The Pinnacle of Motorsports
Not only do I have this gorgeous Voigtlander Ultron 35mm ASPH to play with, but this trip was a long time coming as I’ve been an F1 fan as far back as my freshmen year in college. Those were the golden years for me when Honda Racing F1 with Jensen Button was up and coming and Michael Schumacher’s dominance in his undefeated Ferrari that accelerated him to seven world championships.
This was also the time when Lewis Hamilton was on his way in becoming a future world champion during his tenure with McLaren, years before his fateful phone call by Niki Lauda to ask him to join Mercedes-AMG.
I knew planning for a weekend trip in Europe being a poor college student was an unrealistic goal, but I knew one day it would eventually become an reality in the future. I mean…that’s why we all go to college right? To get good jobs and make money?
2019 United States Grand Prix
Fast forward to 2019 and I received a group email with a few of my friends, planning for a potential trip to Austin, Texas for the 2019 United States Grand Prix. Moves were made and money was spent, but it was well worth the trip as it was one of the most memorable trips I’ve ever taken with the guys. Flying over the track and looking at the upcoming skyline of the city of Austin was exciting to see as I’ve only heard great things about this city, especially their food.
I had no idea what to expect as I had never taken a trip down south to Texas before, especially Austin, but from what I’ve heard from both social media and from co-workers, it was an booming city with excellent foods and some of the nicest people we’ve ever met.
Did I mention that the food was amazing?
“Did I mention that the food was amazing?”
Most people that plan for these events would typically bring their large DSLR cameras with huge lenses (you know, those big white lenses than have their own tripods attached to them), but I had different plans. Carry such huge equipment around means you’re now the photographer, not a tourist anymore. This means that you are no longer in the present, but on a mission, something that I was not interested in doing anymore in my life. This sense of minimalism and effort of having “less is more”, I’ve decided to just bring my new Leica M-P (Typ 240) and the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f/2 ASPH that the company had released that same yeah.
Bringing the Leica as my sole primary camera would not be an “ideal” setup for an event that probably require fast autofocus and telephoto lenses, but not having any of that additional equipment with me was liberating to be honest as it gave me the sense of freedom to be more in the present and just use what I have.
Having just the Leica around my neck allowed me to stay in the present and not worry about gear. I have to say, that I was very happy with the results.
Circuit of the Americas
The track where the race and several other events were being held was taken place at a state of the art track called “Circuit of the Americas”, which is currently the most world renowned race track in all of North America on the Formula 1 calendar, next to the Montreal’s circuit during the Canadian Grand Prix.
This track is nothing short of extraordinary and massive in terms of scope and size as it’s able to house several racing events, parades, and thousands of people around the world everyday during the weekend. I can only imagine the logistics and the staffing involved to make sure everything ran smoothly for this world famous event.
“Having just the Leica around my neck allowed me to stay in the present and not worry about gear”
Pit Stop: Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f/2 ASPH
When this lens was first released, I knew it was going to be a great lens as everything that Voigtlander had been releasing these past couple of years have been on point for the most part. This compact gem is sharp with little to no chromatic aberrations with beautiful rendering that I would say is very similar to Leica’s more expensive (and discontinued) Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH I (11879). After viewing the images from the weekend, I can assure you that this lens is 98% there without the hefty price.
Update: I’ve recently finished reviewing this incredible lens that you can find here.
End of Fall. End of an Era.
As the weekend came to an end, it also ended our last trip of 2019 as winter is around the corner and the start of 2020 bring new opportunities for creating more memories. I don’t know what 2020 has in store for us, but I’m looking forward to the end of a decade and the beginning of a new one. To that, I want to thank everyone of the readers that have visited this blog and followed me around as I share my travels and personal journey with my Leica M rangefinder and this Voigtlander Ultron 35mm ASPH.
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