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M7 Aperure Priority Use


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#1 ash13brook

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 15:04

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Do those of you using M7s use the aperture priority feature often?

Do you find it to be reliable?

I want to add another body and am agonizing over it, apparently. I like the idea of my M4-P having NO batteries. But at the same time, it would be convenient sometimes - especially when going from outside to inside and back a lot - to set to a mid aperture and let the camera take care of the rest as opposed to resetting(or forgetting to) back and forth. 

 

Thanks,

Matt



#2 enboe

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 16:07

Use it - yes.

 

Reliable - define reliable.  It is repeatable, but remember it is just measuring the reflection of the white spot off the shutter curtain, something that gives a broad, center-weighted metering sensitivity pattern.  If you have a subject surrounded by large areas at a different luminance, you will get the wrong exposure reading.  Think of the meter as an aid to your brain in judging if the exposure needs an adjustment or not.

 

Same goes for the M6, MP, and all the digital M's too.

 

Eric



#3 TomB_tx

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 18:40

I don't have an M7, but when I was thinking about one I tried the Zeiss Ikon ZM, which has pretty much the same functionality, but a better viewfinder. I've used it in aperture priority quite a bit, and it does very well. If you can find a good used body they are much less expensive than the M7. It doesn't feel like a Leica, but it is a fine camera.


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#4 pico

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 20:59

It is generally very good.
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#5 ash13brook

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 14:17

I used to be a weekend stringer for a Chicago suburban paper. I never got out of my car without a camera on my shoulder - ever. Not even to run into the store for a gallon of milk.
The other night, I ran into Popeye's Chicken(I thought Popeye was famous for spinach?) to grab some food. It was fairly hot inside and the outside doors were propped open. As I was standing to the side waiting for my food, I noticed a couple of the cooks standing in front of the open door of the walk-in freezer, trying to cool off, a cold cloud swirling around them. On the drive home, I was thinking that in the "old days", I would have had that shot sitting comfortably in my camera.
Would it have been a great shot? Maybe not, but, I'll never know.
I'm thinking if I was using something a little automatic, I might carry it around a little more. Something I could leave at a mid aperture and depend on the camera to take care of the rest so I could focus and shoot.
That's why I'm asking. Seems it should be plenty good for that. I figured it was, but thought I'd get some opinions.

Matt

Edited by ash13brook, 16 April 2018 - 14:19.


#6 MarkP

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 14:19

I love my M7 .

 

I often use it on aperture priority Auto, but not just to let the light meter do the work on it's own (although it does quite well if left to it's own devices).

 

I quickly scan the scene for its light range, when I've decided on the shutter speed I want I move the camera till Auto advises of that shutter speed, I then lock it in, recompose, and shoot. Takes only a moment.  It also gives me an opportunity to better understand the light in the photo.

 

So much faster than metering, manually adjusting the shutter speed dial, and then shooting, especially in changing light conditions.


Edited by MarkP, 16 April 2018 - 14:21.

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#7 MarkP

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 14:22

I used to be a weekend stringer for a Chicago suburban paper. I never got out of my car without a camera on my shoulder - ever. Not even to run into the store for a gallon of milk.
The other night, I ran into Popeye's Chicken(I thought Popeye was famous for spinach?) to grab some food. It was fairly hot inside and the outside doors were propped open. As I was standing to the side waiting for my food, I noticed a couple of the cooks standing in front of the open door of the walk-in freezer, trying to cool off, a cold cloud swirling around them. On the drive home, I was thinking that in the "old days", I would have had that shot sitting comfortably in my camera.
Would it have been a great shot? Maybe not, but, I'll never know.
I'm thinking if I was using something a little automatic, I might carry it around a little more. Something I could leave at a mid aperture and depend on the camera to take care of the rest so I could focus and shoot.
That's why I'm asking. Seems it should be plenty good for that. I figured it was, but thought I'd get some opinions.

Matt

 

Contax T2 or preferably T3 :-)



#8 enboe

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:31

I quickly scan the scene for its light range, when I've decided on the shutter speed I want I move the camera till Auto advises of that shutter speed, I then lock it in, recompose, and shoot. Takes only a moment.

 

 

I found the same technique here, although I have given it the slang name of "nodding" the camera as I often am working for longer exposures and the ground is less bright than the sky.  Fun times.

 

Eric


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#9 david strachan

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:43

"Nodding"...good term Eric. I do that a lot with my cameras too.

...

Edited by david strachan, 17 April 2018 - 03:45.

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#10 Nick Bedford

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:44

I bought a second hand M7 as my film Leica model for that very reason. I use aperture priority until I have a reason to lock down the exposure beyond a single frame and use manual shutter speed. Manual is great for consistent lighting, but I'm often in frequently varying conditions.

 

For me, AUTO along with the exposure lock button replaces the slower manual shutter-speed adjustment required on the M6 and others. Not only that, I shoot street photography which means that the metering of my shots can be anywhere from Sunny 16 to dark shaded areas and I just don't want to have to deal with manually changing the exposure.

 

The M7 meter has been as reliable as anything else I've used. It's a large spot meter essentially, so it just means you have to learn how to effectively meter using that. For backlit scenes, I make sure to scan the frame and lock the exposure on the most appropriate.


Edited by Nick Bedford, 17 April 2018 - 03:45.

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#11 gotium

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 06:19

Yes and yes. As reliable as any other metering I’ve used. ‘A’ mode is fast when you see a shot and don’t have time, and it is reliable to meter by pointing at something of the relevant brightness and recomposing. Then switch to manual later if you have more time.

#12 ash13brook

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 02:39

That's the info i was looking for.

I'm fine shooting outside where the exposure, for the most part, is bouncing back and forth between basically two - sunny and shady. I know that's a little bit of an over simplification.

But, sometimes, just carrying the camera during regular everyday running around I don't want to have to be thinking of changing the shutter speed( I prefer use a fairly constant aperture) all the time.

Thanks for all the responses. Now, i guess I better start accumulating the money and warming my wife up for the purchase( actually easier than I make it sound).

 

MarkP- I appreciate your suggestions, but it took me quite awhile to pull off being able to buy into the Leica and I decided from the start I was only using Leica exclusively for this particular part of my photography. That's probably why, so far, I only have two lenses. I'm sure the Contax and the other non- Leica bodies and lenses are probably as good as the Leica these days, but(at the risk of sounding snobby) they're not what I want at this time.

 

Matt


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#13 michiel_fokkema

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 23:20

I bought the M7 because of the AE feature. Otherwise I'd stick to my M6.



#14 Mark II

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 17:12

I am going to confess to almost always using the auto mode on my M7.

 

Once you understand the metering pattern with a given lens it because really fast and accurate to use. I find that the key is the ability to lock exposure with a half-press, which makes adjusting the shutter speed (via reframing + exposure lock) quicker and more accurate than turning the dial manually.

 

I use fully manual mode only when I expect to take several shots quickly in consistent lighting, or for special effects (esp motion blur).

 

Also, I have no idea why but the metering on my M7 always seems to be much more dependable than from a digital M. Maybe this is just perception given the better highlight retention on film.



#15 jmr237

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 23:23

Also, I have no idea why but the metering on my M7 always seems to be much more dependable than from a digital M. Maybe this is just perception given the better highlight retention on film.

 

 

As long as you don't underexpose, you can be off with color negative film by several stops without noticing much of a difference. So it's more about the nature of the capture medium than the metering of the M7. Both the M7 and digital M bodies meter off the gray/white paint on the closed shutter.


Edited by jmr237, 27 April 2018 - 23:23.

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#16 erl

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Posted 28 April 2018 - 00:24

I have shot thousands of exposures using the M7 to cover live stage and theatrical performances (full dress rehearsals) in the past. Frequently the action was very fast and no real time available the be adjusting exposures. The M7 light meter performed brilliantly IMO. There were some duds exposure wise, maybe 5% (?). A typical performance would see me shoot 13 rolls of 36 exp (changing film in the dark!) and keep shooting. I was required to produce approx 30 A2 prints for foyer display in under 20 hours after shooting, plus assorted smaller sizes covering the show.

 

The M7 nailed the exposure. Almost always I used Auto setting and choosing my aperture manually. On odd occasions, when lighting was changing rapidly in the extreme, I did need to revert to fully manual settings, but that was the the exception.

 

You can have total confidence in the M7 if you learn how it functions.


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#17 Paul Verrips

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Posted 29 April 2018 - 14:44

Aperture priority on the M7 is excellent. I switch now and then between my M7 an my M-A, because i also love shooting by the rule of sunny sixteen. But he M7 also work without battery on 1/125 and 1/60. That seems to be a bit limited, but thats more a personal preference. 



#18 Nick Bedford

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 05:15

The M7 has a large spot meter (white circle on black) compared to a center-weighted meter in the digital M cameras, which could be the reason.

 

Also, I have no idea why but the metering on my M7 always seems to be much more dependable than from a digital M. Maybe this is just perception given the better highlight retention on film.



#19 Mark II

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 16:04

Yes, I have often wondered why that was changed. Presumably it was cheaper and easier to paint a single shutter blade differently than to paint a pattern spanning several.

 

Another oddity with both analogue and digital Leica metering is caused by the use of a single photosensor. Because this is off to one side there is a noticeable difference in the meter sensitivity between the top and bottom halves of the image (about 1/2 stop when I last tried to check). I have never found this a problem on film, however I am surprised that the digital M's have not adopted something more sophisticated (like two sensors :)



#20 jaapv

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 16:23

It cannot really be the shape and size of the white dot. Even if the complete shutter blades are painted white, the field of view of the measuring cell limits the area to mimic the film M's dot approximately.

It may well be that film, by not blowing highlights and not producing a histogram, is regarded less critically than a digital file.


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