Tagged: Leica X2

Me & My Cameras

210805-100207-JEH21If you see me out and about, this is what you might see.  The camera may be either horizontal or vertical, but it will most likely be the Sony A6400.  It took me a while, but this camera is replacing all of my Fujifilm and Pentax cameras.  I am keeping the Leica X2 and the Olympus TG-6 for special uses.

Is the A6400 my dream camera?  No.  I would prefer something that is not as complex.  My dream camera would also depend upon my subjects and what focal length I would need; but, the lens would probably be a normal to wide focal length prime lens.

I decided to continue with the A6400 since it is a small lightweight versatile camera with which I can maximize the amount of my photography as I age.  If I continued with the Pentax K-3 III, I would need to reduce the amount of time I carried and used it due to its weight; therefore, I sold my Pentax gear and I’m using the Sony A6400.

As you can see below, I am managing to get my cameras and lenses down to a size I prefer.  Also note that lovely hood that comes on the Sony 20mm pancake lens in the image below.  The image above shows the camera with the Sony 35mm f/1.8 lens.  I also have the smallish 18-135mm lens in case I need it for the range and image stabilization.

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Necessity

I’m keeping all of my Pentax gear, but I’m getting serious about switching to lighter weight cameras for my photography.  I took a stroll around my house in the morning with my X2 camera and my cane while I made these.  It is looking more like using lighter cameras will become more of a necessity sooner than I hoped.  But, I’m hopeful it is temporary situation.  I’m under going some changes in my medicines and diet to relieve another problem and the downside is more trouble with my back due to necessary changes in medicines.

While I’m sort of limited in my photography I have decided to try and find a compromise style between my monochrome images and the over saturated colors that many others like, but I don’t.  For these I adjusted the saturation by -50 in LR.

X2 Simple, Smaller, Lighter

It shouldn’t make any difference to my blog viewers, but I have acquired another camera.  My intention was to only use my Pentax DSLR for all of my photography, until I couldn’t.  I fully expected that the day would come when I couldn’t handle the size and weight of my Pentax system; therefore, I have been keeping my eye open for something a lot smaller, lighter, simpler, and fun to use.  I found it long before I really needed it.  I can still use my Pentax system for everything I need to photograph, but now, I not sure that I want to.

I used to have a Leica X2 camera and always liked it but sold it to a friend many years ago … probably in 2017.  I hoped that a newer camera would come along that was similar but with newer sensor, LCD, processor, etc.  It hasn’t.

I only sold the X2 since I needed different gear for photographing Homewood events, etc.  Since such photography has been almost nonexistent for some time now, I have decided to move on and only own cameras that I like for my personal photography.  I have now found a used Leica X2 that is almost like new, and I bought it when I had the chance.  There may never be a similar camera manufactured again … or at least I might not live long enough to enjoy one.

My current intention, or desire, is to primarily use the X2 for a while and see what I can make with it.  Yes, I am well aware that my intentions are always subject to quick changes, and have changed back and forth many times over the years.

For now, my K-3 III and lenses are resting peacefully in a drawer in my photography cabinet.  My quick reaction would be to sell all of the Pentax gear and just use smaller cameras like the Leica X2, but having gone down that route several times in the past only to get another one, I am going to not act so impulsively this time.  There are definite times where only the Pentax gear would work, but I’m not sure if the need will arise, or even if it does, whether I want to pursue it in the future.

I might decide to get back on a track I have often expressed doing, and continue to reduce, simplify, and do less photography as time goes on.  I’m definitely thinking more about it.

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I used a single effective 35mm lens to make these pictures as I walked around a block.  I might continue with such a lens for my pictures around Hanover, but I also want to try different focal lengths before I decide.  The advantages with a fixed 35mm lens are size and weight, and that it works well for images like these.

Nice Colors

170329-192622-17JEHI captured this image on my Leica X2 last evening.  What you see is a jpeg image as it came from the camera which was set to vivid film preset.  I love the details of the cloud including the colors.  I also captured the same image at the same time as a raw DNG file so that I could use LR to try and make my own preset to tweak DNG files to create the equal of the jpeg.  I haven’t been able to do it yet and doubt that I will succeed.  The jpeg has more depth, variability in the colors, etc.

I also captured many other, different images, including high contrast B&W jpegs plus DNG files with the thought that I would develop my own presets.  I can get closer with the B&W images but I haven’t matched them either.  The lesson I have learned … if I like/prefer the Leica file renderings I will have to use Leica jpegs.

It also means that there is no way that I can mix and match images from my various cameras if I use jpegs.  So far this hasn’t been a problem since I have used a single camera for each event or output.  I would expect it to be a problem if I mixed camera jpegs in one book.  So far I haven’t in the three books I have made.

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.

LF1 Thoughts … It’s Pocketable

As I reduce the number of my cameras, I keep evaluating the pros and cons of the remaining ones as I slowly reduce the number and decide whether I need another camera other than the Fuji X-T1.  Yesterday I sold all of my Canon gear (70D and five lenses) as well as my Leica X2 camera.  This morning I started thinking harder about my Lumix LF1.

The advantages of the LF1 are that it fits in any pocket, takes pretty good macro images, and has great depth of field.  When I walked Misty this morning I had it in a hip pocket of my jeans.  The disadvantage can be the image quality, but that depends on how the camera is used and how much light is available.

I took the above pictures while walking this morning as the sun was starting to clear the trees on the horizon.  The light was just adequate for the camera.  My preference is to use the camera for small details like with the small feather, but it even works for distant photographs like this morning’s moon.

Based on the above images and my ability to carry the camera in a small pocket, I am thinking harder about keeping the LF1.  Since I am trying to get down to one or two cameras, I now have to decide whether to keep the LF1 or the Nikon J5 which is larger, has a larger sensor, and theoretically should have better image quality.  As it looks now, I am thinking that the LF1 will make a better compliment to the Fuji X-T1 and prime lenses, but the final decision will depend upon how and when I decide to use a second camera.