Gear Talk, Leica X1, Street Photography
Comments 8

Leica X1 a new journey

Followers of this space know I’ve been on an extended hiatus for quite a while – a year plus but I’ve been pondering the megapixel marathon all that time playing with my Lightroom library (40K) and processing a few hundred images from the multitude of cameras (31 total) I’ve owned over the last 7 years. My personal conclusion, megapixels are just not that important to create the imagery I want and what’s more important are the haptics and ergonomics of the actual camera body and control themselves that really give me the edge.


Actually, when I shot with the D610 and its glorious 24 megapixels, yes I had an insane ISO capatilies and tons of resolution to crop but I quickly found out that I don’t really crop all that much (2-3%), I rarely print (something I’m definitely going to start doing but that’s another post), and I’m really ok with the ISO capabilites of most of the cams I’ve shot with. “C’mon Jorge are you serious” absolutely, when I scan my favorite images they usually are from smaller compacts and smaller apsc cameras. I won’t lie to you all and tell you I didn’t love the D700 (and other full frames I’ve had), I did but that kind of photography worked out great for me in more control scenarios and when being inconspicous wasn’t all that important, you know the type, family shoots, portraits, etc but for my main style which is more along the lines of pure documentary photography and street photography, or what I like to call “quotidian photography”.

Along the path I became well versed varous aspects of photography flash on and off camera, diffusers, soft boxes, etc etc but those are more application type of photography, they were not passion and that’s another reason why I became stagnant, I veered of the path and dove down into other styles and my passion slowly got put to a side. Regrets, I have none, I consider this a learning path in a long road, sort of like an apprentiship where you have to learn all aspects of photography before actually picking the one you love the most. Relatedly, wedding photography is actually quite interesting because it combines both my passions with various aspects of more technical photography including strobes et al, so I quite enjoyed the few weddings I shot.

Click on any image for Hi-Res view

Anyway, fast forward to September 2016 (all 31 cameras sold except the GRD4) and I decided to finally give attention to the camera that’s been whispering in my ear for the last 5 years – the Leica X1, a digital homage to the famous Leica A to Leica IIIf famously nicknamed “The Barnack”. It has an apsc sensor, no anti alias filter (or practically reduced to athin layer), 12 beautiful megapixels, and a lens to die for – the Leica Elmarit, oh its from 2009, so its considered a tyrannosaurus rex, an instinct breed which is no longer relevant in today current photography standard of insane ISO, 24 megapixels, and super sonic ballistic speed autofocus.


So there you have it the unadulterated truth of my photography and the start of a new journey and a new artistic path which removes all the nonsense from my camera addicted personality of the past. Well, I actually think I’m quite lucky because these realization took only 7 years. See you next time.

With the Leica X1, I have all that I need and everything I don’t to create the type of photography that sparkles my creativity and passion.

All images captured with the Leica X1 and processed in Capture One Pro 9
Some BW conversion from RAW (native DNG format) all manually focused or zone focused


  1. I’ve found that 16mgpxls is a sweet spot. I can print 20×24 at the largest, which is most I would print if I was in a standard darkroom. I have 3 small cameras I use. I’m very happy with what I’ve got.

    • Same here but going down to 12mp. 12mp to 16mp is very nice. Keith I’d love your input on how to/where to print my digital files. I’m a rookie in that regard and I’m going to start printing and making books in the near future.

      • I’ve been printing at home on an Epson 2200. It’s a bit older, but it does what I need it to do. I will probably upgrade next year. I’ve also been printing on aluminum through a place called Frimage. A good friend of mine is the owner. I highly recommend it.

        • Sweet thank you so much. I googled it and its got a great price, thanks for putting me on the right path. Keith I went to the support page fro ICC profiles and they had the following examples:

          Premium Luster Photo Paper
          Premium Glossy Photo Paper
          Enhanced Matte
          Watercolor Paper – Radiant White
          Velvet Fine Art Paper
          PremierArt™ Water-Resistant Canvas

          Which do you recommend for my type of work?

          Thanks again!

          • I’ve been using the profile for the Velvet Fine Art with great results. Though everyone’s mileage might vary. There are so many many variables!

  2. I’ve been doing the same thing, but without the hiatus. I’ve sold just about all the cameras and lenses I’d built up, and am now concentrating on just one film camera and three primes.

    I like how you processed the color shots.

    • Nice! For me 1 lens 1 camera is more than enough but I understand that there are diff applications for various focal lengths. 35mm is a nice happy middle ground from my normal range between 28mm-50mm. Thanks for chiming in Mitch.

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