c/o chuen seng teoh
I am not going to lie. I have a soft spot for nice things. Unfortunately nice things usually cost a lot of money. Usually. The criteria I look at when considering an object is its design, aesthetics, material, form and function. The elements should work in harmony to make a product that I enjoy using every day.
Furthermore, what the object cost should be appreciated for the intense labor (artisanal products), effort (craftsmanship) and material (high quality and well-thought) put into making the product and not just because of a brand name or celebrity status.
One such thing that I have the privilege to own is the Leica M240 camera with Leica Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH Lens. The M range from Leica are rangefinder type of cameras and are fully manual. No auto-focus. No flash. Just a dial in the front of the lens to select the aperture and a focal ring to manually bring a subject into focus. There is an aperture priority mode where the shutter speed is adjusted by the camera according to the aperture selected and available lighting. There is no landscape mode, portrait mode, night mode, etc.
c/o Leica AG
What it lacks, when compared to a modern entry level DSLR camera, it provides in spades in the form of creativity space. In my experience, I am forced to learned by necessity, the fundamentals to make a good picture. That means to control the camera to obtain the right exposure and the right composition to finally make the picture. What is right, however, is a topic for another blog post.
By honing my technical knowledge with the simplicity of the Leica M, I gain confidence in my ability to create what I see into a picture. It allows me the creative space to make art instead of focusing on the gear itself. It simply gets out of the way, leaving just you alone with the art waiting to be created. That is what I love most about the Leica M.
As you can see from the video above showing how a Leica lens is made, it is a meticulous process involving many engineers, designers and trained experts to make one. There is a lot of value that goes into the product and one can feel it when holding it in their hands.
It is truly a great product that brings joy with every use.