Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Shooting with an Inadequate Camera

I spend a big part of my day pondering about photography gear.  During this time I don't necessarily devote all my brain resources to lusting after new camera bodies and lenses.  I frequently pick apart the gear that I already own and use.  I obsess about what may be inadequate with my current gear in order to find justification for an upgrade. 

It's human nature to want more.  I always want something better.  (Except for my love.  She is perfect.)  Internally I find myself putting down the gear that I have because I feel that it is no longer good enough.  I experienced this notion for the first time when I shot with my Panasonic GF1.  

Panasonic GF1
Panasonic 20mm
1/40 s

When I bought my GF1 I was terribly excited.  (I haven't been that enthusiastic for any camera since.)  After awhile that joy and feeling of content were gone and I longed to upgrade to something with better specifications.  Like an idiot..... I gave in.  I upgraded.

Since then I've been fighting that urge.  I'm actively trying to redirect this negative energy into something positive (i.e. becoming a better photographer).  

I've recently spent time in Chicago.  It was cold and damp.  Even though I was having a great time with my love my feelings and thoughts often turned to my M9.  It's not weather sealed and therefore inadequate.  The new Leica M type 240 would be better.  The low light capabilities of my M9 aren't adequate and therefore an M type 240 might be a good purchase.  I fought these foolish notions.  I forced myself to remember that my M9 is awesome and I love it!  Luckily, just like that, my mind and checkbook were safe again. 

My wife and I enjoyed our weekend walking everywhere in the cold and snow.  I carried my M9 with a gloved hand over the lens.  Even though the camera was wet and cold (it was well below freezing temperatures) it never missed a beat.  When entering into the warmth of a building the rangefinder never fogged or showed condensation.  

During our trip we spent several hours at Tamarkin Camera (  Dan Tamarkin is a wonderful guy and is an excellent resource for Leica knowledge and gear.  If you want it.....  he's the man that has it or can get it.....  His store is part gallery ( and is well worth the visit.  I'm missing my Leica M6 and will be contacting him at some point regarding a film Leica M body.  If you are in the area his store is well worth the trip.  After spending time in "Leica heaven" with Dan I still left knowing that I didn't need the new Leica M.  
I just needed to get out and shoot.

Dan Tamarkin and I at Tamarkin Camera.
Apple iPhone 5
1/25 s
Photo Credit: Marci Miller

The remaining photos from the weekend were captured with my Leica M9, Voigtlander 35mm Skopar PII, and Voigtlander 28mm Ultron.


  1. A Leica M9 body costs what....8k? I can't seem to shake that thought when I read this.

  2. An M9 isn't inadequate. That is part of the point I'm trying to make. When ever a new model comes to market it's hard not to be tempted to want what's new. I bought my M9 used after the M type 240 became available. They can be purchased for under half of the original selling price now. Thank you for your comment and for taking the time to read my thoughts. Cheers.


    1. That's a great article. I love Eric Kim's blog. He knows his stuff and is entertaining. Thanks!