While planning for the course, I had decided to bring along only two lenses for my M9, that is a 35mm and a 60mm. That turned out to be a wise choice since Eric asked students not to use any zooms, so we could learn to move around and preframe mentally. Actually, many of his reportages were done with a 35mm and 50mm combo, and he is a long time Leica user. I never felt the need for a longer lens, and I only once wished I had a super wide angle, so I guess you really can do anything with a 35mm and 50mm lens. I used the 35mm Lux as standard lens for 80% of my shots and mounted the 60mm Hexanon mainly for portraits or when I needed the extra thin depth of field it provides wide open. The shots below were taken in a caravan camp. These two gypsy women gladly accepted to be part of this improvised portraits session. Below are three shots that I found interesting:
Portrait of the gypsy grandmother with the 60mm at 1 meter, notice the very thin depth of field as only her eyes are in focus. (click on pictures to enlarge)
Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F1.4, 1/750, ISO200, ND filter
Portrait of the young gypsy with her grandmother. Taken at 0.7 meters with the 35mm Lux. Here again the depth of field is very thin yet the wider focal allows to include more subjects in the frame. Yet none of these pictures made the final cut, mainly because they were strongly underexposed (no post processing was allowed during the course).
Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/750, ISO200, ND filter
Finally a last portrait with the 60mm lens from further distance. It allowed to include both women, keep a thin depth of field, compress the background, and have an interaction between the girl and her grandmother. Add to that colors in line with the final series and that picture made the cut.
Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F1.4, 1/350, ISO200, ND filter