Buddhafield: shooting with the Leica M type 240 (guest post)


Recently I  purchase the new Leica M. Updating my Leica M9. With all digital cameras I have owned in the past 12 years and used professionally i have tended to push them as far as they go. There really is no point pussy footing around. I really can’t stand the comments about noise, It is like grain. For me if a picture has depth, atmosphere and compelling  subject matter you are there. This recent project I undertook was at a family retreat on Dartmoor in England. I was there with my two boys, my partner and her children. The kids ran feral and we had time to relax. The images were taken for no particular reason. Purely because I love making pictures. For me it is meditation and immensely enjoyable. At the end of the week I was able to paste them together to make some kind of narrative . An insight into the weeks events. I think it works and gives a feel without being intrusive.

Technical buff for all those interested.

I have three lens 50mm 0.95 Noctilux. I have a love hate relationship with this monster, mainly because of it’s size. On the M9 it was a bitch to use. In the 90’s I worked a lot with 10x8 Gandolfi, Polaroid and transparency film for editorial and also a Pentax 6x7. Camera’s are simply tools. like a Carpenter has sharp chisels.

The reason for purchasing the Noctilux was simply because it has a similar feel to that old stuff.

The other lens are: 35mm 1.4 Summilux. Oh my, this is magic when you get it right . sharper than the monster above and good for every thing. Also an 18mm Zeiss f4. Again I did not use this so much with the M9 because of the stupid view finder. On the M it is joy to work with.

I also recently purchased an EVF to give it a go. I am no Leica snob. I don’t care what the camera looks like so long as it gives you results. It is perfect for precision focusing in fast demanding situations. Yes it would be sensational if the EVF was in the viewfinder. I owned an x100 for 4 months and then threw it away.

I won’t bore you any longer here is a link to the book. The iso rating was 6400 for the images shot at night without a tripod of the fire on the hill. A little noise reduction was used in Lightroom but not much. All the images were processed in Lightroom 5:


The Buddhafield family retreat was taken exclusively with the Leica M. The Rise Up Singing Dartmoor camp was also taken with the M. There are links to small film on the back page The EVF would have been useful here. I wont tell you what the others books were taken with you will have to guess. Comments welcome.

Roy James Shakespeare

Shooting with the Leica M type 240
If you have an interesting idea for a guest postyou can contact me here.

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  • Mardock

    “I owned an x100 for 4 months and then threw it away.”

    As an anecdotal statement, that comes off as ignorant.

    • It’s his money, his choice. It isn’t as if he’s running for office or trying to persuade me that his way is the right way. I have not use the Fuji so either way it doesn’t matter to me.

      It would only be arrogant if he threw away the Fuji without using it.

      • Mardock

        If he means he figuratively threw it away, then the statement is merely arrogant. If he literally threw away a perfectly good camera (did not sell it or was not generous enough to give it to someone who might actually want/need a camera of that calibre), then he’s a wasteful fool and a big part of what’s wrong with the rich 1-percenters in our world today.

        And it’s MY choice to make that observation.

        • You are more than welcome to make that observation. I don’t have a problem with that. I simply disagree. I assumed that he gave the Fuji to an op-shop. I don’t like waste, either.

    • roy james shakespeare

      i sold it on ebay .. for a few hundred less than i purchased it for .. bargain .. it is meant to be a JOKE la la la you peeps are so serious sometimes .. WTF .. yes i also blasted it max iso at night it can see in the dark ..quite naughty sometimes .. it is actually quite a good little camera ,, just not for me .. sense of humour .. I

      • Mardock

        Then possibly better to take more time to weave the “joke” [humor] into the body of the original text, rather than have to explain that it’s a joke later in defense of your original writings.

        Glad to hear you didn’t actually throw it away, though. That would have been a waste of a fine camera.

        And, no, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it not being the camera for you. That is why we have choice; many fine instruments out there today.

  • overgaadcom

    Really beautiful work!

    • roy james shakespeare

      Thank YOU

      • roy james shakespeare

        why did you ban me from your face book page !!!!!!!!! ?????

  • Mardock

    Some nice images there, but nothing that couldn’t have been shot with any quality camera, frankly.

    • I would agree on principle, and you are not wrong… but the thing is, he has decided that he would not take photos with cameras that don’t inspire any love. Perhaps this sounds stupid to many people, but so what of it? We take photos (usually) because of emotion. But we cannot be forced to exclude emotion from equipment choices (which is, I think, optional).

      There are some cameras I would never use (too boring like the Canon 7D, too crap like the Holga) and some I hope to experience one day.

      You can’t completely separate the tool from the result, and when you add human preferences, it’s more complex again. The Phase One IQ280 is a quality camera, as is the Leica X2. But you will not always get exactly the same results from either, no matter how hard you try.

      Even if this photographer had an M9 instead of the M240, he would not have been able to take exactly the same images.

      • Mardock

        That’s preposterous. A person does not choose carpentry because he likes to use a particular brand of hammer or saw. A musician does not create music only because he is inspired by the brand of his saxophone. A filmmaker does not make movies because he he loves an Arriflex or Panavision.

        When you buy a house, do you ask what brand of tools the builders used to construct it? Of course not.

        As to differing results from different gear, yes, that’s obvious. But aside from DOF and FOV, everything else can be set up to match in a camera’s profile, or tweaked afterwards in post.

        What matters here is vision, and an understanding of light, composition and moment. Those are what make a truly great photo, not the tool it was shot with.

        And btw, as tools go, the X2 is an overpriced, under-performing product. There are much better choices out there.

        • If I’m buying one of your photos, which means I am satisfied with your style and ability, then I won’t mind what camera you used. I might ask you out of mere curiosity. But if I’m taking a photo then I do very much care what camera I’m using.

          And if I’m buying a house, I will be enquiring as to what standards were applied in its construction.

          Ask a biologist if it matters what tools he’s using. Ask an aeronautical engineer, or a physicist, or anyone who works for a living.

          Not everything can be matched or tweaked in post, as you know just as well as I do. And many things can be – if you’re willing to spend the time. And then there are other things, besides DOF and FOV, which can affect the photo: size of the lens, weight of the camera, aspect ratio, frame rate, type of VF, power supply, capture method and so forth.

          You don’t like the X2? I’m sure you like at least one camera of its size and spec. So use that instead as the hypothetical

          • roy james shakespeare

            TOY camera’s are GREAT also

          • Mardock

            You mean like the X-Vario?

          • The X-Vario is a very good camera with an excellent lens. It might be too expensive for some people’s tastes, and I respect that. I’d prefer it to any DSLR with equivalent zoom, regardless of price or aperture. YMMV.

          • Mardock

            “Ask a biologist if it matters what tools he’s using. Ask an aeronautical engineer, or a physicist, or anyone who works for a living.”

            Ok, using that same logic, ask most professional photographers [who work for a living] what they actually DO use to get the job done. The answer, 9 times out of 10, will be a Nikon or a Canon DSLR. NOT a Leica. Why? Because the Leica is far too limited in comprehensive capabilities, too unresponsive in too many situations, with far too limited system support.

            There’s nothing wrong with Leica. Their lenses are great and the bodies are beautifully made. But they have morphed into more of a fashion accessory than a serious photographic instrument. As a photographic instrument, Leica are still largely stuck in the 1950s.

            IQ differences are negligible, if decipherable at all.

            And these are all the reasons why few pros actually use Leica. That’s fact.

            btw: I seriously doubt you ask what sort of hammer was used to drive the nails used in your house … and biologists aren’t terribly concerned whether they look through a Nikon microscope or an Olympus … provided both provide specifications within the same tolerance.

          • Guest

            For someone who don’t like the M you are investing too much time thinking about it LOL

          • FWIW, you did not disagree with any of the points I made in my previous comment. Take it as you like it. I’m happy to leave it there.

        • roy james shakespeare

          some people buy houses because of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright for example .. Tools can also be very inspiring .. I have a 1964 Gibson Guitar it awesome beyond words .. You can know and trust a product . with you life sometimes .. great feeling ..

        • NoMeJodas

          “A musician does not create music only because he is inspired by the brand of his saxophone”

          Some of the musicians I know are actually more “fanatic” about their favorite brands than photographers 😉

      • roy james shakespeare

        I agree totally you said it better than me .. I am far to silly .. I Love LOMO photography .. WOW the greatest .. had an old rusky’ one Now have a digital harinezumi so much FUN

    • roy james shakespeare

      yes BUT if you HAD a choice between a porsche 911 and a FORD fiesta .. what would you prefer to drive to the beach in . !!!! LOL

      • Mardock

        Neither. I’d take the Shelby GT500.

  • Alex O’Neal

    Fantastic images, beautifully presented.

    Very impressed with the Issuu format for showcasing your work as well.

    • Yes, I did not know that it existed until now. I love the idea of photobooks and if they can be presented like that, electronically, the audience would expand hugely. I didn’t like all the photos, but I enjoyed the experience. They weren’t just a bunch of JPEGs in someone’s FTP directory.

    • roy james shakespeare

      Try Mag cloud also .. there it is possible to print copies ..

  • bleeding eyes

    You have wonderfully captured the story of Leica…… A tasteless collection of eye watering HDR photos, often with halos, by a soccer dad of his kids in pajamas. Bravo!

    • roy james shakespeare

      aarrr thank you so much .

  • Lux


  • Not all of the images are brilliant, but the photographer has done some pretty good photojournalism (i.e. lived or participated in a kind of lifestyle and shared it with an audience).

    And there’s everything right about taking photos with cameras you love. It is not a rare thing to hear that the Leica is very seductive.

  • roy james shakespeare

    Thank you for all you comments ,, very amusing to read .. I am a very BAD BOY people do not understand my sense of humour sometimes it is hard to get across in words .. all the best to you all .

    • leica fan

      We don’t understand humour and you don’t understand photography. We can all agree to that 🙂

      • roy james shakespeare


  • NoMeJodas

    Nice work! Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the Neukölln fotos the most because this is one of my favorite districts in Berlin 🙂

    • roy james shakespeare

      Thank you Now this was taken with the x100 perfect for the job

  • Leon Roy

    Looks like a magical time was had by all. You’ve really captured the spirit of the occasion!

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