon (Most popular)
Model Photography Workshop - London
London Leica Workshop 2021

> 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 β€“ Gdansk, Bydgoszcz, Warsaw. (Same price as London )
  • Hungary – Budapest. (Same price as London workshops)
  • Spain β€“ 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 β€“ Want me to fly to your city? Get in touch!
Hasselblad 60mm Portrait
New York Workshop

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!

Model Photography Workshop
Zurich Photography Workshop
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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

Light Lens Lab ELCAN
Flickr Digital Non-Model Photo of the Month

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