The irrational story of why I bought a Leica M3 / by Deen Schroeder

I started shooting film in March of 2016 and when I fell into it I wanted a Leica as my first film camera. That naive hope soon faded away when I saw the prices that they sell for and the overwhelming variety of bodies and lenses to choose from.

The last year has been filled with lots of film exploration, experimentation and learning but I had a serious case of Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS). You may laugh, but every photographer has been afflicted by GAS at some point. I would buy new cameras whenever I got the chance, I would hunt for bargains, buy new formats just to give it a go and before long I had collected about 20 cameras.

Having a collection of cameras may sound appealing but it can be the complete opposite. You end up  spoilt for choice and indecisive about what to shoot and when to shoot it. Choice, in this case, was detrimental to me taking photos.

In April of this year, a year after receiving my first roll of film back from the lab, I made the decision to stop chasing my dream camera and commit to it. The dream camera was the double stroke Leica M3 – the quintessential Leica in my opinion. It is a fully mechanical rangefinder and the first M-Mount Leica. The Germany engineering and brass construction make for one seriously beautiful piece of kit. I have always described as “Sex in brass and glass.”

Buying a 60-year-old camera is completely irrational in 2017 when there are better, more convenient options but if we did everything for the sake of convenience we would not pursue the things that we love most. Practicality goes out the window when emotions are involved.

We love with our hearts and our souls. It is not rational and it never will be, but fuck it, I love making photos with my Leica. 

 Images shot on my Double Stroke Leica M3 with the Leica 50mm Summicron Dual-Range