A few Leica wedding photographs from John and Reema’s wedding last April (2017). John is my brother so I was multi-tasking on the day! (Guest and photographer!) 🙂
Wedding photography done mostly with a Leica M240 digital cameras and also the digital Leica M8 camera.
Link to photos below:
2017 Leica Wedding Photography: John & Reema Wedding Venue: Hengrave Hall, Bury Saint Edmunds IP28 6LZ Matthew Osborne Photography / MrLeica.com April 2017 John & Reema Last April (2017) I was invited to photograph John and Reema’s Hindu wedding at Hengrave Hall in Bury Saint Edmunds. John is my ‘little’ (youngest) brother so it […]
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.
Coventry Wedding Photographer – My Leica camera bag is now ready for Leica Wedding Photography. I now have two Leica M camera bodies to share my Leica M mount lenses. A full frame Leica M9 and a 1.33x crop Leica M8. I did not feel fully comfortable switching between a DSLR and a rangefinder during weddings when I was using my Nikon D800 as a second camera body. You need to settle into the Leica rangefinder way of taking images so you can then compose them in your head before bringing the camera to your eye. This is where I want to get too and to follow in the footsteps of the great Henri Cartier-Bresson.
First thoughts on the M8 – Slightly heavier and chunkier than the Leica M9 at first hold. Controls are near identical and I was able to pick it up and use as if it was my M9. Shutter is louder but it had a nice well made solid German clunk to each press which I like. For wedding photography I can use the discrete mode and keep my finger pressed on the shutter until I have moved away from the quiet area if needed.
Here are the first samples images from the M8 in the short time I had when I got home tonight.
Leica M8 + Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5 C
DNG file – I am very impressed with the colours and this is without an IR reducing filter.
Leica M8 + Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2
DNG file converter to B&W in LR3. This lens feels very at home on the M8. Love the M8 B&W images. The lower MP makes the photos more grainy and in turn even more like 35mm film (in my view). Looking forward to Leica M8 B&W portraiture.
I have noticed that 50mm and longer focal lengths are difficult to compose on the M8 as what you see in the viewfinder is not what you get. I may find I stick to using 28mm and 35mm mostly but time will tell. Early days.
Overall very pleased with my new edition to the family! 🙂
More samples soon!
MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica Wedding Photographer
Yesterday I had the pleasure of providing Anna and Vici’s wedding photography for their wedding in Warwickshire, UK. The day started for me at the Coventry wedding venue, The Saxon Mill, where we had the ceremony and wedding breakfast once everyone had arrived. Later we moved onto the Warwick Arms Hotel in Warwick where the evening guests joined us.
Anna and Vici had opted for my Black and White Wedding Photography Package so I was already super happy before the day had even started. I tend to see all my photos in B&W and as shadows and highlights and use my cameras in B&W JPEG mode (JPEG fine + RAW so have the colour negative if required). Black and white photography lets me use light as a major part of each image as there is no distraction of colour. B&W photography also places more emphasis on texture, shape and form and this simplicity helps viewers relive the memories of the day.
Leica wedding photography captured in black and white tones gives my clients a set of timeless looking film like images. The B&W tones really suit my documentary wedding photography style. I like to photograph by available light where possible as I can see my images more easily however if the light levels are too low I will use additional artificial lights to mimic the effect of sunlight. I then balance the ambient light and strobe lights in camera to get the desired look and exposure.
Yesterday was a typical British winter day being mostly overcast with heavy rain at times. Both venues were dark inside so I knew I would need additional lighting. New for 2014 I used a combination of studio lights and speedlights to increase light levels.
A quick mention and a huge thanks to Gary at Lencarta UK for resending me two studio lights next day delivery on Thursday January 24, 2014 after the first package was lost in the post. I can highly recommend the Lencarta light products. I have used a few different models and all are very well made and offer excellent value for money. They can be described as a UK equivalent of the US Paul Buff Alien Bees in terms of cost but that is where the comparison ends. Technically they are far superior and the build quality is superb. Gary also offers exceptional customer service which is priceless in situations like these!
My Wedding Photography Camera Bag
If you follow me on Flickr or Facebook you will know I have quite a few lenses to choose from for both the Leica M9 and Nikon D800 cameras. I always take two camera bodies and tend to have one camera with a wider lens and one camera body with a short telephoto lens. I found in the past that if you take too many lenses you miss photos as spend more time trying to decide what lens to use than composing or anticipating a photo. I try to learn from each wedding so to keep improving year on year and with each shoot. As a result, yesterday I packed the camera gear with an approximate usage in brackets –
The Nikon D800 DSLR with the 35-70/2.8 covered most situations and was the most used setup on the day. I tend to use the D800 for fast action photography, low light photography (>ISO 800) and group photos where I may want to crop yet retain a large file size. I use the Leica M9 for reportage style photography working close to my subjects, often in tight spaces with a wide angle lens as people notice the smaller Leica camera less so I can capture natural looking expressions more easily and within a meter of my subject.
If I take off my Leica hat for a moment to give honest non-bias feedback, the most enjoyable lens to use was the Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-s for night photography. It gives subjects a magic glow yet it still sharp if you zoom in on the images. In second place was the CV 35/1.2 for the same reason. Both lenses render photos beautifully at f1.2 and seem to capture more light that visible with the naked eye. A joy to use for night photography without flash.
My most enjoyable part of the day was the downtime between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast. No pressure and a time to play and get creative. Working in the very ‘cosy’ confinements of The Saxon Mill and using an off camera studio light strobe as my light source I was able to mingle amongst the guests with the Leica M9 + Zeiss ZM 21/2.8. I used the single source of light to illuminate my subjects all around the room working the camera settings to get the desired exposure. I like high contrast black and white photography and the artificial light source gave me a similar look to low afternoon sun. A great feeling as the rain battered the windows from outside and thunder rumbled overhead.
Here is a wedding portrait looking over the water at the Saxon Mill
As with every wedding I wish I had done a few things differently but on the whole a great start to the 2014 wedding photography season. I was pleased with my choice of equipment and my new Zeiss ZM 21/2.8 was a worthy addition to my camera bag complementing the 35mm and 50mm focal lengths nicely.
A separate wedding photography gallery post will follow once I have gone through all the images. A big thanks once again to Anna and Vici for the invite and to all the guests for making me feel so welcome.
Leica M9 showing it is still more than capable at matching the Nikon D800 for a location fashion and beauty model photography shoot.
Full Nikon D800 vs Leica M9 comparison review coming very soon!! Work in progress..
Photo was taken of Polish model Nella when I first go the Leica M9 using the super sharp but not very forgiving Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2 lens. Ambient light only.
MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – UK Leica Photographer