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Weddings, Events, Live Music - M10, lenses and second body?


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I currently own Leica Q, Leica SL, 50SL and 90-280SL.

 

I'm considering if I sold them all what I could purchase along with an M10, and still cope with wedding, events and live music.

 

I would like to hear recommended setups? particularly from those who do the same kind of stuff, and if you have links to galleries so I can see how you use them?

 

thanks

 

 

www.danielcook.com - I have numerous galleries for some of what i do (no wedding), but probably not necessary.

 

Dan, I would not recommend going into a wedding with just an M camera if you are not totally confident in your ability to get accurate focus in all conditions every time. The last thing you need at a wedding is the distraction of worrying about how best to use your camera.

 

M cameras are perfectly capable of being brilliant wedding cameras, and in some respects they are far better than big DSLRs, but a wedding isn't the best place to experiment with them.

 

Sorry if this doesn't apply to you though, because if you are confident with your ability to use a manual focus camera with no zoom lenses, you'll find using an M10 a liberating and exciting experience. Although it's a matter of opinion since others have happily switched the other way, from Ms to DSLRs and "mirrorless" cameras. But I expect not many of them have experienced an M10, which is a step up from all previous Ms!

 

If you don't shoot weddings regularly though, so you can give yourself a bit of time to experiment and learn, and if you are brave and have the itch, go for an M10, a 28 or 35 along with a 75 and use it every day of your life. You will be rewarded.

Edited by Peter H
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There are huge practical considerations when changing from anything else to an M system. You lose AF, IS, zoom lenses, real macro and long lenses straight off. You'll need to relearn focus and recompose, zone focusing and centre weighted metering. The system is vastly smaller than the SL. That of course means that any larger flash will make the camera impossibly balanced. SF 40 is as big as you go.   Having said that, for me, dumping a large bag of Canon gear for a pair of M9's was the vest th

Comment out of left field (wherever that is!); Shooting weddings is ALL about your skill, familiarity with you gear (whatever it is), and above all, your "people management skills". Everything else is secondary to the people. Your gear handling must be intuitive and reflexive. Your attention must be focused on the people, because they don't know what to expect, or how to do it. Guiding them is your job. You are the only person (who knows what to expect), who is with the bride at every stage. Al

Hi There Dan I've shot plenty of weddings with just a rangefinder.  These days however I shoot an SL with the 24-90 zoom (and sometimes the 90-280, but not often) Plus I have 2 M10 bodies, normally one with a 28 summilux and the other with a 75 summicron.    Generally speaking I end up with about 40% taken with an M10   I don't use the 50SL - if I'm shooting primes I'd always prefer to use the M10 I wouldn't be without the SL and the 24-90 though - especially now with the electronic shut

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Sounds like GAS, sorry but my advice, try the equipment you have - the SL & Q. Perhaps just add a flash on slave & invest in an assistant. . you'll be amazed at what you can achieve.

Assistant

 

I'm actually second shooting weddings, I make very little money from photography.

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Hi There Dan

I've shot plenty of weddings with just a rangefinder. 

These days however I shoot an SL with the 24-90 zoom (and sometimes the 90-280, but not often)

Plus I have 2 M10 bodies, normally one with a 28 summilux and the other with a 75 summicron. 

 

Generally speaking I end up with about 40% taken with an M10

 

I don't use the 50SL - if I'm shooting primes I'd always prefer to use the M10

I wouldn't be without the SL and the 24-90 though - especially now with the electronic shutter.

 

All the best

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Comment out of left field (wherever that is!);

Shooting weddings is ALL about your skill, familiarity with you gear (whatever it is), and above all, your "people management skills". Everything else is secondary to the people. Your gear handling must be intuitive and reflexive. Your attention must be focused on the people, because they don't know what to expect, or how to do it. Guiding them is your job. You are the only person (who knows what to expect), who is with the bride at every stage. All other 'service' people are only there for part of the time. You are the one she can ask what to do and where, at any time.

Yours is a big responsibility. Driving your gear must be automatic (with periodic checks) because crowd control, without appearing to be controlling, is a serious art. Getting experience with another photographer can be valuable, but I found 'assistants' to be an impediment and distracting rather than helpful. Maybe that is because of my style. My weakness.

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Comment out of left field (wherever that is!);

Shooting weddings is ALL about your skill, familiarity with you gear (whatever it is), and above all, your "people management skills". Everything else is secondary to the people. Your gear handling must be intuitive and reflexive. Your attention must be focused on the people, because they don't know what to expect, or how to do it. Guiding them is your job. You are the only person (who knows what to expect), who is with the bride at every stage. All other 'service' people are only there for part of the time. You are the one she can ask what to do and where, at any time.

Yours is a big responsibility. Driving your gear must be automatic (with periodic checks) because crowd control, without appearing to be controlling, is a serious art. Getting experience with another photographer can be valuable, but I found 'assistants' to be an impediment and distracting rather than helpful. Maybe that is because of my style. My weakness.

 

Great comments John

I've seen you working with people and you are the best . . . mind you Dan was asking about the gear - and it's certainly possible to have Q / M / SL 'automatic' and instinctive to use. 

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@dancook before I lend you my M10 then....I suggest we have a day playing about with it. This Saturday??? I can move about as though I am getting married and you can attempt to photograph me :-)

 

For others - Dan and I know each other very well and live close by.

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@dancook before I lend you my M10 then....I suggest we have a day playing about with it. This Saturday??? I can move about as though I am getting married and you can attempt to photograph me :-)

 

For others - Dan and I know each other very well and live close by.

 

I'm really disappointed that you know each other.

For a minute I thought the forum was doubling up as a dating venue

:)
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@dancook before I lend you my M10 then....I suggest we have a day playing about with it. This Saturday??? I can move about as though I am getting married and you can attempt to photograph me :-)

 

For others - Dan and I know each other very well and live close by.

 

Will there be champagne and cake and if so can I come along as a 'guest' ?

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I currently own Leica Q, Leica SL, 50SL and 90-280SL.

 

I'm considering if I sold them all what I could purchase along with an M10, and still cope with wedding, events and live music.

 

I would like to hear recommended setups? particularly from those who do the same kind of stuff, and if you have links to galleries so I can see how you use them?

 

thanks

 

 

www.danielcook.com - I have numerous galleries for some of what i do (no wedding), but probably not necessary.

 

For what it is worth, I am a wedding pro and I've sold off all of my canon gear and moved to use an m10/Q combo. I primarily keep a summilux-50 on the M but also have a summicron-90 for situations that require a longer reach. I've thought about buying an R zoom lens to use with an adapter for the rare instance that I need 90mm+ but haven't found it necessary. It's true, there are times when it would be nice to have a long lens AF solution, but in the actual experience of the day I find that the times I really want AF, i.e. the really important moments that you don't want to miss, I'm close enough to the bride to shoot with the Q. The perk of being the pro at the wedding is that you are allowed to go wherever you want, shoot however you want, and people more or less stay out of your way. I'm always very discreet and never get on the altar in the church. In the rare instances where you need to block someone's view, you do it quickly and courteously. They understand why you are there. The main reason I switched was for MY EXPERIENCE in handling the gear. Yes, Leica glass is gorgeous and has a lot of character, but the same can be said of Canon/Nikon/Fuji et all. The client doesn't really care. What the M offers is the ability to slow down, not shoot so much. I find that I come home with fewer images but what I capture is that much stronger.

 

 

I'm also very curious about this new "Clooney" TL+EVF that leicarumors noted recently. I'm not sure that I would sell my Q, but it might be nice to have another body with multiple lenses available + the ability to mount M glass. 

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There are huge practical considerations when changing from anything else to an M system. You lose AF, IS, zoom lenses, real macro and long lenses straight off. You'll need to relearn focus and recompose, zone focusing and centre weighted metering. The system is vastly smaller than the SL. That of course means that any larger flash will make the camera impossibly balanced. SF 40 is as big as you go.

 

Having said that, for me, dumping a large bag of Canon gear for a pair of M9's was the vest thing I ever did, photographically. And I did so out of frustration at the Canon 50's. I shot 90% of my weddings with those two little cameras for two years. I originally had a small m43 system with a couple of zooms and a grip/flash but as time went on they got less and less use as to be essentially just backup. I dabbled with Sony, Olympus and others but always went back to the M's, which by them had grown to be a pair of 240's. Then I moved to the SL's after a dalliance with the XPro2  a great great camera).

 

As you know Dan, I'm now firmly entrenched with my SL's. I still take an M but the convenience of live view shooting and off centre focusing bring me back to the SL.

 

There's no doubt that an M will change what you shoot and the way you shoot. The camera design and layout guide you in a certain direction. It's not better or worse. Just different but a lot of people find their first couple of months with an M that they have 90% of subjects dead centre in the frame. They stop using flash. They don't shoot longer than 90mm. After that you'll develop new techniques and muscle memory to shoot with more variety and if you're like me you actulayy enjoy the lack of lens options and endless variations.

 

So is it possible to work with M's. Damn straight it is. I've done it and I could do it again in a heart beat.

 

It's also not for everyone.

 

First things first. The SL50 has to go. It's obviously not the lens for you. Your images are great from it but you've been on about this for a while. Sell it. Should be easy enough as there are few new ones available.

 

I would seriously consider replacing it with an M50 'lux ASPH and an M adaptor. Get a mint used one. Optically it's close enough to the SL version you'll be happy with the files (very happy actually). It's dead easy to focus on the SL and if you do continue down the M road it'll be the centre of your kit any way. The SL with a 50 'lux M is a camera transformed. It'll instantly feel light and agile. Plenty of room on the table for it. For a bit you'll have the stability of keeping your SL while you trial the manual focus experience. Shoot it for at least a month.

 

After a month, rent an M10. Take your *new* 50 and shoot it on the M10. Skip the M9 and unless you need video, the 240. The M10 has the sensor you want in the lighting conditions you shoot in. Think SL but just a bit better. In a week you'll know if you want the M10. If you want it you'll want it bad..... Then you'll try and find a way to make an APO 135mm work for you. I think you'll find that the 135 works fine on the M10 (but is a PITA on any other M) but is vastly easier on the SL. So you need to make a decision now about switching bodies or just using the 50 'lux M on the SL. A lot of people do.

 

If the SL and M lenses work for you you'll have solved your issues with size and focusing and you'll have spent no extra money without losing any capabilities. Then if you've got the bug you can save for the M10 and consider whether the M10 might get a 28mm as well as the 50 and replace the Q, or not. Also keep in mind that there's no other system with a match for the 90-280. Certainly not any zoom in that range that's it's optical equal. The Olympus 40-150 is the closest.

 

If you do go the M10 route straight away, you'll need a second body. Unfortunately the TL2 is out as the AF isn't good enough in low light. The obvious choice is an XT2 or XPro2. Great glass. Small. IQ only a small step from the SL. Good AF. Pathetic battery life. Think 10 for a long wedding. If you like Leica's colours you won't like Sony's skin tones. You can fix them. It's just extra work in post on every shoot. You might consider a GX8 or EM1.2. They both focus on nearly anything in any light. Remarkable. But a few less pixels, another step down in high ISO performance and a different aspect ration to the M. Realistically you'll get a Fuji and a lot of batteries but you'll be satisfied with the camera and lenses. The Fuji pro zooms are good but bigger than you might expect although smaller than Leicas.

 

So I think...

 

Q, SL, 50 lux M, 90-280

 

or

 

M10, 28 Cron, 50 lux M, XPro2, 50-140 2.8.

 

Gordon

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Don't Do It!  

 

I have an M10, a Q, and an SL.  I love all three.  But for the uses you are describing, you already have the best tool in the form of the SL.  As others have said, it's perfectly possible to shoot a wedding with an 'M', but for someone just starting out with rangefinders I think it would be a mistake.  If you want to shrink the size of your camera for "walk around" purposes, bring the 'Q'.  If you want to shirnk the SL so you can use it for walking around, sell the 50mm and buy a couple 'M' primes.  If you want the best wedding camera Leica currently makes, I'd just sell the 50mm and get the 24-90.  

 

Look, the M10 is a wonderful camera.  I am enjoying the heck out of mine.  Any time I'm not in a rush it's my camera of choice.  There is no question I am a better photographer when I shoot with the M10 because it forces me to slow down, think about light, think about my composition, think about my aperture, think about my technique, even think about the tones of my subject and how the light meter is likely messing up.  But getting comfortable with it takes time.  And getting comfortable enough with it and fast enough with it that you would choose it as your weapon of choice for a wedding?  Well, I'm still not there.  I'd rather have the fast, accurate autofocus for a wedding.  I'd rather have the ability to move my focus point.  I'd rather have the image stabilization.  For events where you can't miss a shot, especially events where you're PAID not to miss a shot, I'd want the SL.  I just wouldn't want the 50mm Summilux-SL lens.

 

- Jared

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I think there are too many assumptions about shooting weddings in this thread. There are MANY different ways to shoot them. Styles change over the years. Over say 40 years my style changed a number of times, as I know did others. I shot more weddings on Hasselblad than most of you have had hot dinners! I was in demand, so my style was effective. The gear was heavy, making any Leica gear look like a toy. It produced a particular style because it was deliberate. There was no demand to be fast or to rush.

 

My point? The expressed need for auto-focus and image stabilisation, by some aficionados, to decry the Leica M10's functionality as a wedding camera is false. In latter years, I switched to shooting Leica M6 and M7 for weddings, very successfully. It was dictated by a change of shooting style, not my 'desire' to shoot Leicas. Leicas are plenty fast enough to shoot candid work at a wedding, if that is the desire. The weakest point is their flash capability. Not good for balancing with daylight. This can be a distinct style limitation for weddings.

 

Summarizing, your brief and your style should dictate the best tool for the shoot, and in some scenarios, the M10, or any Leica, can be the best choice. Not necessarily what some other photographer recommends, unless you are very familiar with that photographer's working style, and you like it.

Edited by erl
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There are huge practical considerations when changing from anything else to an M system. You lose AF, IS, zoom lenses, real macro and long lenses straight off. You'll need to relearn focus and recompose, zone focusing and centre weighted metering. The system is vastly smaller than the SL. That of course means that any larger flash will make the camera impossibly balanced. SF 40 is as big as you go.

 

Having said that, for me, dumping a large bag of Canon gear for a pair of M9's was the vest thing I ever did, photographically. And I did so out of frustration at the Canon 50's. I shot 90% of my weddings with those two little cameras for two years. I originally had a small m43 system with a couple of zooms and a grip/flash but as time went on they got less and less use as to be essentially just backup. I dabbled with Sony, Olympus and others but always went back to the M's, which by them had grown to be a pair of 240's. Then I moved to the SL's after a dalliance with the XPro2  a great great camera).

 

As you know Dan, I'm now firmly entrenched with my SL's. I still take an M but the convenience of live view shooting and off centre focusing bring me back to the SL.

 

There's no doubt that an M will change what you shoot and the way you shoot. The camera design and layout guide you in a certain direction. It's not better or worse. Just different but a lot of people find their first couple of months with an M that they have 90% of subjects dead centre in the frame. They stop using flash. They don't shoot longer than 90mm. After that you'll develop new techniques and muscle memory to shoot with more variety and if you're like me you actulayy enjoy the lack of lens options and endless variations.

 

So is it possible to work with M's. Damn straight it is. I've done it and I could do it again in a heart beat.

 

It's also not for everyone.

 

First things first. The SL50 has to go. It's obviously not the lens for you. Your images are great from it but you've been on about this for a while. Sell it. Should be easy enough as there are few new ones available.

 

I would seriously consider replacing it with an M50 'lux ASPH and an M adaptor. Get a mint used one. Optically it's close enough to the SL version you'll be happy with the files (very happy actually). It's dead easy to focus on the SL and if you do continue down the M road it'll be the centre of your kit any way. The SL with a 50 'lux M is a camera transformed. It'll instantly feel light and agile. Plenty of room on the table for it. For a bit you'll have the stability of keeping your SL while you trial the manual focus experience. Shoot it for at least a month.

 

After a month, rent an M10. Take your *new* 50 and shoot it on the M10. Skip the M9 and unless you need video, the 240. The M10 has the sensor you want in the lighting conditions you shoot in. Think SL but just a bit better. In a week you'll know if you want the M10. If you want it you'll want it bad..... Then you'll try and find a way to make an APO 135mm work for you. I think you'll find that the 135 works fine on the M10 (but is a PITA on any other M) but is vastly easier on the SL. So you need to make a decision now about switching bodies or just using the 50 'lux M on the SL. A lot of people do.

 

If the SL and M lenses work for you you'll have solved your issues with size and focusing and you'll have spent no extra money without losing any capabilities. Then if you've got the bug you can save for the M10 and consider whether the M10 might get a 28mm as well as the 50 and replace the Q, or not. Also keep in mind that there's no other system with a match for the 90-280. Certainly not any zoom in that range that's it's optical equal. The Olympus 40-150 is the closest.

 

If you do go the M10 route straight away, you'll need a second body. Unfortunately the TL2 is out as the AF isn't good enough in low light. The obvious choice is an XT2 or XPro2. Great glass. Small. IQ only a small step from the SL. Good AF. Pathetic battery life. Think 10 for a long wedding. If you like Leica's colours you won't like Sony's skin tones. You can fix them. It's just extra work in post on every shoot. You might consider a GX8 or EM1.2. They both focus on nearly anything in any light. Remarkable. But a few less pixels, another step down in high ISO performance and a different aspect ration to the M. Realistically you'll get a Fuji and a lot of batteries but you'll be satisfied with the camera and lenses. The Fuji pro zooms are good but bigger than you might expect although smaller than Leicas.

 

So I think...

 

Q, SL, 50 lux M, 90-280

 

or

 

M10, 28 Cron, 50 lux M, XPro2, 50-140 2.8.

 

Gordon

 

Thanks for that detailed plan

I still have the m adapter, having had the 50 m-lux previously..

 

I'll give it some good thought

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I have been admiring the photos that you have posted from the SL,  regarding the 90-280 lens, I saw that Aperture in London had a mint one for sale a few weeks ago, allowing for commission the seller would have received less than half the price new in the UK, I was quite shocked to see a Leica lens lose so much value. The SL 50 is much rarer and should command a better price .

 

As others have said the M10 is a great camera once you have got the hang of it, good luck !

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