#1284. Boston with the Leica DG 9mm

By Chris Stump | Travel Photography

May 02

So, it was school vacation week recently, and we spent three days down in Boston.


This is “ol’ stompin’ grounds” for us, as my parents met there, I was born there, we were engaged there, and my wife attended undergrad there. It’s a favorite city for the family for sure.

We arrived just two days after the Marathon, but you’d never have known…the city hosts so many events and cleans up so quickly.


Highlights were a Red Sox game…which they unfortunately lost…the Hayden Planetarium, and the Common and Garden. It’s a great walking city.

I took the GX85 and Leica DG 9mm [e-18mm] f1.7 ASPH along for the visit. Mainly as a trial run before our upcoming vacation in Canada. [I’d like to say ‘annual visit’, but covid ruined that tradition as soon as it started.]


The 9mm is quite a departure from the other short Leica DG primes for MFT. It has a very noticeably plastic barrel for one, and more importantly lacks an aperture ring. When street shooting, which is broadly what I use these lenses for, I really appreciate the option to quickly select a rough aperture on the fly…without having to verify my choice on a screen or in the view finder. Move from bright sun to shadow? Open up a few. Done. And vice-versa.


This lens does not allow for that, but the image quality was great. I’ve often described the GX85 paired with a 15mm Leica DG f1.7 as the digital equivalent of my M3 and 35mm Summichron. And it is. And it’s small and light. But.


I think the G9 is going to make the trek to Halifax. I really enjoy the larger finder and controls. And it handles the zooms much better. And the 15mm as well. It has an aperture ring for quick snaps, and I’d have to say better performance, slightly. All the better.

So, the GX85 is fun for a quick trip or around town, but I’ll stop doubting the G9 when it counts.


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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Maybe I quit too soon – at one stage, Panasonic was one of my favourite brands, but then I had one rough trot after another with them. And since I’ve always lived my life on the basis of “three strikes, and you’re out” – after three”bad things happened, I dropped Panasonic from my life – permanently, in relation to all their products.

    I can see that their camera division is certainly performing well for you, Chris – and their association with Leica would help too.

    I had a friend a while back, who was a highly regarded geologist – and obsessed over Mars. I used to spend an evening at his place every week, and he was always telling me new thing about the planet. These days, we know an enormous amount about it. Seems like Boston’s decided to lead the charge!

    When John was still alive, there was still discussion about whether there’s water on the planet – ice, sure, but was it water? – or some kind of frozen gas? John was forever showing me photos of the surface of the planet, showing where there had been – MUST have been – oceans. But the big question was unresolved. Now, I’m told that “Mars is rich in minerals that formed in water, and in some cases still hold water.” Don’t hold your breath – or hold a cup out, expecting a martian to step forward and fill it for you!

    Sorry about your Red Sox match – but I have to applaud the photo. I love taking available light shots like that, and yours is stunning. (I had better luck a few years back, watching a football match in the FIFA world cup series – between France and Switzerland. There was a Swiss guy across the other side of the table – and it was really sad, watching his face, as France blasted one ball after another past their goalie! Well he thought was said – but we won 7 to 3 so I can’t say it upset me much – at all !!)

    The one of the young lad with the pond behind him – is that your son? Also starring in the panorama from the rover? Again, this is a great shot. Some would have preferred greater depth of field, but for me it’s best as you’ve done it, with the boy and the two ducks he’s watching, all in focus – the three of them are the “point of interest”.

    • Chris Stump says:

      Hi Pete,

      Thanks for your comments!

      I have to say, when you point out that I’m using Panasonic cameras it comes as quite a momentary shock to me! I mean, you’re correct of course, but I never think of it that way. To me it’s all about the Leica glass, and the Pana platform was simply the best option from a size and affordability perspective.

      At first I was less than impressed with the color fidelity and resolution having moved from the 50mp Canon 5DS platform. I chalked it up to the Pana sensor.
      But now that I’ve sorted that out [recall my comments about the sailboat race post] I am more than happy. Current post production tools are really mature and capable these days.

      As I slowly, hesitantly, re-commit to photography, I have read with great interest the posts here and elsewhere about the Hassy X1D and other higher-end platforms. I’m at a stage in life where I can have whatever I want [within reason], but so far I’m not convinced that there’s another system that fits my way of shooting and my preferences. Even the full frame Leica system, with the lenses I’d want, is just too much more heavy and bulky [and yes, stupidly more expensive] to be worth changing over.

      Yes, that is my son in both pics. He’s growing so fast.

      Mars is a fascinating topic. I’m convinced that liquid water once flowed there, but that’s based on absolutely no scientific knowledge on my part. Just looks like it to me! I wonder if Elon will set up his base on the planet. Interesting times!

      Thanks again,

      • pascaljappy says:

        I hear you, Chris. There comes a point when we have found our groove, gear wise, and not much can sway us, because we are satisfying with things the way they are 🙂

        • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

          Actually Pascal, I’m playing with both teams – I love my D500, which is a half frame with a 21 MP sensor half frame – my D850, which has a 46 MP sensor full frame – my Zfc, which is also a 21 MP half frame. And my babies, the Canon PowerShot that I have a love/hate relationship with, but it takes damn good photos with an even smaller sensor, and finally the pocket sized S9700 that I’ve had for years and occasionally still take out, because OMG it’s so handy – can shove it in a pocket, and never notice it till I want to take it out!

          But my past is riddled with other larger stuff – 6×6, 6×9 (that’s centimetres), 4×5 (that’s not – that’s inches!)

          Of course I’m not a pro – all that matters is, am I having fun and do I like my photos? Tick, tick. Yes to both. The end.

  • PaulB says:


    I am glad that there is still someone else using, and happy with, the Panasonic M43 systems. Your images show that you use them well. For a travel or street set up I still use mine, for color and IR, and I am satisfied with the results. I still use FF trying to push the limits of what may be possible, but M43 is the foundation of what I do.


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