Of Leicas and Celebrities

Leica M rangefinder cameras are easily my favorite type of camera.  Mostly manual, they harken back to a time when you had to be rather deliberate about one’s photographic technique.  Even their M8 and M9 digital equivalents today require a degree of engagement that is anathema to most DSLR shooters.  Exposure?  What’s that?  What do you mean it doesn’t have an autofocus button?  You mean I have to actually focus the lens by hand?!

I also like Natalie Merchant.  I liked her music long before I found that she herself is a connoisseur and practitioner of the fine art of rangefinder photography.  I liked her even more once I discovered that little bit of personal trivia!

Here’s a shot I took a few years back, while she was out with what I think was her M3.  I’m not sure what kind of film she was shooting – but the shot of mine was on Tri-X, developed in Xtol.

And, no, it’s not what you think…

Natalie Merchant & Her Leica M

Natalie Merchant & Her Leica M


5 Responses to “Of Leicas and Celebrities”

  1. B says:

    That is a still from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4FpUhtfbBY at around 7 seconds in. Tri-X my ass. What a sad pointless life you must lead Mr. Mitty.

  2. Bob says:

    Dude… Have you no shame?


    YOU took it while she was out? In what dream was that?

  3. J. Reno says:


    Your “copyright 2005” “photo” is a screen grab at 0:07 from her video:


    Just pathetic.

  4. Mike E says:

    Well, what some people think is that this is a frame grab from this:


  5. Jeff says:

    When I saw these four comments come in within a few hours of each other, months after this blog post, I wondered what was up. Checking my website stats provided the answer – they came in via a link from this thread over on APUG:


    Lest anyone not see my response over on APUG – a much recommended website, by the way – here it is….

    Hello folks. I’m Jeff Hughes, the guy whose blog this came from. My apologies if some felt misled by any inference that this was a shot taken by me while Natalie was out shooting with her M3. If you’ll parse my words very carefully, you’ll see that I never claimed such (and even dropped that hint at the end that Sjixxxy picked up on).

    I DID take that picture. With my M6. It was indeed Tri-X. And yes it was developed in Xtol, 1:1.

    But of course it was a shot from that video. I took the shot of my 21″ computer monitor from a couple feet away, at f2. A little coarse, a little grainy, but it came out surprisingly okay, I thought.

    I have heard since that Natalie is an honest-to-goodness photographer, and that she likes Leicas. I always liked her music. I liked her even more once I found she shares our passion for photography. I wouldn’t critique the video too much – do bear in mind that it was a commercial production, with all that that brings.

    If anyone wants a copy of the full size video – very much recommended – it’s still available from Amazon:


    Again, sorry if anyone felt deceived by my little blog post. I never intended anything other than a lighthearted plug for a cool chick who makes great music, looks good, and supposedly knows her way around a camera.

    All the best…

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