Which camera to take?

I have several cameras, not as a back up (which I should have), but for to use for different purposes. Having several cameras, means I also have to make choices on what gear to take with me.

Studio work is one thing, long exposure another, or shall I take a light camera when I am gong for long walks? Which camera to take, is always the question. When I go by car, its rather easy, I take whatever I think I might need. But when I am traveling by plane, it gets more complicated. I must chose.

This time it was an easy choice. 3 days Lisbon by RyanAir. RyanAir means not much luggage. A trip of only 3 days (2 nights) close to the longest day of the year, and the boring blue sky, doesn’t make long exposure ideal. So no use to drag along my Nikon/Tripod/filters.

Now just last week I was browsing through some old pictures that I particularly liked. Among them was this one, taken on the train, of my husband and daughter reading a book.

There are many good cameras, there are many great lenses, but what beats whatever other lens I have ever held in my hand, is the Noctilus f/0,95 ASPH by Leica. I bought it years ago, on my Leica M (type 240), which I stopped using last year, when I replaced the M by the Q for practical reasons : the M with the Noctilus, weighs about a ton. I was getting back problems, I went out more and more without my camera, feeling frustrated every time I missed a shot.  I replaced it with the Q, which is a light camera with fix 28mm lens.

My dream is to one day replace the M (type 240/digital) with a analog M6, but I haven’t come to that yet.


Now seeing these old pictures I became nostalgic. And I decided to take the old camera with me, instead of the Q. I how I enjoyed it!

It is a fully manual camera, extremely slow, takes ages for it to turn on, and the manual focus is not easy (or rather : slow). Especially when you shoot wide open which I usually do with this camera when the focus has to be perfect.   It had been so long since I used this lens that I had forgotten to take my ND filter, and I was unable to shoot completely open. So the one below is shot at f/2,8, and the one at the top of the post at f/4



What immediately strikes in these photos is the bokeh. Other brands might have a great bokeh, but Leica in general, and the Noctilus in particular,  beats them all by far. Although I might exchange the M camera, I will never, ever, sell the Noctilus!


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Well whatever you are, wherever you go, however good you might be at what you do, whatever your profession is, constant education is a necessity. There is always something left to learn, there is always something you need to know or something that might make your life (and work) easier.

So extra classes is something I constantly take and look for. Like this one, organised by the ‘Belgische Vereniging van Beroepsfotografen’ called ‘light’. We got together 10 times in different locations, all professional photographers wanting to improve their skills around everything that has some relation to ‘light’.

Today was the last one.

We went to the Abbey of Zevenkerken, Loppem, where we took a picture of the ‘father abbot’ in the chapel, had a picnic in the park (yes, apart from work there is always some time fun and relaxing, and we do need to eat anyway, don’t we?) and shot moving objects (in this case mountain bikers) with flash in the forrest.


The trick with the father abbott was about getting the color of the light, which was a combination of natural light coloured through the stained glass windows, and the fill-in flash, perfectly aligned.

The trick with the bikers was to freeze the object and have the background moving, or rather, getting the impression that the biker was very fast by having the background blurred.

_KTI8636Above you can see the result of my bikers pictures, and off ‘us’, ‘at work’…

Apart from the learning process and the practicing, the socialising and getting to know colleagues, discussing problems related to work and exchanging ideas and tips, is as important. Not to forget the fun we have…!

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