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« the dilettante and the red dot. | Main | i didn't actually plan to do this... »

22 October 2012


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Fun read Chris. Thanks for the post. Keep the self souped images feeding through on Tumblr eh?
I feel like there was this wave of film/leica/rangefinder photography from a couple of years back (you and Sev leading the charge) but slowly less folks are talking it up and with new developments like the one discussed above, digital keeps steamrolling. The gestalt of the rangefinder with the shiny bauble dazzle of digital. What's not to like? :)
More long posts like this please!


Nice Chris, glad you're liking it. I have an X100 that I enjoy (and it too got a firmware update...made the AF much quicker) but I'm eying an X-Pro1 and the 35mm.

Question: Do you use the OVF or EVF more? I'm guessing OVF, but I'm just wondering.

gene lowinger

nice stuff, I too love the XP1 and EF20 flash. Check my blog at and my website at

Mike Swiegot

Nice work Chris! I love my X100. It's really a joy to shoot. I'm a Canon guy and shoot events and weddings mainly with zooms, so being forced to shoot personal work with a prime has really improved my creative vision. The quirks don't really bother me, as I also learned my way around them. I never shot with a range-finder and was always curious what the fuss was about with Leica. Regardless, I rather spend $8000 on upgrading my Canon gear and investing in some primes. Cheers!

Jason Keefer

Beautiful photographs!


You make very good points in your comparison.. But honestly, very pompous and annoying with your opinions..

jason gold

i read your tirade against Leica. Was it deserved? No! The problem for a busy, take no excuses or prisoners pro, is equipment not up to date.. The Leica is a relic. A beautiful ell made relic. I love mt M3, M6. Would i have bought the M9 or earlier the M8? No,No,No. Why.Too expensive with too few features that a Nikon 3100 or Canon T3 simply rocket past.. I use my Leicas but prefer for street photography, my humble Canon P/S Powershot S-590, and newer Canon 1200. The first cost $107, taxes included 3 years ago. Shot about 75,000 images with it, in all kinds of Canadian weather.. Many gravity tests later, have no flash, so i blew a whole $70. on the newer box..i am as happy as a pig in ****!
Leicas need work. Hard work. Focusing, calibrating, adjusting.Looking after..The lack of auto focus simply impossible in a world populated with ADD people. One needs speed. Supersonic speed. Using film, a lovely pastime and a definite creative edge dealing with clients who can be re-educated into waiting for quality. A few big prints in a fancy folder, way more impressive than a DVD or CD with cover..The big money was never with the photographer who shot like a crazy person.. The guy with the Deardorf, The Rollei all on tripods mostly made startling livings for Mr A and Mr P. Sure times have changed.. because photographers have allowed themselves to be seen as whores on a corner..
There is no free lunch. Digital is expensive. Updates. Improvements. Every new F*******G camera is better. Better than what. C'mon improve the work, raise the quality, have prints a client will fight to have on his/her/it's wall!


@aaron: to be honest sev was souping his film for as long as i remember. i always souped mine via lab. i don't think a lot of people take up doing their own wet process if at all. you can get enlargers for free on craigslist. more posts? hmm... i'm kinda more into just posting photos on tumblr...


@patrick: thanks, man. 80% evf. 20% ovf.


@gene: i will! thanks for the link.


@mike: the x100 is a joy! you can always buy a leica film body and find out why people seem to love rangefinders!!!


@jason: thanks!!!!


@me: happy you enjoyed some of the points. why so anonymous?


my tirade against leica is could be much longer. interesting points.

Philipp Masur

Hey Chris,

liked your post. Although a digital rangefinder is not on my list, it's nice to get a insight on the usage of the X-Pro1.

There is just one thing that is itching me:

You said: "I’m done with any digital system that isn’t AF. Digital should be AF"

Although I understand kind of what you mean, I cannot support this. There are (in my opinion) a lot of excellent photographers using digital bodies with older MF-lenses. Remember Shashank from the workshops in Berlin? He uses a 5DMKI with Zeiss lenses and enjoys the slower process of focussing manually. And I think his passion for this pays off! Why not shooting digital with MF? I myself often tend to focus manually. It helps me focus on the picture rather than snapping away. Don't get me wrong, I like to have the ability to autofocus, but I also like to have the possibilty of doing it manually.
But if a company builts a decent digital camera that is MF, why should it not fit in the workflow of (some) photographers?
Just my thought on this. ;)

Apart from that... the picture in your post speak more of themselves and show me that the X-Pro1 is definatly a great tool!



i've been wondering what your thoughts on the fuji were. good read. i loved a lot about the x100 but the focusing just was too frustrating for me, haven't tried an xpro1.

but i have to say i was interested in your description of the banding problem with the m9. i have also had an extremely frustrating, extremely intermittent problem with banding on my m9. every 500 shots or so it will spit out one or two where there is horrible horizontal banding, and it seems to be getting slightly more frequent. the surrounding shots are fine. like playing russian roulette with your photos. can you say anything more about what you think may be causing it, or what you've heard or leica has told you? 'cause they haven't said boo to me about it (i did send it in once, with samples).

i still use the m9 and i like (love) many things about it (check my tumblr... ?) ... but the reliability thing is a real problem.


Enjoyed your anti-Leica post ;). Seriously though...good article that added an interesting perspective to my current search for a good everyday camera! Fujifilm X-E1/X-Pro1 more and more look like good candidates...


One of the most enjoyable reads ever Chris! Definitely refreshing! Ironically, you were one of the reasons I bought a M9 a few years ago -- after watching that excellent street photography video one too many times and looking at your street work. The M9 got some great photos for me, but as of the last year, it has taken a back seat to AF cameras like the X100, XPro1 (which I had, but will likely re-get it) and the OMD. At the end of the day, AF exists to make life easier, and it does. As for the jabs at the "king of dilettantes" and "forum whore turned blogger", WOW. I mistakenly thought you were all buds. My favorite photo is the first one -- the carrousel. It's intriguing and has a lot of character. Keep up the good work, and anxiously waiting for you to make another video about street photography. Get Sev in it again! Cheers.


"Funny thing is I know more kids with Canon digital Rebels doing better work than 99% of the guys wearing a Leica." Lol! That's true! You can just tell it by checking out the Leica M9 group on Flickr. Or just look at Steve Huff's crappy photos.

Speaking of raw converters. I love how RPP (raw photo processor) handles the RAF files from my x100. I use C1 and LR4 mainly, because of the great workflow and speediness. But for my own files - RPP is a winner! The "K64 " film preset is great. Btw it's Mac only.
Check out the RPP here:
Some interesting talk about conversion techniques with X-Pro1 can be found here:


this has to be the best X-Pro1 report I've ever read. period. now where's mine, they said it should be with me this week, still 2 days to go :)

Amin Sabet

I don't understand your assertion that digital should be autofocus. I completely get wanting to autofocus. That's something I want too, and there's no way I'd use a manual focus as my primary camera, but what does that have to do with digital? If autofocus helps not to miss shots, then do film shooters want to miss shots? I also don't get your point that a $7k camera should autofocus when you seem perfectly happy with the fact that your $5k Leica MP does not.

The X-Pro 1 seems like a fantastic camera with a great system to go with it. I'd choose it over the M9 in a heartbeat. But why so bitter? Did Steve Huff and Thorsten Overgaard force you to shoot Leica? That part of it all was very odd and detracted from an otherwise enjoyable read with great photos and some interesting insights.

Marc Mitchell

Very good article! Excellent photos. Thanks for the comment about the X-Pro 1 grip. I had been on the fence on this, but your comment tipped the scales and I ordered one. I got it today and am glad I did. I am amazed at the difference it makes for me.

Pavel K.

Hi Chris,

I think you've just sold me on the idea of this camera for street photography. Albeit, I can't afford it at present, as I'm still building up and bolstering my Canon system for PJ wedding coverage. But thanks for the read and especially the photos!

Mani Macchiato

Interesting article. I've always thought you to be a pretentious guy after reading that street photography manifesto that claimed you could only shoot street with a Leica M, only a Leica M and Tri-X.

Leica has become a maker of fetish items that the majority of photographers can't afford. I was waiting for another camera manufacturer to create something with the same spirit of an M (quiet, stealthy, similar for factor) but without the outdated features and exorbitant prices.

I appreciate the perspective and I'm pleased that you find the Fuji an adequate performer on the street. I haven't yet decided to purchase one yet, and may wait for the next iteration. But I will be moving to the Fuji system at some point because it seems to fit my needs.

Truth be told I could easily afford an M, but refuse to support a company that is no longer concerned with photography in the hands of photographers.


i'm gonna make"fuji" red dots that stick on the front of x-pro1's, and make millions. Millions i say. cool read.

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