From the first time I went out with my new Leica M9 I could not believe how much I missed the days of manual photography. Granted that the Leica M9 has plenty of automated features (like Aperture priority shooting), but the need to construct your shot with this camera took me back to the golden days of manual photography. Point-and-shoot is definitely not what this camera is all about. With the M9 I found myself back in the world of photography as art. Composition, aperture, f-stop, distance, white balance, etc., were again something I had to think about, and this gave me the feeling that photography was once more all about the photographer than about the camera. You, the photographer, are back in charge, but with an extremely modern work of art at your disposal. The experience is so great that you tend to put up with some of the challenges presented by these rangefinders: people with glasses find it hard to see the whole finder coverage, you sometimes forget you have the lens cap on, some lenses partially cover the rangefinder view, and the viewer doesn't have all the info goodies we have grown used to with late model DSLR's. The thing is that after taking this camera for a ride, you really won't care much about what's not there. You'll be plenty distracted with the art of making photographs. That's right, the Leica M9 is not one of those cameras that allow you to "get lucky." Leica photographs are the product of some photographic reflection, composition, and manipulation of the simple functions of photography. You will have to put some time on taking a photo, but the rewards brought about by impeccable optics and a machine reminiscent of a high-end Mercedes Benz will make every minute worth it. Never thought that photography on the slow lane would be that much fun.
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