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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

Leica Film Odyssey for a beginner

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

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I am contemplating buying a Leica Film camera and wondered what you guys would recommend. I have been doing photography (Digital) since 2010 and have alway been fascinated with watching some of my mates shooting film cameras. About one year ago I went on a photoshoot in downtown KL and one of the guys that was with me had a Leica film camera with him. When he posted his pictures a week or so later they were just fantastic. Unfortunately he is no longer in KL and seeing as I am itching for something new I think that now is the time to move over to the dark side and try my hand at shooting film.

Looking forward to your replies

 

Neil

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There are lots of guides answering this question so my 2cents worth will hardly add anything to what you can find by doing a search. If you like shooting 35mm or wider and also want to have a built in meter, get an M6 or M6 TTL. They're easy to find. If you don't mind using an external meter or want to learn to estimate exposure by eye, get an M4. Nice to see you here. I'm from KL too. Welcome to film!

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M4 !

 

Why?.....cos i av one! lol

 

OK so Leica is new to me too, hence i've not long had the M4.

 

However shooting film is something I've been doing for ....mmm, well let's say too long lol but I still and probably always will prefer it to Digital.

 

What M0n0 mentions about metering is worthwhile giving some consideration over .....If you're used to digi metering then perhaps an external meter isn't for you, although tbh imo they give you much more control when calculating your exposures....but hey, it's pretty much always been the "norm" for me not to rely on in built metering systems

 

As for the M4, the hotshoe fitting meter is nice, I love the way it connects with the shutter speed dial etc,. It does seem to be fairly accurate and "reads" an angle equivalent of  a 90mm lens iirc.

Nonetheless i still find myself, for the moment anyway, slipping the L308 in my pocket just to be sure.

 

And yes, welcome to film and the "dark side"

Edited by Yellup

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

I took a look on B&H and for less than 5k they have a M7 TTL........I think thats what they called it. What about one of those??

Regarding film If one likes B&W should they just use B&W film or better to use color then adjust in PP afterwards??

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Any M film camera is fine IMO. I am much taken by my M6 Classic, purchased as new-old stock a few years ago for 1000 Euro.

You've got a bad case of GAS, my friend 

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

 

You've got a bad case of GAS, my friend 

 

No Jaap,

No GAS mate just something I have always fancied but shied away from it as I don't think I could be bothered with a dark room and all that BS. But then I found out that you basically take pictures on film then have a shop develop them for you and then run them through a scanner.

Questions

  1. How important is it to get the right shop to develop the film, can anyone do it or is it better to look for a specialised shop?
  2. What kind of film would you recommend for a newbie (I like B&W)
  3. What kind of scanner would you recommend getting..........links please
  4. What kind of resolution can you expect to get from a scanned film negative or are they all the same?
  5. Look for a good second hand camera or buy new??
  6. I guess I will need lenses as well so thinking ahead with new M in September a 50mm APO maybe.........I guess they work on film right? And maybe a 35mm as well
  7. What about lens speed, I guess its the same as digital right?
  8.  

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Regarding film If one likes B&W should they just use B&W film or better to use color then adjust in PP afterwards??

 

Converting colour to monochrome often works quite well but tbh if you want "true" b&w results from film, then use b&w film to start with

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If you're going to spend the necessary time (haha) to learn proper scanning, why not just set up a rudimentary darkroom and make silver prints.  For me, the reason for shooting film for 40 years was to make silver prints.   There are loads of threads on both scanning and darkroom/film processing.

 

Having kept up with your history a bit, I don't see you getting a thrill from, or having the patience for, scanning (or darkroom), and frankly I think your inkjet print results will likely be better starting from a digital file in the first place.  The grass is always greener...

 

My 2 cents...

 

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S

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If you're not processing the film yourself it's easier to use C41 film (colour or B&W) as any of the 1 hour mini labs can process it for you.

 

I get a CD scan and then re-scan any 'keepers' later.

 

If you're buying a digital M again then it makes sense to buy an M film body. Which one depends on how much you want to spend, whether you want a built in meter, viewfinder preference and if you want AE (M7 only).

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I think your easiest transition will be with the M7 as you will feel right at home having used the digital M, the AE benefit and feel is closest. It will allow you to focus on the film aspect more. The suggestion to use C41 film for ease of use is fine and most of the major brands have those, not many labs left that will process rolls but enough that will service your needs, most will also scan for you.

For normal negative film, start with Kodak tmax400, but this is where the beauty is, every film is different, think a new sensor every time you change a film without buying a new camera!

check out the 'I love film' thread, lots of inspiration there and plenty of examples of all film types.

 

Expect much frustration until you develop a workflow that suits you. Eventually try some b&w processing at home, it's a blast, then just let the pros do it for you.

 

Don't try and replicate digital, the point as you will see is the difference between the two mediums.

As noted, lots of info if you search on any aspect. Scanners, any of the Plustek models from 7500 up, best in show the 120, for compatibility with Mac etc.

 

There are many very experienced film photographers here on the forum with a monumental amount of knowledge that are willing to share and have done so which you can benefit from with a search on any parts of the topic.

 

Good luck with this new aspect of your experience with photography.

 

JRB

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

 

 

Expect much frustration until you develop a workflow that suits you. Eventually try some b&w processing at home, it's a blast, then just let the pros do it for you.

 

 

Good luck with this new aspect of your experience with photography.

 

JRB

 

Cheers mate

I'm cool, I don't get easily frustrated..........did I just say that

:) I like new challenges and I am sure I will find a way to make it happen, my wife might hate me while I go through the pain but we've been down that road many many times.

I have got another 6 days before I get home so first thing first I had better get on the blower to Ffords and see if they have one and a lens to match.

50 APO will work with film right??????

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

What does .72 35mm mean......is that like a crop sensor???

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

Whats the main difference between a MP and a M7..............Looking on B&H they are the same price??

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Following on from the "I like film..." thread, Neil...

 

1) 50mm Apo Summicron works fine on film. I use mine on my M6 TTL, but 95% of the time prefer using a 35mm Summilux (just my preference for what I shoot). The "Apo" designation means very little for film.

2) Unlike with digital, there is effectively no difference between the various M film camera models, other than their age, and small differences in functionality (I'm putting my flak vest on now). There is no need to buy a new camera.

3) I think you will want to have an in-camera meter, which effectively means M6 or later. You can also use an external meter, or just your eyes. Film tends to have much greater exposure latitude than digital.

4) As in the other thread, you can very easily get B&W and C41 developed and / or scanned at Bang Bang Geng in Publika Gallery Mall - Just remember that he's an enthusiast first, and a commercial enterprise second.

5) Singapore has plenty of M film cameras available. Just keep watching the Clubsnap pages: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=117&s=e8b8a947c416972deaacfb18de77c617

6) There is no chimping with film (unless you have a Polaroid back on MF) - Patience is not just a virtue, it is a key requirement.

7) It's not about the resolution - Grain can be a great quality in a film.

8) If you get dust on the film sensor, move to the next frame...

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Whats the main difference between a MP and a M7..............Looking on B&H they are the same price??

MP is fully manual. M7 requires a battery to function. M6 has a battery (2, actually), but only for the meter - It does not require a battery to function.

Understand that one M film model does not take better photo's than another M film model (flak jacket is still in place) - There are just small differences in cosmetics, and very small differences in functionality. A shot on a new M7 or MP will come out exactly the same if shot on a 1950's M3.

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What does .72 35mm mean......is that like a crop sensor???

 

VF magnification.  .72 is fairly standard on film M from M2 forward.  Some folks use Ms (M6 or M7 or MP) that have .58 VF for wide angle shooting, or .85 with longer lenses.  .72 is a good compromise.  (The M240 is .68).

 

Jeff

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Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

VF magnification.  .72 is fairly standard on film M from M2 forward.  Some folks use Ms (M6 or M7 or MP) that have .58 VF for wide angle shooting, or .85 with longer lenses.  .72 is a good compromise.  (The M240 is .68).

 

Jeff

 

Jeff you know of my issues with the rangefinder patch (or the lack of not calibrating lens and camera) Am I likely to run into the same problem with the viewfinder on a film camera (probably M7)

Rick has already offered to help me once I get my Rx File

I'm off to bed, need to be up at 4am

Later

 

Neil

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If I may throw a little ball in Neil... It sounds like you have no experience in film photography yet, and are eager to start in to it. And you should, because it's wonderfull! But I'd like to warn you to a little, don't buy in big immediately. Maybe start with a second hand camera (Leica m6 or so is great), but also consider something cheaper, like an old Nikon F2, FE, Canon AE-1, or if you're into rangefinders an old Kiev or Zorki. They're a lot cheaper than the leica's. May be less sharp on the objectives, but it'll leave a lot of extra money on film, developing and scanning.

Just my 2 cents...!

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Jeff you know of my issues with the rangefinder patch (or the lack of not calibrating lens and camera) Am I likely to run into the same problem with the viewfinder on a film camera (probably M7)

Rick has already offered to help me once I get my Rx File

I'm off to bed, need to be up at 4am

Later

 

Neil

 

Same basic concept.  Magnification won't correct your issues.....may just magnify them....so starting with Rick to solve your issues first will be useful.  Let him know your goals and concerns.

 

A .85 VF is nice if you're only going to use longer lenses....it makes the focus patch larger....but wider frame lines then become more problematic.  I'd stick with .72 for your first attempt.  

 

But, as I wrote above, I don't think you're going to have the patience for film....provided you're picky about your prints.  It's another learning curve from digital...as much art as science.  Some people love scanning....I'd rather use a digital cam for inkjet....film for silver prints (there are hybrid processes... another story).  YMMV.

 

Jeff

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