Journey into Anolog: Shooting with a piece of history

Unearthed Leica

Shooting with a LEICA is like a long tender kiss, like firing an automatic pistol, like an hour on the analyist’s couch. -Henri Cartier-Bresson

I was having drinks with my friend Jonathan a few months back and he showed me an old camera that his grandfather had purchased in 1938 to document the birth of Jon’s mom. The camera, a Leica IIIc, had not been used since the mid 60s if not even long before that. It was one of the few physical bits of connection that Jon had with his late grandfather, and he was really hoping to see it get put to use again.

I sent the Leica off to Youxin Ye, a highly recommended specialist in all things Leica, and couldn’t wait to start taking some shots. These photos, shot with Lomo’s X-Pro 100 film, are the first shots developed off of this beautiful family heirloom in over half a century.

Unearthed Leica

Unearthed Leica

Unearthed Leica


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5 responses to “Journey into Anolog: Shooting with a piece of history

  1. Justin Watt Avatar

    Hilarious that you mention Youxin Ye, because A) I just started following your blog (thanks to a shout out by Todd Lappin on Boing Boing, though I’m pretty sure I’ve stumbled through here before), and B) I just got my Leica M3 back from Youxin a week ago. 

    I purchased it in March as part of a delayed gratification photography project (which it sounds like your own journey into analog), only to discover some weird aberrations by the time I got through my 4th roll of film. I’m picking up first post-CLA roll of film this afternoon, fingers crossed.

  2. DocPop Avatar

     Great posts, thanks for sharing. That math on 2 rolls of film a year is frakking scary though!

    I had a somewhat similar experience with my Leica… sort of. After getting back the camera from Youxin, I had no idea how to wind the film for the IIIc. I had been shooting film on various cameras for 5 months, and thought I had a grasp on the process, but these Leica’s have such a unique way that I kept messing it up. My first four rolls of film were all blank… all because I had not rolled properly. It wasn’t until the roll just before the one in this post that I finally rolled the camera successfully… but then we used expired developer and the roll was ruined. Seriously though, I was just happy to finally have shot onto the film though 🙂

  3. Justin Watt Avatar

    Man, if my first roll had come back blank (let alone first 4!), I would have probably given up. We’re so conditioned for instant gratification these days, that just going through the motions with that first roll of film (without any indication of future success) required a certain act of faith.

    Also, meant to say thanks for mentioning Noisebridge in some previous posts. I know someone who’s recommended the place before, but I had no idea they had a darkroom. Definitely need to stop by.

  4. DocPop Avatar

     Hit me up if you’d like to check the space out, and I can show you around the dark room. M/W/F and some weekends are usually pretty open for me. http://docpop.wpengine.com/contact/

    Also, I recommend signing up for the Dark Room list to follow what’s happening there https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Darkroom

  5. […] some color shots from my friend’s Leica IIIc a few days ago, but they were a bit high contrasty… and I wanted something a little more classic […]

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