Saturday, October 04, 2008

All my life, etc... Leica VI: Hooray!

I picked up my iiif from the Post Office in Saltcoats this morning, from a Swedish eBay seller.

It's a wee beauty. Smaller and lighter than I'd expected. Perfect in the hand, actually: the next lens I get will be a 5cm collapsible, so that it can fit easily into a coat pocket. Bit of trouble getting the hang of loading the film, but apart from that the rest of the settings are straightforward enough. Using a FED2 for the last few months makes it all familiar - it's a bit like a dream version of the FED.

The really big difference is the diopter, which is magnified. We'll see how fine it works out when the first few rolls are developed but it certainly feels very accurate, detailed.

This has not come without difficulty. Herself is of course used to me buying cheap cameras on eBay, and I could have passed this off without difficulty as just another old bit of junk. But moving house has eaten into the current account a bit more than calculated, which entailed a closer examination than usual of the bank statement. "£191 to PayPal?" And I just had to admit to it, and avoid things that would be bound to annoy her, like saying I was drunk or something. She's been surprisingly good about it, really, and there's only been one barbed reference so far to "your £200 camera".

The lesson I draw is that when I get a lens, (not for a month or two, I learned that hourly paid teaching is a month in arrears, so we're on auld-coats-and-porridge until the end of November), I should get one for less than £100 - double figures on the bank statement will probably not be noticed. And the lens should be a Summitar or Elmar 5cm collapsible. For now, my Industar 61 will have to do. And anyway, the same lens as I used on the FED will mean that I've got an objective standard in seeing how much better (or not) my photography is as a result of the Leica body.