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Subject: "When we had no meters .... at hand" Previous topic | Next topic
jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberWed 24-Jan-01 07:09 PM
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"When we had no meters .... at hand"


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Hell, not even nostalgia is what it use to be; however, my cameras have helped me to understand that, no matter what, change is wonderful and beneficial.

I am ill at home -therefore in a foul mood-, awaiting for a terrible cold to be contained so that I can have another small required surgical intervention.
Hard to concentrate on anything, under the influence of a truck load of medicine, I was glancing at some old magazines and books and stumbled upon an incredible photograph taken during WWII in the European theater of operations.



I do hope your monitor is well calibrated because it is a gem of a photo, one of those very hard light/dark scenes, appearing on the New Yorker, August 12, 1944 edition (as reproduced by LIFE's "Our Finest Hour"). Not only clearly depicts the time, the mood, the sentiments; but shows all sort of detail both in the dark and under the light. The most incredible thing is that it was taken with a meter-less camera for sure, and at a time and place where to whip out a hand-held meter was a dangerous waste of time, even if you were crazy enough to be carrying one.

So this incredible shot prompted me to dig into my horribly kept files to see if I had anything remotely like that. This is something I found, a picture I took of my dad a long long time ago: with a SLR, but no RGB meter, no matrix metering, no metering!. No TTL flash, no Zone system nor Ansel Adams reading, no color, no auto aperture, DOF dimly visible for sure, no tripod then and very low ASA!.



I can resist anything but temptation. So many toys, so little time... However, the question remains: can I at least make pictures like that again, now, with all of the modern tools at hand?. I must, otherwise my opening remark about change would be untrue. I'll let you know.

Have a great time
JRP
My profile
Previous photography stuff, before Nikonians:
A Brief Love Story

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message Before the meters
JM
24th Jan 2001
1
Reply message RE: Before the meters
jrp Administrator
24th Jan 2001
2
Reply message RE: When we had no meters .... at hand
BJNicholls Gold Member
24th Jan 2001
3
Reply message RE: When we had no meters .... at hand
f5fstop
25th Jan 2001
4
Reply message RE: When we had no meters .... at hand
jrp Administrator
25th Jan 2001
5
     Reply message RE: When we had no meters .... at hand
jrp Administrator
25th Jan 2001
6
          Reply message RE: When we had no meters .... at hand
f5fstop
25th Jan 2001
7
               Reply message RE: When we had no meters .... at hand
BJNicholls Gold Member
25th Jan 2001
8
Reply message RE: When we had no meters .... at hand
jnscbl
25th Jan 2001
9
Reply message RE: When we had no meters .... at hand
jrp Administrator
25th Jan 2001
10
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geo
26th Jan 2001
11
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jrp Administrator
27th Jan 2001
15
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AlanC
26th Jan 2001
12
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frankie
27th Jan 2001
13
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jrp Administrator
27th Jan 2001
14
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jrp Administrator
27th Jan 2001
16
               Reply message RE: When we had no meters .... at hand
AlanC
28th Jan 2001
22
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Rick Wiese
27th Jan 2001
17
Reply message RE: When we had no meters .... at hand
jrp Administrator
27th Jan 2001
18
Reply message RE: When we had no meters .... at hand
Rick Wiese
28th Jan 2001
19
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jrp Administrator
28th Jan 2001
20
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Rick Wiese
28th Jan 2001
21

JM Registered since 01st Mar 2007Wed 24-Jan-01 10:32 PM
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#1. "Before the meters"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Having recently finished a bout with this years flu bug I simpathise with the ill mannered state of mind but you seem to deal well.
The photos you posted show us all that an understanding of light is at least as useful as fancy gadgets and features while forcing the shooter to conceptualize with his/her basic knowledge doing the job of the 'puter chips.
Good luck with your cut 'em up and don't let 'em get near your shutter finger!!!
Jeff Markus

JM
The Chicagoan

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberWed 24-Jan-01 11:05 PM
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#2. "RE: Before the meters"
In response to Reply # 1


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Jeff:
Thanks a lot.
Please remind me to call on you, specially when on a crisis.
And yes, I did not even think about the shutter finger!
Thanks again. I'll keep it inside stainless steel.
Have a great time
JRP
My profile
Previous photography stuff, before Nikonians:
A Brief Love Story

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
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BJNicholls Gold Member Awarded for his contributions to the community and the Resources Charter MemberWed 24-Jan-01 11:33 PM
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#3. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 0


Salt Lake City, US
          

Both are beautiful images. I personally have never taken a portrait with anything close to the power of this image of your father.

This reminds me of a concern that I have as we move toward the domination of digital images. In thirty years will I, or someone going through my personal effects have the means or interest to look at the images I've archived on CD roms? Even if the thin metallic layer carrying the data is preserved by careful storage, will anyone have the means at hand to read a CD and display the images? I suspect that it would be like finding old 8mm home movies. Perhaps there will be a service that can translate the antiquated format to something contemporary, but I doubt there would be much chance that someone would go through the effort.

One thing is sure, there's nothing like the time capsule medium of black and white prints. The magic of rediscoving decades-old images is something we've sacrificed to fading color prints and now to encrypted data files that require computer technology to made visible. Your horribly kept files are a treasure.

BJ


BJ

Zenfolio gallery

  

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f5fstop Awarded for his contributions to the Resources Basic MemberThu 25-Jan-01 12:15 AM
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#4. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 3


Private, UM
          

Both great photos, and both display a wealth of memories. The first for a WWII vet, and second for you. It sure does prove that with all the gadgets, buttons, meters, etc., excellent photos come from the heart and not the camera.
I guess one of these long weekends I will have to dig through the clutter in my closet from hell (I imagine we all have one of these), and dig out some 'Nam photos, taken with the Electro-35, and scan them in.
I keep saying I will do this, but for some unknown reason I fail to get into the spirit. I guess it can all be summed up in a quote from one of my favorite books, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
Hope your operation goes well, it appears just as I get back on my feet (or foot) you are the one being operated on. So, get well, and get out there and get many more great photos.
DD

Doug


--Take only photographs, leave nothing but footprints--
And carry plenty of FRESH batteries...



"Take only photographs, leave only footprints"


  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberThu 25-Jan-01 12:20 AM
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#5. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 3


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Ah! The media and the tools.
I have read many great stories on "letters from the grave".
So I decided to leave a video instead. My "children" and grandchildren will "see me" and "hear me" utter one stupidity after another, after I'm gone. Maybe I'll better leave some jokes.
Nevertheless, glad you brought up the subject. I was concerned about the format before, now I will have to remember to keep the reading tool too. Thanks.
I hope I get better soon.......
Have a great time
JRP
My profile
Previous photography stuff, before Nikonians:
A Brief Love Story

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberThu 25-Jan-01 12:25 AM
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#6. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 5


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

DD:
Thanks.
I too have plenty of pictures in that closet from hell.
Also, like you, don't really want to see them.
Not now that the nightmares are almost gone.
Take care. Let's get out to take some joyous shots.
Have a great time
JRP
My profile
Previous photography stuff, before Nikonians:
A Brief Love Story

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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f5fstop Awarded for his contributions to the Resources Basic MemberThu 25-Jan-01 01:10 AM
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#7. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 6


Private, UM
          

Do the nightmare ever leave, or do you just become immune to them?


Doug


--Take only photographs, leave nothing but footprints--
And carry plenty of FRESH batteries...



"Take only photographs, leave only footprints"


  

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BJNicholls Gold Member Awarded for his contributions to the community and the Resources Charter MemberThu 25-Jan-01 03:22 AM
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#8. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 7


Salt Lake City, US
          

Peace, joy and health to both of you!

BJ

BJ

Zenfolio gallery

  

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jnscbl Basic MemberThu 25-Jan-01 04:25 PM
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#9. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

JRP--
That photograph of su padre is a masterpiece. It reminds me of the pictures in Life Magazine from the 40's and 50's. (I'm not quite old enough to have subscribed back then--I've seen them in shops and libraries.)
Of course you could not recreate it using modern equipment or modern technique. Matrix metering would utterly destroy the aura, as would a "spot reading under the left eye". What film would you use today, C-41 monochrome, or super-saturated color slide film? He was obviously the most influential person in your life, and he has been memorialized with what is probably the best photograph you ever made.
A while back you posted a link to a gallery exhibit by a painter friend of yours; on that site were some very elegant and masterful portraits that you had shot. Could you repost that link, please? I think the contrast is interesting, and might be enlightening and inspirational for others.
I think you should organize your work from across the years and show in that same gallery.---scott

--scott

"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."
Pablo Picasso

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberThu 25-Jan-01 05:31 PM
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#10. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 9


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Scott:
Thanks for the undeserved praised on my forgotten skills, however you could be very well correct on the rest of the accounts.
The link to the site I made for my painter friend is
Marcos Huerta
The mirror site is on my own site at:
Marcos Huerta
I will have to remember to move them all into a paid server without popup windows. Sorry.

This a picture of my younger brother, taken about a year ago on ocassion of the wedding of his elder son. F4s, 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5, as you can see the picture got killed with the TTL Auto use of a very efficient SB-25.


I think I have a good subject. One of this days I'll see what I can do.

Have a great time
JRP
My profile
Previous photography stuff, before Nikonians:
A Brief Love Story

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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geo Basic MemberFri 26-Jan-01 09:48 AM
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#11. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 10


Roma, IT
          

LAST EDITED ON Jan-26-01 AT 11:49 AM (GMT)

JRP,

first of all, get well. Fight and win, whatever it is your battle; I am sure you will.
As for the matter of this thread... don't even ask me, you already know what I think... but I can't resist to tell you my opinions.
Digital? In a few decades it could be able to reach a quality level comparable with that of traditional silver based photography at similar costs, unless for the fact that you will probably find in your closet just useless file support devices, instead of beautiful prints. So, I just don't see the reason to jump since now on that train. Unless one is a pro and uses digital photography for earning his money. But I am (we are?) an amateur. I will take my decisions in order to be able to find prints and Kodachrome in my closet.
Photography? If it's meant just to take snapshots to document an happening, such as a party or a trip, modern gadgets are useful. If it's meant to report sport events or other reporting uses, and to be displayed on a newspaper page, modern gadgets are no longer gadgets since they can make the difference in one's business. If it's meant to (try to) produce unique images, then it's all up to one's ability and creativity, and modern gadgets are just an obstacle.

Geo

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberSat 27-Jan-01 05:02 PM
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#15. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 11


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Geo:
Thanks.
Nice to know we are not alone.
Have a great time
JRP
My profile
Previous photography stuff, before Nikonians:
A Brief Love Story

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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AlanC Basic MemberFri 26-Jan-01 08:22 PM
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#12. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 10


GB
          

Ramon,

What an excellent photograph that shot of your father is. It's also a beautiful example of the power of black and white: it surely wouldn't have such an impact if it were in colour.

Your question about the differences between the old and the new is an interesting one. Would you get the same results using all the capabilities of a modern camera and flash? The picture of your brother answers that one: perfect exposure isn't everything.

Would you get the same results if you used the modern camera in manual mode with similar film? Why not - unless modern film behaves differently.

But I think the most difficult thing would be to achieve such subtlety in the lighting: this is what created such a tonal range in the portrait of your father, and is what makes it such a powerful image.

With my best wishes for a speedy recovery,

Alan.

  

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frankie Basic MemberSat 27-Jan-01 01:08 PM
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#13. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 12



          

There's no reason to think that modern film and modern cameras could not take that great black and white picture.

There's nothing stopping anyone from ignoring their meter and flying by the seat of their pants with photography. It blurs the line between art and technica (which has been discussed elsewhere).

I personally love dramatic colours. I never really liked black and white because its generally got to be pretty stark in contrast to be dramatic. Dramatic colour can be equally stimulating and stark depending on the subject.

As far as working with or without meters, I'm not sure if that holds true, because I bet experience with a meter would taint all of our attempts at working without one.

Cheeri'o...
Frankie...

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberSat 27-Jan-01 04:57 PM
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#14. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 13


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Dear Frankie:
Of course you are right.
But, after been pampered for years with the aids, will it be our first inclination to disregard them all and go fully manual? And, what for?
Implicitly you are very right in everything because you say "modern cameras .... (can) take that great picture"
(BTW: Thank you very much for saying it is a great picture. I think it is a great subject and wish the ocassion had a better photographer, developer and printer).
Yes, any camera can take any picture, but, is the photographer willing, able and interested in making that picture? And by not having such inclination, would the photographer be himself missing chances for much better photography? I fell I do.
Never mind if it is B&W or color (of course B&W is tougher); with or without meters? maybe it is just a way of saying, "are we willing to fly solo?"
(At this point I thought I heard behind me a voice saying: "Luke, Luke ..... use the mouse", so maybe my health is improving, thought not my sanity).
Have a trully great time
JRP
My profile
Previous photography stuff, before Nikonians:
A Brief Love Story

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberSat 27-Jan-01 05:06 PM
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#16. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 12


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

LAST EDITED ON Jan-27-01 AT 07:10 PM (GMT)

Alan:
Thanks a lot. Precisely my thoughts.
May I call you Lord Clifton from now on?
Have a great time
JRP
My profile
Previous photography stuff, before Nikonians:
A Brief Love Story

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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AlanC Basic MemberSun 28-Jan-01 06:17 PM
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#22. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 16


GB
          

:D But I don't deserve it - it's a very long time since I took any black and white photos, and I certainly never produced anything to match the wonderful shots you keep posting.

Alan.

  

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Rick Wiese Basic MemberSat 27-Jan-01 09:45 PM
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#17. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 0



          

JRP,

Thanks for posting those stunning photos. The dramatic portrait of your father is just incredible. You really managed to bring out the character in his face and portray a sense of stability. Bravo! Hope you're feeling better!

Rick

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberSat 27-Jan-01 10:39 PM
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#18. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 17


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

You are most kind Rick:
Just to continue making my point, here is a picture (that being 11X14 did not completely fit my flatbed scanner) which I made three decades ago. It is the Cathedral at my home town, Puebla.


I was stationed there for a year and a half helping with the founding of the University of the Americas Institute of Technology.
Can I make it now? I'll give it a good try for sure as soon as I have the chance.
Have a great time
JRP
My profile
Previous photography stuff, before Nikonians:
A Brief Love Story

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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Rick Wiese Basic MemberSun 28-Jan-01 04:30 AM
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#19. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 17



          

JRP,

I'm convinced I could spend a month going through the photos in your closet and never get bored! Another breathtakingly beautiful photograph!

I've recently had an urge for a simple, mechanical camera. Constantly tempted by the listings of F2's and FM2n's on eBay, I kept myself under control, realizing that it made no sense to put $400 into a fourth camera body that I really didn't need. A couple of weeks ago, however, I compromised on that urge and picked up a beautiful FM for about $175. It came in the mail a week ago and I've hardly been able to put it down. I'm totally mesmerized by the brilliance of its simplicity. It's made me think about how much easier things like bracketing were before we gave in to the temptations of all-auto, all-the-time photography (just turn the aperature ring a notch one way or the other! Oh, I know -- some will say "With the new metering systems, there's no need for bracketing anymore!" Well, let them try to get a photo like the one of your father with matrix metering!). All the controls are so perfectly placed and easy to use. Even the depth-of-field preview lever is probably as easy to use as I've seen. Now, logically, I still really have no use for the camera. I'll still use my F3 or, occasionally, the newspaper's D1 for my sports photography. And I'll bring out my N80 for those quick and easy shots for which it's perfectly suited, as well as shot where the 3D metering, etc., is an advantage. But every now and then, when I want to feel like a real photographer, I plan to pull out that FM.

Take care and keep finding and posting those beautiful photos!

Rick

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberSun 28-Jan-01 05:44 PM
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#20. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 19


San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

Congratulation on your purchase. I'll have to remember to get out more with my FE2's.
This other picture is of the same cathedral, previously shown at night, but amazingly taken 8 years before, in 1963. I guess I discarded it at the time because hated the bus in the street. Camera: Exakta Varex-IIA, lens: Angenieux 35mm f/2.5. The film I shot at the time was either Agfa or Ilford.



My guess is that it was all of you, thanks, I feel much much better.
Have a great time
JRP
My profile
Previous photography stuff, before Nikonians:
A Brief Love Story

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
Join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members that help this happen; upgrade. Join your personal web site to the Nikonians WebRing
Make sure you check our workshops at The Nikonians Academy and the product catalog of the Photo Pro Shop

  

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Rick Wiese Basic MemberSun 28-Jan-01 06:01 PM
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#21. "RE: When we had no meters .... at hand"
In response to Reply # 20



          

You know, I actually kind of like the bus. I think it somehow helps lend it perspective. Glad to hear you're feeling better!

Rick

  

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