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The main problem of the "Leica look"


setuporg

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... is that you get used to it.

I shoot M, Q2, SL2, and S007 systems, and now recognize the "Leica look" as desirable -- a good photo has it.

The flip side is that I see photographs taken with other systems and immediately recognize them as lacking -- the skies are flat, the foliage is either to kitschy or not rich enough, the blur is either not there at all or kinda sad.

What's interesting is that such clearly flat, uninteresting photos are accompanying for instance travel writing in the New York Times online.  Perhaps they are not optimizing their images for the web?

National Geographic is beyond reproach here, they really do stellar work.

The most organic and immediate Leica look I see OOC is with the S system, where every shot separates the subject as only the 50 APO does on the M, or the Summicrons do on the SL.  But you learn to appreciate, recognize and expect the Leica look across all Leicas.

This notably comes up with the X1D system.  Although it is wonderful, I immediately notice the lack of the Leica look OOC.  OTOH, folks like @Vieri say it is superior for landscape.  Vieri shot with the S system and reviewed SL 16-35 before going all in with the X1D and XCD lenses.  He can achieve fantastic results in post.

I wonder whether the Leica look is our shared set of values, or a niche / camp hobby?  Is it something that helps us differentiate or narrows our view?

Moderators: I could have placed this in any of the systems in hand, notably S, but it has the least readership, so putting it where the most "Leica look" is made.  Feel free to relocate if needed, but I assume the M photographers are the main keepers of the æsthetics, and the oldest, from the M3 on.  In my view, the Leica look was created there and the Q/L/S systems simply expand on it and emphasize it, taking it to the new levels.

Edited by setuporg
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vor 44 Minuten schrieb setuporg:

...
...The most organic and immediate Leica look I see OOC is with the S system, where every shot separates the subject as only the 50 APO does on the M, or the Summicrons do on the SL.  But you learn to appreciate, recognize and expect the Leica look across all Leicas.

...

How about Zeiss lenses? They have the Zeiss 3D-Pop. That comes close to the Leica look.

vor 44 Minuten schrieb setuporg:

...This notably comes up with the X1D system.  Although it is wonderful, I immediately notice the lack of the Leica look OOC....

I agree. X1D files require extensive post-processing skills to get the Leica look. It comes with the territory as they say. Build MF for the palm of one’s hand and be ready to do a lot more work in post.

vor 44 Minuten schrieb setuporg:

...

I wonder whether the Leica look is our shared set of values, or a niche / camp hobby?  Is it something that helps us differentiate or narrows our view?

...

The Leica look also connotes solidarity in times of crisis. There’s a whole thread on COVID-19 for this reason in Barnack’s bar.

vor 44 Minuten schrieb setuporg:

...

Moderators: I could have placed this in any of the systems in hand, notably S, but it has the least readership, so putting it where the most "Leica look" is made.  Feel free to relocate if needed, but I assume the M photographers are the main keepers of the æsthetics, and the oldest, from the M3 on.  In my view, the Leica look was created there and the Q/L/S systems simply expand on it and emphasize it, taking it to the new levels.

Personally, I think it’s perfect right here. The Q/L/S systems are capable of the Leica look 2.0., IMO.

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1 minute ago, astrostl said:

A la audiophile double-blinds, I have incredible doubt that folks can reliably detect a "Leica look".

In 1968 the local Leica dealer in our college town was about to put on a "Leitz show" at the college of the equipment they sold - much to the college departments, including Leitz projectors. So a group of us went out into the fall woods to collect Kodachrome slide to show - most using Leicas , but also some Nikon F, Pentax Spotmatic, etc. The best slides were loaded into Leitz trays for the Rep to preview. In going through them projected large he flagged several to remove, saying "That wasn't with a Leica lens." He was right in every case. I couldn't tell the difference, but that convinced me the difference was there.

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vor 11 Minuten schrieb astrostl:

A la audiophile double-blinds, I have incredible doubt that folks can reliably detect a "Leica look".

... especially in times when almost every so called “stellar” pic has been heavily worked on with some kind of software.

Edited by Knipsknecht
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I am actually not so much interested in OOC pictures as all my RAWs need to be reworked in post (I use Adobe CC). I am a Canon (5D Mk IV) and Leica (M10 and Q2) shooter. For Canon system I have 11 lenses and for 6 lenses for the M. Leica I use mainly because it is small, light and beautifull. Canon is my hard working tool. With any lens on any of my cameras I get excellent results and after my Lightroom work I can not see a difference. Depending on the light in automatic White Balance setting I get better results OOC with Canon or with Leica. It depends. When I look at my prints I never talk about 3D or Leica look. I do not see that in my final products. I do not believe in that APO hype either.

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vor 19 Minuten schrieb TomB_tx:

 "That wasn't with a Leica lens." He was right in every case. I couldn't tell the difference, but that convinced me the difference was there.

If you - as an experienced photographer - do not see the difference, the difference is so marginal, that it can be neglected. With film it was possible to mark the side a negative/slide. Herewith it was easy to detect betray.

Have you ever seen a show of the "Ehrlich brothers"? Hard to tell, how they do it.

On the other hand a moderator of the forum should be able to detect entries, that are not made with Leica equipment! Two times I was censured! But ... they read the accompanying text.:(

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1 hour ago, Knipsknecht said:

... especially in times when almost every so called “stellar” pic has been heavily worked on with some kind of software.

You mean like this? For more examples of darkroom dodging and burning, click here.

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

________________________
Frog Leaping photobook

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The real problem with seeing "a" Leica look — is that there have been so many of them. ;)

"Leica glow," "clarity," "3D appearance," "a kind of contrast "(vs. "contrast in all the wrong places," as one friend described Nikkor lenses), "Berek vs. Mandler vs. Kölsche vs. Karbe," "computer evaluation of the point-spread function and the 'merit value'," etc. etc.

Summar vs. Hektor vs. 1950s Summicron vs. Elmar vs.1980s Summicron vs. 2020 Summicron. 75 Summilux vs. 75 APO-Summicron.

Ralph Gibson, Ernst Haas, Jim Marshall, Dennis Stock, Lee Friedlander, Elliott Erwitt, Sebastião Salgado, Tony Ray-Jones, Costa Manos, David Alan Harvey, Alex Webb, Paul Fusco - plus all the other "usual suspects."

Kodachrome vs. Ektachrome vs. Velvia vs. Tri-X vs. TX400 vs. HP5 vs. HP4 vs. HP3.

What is the consistent Leica similarity across all of those?

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5 hours ago, adan said:

The real problem with seeing "a" Leica look — is that there have been so many of them

or the real blessing. 

I've been a canon/sony/nikon shooter all my life. Got an M6 out of curiosity last year. I followed a hipster trend that said I had to shoot on film If I wanted to be cool. 

Except that I got obsessed with it. I went on to buy an M10. Then a Q2, and now an SL2-S. They are my main three cameras, and they are about to make me get rid of all the rest. I never thought I could live without my Sony, but since my first injection of Leica, things have changed. 

The look is obvious indeed , and its impossible to reproduce. I have tried. You can't. 

And as you start loving Leica more and more, it does become quite obvious that they are so many looks to Leica. I love it. 

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More about the Leica ‘hook’ than the Leica ‘look’... exacerbated by GAS.  
 

I can’t recall any ‘fine print’ that I’ve made in 40 years, film and digital, that didn’t require some degree of post processing, small or large.  Across 11 camera brands, including Leica, and from 35mm to 4x5. If we try, we’re fortunate at some point to create our own recognizable look(s). Too many variables to mention, the biggest ones between our ears.
 

Jeff

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1 minute ago, otto.f said:

Not so sure it still exists in what Leica produced the last 5 years. 

Oh come on! It might have evolved, like someone else said into v2 look, but don’t tell me any camera can reproduce the look of: 

- the q/q2

- the SL with the SL35 APO

- to a lesser extent, the M10 monochrome 

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Interesting how others say about a distinct look but when it comes defining it people have varying opinions about it. No definitive consensus imo.

I wonder if you can simulate the look with just the m camera(digital) and non leica lenses. Moreover can u even tell the look with aspc leica bodies and lens or even leica compact cameras. How about the leica sofort? Does that have the look?

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