Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Leica X1

My first exposure to Leica was a year ago while I was with Guy Mancuso and Jack Flesher of GetDpi. Jack & Guy had asked if I had the time to go with them as they traveled to the southeastern portion of Arizona in December 2009 scouting places for a future workshop as well as testing the new Leica S2. We met at the San Xavier Mission for a quick sunrise shot before heading towards Bisbee. I was fortunate to try the S2 and while I liked it I wasn't ready to hock the family house to get one. I remember stopping outside of Tombstone and Guy handing me a small camera asking me to try it out; it turned out being the new X1. Jack & Guy both had been busy trying out the S2 and hadn't had the time to try the X1 out very much. I remember having it for about an hour and liking it a lot - in fact much more than the S2. I got home much later that evening still thinking of the little camera. Thus began my quest for the perfect "companion" camera to my Cambo WRS/P45+ technical camera.

My research begin with the X1 which in turn brought me to the M9, the camera I ultimately bought thinking it would be the companion camera. Dave Gallaher, owner of Capture Integration was able to get me a M9 within weeks of my asking for it and I ended up taking that with me to Yosemite February 2010. It was in Yosemite that I quickly discover I made the right decision with the M9 also very quickly learning the M9 was in fact more a "partner" camera rather than a "companion" camera; with this realization at hand I put the thought of the X1 aside.

Fast forward to the end of 2010; I've taken the M9 on every trip we took and it fit the bill nicely. Then for some reason thoughts of the X1 began slowly creeping back. How nice would it to have a smaller camera with an excellent fixed lens that I could fit in a pocket as we walked around Jackson. Likewise how nice it would be when we return to Moab or Monterey.

Thoughts like these were running through my head as I called Dave to thank him for everything he's done for us this past year and wish him, his family and his staff a happy and safe New Years. I'm not really certain how the topic got around to the X1 but it did. Past experiences with ordering lenses from Leica has taught me that one places an order then waits. And waits, and waits. I remember asking Dave how soon he thought I could get a X1 if I ordered it now. Would I have it in time for our trip to Monterey CA and Yosemite the end of February or would we get it the day after we leave on our fall trip. I was surprised when Dave said he had 2 of them on his shelve. Long story short - Dave now only has 1 Leica X1 left on his shelve.

I'll have the X1 sometime next week and hope to be able to offer my thoughts and sample images shortly afterwards.

My recommendation to anyone who is looking for a Leica camera to contact Capture Integration. To the best of my knowledge Dave is a relatively new dealer for Leica and as such many Leica followers may not know of Capture Integration. Dave will of course set me straight if I've misspoken.

Sandy & I wish everyone a Safe and Happy New Years.


Heads up: Ken Doo, Dave Gallagher and I have been putting on what has been know as "Pigs In A Blanket" the past couple years in Carmel CA around February. This year is going to be slightly different as we're taking the Pigs on the road. We're thinking of a landscape shooting workshop in Monument Valley followed by the Slot Canyons of Page Arizona. This year will also be slightly different as we'll be charging a fee however the cost will include at least 2-tours, 1-in Monument Valley, the other to a private slot canyon near Page. We'll have plenty of toys to try out from Dave's closet as well as great instruction. We're also thinking of keeping this a small group. Please stay tuned here or on Ken's blog or Capture Integration's website for further details.

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