I like the Leica Q2 but I'm still searching to find those "horrible" Jpeg colors all the early reviewers went on and on about..

I added some vignetting in post. Otherwise the files would have been too perfect....

The message here is......coffee.

I'm getting settled with this camera in record time.
I am amazed at how quick it is to work with and how 
wonderful the files look. It just works. 


New camera passes the graffiti test.

On the outskirts of the UT Austin campus. Originated as Jpegs. Large Jpegs. 

Yeah. So it was raining. We got wet. It was okay.

I was curious to see if the Q2 would be sharp enough for casual work.....

 I think it might be. This is a wonderful mural just off Guadalupe at 23rd. When I open the 47+ megapixel file I can see not only the brushstrokes but striations of the individual brush bristles... I guess that will work okay for street shooting... Might want to click into this one but hold the vicious critiques; it's sized at 3200 pixels wide for the blog...

Handheld. Jpeg. f4.0, etc.,etc.

It's cooling off, dribbling rain and monotone gray outside. I'm inside kitting out my camera.

Austin Downtown. 

Leica SL (original)

Panasonic 20-60mm lens.

The Leica Q2 is.... cute. By that I mean it's designed (visually) to be better than it has to be in order to do its job. If you believe that its job is to make photographs. I mention this with full intention because I believe you really don't need to bring items that are not well designed into your life even if they do function just fine and cost less. Design is usually its own reward.

Whenever a Leica product is reviewed or mentioned on Digital Photo Review's website several people will write a comment saying how well designed or beautifully designed the product is. Then, without fail, several commenters will make the statement that they Never Consider aesthetics or design when shopping for a car, an appliance, or a camera. I feel sorry for people who are incapable of seeing good aesthetic design as a valued feature in the material goods they choose to bring into their lives and use daily for years; maybe decades. It just doesn't make sense. A preference for good design is one of the things that differentiates us from robots. Or straight-line thinkers. 

Sadly, I think I've spent far, far too long having to budget pennies and watch expenses. Now that I can actually afford to buy myself a wasteful but fun camera I find myself worried about the consequences of rough handling. Edge wear on the bottom edges of the camera from putting it down on rock walls and setting it on the pavement. Dings and paint chipping from bumps and scrapes. If I was really wealthy none of these things might bother me. If my camera got too scratched up (and if I cared about that kind of wear) I'd just trade it in on a new one. But my brain certainly isn't operating in that lofty, elitist sphere most of the time.

I thought I'd do what most paranoid, luxury camera owners do and try to protect the object as well as possible. To that end I started researching half cases. Half cases are what we old timers would recognize as the bottom halves of leather "every-ready" cases that came packaged or were available as protective, fitted cases for cameras. You may also know them as "Never Ready Cases." Camera makers supplied versions for each of their SLR cameras back in the 1970s. Something that vanished completely for a while but which are being resurrected for cameras now by high end camera makers and also many third party companies. A "half case" protects the part of a camera that seems to get the most incidental damage. The bottom plate and the bottom corners and edges of a camera. 

I started out by looking to see what Leica might have for me and found that they make a nice half case for the Q2 camera but for the princely sum of $220. A bit rich, I thought, for something that used to come as standard for even most most base level interchangeable lens cameras from the past... So I researched further on one of my favorite online sites for a seller of all things Leica. Much to my shock, horror and amusement one can spend $350, $450 and up to $950 to purchase a small, leather half case from a number of companies which specialize in Leica cases, bags and straps. I want protection for my new camera but don't feel as though that protection should cost more than the monthly payment on a Tesla.

With my cheapness on full display I headed for the refuge of every bored bargain hunter: Amazon. There I found an assortment of Leica Q2 half cases which ranged in price from $17..95 up to and including the nose bleed options from Leica. Amazon, wisely, seems to have drawn the line at full on absurdity and are not currently helping to move many of the "over $500" half cases. And I have to say that unless the materials include leather found on some exotic off-world expeditions held together with unicorn mane threading I just can't see the difference in value of a luxe Leica branded case and any of the more "esoteric" cases. 

I took a chance and ordered a Mega-Gear branded case for a whopping, eye-watering $28. Free shipping with Prime. The case arrived quickly as it did not require armed guards to ensure its safe delivery. The case looked just fine, smelled like real leather and also came with a leather strap. It fit snuggly on the first try but over the last few days has loosened up and feels more naturally fitted now. There are little trap doors on the bottom that allow one to change the battery and SD card without full case removal. The trap door works well on the battery side but is a bit misaligned on the SD card side. Nothing that can't be fixed with a little work and the sharp edge of a Kershaw Leek pocket knife blade. But the case does what I wanted it for quite well; it creates a good, stiff, resilient barrier between the sweet black anodized body of the camera and the harsh chaos of the outside world. 

I might try one more case in the $60 range but then again I may just decide to be happy with this one. It does the job. The step up might do the job with a slightly better fit...

Certainly I'm opening up myself here to the scathing rebuke of some "witty" commenter who will no doubt contrast my willingness to "overspend" on a camera ("should have gotten a Sony and a bag full of lenses!") but be too cheap to spend Leica-Style money on a case for the same. Let it fly. I agree. I can only blame this particular shortcoming on being raised by depression era parents who thought things like college educations for their kids and retirement accounts were higher priorities...

Once I solved my equation concerning a good compromise for keeping the body of the camera in good shape it occurred to me that I should also depart from my usual, "No gratuitous use of non-essential lens filters" stance and figure out how to protect what is probably the most expensive part of this expensive camera; the lens. 

My usual take on lenses is that they are replaceable, meant to be used naked, and perform best with the fewest added air glass interfaces. Meaning no filters. Especially cheap filters. The urge to toss a "protection" filter on every lens, from crappy kit lens to weird third party optical catastrophe lenses bugs me. But as I started to ponder this use case a thought made it through my thick skull and I realized that this camera was a complete system with a non-removable lens and one scratch or chip on the front surface of the lens could be financial armageddon. I can't even guesstimate the cost of replacing a Leica front lens element on a Q2 but I know it would not be cheap, reasonable, slightly expensive or even "a bit pricey." 

I shoot out in the elements a lot so I ordered a high quality 49mm filter and put it on the front of the lens ASAP. So now....just now....I'm ready to venture out into today's mist and take a few shots with this pampered German art piece. I hope it's worth all the trouble. 

And.....yes.....I am crazy enough after shooting with the Q2 for only one weekend.....to actually be considering what kinds of things I could also do with a Q2 Monochrom. But I'll have to wait for a full recovery of the stock market before I even begin to go down that road...and my crystal ball is hazy there.

Over time I'm sure my prissiness about the "expensive camera" will wear off and I'll use it the way I've always used cameras. And stop babying it. That was the trajectory with the SL2 and now I consider it in the same light as my old and crusty SL cameras. Everything hits its equilibrium in time.