My first encounter with the legendary Leica Noctilux was about ten years ago, when one of my good friends returned from a holiday in Switzerland with his new Leica M6 and an assortment of Leica lenses—all given to him by his grandfather! Yes, GIVEN! And among those lenses was the Leitz Noctilux f1. I remember seeing those first images Michael shot on his new M6, wide open, with the Noctilux, and I remember thinking, "My goodness, I couldn't care less if there's no actual point of focus in the image!" The way that Noctilux rendered was just breathtaking.
Leica has long been known as the weapon of choice for street/documentary photographers. And rightfully so. The size and unobtrusiveness of the Leica M, combined with those superb little lenses, makes it the perfect tool in hand for this type of photography. There's something about the Leica that just causes people to let you in—precisely my goal when shooting on the streets, or in a village somewhere. My goal is simply to be allowed the opportunity to exist within the space of my subjects—and not be an outsider.
The word "downsizing" has good and bad connotations nowadays, depending on the context in which it's used. When used to describe camera gear, it's a good term, especially with the advent of mirrorless camera systems.
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