Leica Q at the Lenbachhaus in Munich
Munich has more than its fair share of great museums, art galleries and palaces not to mention wonderful shops, restaurants, beer halls and breweries. One of my favourite museums is the Städtische Galerie (City Gallery) in the Lenbachhaus. The main attraction of the museum is the collection of impressionist paintings by the German Blue Rider Group and in particular the works of Wassily Kandinsky. There are also works by Andy Warhol including those damn soup cans and, of particular interest to me, photographs by Stephen Shore and Walker Evans
The last time I visited the gallery, it was in the somewhat cramped and dingy Lenbachhaus, just twenty minutes’ walk from the Marienplatz — the centre of Munich. On my latest visit a few weeks ago, I found it still in the same location. At first glance, it was the same building with its beautiful garden. But the old house has been transformed by British architects Foster and Partners by the addition of a beautiful gallery building integrated into and added to the older building. Now it is airy and thoroughly modern, although some of the old rooms have been retained and preserved.
I could spare only ninety minutes for the gallery, but while there, I spotted this extremely colourful patron looking at the impressionist works in the Blue Rider Group room.
I took this photo with my Leica Q. The image is so sharp that I can almost, but not quite, read the name of the artist on the label below the painting on the original file.
I had planned to have my favourite X1 for use while walking around on my recent three-week trip to Romania and Munich, but unfortunately, the X1 disassembled itself while I was taking out the SD card to download photos onto my iPad on the second day of the trip. The latch mechanism retaining the battery and SD card fell out (a known and common problem), and I did not have the tools or, indeed, the know-how to reassemble it.
The camera is now hopefully winging its way by Australia Post to Leica’s Australian service agent in Melbourne for repair. It will be the second time this fault has been rectified. The first time, five years ago, it was done under warranty. As the lady at the repairer explained, my problem is that I use the camera too much. I suspect that she may have been only half joking.
Of course, the Q is a more than capable substitute for the X1, but it is a brick, and on a hot day in Munich it became more burdensome by the minute. Just as well I have never been tempted by an SL with that monster 28-70mm lens.
You can find more from John Shingleton at The Rolling Road and on Instagram at therollingroad.