…’lovin’ my Leica!’

March 2015

I’ve had a little gem tucked away in the closet for a couple of years now – see https://carrymycamera.com/2014/02/15/weekly-photo-challenge-treasure/ if you’re interested in hearing how I acquired an original Leica M3.  I initially tried to load a roll of film (without success) and due to other commitments and distractions, hadn’t picked it up again until recently.  This time it was to take it for a visit with a retired Leica servicing engineer, apparently one of the few people in North America with the knowledge to do this, and lucky for me, he lives in Vancouver (Mr Horst Wenzel). After a full overhaul and cleaning Mr Wenzel assured me it will work as good as new for the next 25 yrs at least.  Funnily enough, it’s probably been about that long since my dad last used it. An added bonus of the servicing was that the kind and patient Mr Wenzel also showed me how to load a film!  I could have googled this in hindsight, but it was pretty special to have a lesson from someone so well acquainted with the camera.

I can’t articulate how proud I was to stroll out with my Leica last weekend – but without doubt, the most exciting part of snapping my first roll of film was the not knowing whether it had been exposed properly, or at all (maybe I hadn’t been paying full attention when Mr Wenzel gave me the film loading lesson?!).  This said, I reminded myself that it was a “test run” and tried to make my peace with the fact that perhaps no images would be processed, so not to be too down-hearted.   I dropped off the roll of film after much searching around for a photo lab that processes b+w film, and have to say, I’d forgotten the feeling of anxious anticipation from my 35mm film ‘point and shoot’ days when going to collect my prints…., unable to resist even getting home before eagerly flipping open the packet to see my cherished memories (or not in some instances!).   Print collection day came around painfully slow, and as I approached the processing lab, I actually had butterflies as I envisioned the lab technicians off in a corner giggling behind their hands – when they saw who it was that had wasted a whole roll of b+w film (and associated processing costs – not cheap!).   So I was more than pleasantly surprised when I was handed a packet that felt pretty thick – and did in fact contain 26 prints!!!   Some shot came out better than others and I’ve posted a few here for posterity.  I’ll give it another try soon in colour….so watch this space 🙂

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