Exclusive La Vida Leica content, "Tip of the Week."

Tip of the Week (#015) - Grasp & Support

Holding a Leica is no different from other cameras - you're taught to support the bottom of the camera with your left hand, cradling the lens (which is preferred) but in the picture above you see an alternative method which allows rapid portrait or landscape orientations. You also want to brace yourself as much as possible; arms tucked in, knees relaxed with feet spread a bit. If you have to, don't be afraid to use anything and everything around you for additional support; lean against a wall, etc. You can also lay your camera atop a bag or jacket and use the self timer to your advantage, even without a tripod or cable release.

Tip of the Week (#014) - Digital B&W Shooting

B&W photography - not just for film shooters! If you shoot an M9 (for example) use the "User Profile" feature to your advantage! Set your "Compression" to "DNG & JPG" (SET), "Color saturation" to "Black & White" (MENU) and ISO to 400 (ISO) or so. Finally, "Save user profile" (MENU) and give it a name like "BlackWhit" (as seen above). Either use the JPEG out of the camera, or if you convert to B&W on the computer - this will give you a B&W preview on the LCD to help visualize your shots. Either way, quick B&W mode!

Tip of the Week (#013) - No Shutter

Click - nothing. Some times things can get a little out of sync; for example - you go to press the shutter release and nothing happens! Rare, but here's how to get yourself back on track. First, make sure the rewind lever is straight up. Then, using the rewind knob - rewind the film in the direction indicated by the arrow until the slack tightens up. Finally, try the winding lever to make sure it's fully wound and the shutter cocked. You should be good to go now!

Tip of the Week (#012) - Drying Film

Drying film. Not everyone has a dedicated darkroom at home in which to develop their film, and a common problem is spots (dust) on negatives. So what to do? A great solution is to hang your film to dry in the bathroom. Run the shower for a couple of minutes with hot water to steam things up a little. This will remove dust from the air. Hang your film from the shower curtain rod for about two hours or so (until dry) with the door closed - try not to use the bathroom during that time, which will stir up the dust again.


Tip of the Week (#011) - Lens Coding

Lens coding. Normally a service provided by Leica for older Leica lenses and found on all new lenses. What if you use a Voigtländer, Zeiss or other lens? Or would rather not spend the money and time to get your Leica lens coded? The answer is simple, albeit temporary.

Tip of the Week (#010) - Rubber Bands

Rubber bands. Okay, so this week's tip is a bit of "fluff" but it's a great tip to keep in the back of your mind for that proverbial "rainy day." Suppose you have a filter stuck on your lens. That is, you just can't seem to unscrew it. How to get it off? Especially when you're not close to home? Use a rubber band! Preferably a bit on the wider side, wrap it around the rim of the filter (only) and try removing it again. The extra grip of the rubber band is often just enough. If the filter is still not budging, try grasping it by different areas and/or squeezing slightly.