Traveling Through Italy with the Leica T System

Many of you know me as the representative for Leica Camera in Northern California, and I have access to all of Leica's photo gear. This can be a problem when choosing what camera and lenses I should use.

December seventeenth I boarded a flight to Rome. I spent a week in Rome, and then headed north to Montepulcino, which is in the heart of Tuscany, for a second week.

Should I take my Leica M System, as I did to Paris a few years back, or maybe the new SL and 24-90 Vario, which I use quite a bit now. I decided to take the Leica T System. The reason for this choice was two fold, as in Paris, Rome would be more street style shooting, and Tuscany would be divided between landscape, and details. The T is an APSC system, which makes it smaller and lighter to carry. The body and three zoom lenses fit in my ONA messenger bag.

Working with the T, I notice how easy it is to use.  The camera is much faster focusing with the new firmware in place.  The camera also boots up faster.  The camera now gives better file quality at higher ISO.  My evening and night photos were taken at ISO 6400.  There are two dials on top of the camera, one of which can be programmed.  Since I shoot in aperture priority, I programmed the left dial to exposure compensation, which made adjusting the exposure very simple. A lot of photographers don’t like EVFs’. I do. I can see the exposure as I make my adjustments.  The smartphone touch type back on the camera made it easy to change modes, or any other adjustments to the camera and there are no multi level menus to dig down through.

In Rome, I averaged walking about five miles a day through the neighborhoods and was so happy I decided on the Leica T System. I kept the 18-56mm zoom lens on the camera most of the time. I used the 11-23mm zoom on a few images where I did not have room to back up, or to give a wide perspective. Walking around at night was even better. The T performs well at ISO 6400, and with image stabilization, there was no need for a tripod. I carried the two wide zooms at night, and being compact, I was able to keep the 11-23 zoom in my jacket pocket, while having the 18-56 mounted on the camera.

Tuscany was different as I had a car. I traveled what are referred to as the "White Roads".  They are the small dirt roads that connect the hill towns and villages in the Val d Orcia. My travels here took me to the main hill towns of Montepulcino, Pienza, and Monticello. In the towns, I used the wide angle zooms, and out on the road, I used the 55-135mm ASPH to capture the distant villas perched on ridge lines and to compress some of the long distance views.

Below are some images from my journey in Italy.