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Thread: "street" settings, anyone?

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    "street" settings, anyone?

    first off, i've been spoiled for over a year by the Epson which has allowed me to change any and all settings i need on the top of the camera -- no need to go into annoying menus.

    i got the M8 when my R-D1 died, choosing it as a complement rather than replacement whilst awaiting repair. i have been blown away by the image quality at lower ISO's, so much that i've taken to using the Auto-ISO for everything -- but that has stymied me by the fastest slowest shutter speed. 125th does not make it on the street.

    i love love love this function, mind you, as i was frequently setting my R-D1 at too high an ISO so as to be safe. but i need 250 or 500 at least for moving pics. my hope is that Leica will change this in future firmware updates, but in the meanwhile i need to get back to basics.

    Mitch (a former member here) tried setting his camera to 1250 and 2500 during the day and was roundly criticised on other boards for going so high.... i'm wondering if 320 or 640 will suffice as that is what i typically set my Epson on (400/800)?

    i've been unhappy with the quality of my 35 pre-asph Summilux on the M8 (wide open, the M8 is absolutely brutal in showing all the Lux's flaws), but i've also been not satisfied with my street photos at f/8 with it and i think it's all down to shutter speed....

    what settings are people using on the street?

    i'm not talking about carefully composed images where one stops and twiddles. i'm asking about walking around, seeing something interesting, bringing the camera to your eye and bang! shoot it!

    TIA,
    cam

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    Cam,
    It all depends on how much light you have and what you want for depth of field.
    Be careful with the pixel-peeping since it is the road to gear-flu; I know since I am badly infected.
    In broad daylight by the sunny-16 rule, if you have 1/160 sec at f/16 and ISO 160.
    Since I usually like to shoot the M8 at f/5.6 (due to diffraction limits based on its pixel dimensions you are just starting to lose a bit of sharpness at f/8) that means my sunny-16 rule gives me 1/1500 at f/5.6 and ISO-160. The DOF at f/5.6 with a 35mm lens is just about right for me for most street scenes.
    Clouds:
    Dull overcast needs three more stops exposure
    So, if you want to keep the shutter at or above 1/500 an auto-iso limit of 640 ought to do it.
    So unless it is darker than overcast I use Auto-ISO 640, f/5.6, 35mm lens, focus set to 5 meters and I am good to go.
    When it IS darker than overcast, then I open up the lens and resort to iso over 640 only if I am forced to, but I can shoot carefully at 1/60 and get ok (not perfect) results.
    -bob

    p.s.
    I will use 640 ONLY with Capture One as a raw converter, otherwise I don't like the results.

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    thank you, Bob!

    which lenses (focal lengths) are you using for this rule?

    and, yes, i am trying to get over the seductive images at 160. the thing is, i can't use Auto-ISO with 1/500 unless i manually set the shutter speed. is this what you're saying?

    i agree completely about Capture One. Not the most pleasant program to get my head around, but infinitely worth it for the M8, IMO.

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    Cam,
    I find that auto-iso 125/640 works great for me with a 35 or wider lens and auto exposure, but if you want to force the shutter speed higher, then you have to do it manually. The problem is that the "good" range of ISO for the M8 is 160-640, so you are left with only two stops of adjustment based on auto-iso. Sunlight to overcast is three stops, so someting has to make up for the difference.
    You have several choices. One is to set the shutter speed manually at 1/500 when it is overcast and to use auto when it is brighter. The other is to open the aperature a stop to f/4 (and lose some DOF). In any case you have to move something if you want to keep the max iso at 640 and the shutter speed at or above 1/500.
    If you can stand the look of 1250, then you have more options.

    It dosen't matter which lens I am using except for the DOF and the lowest hand held shutter speed. I find that I can hand-hold if I am careful at 1/focal length, but the kind of shots you are talking about don't give you the time to be careful.
    -bob

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    i do need to play.... the reason i typically upped the ISO on my R-D1 is that one minute i'll be shooting in bright sunlight, the next a darkened alley. i'm pretty quick and brutal about shooting on the street and probably demand too much of my rangefinders.

    i am getting shots perfectly focused that are still blurry due to shutter speed -- so something has to give. a set ISO seems to be the key (though 1250 is pushing it and 2500 all but unusable -- though it has surprised me on a few occasions).

    thank you, again, for your thoughts. the M8 has been much tougher to master than i expected -- but i believe that's my own lazy fault.... so much for Auto-ISO, much as i love it.

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    Senior Member vieri's Avatar
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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    After playing with 2 M8s for a while, it's now more than a year since I only shoot film Ms, but here is my .02 anyway (you can adapt these to the M8 and whatever focal you'll choose to use):

    - M2 or M3;
    - Tri-X 400 @ 400, or (recently) Double-X @ 250; at night, Neopan 1600 @1600;
    - 21 mm Super Angulon, f5.6 or f8 (according to the light), f4 - 5.6 at night;
    - 1/125 or 1/250 (according to the light), 1/60 - 1/30 at night;

    Pre-focus approximately, and use DOF to take care of the rest of the focus business. This way, I can just raise my camera to the eye and shoot without having to care about any setting; or, shoot from the hip if needed.

    However, as you can see I love to shoot WA (the 21 is my main street lens), whilst your 35 mm on the M8 is basically a 50 mm FOV, so to effectively use the suggestions above, you'd have to use something around 15-16 mm on the M8 - the 35 mm on the M8 will not give you enough DOF to use my system.

    Hope this helps!
    Vieri Bottazzini
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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    thank you, Vieri, it does!

    i have an M2 as well as 21/3.5 SA so i can play with these settings on both cameras.

    i love WA, but still find the M8 (i have the classic) a wee bit loud to get as close as i'd like, which is why i tend to go with a longer lens. but the SA is pretty stunning on the M8, though, even if the characteristics are slightly muted. i can't remember if you shot it on the M8, but i know your film work with it is lush and moody. never thought of looking in the 15-16mm....

    and OT: as i am still a self-metering newbie, what shutter speeds do you find yourself typically using with the combination above? also, what do you typically process with?

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by cam View Post
    thank you, Vieri, it does!

    i have an M2 as well as 21/3.5 SA so i can play with these settings on both cameras.

    i love WA, but still find the M8 (i have the classic) a wee bit loud to get as close as i'd like, which is why i tend to go with a longer lens. but the SA is pretty stunning on the M8, though, even if the characteristics are slightly muted. i can't remember if you shot it on the M8, but i know your film work with it is lush and moody. never thought of looking in the 15-16mm....

    and OT: as i am still a self-metering newbie, what shutter speeds do you find yourself typically using with the combination above? also, what do you typically process with?
    I am eye-metering most of the time, with maybe a check with a meter when I get to a new light, but I find out that the more you go by eye the more your eye gets better at it, and I am rarely finding a wrongly exposed negative any more. Speeds I use are as I said before, but of course they change with the light. I do develop my negatives with 510-Pyro exclusively for about a year I guess, and I am very happy with the results I get.

    I never shot the SA with the M8, but I used the CV 15 with it (about 20 mm FOV). I think it's time for you to get the M2 out and about then!
    Vieri Bottazzini
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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    Cam - On top of Vieri's fantastic advise, I'll also recommend you to try to get your hands on the new 18 Super Elmar... It's a fantastic little lens for the M8 and you can use as a point and shoot... I used it for a bit the other day on both film and digital and loved it.

    Cheers!

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    i will, Vieri! i'm planning on taking my M2 to the states next week where film and processing is much cheaper and accessible. still on my sea legs with self-metering. yes, i have a hand-held but rarely have time to consult it. i need to play a lot more with it than i have!

    thank you, Riccis! i take your recommendations very seriously. is this one of the lenses that David is allowing test drives of? i loved the look of the night shot you posted with this. the speed freak in me needs to get over some of my prejudices and accept that you can get fantastic shots at night with smaller apertures.

    on a good note, i am now doing fairly intensive weight training with my right arm/wrist/hand and am finally able to hand hold a little longer if i actually allow myself to stop. my therapist still rolls his eyes if i walk in with the 75 Lux or the Nocti on the M8, but i think it's helping me handle smaller lenses much more easily.

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    Hi Cam,

    Great thread. Funny, I'm going to be in LA the 6th and 7th. Perhaps back again before you leave. Glad you are liking the M8. I stopped reading some of the Leica threads because I've been feeling so guilty about not shooting my M8 much. Heading out on Sunday with it. The 24 lux totally seduced me at PMA. I am also a one lens gal when out shooting and only take multiple lenses for a landscape day. With those two thoughts in mind I've been seriously considering selling the 21 elmarit and 28 cron and going for the 24. Then my M8 kit would be very simple. 24 lux, 50 pre-asph lux, 75 cron and my cv12. Hmmm who woulda thunk I'd be considering a $6000 lens. Yikes.

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    Terry -- we get in on the 7th at 7, possibly ships passing in the night. it would be lovely if you have to come again before the end of the month.

    i think your simplified kit sounds gorgeous! when you consider the money you can get for the 21 and the 28, well, the 24 Lux seems much more affordable. and desirable. it's at the top of my lust list (why don't they have a drool emoticon?) but that's about it....

    for you, though, yes! i do think it's worth those two lenses and a little extra cash. it's an amazing lens! perhaps it will even renew your love of the M8 (you really shouldn't be ignoring it so!). and you know it also floats your boat on the G1 -- two awesome lens for the price of one, non?

    i really don't think you have a choice, Terry. you've got to get it!

    (and did i mention you then have to come down to L.A. and let me play with it? i promise to wear a bib )

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    Cam - Yes, you can test drive the 18 from David... When and where are you coming to the states? I will be working in L.A. next week, if you are going to be there we'll have to hang out and shoot. I can also take you to my lab that develops all my film and they will take care of you.

    Cheers,

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    Yup,
    I have an 8PM flight out but from Burbank since my meeting that afternoon is in Passdena. The flights are so easy/cheap these days (except if swine flu becomes a huge problem), maybe I can zip down and meet up. I would drive down but the ride up 5 is just soooooo dreadfully boring I'd rather gouge my eyes out.

    Perhaps I will test the waters on the sale of the two lenses. I actually got a PM on my 28 this morning based on my last post

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    Riccis -- i get in Thursday night and Friday will probably be filled with mad dashes getting ready for the first big family do. i'll be around until the 31st, though, if you happen to need to come back. i remember checking out your lab (who's name escapes me) and they were located quite close to my condo (finger crossed that it will continue to be rented out).... damn! i really would have loved playing with you! maybe you could be pack-mule for the 18?

    Terry -- i agree on that drive. the only thing that ever made it interesting was the very real possibility that my Ghia would overheat....

    i hope you got a good offer on the 28 -- it is a luscious lens that constantly tempts me, but i am at heart a Lux girl.... have fun on Sunday! how many are of you now?

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    oh, and just to show you my love of play and shooting quickly, this was done with the Nocti wide open from my lap.... i would probably be banned from the metro for life if i ever got a 24 Lux

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    Re: "street" settings, anyone?

    Cam - I can't disclose the location or dates I'll be there (as I have a couple of super secret events), but will be for a while in town... Text me (561-843-0877) or call me next week and we'll get together.

    My lab is Richard Photo Lab (www.richardphotolab.com) and they will definitely have your film done before you leave. If you stop by ask for Bill or Brian (the owners) and tell them I sent you and that you need to get your stuff done prior to heading back home.

    Cheers,

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