Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

You like-a, me Leica

I think it was last year or maybe the year before that I heard that a certain 35mm Leica camera of not a very vintage age was worth thousands dollars on eBay.

I called Florida and asked my mother and asked if she knew where my father’s cameras were. I had known that he had bought a Leica back in the 70’s but I didn’t know what model it was. I did remember that it was a nice piece of work. It was the type of workmanship that would have made Himmler proud and brought a tear to his eye. A solid example of German engineering with a smooth action and movement that made you feel confident in whatever activity you were about to participate in. I would stare through the view finder and watch the little circle in the middle focus and refocus as I played with the lenses mesmerized by the control that I seemed to have over light and images and maybe the future.

Unfortunately, I never really used the camera and now that I think about it, I never saw my father use it either. He was more of a cheap, plastic throwaway camera user back before people bought disposable cameras and still turned their noses up at anything plastic. In fact later on in life he would thrill at the idea of having as many forms inexpensive cameras as possible. He would have Polaroids of course, as well as cameras with a revolving disk of film or something. He had many others that came in a box that you mailed back somewhere when you were done and others that I swear looked like they came out of a box of cereal or free with a purchase of under arm deodorant.

So as far as I knew the Leica was untouched and in pristine condition in its shiny black leather and red velvet lined case, or at least it would have been if my mother hadn’t thrown everything out when my father had died.

I bring this up only because a couple of weeks before my last trip I bought a video camera. It was Panasonic that cost way to little for something that was supposed to brand new from Amazon and yes when I opened the box I had the distinct feeling that someone else’s hand touched the merchandise before mine and I was sort of upset. But for $300 less than the cost at Best Buy was $300 that I could use elsewhere so I kept it and moved on. However, what I also noticed was that the lens for the Panasonic was made by Leica. I had finally gotten my own Leica product and even if it was just a little lens, it still made me feel a little warm inside. Funny that, I think I’m still competing with a dead man that I don’t think I ever liked.

Anyway, here below is the reason that I bought the thing. It’s much too long but I didn’t want to make 2 or 3 videos. If you watch it enjoy, if not, trust me you’re not going to miss anything that you haven’t seen before and I promise, this will be the last time on this subject.


  1. Nice video. I've always said I wanted to get a camcorder, but I'm too picky for my own good. But hmm.... your video looks really nice. What media does it record to? harddrive, memory stick, direct DVD, miniDV?

  2. Dusty Boot - The camera is a Panasonic HDC-SD9 that records in HD to a flash memory card in AVCHD. That mode is hard to play in many players, so I have to convert it to MPEG2 if I want to edit it in a program other than the one that came with the camera and then render it into something else if I want to like AVI or WMV which both work well in Windows.

    I had heard there was a lot of noise that could be avoided by not getting a camcorder with a DVD or mini-DVD and a longer recording time by not getting the Hard Drives that are out at present.

  3. Choices choices. I'll stick to still photography for the time being, then. :)

  4. It didn't play for me? What up with that? You know I love photography.

  5. Hmm - I wonder if I can get hold of a LEica, somewhere. Would make my Peeing Tom activities much more enjoyable...

  6. Lovely video. I have a camcorder but its not this clear.

  7. One Man - I don't know why that would be unless you don't have flash on your computer or are you sure that you are hitting the play button on lower left hand of picture?

    Sanya - Yes you need to get a good lens to capture things just like your hero Jimmy Stewert did when he used to do that.

    Tairebabs - That's the beauty of High Definition. More lines of picture make for a better output.

  8. lol - I think Sanya meant "peeping Tom" but she said "peeing Tom" - I got a whole different visual, lol

    The video was beautiful, it was fun to see all of the places you took pictures of in video too. Were the birds sounds real or did you add those in? I love the sounds of birds.

  9. RunningMom - No the spot those people were taking their siesta was on Palatine Hill where the emperors used to live so it was high up and away from everything so the bird song was real. You also got that sound on the dome of St Peters because of the big extensive gardens of the Vatican but not so much.

  10. Absolutely wonderful! I enjoyed the video and it was so very touching watching that family on: Paltine Hill relax in the afternoon sun.

    The background music and sounds were great, made me feel like I was there.

    The camera appears to be a great investment. pleased you have Lecia in your life, sad that your Mom couldn't locate your Dads oldd cameras.

  11. Chet - Yes it was sort of sad about the camera and I don't know if that was the right one people were buying or bidding on, but if it was I could have gotten another trip out of it.


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