Stitching up Venice with a Leica M-P and 50mm Apo-Summicron
No fancy panoramic tricks with the humble Leica M, a camera that gets down to the basics of photography with fewer bells and whistles that most. But it does mean you could be stymied if you are travelling with a single focal length, in this case the 50mm Apo-Summicron. George James, whose fantastic Via Garibaldi street shot I published yesterday, is the purest photographer I know.
George sticks to his Leica M-P like a limpet and, where possible, uses just one lens. Currently 50mm is à la mode, forsaking all else. Unlike some of us, he refuses to heed the persuasive siren calls of other marques and, I am sure, he is a better photographer for it. I admire his approach tremendously and, often, I feel like turfing out everything but the Leica and just the one lens. Instead, I find myself trying out a clutch of new cameras and loads of lenses every year, a true jack of all trades.
Being of a pure disposition, however, requires focus and dedication. The above shot of the Salute, Santa Maria della Salute, on the Punta della Dogana in Venice was taken with the preferred 50mm Apo-Cron but is actually two photographs very effectively stitched together in Photoshop. George reckons in order to get the whole of this scene in one shot from his vantage point on the opposite bank of the Grand Canal would have required a 35mm or even 28mm prime. Instead, he had just the Apo-Cron and his ingenuity to play with.
I takes real sense of purpose to go to Venice for a week with just one prime lens in the bag, but who is to say this isn't the best approach? No temptations, no indecisions, just the blissful peace of mind that comes with having no alternative. Fortunately, when it does come down to Hobson's choice, there's no better lens to rely on than Leica's truly wonderful 50 Apo-Cron.