After having recently acquired the M6 with Canadian 35mm Summicron, I recently went out and bought the 50mm Elmar f/2.8 brand new. I used it one day and immediately reliazed, because I needed an extra stop, that I should have gotten the used 50mm Summicron instead. So back I went now I am the proud owner of a 50mm M Summicron.
I recently shot some images of a bullfight with the 35mm summicron on Kodak 100UC? that produced a photograph with detail the like I have never seen on a 4x6! It reminded me of an image I took with a Hasselblad. Anyways, I'm a very happy fellow with this new kit. The only problem I have is deciding is trying to decide if I should shoot color or black and white.
With a kit like that... definitely black and white!
Ahh... When will the day come that I shall cradle an MP with these two lenses to call my own? I could have done it recently, but splurged on Nikon stuff instead.
I'm still a little weary of how I'd react with a rangefinder. Reports of Leica lenses being overrated also don't help. I suppose I'll just have to find out for myself. Either it will work, or it won't. Do you think it is 'purer' to view the world through a rangefinder, and not have the screen blacking out at the critical moment?
What a surprise. Magus being partial to B&W. The fact that he does it well might just have something to do with it.
Anyway, my Leica kit is similar to yours. M6, M2, 35mm Summicron (ver IV, but the late German model) 50mm Summicron (current) and 90mm Tele-Elmarit (thin version). I shoot nearly 100% color. The color renderings of the latest Leica lenses are second to none.
I really think that whether you shoot b&w, color or both depends on the subject matter and how you pre-visualize the end result. I tend to "see" in color and have never done very well with black and white.
In comparing my Nikon and Leica lenses, I see virtually no difference in sharpness at 4X6. It's not until 11x14 or larger that the Leica lenses seem to have a bit of an edge over SOME Nikon lenses. Compared to the high-end Nikkors, I'm not sure that there really is a difference in sharpness.
Where I do see differences is in color rendition, bokeh and other intangibles. I wouldn't call the Leica lenses overrated. Overpriced, perhaps, due to various factors, but they are very, very good.
>Hi Kent, > >What a surprise. Magus being partial to B&W. The fact >that he does it well might just have something to do with >it. >
Magus, do you have postings of your work somewhere? I can't say, however, if shooting through a rangefinder is better than shooting through an SLR because they both have their strengths with an SLR having a definate advantage in some respects with regards to framing up close. I have been having fun with the Leica and feel that my shots taken with a Leica are special; that they will last beyond my time. Digital still gives me the creeps a bit about archiving but otherwise, the digital work flow with Adobe Bridge and Photoshop CS using RAW is extremely hard to beat. I hope Leica gets their act together, digital wise, or they are goners.
No, Kent, it's not Leica that are goners, it's "digital" that's a goner... That may not be apparent now - not at all - but history is not written in single-digit years or even decades; witness Mozart.
To answer your first question though, no, I do not post my "work". I may organise an exhibition in the near future, but only if I deem that my "work" is not mediocre, which is highly unlikely, because I honour genius.
As for your statement: "I have been having fun with the Leica and feel that my shots taken with a Leica are special; that they will last beyond my time", I can very well believe it. MY aim is to verify this one day for myself.
Regards and thanks for your very considerate post,
>No, Kent, it's not Leica that are goners, it's "digital" >that's a goner... That may not be apparent now - not at all >- but history is not written in single-digit years or even >decades; witness Mozart. > >To answer your first question though, no, I do not post my >"work". I may organise an exhibition in the near future, but >only if I deem that my "work" is not mediocre, which is >highly unlikely, because I honour genius. > >As for your statement: "I have been having fun with the >Leica and feel that my shots taken with a Leica are special; >that they will last beyond my time", I can very well >believe it. MY aim is to verify this one day for myself. > >Regards and thanks for your very considerate post, >
Magus, your reply has struck my interest; but you lost me on the "I honour genius" part. Are you saying that your images are reflections or in part, similar to the works of genius photographers in the past?
Anyways, I ponder the idea that Leica will outlive this digital craze; I certainly hope so. Still, I get highly frustrated when a lab scratches my negs.
If you are into black and white, then perhaps you will learn to treasure a classic M6 and 35mm Summicron f/2 like I have.
"...(Y)ou lost me on the "I honour genius" part. Are you saying that your images are reflections or in part, similar to the works of genius photographers in the past?"
You are quite right, the way I phrased that may lend itself to some confusion. What I meant was that it is highly unlikely that the work will be substantially above average to merit exhibiting. I wouldn't dream of exhibiting anything less than outstanding work, because I respect all those great photographers who honed their skills and their photographic mind for years and years. I may be shooting since my teens, but I abandoned photography for some time, for a series of reasons I've mentioned before, and have only delved really deeply into it some months now.
As for Leica, you are tempting me; I've never explored that avenue...
Ah the world of the Leica rangefinder. I've owned several over the years, and they all met untimely ends. One was grabbed off the chair next to me at an outdoor table of a restaurant in Rome by two young men on a motorbike, another I dropped out of a Huey in Vietnam. Now I'm getting ready to sell what will be my last Leica, an as-new black M6 TTL with a Summicron 35mm f2. Why sell, you ask?
Cameras are tools, and I no longer do the work that the Leica M's do best: quick-reaction journalism and street photography. Now I move more slowly and thoughtfully, my images more about shape and light than fast-moving action. But sometimes I miss being in the thick of it, getting it all down with my Leicas.
Rich, first of all thanks enormously for the kind words. It is good to be appreciated - I'm glad you like my work.
This statement: "I really think that whether you shoot b&w, color or both depends on the subject matter and how you pre-visualize the end result." encapsulates the essence of the matter; some subjects are not fit for colour, others for B&W.
I occasionally do venture into colour, but that happens rarely. It depends on the context.
Below, a recent shot in colour (not perfectly scanned). I felt the metallic glint of the lion would be better rendered in Fuji colour.
Rich/Magus, thanks for the reply. I am so happy with my new rig that I have stopped shooting my N80 and OM-1 and only shooting the D70 as backup, when I need the imediacy of digital, or when I shoot closeup or with a long lens. I am still not sure if to shoot only in B&W because if you shoot in color you can always convert to B&W in Photoshop, with some success, right? I see in colors too, but I like the stark representation of form that black and white gives.
Anyways, the reason I like my M6 so much are twofold: I can handhold and shoot a relatively sharp and crispy image at 1/15 second f/2 as is the case in the B&W below with a 35mm Summicron. And secondly, as you all mentioned, was the color and extreme sharpness of the lenses, as was the case with the 50mm f/2 Summicron I used to take the detail of this wall I found in a parking lot behind the Zocalo in Mexico City.
Anyways, having shot Minolta and Nikon for many, many years, I have not experienced this kind of sharpness, ever, from a camera handheld. Kent
Some amazing detail with those Leica lenses. After shooting SLR's for so many years I was also amazed by how slow a shutter speed you can use on an M and still get good results.
I've been fooling with an OM-1 lately. Got it for almost nothing together with a Zuiko 50mm f1.4, winder and a bunch of other stuff. The meter isn't working but that's not a big deal. That Zuiko 50 1.4 easily matches up to my 50 1.4 Nikkor.
Here's one with the Zuiko 50. The original, needless to say, is a lot sharper than this.
I absolutely love the OM shutter sound! It's... creamy, unlike the typical Nikon sound, ranging from the 'Teutonic' F2 to the 'textile' F6, through the slightly 'acerbic' FM2n and the perfectly balanced F3.
Shutter/mirror sounds are quite something, are they not? I'd love to attemp a sonic analysis some day...
The closest Nikon sound I've heard to the OM sound is the F's.
Yep, 25. And the guy was apologetic regarding the inoperative meter. It's not in mint condition but would qualify as "EX" at KEH if not for the meter. The lens is an easy "EX+" as is the winder.
I haven't compared the shutter sound to either of my Nikon bodies but now you've made me curious.
Not being used to the OM (or Nikkormats) I find the shutter speed ring on the lens mount a bit odd, but I'm sure that I could get used to it if I used the camera often enough.
The "leather" was a little loose along the edges and I ended up replacing it with a $10 kit from Cameraleather.com. Very nice product, by the way. Also picked up a nice $10 metal lens shade from B&H for the Zuiko. Looks like it was made for the lens.
By the way, I just received a vented lens shade for my 50mm Summicron from "PJ's World" through eBay. I can't believe the quality of this thing for $17.50. Leica would probably charge 10 times as much.
My biggest photographic issue right now is finding time to shoot. We have a transit strike looming at midnight here in New York and that should really make a mess of things if it happens.
Yes, it was a Superia 400. Very, very mediocre film at best. Only used it because I couldn't get a hold of NPH where I was at the time. The results really disappointed me, and I'm not one to tweak things on Photoshop...