I'm not big on discussions about camera and lighting gear; I feel like that can lead to being distracted from photography, and that lots of people in this profession have become distracted. I want to focus more on my love of making photos, and less on the tools that I work with. But I've been trying to focus my process a bit more, specifically with the wedding side of things, and trying out new cameras/lenses is a step in that direction.
Last week I rented a Leica M9 and a Leica 35mm F/2 lens for 4 days, planning to use it for a Virginia wedding (photos to come). It's a very expensive camera. The body and lens totaling near $10k. I was hoping to be blown away and at the end of the week admitting that it's worth every penny and then start figuring out what to sell and how to convince my wife that I needed one...Luckily this wasn't exactly the case. I really enjoyed using it, I like using the rangefinder focusing system, where you have a double of the image in a little box in the center of the screen, and you line it up with the rest of the frame. Even though this camera lacks autofocus, you can basically focus in near darkness, while I need a bit more light to manually or autofocus my Canon 5d (MK1). So that was great. Super helpful during receptions. I don't know, maybe I'm just use to my Canon, but I didn't feel like the images were any better. I would look at things 100% in Lightroom, and when I nailed the focus, they were very sharp, but everything else - color, contrast, noise, etc. just didn't blow me away. This being said, its a lovely machine - so much fun and fast to use, so uber cool looking, small and lightweight, the kind of things I want in a digital rangefinder. I just wish it had a good autofocus and/or a more reasonable price range, and I'd be sold. I don't know if the market could support it, but Canon needs to make one of these. Here are some images from the week.