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Thread: "Goodbye, Leica"

  1. #101
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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    I am not, by any stretch of anyone's imagination, an expert professional photog like the most of you. I read a lot of what you say without response because I just cannot add to the weight of your experience. You are all great teachers, especially Marc. I have done an occasional gig and I understand some of the experiences expressed, especially when it comes to the M. And like most here I have spent a lot of time behind manual focus lenses in years past.

    I think a lot of people have come to tolerate the quirks of the M instead of really saying it is the easiest format to use. What works for me, as frustrated as I get sometimes with the M, is the output. When I print there is something there that I just do not see with other equipment. I have never used medium format, though. I put up with the M's quirks simply because it is the output that matters. The lenses are without peer, and if not for the lenses I would not use the M. With that said, I love what using an M has done for the "process" of my photography. Being a right brained luddite, the M makes the creativity equation (pun intended) a pleasure. Frank

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nilrem View Post
    Do any other Leica M 9 owners long for an Exposure Lock button? Even my Hasselblad had one and it was a joy to be able to avoid backlighting for a series of shots simply by directing the lens downwards, pressing the EL button and shooting with backlighting taken care of. I sent a fax recently to Leica asking if one could be fitted : I will let you know when I hear from them. Even the Leica S2 has an EL button. On the M9 the shutter EL only works for one exposure. For a series of shots at the same exposure value , it is necessary to [1] On "A" , take a shot, pointing at a gray-card equivalent . [2] look at the LCD to read off what shutter speed had been selected. [3] Set this value on the shutter speed dial. This is a cumbersome system and surprising for a camera which is ideal [almost] for street shooting.
    The advantage of a separate EL button is that exposure can be reset rapidly if the lighting conditions change. A double- press unlocks and then resets exposure without lifting the camera to the eye.
    I dont see the need for a seperate EL button. You store the exp if you half press the shutter release button. I do this all the time.
    I think you only need an additional button if you have AF and want to control/save AF independent from exposure. (By the way I prefer to use my Nikon and S2 the same way, lock exposure with the shutter release half press and control the AF by the seperate button)
    Since you do not need to lock AF when using the M9 it works quite easy. Check it out.

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    You know when you are middle aged or older when you don't want your favourite things to change - too much and you really don't have too many favourite things. It takes a long tome to decide on what your favourite things are. Favourite things arent one night stand tye of situations ( or their photographic equivalents). Most companies can't make favourite things - because most companies are just too stupid or greedy to leave well enough alone.

    Leica M is a favourite thing for m it has been a constant companion from M3 to M7 to MP to M8 and now to M9 - I have only ever sold one Leica camera and three Leica M lenses - I regretted it each time. These friend have been through a lot with me helping me record simple happy snaps and occasional beautiful prints to.

    I like everything about the Leica and probably more so because everything it doesn't do well. For these things there are other tools.

    Leica should listen only to long term Leica nuts - because it is they who actually value what Leica is and it is they whose passion makes the brand interesting enough for new aficionados impressed by long time users passion to join the family.

    All my Leicas will outlive me as will all the lenses and I hope to pass these on to a grandchild that God willing perhaps inherits the photography bug - in good time.

    No one is going to pass on anything made by ( pick your Japanese widget name) to any grandchild because it will eb obsolete within a year o manufacture.

    Don't get me wrong - I do play with lots of other stuff - and this other stuff has its place and use and utility and amenity - but these are associates or colleagues or just tools - not family or friends.

    I dont need auto beep bop adoo from Leica and i dont want a superior 10gazillion pixel EVF GHATY type electronic viewfunder with guided missile settings either - and I dont want Leica to listen to those who are asking for it in an M body - and in so doing seek to destroy exactly what real Leica aficionados love about a Leica M and that is is relatively simple - you either get it or you don't design and function.


    So if you dont get it - or dont like it thats fine - there are lots of other cameras out there and new ones out every day go there and find a perfect whatever.

    Pete

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Peter,
    the thing is that I am open for change, but that I often experience that what is sold as change/progress doesnt allways mean real progress.
    I am constantly buying all kinds of new cameras just to find out that 80% of the new gymmics dont give me what I expect in the beginning.
    There are other things which just work as it is.
    So I believe that I dont like the M9 because I am so used to it, but because it just overall works better for me than many other systems.
    For me there are 2 aspects when making my opinion about a camera:
    1) How intuitive and with how much joy do I use the camera
    2) Which Image quality do I get, and here I mean technical IQ as well as how good I like the Image regarding subject/composition etc.
    Normally I need to shoot a system for some time to find out, and sometimes I can not even say why I like a system or dont like it.
    And I am totally aware that things that work for me might not work for everybody else.
    But I am also aware that things that do not work good for me might work excellent for others
    Last edited by Paratom; 22nd November 2011 at 07:17.

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    I'm not sure an EL is necessary either. If I want to lock it over several shots, setting exposure manually isn't so bad. Though I hear what you're saying - it's a bit of a "process" as you describe. With exposure set manually though, it's easy to compensate by using the aperture or shutter speed dials... There's also EC which I set through the rear dial. I know, not the same thing.

    The Zeiss Ikon doesn't have it either (only a 20s lock) but the Mamiya 7II does.

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    PeterA ...
    You know when you are middle aged or older when you don't want your favourite things to change - too much and you really don't have too many favourite things. It takes a long tome to decide on what your favourite things are. Favourite things arent one night stand tye of situations ( or their photographic equivalents). Most companies can't make favourite things - because most companies are just too stupid or greedy to leave well enough alone.
    ...
    I dont need auto beep bop adoo from Leica and i dont want a superior 10gazillion pixel EVF GHATY type electronic viewfunder with guided missile settings either - and I dont want Leica to listen to those who are asking for it in an M body - and in so doing seek to destroy exactly what real Leica aficionados love about a Leica M and that is is relatively simple - you either get it or you don't design and function.

    So if you dont get it - or dont like it thats fine - there are lots of other cameras out there and new ones out every day go there and find a perfect whatever.
    Spoken like the perfect curmudgeon that I aspire to become. ;-)

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    I can really appreciate the "its the glass stupid" mentality because its for that same reason that I chose to buy in Leica as well. I had the chance to try out an M9 for a few times to decide if it was a system for me to buy into. In the end I decided against it because as far as I could see, the body had too many compromises for the price and I couldn't afford all the lenses I would really want to use it with.

    Fast forward a year and I was in a position where I could afford to buy all the lenses I would want in my ideal M kit so I took the plunge, knowing full well that the M9 for me had many compromises but that it was something I was willing to live it to shoot with the gorgeous Leica lenses.

    In the months since, as I've gotten used to the M9 more and more, I find myself liking it more and more, even with its shortcomings. I also have an NEX 5N which I use a backup/second body and in many cases I prefer the RF focusing of the M9 because I seem to be able to do it very quickly. In times when I need to focus on something off center with a fast lens, the focus peaking ability of the 5N works better.

    As far as I'm concerned there are only two things that need to be improved for me and my photography over the M9:

    1. Live View. Controversial perhaps and I'm sure the curmudgeons will decry this but Live View improves my photography. I don't want an EVF (I like the M9 OVF the way it is) but having Live View would enable me to get critically accurate focus and framing for landscape photography (along with being able to accurately use filters). This would make the M pretty much the ideal landscape tool in my bag (because of the size and the superb optics in small packages).

    2. Improved high ISO performance. I know its obvious, but being able to get clean ISO 3200 (as clean as the current ISO 1250) would be spectacular for available light photography. Even with a Noctilux there are many times where my shutter speed ends up being too low at ISO 2500.

    Thats about it. Love the general image quality of the camera, the resolution is pretty great and best of all the current user interface is both intuitive and powerful and its not something I'd want changed.

    On top of all that, Leica's really been hitting it out of the park with their recent lenses so there's plenty to be excited about.

  8. #108
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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    I think much of the disagreement here stems from a difference in intent.

    For some people or situations, photography is (almost) entirely about the result. Nearly the ultimate along this like is wedding photography. You *need* to produce good results (and lots of them) absolutely every time. To do that, you're nearly forced into doing only what know you can dependably do well.

    For most of us, however, that gets fairly boring in a hurry. It produces lots of good results, but rarely much that's truly great. To produce something great, we have to experiment more. We end up with a lot more garbage, but when things go right a little that's truly extraordinary.

    For a lot of people, a Leica can be a big help in moving toward the latter. Part of it probably is somewhat technically based. With little in the way of other controls, experimentation is restricted primarily the basics like DoF, lighting, and framing. I think for many there are some psychological aspects that are probably equally important though. One is that the simple act of holding a Leica can be just about as relaxing a sitting by a nice fire with your favorite drink. Another is that (even if you never admit it to yourself) the "poor" dependability of the camera gives a little bit of a scapegoat, so you don't punish yourself nearly as much when an experiment fails. That makes it much easier to relax and enjoy the ride (so to speak).

    I haven't quite managed to emulate him, but sometimes I think my dad was right. He once told me that photography was like drinking, and the pictures you got were the hangover. You did what you did for its own sake in spite of the result, not because of it.

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoffin View Post
    He once told me that photography was like drinking, and the pictures you got were the hangover. You did what you did for its own sake in spite of the result, not because of it.
    Love it, will need to remember that one.

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoffin View Post
    For some people or situations, photography is (almost) entirely about the result. Nearly the ultimate along this like is wedding photography. You *need* to produce good results (and lots of them) absolutely every time. To do that, you're nearly forced into doing only what know you can dependably do well.
    Very true. Wedding photography is almost entirely about the result. The process is important too, but it has to produce results under a wide range of circumstances.

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoffin View Post
    SNIP

    It produces lots of good results, but rarely much that's truly great.

    SNIP

    Thats almost exactly how I described my M8 to a pal who despised Leica

    " with a DSLR I get good shots almost every time, with the m8 I get great shots...... if everything works out "


    Saying that, once he actually sat down and tried the Leica , he didnt put it down for about 10 minutes :P afterwards, "Its still overpriced though...."

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoffin View Post
    I think much of the disagreement here stems from a difference in intent.

    For some people or situations, photography is (almost) entirely about the result. Nearly the ultimate along this like is wedding photography. You *need* to produce good results (and lots of them) absolutely every time. To do that, you're nearly forced into doing only what know you can dependably do well.

    For most of us, however, that gets fairly boring in a hurry. It produces lots of good results, but rarely much that's truly great. To produce something great, we have to experiment more. We end up with a lot more garbage, but when things go right a little that's truly extraordinary.

    edit .
    Your take on this is probably correct for the general population of wedding photographers. However, I have not seen that to be necessarily true for those who photograph much, or part of a wedding with a Leica M. Broad generalities are just that ... broad, and general ... but not necessarily true for all.

    They (we) take a Leica M camera to specifically do a different take on a wedding ... and experimentation is part of that process. Other-wise, why take it? A wedding generally is made up of expected, "must have" shots that constitute maybe 30% of the time spent ... and the rest is open game ... even more so for the pure photojournalist shooter using a M ... like my pal Irakly who's wedding photo's done for me, have been exhibited by the national gallery in St. Petersburg Russia.

    For the type of client that will appreciate something beyond the ordinary, I employ a second shooter to cover the rote stuff the couple's parents may expect, and then I shoot exclusively for them, more often than not with a M9. 100% of the people who hire me do so based on the unexpected parts of a wedding, with the full knowledge and expectation that I (or my second shooter) will also get the routine stuff.

    Heck, not to many wedding shooters do environmental bridal studies with a M9 and 0.95 Noctilux in near coal-mine ambient.

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Heck, not to many wedding shooters do environmental bridal studies with a M9 and 0.95 Noctilux in near coal-mine ambient.
    More's the pity! and that's a lovely shot. I quite agree though - my best wedding shots have pretty much all been taken with an M9 (although not as classy as your coal-mine ambient!), but the other shots have to be got too.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Your take on this is probably correct for the general population of wedding photographers. However, I have not seen that to be necessarily true for those who photograph much, or part of a wedding with a Leica M. Broad generalities are just that ... broad, and general ... but not necessarily true for all.
    Oh, quite true -- there are exceptions to every rule (itself a rule, but one to which this is no exception! ) Fortunately, many couples also seem more open to the possibility of interesting, original shots than was the case, say, 20 years ago.

    At the same time, I'd say this is less of an exception than an addition. You still need to produce the "must have" shots. More experimental work has to be done in addition to those, not as a substitute for them.

    And that's definitely a nice shot. I have to guess the bride (and probably groom too) is pretty darned happy with the results from your "slow, undependable" camera!

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    I'm not sure it's so much about the distinction between expected must have shots vs. unexpected creative experimentation, as it is about the distinction between static subjects that allow the time to manually focus vs. moving subjects that really challenge one's manual focus abilities, especially in low light and when using very shallow depth of field.

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    is this the same guy?

    http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2011/0...-paul-lanigan/

    Biarritz is great BTW>

    VICTOR

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by jcoffin View Post
    Oh, quite true -- there are exceptions to every rule (itself a rule, but one to which this is no exception! ) Fortunately, many couples also seem more open to the possibility of interesting, original shots than was the case, say, 20 years ago.

    At the same time, I'd say this is less of an exception than an addition. You still need to produce the "must have" shots. More experimental work has to be done in addition to those, not as a substitute for them. ... edit ...
    Sorry, I don't buy that 100% either... it's kind of "old think" about weddings these days. I know those who ONLY use an M for wedding work. To my knowledge, my pal Irakly doesn't even own a 35mm DSLR. I do about 50% of a wedding with a M, including many of the "Must Have" shots ... and I'm not afraid to shoot moving subjects either (see M "Must Haves" attached).

    If people insist on those group family shots. formal portraits, etc., I now use a S2 with off-camera lighting and bring an assistant 'cause that's the type of stuff it excels at. That said, I wouldn't go to a wedding without a 35mm DSLR as back-up ... but a second shooter is even better.

    My clients are a cool bunch and encourage the unexpected ideas, even taking time to participate in goofing-off scenarios like this "Shortest Marriage in History" urban grunge slide show shot with the M9:

    http://fotografz.smugmug.com/Movies/...65998108_seRXr

    Weddings are a blast and not nearly as fear-ridden and restrictive as some think they are. I shoot the way I want, and if clients don't care for that, they are free to hire someone else who will follow all the expected rules and regulations.

    -Marc

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by Zlatko Batistich View Post
    I'm not sure it's so much about the distinction between expected must have shots vs. unexpected creative experimentation, as it is about the distinction between static subjects that allow the time to manually focus vs. moving subjects that really challenge one's manual focus abilities, especially in low light and when using very shallow depth of field.
    See my post above ... there is a simple secret for focusing a M wide open in action which I would tell you about ... but then I'd have to kill you

    -Marc

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    A germ of an idea started growing shortly after I upgraded to the P65+ earlier this year. While I like the files I get from the M9 the major drawback for me is the limitation in printing size. Here I am getting images "just as good" as my P45+ however I wasn't able to print at P45+ sizes; that feeling didn't go away when the P65+ arrived, it only got worse. While I occasionally have prints that are 16x20 the majority are 30x40 and I've found that just stretches the limits of 18 megapixels.

    The germ of an idea grew even more when I was asked to demo the capabilities of a Phase 645AF and Mamiya 300, 150 and Phase One 80 lens while in Jackson Hole. Having been away from shooting this type of system for over 3-years gave me a wake up. Here I could have a system for those times that require quick shooting (hit and run) primarily auto-focus but manual as well hand-held - and by switching the back to my Cambo have the tech camera for the more "serious" landscape work that requires deliberation, steady tripod, and shifts.

    So, I too find myself about to say goodbye to Leica as I revert back to 100% medium format.

    Don
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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    See my post above ... there is a simple secret for focusing a M wide open in action which I would tell you about ... but then I'd have to kill you

    -Marc
    I'll talk.

    Take the picture when the two images in the rangefinder patch come together.

    50/1.1 Nokton, Wide-open on the Leica M9, ISO 2500.




    1937 Carl Zeiss Sonnar 5cm F1.5 converted to Leica Mount, on the M8.
    Last edited by Brian S; 1st December 2011 at 15:44.

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    ... While I occasionally have prints that are 16x20 the majority are 30x40 and I've found that just stretches the limits of 18 megapixels.
    ...
    So, I too find myself about to say goodbye to Leica as I revert back to 100% medium format.

    Don
    Hi Don,
    is this cm or inches print size?
    Do you sell all those prints or do you just have a big house?
    Tom

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Hi Don,
    is this cm or inches print size?
    Do you sell all those prints or do you just have a big house?
    Tom
    Don

    Tom, Sorry the print size is in inches. My primary profession is as a landscape photographer and sell prints ranging from 30x40 to 30x60 and larger. The house is small....


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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    Don

    Tom, Sorry the print size is in inches. My primary profession is as a landscape photographer and sell prints ranging from 30x40 to 30x60 and larger. The house is small....


    Don
    Ahh, now I understand why you move 100% MF. Regards,Tom

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian S View Post
    I'll talk.

    Take the picture when the two images in the rangefinder patch come together.

    50/1.1 Nokton, Wide-open on the Leica M9, ISO 2500.

    Hey Brian...That "secret focusing technique" resulted in more than 90% of that first image of yours being completely out of focus

    Serious though, I find the primary difference in shooting the Leica (M9) vs. some other systems such as the MFD or even a modern day DSLR is one's own expectations for the final product and how it's structured. Somewhat similar to what Marc has expressed and illustrated in his lovely "grunge" slide show, is that with the Leica M, many often shoot it in more unstructured, and sometimes less pre-planned way. Thats not to say some don't pick it up for a formal landscape or portrait, but it's strengths I believe lie in it's lending itself to spontanious shooting and the expectation of not always knowing what the final product (image) will exactly look like. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't...sometimes there is movement and flow in the image and sometimes not, but often time it surprises us with an image thats a bit more imaginative.

    For myself and I might think others, when the "formal" expected shot is requried (for personal or professional use), thats when the MFD/DSLR or similar system is generally employed or possibly as Don has indicated, a larger sized file is required for very large format prints. In either one of these cases, one generally has in mind, a carefully planned shot and expectations of what the final image will look like and often times exactly what is required of the image, in order for it to work out as expected. To use an often expressed phrase, each system has it's pluses and minuses and when one plays to the strengths of a system, it generally works out well.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Any camera can be shot loose and goosey. It is not just rangefinders--which I love. My walk-around camera is a Pentax 645D and, like Don, I don't find myself needing a smaller format to do informal work. (Although I have an E-P1 in my bag too, but I use that for videos or if I need to leave a camera on the dinning room table during a meal.) I find the beauty of a rangefinder is no viewfinder blackout during the exposure and I can see the subject when I hear the click and know if someone closed their eyes during the exposure. It is also great for panning.

    BTW, I find rangefinders can produce very formal work and quite easily.

    As far as print size, I print large (40+ inches) regardless of format and everything come out beautifully.
    Last edited by Shashin; 2nd December 2011 at 05:23.

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    If I read Marc's intriguing post correctly, he was talking about getting sharp focus of subjects not covered by the RF patch.....

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    If I read Marc's intriguing post correctly, he was talking about getting sharp focus of subjects not covered by the RF patch.....
    This recent shot: 50mm F1.5 C-Sonnar on the Leica M8, wide-open. My daughter is twirling around on the swing- not just a back and forth motion. I wanted her eyes in focus, and they are not in the RF patch.



    Lens is pre-focused, using the RF aimed at the eyes on a prior cycle of swinging. Then framed, and just waited for her to twirl to that point again. This is like some of the AF SLR's that can be pre-focused, and the camera programmed to take the picture when the subject moves into the correct position. The Nikon N8008 with an MF-21 data back was my first camera that could do this automatically. I never used that feaure. Just did it manually.

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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Brian,

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    Stockholm, Sweden.
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    Re: "Goodbye, Leica"

    Let people use whatever they like, geez

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