October 13, 2008 by Allen George
I have a habit.
I have a habit, and the habit is film. Not just any old dross, mind you, but Kodak, Portra 400NC. (Anyone who directs me to a large, reasonably-priced stock of the stuff earns my undying gratitude.) Yes, there are inconveniences – price, processing time and cost, the lack of instant feedback – but it’s easy to forgive these when I consider its color, the times it’s saved me despite my stupidity, and its allowing me to use my CL.
Sadly, like all habits it is expensive: a single roll can cost up to 13 dollars to buy, develop and scan; and the bills pile up quickly if you’re even a mildly prolific photographer, faster if you’re out on the street on a regular basis. Yet I cannot deny that 9 times out of 10, when given a choice between the D70 and the CL, I pick the CL. And it needs film. And film needs to be bought and processed. And . . .
Leica, I need a compact, reasonably-priced digital camera in the spirit of the CL, and no, despite your advertising it as the “son of the M8,” the D-Lux 4 doesn’t count. Give it a large sensor with wide dynamic range that’s good up to ISO 1600, a bright viewfinder, great manual controls, and I’ll buy it. Heck, I’ll buy it and a 35mm Summarit as well. And then, maybe then, I’ll kick my film habit for good.