I am a Leica snob, a natural light shooter, a street shooter, a gear fetishist, and a die hard film shooter.
I had helped a friend get his Leica gear CLA’d so that he could sell the gear last year. He ended up changing his mind so I shipped his gear back to him. A few days ago, I discovered that I still had his SF20 Leica flash unit. I had never shot with a flash unit hot shoed onto my Leica before (sacrilege!) but that night I was heading to drinks for a co-worker off the Bowery.
So yeah, what the hell. Why not try it out? Especially as daylight savings time had just kicked in and all available light started to disappear each day around 4PM.
I must say it was fun to shoot without having to listen to my Nikon auto-focus engine complain as it tries to find an area of suitable contrast to lock in on. Focusing in low-light with the rangefinder was a dream. Setting it 1/50 sec at f8.0, I was able to freely shoot fast and unobtrusively, no pre-flash red light warning subjects of an incoming shot.
The bar was very dark and the SF20 is strong and bright. People were blinded for several seconds afterwards.
Here are the results. I must say it feels a bit silly to shoot happy snaps at a bar with a hot shoe flash unit on my Leica MP, but I also have to say that there is something really crisp and nice about these images. Granted, there is nothing outstnding about them but seeing that Leica quality on these snapshots is kind of cool.