The Lathe #6

The Lathe #6

Volume 6 already?! This might just become a thing after all. No promises, though!

This week I am thrilled to tell you a little about my new camera. Also a few odds and ends and a couple links for good measure. Hope you’re having fun!

People buy new cameras for many reasons. Usually it is for more resolution or a better sensor. Or because it focuses faster or takes better video.

I bought a new camera because it does less. My new camera’s sensor only makes images in black & white. No color, ever. Not an option. It also uses a fixed, 28mm lens. This means it actually does less and is not as flexible as my current camera. Why would I do that?

I’ll tell you why I didn’t do it: I didn’t do it for some real-or-imagined increase in technical image quality. Or for some perceived “improved nuance in tonality”. I bought a camera with a black & white only sensor because I love black & white images and, just as importantly, so that I no longer have to make the color-vs-black-and-white decision with every single image.

When shooting with film cameras, I almost always choose black & white film. One of the characteristics of film cameras is that they require me to decide on an emulsion before going out to make photos. It changes how I think about what I’m photographing. I now have a digital camera that forces the same way of thinking. This is liberating. When using this camera, I am going to be making black & white images, period.

The new camera is a Leica Q2 Monochrom.

I won’t review it here other than to say that it’s fantastic. Better than I’d imagined. I owned an original Leica Q, and while I loved that camera, I sold it to fund an M10-P at the time. I’ve missed it. The Q2 Monochrom is everything that original camera was, and more. I’m having a ball with it. Once I’ve lived with it far a while, I’ll probably write more about it on the Coping Mechanism blog.

First image with the new camera.

Reading, Watching, Listening

I finished reading The Scar by China Miéville and absolutely loved it. Fun story, wild characters, cool world. I really enjoy Miéville’s world-building and he writes in a fun, clever way that I can’t get enough of. Recommended if any of the following interest you: Floating pirate cities, vampires, cactus men, dirigibles, sea battles, or epic quests.

I started Lexicon by Max Barry. Here’s why:

Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as “poets”, adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.

Words as weapons? Secret organizations? I’m in!

Watched Nomadland, and while it was very well-made and Francis McDormand is fantastic, I ended up bored about half-way through. It would have been more interesting to me as an actual documentary rather than docudrama.

Odd and Ends

The Grovemade desk shelf and pad arrived. It’s gorgeous and it smells like wood and stain. Mmmm. My desk may never be as cool and tidy as your average productivity YouTuber, but I am very happy with it. Also surprised by how much I like having a desk pad.

I moved copingmechanism.com back to WordPress (from Ghost). Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s not an interesting story. The short version is that I missed having a “media” area and I like having comments and analytics built-in, for free. WordPress has it all and sometimes I feel like switching away from it ends up being a case of throwing the baby away with the bathwater.


Warning, if you listen to The Go-Go’s “Beauty and the Beat” album (1981) you will have “We Got the Beat” stuck in your head for days.

Speaking of music, I’m finding a lot of modern music hard to like. There’s horribly auto-tuned pop on one end and psychotic-Grover voiced metal on the other. Can’t anyone just sing? I’d love to hear recommendations for newer, metal-like music with human vocals.

Photo of the week

Here’s one from the Q2M. A low-key portrait of Charlie.

Have a wonderful week! If there’s a next time, I’ll see you then.

Jack.