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'The King of Bokeh' killed by its father!

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Thanks Philipus,

I never ever meant you were dismissive. Funny thing is that basically we share the same opinion, perhaps expressed in slightly different ways.

As to my direct mentioning you, I actually referred to a post of mine in "The view through older glass" which didn't exactly met your favour. But I meditated on your words and finally I realized that whilst I can have whatever opinion of my work, if it's not appreciated then it's failed work and it's entirely my fault because I missed my purpose at the very core, namely sharing a feeling and/or conveying an impression. An image that requires explanations or justifications is just bad work. Period. Your judgement was a reality check and I ultimately would express my gratitude to you for that.

 

Cheers,

Bruno

 

Hi Bruno

 

I spent this morning re-reading the whole View through older glass thread but couldn't find what you refer to (although it was very enjoyable to see all the photos again; it's an incredible thread).

 

Could it have been in the thread about shooting wide-open where you posted that, imho, very good photo of the performer on stage? My comment in that thread was aimed at the general practice of shooting wide open for the sake of shooting wide open; I didn't intend to comment on your photo, though I can see from the context that it may appear like that (I did quote another poster though).

 

Sometimes one has to use the widest apertures and I think you did exactly what the circumstances required to capture that photo - shoot as wide open as possible to be able to freeze the action. So, just to be clear, my comment about the practice of shooting wide open was not aimed at your photo. For me as a film photographer this is a very common situation in darker surroundings and indoors.

 

Cheers

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OK folks, you just killed one mith.

I wondered too how the v4 performed. I did my homework and based on the samples I found on flickr I think that quite often the bokeh of all versions of the Summicron 35 at full aperture is quite crummy.

To Tappan's honor, his shots prove his remarkable skills and strong sense of composition but the bokeh provided by the lens seem quite sonnarisms gone bad...

Which doesn't solve my own doubts, namely which fast/medium speed 35 mm I might get myself.

I'm personally a fan of the 50 'lux PreAsph. I won't bother posting some shots again otherwise Philipus will bash me again

but so far I can't find a 35 mm that renders in a similar fashion. Maybe and that's a maybe the Summilux PreAsph comes quite close with the extra Leica glow at full aperture which one might like or hate. Suggestions are welcome.

 

Cheers,

Bruno

 

Bruno, I join the idea of the Summilux preasph... I have one from many years ago and is the closest rendering to the lux 50 old APART at 1,4 where the 35 is really "risky" in scenes where you don't have a "safe and easy" light and subject (btw, my 50 and 35 are, by chance, of the same age... 1961)

As an "oldstyler" 35 I like a lot the Summaron 3,5... but I see you have one...

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Hi Bruno

 

I spent this morning re-reading the whole View through older glass thread but couldn't find what you refer to (although it was very enjoyable to see all the photos again; it's an incredible thread).

 

Could it have been in the thread about shooting wide-open where you posted that, imho, very good photo of the performer on stage? My comment in that thread was aimed at the general practice of shooting wide open for the sake of shooting wide open; I didn't intend to comment on your photo, though I can see from the context that it may appear like that (I did quote another poster though).

 

Sometimes one has to use the widest apertures and I think you did exactly what the circumstances required to capture that photo - shoot as wide open as possible to be able to freeze the action. So, just to be clear, my comment about the practice of shooting wide open was not aimed at your photo. For me as a film photographer this is a very common situation in darker surroundings and indoors.

 

Cheers

 

Dear Philipus,

 

thanks for yr comment, the pic I mentioned was exactly that one. First of all thanks for clarifying your opinion about it which obviously makes me happier. In any case when it comes to photography I'm a tormented soul never satisfied with the results and always hungry for improvement. Therefore when I receive constructive and substantiated critics such as yours - or at least I believed it was - I tend to treasure them to try to get out the most I can from that as they're powerful tools for my growth.

 

Kindest regards,

Bruno

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I'm happy we sorted that out! I agree with you about the tormented soul bit. I'm also always looking to improve and find feedback helpful, good as bad.

 

Cheers

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No, it isn't that simple.

 

Umm ... or it is when you're working on assignment. Then the customer's satisfaction must be your ultimate goal. But when shhoting as a artist to express yourself then looking for others' acclamations actually is a bad thing. Don't shoot what you think others will appreciate! Shoot what you feel like shooting! If someone doesn't understand your work then it doesn't necessarily mean it was bad. If many don't understand then it still isn't bad. If you show it to 1,000 persons and finally one says, 'oh, I see what you mean,' then it's good work, even when 999 don't see anything.

 

It's a difficult topic. Often, an artist's work isn't appreciated because it is just bad. Sometimes, it isn't appreciated because it's ahead of the time or above the heads of most people. So, being an artist with underappreciated work—how to tell one case from the other? I don't know. But if you don't like your own work then no-one will. If you do like your own work but no-one else does then keep going your way. Normally, you get better at whatever you're doing by practice and by accepting critique and learning from it. But in the field of art, responding to critique is a double-sided sword. It may help you to get better, but it also may make you lose your way.

 

Good artists just go their own way. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that boldly going your own way will make you a good artist. But when not going your way then you will never create good art.

 

Dear 01af,

thank you for your thorough feedback, the contents much appreciated. It would take hours of discussion and a thread for itself!

I couldn't agree more with you especially as you say that one should shoot as he feels like and not as others might like him to and that someone's work isn't appreciated because it's ahead of the time. History is rich of such individuals, Van Gogh and Schumann being the first that come to my mind but I must also respectfully remind that living a miserable life and/or being dead aren't mandatory requisites for being deemed an artist and that one can be both a genius and going mainstream as Mozart or John Lennon did.

To me art in whatever form is a sort of language and as such, in order to get one's attention, one should express himself in a technically impeccable fashion and - possibly - have something interesting to say.

Therefore an artist without an audience might also be rather an autistic or a wannabe. Especially in these times when we're literally drowning in more information than what we can actually absorb and everything is metabolized at lightspeed. I think that hardly someone in the future will turn back to this overflow to pick up a currently supposed underappreciated author. Given the circumstances it's become a sort of make it or die.

 

In my very simplistic view an artist is basically an interpreter that renders accessible to everyone what is already under their eyes but they fail to notice. In fake-zen terms an artist reveals secrets of which everyone have the key. And I feel this being particularly true for photographers. Unlike painters which are granted absolute freedom to create out of a white empty canvas, photographers are constrained to give an order to pre-existing reality by imposing a frame on it.

Images of the likes of HCB, AA, McCurry, Capa just to name a few hardly require a caption. They stand for themselves. But if an image requires explanations and/or justifications then IMHO it's poorly executed work. Or it's modern art

Just my 2c.

 

Cheers,

Bruno

Edited by !Nomad64

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I have always wondered at the 35mm Summicron IV being called the 'King of Bokeh' as it never seemed much different to any other lens to me.

 

But now Mike Johston, the father of the phrase 'King of Bokeh' for the 35mm IV, has recanted and admitted he never even opened it up beyond f5.6, and now feels a little emabarrassed at being the cause of the myth. So one minute you have a 'King', the next a 'Joker'.

 

The Online Photographer

 

Steve

The King is dead - Long live the King.

 

What a strange truism.

Prices are still sky high?

 

That being said, does this mean that the King of Bokeh truism has stuck?

 

Thoughts?

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There are several reasons why the v.4 may be still popular and sought-after, beyond "King of Bokeh" status (which I figured out 12 years ago was mostly hooey, at least at f/2-2.8).

 

Smaller, lighter, slightly sharper in the center @ f/2, Mandler color and contrast - compared to the ASPH.

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[...] Smaller, lighter, slightly sharper in the center @ f/2, Mandler color and contrast - compared to the ASPH.

 

Smaller and lighter indeed but my 35/2 asph looks sharper than my 35/2 v4 at all apertures below f/5.6. My v4 is an early copy though.

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It sounds to me like Mike Johnson is the joker.

 

The Summicron 35 v. IV was but an innocent bystander.

He most certaoinly is.

One man made a statement and we all believed him,now same man says something else and we will continue to follow.

PS: Some said the king is dead! When is the funeral?

Edited by Lord Lucan

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I've been a love-hate with this lens.  The pre-apsh summilux is noticeably better on the edges (until it was stolen).  But I value the extra 20cm of close focus and the ease of the 6-bit coding.  I've been using it again recently at f4 and trying to compensate for focus shift by moving the focus closer than the rangefinder patch would have.  This has been working well. The edges are still weak but that even often enhances the image.

I think this and all other pre-asph lenses will come back to the fore once EVFs (which can show focus shift effects) have evolved to be as easy, quick and precise as the optical rangefinder.

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I have this lens for about twenty five years and its rendering has never won me. Obviously, being a Leica, it's a very good lens but I find the images without a particular character, as other lenses have. Undoubtedly it is very small and light but I prefer to carry the weight of a Summilux...

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I have a feeling this thread is a bit trolling by the OP, but anyway, my v.4 is my favorite walking around lens. In my opinion it size and weight balances perfectly on the camera, it is reasonably sharp and I like the Mandler look. My Lux FLE rests mostly in the drawer because of its size and weight.

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Hi

 

The 35 cron IV was my first Leica lens bought late ninieties. I now own a number of other marvelous Leica lenses... which most is technically better than this little 35. However, the IV turns out to be my single most used ¨go-to¨ lens when travelling light. Put it on f4 and just shoot... and it never disappoints in my opinion. It is just very nice.

 

Bokeh is a matter of taste. In my taste the bokeh of the  IV is only ¨mediocre¨... (I like calm & soft bokeh and hate swirls and rounded corners... OOF should be exactly that... out of ¨attention¨ ;-)

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I've got my own V4 now and it's currently sat on my M9-P. It is stellar at f4 and has qualities that take time to appreciate. A great lens that's hard to part with I have sold a number of lenses over the last two years and this along with the 35mm summaron f2.8 are going nowhere ;-)

 

It's superb at other apertures too, just misses that beautiful brokeh at f2

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At 2.5 it's already intriguing. But I agree, around f4 it's very special, also 3.5 and 4.8 are great

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Well I recently acquired a lovely, late production 2.0/35 v4 Summicron as I wanted something to render sympathetically with my 1.4/75 Summilux.

Most of my lenses, are relatively new designs except for a 2.0/40 Summicron-C on my CL and 1.0/50 Noctilux v3, neither of which are wide enough to practically pair with the Summilux.

 

I couldn't be happier with the 35 Summicron. It' is getting more general use than I expected, including on my film M cameras. 

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