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Leica M3 and street photography

A discussion over coffee leads to a change for Macfilos

Adam with his trusty double-stroke M3 which will soon be feeling a little unloved as the new M6 sticks its oar in. This taken with the CL that thought it was a Q2

My friend and Macfilos contributor Adam Lee is now back in the UK after living for a few years in the Gulf. His precious 1957 double stroke Leica M3 is home as well. To celebrate, all three of us met for coffee at H.R.Higgins’s emporium across the road from the new Leica store and gallery in Duke Street.

Adam with his trusty double-stroke M3 which will soon be feeling a little unloved as the new M6 sticks its oar in. This taken with the CL that thought it was a Q2
Under construction: Adam with his trusty double-stroke M3 which will soon be feeling a little unloved as the new M6 sticks its oar in. This taken with the CL that thought it was a Q2

Dilly dally

Adam is still glued to the M3, as I implied, but when we met he was dillydallying with an M6 he’d found on an auction site. No sooner said than sold. It arrived the next day and he reports that the body turned out to be in pristine condition.

It’s a Wetzlar-made M6 Classic from 1986 and I am looking forward to trying it out when we go out for a spot of street photography in the near future.

I’d taken along the Q2 to show him. But when I opened the Billingham I realised I’d picked up the CL by mistake. They all look the same, you see.

An Instagram success for Adam, taken with the M3 and DR Summicron

Site optimisation

Frustrated in that respect, we turned the subject towards to Macfilos, the recent move from Squarespace to WordPress and ways to increase readership. Adam agrees with me that the main ingredients for success are a regular daily post (✔︎), good writing (✔︎, not so sure about that, though, see below), good photography (half a ✔︎) and good SEO (half a ✔︎, getting there).

Interesting about the writing. Grammarly insists on pulling me up for using the passive voice. But I like the passive voice. I’m sorry, I can’t help myself. Macfilos is littered with passivity. I’ve tried being a bit more active but it doesn’t work for me. I’m also told my sentences are too long. But I do try. To keep them short is good. So they say.

Though the glass darkly: Editor Evans demonstrates his clarity of thought as he sees around corners and avoids long sentences (1935 Leica III and Winkelsucher for corners). Taken by Adam with the M3 and DR Summicron

One imponderable about website management is the best time of day to post. Adam believes 9 pm in the UK is optimum for a worldwide audience and he finds that it pays off for his YouTube videos and Instagram postings. But whatever the time, it is important to stick to the routine, posting at exactly the same time every day.


Food for thought, although I suspect most Macfilos readers are not as active late at night as Adam’s guitar followers. Up to now, though, Macfilos articles have appeared around 10 am UK time. It’s interesting that 28% of readers are in the USA, between five and eight hours behind, while only 17% are in the UK. The rest are fairly evenly spread around the world, with no less than 3.7% being in Australia. I imagine that must be John Shingleton and Wayne Gerlach clicking repeatedly to see how many comments they’ve harvested on their latest article. Or perhaps Macfilos is becoming Ozziecentric?

All this has led to a change, as you might have noticed. The daily post is now scheduled for 7 pm (a compromise on Adam’s suggested 9 pm) and the MailChimp newsletter to subscribers will go out an hour later, at eight.

It will be interesting to see if this makes any difference. We will stick to it for a few weeks, as Adam suggests, and then make a decision for the future. In the meantime, any views from readers are welcome.

Related articles

Adam Lee: Biologist, musician, film-camera buff

Leica M-D and M-A go out in the noon-day sun

Three cameras, one film, two nerds and a Winkelsucher

80 Years of film, a bagful of FP4 and two mad photographers

Find Adam at YouTube and Instagram


  1. With a change of hosting causing much turbulence this year, it has been difficult to discern any updating pattern, understandably. Now that the shake-down phase has been completed you are right to review timings of daily postings. I have an open mind, but beieve your proposal of 7pm would allow you to include any breaking news which has occurred during the day. Rather more important is consistency of daily postings and timing. Give it a good run before tinkering with it again.
    And thank you for you sterling work designing and maintaining the site.

    • It amaze me how Mike keeps it all ticking, I tend to pop in and read either during my lunch hour when I get one, or after eight at night when I rest up before bed and catch up on the wider world.

      My view would be to post when it captures the most readers around the world, and those not in sync always catch up anyway.

  2. Anyway down here in Kent I have a free supersavers voucher for the person who cannot tell their camera’s apart. The weight of the CL versus the Q2 cannot be that close.. is it? lol. Made me chuckle.

  3. Dear Mike, I do not see the importance of post time as you are posting to the world wide web. You are not trying to publish the local morning edition. I live in Canada and check multiple times a day for a new article. I only do this with your site. When you miss a day or two I am initially frustrated but that is my problem not yours-and maybe if others including myself contributed more there would be less pressure on you. Do not over analyze, you have an amazing web site – this should be a creative outlet for you and fun.
    By the way, if you named your cameras, you would not confuse them😊! I only ever leave without “film” or battery or fully charged battery…but that is worth an article!

    • I always have “smart phone” with “camera” but I still do not get on without a viewfinder so do sometimes miss a photo because I think of it later and then again it is how I am wired so I am content to miss “opportunity “ just as I miss a telephoto opportunity if “all” I carry is my Leica Q-P.

      By the way, if you had a Q-P, there is no way you would confuse her with a CL😊. That gorgeous script on top, no 👀 at me and the 🔴, the indescribable stealth black finish – oh, I think I am in love.

      My message is that I find this a friendly, safe, interesting, fun, educational, stimulating creativity, not DPreview lite, and so on site. Keep up the great site and stop navel gazing or you will get depressed. There is no perfect time to post – we are a global audience and I can read a two day old aricle or a one year old archive article. If a 3 day old article has no real relevance, then delete the articles older than 48 hours 😂. i have ro be extreme to make a point!

      • I didn’t navel gaze much with Squarespace because there was little I could do to change things without being proficient in CSS. The tools available in WordPress are truly amazing and one in particular, Yoast, does a good job of analysing a post and suggesting changes that will make it easier for visitors to find. I suspect that once the dust has settled I shall be keeping my eyes dead ahead. In the meantime, it does no harm to conduct a few experiments.

    • Modest old soul that I am. But your pictures and those from other contributors are excellent, of course. We have a mixed bag, including some which are used to illustrate rather than to stand on their own merits as a work of art.

    • By the way, the half tick wasn’t suggesting that I halve disagree with the premise that good photography is essential to the success of a blog. It is. So that’s why we are trying to improve; I judge we are halfway there but striving for a full tick!

  4. Talk about OCOLOY!

    Adam takes the concept to the ultimate, and I wish I had been able to do that. When I think about the oceans of my cash that has gone to the Bay, or one of the “dot” shops in London, and what have I got? A pile of old cameras, and a hard drive full of pretty nondescript snaps. It will be interesting to see where his experiments have taken him.

    As for Mike’s writing, I take it that you are an Englishman engaged in writing the English language, Grammarly, though I am sure is a wonderful product is for teaching Americans how to write in American.

    They say that the only thing that separates the one from the other is the language.

    Or something like that anyway.

    • I am using the English version of Grammarly which, generally, does a good job of proofreading articles before they are posted. It can spot obvious errors that I have overlooked. It does have its hangups, however, and passive voice is one of them. I’m not sure why it is considered so wrong. Similarly, the short sentence fetish is — I believe — born of the Google wish to make as much content as possible readable by the millions for whom English is a second language. Longer sentences, provided they do not ramble and are easy to understand, are ok as far as I am concerned. Ditto on Adam, by the way. He is a well-focused person.

  5. I dislike predictive text and grammar apps. In most cases they are actually wrong. The most important thing with writing and speaking is communication and not grammar. The posting time does not bother me. We may soon see different time zones on the island of Ireland, though. The EU is proposing to abolish Summer Time, but if Britain does not follow suit, as an independent operator, then some people in Ireland could have different times at different ends of their farms for some parts of the year. Could be fun, though, with some lads offering to ‘smuggle’ time, over what were once called ‘unapproved’ roads. I’d be interested to know what percentage of the Macfilos readership is on Central European Time (CET).

    I am delighted to see Adam using ‘real’ Leicas. At least some photographers still appreciate the timeless qualities of real masterpieces made by Leica.


    • Possibly the first EU directive I might agree with William, I have never truly understood why on earth we change our clocks and set points of the year. Work which one to stay in, and then stick with it all year round.

        • I might agree with you today after losing an hour last night. I do recall sometime in the late 60s a time change being made which resulted in it being dark until after 9am and we were all at work already when the sun came up. It was soon dropped, whatever it was. My most recent experience of such time warps was when I was in Doha and I would get to bed at 2 am on a Sunday morning after flights from Dublin via London and then get up at 5.30am (essential in the Middle East because of temperatures) to go to work and realise that back home, where I was yesterday, it was only 2.30 am on a Sunday morning. I soon got use to it, though. People on shift work all around the world do this and often see more darkness than light in their lives. We could have worse problems.



          • As far as I know, daylight saving time was introduced (at least in Britain) during the First World War to help farmers get the most out of their days. There is little logic for it these days and, like you, I find the biannual change disrupting and a nuisance — although it is less of a problem now when most clocks and devices are reset automatically. Perhaps we should permanently set the clock’s half an hour ahead (as did George V at Sandringham) so no one is ever late for a meeting again.

          • Getting bright before 4am and dark at 9pm in mid-Summer might be a bit of a culture shock, initially. Other parts of the world manage with darker evenings, particularly those nearer the equator.



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