So I am confronted with tricksiness at every turn.
Well, perhaps not every turn, but still.
As expected, the Leica MP Classic is a sensual delight with which to take photographs. All the major controls — shutter, aperture, exposure, film advance — all work perfectly sensibly, and with no discernible hitch.
At longer exposure times, the camera makes a subdued mechanical noise that, more that anything, underlines this camera’s main, abiding quirk: no batteries. Ever.
I suppose an M3 or M4 would have the same effect, but the MP is a new camera; I had become quite accustomed to the idea that nothing would attain this level of Craft until it crossed my mind to investigate what Leica was up to only a month ago.
Not without complication — at the same time, I am learning:
- A new camera;
- Exposure calculation — or rather, estimation — without a meter;
- The behaviour of a new film, the Rollei Retro 400*;
- The interaction of same with my darkroom chemicals;
* The film’s manufacturer states that it is essentially identical to Agfa’s APX400, which is still a film I have no experience with.
Naturally, the first film to emerge contained some disappointments.
Actually, disappointment is too strong a word; rather, let me call them specific evidence that the path I have chosen isn’t easy, straight or narrow.
That said, there are a few frames on the film which hint at the potential inherent in this camera. Even allowing for my less than perfect exposure, darkroom and scanning technique, I can see what’s coming, and I can’t wait to develop the next film. Tonight.