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Thread: point of no return

  1. #1
    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    point of no return

    I have sold my extensive Canon gear and ordered a M9 - over the phone

    I have gradually lost inspiration with my Canon and feel ever so often out in the field that carrying a buzillion kg of equipment is not the solution to good photography. And then you open up the huge backpack and whatever you are going to grab it is of plastic feel. Yes, I mean that even if I have the 1Ds3 and plenty of L lenses.

    So, decision made. I pushed the button. I am going minimal and I am starting with (maybe) a little unusual two lens combo.

    I ordered a 24 Elmar and a 75 Summicron and ofcourse the M9 (grey).

    The next lens will be (hopefully) the latest incarnation of the 35 Lux, but that's later.

    Tomorrow I will pick up the body and the Elmar. The 75 is on order.

    Do you think I am excited?

    Hell yes.....

  2. #2
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    LOL man does that bring back some memories dumping the Canon for Leica's only mine was the DMR. Nice choice you won't regret it and your back will thank you. One word of caution this is a slippery slope. When i hear 3 lenses I laugh mine turned into 10. Good luck and happy shooting and lets see some images.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: point of no return

    LOL too... welcome to the empty wallet club. A lot of us started with three lens (35, 50 & 90) and as per Guy... you will end up with a lot more, but will still only take three out the door. 24 & 75 is a good start., but you may be getting that 35 very soon to fill the standard gap. Good Luck

    Robert.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    BTW you will buy more bags than your wife buys shoes. LOL

    Seriously if you are eventually going to have 4 or 5 lenses I love the Domke Waxwear F803
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...a_Satchel.html

    Or for a smaller kit a lot of folks like the Domke F-5XB
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...e_700_52B.html

    Domke's are just nice understated bags. They don't scream I have 15 k in here. If your a street type shooter or out a lot than they are great. But many nice bags out there as well Artist and Artisans are great love the Oskar One day.

    http://www.artisanandartist.com/bags/acam7100.htm

    Just be careful here these folks can spend your money faster than you can count it. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    you are probably totally spot on regarding picking up lenses along the way....
    I actually already have an oldie 35 Summaron 2.8 on my M3. I am sure it won't be able to cope with the M9 sensor but it could be fun to try!!

    Just the thought of leaving for a full day of walking in the forest with the M9 and 3 lenses at most and a featherlight Gitzo...it's just....so liberating!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    Be careful of that lens. I don't know it offhand but if that rear element sticks out a whole bunch go really slow and any resistance stop. It would be fun to try and most likely will not hold in the corners but just be careful . I am sure it will fit but I don't know that lens and it is old.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    The Domke Waxwear F803 looks seriously nice - thanks for the tip!

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    I certainly will be extremely careful with the Summaron!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    BTW the lenses you ordered are nice. The 24 is surprisingly very good and not much will beat a 75 cron. After that I would look for some look lenses 35 lux, 50 prelux is very sweet also. Nice to have at least one fast lens and at least one look lens. You want sharp pull out that 75 cron it is deadly.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber Member weinschela's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    My name is Alan and I am an addict. I didn't sell my Canon gear and still have a 5Dmkii that iuse for macro and for going long ( like at the zoo).

    But i also have a M9 and a lens or two. Okay, i started with 2 but now I have 6. Plus, as Guy says, an awful lot of bags. And flashes. And filters. Oh, and an X1 and A DLux3 and some Nikon film cameras too. My most important asset: a wife who is forgiving.

    Welcome to the asylum.
    Alan

    Selection of work: http://weinschela.zenfolio.com

  11. #11
    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    Guy, I need a sharp/no distortion 24 but I do not need speed for wides, so the Elmar seemed a perfect fit. The only thing I am hoping for is that I can use it without the extarnal viewfinder without too much hazzle. The 75 I chose because I also need the close range capability, and I am thouroughly going to enjoy the resolution and sharpness of it!
    A 35 is a must, but I am going to get to know my new baby first.

    Alan, thanks! When it comes to camera stuff I suppose we are all nuts here. It's not like my shelves are empty after my Canon bags are gone. Oh no, here you find a Contax G1 with 3 lenses, a Fuji GX 680 III with 3 fujinons and a Linhof Supertechnica 9x12 with 2 Schneider lenses and also a trusty old Hasselblad 500CM with a 40, 80, 150 and a 350...

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    Member dannh's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    Welcome, I feel like I know your story well, that was me 9 months ago. I sold the 5DII and a handful of lenses and haven't really regretted it. I admit it's been a challenge to adjust but I've spent more time learning the craft of creating images and slowed down my photography more in the past 9 months.

    I really enjoy the 75 cron, one piece of advice I found useful was to pick up the 1.25x magnifier. When using this lens, I always have the magnifier attached and I've found my rate of in focus shots has increased to almost 100%, even when shooting wide open.

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    Re: point of no return

    I am sure you will love it.
    Even though I have nearly all focal lengths of the M I find 24 and 75 a great choice for 2 lens set. Keep us updated how you like the new system.

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    Re: point of no return

    Welcome! Enjoy this new world. I agree with all posters above. All decision on keeping a 2-3 lens kit go out the window once you realize what these lenses can go. that being said, I think you are building a great collection for regular use! Congrats!
    Ashwin Rao
    Seattle, WA
    My Photography

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    Super Duper
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    Re: point of no return

    I remember when I thought 3-lens would be all I needed/wanted so I ordered the 35, 50 and 90. It must be something that happens in the bag at night as I now have a 24 and 135.

    I've been using the Domke waxwear F-2 that now holds all 5 of my lens as well as the M9 very comfortable.

    My shooting partner and wife is kicking around the idea of making the switch from Canon to Leica as well although she's been telling me to keep shooting with the Cambo so she'll have more use with the M9.

    Congratulations of the M9 as Guy said lets see some images..

    Don
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Re: point of no return

    Slippery... very slippery, indeed.

    I've only had mine about a week but already feel like it's been a lifetime. It's the digital M I and many others always wanted.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    Very slippery. However, it really is a sweet system and if you're very diligent you can get by with a 3 lens system. The only problem is that it might take you 7+ lenses to find out what those 3 need to be.

    Another on the Domke F803 wax wear. Tear out the single partition and drop in something like the artisan & artist padded liner (I whipped mine out of an A&A bag - it's the IN2-1000 according to Popflash) and you'll have an almost perfect travel outfit.

    Btw, I think that Guy & Jack need to add the Dante "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here" to this forum too.

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    Member Seascape's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    :....
    I actually already have an oldie 35 Summaron 2.8 on my M3. I am sure it won't be able to cope with the M9 sensor but it could be fun to try!!
    You may be very surprised by the Summaron, it doesn't have the ASPH type resolution, but has a very balanced look of good contrast, resolution and colour saturation, all with nice Bokeh as well......truly a classic Leitz lens, enjoy

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    Re: point of no return

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    I have sold my extensive Canon gear and ordered a M9 - over the phone ...
    I have gradually lost inspiration with my Canon ...
    I am going minimal and I am starting with (maybe) a little unusual two lens combo.
    ...
    Do you think I am excited?
    Ought to be, it's a lovely camera in every way.

    Unlike others, I found I didn't accumulate a lot of lenses and such when I was shooting with Leica RFs. I worked with them for over thirty years, alongside my Nikon SLR kit. A wide, a normal, a portrait tele were always enough for me. At most, at one time, I had two bodies and four lenses (M6 + M4-P, 24/35/50/75 mm lenses) and that was after I'd stopped shooting with the SLRs entirely. That seemed a big kit to me.

    An M9 with 24 and 75 sounds like a great combination. Add the 35 and you should be in heaven.

    (It's not so different from my current shooting kit. I mostly use wide-normal and portrait tele primes. I tend to prefer a TTL viewfinder rather than a rangefinder nowadays.)

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    Super Duper
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    Re: point of no return

    It's wonderful to hear of your excitment of your uncoming photographic endevor. We've all been there (most all still are). Your choice of the 24 Elmar & 75 Cron couldn't be better and as most expressed, add a nice 35mm and you've made a great start! Bags are another thing altogether when it comes to rangefinders (as opposed to SLR systems) and I find it becomes even a more personal choice as opposed to those large backpacks we're used to with SLR's.

    As time goes on and the more you shoot, it will of course stir your interest to try some of the other "looks" in lenses that Guy (and others) mentioned.

    I'd start buying as many winning lottery tickets as you can now....as there are never enough of them (the winning ones) to cover all the wonderful rangefinder items we'd love to aquire. Have fun and let us know how its working out. and welcome!
    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    BTW you will buy more bags than your wife buys shoes. LOL

    Seriously if you are eventually going to have 4 or 5 lenses I love the Domke Waxwear F803
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...a_Satchel.html

    Or for a smaller kit a lot of folks like the Domke F-5XB
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...e_700_52B.html

    Domke's are just nice understated bags. They don't scream I have 15 k in here. If your a street type shooter or out a lot than they are great. But many nice bags out there as well Artist and Artisans are great love the Oskar One day.

    http://www.artisanandartist.com/bags/acam7100.htm

    Just be careful here these folks can spend your money faster than you can count it. LOL
    To add to Guy's recommendation, I like the Domke F-5XC, which can carry two bodies with lenses attached, and three additional lenses. I wrote a review on it elsewhere here (search is your friend).

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    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    Dan, welcome to the poor man's photography club.
    Your choice of the 24 f/2.8 and 75 'Cron are both great choices, and may be all you need or want since you have that nice old 35mm Leitz. I own and use regularly both the same 24 and the 75 'Cron, but my most favorite lens of all is my 50 year old 21 f/3.4 SA. Do not under estimate how great the older M glass looks. They aren't as razor sharp as the ASPH, but nothing beats the "glow."

    I also use Domke bags. My primary for my M kit has been the 5XB since it came out many years ago. Highly recommended

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    Thank you ALL for such a warm welcome

    Today is the day, later this afternoon I am in the shop unpacking two boxes and holding the M9 for the very first time...can't wait!

    I'll keep you posted of progress!

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    Interesting day

    Very first day with M9 and two worries where one is more serious than the other.
    1. It underexposes atleast 1 stop. (yes I am familiar with selective metering)
    This is not a big problem though. But the next one concerns me a lot more...
    2. The dynamic range is pretty poor. In this department the 6 year old Canon 1Ds2 was superior (by far). There MUST be something I am doing wrong here. Everything factory default.
    This image I attach here of my house is not showing how it was. It was not as strong sunlight as it suggests. The shadows where much much softer. When importing the file to the converter the shadows are pitch black. I have zero'd the black lever and reduced contrast quite a bit to make it like this!

    Any suggestions?


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    Super Duper
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    Re: point of no return

    1) I usually dial in -0.3 - but if there is bright sky or something like that I meter on the bottom/grass whatever to not get underexposure. Metering is not as sophisticated is 3d matrix metering but predictable.
    If you get frequently 1 stop underxposure I would say something is not right

    2)I havent used any recent Canon models but I do use a D700 and also MF-digitla (which is supposed to have pretty good DR) and I find the DR of the M9 quit good.

    With which lens you have made this experience?

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    Re: point of no return

    The default M9 settings in LR3 have really pumped-up midtone contrast. The default saturation is up the wazoo, too... Fortunately it's easy to change this with a personal base style and make it the default for the M9.

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    Re: point of no return

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    Interesting day

    Very first day with M9 and two worries where one is more serious than the other.
    1. It underexposes atleast 1 stop. (yes I am familiar with selective metering)
    This is not a big problem though. But the next one concerns me a lot more...
    2. The dynamic range is pretty poor. In this department the 6 year old Canon 1Ds2 was superior (by far). There MUST be something I am doing wrong here. Everything factory default.
    This image I attach here of my house is not showing how it was. It was not as strong sunlight as it suggests. The shadows where much much softer. When importing the file to the converter the shadows are pitch black. I have zero'd the black lever and reduced contrast quite a bit to make it like this!

    Any suggestions?

    If I look at this image I would say very high contrast scene, white house in the middle which should lead to underexposure.
    Have you tried on low contrast scenes? Or maybe even shoot a grey card and see what happens.

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    Interesting day

    Very first day with M9 and two worries where one is more serious than the other.
    1. It underexposes atleast 1 stop. (yes I am familiar with selective metering)
    This is not a big problem though. But the next one concerns me a lot more...
    2. The dynamic range is pretty poor. In this department the 6 year old Canon 1Ds2 was superior (by far). There MUST be something I am doing wrong here. Everything factory default.
    This image I attach here of my house is not showing how it was. It was not as strong sunlight as it suggests. The shadows where much much softer. When importing the file to the converter the shadows are pitch black. I have zero'd the black lever and reduced contrast quite a bit to make it like this!

    Any suggestions?
    Dan, with the M9 youŽll have to accept the fact that youŽll have to work a bit more than with the electronic marvels that decide by themselves how your pics should look....

    As others have said, metering requires interpretation, and youŽll have to do it, not some matrix metering algorithm. For a static scene, try A first, note the shutter time it selects and look at the histogram. Then (if necessary) shoot it again, in manual with an adjusted shutter setting as required. If satisfied, without changing anything, scan the scene looking at the metering indicator: what part of the scene will make the round dot appear instead of one of the arrows? Do this with a number of different scenes, and youŽll soon get to know the quirks of the metering system far better.

    And: DO NOT use auto ISO; youŽll never know as well what you do if the camera keeps changing one of the key parameters all by itself.

    Then, post processing. Absolutely, shoot and process dng from the start. Then, in the conversion s/w (Lightroom 3 is great!), in the develop module, look at the histogram and turn on the clipping indicators. Adjust exposure first and brightness after, until you get it all placed (if you exposed decently, the dynamic range is certainly there; just get it within the range of the medium youŽll show the final image in).

    Of all the digital cameras (and film scans) IŽve worked with, none has needed less post processing than the M9. But a minuteŽs work or so makes wonders when capturing the dynamic range.

    HereŽs a shot from about one month ago. Wonderful morning, wisps of mist, strong sun and trees in shadow. I selected to have the tree shadows almost black; the original file has lots of detail even there.



    And here is one more like yours: strong sun and shadows on Stockholm Söder. Still, itŽs all there...


    Both with the Summicron 35 Asph. But my 50 years old Summicron 50 would have performed equally well here.

  29. #29
    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: point of no return

    Thanks again for extensive input What initially worried me is the fact that I am very used to the oldfashion way of metering light and still I could not get results.
    I have been out today for 5 hours shooting and it feels better today! Even if I am not totally happy with how the raw file looks...but it does seem that the information is there so it is a question of getting familiar with pp for Leica raw files.

    No, I would never use auto iso (how horrible) and yes ofcourse always without exception dng from start to finish!

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    Re: point of no return

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    The Domke Waxwear F803 looks seriously nice - thanks for the tip!
    I have this bag, too. Great for a body with lens attached, plus 2-3 other lenses. Also, for a body and lens attached, plus two other lens, you may want to consider the 5xb. I have them both and recommend either. Domke bags are durable and quite incognito.

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