Tag Archives: Leica Guy

Even More Cigar Time

Emily Therese, The Leica Lady, and I went to NYC for the weekend. We met up with model/actress Shayna D’Albora and hung out and shot some photos. Later Emily and I went to a friend’s 60th birthday party at the zoo in central park. The next morning we hung out with Jackie and Antonio and went thrifting. It was nice to be back in NYC.

All photos taken with Leica M9-P + 50 .95 Noctilux.


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Cigar Time


Four images taken by TheLeicaGuy Matthew B. Harrison of The Leica Lady Emily Therese in Northampton, Massachusetts while smoking on an Acid Blue Label Cigar. Two images of me, taken by her, in the same spot. Leica M9-P + .95 Noctilux. It was my black paint M9-P. She left hers at home.



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Adventures in Babysitting… er… Film


I recently purchased a Leica IIIf Red Dial Self Timer camera kit on ebay and it is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Included in the kit was the Leica IIIf Red Dial Self Timer body (serial #770089, ca. 1955) w/grey vulcanite, standard baseplate, takeup spool; Ernst Leitz Wetzlar 50mm f/2 Summicron (serial #921075, approx. 1951) w/front Leica cap; Ernst Leitz Wetzlar IROOA lens hood for Summicron lens; Ernst Leitz Wetzlar ‘Leicavit’ rapid winder w/original box; Ernst Leitz Wetzlar SBLOO 35mm brightline finder; Leica ever-ready case and strap for Leica camera w/Leicavit (bottom screw included but separate from case); Leica IIIf instruction manual; Leica box for LUOOX IIIF (Leica IIIf w/50mm f/2 Summicron) — not original to this camera; Chrome metal chain strap (not sure if Leica or not).

These images were taken with a vintage Leica iiif loaded with 400cn black and white film. The location is an abandoned industrial complex in Easthampton, Massachusetts. I am not sure what it was used for – but it certainly isn’t clear now considering how far abandoned and demolished it is. Makes for a great location for photos though.


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An update – thoughts and news

Did some shooting this weekend. Also did some grilling. Long summer weekends are the best for both.

I shot with GONE BY DAYLIGHT on Friday night. They needed promo photos and I shot them in an empty studio space in the building that houses my law office. I had four Profoto D1 500′s… one profoto Acute 2400 generator with a D4 head. Sid Vintage did the styling. Karrie Welch from Fortunate Face Minerals did the makeup.

GONE BY DAYLIGHT led up to their reputation. Fun, Good Times, and Great Shots filled our evening into the wee morning. I shot them using my Leica S2-P. Most of the shots featured the 70mm lens – as wide open as possible (2.5-5.6) using filters. I also used the 35mm for a few group shots as it was impossible to get them within the frame at such a narrow depth of field.

I love the Leica glass…. it’s sharp wide open. It’s calibrated to be so. No other glass I know is meant for that. So while shooting at 2.5 is crisp – it may not be enough depth to get everyone in focus. It was a problem that I solved by going wider.

Thanks go to Tricia Slate and Emily Therese for their amazing assisting of me during the shoot – including the pizza / drinks run. Thanks ladies!

Saturday, Karrie Welch came back and Emily Therese put her model hat on. Or off – in this case – as Karrie also did hair.

I used both the 70mm lens and the 180mm lens for full body and facial portraits respectively. I usually use the 70mm for everything – as I like that working distance between the model and my subject (especially if we are on location and others are around and I wanna keep my actions to a minimum.) However, in a studio setting when room is not an option – the 180 is an amazingly flattering lens. The compression on a subject’s face is probably the most flattering I have seen in a long time.

I added a second head to the 2400 generator and an Acute 1200 generator with a ringflash.

While I started shooting with my “patented” 7 light fashion setup… I didn’t do it exclusively for both looks. The second look only used 2 or 3 lights (depending upon the particular shot) and frankly, I liked that one a lot better. Sample photos will be up soon – as soon as I finish editing more than just a handful.

I guess I need to go back to school for studio lighting. Not literally… but I guess it’s time to invest in some books, some more modifiers, and some time. But it’s certainly nice to be re-inspired.

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Finding an optic similarity between the lens and the human eye

In researching human vision for my thesis, I decided that the Leica Noctilux f/.95 lens was the best choice for the creation of my images.

Noctilux .95

Starting with focal length:

A lens with a focal length approximately equal to the diagonal size of the film or sensor format is known as a normal lens; its angle of view is similar to the angle subtended by a large-enough print viewed at a typical viewing distance of the print diagonal, which therefore yields a normal perspective when viewing the print. If the frame size is 24mm x 36mm, the diagonal is 43.267mm.

Most manufacturers market the 50mm lens as the normal lens (despite being a few mm larger) as it is the optimum focal length that has zero distortion. The problem is that a 50mm lens only affords a 46-degree field of view that is significantly less than the human field of vision – which would be closer to a 24mm lens. However, if we were to use such a wide-angle lens our images would suffer significant distortion that does not appear when using a normal lens. Our brains have the ability to compensate for this distortion – however the camera does not. Therefore the 50mm lens is considered to be optimal, due to lack of distortion.

Continue reading »

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