Leica M9 & Voigtlander Classic 40mm f1.4

I ran one of my photography tuition and lighting workshops today with model Leia who kindly helped me out. The guy coming for my photography workshop brought his Leica M9 and kindly let me try it with my favourite Voigtlander Classic 40mm f1.4 lens. The full frame CCD 18MP Kodak sensor in the Leica didn’t disappoint. The colours alone blew me away! The build quality feels fantastic and it weighs a ton! More so, I finally see the results of the Voigtlander Classic (Nokton) 40mm f1.4 lens and all it’s bokeh beauty on full frame! My first real camera was a Panansonic Lumix G1 which is were I first met and fell in love with the Voigtlander 40mm look. That was a m43 sensor (x2 crop) so it equated to 80mm on a 35mm camera. I then bought the Voigtlander Bessa R3A 35mm rangefinder film camera just for that lens.

m9

I have wanted a small form digital camera to work alongside my Nikon D800 DSLR for my model photography and wedding photography for a few months so I can mount my Voigtlander lenses. I looked at the Fuji X-Pro1 but from reading reviews settled on a buying a Sony NEX-6.

The Sony NEX-6 arrived last week and just looks like a plastic flimsy toy. I’m sure it can take nice photographs but it just gave me no confidence. I am used to solid build film cameras like the Voiglander Bessa R3A rangefinder and Mamiya RZ67 Pro II. Safe to say I wont be using it.

So.. After the photography workshop I hit the internet and starting my Leica M9 research. Several hours later I saw a bid ending on eBay for a black Leica M9 body.

The rest was history!

Leica m9

I never thought I would see this day but I think I can now safely say I am a ‘proper’ photographer. The Leica M9 suits me down to the ground as I shoot manual focus lenses on the Nikon D800 anyway and I love older lenses made of metal and glass. It will work very well along side similar well build cameras and share lenses with my Voigtlander Bessa R3A.

I will sleep with a smile tonight. 🙂

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk

For those interested in joining me for photography tuition or a workshop in my studio in Coventry, UK, you can see more details here – http://www.matthewosbornephotography.co.uk/Photography-Tuition.html

I cannot wait for my next wedding photography shoot. The wedding couple are in for a real treat! I’m not sure who will be more excited about their big day, them or me!

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Reunited!! Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 :D

I just dug this old self portrait shot from the Flickr archives as it shows me using probably my favourite lens of all time. The Voigtlander (Nokton) 40mm f1.4 lens. It is ultra compact, really well made, super sharp and a joy to use. The Lumix G1 was my first ‘proper’ camera and from that developed my all consuming photography passion that is now a huge part of my life.

voigtlander 40mm f1.4

I remember the Nokton Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 arriving and I fitted in to my red Lumix G1 instead of the usual 14-45mm Lumix kit lens (via a Leica M- M42 adapter). WOW! I was blown away by the quality and shallow DOF. The kit lens started collecting dust and my collection of primes began. It was a dark day when I decided to move to the Nikon camp in search of bigger and better. What saddened me most was not parting with the Lumix G1, though it had served me well, but the fact that I could not use the Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 with Nikon bodies.

That was 2010. Now 2013 things have changed some what. I now own many cameras and lenses, have a studio, shoot as a model photographer and wedding photographer and also teach photography courses and lighting workshops. Not only that but I now shoot 35mm and medium format film.

Today I was chatting with a like minded photographer and we got onto the subject of his Leica M9. As i strive for ultimate perfection in my photography work i’m always looking for bigger and better. I’ve never owned a Leica or even held one but I know they are good. In part because of the great lenses available.

Can you see a link approaching..!? 🙂

After my friend left I got on ebay.. Leica M3.M4.. hmm. I wanted a 35mm film body so was looking at the older models. I then stumbled across a mint condition Voigtlander Bessa R3A…with…a..Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 lens with it! SOLD to the man with the finger on the buy it now button! ME! I couldn’t risk losing the bid.

Voigtlander Bessa R3A

So coming soon will be model photography using my nearly new all singing all dancing Voigtllander Bessa R3A using the amazing Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 optics! Excited!

Here are some of my favourite Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 shots taken with my Panasonic Lumix G1 (before my model photography passion):

At the Side of the Road
Drinking abroad (before)
Rush hour sunrise
Summer Meadow
Seeds in the air
It's going to be a beautiful day :)
Ilam Park
Just a log

Nokton Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 + Raynox 250 macro lens on Lumix G1 (My passion used to be macro!)
Chalkhill Blue (2)
#7 Peekaboo!
Spring Barbed Wire
Clematis leaf
Nokton 40mm / Raynox 250 combo #3

Lastly, look out for a slightly modified version of this photo with a dafodil on the swing as Marie Curie charity are using it as their 2013 photo.
With a View

Ken Rockwell’s thoughts on a Voigtlander 40mm.. “I never thought it would come to this, but this Voigtländer lens is better than Nikon’s own lenses: it has better optics, better mechanics, and better ergonomics. How about that!”

Yep..as I said! 🙂

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk