Poll

Why do you own a digital M Leica?

Because I prefer shooting with a rangefinder.
- 9 (45%)
Because I want to use Leica and other M lenses.
- 11 (55%)

Total Members Voted: 20

Voting closed: October 30, 2011, 08:03:58 AM


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Author Topic: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?  (Read 146319 times)

eronald

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #180 on: May 29, 2013, 06:40:41 PM »

Edmund,

I think your looking at this in a traditional way.

In fact maybe your not, because this off link is a documentary about a still photographer, that is more than a traditional documentary, it's a multimedia show, because it features a still photographer.

Now take this up double speed and that's the present.

That's what we do now . . . multimedia, video, stills, both, it doesn't matter, other than creative content needs to tell a story.

The days of  . . . "that's a pretty picture" are fading fast, not that what is shot can't be pretty, but it has to be interesting.

That's why my latest camera is a Panasonic.  cough, choke, wheeze.

It's the last brand I ever thought I'd buy, but the GH3 is a multimedia camera.  Horizontal, vertical, 4:3, 16x9, art filters, stabilized video and stills, it's a camera for it's time.

I'm not in love with the camera, I'm in love with what it does.

The world's changed, really, really changed and whether it's one of those crappy repeating gifs, or a real story telling multi media piece, what commercial clients, or even amateur blogists want to see is something that is more than that one photo, regardless of how beautiful.

Look at Leica's next new M.  It won't even have a traditional viewfinder.

For someone like you, that shoots for enjoyment, you should look at some of these new mirror less cameras.

In fact if I want to find interesting, inspiring content, I don't look at traditional websites or portals.  I look at tumblr.

My camera of the future?  I don't know, probably a camera that shoots a real 4:2:2: 12 bit video, a 18 to 20 mpx stills, fast, really fast zoom lenses and electronic finders that wi-fi.

Lighting, needs to be adaptable, but moveable.   Not huge 40lb strobe packs, but Lightpanels that work off of v-locks.  

IMO

BC


James,

 I did training in video as an elective when I was at university; I have great respect for this discipline. I was the guy behind the camera in our street projects - but I think you guessed that already.
 However, what I like about still photography is that I can do it all alone. At one time I had to negotiate with a stylist, makeup, model, accessories, etc, but I was never good at that, and it's over. Now I can just hang a camera inside my coat, stuff a lens in a pocket, and walk. The moving picture is harder, one needs meticulous preparation and one cannot go it alone. And worse, how can one display it alone other than youtube?
 If I wanted to do movies, I think I would draw flipboard animations and do stop-animation photography, but I don't feel any real artistic need to *capture* moving images ... see, I'm old :)

Edmund
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 06:45:13 PM by eronald »
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Zerui

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #181 on: May 30, 2013, 03:06:16 PM »

I have owned an M8, upgraded to M9 and hope to upgrade to M next week. I have four lenses: 21mm, 35mm, 50mm & 90mm. 

I never use the 35mm. I know it was THE street lens in the days of film, but the 21mm offers so much more. It is a fabulous lens. The high resolution if the M9 allows cropping to the size of the 35mm with plenty of detail when needed. I'm selling my 35mm as an anachronism in the 21st century.

Why did I switch to Leica rangefinder after forty years of SLR (Nikon F to Nikon D3)?  Largely because I was getting older and using a wheelchair. I continue to do street and travel photography (three books last year) but the DSLR is nowadays too cumbersome. My wife has inherited the D3 and loves it.

On the other hand, I continue to use a Hasselblad for landscapes (specifically for landscapes with people, which is my passion). I have been using Hasselblad since 1968, and now have an H3DII-50 which I find ideal for my Landscapes with people. When going digital I looked at Phase One but found the body awful and the sales staff worse. Hasselblad UK provided one of their own staff to talk me through the system during photo shoots in the field on two separate days. They have kept up that level of excellent support ever since. The Hasselblad camera AND lenses are excellent.  But, excuse me Michael, you were asking about the Leica.

To answer your question: when I downsized from DSLR to mirrorless, I chose Leica for the lenses.  I was not enthusiastic about the rangefinder, but it works OK for all but the 90mm lens.  I'm hoping that focus peaking on the M will solve that problem. Meanwhile I have to stop down to f/8 when using the 90mm lens, which takes away one of the great advantages of Leica lenses: shooting with wide aperture for beautiful Bokeh.

Put me down as choosing Leica for the lenses, and tolerating the rangefinder.

Goff
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mmbma

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #182 on: September 05, 2013, 04:03:32 PM »

The 24mm lux has been THE lens for me. I always found 35mm focal length a bit akward, and the 21mm too wide to compose properly on the fly.
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eronald

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #183 on: September 10, 2013, 08:36:20 AM »

So, what are your experiences after the upgrade?

Edmund

I have owned an M8, upgraded to M9 and hope to upgrade to M next week. I have four lenses: 21mm, 35mm, 50mm & 90mm. 

I never use the 35mm. I know it was THE street lens in the days of film, but the 21mm offers so much more. It is a fabulous lens. The high resolution if the M9 allows cropping to the size of the 35mm with plenty of detail when needed. I'm selling my 35mm as an anachronism in the 21st century.

Why did I switch to Leica rangefinder after forty years of SLR (Nikon F to Nikon D3)?  Largely because I was getting older and using a wheelchair. I continue to do street and travel photography (three books last year) but the DSLR is nowadays too cumbersome. My wife has inherited the D3 and loves it.

On the other hand, I continue to use a Hasselblad for landscapes (specifically for landscapes with people, which is my passion). I have been using Hasselblad since 1968, and now have an H3DII-50 which I find ideal for my Landscapes with people. When going digital I looked at Phase One but found the body awful and the sales staff worse. Hasselblad UK provided one of their own staff to talk me through the system during photo shoots in the field on two separate days. They have kept up that level of excellent support ever since. The Hasselblad camera AND lenses are excellent.  But, excuse me Michael, you were asking about the Leica.

To answer your question: when I downsized from DSLR to mirrorless, I chose Leica for the lenses.  I was not enthusiastic about the rangefinder, but it works OK for all but the 90mm lens.  I'm hoping that focus peaking on the M will solve that problem. Meanwhile I have to stop down to f/8 when using the 90mm lens, which takes away one of the great advantages of Leica lenses: shooting with wide aperture for beautiful Bokeh.

Put me down as choosing Leica for the lenses, and tolerating the rangefinder.

Goff
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vaphoto

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #184 on: November 03, 2013, 01:26:02 PM »

I used Nikon's with everything from macro to long telephoto for years. In 2009 when Leica announced the full frame M9 I knew it was time to switch systems. I had been looking for sometime for a high quality smaller, lighter and gadget free system. The reasons were many but primarily IQ, lenses, size and simplicity. Today I have both the M9 and M with 4-Lieca lenses and 1-Zeiss lens. This change required me to shift from lots of wildlife and bird photography, but still allowed me to do my landscape work. At the same time I added more urban, street and people photography. I feel I am a better photographer now because I am in control and I know what the camera is and is not doing. As an example of simplicity, if I reset the Leica M9 to the default settings I can completely customize it in less than 10-minuets without the manual. Try that with any DSLR or ever MFT. I am also having more fun and carrying a lot less weight.
Bob
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wlemann

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #185 on: February 11, 2014, 11:46:24 AM »

Got my first M4 (used from Ken Hansen) along with used 35 and 90 lenses.  Then M6 + other lenses.  Leica contacts made an F4  I got on a lark look like the latter were shot through cheesecloth.
BUT about 2 years ago got M9 and could not focus at all!.  Problem was me....now 60 year old eyes, one with cataract, not made for rangefinder anymore... :'(
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jankap

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #186 on: March 06, 2014, 01:30:23 PM »

Change lenses! In your eyes to heal your cataract!
I haves used specs for 60 years of my life, now I am free of them.
Jan
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barnack

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #187 on: April 15, 2014, 12:12:54 AM »

A Poll For Those Owning a Leica M8 or M9 Only

I'm working on an article on the future of rangefinder cameras. I have my own ideas, but I am therefore curious as to what you think.

If you own (or have owned) an M8 or M9, I'd like to know whether this is primarily because you like shooting with a rangefinder / viewfinder style camera, or because you want to be able to use Leica M lenses (including Voigtlander and Zeiss).

While I do not fit the strict criteria of your questions, I will offer you my thoughts in the hope that this information will be of benefit to your article.

I do not/have not owned an M8 or M9.  I do own an M4-P and four Leica M lenses and recently was extremely fortunate in acquiring a Leica M 240 body - after much deliberation and the trading off of hard-won Nikon equipment that I have acquired over the past two decades.  

I cannot say that ultimately it comes down to either the cameras or the lenses; the reason I am drawn to Leica M gear is both the cameras and the lenses - and the benefits offered by both.  

The Leica M advantages have been well documented by legions of Leica users over the past decades.  Among those advantages are the small size and light weight of both the cameras and lenses, the simplicity of the gear, the ease of operation of the cameras and lenses, the unobtrusiveness of the M cameras, the nearly silent operation of the cameras (particularly the older film bodies), the fast glass  and outstanding low light performance of the lenses, the astounding image quality produced by Leica M glass, the quality, durability and reliability of both M cameras and lenses and the shallow depth of focus performance of the lenses.  

Taken together, the strengths of the Leica M system are greater than the sum of its parts.  For travel, documentary, street and reportage photography, one would be hard pressed to find a system that comes close to the M system in terms of simplicity, functionality, performance and reliability.  

The M system is not for everyone, though.  Whatever their reasons, some people just simply cannot abide a rangefinder camera; they are too different from what many are accustomed to using.  For some, rangefinder cameras are just flat out weird.  For some, the maximum focal length of 135mm is too short (but the M 240 is capable of using long Leica R glass, at least partially negating that issue).  

For wildlife and sports photographers, the 600mm f/4 autofocus lens is a must have.  For macro photography, Nikon's 200mm f/4 micro lens that is capable of 1:1 image making is second to none in the field of macro photography.  Macro and super telephoto are two of the few weaknesses of the M system.  If you have to have either, a Leica M is admittedly not the best choice for your needs.

To each his or her own; but when you look at the strengths of the Leica M system as a whole, those strengths are compelling.  For some, they are irresistable.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 12:19:04 AM by barnack »
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'Shooting with a Leica is like a long tender kiss, like firing an automatic pistol, like an hour on the analyst’s couch."             - Henri Cartier-Bresson

Some Guy

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #188 on: August 16, 2014, 07:51:12 PM »

Might be a dumb question, but why is this a sticky thread that appears at the top of this forum?  It's a very old poll verses others, but it seems stuck here.   ???

SG
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melchiorpavone

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #189 on: August 17, 2014, 10:02:41 PM »

Why are you asking about only digital?
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #190 on: August 18, 2014, 01:06:17 PM »

Hi,

Because film is history…

Why? The main reason may be that digital is sort of first generation…

With film you either enlarge (MTF of enlarging lens and photo paper) or scan (MTF of scanner, and good scanning is expensive).

A Mamiya 7 image on TMAX 100 using 6000 PPI drum scan with a lot of processing may better than a Nikon D800 image directly out of the camera.

I am shooting 135 at 24 MP, 645 at 39MP and film at 67, so I guess I have some experience with all.

Best regards
Erik
Quote

Why are you asking about only digital?

« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 01:28:27 PM by ErikKaffehr »
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melchiorpavone

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #191 on: August 19, 2014, 12:28:55 PM »

Hi,

Because film is history…Erik

No, it's not. And with regard to the Leica, the digital cameras are basically the same as the earlier film cameras.

Your choices were:

"Because I prefer shooting with a rangefinder."
"Because I want to use Leica and other M lenses."

Nether of these has anything to do with digital.

I use Leica reflex cameras because I am not a fan of rangefinders, and the Leica reflex lenses are superb. At one time I considered getting an M5, but I prefer the reflex camera.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 12:40:29 PM by melchiorpavone »
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #192 on: August 19, 2014, 01:32:13 PM »

So,

You have a wet darkroom or enjoy scanning film? You may even have a drum scanner, or just send of your film for drum scanning?

Or, you just shoot slide film and project?

Best regards
Erik





No, it's not. And with regard to the Leica, the digital cameras are basically the same as the earlier film cameras.

Your choices were:

"Because I prefer shooting with a rangefinder."
"Because I want to use Leica and other M lenses."

Nether of these has anything to do with digital.

I use Leica reflex cameras because I am not a fan of rangefinders, and the Leica reflex lenses are superb. At one time I considered getting an M5, but I prefer the reflex camera.

melchiorpavone

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #193 on: August 19, 2014, 09:42:56 PM »

So,

You have a wet darkroom or enjoy scanning film? You may even have a drum scanner, or just send of your film for drum scanning?

Or, you just shoot slide film and project?

Best regards
Erik


I have a wet B&W darkroom, and shoot color negative for color, since Kodachrome has been discontinued. This is a scanned film shot taken with my 560mm Telyt-R 6.8. The lens breaks down into two pieces for ease of transport:

https://961dc35967d627118b55-fd8a6a8fd4678cb2b067bdc60196a7a3.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/models/23/17/231716-1_300x300.jpg


The image is reduced resolution. I'll try to find a higher-res one tomorrow. The depth of field with this lens is about an inch at this distance, and the focus is close to perfect. It is a trombone-focussing lens, manual of course. Rangefinder cameras are not the way to go for long lenses. It would be very difficult (if not impossible) for any autofocus system to focus on the eyelashes as I did here, of a moving target with a helmet facemask in the way.

« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 10:20:04 PM by melchiorpavone »
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melchiorpavone

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #194 on: August 20, 2014, 01:43:22 PM »

Hi,

Thanks for sharing, I am much impressed by your focusing technique…

Getting back to film. I am pretty sure that large format film, properly scanned, has some advantages over digital. But, I also have found that small format film needs expert scanning to compete with digital. In my experience, pretty high end scanning is needed to match digital and I don't find scanning to be fun. So, from my point of view, film is pretty much history.

Large format film, combined with expert scanning, may make some sense and it is very definitively an economical alternative to digital backs.

With the knowledge, experience and tools I have, scanned MF film is not an alternative to digital. I would expect that would apply even more to 135 format.

Best regards
Erik


To the best of my knowledge, that particular image could not have been produced with any competing autofocus system. You'll note the face-mask is a little softer than the eyes. I don't think any auto-focus system could have matched that. 8)

The autofocus systems would have focused on the face-mask, not the eyes.

The scan is a little underexposed; thus the grain in it appears a bit more prominently than it should. (It was scanned in a photofinishing lab). The automatic exposure system left it a little on the light side, probably because of the dark uniforms. The lad's face should also be a little darker, since some of the light was blocked by the helmet.



« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 05:25:46 PM by melchiorpavone »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #195 on: September 21, 2014, 09:50:44 PM »

To the best of my knowledge, that particular image could not have been produced with any competing autofocus system. You'll note the face-mask is a little softer than the eyes. I don't think any auto-focus system could have matched that. 8)

The autofocus systems would have focused on the face-mask, not the eyes...

Sure it can... by pure chance and a stroke of luck, just like you got your manually focused shot.

melchiorpavone

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #196 on: September 21, 2014, 09:55:45 PM »

Sure it can... by pure chance and a stroke of luck, just like you got your manually focused shot.

No, and don't contradict me again. The auto-focus system will always fail at such a shot because it cannot distinguish between the mask and the eyes. It's the same problem as trying to photograph through mesh.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 10:00:05 PM by melchiorpavone »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #197 on: September 21, 2014, 10:07:12 PM »

... and don't contradict me again...

 ;D ;D ;D

Quote
... The auto-focus system will always fail at such a shot because it cannot distinguish between the mask and the eyes.

Even the best autofocus systems have tolerances and because of that they can and will misfocus occasionally, even when locked on the right target. So, if they locked on the helmet, but missed it, they could have gotten the eyes instead. Just as it was a sheer luck that you got it focused there, while, of course, you try to peddle it as a "superior manual focusing skill."

melchiorpavone

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #198 on: September 21, 2014, 10:12:06 PM »

;D ;D ;D

Even the best autofocus systems have tolerances and because of that they can and will misfocus occasionally, even when locked on the right target. So, if they locked on the helmet, but missed it, they could have gotten the eyes instead. Just as it was a sheer luck that you got it focused there, while, of course, you try to peddle it as a "superior manual focusing skill."



Uhmm, I am able to do it with consistency. It's the lens. If you have never used one you could not possibly understand how easy it is to get good at it. It does not require superhuman skill. That's the point! You don't need no stinkin' autofocus! Don't contradict me again, because you don't know.

You think you know, but you don't know. Is that clear?

Jim Mora expressed it best:

http://youtu.be/NHipzGL4dwM

"You really don't know and you never will".

You say a lot of things in this forum that are false because you don't know what you are talking about. In fact, most of your posts are wrong.

Wildlight know what he is talking about, but you don't, so stop contradicting me because I know what I am talking about and you don't.

« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 10:23:45 PM by melchiorpavone »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: M Leica – Camera or Lenses?
« Reply #199 on: September 21, 2014, 10:26:43 PM »

... stop contradicting me because I know what I am talking about and you don't.

Ok, massa, let's say I agree with you... would I know what I am talking about in such a case? ;)
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 02:09:43 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic »
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