It seems like we just started 2021, but with little warning, the holidays are upon us. Working here at Leica Store SF means more than being around some of the most incredible cameras and optics ever made. All of us are more than admirers of the Leica gear and photography. We are photographers, collectors, purveyors, enthusiasts, and professionals of Leica photography and equipment. We all deeply enjoy using our Leica's and accessories every day. So, what better way to share our favorite gear with you than to show you what made it into our camera bags over the last year.
A year in review, if you will. From the Leica Q2 Monochrom, Leica M, and Leica SL2, Leica made some incredible cameras and optics available to us this year, and we immensely enjoyed using them. Finely crafted accessories from our favorites such as Oberwerth and Billingham made excellent bags that we all enjoy using. Read on to learn more about each one of us, the gear we used this year. May it serve as inspiration to get something new for yourself or someone special that loves photography.
Don't forget that in addition to pre-owned Leica gear, Leica Store SF accepts trade-ins from all camera manufacturers and pre-owned watches through our C.W. Watch Shop & Camera West sister stores. We also update our extensive pre-owned Leica gear several times a week with new and exciting pieces. Maybe this year, an upgrade is in the works for you. Whatever it might be, we are here to help! Trade your pre-owned gear in and get something new (or new to you).
// Operations & Sales - [email protected]
With the speed of Leica's Q2 Monochrom sensor and 28mm f1.7 lens, it was natural for me to photograph exclusively using only available light. Once I paired the system with Leica's compact SF40 flash, it opened up a new door for me in regards to lighting a scene. The SF40 has TTL support for automatic exposure and metering and can easily illuminate a room or subject.
I was recently invited to photograph at the Musee Mecanique at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, which houses the largest collection of privately owned early 20th-century arcade games. My go-to choice for the project included the Q2 Monochrom and flash. The pairing of equipment felt like a natural selection to highlight the textures and remnants of human interaction with the weathered, antique machines.
samantha-schubert.com - @samagrams
// Logistics & Content Creator - [email protected]
My name is Carlo Velasquez, I am a SF based photographer that works primarily with color and black and white 35mm film. I keep my gear pretty simple, so I use a Leica M-A with a 35mm f1.4 Summilux ASPH. Recently, I have been using black and white film stocks such as Kodak Tri-X 400 for everyday use, Cinestill BwXX for high contrast, and Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros II for portraits. Occasionally, I'll throw on an orange filter for a significant contrast boost if I need it. The SOOM film rewind lever has come in handy when I need to rewind my film quickly on set or in the field in order to keep photographing. I also like to process my black and white film myself using the Paterson Home Developing Kit. This kit gives me all the tools I need to process my film and paired with Cinestill's DF96 Developer and Fixer Monobath makes the process that much simpler.
leftf0otforward.com - @leftf0otforward
// Leica Sales & Specialist - [email protected]
I am, Wayne Serrano, a photojournalist. Born and raised in Southern California, I began my career as an editorial and commercial photographer for regional newspapers and magazines and remain heavily influenced by my love of documentary photography.
My passion is photographing subjects within their environments and creating images that are beautiful and thought provoking while showcasing their true character and personality. My goal is straightforward in purpose — document the naturalness of people being themselves, living their lives while experiencing the moments and emotions that make up the sensations and passions of life.
It is for these reasons, and many more, that I work with Leica M and R film cameras, either a full gear bag or a select few, for my needs
Leica Store San Francisco always has an excellent pre-owned selection available.
"I have been allowed entrée to witness and document the lives of others and that is, I consider, an amazing privilege." - Wayne Serrano
www.wayneserrano.com - Facebook - @serranowe
// Leica Sales & Gallery Director - [email protected]
The optics, compact form, and simple interface are all reasons why I love the Leica. While I appreciate the experiences and approach of using an M rangefinder or the ease of use of the Q system, my favorite camera is the Leica SL2 paired with manual focus lenses. Having full control of the depth of field with the compact lenses, paired with the bright electronic viewfinder of the camera allows me to quickly make the images required for my task at hand, focusing on the subject. When out in the field, whether it’s snowshoeing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains or on a photo walk through the streets of Oakland where I’m from, the SL2 feels solid in the hand and allows me to take full advantage of my faster lenses using the high-speed electronic shutter. In situations where lighting isn’t on my side, the in-body image stabilization has turned out to be a lifesaver in achieving images without motion blur. Simply put, the SL2 is a high-performing workhorse for both still photography and video, and when paired with manual lenses, can be an incredibly fun and engaging photographic experience.
www.alexramosphoto.com - @alexramosphoto
// Marketing & Online Sales - [email protected]
The best camera is the one with you. I'm not a professional photographer, and my kit reflects the sentiment that taking photographs is a way of documenting slivers in time. Last year, in pursuit of simplicity, I traded in my M cameras and picked up the Leica Q2 Monochrom. I've fallen in love with this camera over the past year and firmly believe it is the simplest of Leica's digital cameras. The lack of color, and interchangeable lenses, paired with minimal design, make it easy, intuitive, and a camera I enjoy taking everywhere with me. The Q2 Monochrom is an extension of my eye on a day-to-day basis.
Of course, a long time a favorite bag of mine is the Billingham Hadley Pro. This year I upgraded to the new Hadley Pro 2020, which features some lovely detachable straps and new Fibernite material. The Hadley Pro 2020 is a classic, durable, functional, perfect way to carry around my 13in Macbook, Q2 Monochrom, and other daily essentials.
bvcarpenter.com - @bvcarpenter
// President/CEO Camera West Inc.
I am passionate about cameras and photography. I shot professionally for about 10 years before starting Camera West and Leica Store San Francisco. I love the vintage Leica film bodies. They are a piece of photographic history that you can use and enjoy on a daily basis. I use the M system, SL2s, and the Q on a regular basis, but if I had to nail it down to one camera, it would be the M Monochrom with a fast 50mm lens. Lately, my bag has the Monochrom digital and M2 film cameras and 35mm and 50mm lenses, but I sometimes swap the M2 out for the M10r, depending on my mood. For film, I use Tri-X or HP5+. For bags, my everyday carry is the Billingham Eventer. It will hold both of my M's, my laptop and other travel goodies. When I don’t need my laptop, the new Mini Eventer is pretty awesome. Other bag favorites are the Oberwerth Harry & Sally and the new Wetzlar in camo, because you can never have too many bags!