I made a youtube video unboxing the Leica M10-P. I do go way more into depth about why I bought this camera in the blog, but if you'd rather just watch, or do both, you can do that as well!


I know I'm impatient, restless, peevish, among many other things. And I know I've said this is the last camera I'll ever own, or that 2024 was the year for film. I know, I've said a lot, and I meant those things in the moment; however, I also know that it's okay to make mistakes, try new things, test new things out and not feel bad for having to account for those errors in logic down the road. After all, everything is a learning experience.

Well, after a month of not having my old M10, I bought a new one. Why, you might ask... Well here's the thing, I love shooting film, love it. But what I don't love is developing, or perhaps the issues that surround developing film. I don't love scanning my film in either, but I don't necessarily hate it either, in fact sometimes it's fun to just put on a podcast or youtube video and scan in some film, more on that later.

Okay so my developing dilemma, the first one is that I live in San Antonio. Now, I generally really like living in San Antonio, occasionally even love living here, but the fact is, despite being an enormous city ranking in at number 7 in the U.S. in regards to population, we're still quite behind in a lot of ways. One being when it comes to film labs in San Antonio, now we have print labs that dabble in film, but we don't have dedicated film labs. You can get color film developed with a turnaround of about 3 hours to a week, now black and white is a whole other story, you're looking at a minimum of 2 weeks! I hear that they actually send the film off to California, if that's the case, I may as well send it off myself to a place called The Darkroom, located in California as well. Shoot, for all I know, they're sending the film to them as well. Anyways, In Austin, just about an hour away from San Antonio, there are at least 3 dedicated film labs that I've found with generally an hour turnaround for just developing, which is all I need. For someone like me, I generally shoot black & white film, there's a classic look that I don't think can be replicated by digital sensors. Now when it comes to color, I think digital cameras have far surpassed color film by a long shot; although, color film does have a certain aesthetic, and vibe, that I don't think can be replicated by digital sensors, but I also feel like with a little touch, color digital files can look great!

Now I actually do enjoy developing my own B&W film, but I don't necessarily have the space. Years back when I got into film photography, the Southwest School of Arts offered a darkroom class that had lots of studio hours. The darkroom back then was open 24/7, then cut down to being open until midnight every night. Now back then you could print & develop late into the night. Now, post pandemic, the hours have shortened tremendously, with there only being open hours during the weekend. Last year the hours were 11am-5pm, now 1pm-5pm. If you've ever developed, or printed a photo in the darkroom, that's hardly enough time to really get anything done, maybe 1, or 2 solid prints, then it's time to clean up.

On top of all of these things, the price of film is out of control, when I started out, you could shoot film for about $5 a roll, now it's about double...

Now, I knew all of these things when I declared I was only going to shoot film in 2024. But I had this romantic idea of shooting film for all personal work. The reality is that unless you have the funding to pay for scanning & developing, which is about an extra $12-20 a roll, the time to wait for the film to come back, and the uphill battle it's become to acquire film gear. Then stick with digital.

Something I didn't mention about shooting film, is the magic one feels when shooting film. There's a mystery in hitting that shutter. There's also a magic in shooting a photo and not seeing that photo immediately. Seeing the photo a week, 2 weeks, or a month later wherein you get to live that magical moment twice.

Okay, so why did I buy a Leica M10 again? Well, let's face it, in this fast paced world, I really couldn't afford to wait up to a month or longer for film. I also sent off a roll to a lab and unfortunately it was ruined in the machine they use. With film this happens, but mainly the only reason this happened is because, post pandemic, supplies are harder to get a hold of. I develop 99% of my b&w film myself, but at the time it was really hard to get a hold of Ilford DDX, the developing chemical that I use, so I figured, why not just send off the film. Well, as luck should have it, the one time I send off my B&W film in years and it gets ruined.

So with things being what they are, I realized that Leica rangefinder cameras offer the most film like experience along with some of the best modern specs regarding digital cameras. The colors that come from the Leica sensor are so pure and natural, unlike the Sony camera that I shoot with, which are a bit harsh. So, after buying the M10, I learned about the M10-P, they're very similar cameras, but the M10-P has an even quieter shutter, reminiscent of the film Leica's, now, going to be honest, they are similar, but not identical. The film Leica still sounds way better than the M10-P, but as a Leica shooter, I do prefer the quieter shutter, this allows me to be less obtrusive. Now, at the time of writing this, I've only had the M10-P for a day, but to me, the colors look great, the shutter is basically silent, and I even like that the camera doesn't have the red Leica sticker on the front. I've said this before, but I plan on keeping this M10-P for as long as it lasts. In the meantime, I plan to sell off the Leica M2, M3, 35mm Summaron, & potentially even my Leica M4-2 that I purchased last year. I think moving forward, less is more. On top of that, I think that I will shift my focus towards primarily using the Hasselblad 500 C/M as my film camera, and the M10-P will replace my 35mm film needs moving forward. My only reservation towards selling off all of my 35mm film Leica cameras is that I've gotten so good with the Leica, it's second nature to shoot with the Leica now, it's hard to part with them, but, I do think less is more. Then I won't have to decide between should I bring my film camera out today, or digital, it'll always just be digital, or my Hassy. I like that idea.

Until next time...