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Old 19/01/11, 06:01   #1 (permalink)
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Default Making the best of a M5

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Hi,

I'm new to this forum and Leica's. As luck would have it, I'm the new owner of a Leica M5 w/ 50mm f2 Summicron lens. This is my first real rangefinder and Leica. I'm used to shooting with SLR's and seeing what the "lens" sees.

I'd like to do some street photography but need to understand how to optimize:

(1) fast focusing when my subject may be on the move and

(2) zone focusing when I have a bit more time.

Bottomline - I'm looking for rangefinder shooting techniques.
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Old 19/01/11, 06:10   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the best of a M5

Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on getting what I think is the best film Leica ever.

Practice is the main thing, of course.

One focus trick some recommend is that you always return the lens to infinity when you stop shooting; that way, you only need to turn it one direction.

Another thing is to prefocus on where you know the subject will be, watch through the finder, and fire when the two images coincide.

A variant of that also works in lower light or with faster lenses; in a close situation, swaying your body slightly forward and back once you've set the focus can line up the two images much more quickly than twisting the focus ring back and forth.

With manual-focus SLRs, one generally needs to push the lens through the best focus, then slide back through and come back again to shoot. That is, you use the fact that the image is getting less sharp again as a sign you've overshot, and move back in a smaller step to see that you've got it. With a rangefinder, the coincident image is usually so sharply delineated that you don't focus back and forth, but bring the images into alignment once and fire. (My eyes aren't as good as when I learned that, but it's still a good rule to keep in mind. If it takes more than two seconds to focus, you're doing something wrong.)

Keep in mind also that the rangefinder has two windows. Because of the way the M5's speed knob is placed, it's easier to keep your fingers out of the way of the smaller one. But if a finger or the strap blocks the smaller window, the second image will disappear from the finder.


Enjoy the camera! Others will doubtless have their tips and probably some book recommendations as well.
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Old 19/01/11, 12:14   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the best of a M5

Welcome, I changed over from SLR as well just over 18 months ago to an M5. It is a great camera and I will never go back.

It took a little while for me to get used to the focussing, now I try and preset the focus on the street to a set distance then shoot when I am in that range or adjust slightly. I think knowing your lens is just as important as knowing the camera. Work out what focussing distances work well with what exposure settings in what circumstances with your Cron.

Happy shooting, the experience is unsurpassed with the M5.
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Old 19/01/11, 12:45   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the best of a M5

Hi

Street shooting for people gestulating, scratching ear etc.

5cm lens 12 foot f/8 or smaller 1/125
35mm lens 6 foot f/5.6 ditto
28mm lens 5 foot f/4.5 ditto

400 ASA Ilford Delta scale focus, instinctive point from hip, an MD would do, a winder would help, I use IXMOO so an M5 would not help.

If it is too dark I go to coffee shop.

Noel
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Old 20/01/11, 00:36   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the best of a M5

Noel, those are good guides, thanks.

But humour my extreme ignorance, the reference to MD and IXMOO, what are they?

And the winder, are you referring to the film winder?
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Old 20/01/11, 22:44   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the best of a M5

Hi Colin,
the Wiki pages at the top of the Forum is useful for searching ....

MD is an M body with no viewfinder (Noel reckons if shooting from the hip, who needs one?) it is used with a Visoflex (see Wiki)

He refers generally to a motor winder (for M4-2 onward, not the M5) to make street shooting faster.

IXMOO is a reloadable metal cassette (can't be used in M5)

John
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Old 20/01/11, 22:50   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the best of a M5

Watch Chris Weeks' video in 3 parts. Can be viewed full screen.
Various street shooters talk about street technique with film and digital.

Street Photography by Chris Weeks and the new Leica M9 | Photoinduced.com

John

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Old 21/01/11, 00:47   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the best of a M5

Thanks for all the good info. I'll check out the Wiki too!

Dwain
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Old 21/01/11, 12:53   #9 (permalink)
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Default AW: Making the best of a M5

My two cents worth ...

Familiarity first and foremost with your equipment, that all settings come naturally for instance focus direction, turning the shutter speed instinctively.

Also being prepared for instance if you have a tab on the focus ring that it is always at a position that suits the expected subject distance as Noel suggests, and preempting the exposure by continually adjusting if you change from shadow to direct sunlight ie you are able to shoot without having to match needles or consult the focus patch.
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Old 21/01/11, 14:26   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the best of a M5

Yes I use a meter, meter for

subject in shadow
subject in sun
sun behing cloud

memorise three apertures (or four).

Repeat every hour at begining and end of day.

It is dark here so it is f/5.6 most of time with 400 ISO.

If you are new use XP2.

The reason for instinctive point is you can only anticipate a kiss or a slap to a degree, by the time you get the camera to eye it is frequently too late, you can be too early as well, a winder might give you a second shot, got one never use it.

Noel
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Old 21/01/11, 14:38   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the best of a M5

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Good advice from Yanidel here: Manual focus technique
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Old 21/01/11, 16:00   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Making the best of a M5

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Originally Posted by zlatkob View Post
Good advice from Yanidel here: Manual focus technique
shoot from hip instinctive point

CNY '07 newr to Leicester Sq Tube prefocus 6 foot, XP2 mini lab scan f/5.6 1/125 Canon P Canon 35mm f/2 type II

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