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budjames

The "Leica Look" is real!

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Yes, of course I know, those were implemented to bring it closer to the Elements/Lightroom family. Personally I prefer to do only the basic raw conversion parameter settings in ACR and all the other adjustments in the more flexible PS environment.

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Here's a B&W image taken with the M10 and the Summilux 35-FLE, which I think has the look of this lens at f/1.4 despite the processing, which aimed at an expressionist look achieved through high contrast to tame (simplify) the background. For me, it retains a Leica look.

A digression on the processing: I started with B&W conversion in Lightroom; then tried Silver Efex and then a B&W preset from the M-Looks Pro preset package that I wrote about in this LUF post. It was the first time that I found that I could get a result that I liked better than what I got from Silver Efex. Then, I thought I would try the Color Efex B&W Filter, which I had used for one high-contrast landscape that I liked a lot: that gave the result that I used. Actually, it required the least processing: no selecting burning or dodging in LR afterwards.

M10 | Summilux 35-FLE | ISO 200 | f/1.4 | 1/180 sec

Edited by Nowhereman

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I took this long ago when people seemed to take the 'Leica glow' as an unquestioned fact. Using an M6 and a Summicron 50, I braced myself against a door frame and shot this at f/2 and 1/30s. Film was C-41 B&W.

Edited by Trivette

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The glow and the treatment of edges  of the Leica look wasn't invented by Leica.  An exhibit of Brassai's pictures from his "Paris by Night" works gives many examples of this look.  My favorite, which I can't link directly because the copyright is still active, is the 1932 shot of lovers lit by a streetlight.  (Actually I suspect that an assistant set off flash powder just around the corner.)

Take a look: https://theredlist.com/media/database/photography/history/celebrite-portrait/brassai-/066-brassai-theredlist.jpg

 

Edited by scott kirkpatrick

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Brassai learned about night photography (and more) from Andre Kertesz, another wonderful photographer who produced terrific work whether using his Leica or many of his other cameras/formats.  I have most of their books (first editions), including both the English and French editions of Paris by Night, as well as a vintage Brassai print.  Lovely in print or book form.  It's not about the gear.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S

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Brassai's negatives must have been almost unprintable.  How do the prints look in the first editions?

And that is a great body of work.  His shots of people, especially his gangsters and bystanders by streetlights set the style for Scorsese, and his three "dancers parading before the show" is almost exactly a Diane Arbus.  

Edited by scott kirkpatrick

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15 hours ago, scott kirkpatrick said:

Brassai's negatives must have been almost unprintable.  How do the prints look in the first editions?

 

The original 1932 Paris de Nuit is noteworthy not only because of the wonderful pictures, but for its stunning gravure printing, which was way ahead of its time, and was the absolutely perfect means to convey the full range and subtlety of light and dark.  It has a spiral binding and a fragile clear cover that makes it difficult to find a near pristine copy... like mine. :) It’s a favorite in my collection.

BTW, I confused my mention of the original French and later English printings, which are not remotely similar in print quality (at least no English versions I’ve seen). I was thinking instead of Frank’s The Americans, which I have in both language first editions.  These each have lovely print quality, but differ in presentation format.

Jeff

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15 hours ago, scott kirkpatrick said:

Brassai's negatives must have been almost unprintable.  How do the prints look in the first editions?

Almost is not impossible. Clearly they were printed. Look to how difficult some of HBC's negatives were.

 

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On 2/4/2019 at 9:02 PM, IamTheDistance said:

If you are bored, you can see the blind test I've just created. I started an 'one-post-only' blog just for this purpose. It's not my personal blog so it's not spam. This is the URL https://theleicalook.home.blog/2019/02/04/leica-look-is-real-or-not/ 

Thanks for that. Hand on heart I chose the M10 photos though with trepidation as i scrolled down to the answer. The Canon was, imho, by far the worst. And this was based on the small picture set too,

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4 hours ago, howiebrou said:

Thanks for that. Hand on heart I chose the M10 photos though with trepidation as i scrolled down to the answer. The Canon was, imho, by far the worst. And this was based on the small picture set too,

I had the same feeling ... comparing 2, 3, and 9 for colour rendering made the Leica ever so slightly more impressive and realistic. And 5 was a prime example for direct sunlight, although with a couple of settings, the Fuji and Canon could have done better. Just my two cents.

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