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Thread: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

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    Super Duper
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    using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    I just wondered how many of you guys carry mixed equipment.
    I mean instead of either carrying the M9 gear with several lenses OR the Canon/Nikon/Sony gear with several lenses to carry lets say a DSLR with a 70-200 zoom AND a M9 with a 35mm lens on the other shoulder instead of carrying 2 Nikons or carrying the DSLR together with several lenses?

    How much overlap do you have in your gear?

    On one side using "mixed" equipment could mean the risk to have images which do not look 100% consistent. The other thing is workflow - is it hard for the mind to use 2 different cameras at the same time...

    On the other side the idea to use a DSLR with a zoom/tele and a M9 with 1 or 2 primes for the wide angle-normal range seems interesting to me.
    I plan to do try it more often.

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Good question(s).

    My normal landscape kit until I got the M9 had consisted of a technical camera and IR camera. I use four lenses with my medium format technical camera ranging from 24 to 120mm and a single 24-105 lens with the IR.

    Im shooting with a 3-lens Leica kit now, 35, 50, and 90mm.

    I stopped by Mono Lake in CA last month and walked around there for several hours and carried both the IR and M-9 using both. I found that the M9 kit is complements the focal range I have with the IR so there where several images that overlapped which turned out good.

    While in Yosemite I normally used both my medium format and M9 and found the 90mm very close to my Schneider 120 (the 90 is just a tad closer).

    Im not sure Id routinely carry dual equipment rather I see carrying the camera that fits the situation. On long hikes Id carry the lightest while if it were a short walk, more than likely the medium format kit. The IR gets carried if the conditions favor IR over other traditional color.

    It really isnt a major problem with workflow as I routinely processes multiple camera formats from a trip that Sandy and I take; the tip here is to concentrate on one camera at a time till youre done. This past trip I was by myself and used 3 separate cameras during that time sometimes multiple cameras in one day; I used my same workflow by working on one system at a time.

    Sorry for the long rambling response

    Don
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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Yes, Good Question(s)! I'm sure you'll get a lot of diverse responses. For myself personally, if shooting simply for myself, I've done the mixed system route (M digital as well as DSLR and accompanied lenses for each system)....sometimes with a slant towards wide angel end for M and telephoto use of DSLR. It was alright, but unless I needed something longer than a 135mm and a DSLR body had to come along, personally I shy away from situations like this.
    When I'm shooting professionally, unless I have a 2nd, 3rd shooter, and one of them is dedicated to a particualr system, I much prefer to keep it to one kind of system only. I felt the workflow while shooting wasn't as comfortable as I like.

    In regards to matching images from the different systems on a given shoot, there again it depedned what kind of shoot it was and whether it was critical that the images match or whether the look, color rendition etc. complemented each other. In weddings, there can be a mix of "formal" (with DSLR for example) and "PJ" style (with M digital)...but in some other situations, then again I prefer if the immages came from a matched system.

    There is no one right answer..it's what works for a particular indiviudal and their given situation and of course preferences. Just my own particular thoughts.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Tom,
    It all depending on the applications I will use that day. However, I can also cut down the amount of lens or system depending how much time I will be shooting. Here is my formulas for all out shooting in a long day with some lenses overlapping different systems/formats:

    I) Landscape/Wildlife - When I shoot landscape, I will likely to shoot wildlife and macro as well.
    1. Leica M9 - Summilux 75 + longer lens (to be obtained)
    2. Leica DMR - 2.8/35-70 + 2.8/70-180 + Hasselblad SA 350 + Apo 1.4x TC
    3. Canon 5D Mark II - TS-E 17mm + TS-E 24mm Mark II + 2.8/70-200 + Hasselblad SA 350 + Apo 1.4x TC + Contax S-Planar 4/100
    4. Sinar Hy6 - 55 PCS + 4/90 + 2/110 + 2.8/180
    5. Sinar m - 4/40 AF + SA 350 + Apo 1.4x
    6. Alpa TC - x lenses to be named later

    II) Architecture - When I shoot architecture, I will likely to do street shooting well.
    1. Leica M9 - 2/28 + 1.4/50
    2. Canon 5D Mark II - TS-E 17mm + TS-E 24mm Mark II
    3. Alpa XY - 55 PCS + x lenses to be named later

    III) Event - Normally people and the environment surrounding and condition of the event
    1. Leica M9 - 2/28 + Noctilux
    2. Leica DMR - Leica 2.8/35-70 + Leica 2/180
    3. Canon 5D Mark II - 2.8/24-70 + 2.8/70-200 + 1.2/85
    3. Leaf AFi 7 - 2.8/50 AFD + 2/110

    IV) Model
    1. Leica DMR - 2.8/35-70 + 2.0/180
    2. Canon 5D mark II - 1.2/85
    3. Leaf AFi 7 - 2.8/50 + 2.0/110

    Son

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    As the others have so aptly mentioned, a lot does depend upon the nature of the shoot. If it is personal, then take along whatever you feel is going to provide the kinds of images for the type of shooting you want to do. If it is more of a professional shoot, then take and use what will get you results you need, and that may also provide the most consistency, both in look and workflow.

    For example, if I am out shooting for pleasure, I many times prefer only one camera an few lenses for the subject (street, wildlife, cityscape, etc.). If I am doing something like a portrait shoot, on the other hand, I may take both the M8 and a few lenses, plus my DSLR gear and appropriate lenses, using both to capture different aspects or looks from the shoot. The handling can become a bit confused at times, but the more you do it, the better and faster the adjustment to the camera handling differences becomes. Shooting the M8 + Noctilux for very specific moods or effects is worth the slowing down and being deliberate, while within that same shoot, the DSLR, with fast AF and a fast zoom would be the preferred choice for other types of shots. Almost every time I have used both systems, the client has selected images from each, not really knowing which was which, but because they liked the particular look or composition or something. It most likely would be far easier to just shoot with one system, and the images would look more consistent, but that may not be the overall objective, in some cases.

    On other engagements, one system may be preferred over the other. I almost never even bother taking the M8 to any sports shooting things, as I know I will almost never pull it from the bag. And similarly, at some lower key events, I do not bother with the big, bulky, obtrusive DSLR to try to capture more relaxed or intimate moments. Other times, it has paid to have both along....the DSLR will provide more predictably consistent results, while there are times when the M8 + 75 Cron allows me to capture moments nearly silently.

    So, using two (or more) systems just requires some planning, both for the gear, as well as for the mindset for shooting. The second part about consistency of look and workflow is a separate, but equally important topic, but should not discourage one from using different tools.

    LJ

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    I'm not a pro so my approach might be somewhat different. What I do tend to find is that I shoot better when I stick to one system or the other - carrying both seldom results in as much shooting or inspiration in my experience.

    When I want a small travel outfit I'll take along my M9 and either just the 35 'lux, or M9 & 21, 35, 50 & 90.

    When I want maximum flexibility and I'm taking my SUV, I'll stick with my Nikon outfit which has everything from 14mm -> 600mm. I have 3 basic setups for this and they range from D3s & 28/1.4 only, D3s/D3x & 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 & 105 macro or 200/4 macro, or the full kahuna including 200-400 & 600 lenses which is a full SUV load.

    When I have both systems, one or the other tends to get used exclusively that day.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 18th March 2010 at 11:09.

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    I just came back from a weekend hike & camping. I took the R9 with the 15-2.8 and the 80-1.4 plus the M5&M8 with the 15cv, 21-2.8zeis, 35-1.4 & noctilux.

    I shot 90% of the time with the R9&15 (that is just a killer combination) but both the other cameras where very usefull at times and complement that very wide 15R. I am thinking that the cv12 would have been good to have.

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    thanks so far for the responses.
    I guess it is a question of personal style.
    However it is also a question of money.
    Lets say you have some nice primes for the Leica M in the wide to normal range, and a DSLR for tele. Do you still feel you need comparable lenses in the wideangle -normal range for the DSLR.

    The other thing is that switching lenses all the time drives me crazy.
    Thats why I want to try to carry the DSLR with the telezoom 70-200 plus the M9 with 1 or 2 lenses like the 35/2.5 or 24 and 50mm.

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    I pretty much mix and match systems based on creative ideas I want to try, or specific things I need to accomplish. The driver is usually lens based.

    I have done this for so long now, that mixing systems presents no issues.

    For weddings, it depends on the venue conditions. Usually a DSLR with a 24-70 and flash for the obligatory, expected shots like the processionals etc., plus a 135.

    For anything else I can do with a rangefinder, it's the M9 and usually 3 or 4 lenses: 21, 28, 50, 90 ... or a 24, 35, 75. The plan is 2 M9s ... one dedicated to WA, and the other 35mm on up using a Mag.

    WATE is a general walk about lens for travel, along with a 35 and 90.

    The only Macro lens I own is a 120/4 for the MFD.

    Marc

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    @ 18 megapixels + best lenses + the ergonomics the M9 is a compelling value propostion. Another camera is required to do stuff that the M9/M8 combo I have doesn't do- and the only things it doesnt is give me tilt shift lenses and tele - in particular the image stabilised 70-200 range. I am not fussed about high ISO shooting - for my purposes it doesn't ever get used.

    So do I fork out for a technical camera with tilt and shift capability and the high prices of each lens - or do I buy a 5D11 ?

    I just picked up my M9 yesterday - WOW.

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    Senior Member PSon's Avatar
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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Peter,
    Congratulation on the M9.

    I normally never use high ISO as well but when I was in Florida 3 weeks ago, the high ISO allow me to capture the lake from the rocking boat in the early morning. I still like the Leica R lens on my Canon when I need speed to freeze the action and minimizing the option of going to too much high ISO setting.
    Best Regards,
    Son

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Good to hear your M9 arrived!!!!! Seductive piece of kit to be sure. Wait until you take a look at the images ... other stuff in the gear box tends to just sit there.

    What is cool is that unlike the M8, there is a much wider selection of ISO choices ... so rather than jumping from 320 to 640 to 1250 you can also select 500, 800, 1000. 800 and 1000 is pretty good. 1250 is also if exposed well and processed in C1.

    Check which firmware is installed, there is a very recent update that improves the M9 ... especially the reformatting function and LCD views at higher ISOs.

    My dealer called and a second one is heading my way just in time for wedding season. WaHoo!

    Peter, don't you already have a 35mm DSLR? If you don't need really high ISO, Check out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 135/1.8 or Sony 70-200/2.8G APO.

    I'd do T/S with a tech camera and MFD back since T/S a more thoughtful slow paced process anyway.

    What are you thinking? Updating your ALPA? Or the Sinar?


    -Marc

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    For a DSLR+70-200 combo I can highly recommend the d700+70-200/2.8VRII combo. That lens really rocks. It even works great with TCs.
    I shot some comparisons with the M9+135/3.4 APO and you dont want to see the results. The zoom doesnt look inferior at all plus you can focus it precisly much easier. (its a little heavier though )

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    For a DSLR+70-200 combo I can highly recommend the d700+70-200/2.8VRII combo. That lens really rocks. It even works great with TCs.
    I shot some comparisons with the M9+135/3.4 APO and you dont want to see the results. The zoom doesnt look inferior at all plus you can focus it precisly much easier. (its a little heavier though )
    Can you expand on the M9 + Apo 3.4/135 compare to the 70-200 zoom?
    thanks,
    Son

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Similar to what you mentioned above Son, i enjoy shooting macro at the same time I'm shooting landscapes/cityscapes. are there any lenses that would function well on an M9 for macro photography? i have a 50lux pre-asph and a 24elmarit asph at the moment. (edit: obviously those are not options - they are just what i'm working with, but i have been reading about M macro lenses that are built on extension tubes, and have issues where you cannot collapse them without destroying the sensor on an M9, so... that's kinda scary sounding)

    i have been thinking of investing in a DSLR camera to use for macro shooting simply because you can judge results through the lens immediately. any suggestions? I have 2 Minolta macro lenses, but I'm not sure where to find info on what digital bodies they might fit. Dealing with sensor sizes, crop factor and all that has been rather confusing to know how they would work. My other option is obviously investing in a new (or new to me at least) kit.

    thanks!
    Last edited by unclearconcept; 19th March 2010 at 10:14.

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Most jobs I use the M9 in the range of 28-75 mm, and a D3 with a 70-200 zoom. Before I got the 21 lux, I used a 17-35 on my D3 for wide coverage, now the 21 lux covers most of the wide angle needs on the M9. I will use the nikon 28/1.4 at times though. Otherwise the D3 comes out when I need iso 3200 (or even up to 6400). If I need macro type event shots, I use the great Zeiss 50/2 makro ZF. I find the systems work extremely well together. best...Peter

  17. #17
    DougDolde
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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    I get confused when I have more than one camera

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    I get confused when I have more than one camera
    Me too. Heck, I get confused in Starbucks these days ...

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Most times, I just take the M9 out on its own, or with a film M. If I am planning doing a lot of shooting and have a car or something to shoot out of, I will bring along either a medium format film camera or my 4x5 camera.
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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    For years I shot newspaper and editorial with a Canon EOS 1N/1V (long glass) along with an M6/MP (up to 50mm)
    A perfect blend.

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by unclearconcept View Post
    Similar to what you mentioned above Son, i enjoy shooting macro at the same time I'm shooting landscapes/cityscapes. are there any lenses that would function well on an M9 for macro photography? i have a 50lux pre-asph and a 24elmarit asph at the moment. (edit: obviously those are not options - they are just what i'm working with, but i have been reading about M macro lenses that are built on extension tubes, and have issues where you cannot collapse them without destroying the sensor on an M9, so... that's kinda scary sounding)

    i have been thinking of investing in a DSLR camera to use for macro shooting simply because you can judge results through the lens immediately. any suggestions? I have 2 Minolta macro lenses, but I'm not sure where to find info on what digital bodies they might fit. Dealing with sensor sizes, crop factor and all that has been rather confusing to know how they would work. My other option is obviously investing in a new (or new to me at least) kit.

    thanks!
    unclearconcept,
    You can use the visoflex for macro work with your M9. My favorite lens is the Contax S-Planar 4.0/100 with focus helicoil on it and mount to the Leica Visoflex III mirror housing for macro works. I shall demonstrate to you when I get the chance.
    Son

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Pham Minh Son View Post
    Can you expand on the M9 + Apo 3.4/135 compare to the 70-200 zoom?
    thanks,
    Son
    My 135/3.4 just got back from a trip to Leica because I felt infinity focus needed some adjustment.
    When I got it back I just took the M9+135/3.4 and the d700+70-200/2.8VRII at a walk and shot some comparisons at f4.0.
    It turned out that a) 135mm on a DSLR is much much easier to focus precisly IMO and b) even when focused precisely the 135apo didnt blow the 70-200 away.
    However this only a first impression, nut a test, just comparing both lenses shooting casual side by side.

    The last thing is that for 135mm, when shooting side by side you realize how much bigger the subject is in the viewfinder of the DLSR which is much better for framing IMO.
    I will keep the 135apo for times when I only want to carry M9, but I think its more for shooting static subjects and closed down a bit.
    I can shoot 75 and 90mm much more reliable on the M9.

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    90 Macroelmarit works fine on the M9.
    I also thought it could work nice with an EP2, having IS in the camera, being able to focus with the lifeview and with a little more DOF due to the smaller sensor.
    One could use that lens on the M9 for "casual" macro or on the ep2 if excat framing is wanted.


    Quote Originally Posted by unclearconcept View Post
    Similar to what you mentioned above Son, i enjoy shooting macro at the same time I'm shooting landscapes/cityscapes. are there any lenses that would function well on an M9 for macro photography? i have a 50lux pre-asph and a 24elmarit asph at the moment. (edit: obviously those are not options - they are just what i'm working with, but i have been reading about M macro lenses that are built on extension tubes, and have issues where you cannot collapse them without destroying the sensor on an M9, so... that's kinda scary sounding)

    i have been thinking of investing in a DSLR camera to use for macro shooting simply because you can judge results through the lens immediately. any suggestions? I have 2 Minolta macro lenses, but I'm not sure where to find info on what digital bodies they might fit. Dealing with sensor sizes, crop factor and all that has been rather confusing to know how they would work. My other option is obviously investing in a new (or new to me at least) kit.

    thanks!

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Good to hear your M9 arrived!!!!! Seductive piece of kit to be sure. Wait until you take a look at the images ... other stuff in the gear box tends to just sit there.

    What is cool is that unlike the M8, there is a much wider selection of ISO choices ... so rather than jumping from 320 to 640 to 1250 you can also select 500, 800, 1000. 800 and 1000 is pretty good. 1250 is also if exposed well and processed in C1.

    Check which firmware is installed, there is a very recent update that improves the M9 ... especially the reformatting function and LCD views at higher ISOs.

    My dealer called and a second one is heading my way just in time for wedding season. WaHoo!

    Peter, don't you already have a 35mm DSLR? If you don't need really high ISO, Check out the Sony A900 and Zeiss 135/1.8 or Sony 70-200/2.8G APO.

    I'd do T/S with a tech camera and MFD back since T/S a more thoughtful slow paced process anyway.

    What are you thinking? Updating your ALPA? Or the Sinar?


    -Marc
    Thanks Son and Marc - it was a long time in coming!

    Marc - the M9 is a revelation to me - I finally have the camera in digi form which I used almost exclusively in 35mm film form ...fantastic file quality in full frame form and my M glass is behaving as it should in terms of field of view..

    this is my first weekend with it and I just love it! A lot of improvements over the M8.

    re tech camera shooting - my Alpa doesn't do shift or tilt - in fact I think the tilt add on mechanism from Alpa is a joke. I wont sell my Alpa though for same reason as I will never sell my XPan kit - i am too attached to them for personal and historical reasons..

    I bought a new 24 Nikkor shift tilt today to test ...but somehow I know I will end up with an arTec - they really are the bees knees for tec shooting...

    my problem is I have too many MF systems which ( quite frankly) I dont use enough and I have now tested and retested enough to know each system's strengths and weaknesses..

    Sadly I have decided I wont be buying an S2 as much as I wanted it to be the camera...it just doesn't add up for me..my Leica nut ends with M series cameras..after the R debacle I am not investing /committing to $100K worth of gear only to see it killed off or die because of lack of interest....but I am frustrated by the S2 - a lot to like a lot to like..especially the ergonomics for an SLR style shooting.


    so I have quite a few white elephants sitting in my gear cabinets...a bunch of exotic glass from Rollie/Zeiss/Hasselblad/RZ Mamiya/Contax - with cameras and backs to match - most of which I hardly ever use..

    time to clean up and consolidate..

    I want one back I can switch from Alpa/arTec and use on one MF system whilst keeping some of my exotic Zeiss glass which I love - I Know a Hasselblad 60 will do the job but so will a P65+

    this would likely be my last purchase for a very very very long time and I want to get it right...every system has its strengths and weaknesses...it is a very personal decision..

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    Subscriber Member jaapv's Avatar
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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    I will keep the 135apo for times when I only want to carry M9, but I think its more for shooting static subjects and closed down a bit.

    Hmmm... Can't say I agree with this statement...




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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Jaap Thats an outstanding image and so much harder to do with the 135APO than AF. But the effort spills over to your focusing capability and improves your "in focus ratio"with every focal length. But I know you must shoot quite a lot as it takes practice to do this. I admire your technique and execution as well as the image itself.

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by Pham Minh Son View Post
    unclearconcept,
    You can use the visoflex for macro work with your M9. My favorite lens is the Contax S-Planar 4.0/100 with focus helicoil on it and mount to the Leica Visoflex III mirror housing for macro works. I shall demonstrate to you when I get the chance.
    Son
    Hi Son, Can you explain how to use the Contax S-Planar on the visoflex? What kind of mount do you need? Do you know if the lens adapts to the bellows II too? I use the Visoflex III in combination with the bellows II with a 90/2.8 and 135/4, and i would be quite interested in expending the system with more lenses. Thanks for your input! Gilles

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    Hi Gilles,
    I changed the Visoflex III mount to a Canon Eos mount since this would give me all the possibility to attached any lens with the abundant adapters already available. I have to sets one with the focusing helicoid and one with the PC auto bellows. I will take some photos and post them here for you and others.
    Best Regars,
    Son

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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    That would be great, Son, I would really like to see this! Looking forward to the images. Many thanks, Gilles

  30. #30
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    Re: using M9 or M8 together with DSLR

    I carry multiple systems on occasion, and more often than not the M8 is one of them (if not the only one the rest of the time).

    Case in point, the recent St. Patrick's Day parade here in town. I used my Canon 1D Mark IIn and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens for the parade (it was raining cats and dogs) since it's weathersealed and I needed the reach, AF, higher ISO, etc. For everything else (interiors) I used the M8. The latter is quite discreet and non-threatening.

    Another time I went out with the Hassy shooting B&W film, but I had the M8 with me for color.

    Still another time I was shooting Velvia and Provia in the Mamiya 7II, but had the M8 along for all but the "whoa!" shots, which I wanted the 6x7 negative size for. You go through a lot of film (or at least I do) when you only get ten shots per roll! So I wanted to keep that within reason.

    I'm mostly a "one system at a time" kind of person, but there are times where you need extra flexibility or just want different approaches for whatever reason. There is no one perfect system IMO as they all have their strengths (and weaknesses).

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