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Duane Pandorf

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The main reason why I photograph with a Leica camera:

“I want simplification, not amplification or complication…I just want light controls … because photography is about light.” – Thorsten Overgaard

“A camera that gives me the joy of ownership and the joy of shooting is much more important than one with the highest number of megapixels or highest ISO performance.” – Yukio Uchida

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” ― Ansel Adams

“You just have to live and life will give you pictures.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Mount Pisgah is a mountain in the Appalachian Mountain Range and part of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Last Saturday, March 02, we had a light dusting of snow over night and I grabbed a couple photographs that I posted here:  View out the Window

While out enjoying the scenery my friend Joe calls and says you got to get up to my place right now.  I knew exactly why he called as he has a great view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, including Mount Pisgah.

I threw my camera back into my bag and jumped in my truck and headed up to Joe’s place.  Its not far and on the way I confirmed that the steep road up to his place was ok to drive on.  The temperature was just above freezing and on my way the main road was clear which confirmed Joe’s report.

Since we both enjoy fine cigars along with an adult beverage its not uncommon for us to be out on his deck appreciating this view and mountain air.

Here are a couple photos of the view from Joe’s place:

Joe's Place

Joe’s Place | Leica M-E, Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 pre-ASPH

The View

The View | Leica M-E, Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 pre-ASPH

The Smoking Lounge

The Smoking Lounge | Leica M-E, Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 pre-ASPH

Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge Mountains | Leica M-E, Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 pre-ASPH

Blue Ridge Mountains

Mount Pisgah & Blue Ridge Mountains | Leica M-E, Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 pre-ASPH

Mount Pisgah & Blue Ridge Mountains

Mount Pisgah & Blue Ridge Mountains | Leica M-E, Leica Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 pre-ASPH

11 comments on “A View of Mount Pisgah | North Carolina

  1. James Waugh says:

    His Duane,

    Great photos as always. I am wondering how you are finding the transition from the GXR + EVF to using a Rangefinder camera. Is it a big step? I’m curious, as I am considering doing the same and would love to know the pros and cons of each system.

    Thanks in advance,



    1. Hi James. Thanks for the question. Honestly it has been a big step going from the GXR+EVF to the rangefinder focusing system. Looking back I think I can say I became pretty proficient and very confident shooting with my GXR with the manual focus Leica glass.

      I don’t have words to really describe my rangefinder experience as yet. Its really like comparing apples to carrots. They’re not even in the same “family” so to speak. However, I can tell you that you can get very precise focusing with the rangefinder system. I especially like it in lower light conditions and when trying to focus on something in the distance with very distracting foreground objects.

      But the only way I one can really compare the two is you’re just going to have to spend time with each. As an example, while in Barcelona at a camera store there I had just a couple minutes playing with a Leica M9. I was baffled by it. Now that I’ve invested, or should say spent the money, on the M-E, I’ve been forced to learn the system.

      Probably half the actuations I’ve fired on this camera have been practice so to speak. Since I spend a lot of time in hotels with my work travels I get a chance to experiment and through that I’ve become “comfortable” shooting with the rangefinder system.

      I know this probably hasn’t helped with a true pro or con comparison but its the best I can do for you.


      1. James Waugh says:

        Thanks Duane,

        I had a feeling it was a completely different way of taking photos. I have recently been playing with an olympus stylus epic compact and developing the film myself, so I might order a film rangefinder and see how I get on with that.

        I really respect the way you have committed to one camera and one lens at a time and therefore learning much more about them both, rather than swapping lenses or even cameras. I am trying to do the same at the moment, but I can’t decide on what to keep as my main lens. I have the olympus E-M5 and so far, my favourite all round lens is the 20mm F1.7. It covers most of my needs. I guess I just need to let go of the others and master this one lens, as you have done with both the GXR + 40mm Summicron and now the Leica + 50mm.

        Anyway, thanks for your reply it was helpful to me and I’m looking forward to your next photos. 🙂

        All the best,



  2. drenraux says:

    Hi Duane, I’m just wondering do you still keep the 40mm/f2 summicron lens? cause I’m interested 🙂

    have a nice day!


  3. Hi drenraux. I’m sorry to say I sold the Leica Summicron-C 40mm to help fund the Leica Summilux-M 50mm lens I’m now using on my Leica M-E. I’ve found that I prefer the 50mm FOV.


    1. drenraux says:

      Oh nice, I have to say its not easy to find one in Canada, so the gxr is your back-up camera eh?


      1. I guess you could say that drenraux. I’ve also sold the M Mount module to help fund my “upgrade” to the Leica M-E and Summilux lens. I still have the GXR body and 28mm module. But I don’t carry that with me in my travels with work. One day I will purchase a Leia 28mm lens and will no longer need the GXR. Don’t get me wrong. The Ricoh GXR is still a very nice camera and the M mount for Leica lenses can’t be beat compared to the other cropped sensor mirrorless cameras.


        1. drenraux says:

          definitely, i saw you gxr/40mm lens, that’s why i want one 🙂


  4. drenraux says:

    I mean I saw the photos that you took with gxr/40mm, they look really awsome


    1. Its a great lens and probably the least expensive Leica lens you can find that’s not over 50 years old.


      1. drenraux says:

        exactly, I don’t have much budget to spend on my camera gears, and i have heard the 40mm is very good value lens, according your photos, that really is!!


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