This is what I would like to do for you at your wedding! Leica wedding photography images using a 1950s design Leica M3 film camera (and other Leica cameras plus a Hasselblad). If couples give me the time and showed interest these are the type of wedding photos I would like to do at every wedding (plus more outside wedding pictures when the weather is favourable!) 🙂
Link to photos below:
B&W Film Wedding Photography: Harriett & Ash Coventry Wedding Venue: Best Western Weston Hall Hotel, Bulkington Matthew Osborne Photography / MrLeica.com December 2017 Before I share some of my Leica wedding photography from the real weddings I was booked for last year here is a wedding look photoshoot from the end of 2017. UK […]
July 26th, 2014
Wedding Venue – Highnam Court, Gloucestershire
It was my second visit to Highnam in Gloucestershire as I was there last year for Paul and Deb’s wedding. Deb’s was one of Sam’s bridesmaids so you may recognise her! We had the wedding ceremony at Highnam Church then moved across the field to Highnam Court for the rest of the day.
Here are a selection of photos from Sam and Chris’s wedding day. The couple opted for a mixture of digital wedding photography and medium format film photography.
Digital Photos – Leica M9 + Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 at f1 was used for most of the day (including all group photos at f1)(excluding some 21mmf2.8 & 28mmf2 wide angle lens shots, some 90mmf2 Summicron photos for the speeches and the 75mmf2 Cron photos for detail images).
Film Photography – 1980s Fujica GS645 medium format folding film camera + 120 Fuji Pro 400H film (lab developed and scanned with an Epson v600 scanner)
To book a Leica wedding see here for more details – http://matthewosbornephotography.co.uk/Leica-Wedding-Photographer-UK.html
*Medium format film photography is also available using various film cameras including Mamiya RZ67 and Fuji GF670, a choice of film formats, 6×4.5, 6×6, 6×7 and both roll film and Polaroid film
Alexa and Rich opted for a mix of film photography and digital photography for their wedding day. Here are a selection of the film photos taken at Hatton Hall, Warwickshire wedding venue using my 1950s Leica M2 loaded with 35mm Kodak Portra film. I used a Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 lens for most of the day. Lens used is marked on each photo.
(These photos were also shared as part of the “Wedding: Alexa & Rich” blog post however as they were tucked away at the bottom I thought I better re post to make them more findable).
To book a wedding see here for more details – http://matthewosbornephotography.co.uk/Leica-Wedding-Photographer-UK.html
Two Weddings in Two Days
Coventry Wedding Photographer
I had a busy yet very enjoyable weekend. Saturday I travelled south for Claire and Chris’s wedding at Bartholomew Barn, Sussex. The old barn is a beautiful wedding venue especially if you want a rustic look or vintage style wedding. Claire is my cousin but I was the only official photographer on the day. Sometimes family weddings can be more stressful so I had mixed emotions beforehand. I was excited and eager to get started (like every wedding!) and at the same time a little anxious at my extended family seeing me in action! For a wedding I have to act out of character to get the most from the couple and wedding guests. My natural style is unobtrusive candid documentary style wedding photography but for group photos I need to be more assertive and vocal to get the best images. The last time I had done a family wedding I was new to wedding photography so really struggled and it took a lot out of me. This time though I didn’t really notice or even remember that people were looking at me and just got on with the job as I would for any wedding. I think once you get in the zone you are so focused you forget what is around you. As I now work with people for much of my photography I find it easy to direct poses, whether models or a bride and groom.
Sunday’s wedding was closer to home in Coventry and I was shooting as a freelance photographer for an Asian wedding photography / videography team. I was the main photographer but had the benefit of a second shooter covering different angles. I was shooting for them so shot per their directions to get the photos they wanted for their clients. I can of course still get creative and put my twist on things but it meant we always had everything covered working as a team. Sunday was a Sikh pre-Wedding ceremony yet it lasted 12 hours and followed a similar theme to the standard wedding day (on the whole) hence the blog post title. We started at the house for family photos, then onto the Sikh temple and then spent the rest of the day at the Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club wedding venue, Coventry. There was no expense spared and it was crazy to think that the actual wedding is still to come!
Two Weddings in Two Days, Two Camera Systems and Two Photography Styles
Here is a quick summary of gear used each day
Saturday – Leica Wedding Photography (Manual focus wedding photography)
One camera used – Leica M9
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii – 75%
Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 (1981) – 12%
Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 – 7%
Leica Summicron 90mm f2 (1973) – 5%
Zeiss Biogon 21mm f2.8 – 1%
Sunday – Nikon Wedding Photography
One camera used – Nikon D800
Nikkor 35-70/f2.8D AF – 40%
Nikkor 50mmf1.4D AF – 30%
Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s – 30%
Saturday was my first wedding to date where I only used one Leica camera all day. For previous Leica weddings I used the Nikon D800 either side by side the Leica or for certain purposes such as longer focal lengths or very low light. One of my best weddings was when I got split up from my camera bag so I used the Leica M9 and a 35mm lens for nearly the entire day. With that in mind I used a similar setup yet changed lenses at certain points of the day depending on need. I used the Summilux ASPH for group photos where I had space to do so, I used the 90mm for the wedding speeches, 21mm for a few wide shots including first dance photos to show the wedding guests and then the Leica Noctilux f1 when available light levels fell and also for some creative detail shots. I was happy with my setup and I will use this for future white weddings.
Here is a sample image from Saturday (Leica M9 + CV Nokton 35/1.2 ASPH ii)
Sunday. I had planned to use the Leica on the Sunday also but I woke up with a very sore hand after wielding the heavy Leica Noctilux on the M9 for almost 14hrs on Saturday. I always favour the Leica vs. Nikon but sometimes it is just easier to use DSLR for wedding photography. The high ISO capacity and autofocus lens make life so much easier in dark venues. Also when shooting as a freelance photographer as part of a team the larger 36mp RAW files are better for editing and match closer to other DSLR images. (Leica images have that certain Leica look which people often describe as more grainy or film like). Sikh weddings often have very large numbers of guests compared to English weddings so the rooms tend to be much bigger to cater for everyone, whether at the Sikh temple or at the wedding venue. I find the 200mm f2 lens perfect for this environment where I cannot always get as close as I would like to with my subjects. The 200mm focal length is a big contrast to the 35mm lens I normally use for white weddings! Using a Leica camera for much of my photography, I sometimes forget quite how amazing the big heavy Nikkor 200mm f2 lens is. It is really easy to shoot with at f2 and gives stunningly sharp subjects yet super creamy bokeh. That said, habits die hard and once we were at the hotel I changed to a 50mm f1.4 and got closer to my subjects as I would with the Leica. When I think how expensive Leica lenses are the Nikkor 50f1.4D offers staggering beautiful images at such an affordable price. I was using it for both macro detail shots and portraits.
The Leica cameras really suit my style for my own wedding clients and especially for smaller white weddings. That said, the Nikkor D800 DSLR still proved itself as a fantastic go to camera for Indian weddings and for use as a wedding freelance photographer when shooting for others. I actually really enjoyed the ease of using the D800 again, so much so that I might get another lens for it! I want a small compact Nikkor 28mm to match my 50mm prime. I have larger 24f1.4, 35f1.4G, 85f1.4D for sale if anyone want them.
MatthewOsbornePhotography – Coventry Wedding Photographer
Yesterday I had chance to do another couple shoot with my Leica M9 camera. We did an engagement themed shoot with model friends Raki and Terri. Neither of them had worked together before but they gelled together really well and it made for an easy to direct shoot.
For most weddings, couples do not set aside enough time to get a wide range of natural yet creative wedding portraits. Many couples are also on a tight budget so skip the engagement shoot option. I organise shoots like this one with Raki and Terri to show ‘real’ couples what is possible for them if they opt for either an engagement shoot or book me as their wedding photographer. I am not looking to shoot a wedding every weekend as I don’t want to mass produce wedding photos. This does not interest me as it kills the creativity and excitment. I much rather work closely with a smaller number of couples that like like my style of photography and share their excitment in the build up to their wedding day. It sounds cheesy but I really do get excited before my shoots and always have a head full of creative ideas during the week leading up to each wedding!
Yesterday I wanted to try my latest addition to my Leica camera bag, a 1954 Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5 lens. I shot 90% of the day using this lens and my Leica M9 camera. I changed to a Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 for a short time to do some close up shots. The ‘Cron has a 0.7m closest focal range vs. 1m of the Summarit. I will post a seperate review of Leica Summarit lens in the coming days.
Here are some sample images from the engagement shoot that are already on Flickr –
And here are more sample images not yet posted (selection of black and white and colour) –
Thank you to Satti B MUA who provided the hair and makeup for Terri. I used one off camera speedlight throughout the shoot. See if you can guess where it was placed for each image!
The vintage Leica Summarit lens produces softer images than modern lenses but I love the look it gives and plan to use it as one of my regular lenses going forward.
To book a wedding or engagement shoot with me do not hesitate to get in touch.. no matter where you are in the world!
MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica Wedding Photographer
The photo shows my two Leica camera setup for Leica wedding photography. The lenses are optional.
Top – Leica M9 (18MP) released in 2010
Bottom – Leica M8 (10MP) released in 2006
Top – Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii
Bottom – Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 ii (New!)
Why do I need two 35mm lenses you may ask?
The CV 35f1.2 is perhaps my current favourite Leica M mount lens of all my LM mount lenses. It is sharp wide open at f1.2, produces beautiful bokeh with a shallow DOF and renders images in such a way that they are pleasing to the eye. Why do I need a second 35mm then? The Nokton 35/1.2 gives great results and is brilliant in low light however if you are stopping the lens down to f2.8 onwards, perhaps for street photography, then it is an unnecessary weight to carry around your neck all day. The 35/1.2 also makes your Leica M camera much more bulky and more easily noticed by others.
My newly purchased CV 35/2.5 ii is one of the smallest Leica M lenses (The MS Optical Super Tripet III Perar 35mm f/3.5 is smaller) and both lightweight and more discreet. Samples will follow but the 35f2.5 is sharp enough for portraits at f2.8 and also renders images beautifully. It really is THE perfect walkabout lens or travel lens, fitting into a large pocket and unlikely to draw attention to itself.
Leica Wedding Photography
One way I could use the pair of lenses and cameras is have the 35f1.2 on my crop sensor M8 giving me an almost equivalent of 50/1.2 (35×1.33=46.55mm). This would be great for low light and portrait photos. I could then mount the 35/2.5 Skopar on my Leica M9 for discrete reportage / documentary style wedding photography where i can work close to my subjects without drawing attention to myself.
Lastly, why buy Voigtlander lenses?
I bought the CV Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii rather than the Leica Summilux ASPH 35mm f1.4 as I liked the images and preferred the lower cost.
I bought the CV Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 ii for 3 reasons. #1. Size. I love the small size. A camera or lens that is easy to carry with you all the time is more likely to get used and be with you when you see that special moment you want to capture. (For a contrasting comparison, the Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s lens must be one of the most amazing and high quality lenses ever made however due to it’s weight and bulk I find I don’t use the lens as much as I should on my Nikon D800).
#2. Price. The 35/f2.5 ii is very competitively priced and one of my cheapest Leica M mount lenses. The Voigtlander lens is 5x cheaper than the Leica M Summicron 35mm f2 ASPH and 2x cheaper than the Zeiss ZM Biogon 35mm f2 T.
#3. Performance. I looked at all three 35mm lenses noted above. I read the reviews but more importantly to me, I reviewed sample images on Flickr from each lens. I own both Leica and Zeiss lenses and tend to lean towards Zeiss for a combination of performance and price. For the 35mm focal length neither the Leica M or Zeiss ZM images impressed me enough to pay more money for a lens that was larger and heavier than the little Voigtlander 35mm pancake (Skopar) lens. As a result my purchase decision was very easy.