Leica X2 & D Day Through German Eyes

I got a smaller and lighter camera to use along with my Fuji X-Pro2.  I bought a used Leica X2 so that I had a camera to always take with me that wasn’t as heavy to carry and so that I could take it in a small bag, or jacket, or vest pocket.  But equally important to me … it is a very simple minimalist camera.  It is simpler, smaller, and weighs about 26% less than the Fuji X100F which I had been waiting on; but I’m not waiting any longer.  I prefer the more basic X2 except for the LCD, the dynamic range, and fewer pixels.  The Leica LCD is of poorer quality in today’s technology standards but I plan to get an EVF to use with the X2 so that I can compose better in sunlight.  More on how I hope to use the X2 in a later post.

Maybe all the Germans living around me have had some influence on me.  In addition to getting the Leica, I started reading a book called D Day, Through German Eyes.  The author’s grandfather had planned to write the book based on his interviews of troops who were there.  He had interviewed them before D Day and then later looked some of them up and interviewed them again in the early 1950s.  He died before he finished the small book so his grandson wrote it for him using his notes.  It is a good description of what it was like on D Day.

Still Testing

I’m still testing a Leica X2 camera.  It is an older camera that I purchased used.  One question that I had was whether I could just use it with jpeg images and not use the DNG files.  The above images are all vivid jpeg images that I was testing.  I was concerned with the colors and how much tweaking the files could withstand.  The first two are extensive crops that have been resized.  I have no problems with cropping or the colors.  The last image is straight out of the camera.  Looking good so far.

On the Other Side

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I do most of my photography for Homewood with the X-Pro2 using the program mode since I need to work fast under changing conditions; so, what I am writing about in this article doesn’t apply to my event photography.  I am writing now about how I photograph my own work when I am experimenting and learning.  As I have done this, I have been exploring more types of photography with my X-Pro2 and the HX80.  I like the size of the HX80 and I can do a lot with it, more than many would expect; but, there are times when I need more.

The things I really like about the X-Pro2 are the controls.  I can make the changes I need to make just by looking at and changing the external dials.  Not having this capability is alright if I’m photographing in program or auto modes, but is much harder to photograph in manual mode with the HX80 which doesn’t have the nice controls of the X-Pro2.  And don’t forget that the capability and image quality of the HX80 are way less than what the X-Pro2 has.

I have been doing more experimenting while I practiced with the above cameras.  As I have been doing this, I have been finding the value in photographing in manual mode.  This realization, along with the limitations of the IQ and controls of the HX80, have started me wondering if I can find another camera that is in between the size and weight of the X-Pro2 and the HX80; but choosing one involves other compromises, constraints, and changes, including my continual battle with finding things to photograph, deciding whether I am going to need/use longer focal lengths, considering weight and size issues related to my physical abilities, etc.

The above have moved me to keep going lighter and smaller with my cameras, but ones with better controls, so I have been thinking about going back to the older Leica X2 or the older Panasonic LX100 or the Leica D-Lux 109.  I had a Leica X2 once before, and I am going to give it another try first.  I liked the minimalist simplicity of the camera in addition to its small size and its external controls.  I should have another used one in my hands this coming week to check out.

Reality

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Split view on life.  There is what’s real, what is happening right outside our window, and there is also what we imagine, what isn’t as it seems.  Many focus only on the make-believe.  That is bad when it comes to politics; but can be interesting when it comes to photography since it gives us a chance to be creative while entertaining ourselves.

I take pictures for the folks here at Homewood at Plum Creek.  Those pictures need to be accurate renditions of how things are, depictions of reality.  For my personal photography, I often like to do otherwise.  I prefer to show things as I see them, or as what they can be as Minor White would say.  The problem is, “it isn’t easy”.  It still requires me to go out and about and look for ideas, and there are too many reasons not to go out, especially this time of the year.