Queen’s Park – first outing with the Leica M2

A couple of days ago we went a wander down to Queen’s Park before dinner, to make the most of what was probably the last decently sunny day of the Scottish ‘summer’. Grace claimed to be cold, but in my humble opinion it was nearly taps aff.

Luckily for you, I resisted the urge.

Leica M2 Summicron-C 40mm portrait

I took the chance to try out the newest members of the family: the Leica M2, and my first ‘pure blood’ Leica lens: the Summicron-c 40mm (f2). I’m sure some people will disagree on that point since it was really designed for the CLE, but get it right up ye.

One of the cool things about shooting black and white film rather than converting colour digital later on is that you think about the shots in monochrome – and for some reason it seems much easier with the M2; black and white film just feels like the perfect match. I can foresee me using the M6 for colour, and this for mono on trips in future.

I am pretty pleased with the results.

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I keep looking back at this set of pictures from Chicago that I shot on Neopan 1600 with the M6 and Canon 50mm f1.2 and regret selling the lens… but now, I think I might (almost) be over it. The out of focus areas just rendered beautifully – or if you want to use the wanky photography term, it ‘paints’ really nicely.

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I took a photo of the trees to see how the bokeh looked, and my oh my… it’s gorgeous.

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I did have a slight mis-hap when I was developing this roll – the first in a long time. When I went to scan the negatives, there was a weird white haze across the frame, and I couldn’t immediately work out what it was. After a bit of digging I realised that it was as if they hadn’t been fixed properly, so I fired them back into the fixer (with an added splash of the concentrate for good measure), and they came out crystal clear. That’s what I get for using chemicals that expired 2 years ago probably.

For reference, here’s one of the scans that show up what one of the incorrectly fixed negatives look like scanned:

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You’d think after almost ten years of doing this, I’d check the negatives more carefully. Learn from my mistakes, friends.

Anyway, I love the M2, and this lens. A number of the shots were pretty soft – but I can’t tell whether this was down to shooting at f2, the bright sunlight flaring the rangefinder patch (which is definitely worse than my M6), or if the camera/lens needs calibrated. Hopefully it’s not the latter, as getting them CLAd is expensive and time consuming. Either way, I’m chuffed with the results – and in love with film again lately.

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Thanks to Grace for being patient with my endless photo taking.

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I can’t decide whether I like the picture below, or the first one of Grace up above better. Opinions welcome in the comments…

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Excited to see what’s to come from the M2.

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Leica M2 + Leica Summicron-C 40mm (f2)
Legacy Pro 400 35mm – devved in expired Tmax Dev for 6 minutes @ 20C

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1 thought on “Queen’s Park – first outing with the Leica M2

  1. I think her first portrait is the strongest. I also like the one with the Ray-Bans because people in Ray-Bans always look cool

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