Like a Leica

DSC RX1 | 1/80s f/5.6 ISO160 35mm

This photo pretty much sums up rainy season in Japan. When it's not raining, it's about to. A very localised storm headed our way this morning; I was alerted to its presence by a deep, rumbling thunder. Though I am no longer a child, it's still exciting to see hail falling from the sky, especially when it's 28ºC outside.

A7R & Voigtländer Nokton Classic 35mm F1.4 | 1/60s f/1.4 ISO500 35mm

Moving on to lunch, these three chaps beat me inside the restaurant – one of my favourites in Tokyo. I was meeting some friends for lunch, and was sheltering from the rain. I don't usually take photos of food, and rarely post them to my blog, but I will make an exception in this case. It's one of my favourite dishes; tantanmen.

A7R & Voigtländer Nokton Classic 35mm F1.4 | 1/60s f/2.2 ISO1000 35mm

Originally from China, where it's called "dan dan mein" - with mein sounding like mein in "chicken chow mein", this ramen noodle dish typically has a sesame sauce, with a bit of kick. It's simply divine!

A7R & Voigtländer Nokton Classic 35mm F1.4 | 1/80s f/2 ISO100 35mm

I wasn't the only thing eating! A few weeks ago, there was a 10-storey building here. I even took a photo (3rd photo in this post) of it, half eaten. I guess some of the University's budget needed spending....

A7R & Voigtländer Nokton Classic 35mm F1.4 | 1/200s f/8 ISO100 35mm

After lunch, I headed to Akihabara for a spot of shopping, and to meet a friend (a fellow audio/photophile - he takes fantastic product photography) for a few beers. The rain stopped, and intense sun shone through gaps in the clouds. The heat on the tarmac only increased the humidity, however.

A7R & Leica Summilux 50mm F1.4  1/250s f/1.4 ISO100 50mm

He had something rather interesting with him – a Leica M240 and Summilux 50mm F1.4 (pre-ASPH). I knew he would have this on his person, and cunningly brought my M-to-E adaptor. The above shot marks the first on my blog and indeed in my life, taken with the venerable summilux.

A7R & Leica Summilux 50mm F1.4 | 1/160s f/2 ISO100 50mm

 I liked it a lot.

A7R & Leica Summilux 50mm F1.4 | 1/250s f/1.4 ISO100 50mm

Uh oh. Had I better start saving??

A7R & Voigtländer Nokton Classic 35mm F1.4 | 1/60s f/1.4 ISO1600 35mm

There was something interesting about shooting a Japanese camera, with a german lens, in a Japanese British-themed "pub". There were links between all, but each facet is distinctly different. The Leica M240 is quite literally built like a tank. It made my A7R feel almost fragile. Same goes for its lens. The Japanese instruments have more high tech, but arguably fewer quality parts, as well as reduced (or no) time spent on refining ergonomics and the "feel" of the camera. In some ways, it's a bit like being in a "pub" in Japan. There are more options, and arguably a better ordering system than a real British pub back in Blighty, but it doesn't feel anything like a real pub.

And that probably sums up the A7R in my eyes. It's a fantastic camera. I haven't even scratched the surface of what it can do. But when I picked up that Leica, with just one lens, I felt that I could just use this camera and lens combo for 99% of my shooting, and rely on nothing else. In my opinion, Sony almost achieved this feeling with the RX1. Obviously not quite, else I wouldn't have the A7R...