Leica M7 with Voigtlander 15mm and Kodak TMAX 100 film

Back to film, still my favorite medium for taking images. As I have written in previous posts, I mainly shot medium format these days but there are still cases where 35mm format suits me. Basically in two cases, when I shoot at available light, where I can use f1.4 lenses with Delta 3200 and when I want to use a very wide angle lens. My widest focal length in medium format is 28mm, but on my Leica I can use the fantastic Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 lens.

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(Location: Kastoria, GREECE).

It’s a great lens (and a bargain for its price) which is also very very small, so in combination with the small Leica M7 body makes a great combo for ultra wide images. My film of choice once again was the Kodak TMAX 100 and I permanently had an orange filter attached on the lens to enhance contrast.

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(Location: Kastoria, GREECE).

This is actually the third film in a row that I shot with the specific setup. By only having the Voigtlander 15mm attached on my camera, it makes me search for proper subjects and at the same time does not make me anxious trying to change different lenses all the time in order to capture everything. It’s really a liberating process for me, since I have found myself many times struggling to choose the perfect setup and not actually making images. I don’t like zoom lenses, they are large and heavy, and most times they cannot provide the image quality of a good prime.

A small and light camera is best for my way of doing images. If I need to shoot a landscape with the Fuji GSW690 or the Gaoersi 617 I will almost always do it in a reasonable distance from my car, but when walking long distances I don’t like bulk and weight.

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(Location: Kissos, GREECE)

About the Leica M7, I am sure that it’s merits have been discussed and praised all over the Internet but I must also add my personal opinion. For me, there’s nothing like the feeling of operating this wonderful rangefinder camera. It really is a fantastic piece of machinery, and a joy to use. Furthermore I really love the whole process of shooting film: compose, meter and just shoot. Rewind the film advance lever and go for the next photo, no LCD screen to check, just focus on making images. I am sure that most prefer the digital way these days, but for me shooting a film camera makes my day !!

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(Location: Tsagkarada, GREECE).

About the Voigtlander 15mm, it’s a great quality lens and on film it works perfect. It can also take filters which is very important for me since I often will use an orange or red filter when shooting b&w film. I can also use ND filters to cut light when I want to. A polarizer filter of course will not work good on a such a wide angle lens, so I tend to avoid it. The latest version (which I own) is rangefinder coupled, so you can focus accurately (although at f5.6 pretty much is everything in focus).

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When shooting architecture, it requires much attention in order to avoid distortion as any other wide angle lens. I am not always so thorough in this area, but when I pay extra attention, the results are great.

Finally, a few words about Kodak TMAX 100. It’s a great film with very fine grain and it works very well with filters. For my last rolls I used the TMAX developer (which is supposed to work great with this film), but for a strange reason I prefer the results I get when I develop it with Ilford Ilfotec DD-X. That probably due the fact that for years, DD-X is my main developer, so maybe I have learned to use it well. For my next rolls with the M7/15mm setup, I will probably get back to Ilford Pan F Plus, a wonderful 50 ISO film which produces great images (the slow 50 ISO speed can be a burden sometimes, but the results are great).

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(Location: Platamonas, GREECE).

That’s all for today, enjoy the rest of the images.

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(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.

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4 Responses to Leica M7 with Voigtlander 15mm and Kodak TMAX 100 film

  1. Υπέροχη δουλειά Κωνσταντίνε! Όλο το blog είναι καταπληκτικό…

  2. Wonderful images with this lens, i like it very much.

    now with working link

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