Simon Griffee · Design · Photography · Writing · Illustration

What: leica

With Eli Reed, New York City, April 2015

With the great Eli Reed last year at Leica gallery at 670 Broadway. Photograph by Cameron Cuchulainn.

With Victor at MIT Stata Center, Boston, Massachusetts, August 2015

30 years of friendship.

What Camera Should I Use to Learn Photography?

Though I use other cameras (currently Fuji X100S and Ricoh GRD), I like rangefinder cameras. The Leica M is — unfortunately — the only digital rangefinder camera that is made at this point in time.1 The great advantage of a rangefinder is this: With some practice and experience you can reliably focus the camera without putting it to your eye or pointing it at the subject. You can do this because the lens rotation stops at both far and close focus points and you can judge the focus distance by feeling the relative position of the finger tab on the lens, or, if you’re less experienced, by looking at the distance markings on the lens.


Self-portrait on Motorcycle with JRB, Chiang Mai, Thailand, February 2010

I’ll be showing pictures with JRB this Saturday in Rome — come by!

The Polyphoto S.p.A. / Leica AG X1 ‘24 talenti per 36 fotografie’ Scam

So let me get this (Scam) straight:

  1. You join the competition and advertise Leica on Facebook and Twitter and give Leica AG and Polyphoto S.p.A. full reproduction rights of the images you submit.
  2. Should you be one of the ‘lucky’ twenty-four chosen as the best, you get to borrow an X1—you need to give it back—and continue to work for Leica and Polyphoto for free by posting three images a week to the competition site and linking to them from Facebook and Twitter, for 12 weeks, after which, in case you missed it, you need to return the camera.
  3. You also will need to create a one-minute long video of you while working with the X1 for Leica AG and Polyphoto S.p.A., for free.
  4. All this in return for the chance to be an assistant to a professional photographer (not named), and possibly have your photos exhibited somewhere.

Got all the above from the contest rules and regulations (PDF, Italian).

Fine, many people may see your pictures on their site and you might be ‘discovered’ by the photo world. The least they could do is make it clearer that you are not getting an X1 as a prize, as the whole thing suggests, especially in the Italian press promoting this competition, until you read the small print.

Two Good Customer Service Experiences: Leica & Ricoh

  1. Out-of-warranty Leica M8 shutter broke during travels in Thailand. Sent it to Leica, where it was quickly repaired, cleaned, adjusted and sent back to me with a new one-year warranty for a reasonable price. A new protective film for the LCD and a lens cleaning cloth were also in the package. Excellent.
  2. Under-warranty Ricoh GRD III panel peeled off and two buttons stopped working during travels in Thailand and Vietnam. The camera continued to work with less functionality and no way to quickly set snap focus. Sent it to Ricoh where it was completely repaired and refurbished and sent back to me for free. A new protective film for the LCD was already applied to the camera. Excellent.

Leica M8 Software Timer Fix, Please

Can you provide a firmware update for the Leica M8 with the following feature, please? It really would make me very happy.

“Because we’ve all missed a shot or two by flipping the shooting mode selector switch to self-timer by accident, Leica has come to the rescue with a 0 sec self-timer menu setting. In other words, it disables the self-timer and makes the shutter release behave like it would in single shot mode. Just another example of working to address user concerns.”

David Farka, Leica M9 Review: Shooting in Wetzlar, Germany

Thanks! Simon

Frankie in the Taqueria, Berkeley, California, April 2007

Frankie wasn’t impressed with the comment Jimmy made about his jumper, and he was going to let Jimmy find out.

Ice Cream, College Avenue, Berkeley, California, April 2007

My favourite, vanilla, is not in the picture.