Romanticizing the Leica Q Titanium – a medium-term review.

If you have been following this site, you would have read about my continuous flirtations with the Leica Q and Leica Q2, (click on the names to go to their respective reviews) making it a total of 3 times where a Q or Q2 has entered the house and left.

(don’t judge, there’s a friend who has gone beyond the number 5 or 6)

*disclaimer. 

  1. This is not a technical review with sexy MTF curves, for that, refer to my original reviews linked above. 
  2. All images shared here are photographed by me and all edited from raw according to my preferences in LR CC. 
  3. I am not paid to write this and the cameras mentioned here belong to me and in this sense, allows me to be candid and honest. 

Obviously, such a habit is nothing to be proud of, and after a few months without the Leica Q, what pushed me over the edge again?

1st reason.

These 2 images below from the former Leica Q haunted me because in a sense the closest (or frankly in some instances exceeded) that came to the Leica Q was the output from the Nikon Df and the Nikkor 28mm f1.4E which is another hell of an excellent setup but yet they are different. Nothing in my Fujifilm X-mount system came close at the 28mm focal length, though I may have heard that Fujifilm may be planning an XF18mm f1.4 lens.

Regardless of how one can pick at the price, optical design or anything about the Q, the fact is the output is excellent and it is simply still one of the ‘value for money’ (yes, it sounds ironic) ways to use a Leica 28mm Summilux setup.


Q at f2.8, ISO100


Q at f4, ISO100

And so it became a logical progression to now whether was the choice going to be a Leica Q2 or another original Leica Q.

2nd reason. 

And the second reason that pushed me over the cliff was a friend (he must be gleefully rubbing his hands now) was that he led me to a person who was considering letting go of a tip-top condition Leica Q Titanium from the collection.

And the rest was, well, history.

The choice of a Q in the end over the much more modern and powerful Q2 did raise a few eyebrows amongst fellow users.


Q at f5.6, ISO100

For starters, why 24.2 megapixels when u can have a glorious 42.4 megapixels?

Both Q versions present the same original set of optics, but with a newer sensor and processor in the Q2, there has been much talk about the degrading of image quality due to the cramming of twice as many pixels on the same sized sensor but frankly to me that is a myth at least at the practical level. To me, it is even simpler – 24.2 megapixels is simply enough, and frankly, do we really need 42.4 megapixels?


for the ball lovers among us, Q at f1.7, ISO3200

There are of course other reasons why a Leica Q2 is better to justify the price tag: better battery life (but now the battery does cost double), weather resistance and improved ergonomics, but this is like finding a partner, would u want the most attractive or the one just attractive enough for u to be happy with? Well, it’s the latter for me.


Q at f2, ISO100


Q at f1.7, ISO100

When one has muscle memory of the camera, camera operation becomes fluid, and that is a strength of the design of Leica cameras where instead of a camera with close to a hundred menu options, one may end up fiddling between just 1 page worth of menu options and the Leica Q is one such camera focused on the essentials.


Q at f2 ISO100

In fact, the main reason I enter the menu in the Leica Q is just to format the SD-card, period. The operation is such that I engage Manual mode to adjust shutter speed when needed, and if not, I simply shoot with Auto-ISO in Aperture mode, and that is all available with the physical dials.

Another strength some forgot or don’t know is that the Leica Q comes with optical image stabilization, allowing it to push ISO as low as possible.


Q at f2, ISO100


Q at f1.7, ISO100


Q at f1.7, ISO2500

In a sense, that’s is the story of Leica Q and me, and in this case, the 4th meeting made it right.

Instead of an insatiable chase for what is always the newest, and when being ‘not the newest’ doesn’t necessarily imply inferiority, the Q vs the Q2 is akin to the difference between what is very good and excellent. 

Some have asked whether will I move to the M, for that is what Leica truly stands for, well, that is something I am not in a hurry to.  

 

Thank you for reading. 

Keith Wee

Keith: Father, Teacher and Life Photographer. Writer for Fujifilm Asia Pacific, Fujilove and FujiXPassion and seeks to photograph Life & his 2 toddlers Kei & Lynn.

One thought on “Romanticizing the Leica Q Titanium – a medium-term review.

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