B&H Photo interviews Doug Menuez about his decision to switch to Leica after decades with Nikon

After many happy years with Nikon, Doug Menuez recently made the switch to Leica, taking up the Leica SL as his camera of choice both for client work and street photography. Why the change? B&H Photo‘s Explora blog got the inside scoop. Below, an excerpt:

“I got really interested in mirrorless systems that might replace the bigger Nikons,” he notes. “I always had Leicas and their insanely great lenses, so once I really started looking for the perfect mirrorless system, the Leica SL just hit me.” He got his hands on an SL, in January 2017, and tried it out during a significant personal event.

“I immediately realized this ticked all the boxes,” he says. “The camera fit me like a glove.”

He says, “I still had a lot to learn about the camera, and wanted to get the whole system, so I jumped right in. That’s something I’ve always done—I just go for it, and learn on the fly. It’s a way to force myself to adapt and learn. I realized this was a new tool for a different era, so by April, I had switched 100 percent to all Leica, all the time.”

Despite the risk of using a totally new system, Menuez dove into commercial projects, from inventive portraits at the EG Conference in California for Adobe, to troubled teens for the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in Massachusetts, to a New York University Hackathon, when he used the SL’s video capabilities for his Fearless Genius documentary.

The ultimate test came in May, when Menuez used the Leica SL for a FedEx campaign on the tarmac and runway of one of the world’s busiest airports for freight, in Memphis, Tennessee. “It was super high pressure,” he says. “Things could not have been trickier, working around jets loading and unloading on the runway, all night in the pouring rain. There was nothing anybody could do, and I couldn’t miss a shot, but it was flawless. These things are waterproof tanks,” he adds. “And they’re also great in low light—much better than I had expected.”

 

Read more: “Why I Switched from Nikon to Leica: Doug Menuez”

 

 

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