Leica IIIf, 26 November 2011


I’m switching gears a bit here, since I have plenty of other photos to post – have I mentioned lately that I have a massive backlog of photo scans to work through?

LeicaIIIf CHI TMax100 Broadway&Granville01B

LeicaIIIf CHI TMax100 Broadway&Granville02B

LeicaIIIf CHI TMax100 BroadwayBankBldg01B

LeicaIIIf CHI TMax100 BroadwayBankBldg02B

LeicaIIIf CHI TMax100 BroadwayBankBldg03B

Photo Information:

Location: Chicago, Illinois; Edgewater Neighborhood
Camera: Leica IIIf
Lens: Leitz 50mm f/2 Summitar (Photos 1 & 3); 135mm f/4.5 Hektor (Photos 2, 4, & 5)
Film: Kodak TMax 100

The subject of Photos 1 & 2 is Granville Pictures, a frame shop located (appropriately enough) at Broadway and Granville in the Edgewater Neighborhood (north of my home neighborhood of Uptown). I particularly liked the old signs hanging over the storefronts, as well as the clock on the corner of the building; the building detailing isn’t so bad, either. The subject of Photos 3, 4, & 5 is the Broadway Bank Building (completed in 1925 and designed by R. Bernard Kurzon; formerly Riviera-Burnstine Motor Sales), located on Broadway & Elmdale – also in the Edgewater Neighborhood. One can infer that most of the first floor space behind the storefronts was once an open floor space to accommodate the car displays for which the building was originally designed. Based on the older photo in the AIA Guide to Chicago, there was once a large sign bolted to the corner of the building; you can see the attachment points in Photo 5.

As you should be able to infer from the title of this post, I shot these photos with my Leica IIIf, an older screwmount camera (one of the last of the Barnack line of Leica designs). When I’m shooting 135 film, I do sometimes prefer using this camera (or my Contax IIa, which is roughly equivalent in terms of size and features) to my SLRs (like my FM-2 or AE-1 Program), due to the former being much more compact (and lighter) than the latter. For those of y’all who aren’t familiar with these cameras, the Leica is a rangefinder camera, which means that it lacks two features that add substantially to the weight and complexity of any SLR: 1) they lack the reflex mirror common to all SLRs; and 2) they also lack the large pentaprism viewfinder, which is a massive piece of mirrored glass. This does add some minor disadvantages to the rangefinder cameras, the most significant of which is that the viewfinder does not show what the lens itself is “seeing.” As such, it can be difficult to compose a shot, but this is generally only a problem the closer one gets to the subject of the composition (which includes telephoto shots). That being said, since I generally shoot from some distance away (most of my subjects, in case you haven’t yet noticed, are buildings and such), it usually isn’t much of a problem for me.



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