Playing with the Leica Q

I have been in the market for a new walk around (street) camera for a while.  I will use this for travel and street photography.  I have explored several options:

I. Use my Sony A7rIII with a 35mm f2.8 lens.
  • Advantages
  1. Cost.  I already own the Zeiss 35mm lens.
  2. It is a light weight lens with auto focus.  And it is a very good, sharp lens.
  • Disadvantages
  1. F2.8 doesn't give me the shallow depth of field I like for people shots.  
II. Use the Sony A7rIII with a new 40mm F1.2 Voightlander lens.
  • Advantages
  1. A nice focal length for travel and street photography.  Not as wide as 24-35mm lenses, but less than a 50mm "normal" lens.
  2. Has the F1.2 which would give some very nice shallow depth of field.
  3. Is available in an E mount for the Sony.  Would transfer data to the camera and would auto zoom in when focusing.
  4. Has a nice color signature, similar to a Leica lens.
  • Disadvantages
  1. Cost, less than a Leica lens, but still up there.
  2. Is a manual focus only (this would not be a huge disadvantage, as I do a fair amount of manual focus.)
  3. Size and weight is a little bigger.
III. Leica Q
  • Advantages
  1. The Leica look.
  2. Fixed lens, 28mm with depth of field scale.
  3. 28mm lens is wide and gives a nice look to the images.
  4. F1.7, good for depth of field.
  • Disadvantages
  1. Cost.
  2. Fixed lens.
  3. Different menu system than the Sony system.

I have a Leica Q on loan from my brother-in-law and have taken it out for it's first trial.  Here are a few of the images and my thoughts.

I like the color in this image. It is also very sharp.  I set the camera to F8.0 and 1/250 and let the camera select the ISO (320 in this case.)  I used auto focus.

I missed the focus on this one, but I still like the image.  It was shot at ISO 1600, F11 at 1/250th of a second.  I haven't adjusted the noise level in Lightroom.  The noise is very manageable at this ISO.  I've found I can go to 6400 and adjust the noise in Lightroom and still get a very good image.

This image is one of my favorites.  Same camera settings as the previous image.  I haven't done anything to this image, straight out of the camera.

Tyrone is watching!  This one was taken at ISO 1600, F11, 1/500.  No Lightroom work on it.

This last shot was a test of the depth of field and the "bokeh".  Looks good to me.

I'm having fun trying this camera, thanks Uncle John!  I have a lot of work to do to get comfortable using it, and to get good street images.  This is a new area for me, I haven't done much people type photography.  It is fun and a challenge.  I like the Leica Q, but I'm not sure yet whether to get one.  I have some other tests to do and I want to use it for a bite before I decide. 

Update:  I used a 35mm Zeiss Loxia F2 lens on the trip.  It is a manual focus lens and has the f stop ring on the lens.  So focus and aperture is set on the lens, not in the camera.  I loved the combo and the images produced by the lens.  Doing manual focus forced me to concentrate more on where I wanted the focus to be and how much depth of field it produced.  It was closer to the old method used during film days when everything was manual.  It is a great street lens and I'm using it more for landscapes as well.  If you look at the images in the Maritime Jewels of the British Isles series on this blog site, you will find many of the images from this lens (also used a 25mm and a 55mm fixed focal length lens for some of the images, but most were with the 35mm.)


  1. I think you should try the different focus choices in that menu. I did. I was trying to see how the various choices might help me as I was thinking about people, quick shots. I also began to shoot without using the viewfinder. That caused me to take many new pictures from different angles that I never had before (generally lower and vertical). It is very easy to put the camera out at arms length (horiz or vert), watch the back screen for composition, and push the button. People who see this aren't sure what you're doing, so it's easier to get candids.

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