New Year’s Eve! Tuesday night is party night this year.
Take some time to go through this Decade in Pictures story from the Times. Very impactful. It contains John Tlumacki‘s marathon finish line photo. As it should.
It’s been many years since I stood in line to go to the No Name restaurant. They didn’t have a liquor license, you brought your own. But it became one of those, nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded, types of places. Sad to see it closing.
If you’re a photographer, should you consider an expensive digital rangefinder?
I’ve been using a Leica M9 rangefinder for almost ten years. It’s been a great camera. It forced me to get back to the basics of photography. Prime lenses. Framing each shot. Manual focusing. Considering exposure and depth of field for each press of the shutter. It was limiting but also liberating.
It’s easy to let the computer inside a modern camera do a lot of those things for you and I think I was falling into that trap. Too much automation can make photography rote. I still use my Nikon DSLR and mirrorless cameras and zoom lenses for speed and versatility, especially when traveling – but alongside the Leica.
Digital technology has a lifespan and, after ten years, the CCD sensor in the M9 was getting a little dated. It still produced beautiful warm RAW images but there was no live view and no ability to do focus peaking for very narrow depth of field shots – something becoming more important for my aging eyes.
I sat out several generations of upgrades to Leica’s rangefinders, successors to the M9, like the M240, the M and a few other variants. I thought the advances were negligible and didn’t warrant the price. My M9 was working just fine. Then, in 2017, Leica released the M10. It had a new 24mp CMOS sensor, a larger optical viewfinder and, most importantly, the ability to use a high resolution electronic viewfinder. Now I was tempted.
So after waiting (and saving) for a year or so I decided to pull the trigger. I checked the B&H used inventory and found an ‘open box special’ for an M10-P, a more expensive version of the M10 with no red dot and a quieter shutter. Because it had been a demo unit it was priced lower than a regular new M10. So I ordered it.
Although impeccably engineered, the original M9 was a slightly awkward looking camera. It was the first Leica rangefinder designed for a full frame digital sensor. To fit the electronics and a full frame sensor that could accommodate traditional M lenses, the camera ended up being a little thick and it had some jutting edges. But the photos were amazing so all that was forgiven.
Aesthetically and ergonomically the M10-P seems close to perfect to me. It’s beautiful to look at. The controls make sense. It feels solid in the hand. It’s the thinnest digital M yet. And the quiet shutter is incredible. The damping gives it a nice feel and you barely hear the Pa-lunk sound.
How are the images? I attached a 35mm Summilux lens to the camera. This lens is a little soft wide open but it’s a classic and I wanted to see how it looked with this new sensor. Pretty good, it turns out. Images had that classic Kodachrome look. The sensor was at least as good as the CCD in the M9 in its color tone and rendition.
I have been using the M10-P for just over a year now and it has not disappointed. It has been a pleasure to use. (My new favorite lens to use with it is the Voiglander Nokton 40mm f/1.2.) Here are a few more photos from the M10-P.
Leica gear is expensive, no getting around that. But the quality is undeniable.
Is something like the Leica M10-P worth the cost? I like to think of these Leica rangefinders as my version of a mid-life-crisis Harley Davidson, something a lot of people in my shoes go for. In that light the cost is not so bad. So yes, for me it was worth it. Your milage, of course, may vary.
If you want to take the T to work you have to get to the station. If you don’t live near the station you have to drive to it. And then you have to park. Many lots are full by the morning rush and because of supply and demand prices for parking go up. And that’s on top of your T pass. Eventually you run the numbers and find it’s cheaper, quicker and more convenient to just drive in and park. That’s unfortunate but it’s a reality for a lot of people.
Cumberland Farms, owned by a large British retail network, is ready to throw its corporate weight behind a 2020 MA ballot question to lift the cap on the number of food stores that can sell alcohol. And if successful, according to David Rabinovitz at The Dig, that could also increase the number of retail stores that can sell marijuana, since the latter is based is a formula of the number of stores selling alcohol.
Magnolia was a great film, one of my all time favorites. But was it really 20 years ago?
Wyze, which sells security cameras and smart home devices, reports it exposed user data for 2.4 million of its customers.
And if this year has left you depressed, watch this short Iranian film. It’s just under two minutes and won an award at the Luxor Film Festival. It will make your day.
A company is developing algorithms to predict traffic the way forecasters predict the weather. Not sure what the point would be. I drove into work through Boston traffic for more than 20 years and by the end of that time I could predict congestion pretty damm well. But you still had to deal with it. Unlike the weather, you can’t dress for traffic.
The Globe is starting to notice the gap between reality and promise in the state executive branch. I think Baker has done a reasonable job under the circumstances, especially with the Registry and MBTA. It’s hard to manage/reform unionized agencies that have been seeded with political job seekers over the years. But sometimes you have to pick the hard battles.