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Thread: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

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    Senior Member DanielDuarte's Avatar
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    Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    I know the subject line seems odd, but I wanted to open this discourse surrounding Leica (film and digital) as being a system driven by image quality when it comes to people vs. place.

    I briefly had an M240 but traded her in for an SL and also shoot an M6. What I have found is that in either format, landscape images fall flat. I am thinking the following:

    For the past 8(ish) years I shot a large percentage of my images using LF film (mainly 8x10, some 4x5). I mainly scanned as my home darkroom is pretty barren. So is it just my level of expectations when shooting landscape that 24MP just will never be able to capture the resolution of sheet film, and therefore I should lower my expectations?

    Also, I have found that when importing files from the SL... portraits, more traditional street images shine while my landscape images just don't have that POP.

    I wonder if anyone else has found the same?

    I likely need a major brush up on post - production skills.
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Comparing 35mm full-frame, regardless of pixel count, to LF is futile. Your perspective will always be skewed!

    Portraits and street will often have a point of focus that allows the brain to exclude other information (background, misc details, etc.)
    Landscape, for me, is a bit different. My eye wanders more. The need for greater detail calls out to the larger-format-skewed brain when looking at landscapes.

    Fear not. There are a couple of things to make your post-processing a breeze.

    A great all-arounder for many subjects is Athentech's Perfectly Clear plugin suite(sweet!)

    There's a landscape setting default that works wonders. Backoff the sharpening if you experience some funny artefacts.

    NOTE: ignore the security warning and copy and paste this if you get one:
    http://www.athentech.com/products/plugins

    I do think that the M, and other smaller format systems like my Fuji, are very nice for landscape. You'll have less of the focus control of large format, but lighter, quicker systems are very nice.
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    The question really is more about what constitutes landscape photography. There are many very talented photographers who use Leica cameras for their work, including landscape. As someone living in Iceland, RAX comes to mind. Another friend of mine uses a Leica M monochrom for his landscape work and has had it featured in museums and galleries to great acclaim. I used the M9 for awhile before switching to the S2. Personally, I think resolution is not necessarily more important in landscape photography than it is in other fields. Resolution is an attribute that is either needed, or not needed for a particular photograph. Back in 2010 I had an exhibition that was a blend of images from 6x7, 6x6, 4x5 and the M9. The M9 images were printed slightly smaller, but they blended well with the rest of the work. I had been shooting 4x5 slide at the time, but I found that I actually preferred some of the M9 images to those of the 4x5 (mostly for practical DOF reasons and when shooting in low natural light with low ISO film, slow lenses, high winds and moving image elements!). I think the character of the color (or b&w tonality) is more important than the resolution in most cases, assuming the resolution is high to begin with.

    There is undoubtedly a difference in character between 35mm and MF/LF however, but I think it depends a lot on how you shoot as well. What lens are you using in LF? A lot of people tend to use a bit longer lenses on LF and stick with the 4x5 ratio. If you are using a 150-210mm that is more in the 50-70mm range, while a lot of people tend to shoot 35mm cameras with a bit wider lenses. This can also impact the feel, as shallow DOF effects only tend to start being more visible above 50mm.

    As for sheer detail, going above 24mp is going to help you. You can likely find a used S2 or S 006 for less than the price of your SL, and it would be a more detailed camera that is probably more suited to landscape, should you choose to get one. The challenge is more how many lenses you need. If you tend to use only one focal length, the 70mm is available for a reasonable price, and it is exceptionally good. I would say, however, that the SL is more than capable of making great landscapes, as long as it is used appropriately.
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    If that refers to the M, the answer is a resounding, yes. Of late, Leica have lost their ways and have been trying to cater to a boutique crowd that will only shoot vacation snaps (easily done with an iphone) and such (preferrably after a few glasses of an inebriating beverage) and there has been confusion created online as a result.

    You have plenty of choices for landscape shots and of late a few alternate (and far better) possibilities for street and people as well.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    For a long time I used my M9 and MM1 for landscape afterwards going to the M-P (240) and MM2 which I currently own and still use for landscape.

    Louis Foubare: Making Every Minute Count - The Leica Camera Blog

    Of course I also use my M's for street so having one system for both uses is a plus.

    Louis Foubare: Fluidity and Unpredictability in Street Photography - The Leica Camera Blog

    I also got the Q and tried out the AF due my vision issues and find it works very well for either street, landscape or whatever you shoot.

    "Quba": Cuba with the Leica Q by Louis Foubare - Leica Forum Blog
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Dan, I would say that if your M landscapes were "flat" you need to change your processing.
    Also, I don't know if you did any bw conversions from M files, but they really shine when converted. My old M8/8.2 bw files were the closest to film I've ever experienced in a digital.
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Hi,

    I guess what you call "pop" is the result of 40% profiles %50 processing and 10% camera. So I would focus on the two first factors and don't care that much about the third one.

    One problem with landscape can be the luminance range. If you just compress the luminance range for screen or print the image will look flat.

    If I have sky in an image, I almost always start fixing that, mostly involving a graduated filter with the setting below:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 07.12.43.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	18.4 KB 
ID:	119714

    After that I adjust black point, and use "highlights" and "shadows" to get god tonal range. Both these sliders are content adaptive in Lightroom. They may do local adaptive tone mappings.

    Finally adjust exposure and contrast to taste.

    You can add a touch of Clarity and Vibrance before serving…

    Best regards
    Erik



    Quote Originally Posted by DanielDuarte View Post
    I know the subject line seems odd, but I wanted to open this discourse surrounding Leica (film and digital) as being a system driven by image quality when it comes to people vs. place.

    I briefly had an M240 but traded her in for an SL and also shoot an M6. What I have found is that in either format, landscape images fall flat. I am thinking the following:

    For the past 8(ish) years I shot a large percentage of my images using LF film (mainly 8x10, some 4x5). I mainly scanned as my home darkroom is pretty barren. So is it just my level of expectations when shooting landscape that 24MP just will never be able to capture the resolution of sheet film, and therefore I should lower my expectations?

    Also, I have found that when importing files from the SL... portraits, more traditional street images shine while my landscape images just don't have that POP.

    I wonder if anyone else has found the same?

    I likely need a major brush up on post - production skills.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    If you're shooting landscape in black and white the Monochrom is superb.
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    I guess what you call "pop" is the result of 40% profiles %50 processing and 10% camera.
    We can argue over the numbers, but the sentiment is extremely important!

    ,

    Matt

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Seems like the OP has disappeared.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Seems like the OP has disappeared.
    He is trying to offload his SL, etc.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Seems like the OP has disappeared.


    Sorry, a few things came up over the last few days. I don't get to a desktop often and the mobile version of the forum isn't that fun. I wish they used Tapatalk, I like that platform.

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    Senior Member DanielDuarte's Avatar
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    He is trying to offload his SL, etc.
    Indeed I am.

    I was enjoying summer when my wife and I were asked to come over to dinner with her parents. We live above the family business, it's there way of helping us get by while we are in school and living off one income.

    That dinner consisted of us being told the business has been sold, a PNS sheet is being signed this month. In other words we are being kicked out.

    We have very little. I have to make this sacrifice for my wife and I as the SL will pay for 6 months of rent here. It's sad, but it's the reality.

    Hopefully things will change when I graduate next year and we will finally have 2 incomes. I'm keeping all my M glass in addition to my M6. So I'm not totally jumping into the volcano.

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    Senior Member DanielDuarte's Avatar
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    I guess what you call "pop" is the result of 40% profiles %50 processing and 10% camera. So I would focus on the two first factors and don't care that much about the third one.

    One problem with landscape can be the luminance range. If you just compress the luminance range for screen or print the image will look flat.

    If I have sky in an image, I almost always start fixing that, mostly involving a graduated filter with the setting below:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 07.12.43.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	18.4 KB 
ID:	119714

    After that I adjust black point, and use "highlights" and "shadows" to get god tonal range. Both these sliders are content adaptive in Lightroom. They may do local adaptive tone mappings.

    Finally adjust exposure and contrast to taste.

    You can add a touch of Clarity and Vibrance before serving…

    Best regards
    Erik
    Great advice.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    I guess what you call "pop" is the result of 40% profiles %50 processing and 10% camera. So I would focus on the two first factors and don't care that much about the third one.
    Not sure I agree with that, I think it is actually 100% the photographer. I see a lot of garbage landscape photos in which someone either did not recognize the image is just "not all that" or worse, they tried to beef it up in post.

    I hardly have to ever do anything with my M240 files in post, I get it right in camera and have happy clients all the live long day and that very much includes landscapes.

    I think it's rarely the camera or post that is to blame, usually it is the person behind the camera not understanding the nuances of light, texture, form and contrast.
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ai_Print View Post
    Not sure I agree with that, I think it is actually 100% the photographer. I see a lot of garbage landscape photos in which someone either did not recognize the image is just "not all that" or worse, they tried to beef it up in post.

    I hardly have to ever do anything with my M240 files in post, I get it right in camera and have happy clients all the live long day and that very much includes landscapes.

    I think it's rarely the camera or post that is to blame, usually it is the person behind the camera not understanding the nuances of light, texture, form and contrast.
    POP is an interesting word - my understanding is that an image 'pops' because either a person has used a fast lens wide open - properly, and the subject matter pops out at the viewer and / or the combination of 3Dimensionality from a fast lens combined with good LIGHT - has the same effect...

    Perhaps you are referring to 'poop' in your comment? poop is the same set of 'luminance tricks' from the same set of pre-fabbed bought ready to use luminance masks - making absurd faux 'zone' relationships between bits of rock and trees eliciting oooh and ahhh response.

    I could be wrong though.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielDuarte View Post
    Indeed I am.

    I was enjoying summer when my wife and I were asked to come over to dinner with her parents. We live above the family business, it's there way of helping us get by while we are in school and living off one income.

    That dinner consisted of us being told the business has been sold, a PNS sheet is being signed this month. In other words we are being kicked out.

    We have very little. I have to make this sacrifice for my wife and I as the SL will pay for 6 months of rent here. It's sad, but it's the reality.

    Hopefully things will change when I graduate next year and we will finally have 2 incomes. I'm keeping all my M glass in addition to my M6. So I'm not totally jumping into the volcano.
    Wish I am in a position to help out by buying some of that stuff.

    Good luck to you!
    Sale Items (http://www.getdpi.com/forum/gear-fs-...8806-sale.html)
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Wish I am in a position to help out by buying some of that stuff.

    Good luck to you!
    Thanks, we'll get there... just a bump in the road.
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Files from the M in my experience are similar to Canon files in that they look pretty good SooC but don't stand up well to pushing. It's just different philosophies really. My personal preference is for a relatively flat starting point that I can work with to a greater degree in post, but I understand the argument the otherway. I sort of liken it to chromes vs negatives. You can do a lot with an Ektar 100 negative, but Velvia on the light table is really something else...

    I wll say that my M files require a LOT of work to bring back the dynamic range that Leica's profiles are trying to throw away. I'm nearly always all the way down on the Highlights slider. I also am now trying to avoid the ETTR technique that I use with my Nikon. In fact, I often bring the tiny and wonderful Sekonc L-308 with me when I'm shooting with my M. I like to really nail exposures with it to maximise quality. Whereas with my Nikon, I can safely shoot all day on Aperture Priority, auto ISO w/ 12,800 max and exposure comp at .7-1 stop down and get fantastic results with lots of headroom.

    I would say the M shines when doing reportage and documentation, environmental portraiture, travel, and certain types of landscape work. I would have no problem setting up the M on a tripod and shooting nearly any kind of landscape actually. Although other systems are better for long exposures.

    Personally though, I like to shoot all my landscapes on film. I just got a Chamonix 45N-2 and I can't imagine a better tool for the kind of images I want to create.
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    I would have no problem setting up the M on a tripod and shooting nearly any kind of landscape actually. Although other systems are better for long exposures.

    Personally though, I like to shoot all my landscapes on film. I just got a Chamonix 45N-2 and I can't imagine a better tool for the kind of images I want to create.
    The fairly short long exposure cap that is commensurate with ISO setting on the 240 might be the main reason I personally would *not* consider the M an optimal tool for shooting landscapes, second would be parallax error that is common to RF cameras.

    I am in the same camp as you with the 45N-2, love mine and black and white film is my primary medium for landscapes. I also have a super custom one of these on order, will take awhile to source some exotic blue carbon fiber in Italy.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Well, OK, though I'm not sure web posts rather than prints will answer OP's question:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TreeReflection.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	342.7 KB 
ID:	119778

    MM, WATE @ 18mm, 2 files stitched to make a square.

    I never had IQ problems using MM for 'formal' landscape photography, though I choose not to make very large BW prints - usually just 8x12" or 9x13.5" on 13x19" sheets. (I use 17" Epson ABW for BW printing, and Canon for larger color).

    For landscapes I've recently switched, however, to Sony A7rII bodies (standard, and Kolari mod), still using mostly my Leica lenses, because after quite a bit of testing I decided my Sony BW file conversions are of equal quality to my Monochrom files. And IMO it's a considerable advantage to be able to use the color conversion sliders in PS to rebalance the tones in a BW image. That's usually the last thing I re-check before making a print.

    The Sonys feel somewhat like plastic toys, but when working slowly with an L-bracket on either body and then the camera on a tripod, I find that the Sony's tackier feel, clumsier ergonomics, and inconvenient interface just don't make much difference. I only want the same IQ, plus a bit more processing flexibility.

    On the street side - and at the risk of being called a fan boy - I sold my M9s while they still had pretty high value and now use RX1rII, partly for the convenience of an identical sensor to A7rII. With a grip, a wrist strap, and the new ThumbsUp that's just become available, it feels to me more like my old M4 than the several larger digital Ms I've owned. And at a certain age, Autofocus Matters. Were there a 35mm Q or an interchangeable lens Q, that would be my street choice.

    Kirk

    PS, please don't be upset about my mentioning Sony; just one old guy's marginal preference. Still deeply loyal to my (mostly older) Leica lenses.

    And PPS, I'm so sorry to learn that Daniel, the OP, had to part with his SL. I'd corresponded with him about another matter and looked at his website. He's done some unusual large format work that reminded me of Sally Mann (her recent work, not the early family pictures). If he checks back to this thread again, I'm wishing him well on his move and his MFA.
    Last edited by thompsonkirk; 14th July 2016 at 22:03.
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by thompsonkirk View Post
    . . .

    For landscapes I've recently switched, however, to Sony A7rII bodies (standard, and Kolari mod), still using mostly my Leica lenses, because after quite a bit of testing I decided my Sony BW file conversions are of equal quality to my Monochrom files. And IMO it's a considerable advantage to be able to use the color conversion sliders in PS to rebalance the tones in a BW image. That's usually the last thing I re-check before making a print.

    . . .
    I've made the same comparison of MM vs. A7rII (with a thin cover glass conversion, which mostly, but not entirely, solves the "smearing" problem with Leica wides). I concluded that I prefer the MM look. Resolution is similar but I prefer the MM files, which seem more film-like to me. The A7rII is challenged by the Leica wides and I'm primarily a wide shooter. I generally shoot with medium yellow filtration in front of the lens on the MM which gives me tonal values that I consider attractive. I do print large (24x36) and the MM files are up to the challenge without heroics in post.

    I'm using the A7rII primarily for legacy lenses (Carl Zeiss Contax lenses from the 1930s-1950s) and specialty lenses (Canon TS), and in a few cases, away from the mainstream of my work, where I need autofocus.

    These really are matters of personal preference.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Yes.

    And in a 3x2, 6x4 etc. format.

    I do not know about the Ms after my ME, but my film Ms and M8 and ME are a bitch for me to shoot in a vertical/portrait format.

    I guess one can make images with even a pin hole, but certain things are designed for some specific purpose. That I can shoot ' street ' with a Nikon 500mm, I would not consider doing so.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyan View Post
    I do not know about the Ms after my ME, but my film Ms and M8 and ME are a bitch for me to shoot in a vertical/portrait format.
    Why?

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Why?
    Browse through the M photos anywhere. See what the vast majority of image orientation is.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    I've made the same comparison of MM vs. A7rII (with a thin cover glass conversion, which mostly, but not entirely, solves the "smearing" problem with Leica wides). I concluded that I prefer the MM look. Resolution is similar but I prefer the MM files, which seem more film-like to me. The A7rII is challenged by the Leica wides and I'm primarily a wide shooter. I generally shoot with medium yellow filtration in front of the lens on the MM which gives me tonal values that I consider attractive. I do print large (24x36) and the MM files are up to the challenge without heroics in post.

    I'm using the A7rII primarily for legacy lenses (Carl Zeiss Contax lenses from the 1930s-1950s) and specialty lenses (Canon TS), and in a few cases, away from the mainstream of my work, where I need autofocus.

    These really are matters of personal preference.
    Agreed - though WATE and MATE erase the WA lens problem, because they're retrofocus lenses.

    Have also collected Zeiss C/Y; Classic Zeiss '3D' look. Competitive with Leica R but remarkably cheaper. I use WATE and MATE with 25 C/Y Distagon as the bridge between them.

    Kirk

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Going back to the original question ...

    "No, it's not." and "Yes, it is." are both correct in this particular instance, depending upon the context and perspective of the photographer using the equipment.

    G

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Why?
    Rangefinder patch only works in the horizontal orientation. Not an issue if zone focusing at more narrow apertures with wider lenses. Doesn't make for an ideal experience for normal or longer focal lengths when shooting wide open or if the subject is moving.
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Why?
    Rangefinder base is based on the distance from the RF window and the focus window ... when you go vertical unless you are looking at horizontal lines you have
    effectively diminished that distance to next to nothing. And in doing so the accuracy of the focus is degraded.

    So I focus horizontally and then try to shift the camera vertically in the same plane. Not ideal but probably 60% successful.

    Bob
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    I've made the same comparison of MM vs. A7rII (with a thin cover glass conversion, which mostly, but not entirely, solves the "smearing" problem with Leica wides). I concluded that I prefer the MM look. Resolution is similar but I prefer the MM files, which seem more film-like to me. The A7rII is challenged by the Leica wides and I'm primarily a wide shooter. I generally shoot with medium yellow filtration in front of the lens on the MM which gives me tonal values that I consider attractive.

    These really are matters of personal preference.
    Agree and nice to see you weigh in on this ...

    I have found the MM and M 246 to shoot far above their specs ...


    Leica Mono 246








    Regards,


    Bob
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by rayyan View Post
    Browse through the M photos anywhere. See what the vast majority of image orientation is.
    Personally, never had a problem focusing in portrait orientation.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Personally, never had a problem focusing in portrait orientation.
    Me neither.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Going back to the original question ...

    "No, it's not." and "Yes, it is." are both correct in this particular instance, depending upon the context and perspective of the photographer using the equipment.

    G
    I don't think that's what's going on, Godfrey. If you read the thread carefully, we're not just going Yes versus No. We're discussing stuff between Y and N, sharing the contexts and perspectives you mentioned, and trying to understand or maybe help one another. Nice to see folks trying to do so.

    On the point at hand, I'd never thought about it before (in 40 years), but yes I do usually focus RFs horizontally and then shift camera for portrait/vertical - which is a bit clumsy for Street and inclines me to more horizontal shots &/or more zone focusing. Should probably have been more conscious of about this all along.

    Kirk
    Last edited by thompsonkirk; 15th July 2016 at 19:55.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by thompsonkirk View Post
    I don't think that's what's going on, Godfrey. If you read the thread carefully, we're not just going Yes versus No. We're discussing stuff between Y and N, sharing the contexts and perspectives you mentioned, and trying to understand or maybe help one another. Nice to see folks trying to do so.

    On the point at hand, I'd never thought about it before (in 40 years), but yes I do usually focus RFs horizontally and then shift camera for portrait/vertical - which is a bit clumsy for Street and inclines me to more horizontal shots &/or more zone focusing. Should probably have been more conscious of about this all along.

    Kirk
    Sure, but it's hard to see what "focusing horizontally vs focusing vertically" has to do with much between whether a camera is really only suitable for one thing vs suitable for many.

    (I often focus my M by looking at the focusing scale and setting a distance. Before putting it to my eye and snapping the shutter... But that's just me. ;-)

    G

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Campbell View Post
    I generally shoot with medium yellow filtration in front of the lens on the MM which gives me tonal values that I consider attractive.
    Just re-read and noticed this fine point about Monochrom for landscapes. I tried B+W medium Y and then heard from someone that on visit to Wetzlar he was told they'd used Heliopan light Y filters to achieve a MM norm for landscape photography. Of course this margin of difference falls within an area of personal style, but I found it made a slight but significant difference in my landscapes. With the original Monochrom (though maybe less with its successor) it was often hard to retain Zone VII-VIII highlight differentiation. (We see a lot of intense Y in my area, in both spring foliage shoots and later in sun-baked fields, and the more Y filtration, the brighter the Ys.) Replacing all those B+W medium Y filters with Heliopan light Y (at about $50 a pop) gave me a half stop more control in this little area, which was critical to my obsessive-compulsive personal satisfaction. Or if you prefer blunt subjective statements, I liked it.

    'However:' The possibility in BW PP of taming these bright Ys, deepening skies with the B slider, and changing the contrast in browns with R, was what turned me to aiming for approximately the same IQ with RGB files from a higher MP sensor (that is, to using A7rII).

    Just for BW landscapes, it's my personal opinion that the original MM with more photosites devoted to Shades of Gray was for sure the best tool for me at the time it came out, short of a digital back that I could neither carry nor afford. Now, though, with the new type of Sony FF sensor, I do see an advantage in shooting RGB and gaining PP flexibility in converting RGB files still made with Leica lenses, MATE and WATE or longer M, or R (and Zeiss C/Y).

    At this level of nit-picking, probably this part of the thread has deteriorated if not into a monologue then into conversation among 2 or 3. I apologize to Godfrey, who might find more of interest in other threads. And I confess to having extra time for this only because of a little period of disability. I promise to cool it and spend more time in the woods and printing in a week or so.

    Kirk
    Last edited by thompsonkirk; 15th July 2016 at 22:41.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    If that refers to the M, the answer is a resounding, yes.
    Of late, Leica have lost their ways and have been trying to cater to a boutique crowd that will only shoot vacation snaps (easily done with an iphone) and such (preferrably after a few glasses of an inebriating beverage) and there has been confusion created online as a result.

    You have plenty of choices for landscape shots and of late a few alternate (and far better) possibilities for street and people as well.
    JMHO but I can't agree with the above thoughts. In my experience, the M camera system is second to none for street photography, but it is far from a one trick pony.

    The M system is an outstanding documentary camera; it is also a great system for travel photography. With judicious lens selection, the M can give a good accounting of itself regarding portraiture. The M will hold its own in macro photography if the Novoflex extension tube set and Cross Q focusing rack or the 90mm macro M lens is used.

    For most sports photography as well as wildlife/bird photography, there are better choices than the M system due to the fact that 135mm is the longest lens in the M system and the M cameras are all manual focus.

    Every camera system has its strengths and weaknesses; no system is the optimal choice for every facet of photography. That having been said, putting the M camera system in a box labeled "Street/People photography only" would - in my experience - be a disservice to both the system and to photographers.

    "It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    I don't know if Daniel is still following this thread, but I find it a very interesting topic.

    I purchased my M240, and three M lenses, primarily for travel, city and people photography. For land and seascape images, I assumed that my Nikon gear (including some very nice Nikkor and Zeiss glass) would continue as my go-to kit.

    In the two years that I've owned the M, I've been very pleased with its performance in the street/people realm. What has surprised me is that I find myself picking up the Leica for landscape shooting much more than I expected. The Leica's size and ease of carry is a factor. Another (and it's one that I didn't really think about before buying the Leica) is range finder focusing when using neutral density filters. For me, it's much easier than through-the-lens focusing with my Nikons. But the largest factor is that I appreciate the file/print quality I'm getting from the M camera and lenses.

    In addition to the good post-processing ideas mentioned above, I have two other suggestions when using an M for land and seascapes. The first is to consider using a tripod and remote shutter release. Although light and easy to handle, the Leica (like most cameras) benefits from a rock-solid foundation. Also, at 24 million pixels, there's not a lot of extra real estate for cropping, especially if a reasonable size print is the end goal. I find that framing from a tripod helps me reduce eventual cropping. The other suggestion is to shoot at base ISO as much as possible.

    Of course, the M has a number of limitations as a landscape camera (sensor size and usable focal length among them) but, when used in its sweet spot, I've found it to be a really nice tool for making photos in the outdoors.
    jeffmaysentphotography.com

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Yes and yes.
    Just look at the photographs taken by the so called gurus of ' Leica M ' in its prime time. Before Nikon chewed it and spat it out.

    Of course, the M has evolved....if that is the word.

    Rangefinder was a technology used for targeting enemy positions in times of war.

    German engineering was and is noted for mechanical excellence..first and foremost.

    I sometimes fool myself that the process of ' simple ' controls enables me to make
    Better photographs. I just fool myself.

    All my cameras do what I tell them to do.
    And usually I give them the wrong instructions.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Rangefinder base is based on the distance from the RF window and the focus window ... when you go vertical unless you are looking at horizontal lines you have
    effectively diminished that distance to next to nothing. And in doing so the accuracy of the focus is degraded.

    So I focus horizontally and then try to shift the camera vertically in the same plane. Not ideal but probably 60% successful.

    Bob
    I think it very much depends on the subject you're trying to focus on. Mainly vertical lines you focus in landscape, mainly horizontal lines you focus in portrait. Patterns and dots, just use what works best based on the shape.
    Even for shots of people's faces focusssing in portrait orientation can avoid putting the left/right eye on top of each other (which has happened to me , no wonder the focus was off), in portrait orientation this mistake is much less likely to happen.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Cameras are only limited by the person behind them. Folks say that a Leica is a documentary camera and a Mamiya 7 is a landscape camera. That makes no sense.
    Will

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Cameras are only limited by the person behind them. Folks say that a Leica is a documentary camera and a Mamiya 7 is a landscape camera. That makes no sense.
    God knows, mine are limited by the idiot behind them. Leica S and Mamiya 7, both. Results are similar except for the film/digital look difference.

    --Matt
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Cameras are only limited by the person behind them. Folks say that a Leica is a documentary camera and a Mamiya 7 is a landscape camera. That makes no sense.
    Agreed.

    I have used my Mamiya 7 II for documentary and my M camera for landscape. I did not die, I was not arrested nor was I deported.

    "It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head." - Henri Cartier-Bresson
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    I use a SL + S system for my landscape work. The only thing that is sorely missing is well implemented long exposures in the S (007), which being limited at 1 minute right now cripple the system's usability for landscape - I manage to cover with the SL for the moment being, but would love to be able to use the beautiful S files for long exposures as well.

    Best,

    Vieri
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    The deletion of the spirit level in the M10 might indicate that Wetzlar believes that it's, primarily, a street camera.

    If I pick one up, I'll have to search for the hot shoe bubble level I used with my Nikon F100. I know it's around her somewhere.

    Here's a shot (made with the M240 and 28mm Elmarit) of the land-seascape variety.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Mainly street.

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffSD View Post
    The deletion of the spirit level in the M10 might indicate that Wetzlar believes that it's, primarily, a street camera.
    If I pick one up, I'll have to search for the hot shoe bubble level I used with my Nikon F100. I know it's around here somewhere. ...
    I've never stopped using the bubble level with my cameras, regardless whether they have a level display in the camera. I have a couple of them, one is always in the little zip bag with my other tripod essentials (camera plates, remote releases, etc). The in-camera level is more convenient, but the bubble level is just too useful to not have with me.

    G

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Rangefinder base is based on the distance from the RF window and the focus window ... when you go vertical unless you are looking at horizontal lines you have
    effectively diminished that distance to next to nothing. And in doing so the accuracy of the focus is degraded.

    So I focus horizontally and then try to shift the camera vertically in the same plane. Not ideal but probably 60% successful.

    Bob
    Hey folks, this "diminished the distance to next to nothing" stuff is just wrong. If you hold the camera horizontal, you will look for a vertical line to split and join while finding the right focus. Your baseline is the physical distance between the two windows times the magnification of the viewfinder (.72 now). If you hold the camera vertically (in portrait orientation), you will look for a horizontal line like an eyelid to focus on. Your baseline is still the distance between the two windows times the magnification. I agree that holding the camera horizontally while focusing is most common, but that is because vertical lines are usually easier to find. If you focus by making some pattern overlap in the rangefinder patch, that's harder but it works the same in either orientation.

    scott

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    Hey folks, this "diminished the distance to next to nothing" stuff is just wrong. If you hold the camera horizontal, you will look for a vertical line to split and join while finding the right focus. Your baseline is the physical distance between the two windows times the magnification of the viewfinder (.72 now). If you hold the camera vertically (in portrait orientation), you will look for a horizontal line like an eyelid to focus on. Your baseline is still the distance between the two windows times the magnification. I agree that holding the camera horizontally while focusing is most common, but that is because vertical lines are usually easier to find. If you focus by making some pattern overlap in the rangefinder patch, that's harder but it works the same in either orientation.
    Yes. I skipped the whole "horizontal-vertical" discussion in this thread. It made no sense to me. Sometimes when I can't find a reliable vertical line to align in the RF, I tilt the camera a little and use a diagonal or horizontal line. What's the big deal?

    G

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    Re: Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    Hey folks, this "diminished the distance to next to nothing" stuff is just wrong. If you hold the camera horizontal, you will look for a vertical line to split and join while finding the right focus. Your baseline is the physical distance between the two windows times the magnification of the viewfinder (.72 now). If you hold the camera vertically (in portrait orientation), you will look for a horizontal line like an eyelid to focus on. Your baseline is still the distance between the two windows times the magnification. I agree that holding the camera horizontally while focusing is most common, but that is because vertical lines are usually easier to find. If you focus by making some pattern overlap in the rangefinder patch, that's harder but it works the same in either orientation.

    scott
    I usually just look for the rangefinder contrast to "pop". Anyway, if we're talking about landscape shooting I zone focus and bypass the rangefinder altogether.

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