As I've mentioned before, I'm very fortunate to be able to travel the world several times each year. This February, not only was I able travel to Rome and Verona, Italy, but thanks to our incredibly supportive family (who agreed to watch our two kids), my wife was able to join me as well. As much as I love to travel, it's so much more fun when its a shared experience.
We spent 3 days in Rome before taking the train up to Verona for my work meeting for another 3 days. Because it was such a short trip, we had to pack a lot into very little time, which is not our preferred travel mode. Nevertheless, we had a spectacular time in Italy; we ate, drank, walked, and generally had an incredibly rewarding break.
For this trip, I decided to pack three cameras and three lenses:
- The Leica M-E with the Canon 50 f/1.4,
- The Leica MP with the Voigtlander Nokton 35 f/1.4, and
- The Hasselblad 500c/m with the Zeiss 80 f/2.8 CF Planar
I decided to go with the Hasselblad over the Mamiya 7 (which I've often referred to as 'the greatest camera ever made') simply because I knew that for this particular trip, the 80 f/2.8 Planar would give a rendering that would be preferable to the almost-too-perfect Mamiya 7 glass. And I think the photos below demonstrate this nicely. A place like Italy really deserves a lens that offers a certain character; not soft, per se, (the Planar is, in fact, bitingly sharp when it needs to be), but with a more gentle rendering.
Also, I've pretty much settled on the Voigtlander 35 f/1.4 as my go-to 35mm. As bad as the lens is supposed to be, I never looked at any of these photos and thought, "You know, I really with this one had less barrel distortion". To me, 35mm (especially 35mm film) is not about clinical perfection; it's about quick decisions and making photos with character and life. And the 35 f/1.4 Nokton has this nailed. So while I may always lust for a v1 35 Summicron, I just can't justify replacing my Voigtlander.
I shot mostly Kodak Portra 400, with a little bit of Provia 100F (35mm and 120) and one of my last 4 rolls of Provia 400X (120). Oh, and some digital. I like the M-E; it's a lovely camera to use, and the files are substantially different than I've ever seen from a digital camera. It won't replace my MP for everyday use, but it's a wonderful camera to have when digital is the preferred medium.
Anyway, enough of this. On to the photos.
(Next trip is to Philadelphia in April; a new city for me!)