101 x Leica

If there is one camera that is capable of telling stories, it is the Leica M. Due to its small format, low weight and inconspicuous design, it has been used by photojournalists since the early days of 35mm photography.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with this camera since 2010 and I have taken my M cameras to many assignments, but also on trips and daily walks around the neighborhood. I can honestly say that this camera has been an extension of my eyes for all these years.

In ‘101 x Leica’ I’d like to show you 101 pictures that I made. Some of which you might have seen, some of it yet unseen. There are some images that I love, but also images that I ‘had’ to shoot while on assignment. The book gives a pretty nice insight in my life as a professional photographer.

With the 101 pictures I’ve included 101 short stories about the background of the picture and my thoughts about the (technical) photographical side, plus info about the camera and lens that were used.

This e-book is designed to be viewed and read on a tablet, but it works just as well on any computer.

You can buy the e-book here.

Schermafbeelding 2017-12-20 om 16.42.40 Schermafbeelding 2017-12-20 om 16.41.45


Work your Leica M – English

Want to learn to focus faster and more accurately? The Leica M rangefinder camera can be regarded as a legend in the field of photography. Using it in real life can be a challenge however. Focussing is done all manually and many people lack the speed to keep up with things.

You can buy the tutorial here.

In this e-book, documentary -wedding- photographer Joeri van der Kloet, presents a clear, step by step tutorial to increase your focussing performance. In 14 effective exercises you will improve your speed and accuracy in focussing.


I’m surprised to meet so many Leica shooters that have been working with a rangefinder for many years and still are so slow in achieving focus. Everybody says you should practice a lot, but most don’t know how to practice. I think that’s key, knowing which methods are best for improving your skills.

This is what readers have to say about this book:

Marc Johansson:

I never had the confidence to use my M9 in fast action. I always was too slow with focussing. Now at least I know how to train effectively and the tricks in the tutorial make focussing easier.”


Love the practical set-up of this tutorial! It is clearly written, with a lot of fun exercises which really made me experience the camera a lot better. Hopefully I will end up with the same documentary skills as Joeri (see also his own site luta.nl)”


I purchased this book and it’s really great. Not so much revolutionary but a good collection of common sense and exercises to get better and better. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to improve their rangefinder focusing skills.”


I’ve been shooting with a rangefinder for years now, but I never realized that better training is far more effective. Joeri has proven to master the rangefinder (just look at his wedding pics) and he knows how to work this thing. Small investment and really worth it.”


After reading the book I got enthusiastic and booked a workshop with Joeri. I should have done this years ago!”

Alone by the sea

I’ve been experimenting with another type of camera lately. Let’s just say that the sensor is quite big.

This shot was taken with a shutter speed of 8 seconds at f22 at iso 100. From a tripod obviously. The upside of that tripod is, besides the fact that I can get sharp images, that I can include myself in the picture. That’s a lot of words for saying that this is a self portrait.

Featured #16: Marco Bressi

Today I came across the work of Marco Bressi in the LFI Gallery. I sent him an email and less than a day later, he’s online. Check out his cool work with the Leica M3.

1)Can you tell a bit about your background (as a photographer)

Since I was a child I’ve always had an interest in taking photographs, and I usually took with me around my hometown or during some trips one of those common disposable film cameras. When I grew up, my studies went into a different direction, since I graduated in Engineering, but photography never left me and I never left photography: it’s a kind of need that requires to be satisfied, so I always look for situations that stimulate me to take photographs and to challenge to get even better results. I’m self-taught and today I only shoot black and white film because I love the fact that every single step of entire process will affect the resulting photographs, from the choice of the film stock to the development. Black and white is often intended as a way to hide imperfections or exposure errors, but it’s actually a whole world of opportunities that require a different way of looking at the scene.

2)How did you get into the Leica system?

I must admit that I’m a little bit obsessed by quality, so I always look for the best components and materials to involve in my work. For this reason, Leica cameras and lenses are an obvious arrival point when looking for the best gear.

3)Which camera and lenses do you have?

At the moment I’m using a glorious Leica M3 that I’ve recently serviced in Wetzlar for my 35mm work, paired with the Summilux 50mm 1.4 ASPH. I’ve found the M3 perfect for my setup because of its reliability, its consistence and its 0.91 finder that allows me to focus without issues even at f1.4. However, I shoot also medium format film using several cameras like Pentax 67, Hasselblad 500cm and Rolleiflex 3.5F.

4)What kind of pictures do you take and why?

People fascinate me, so humans are usually my main subject. During a photo session every interaction, but also every distraction, can lead to a different expression or to a particular shine in their eyes. I think that there’s something unique in that moment. I also like studying how the light can reflect on bodies, emphasizing some details and hiding other ones, resulting in a picture that is only drawn by contrast, light and shadows.

My work is mainly finalized to make prints, since for me one of the greatest satisfactions is to join the houses of other people with something that I’ve created and that in some way represents me and my view of the world.

Links: www.bressi.it  |  instagram.com/marco.bressi 

For sale: Leica Noctilux 50/0.95

My Leica Noctilux 50/0.95 ASPH is not getting enough user time. Ever since Leica completely rehoused it after an unfortunate drop, I wanted to keep it in ‘as new’ condition. It has been in a safe for the last couple of years and it deserves more than that.

If you’re interested, send me an email. I prefer not to ship abroad, but maybe we can work something out.

Foggy lake in Sweden

As we were camping near a lake in Sweden, we saw fog coming off the water (which happens when the water is warmer than the air). I went for a midnight paddle through the ever lasting sunset. I just love the arctic.

Leica CL with 75/2.5

BTW: it looks like Leica won’t continue the CL and T line. Bad decision if you ask me. The CL is one of the nicest cameras around for the weight conscious adventurer.

Waiting for summer

While a storm is passing our country – and we hope nothing will be damaged – we’re waiting for summer. Nothing beats being able to play a ukulele – or a guitar – without having to wear three sweaters to stay warm.

Let’s hope summer gets here quickly.

Featured #15: Janko Bosch

I noticed the work of Janko Bosch in the LFI gallery and dropped him a note. His studio work is quite interesting: it’s a bit provocative and the mua (make up artist) that he seems to work with takes his or her job quite seriously. Well, just check it out for yourself. Also, don’t do it at your job (NSFW) if your employer is as narrow minded as Facebook and Instagram are.

1) Can you tell a bit about your background (as a photographer)
My father has always been interested in photography. So I was introduced to photography at a very young age. But as a teenager I was more interested in drawing comics. Over time photography became the dominant creative pursuit and I just stopped drawing. I also have been interested in design and now I combine photography and being a digital art director for NRC (dutch newspaper). This combination suits me very well.
2) How did you get into the Leica system?
I have dreamt of working with a Leica camera since the introduction of the M8. I couldn’t afford it back then but when I decided to focus on street photography I bought an X1. Years later I switched to the M because I wanted to have more control and freedom. While I love working with the M I also needed a camera for working in a studio environment. The M isn’t best suited for that so in 2016 I bought the SL. I really fell in love with that camera.
3) Which camera and lenses do you have?
I have a Leica M (type240) with a 35mm Zeiss Biogon. I also have a Leica SL with a couple of lenses. In the studio I mostly work with the summicron-SL 50mm, the summicron-SL 75mm and the Sigma 135mm f/1.8.
4) What kind of pictures do you take and why?
I like to shoot two different things: urban scenes and models. Since covid I focus more on the latter, since traveling became harder. Models sounds a bit derogatory but it really is because of a lack of another word. I don’t feel my work falls in a classical definition of beauty, fashion, nude or fetish. I work in my studio to create pictures that are a mixture of all these things. I’m fascinated with female and fetish clothing. For me, the styling is equally important as the shooting itself. The styling transforms the model but after that there’s not a lot of planning. I give the model a lot of freedom while modeling. It really is a two person effort and I’m always interested to see what the model brings.
I also publish zines and books at zaptronic.nl
You can check out more of Janko’s work at www.jankobosch.nl

The Billingham Leica SL2 bag review

Billingham made a bag for the Leica SL in the recent past. The SL bag was recently updated with the Leica SL2 bag. Let’s get one thing out of the way first: the SL2 bag is not made for the SL2. No, it’s an updated version of the SL bag and is very suitable for both the SL and the SL2. In fact, I don’t even have the SL2 (camera) myself.

So what have we got here? The Billingham SL2 bag is a bag specifically designed for the SL and SL2 with the 24-90mm lens attached to the body. As you know the 24-90 is a pretty big lens and mounted to the SL it takes up quite a bit of space. However, we don’t want to throw our precious SL in a random bag that is made for much bigger SLR cameras and lenses. And we like a bit of class and style too, right?

The Leica SL2 bag has roughly the same dimensions as the Leica M combination bag. And that size is perfect. It’s small enough to take anywhere you want, without giving the impression that you’re going to work. But it’s not so small that you’ll have to fear for your masculinity. Despite the masculinity thing, my wife likes the bag too.

The bag has one big compartment that fits the SL with the 24-90 attached. I don’t have the 24-90, so I used it with my Panasonic 24-105. With that lens, there’s some room left for a couple of small M lenses. The nice thing about the bag is that there’s a kind of cutaway in the bottom pad that fits the grip of the SL and SL2.  That cutaway or dent also ensures that the bag keeps its modest height and that the lens is supported by the bottom pad. A second dent on the other side of the bag ensures that the front of the A clever design.

The main compartment has a thick bottom pad and also extra thick quilted sides. Between the side padding and the bag are two small pocket for an iPad mini or other small things. The main compartment can be safely closed with a water resistant zipper. On the back side of the bag is a luggage trolley retainer strap and another zipped pocket. This pocket is a good place for passports, a wallet, and other flat things (my wallet is pretty flat since the pandemic).

On the front is my favorite pocket. Billingham calls it a ‘dump pocket’ and they are right about that. The guys and girls at Billingham understand that going out with a camera doesn’t only require camera stuff, but also some food, maybe sunglasses or a scarf. I did a day day trip to Amsterdam recently and brought the SL2 bag only. Truth is, I didn’t bring my SL, but my CL which left me room in the main pocket for a bottle of water. And if you need more space, you can upgrade the bag with the AVEA 3 or 5 pockets.

As expected, the SL2 bag performed flawlessly on my day trip and other outings. The good thing about a small bag is that you can only bring so much. And that means that you’ll keep the weight down, which translates into a comfortable bag. To be honest, I think it is at least a s good as my much praised Billingham Hadley Small bag, which I used and abused all around the world. The Hadley is a little taller, with a slightly smaller depth, but has better acces to the main compartment. It lacks the big dump pocket though.

Would I recommend this bag? Yes, I would. If you’re a SL, CL or M user, the SL2 bag has something to offer. To be honest, a Billingham bag is always a good investment. There are camera bag manufacturers that create bags for people with money, and there are bag manufacturers that create sturdy and reliable bags that get picked up by people who use expensive cameras. Billingham has always been making great bags without being pretentious. That’s why there’s still 30 years old Billinghams around that still look good. If you’re talking sustainability, Billingham is the way to go.


Featured #14: Jan Cibula

A few months ago I stumbled upon the artistic nude work of Jan Cibula in the LFI gallery. I think Jan’s work is very classy and tasteful, but also reflects his skills. It’s not always easy to come with original shots when you’ve done shots like these many, many times.

WARNING: while I always have to laugh about how photographers have to blur nipples and genital areas on Facebook and Instagram (why Facebook, really, why??), Jan did include some of his more provocative work. These are shown on the bottom of this page, just so you know. You might not want to check these out at work. Although if you were working for me (no, I’m not hiring), I wouldn’t mind at all.

1) Can you tell a bit about your background (as a photographer)

‘As a web designer and teacher for photography and photoshop I started photography in 2008. After almost 600 shootings with my Canon equipment I took a one year break from photography, not having this creative spark anymore. Of course I have done a lot of portraits, fashion, nude and even fetish photography but the creative process was not fun anymore. In my everyday work as a (web)designer I also take portraits, architectural photos or drone-shots.’


2) How did you get into the Leica system?

‘In November 2014 I fulfilled a longtime dream and bought my first Leica camera: an M 240 with a 50mm Summilux f1.4 lens. After 1 month just looking at the camera I took first street photographs in France and Spain during a holiday trip with my wife – my portfolio on leicamoment.com was born. 

Two months later I had my first model shoot and photographed classic portraits, details and art nudes. After finding my technique to develop and retouch my raw-photos I instantly knew: THIS IS IT – I finally found my lost creativity again and the emotion I was looking for!

It is may sound naive but with this reduced functionality, manual focussing and new way of working I found a more creative and conscious pace of taking photographs. I learned to see the light and shadows, I learned to focus on details and I didn’t care if a photo was not perfectly sharp as long as it had emotions. Not once I got such an emotional impact before working with the Leica M.’

3) Which camera and lenses do you have?

‘In summer of 2020 my whole equipment was stolen (Leica M 240 camera and my lenses 50mm Summilux, 35mm Summicron, 90mm 2.0). Fortunately my insurance company repaid 85% of the worth. In autumn 2020 I bought the Leica M10-R, the 50mm Summilux and later a 28mm f2.8 (almost never used it though). 

I am really only using the 50mm f1.4 lens as it is just wonderful and unbelievable how much soul and wonderful colour rendering it brings. If I just have to pick one lens, this is it and really I use it mostly full open at f1.4 or f1.7. This dream combination completely changed my style of photography. ‘


4) What kind of pictures do you take and why?

‘I mainly shoot female models as I love communicating with them, their emotional depth and sensual physique. I shoot 99% with available daylight as this gives me soft shadows, soft light and allows me to create the shallow depth of field.  Focussing on details and textures for me is as interesting as capturing a sensual or classic pose. 

In my studio I have gathered a lot of classic timeless furniture, hundreds of classic dresses and some hand painted backgrounds with wonderful textures to create my emotional and classic photos. The background is as important as the model and the pose – sometimes I succeed in telling a story in my photographs.

Since 2018 I try to push my boundaries and also take very erotic photographs. I even photograph bdsm or explicit style, but always with this romantic-emotional twist: I call it „romanterotica“. As it is not safe for work I cannot publish these explicit photographs on any public platform.

I would be very happy to get feedback and reactions to my photography. Thank you Joeri for having me and presenting some of my work.’

Want to see more? leicanude.com

Featured #13: Sarah Ascough

While checking out the work of Jeff Ascough, I noticed that his wife Sarah is a photographer too. Even better, she was chosen by Leica to be part of ‘The world deserves witnesses’ program.

1) Can you tell a bit about your background (as a photographer)
I came into photography quite late compared to a lot of photographers. My husband is a photographer, and he needed some help with shooting an event. He asked if I would like to take some pictures. From that moment, I became hooked on photography. I have been around photography for many years, but up until that point, I hadn’t taken any photographs.
2) How did you get into the Leica system?
When I began to take pictures, I started with a Canon DSLR. However, I was naturally using it as I would a rangefinder with a wide-angle lens and prefocusing. It was natural to want to try a rangefinder, and once I did, I realised that it fitted perfectly into how I see the world. 
3) Which camera and lenses do you have?
I have a Leica M9 and a Leica M9 Monochrom. I like to keep things simple and work with just two lenses, a 28 Summicron-M ASPH and a 50 Summicron-M (v). However, the vast majority of what I shoot is with the 28mm. 
4) What kind of pictures do you take and why?
I’m naturally inquisitive and fascinated by people. Part of the reason why I’m a photographer is to indulge this curiosity. I like to document people, their lives, and their stories. I’m always looking for the lighter side of life, the characters, and the sense of humour that people have. Particularly British people. Whether it’s on the street or the backroom of a pub, the British are funny, charming, and eccentric.