Christopher R. King

In My Words

10 Oct

Leica: Picture Perfect

October 10, 2017

The comparison made between the buying of a Leica camera and the purchase of a luxury car is well-earned. The quality and craftsmanship were apparent from the first time I picked up my Leica Q.

Much like a Greubel Forsey, the Leica is a precision crafted masterpiece. Any brand that takes this level of detail and craftsmanship gains my respect. For me, there is no substitute. I first heard from a good friend about his experience with the camera, but at that time I wasn’t sure anything mattered more than megapixels, aperture, shutter speed, and whether the camera was digital or a traditional film camera. For me, I have always loved photography and believe that to capture a story; you have to be able to visualize it. So, when I heard about the history of the Leica, I was intrigued.

The beautifully designed form of the Leica Q and its weight felt right in my hands from the first time I picked it up. It was immediately clear that this was no ordinary camera. The precise German engineering was far superior to anything I’d experienced in a camera before. Since its founding in 1924, Leica has designed and created traditional film cameras that have captured the imagination of professional and amateur photographers alike. Now, Leica produces the most sophisticated digital cameras in the world. There is a distinct pleasure gained through the use of a precision instrument employing the most exceptional mechanisms and attention to quality.

In the years before the start of WWI, Oskar Barnack created the original prototypes that would give rise to the legend that is Leica. Ernst Leitz was so impressed with Barnack’s design and craftsmanship that he forever attached his name to the soon to be an iconic instrument. The new Leitz camera was branded “Leica.” The Leica premiered at the 1925 Leipzig Spring Fair and was an immediate success. After WWII, increased foreign competition along with reduced costs dramatically impacted the European camera industry. However, professional and serious photographers remained loyal to the brand as Leica maintained its commitment to uncompromising quality and innovative design.

Not only does my Leica produce near perfect images, but it has the weight and feel that so many newer digital cameras lose. I love knowing that I’m using a device that has evolved from camera designs that have taken some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. It feels like tapping into the creativity of photographers of the past. Leica uses only the finest lenses, leaving crystal clear images that genuinely represent reality in a snapshot.

In today’s world, it is a rarity to find luxury goods made by hand to exact specifications that will last for years and years while continuing to outperform all others. Leica cameras do all of this in spades. My Leica camera pushes me to be a better photographer. When it comes to the price of these exceptional works of art, it takes only a few minutes in my hand or a few snaps of the shutter to realize that the end product justifies the cost.

Leica Q Camera

Leica Q

Moments captured with a blur or with the wrong lighting are everywhere. I scroll through Instagram and Facebook and am often surprised that people post the photos that they do. Essentially, they must have a strong desire to share that millisecond of their lives with the world, but more than 95% of those milliseconds captured in digital photography are not worth keeping. With my Leica Q, I know the photographs I capture will be preserved with pure clarity, always ready to remind me of that exact moment in my life. Picture perfect.