I’ve had my Leica M3 with a 50mm Summicron f2 for about 8 months now & it’s truly changed the way I think and practice photography. Film photography feels to me, an organic way of documenting our family growing up. To compliment this organic workflow, I now home develop – darkroom to follow. I’ll deviate away from camera specs etc on this first posting, I feel it so fitting to explain the journey from the start!
Let me tell you a little about acquiring this wonderful piece of engineering (sorry guys I’m a design engineer – it’s engineering). Armed with Ken Rockwell’s advice, I took a gamble purchasing my first film camera off ebay. I knew no history of the camera & with plenty of my wife’s patience – we had to travel all the way down to Brighton to fetch it (a 3 hour journey from here). Arriving at the address given, I was like an excited school boy with all my saved money lodged in my pocket safe. Reggie, the seller was an elderly gentleman in his 80’s, he had taken a fall earlier in the day, cutting his cheek but had waited in for my arrival before his daughter took him to hospital. At that particular moment, oh man…. I felt so humbled & fortunate…
I looked the camera & lenses over, it was almost mint! I gave his daughter the money & explained to the Reggie, I wasn’t a trader ‘this camera was for me’ Leaning forward & holding me with his now unsteady hand, he said ‘this camera will take very special photos sir’ I nodded, totally agreeing with him – I felt like I was in a movie. Here was a fella passing this/his timepiece down, it didn’t feel like a purchased transaction at all!
I bid farewell, thanking them for their patience, then quickly checked out to see what Brighton had to offer with our boys in tow, before returning home. I later learned from my mother, that Brighton & specifically the pier was my late father’s Walkabout into his adult life… another story & one I wish deeply I could see any old photographs of!