Of Usability and Accuracy

When I buy a new camera, I like to use the weeks spent here in Austin to work out its nuances and familiarize myself with its basic operations. There’s nothing worse than missing a shot because you’re fumbling with the lens, or trying to be sharp with focus. A rangefinder is still new to me, having used SLRs more, I’m used to seeing through the lens for focus. You set up your shot, make focus and what you see is what you get. But not with a rangefinder.

I’m much faster this way and yet there’s something about the ergonomics of the smaller, rangefinder body that makes the learning curve very shallow. After two rolls, the camera feels better in my hands. The lenses move with ease and I don’t second guess myself. I’m planning a big trip in March and this will be my primary camera of choice, along with the Hasselblad.

But first, I have to get this camera’s use dialed in. So I shoot what I know. Faces, favorite places and subjects that I’m comfortable with. Because when you shoot a photo of even the simplest thing with a Leica, it just looks so good. Now if I can just get some decent panning shots!

See more in the gallery.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=16203819 Sze Chun Chan

    Whoa, Leica…
    How much did you pay for it?

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      got it for a great price

  • http://twitter.com/cloudermilk Chris Loudermilk

    Gotta pull out the Pentax K1000 with the pancake fisheye lens and shoot some b&w…Very nice John

    • Virgil Q Staphbeard

      I’m sporting the K1000 as well!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3N6LP3TE3XZF3KLN663IJ4UZAY Craig

    Nice butt

  • jaerrod



    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      I sold the Contax to buy the Leica. Not rich, just a deal hound!

  • NoahGenda

    NATTY BOH!!!

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      best worst beer ever

  • Erick Moser

    I like the shot of that Beemer, and I’m guessing the self-reflection in the mirror of that other bike was intentional. Or was it?

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson


  • http://twitter.com/HarryShawd Harry

    Makes me inspired to dust off my old M6 mit ‘cron after seeing your new pictures. I love you John Probably.

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      Let’s see it!

  • Vidal Valdez

    Your pictures are just getting better and better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1375154064 Aaron Garcia

    How hard are you ballin’, man?

    Insanely nice bikes, insanely nice cameras… make a man wonder.

    • http://theradavist.com John Watson

      I live in a cheap city and save my money.

  • Kurt

    What film are you shooting?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Neopan 400