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About hepcat

  • Birthday 03/01/1955

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  • Member Title
    Erfahrener Benutzer
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    Male / Männlich
  • Location
    Eastern Iowa
  • Interests
    Photography, travel, motorhomes, bicycles
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    Eastern Iowa, USA
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    Photography, travel, bicycling, camping
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  • Your Leica Products / Deine Leica Produkte
    R6.2, Leicaflex SL2, Leicaflex SL; Elmarit-R: 28mm, 35mm, 135mm, 180mm.; 90mm Summicron R, 50mm Summilux-R v.1
    Panasonic Lumix DC-S1, Lumix 24-105 f/4, Metabones Leica R to Leica L adapter. D-Lux Typ 109
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  1. Another fascinating thread. I’ve been around Leica cameras since 1974, and used M bodies for much of my pro career for just about everything…. I shot weddings and events with the M8 and M9P, and when the M9’s sensor came down with the dreaded corrosion, Leica sent me a loaner body so I could continue working the six weeks they had my M9P. Unfortunately, I sold all my M gear in 2016 because I couldn’t see the focusing patch well enough to do critical focus, and the M body is the WORST and klunkiest SLR ever with a Visoflex III attached. I ended up with a Nikon Df kit, but sold it recently when I came into a Leicaflex SL2 film kit with six or seven lenses which caused me to re-think how I was going to go forward digitally using my newly acquired Leitz glass that I so adore. I absolutely love the Leica SL2 and I wanted IBIS, which it has. As a working pro, though, dollars not spent on gear are the same as dollars earned. After allowing the fantasy to die down and I returned to my senses, I bought a Panny DC-S1 with a LUMIX 24-105 and a Metabones adapter for the Leitz glass when I want to use primes. I paid $1400 for the Panny AND zoom, $100 for the Metabones adapter, and $3k for a couple of Leicaflex bodies and all the glass. Lest you think I’m a total cheapskate, my studio gear is a Phase One XF with a Leaf Credo 40 back and ten or so M645 AF lenses. I buy my equipment for what it can do for me and for price point, not for the lovely industrial design. The Panny DC-S1’s files are much like my M9P’s files for malleability, and so far the camera just works. And should it need to go in for repair, I’ll just buy another low-mileage used one. They’re plentiful and cheap. The moral to all of this, for me, is that Leica is about the glass. The SL2 body is lovely. I’ve played with them. I do photography to make income, however, and the SL2 just doesn’t make sense from a cost-benefit perspective when the Panny S1 and S1R are essentially the same camera for half the cost, or less, new.
  2. One of the interesting asides to this discussion, but salient, is the very difference you describe in the two mediums and how we percieve imagery. Your observation is exactly why I don't get rid of my 1080p TV for 4k. I don't want razor-sharp clinical imagery in casual entertainment. It detracts from the aesthetic rather than adding to it. We see very clearly with our eyesight. We look to art and photography to bring clarity and focus to what we see, but that doesn't necessarily mean realism. Clinical clarity and sharpness (hyper-reality if you will) merely replicates our vision. Large, busy complex constructs in an image are too busy, confusing, and tend to be what we see unaided. Our minds tend to seek organization from chaos, and simple constructs in the frame with the reduction of that hyper-sharpness, and subsequent softening of details gives more simplicity and tends to focus our eye and thinking as we look at photographs. This is probably best illustrated by Fan Ho and his amazingly framed photos done mostly with an early Rolleiflex. He knew how to use the medium to its fullest while keeping his compositions simple and strong. I don't think they'd have the same power had he shot them with the searing clinical accuracy current digital sensors bring to the table.
  3. So indeed, your concerns are not the medium itself, but the controls of the box in which it is contained. In other words, you like a fully manual camera and that's the crux of the contention, not actually digital vs. film? Is that a correct assessment?
  4. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that semantics is beginning to rear its head in our discussion. I'm sitting here looking at my Leicaflex SL, my Phase One XF/Leaf Credo, and my Lumix DC-S1. I manually set the exposure on each, according to the meter and the DOF I want, and whether I want blurring in moving objects. The controls are different on each camera, of course. Some are dials, some are dials and menus, and the XF is entirely menus and buttons, except for the manual P-6 lens I currently have on it. Of course the procedure for manipulating the camera controls will be different; but in that regard, the Q2 is very different from my XF and they're both digitals. The Nikon Df I had for four or five years, I chose specfically BECAUSE the control set largely mimicked film bodies' controls, which I also appreciate. I wish the S1 had a similar control set. I'm not talking about manipulating the camera though... I'm talking about seeing, taking time to frame, find perspective, determine the DOF you're looking for, determine the shutter speed you want for the effect you're after, and then releasing the shutter after that process has been achieved. The actual process of making the image, not manipulating dials or menus. And yes, if you're doing street work with your MA, you can do the same work with my Phase One XF in the same way... pre-sets and let DOF carry you. My XF is cumbersome for that, but not necessarily moreso than my Rolleiflex 3.5 MX-EVS or my Arax CMs. I would argue that my R6.2 body is just as adept at pre-set street work as your M-A. Of all my cameras, the Panny S1 is probably the most complex in terms of a control set, yet once you tumble to the manual controls, it's just as easy to use manually as my Leicaflex SL. But, again... I'm talking about the process of actually making the image and why there seems to be this recurring theme that a digital image requires some process to make that film doesn't or vice-versa. Now, if we're merely talking about manipulating the equipment being the fly in the ointment that's an entirely different issue. I shot M Leicas for over forty years, until I couldn't see the rangefinder patch well enough to critically focus any more. I concur that the M series is one of the easiest film cameras to shoot, but any other camera can be set up to be used the same way you'd use your M-A and can capture the same kinds of images... as could my Nikon Df, or my Panny S1, or Rolleiflex, or even the Phase One XF. So I guess my question remains: how does merely the choice of medium (film/digital sensor) change your process of seeing, framing, and choices about how you want that image to look as the OP was indicating occurs for him and you're suggesting it does for you? What am I missing here?
  5. What makes you think you do? Up to pressing the shutter button, you don't. Post-processing is, of course, different. Tell me what you believe is different?
  6. I'm not disputing that film and digital have different appeal as media. I actually prefer the rendering of vintage lenses on film myself. What I'm saying is that the essence of making an image with a hand-held digital camera and a film camera are, in fact, identical rather than "vastly different." They use the same settings: shutter speed, aperture, ISO and focus. The controls are roughly in the same locations. You can do exactly what you describe as "ancitipate" with a digital as well and not be "reactive." Just because cameras have an amazing arrray of automated features now doesn't mean you MUST allow it to be automatic or that those features are even desireable, quite honestly. One of the finest DSLRs built was the 5mp Olympus E1 that had only a basic control set, but a FABULOUS Kodak CCD sensor. These cameras all have manual settings specifically for the reasons you so eloquently detailed. Soooo... it appears that the problem the lies NOT with the equipment itself, but with your perception of the way the equipment should work. You're ascribing "process" as being different between digital and film; the "process" of making an image if you will. And the "process" by which I make an image is not affected by whether the equipment records it chemically or digitally. I brought my thirty years of film "process" to digital when I first acquired digital gear. I don't feel a need to shoot more frames, or use automation, or fail to "anticipate" because I'm shooting digital. In the studio I always shoot my cameras with manual settings regardless of the medium. In the field, I find that turning OFF the automation is sometimes more frustrating than I like, but I figure it out and do it because my "process" often demands that I make those judgements myself; film or digital. Otherwise, I might as well have a large-MP "Instamatic" or point-and-shoot. I'd suggest that rather than ascribing "process" to the equipment, that you examine closely what YOUR "process" is, and then standardize that across any equipment you may find yourself using, and make the equipment conform to your process rather than you letting the equipment dictate how you use it or form your opinion of it. It's truly about the image and how you come to make it, not about the gizmo you use to make it. I would go so far as to say that the gear, so long as it's competent to do what you require of it and that it's comfortable for you to use, is irrelevant in image making. If it conforms to your "process" then you ought to be able to use it to make the images you want to make. And back to the OP's question about MF film v. the Q's sensor, the REAL reason to move to medium format, EITHER film OR digital is for the difference in perspective gained with medium format lenses, and the subsequent depth in the images. And film has even more because it in fact HAS physical depth to the film and emulsions themselves. Granted you're talking very slight depth, but it has depth nonetheless, and I believe that makes a difference in the images. You move to medium format for the lens optical focal lengths and how they're different.
  7. I have heard this repeated almost as a mantra about digital vs. film cameras for the past twenty years. I don't shoot digital any differently than I shoot film, except allowing for the requirements of the differences in the technology. Why did the medium dictate the way you use it? Why do photographers (in general) seem to think that recording on a digital sensor is somehow different from recording on film when making an image? I just don't understand? The camera is merely a tool. How does it dictate how you use it?
  8. An interesting, insightful discussion. I began shooting commercially in 1970 and was a late adopter of digital. I hung onto my Leica M4s and supplemented them with an M8 and M9P. I hung onto my Hasselblad 500s hoping that someone would make a reasonably priced digital back for them. I finally sold them in 2016. Today I have a Panny DC-S1, four Leicaflex/Leica R bodies and lenses, a couple of Rolleiflex/cord cameras, a Phase One XF and DF with a Leaf Credo 40 back and a phalanx of lenses, and a three-body, nine Pentacon Six CZJ/Hartblei lens Kiev 88CM setup. What I've figured out over all those years is that there is no "perfect" camera, format, or system. As a Navy photographer in the mid 1970s, I worked in photo labs that had ALL of the tools available, from Leica M4 MOT kits (which I used most) to Mamiya C330 systems, and 8x10 view cameras. We had copy cameras that had a room as the camera body, and vacuum boards inside to hold the film, and outside on the far wall to hold the subject matter, with a huge bellows and lensboard on the outside. All of the gear got used, depending on the job. A Rolleiflex works great for those things for which it is competent. A "Texas-Leica" style rangefinder works great for those things for which it is competent. There is a cross-over, but they are in different niches. The world today thrives on a combination of digital and film. And each is amazing when chosen carefully for the job at hand. And so is the gear. The bottom line is that they're all tools. None of them can do everything, but some of them are more versatile than others. I don't see any reason to limit myself to either digital OR film; nor do I think it prudent to do the "one body-one lens" drill as it's too limiting in its scope. What I DO recommend is finding a really good lens set, and expanding it as you can, but buy bodies, both digital and film, that can all use them. All of my bodies, 35mm film and digital, 120 film, and 645 digital can all make use of the Zeiss Pentacon Six mount lenses. My Panasonic S1 (essentially the Leica S2S) can use all of the Leica R glass, all of my Hexanon glass, the Mamiya 645 manual lenses I have, and it's own L-mount 24-105 (the only native L-mount lens I have, for obvious reasons.) And lest you dismiss me as a millionaire, everything I have I only have about the cost of a new M11 and Summicron 50 invested. Perhaps a little more, but not much. Every camera and every format I own has its strengths. The key is to play to them. I guess my council would be for you to keep your options open. Let the job at hand dictate your choice of gear and medium, and be prepared to shoot whatever may come your way.
  9. I have both. A 3 cam Summicron-R 90mm and a 2 cam Elmarit-R 90mm. I just recently bought the Summicron, and I'd decided to sell the Elmarit and already had it listed. This thread caused me to take down the listing. I think I'll keep both. The bottom line in all of these discussions is that when you look at an image, you cannot tell what camera body, film, or lens was used. You may like the look of one print better than another for reasons of taste, but you can't tell what lens took any given photo.
  10. Welcome to the world those of us who have been shooting film for over fifty years live in! Spyderxx gave you the best advice I have. You know all of the parameters, and your hyperfocal distance. Preset the flash, aperture, and focus and shoot away. You really don't NEED AF-follow-focus or TTL flash. You just need confidence in your skills and know your equipment. I still shoot with Vivitar 285 HVs on all my cameras but my Panny S1. I did break down and buy an Olympus FL 50R for it just for convenience.
  11. From Popular Photography, 1989
  12. Courtesy of an eBay listing by Pacific Rim Camera: https://www.ebay.com/itm/362596238414
  13. So, I was idly curious as to why I'd never bought an R camera new. I decided to see if I could find the original list prices of my R6.2 in 1992. I didn't, but I did find a Popular Photography article excerpt that showed that an R6 MSRP was $3150 in 1989 and a Summilux-R carried a list price of $2250. Adjusted for inflation, that puts the R6 at $7344.30 today, and the Summilux at $5245.93 today. As I was making about $26,000 in 1989 I know now why I never had one! I'm enjoying them today, however.
  14. hepcat


    I can only give you my limited experience. I've read a great deal about the automated R series cameras, but a friend sold me his R6.2. The R6.2 along with the earlier fully mechanical R6 is probably the best of the lot according to some. I've also read that the R7 is the most advanced and desireable but I'm not a big fan of computerized film cameras. The R5 has most of the features of the R7, but in the smaller body of the R4. Of the twenty or so film camera bodies I own, I think that the R6.2 is probably the newest and most "advanced." I also have a Leicaflex Standard, two SL's and I recently acquired an SL2 that is at the repair shop being overhauled. I've acquired all of those in the past year. As Robert_Parker indicated above, The Leicaflex bodies offer the mechanical sophistication of the M series rangefinders with a meter and are amazing machines in their own right. Good luck!
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