In a huge display of goodwill, my friend and neighbour Simon, has entrusted me with his late father's camera; a beautiful Leica M4 rangefinder!
Simon's dad, George, started out as a banker but after 30 years in the bank, he quit, to follow his interest in photography (there is hope for me yet!). His work appeared in the 'Fife Herald', 'Scottish Field' and 'Scotland's Magazine' throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s and he travelled far and wide shooting on assignment.
A number of George's images were donated to St Andrews University and have been archived by St Andrews University Library, you can view and search through them here: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/imu/imu.php?request=browse&irn=1697
I'm sure Simon would be the first to admit, this camera has definitely seen some action: it has the patina and sticky focusing action to prove it but how many cameras from today do you think will still be working even 20 years from now? Leica's from this period were built to last and this M4 has seen over have a century of use and can still turn out beautiful images,
As well as the camera I scored a worn leather box full of 'treasure': a couple of lenses, a Visoflex SLR converter, extension tubes, filters and a prism viewfinder. I'll write more about using these in another post.
I'm thrilled at having the chance to shoot with it for a few months; in my first few weeks with the camera I shot 3 rolls of films and you can see the results below, I would say there is life in the old girl yet!
Thanks again to Simon for his generous loan of the camera and keep a look out for my next blog post on the experience of shooting with a Leica M4.