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On the road again - Robb's Leica Adventures


robb

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As a general rule, I try to hit focus on the closer eye.  The black and white photo on my screen shows both eyes mostly in focus.  the color photo, has the back eye in focus which doesn’t bother me.  If both eyes were soft, I wouldn’t use the photo even though I know others would not be that critical.  
 

These photos are also of my kid on vacation and not a paid corporate gig so I’m less critical on back eye vs close eye. She was super excited to have some new photos after graduating college.  I’m not sure most non-photographers would notice or cause them to deep-six the image.  

 

I did not zoom in to check during this shoot due to the relaxed nature.  I use back button focus only so I believe only afs is available for this use.  The size of the focusing box will also play a role in your “success rate”.

 

Thanks for your comments and taking the time to look at the images.  
 

Robb

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39 minutes ago, robb said:

I use back button focus only so I believe only afs is available for this use.  The size of the focusing box will also play a role in your “success rate”.

I use back button focus exclusively with my Sl bodies and have one profile for AF-S and one for AF-C and a FN button that allows me to switch between them.  

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vor einer Stunde schrieb robb:

As a general rule, I try to hit focus on the closer eye.  The black and white photo on my screen shows both eyes mostly in focus.  the color photo, has the back eye in focus which doesn’t bother me.  If both eyes were soft, I wouldn’t use the photo even though I know others would not be that critical.  
 

These photos are also of my kid on vacation and not a paid corporate gig so I’m less critical on back eye vs close eye. She was super excited to have some new photos after graduating college.  I’m not sure most non-photographers would notice or cause them to deep-six the image.  

 

I did not zoom in to check during this shoot due to the relaxed nature.  I use back button focus only so I believe only afs is available for this use.  The size of the focusing box will also play a role in your “success rate”.

 

Thanks for your comments and taking the time to look at the images.  
 

Robb

These are nice picture and certainly work. It’s fully understandable how they were taken. I was asking to see if you relied on the camera’s face recognition mode or if for some reason you preferred the eye farther from the camera because the lens renders the area in front of the focus point quite nicely, too.

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37 minutes ago, Chaemono said:

These are nice picture and certainly work. It’s fully understandable how they were taken. I was asking to see if you relied on the camera’s face recognition mode or if for some reason you preferred the eye farther from the camera because the lens renders the area in front of the focus point quite nicely, too.

I’m not aware that the back button can use face recognition mode without it also connecting to the shutter button, so I cannot use those features.

 

my biggest wish is to allow all focus modes with the back button and the front shutter only being used for the trigger…. Like canon and Nikon have had for 35 years…

 

Robb

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2 hours ago, robb said:

I’m not aware that the back button can use face recognition mode without it also connecting to the shutter button, so I cannot use those features.

 

my biggest wish is to allow all focus modes with the back button and the front shutter only being used for the trigger…. Like canon and Nikon have had for 35 years…

MySL2 works that way if I select Face-Eye recognition.

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Thanks for sharing these examples and thoughts on the lenses, very enjoyable.

Just confirming I also routinely use AF-S BBF with face recognition on the joy stick, shutter button only for capture. It works very well (when there is sufficient light) and when it can't pick ups a face it defaults to normal field focus.

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52 minutes ago, hoolyproductions said:

Thanks for sharing these examples and thoughts on the lenses, very enjoyable.

Just confirming I also routinely use AF-S BBF with face recognition on the joy stick, shutter button only for capture. It works very well (when there is sufficient light) and when it can't pick ups a face it defaults to normal field focus.

I really appreciate the clarification and tip.  And also to the others discussing this.  I will try to use it in that mode in the next week to get used to how it works.  But I would likely find it very useful.

Robb

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New profoto connect for Leica arrived.  Will be used all the time this year.

Robb

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  • 2 weeks later...

Testing the new small and light weight B10 with the Profoto Connect Pro for the SL2.  Fits my standard speed rings and all my current soft boxes and octa's from elinchrom so I'm happy.  The controller adjusts power up and down quickly without leaving the camera or shooting spot.  My sync menu does not include HSS so I will see if there is some trick there.  I just uploaded latest firmware.  We'll see how it goes outdoors once that is added or revealed... lol

And I reiterate my love for the 75 apo.

Equipment Testing in Tucson, Arizona - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 75mm Asph, iso 50, 1/250th at f 2.5

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I love portraits in B&W but mixed these up because of the newly dyed red hair to show the camera and strobe color palette.

Equipment Testing in Tucson, Arizona - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 75mm Asph, iso 50, 1/250th at f 2.5

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Focussed on the closer eye zoomed in manually.  The Sl2 and SL2-s viewfinders don't do well shooting in M mode in a dark area with flash even with P-A-S mode set with extended on.  Some kind of modeling light is required.  Otherwise a dslr like the S3 would be quicker and preferable.  But the APO lenses really make finding work arounds in these type of situations worth it...  I have an x2d on order.  We'll see how Hasselblad does with strobe and its viewfinder settings.  

Equipment Testing in Tucson, Arizona - Leica SL2-s with APO Summicron SL 75mm Asph, iso 50, 1/250th at f 2.5

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1 hour ago, garysamson said:

I am curious why you did not use the native ISO of 100 when making the test flash shots of your daughter?

I used two flash systems for testing the new connect pro.  The first was an Acute 600 watt pack dialed all the way down.  It couldn’t go any lower.  That gave me f 2.5 at 250th iso 50.  I did not want to shoot at f 4.0 to get to iso 100.  I guess I could have used n ND or polarizer but it was dark enough shooting this without a modeling light on my acute pack.

I kept the iso and settings the same when checking out the new b10 to compare quality and establish some numbers for different distances with the new system.

the second b10 250 watt monolight was set at 5.0 out of 10.0 on the power scale.  so I could have shot at 4.0 power setting and raised iso to 100 but didn’t see my giant benefit to the higher iso.  What do you see as the benefits of 100 vs 50?  I’m happy to learn something new.  I haven’t really ever over thought minimum iso.  Thanks.

Robb

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Super sharp images Robb with full tonal values in both colour and black and white. I appreciate the presentation of the images made at the time of testing of the flash with your minimum exposure for wide open. Although appearing a little darker here, the images have everything they need for retouching and other post production work to proceed. Unliveable sharpness once again/

Best

Ken     

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Skin tones are beautiful. Again, besides sensitivity, natural, pleasing colour is the SL2-S and the SL lenses' superpower. I know that the remarks below are your 101, but as this is a forum, perhaps these thoughts might be of general interest, as I am wondering why you shot at ISO 50. Can you elaborate on that, as my experience with flash is limited, and I might miss out on something essential?

(The SL2-S sensor is invariant from EI 100-3200. Only after that signal amplifying kicks in. In that bracket, one only moves the middle grey up and down, or to say it in analogue film terms, the sensor's ISO is fixed, and you over or underexpose the film all else equal as you would with exposure compensation or a different EI rating compared to the box speed.

ISO 50, on the other hand, is out of that bracket and inevitably leads to overexposure and thus needs exposure compensation of -1 stop to bring it back. In other words, with ISO 50, one is sacrificing one stop of DR on the highlights end for nought, as ISO 50 offers no advantage over ISO 100 in terms of noise. But even with ISO 100, one has no leeway on the highlights end, and accidental overexposure will inevitably lead to lost information in the highlights. That's why I find using the base ISO (here ISO 100) as a safe haven problematic, as the term "base" is misleading.

I prefer ISO 800 for the most motives because I like the texture I get without losing the SL2-S' rich colour in the shadows. If lustre and cleanliness to the max are the goals, ISO 200 fits. Otherwise, ISO 400 gives you a balanced, full DR from the shadows to the highlights with the best signal-to-noise ratio in high-contrast environments such as a city park on a sunny day.

The question remains: what is the SL2-S "box speed"?  From my experience, that's somewhere between ISO 400 and ISO 800. From there, an informed decision can be made about which EI suits the targeted result best.)

Edited by hansvons
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9 hours ago, robb said:

I used two flash systems for testing the new connect pro.  The first was an Acute 600 watt pack dialed all the way down.  It couldn’t go any lower.  That gave me f 2.5 at 250th iso 50.  I did not want to shoot at f 4.0 to get to iso 100.  I guess I could have used n ND or polarizer but it was dark enough shooting this without a modeling light on my acute pack.

I kept the iso and settings the same when checking out the new b10 to compare quality and establish some numbers for different distances with the new system.

the second b10 250 watt monolight was set at 5.0 out of 10.0 on the power scale.  so I could have shot at 4.0 power setting and raised iso to 100 but didn’t see my giant benefit to the higher iso.  What do you see as the benefits of 100 vs 50?  I’m happy to learn something new.  I haven’t really ever over thought minimum iso.  Thanks.

Robb

Thanks for your detailed answer Robb. Dynamic range is reduced by about one stop when you pull the ISO to 50. I understand your problem with having too much light while testing the flash and wanting to shoot at a specific f stop. 

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New 3’ Profoto ocf Octa arrived.  Definitely small and easily packable for carry-on travel collapses with the new b10.

Inside shots - the b10 250 worked fine even at energy 5.0

outside, the new HSS didn’t work so well yet with my 6’ elinchrom Octa, so I will try again with the smaller softbox for more testing and see how it goes since it’s not putting out as much power with HSS.  I normally shoot strobe in Manual mode but the new Profoto connect pro is not reputed to be quite there with the Leica yet.  Some bugs reported in manual mode.  So I will try aperture priority as well… 

The testing continues.  I always have my acute 600’s to use if this takes a while…

Robb

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On 10/30/2021 at 7:45 PM, robb said:

Thanks for your kind words.  I took my first photography class in 1988 as an elective.  The “art” photography class was full so they said as an alternate I could take “Intro to Photojournalism” and the love affair began.  
Since then, I have owned and used many cameras really sticking to still photography.

List of Cameras owned in my Life:

Kodak disk 4000

Minolta XD-5

Canon F1n

Canon Eos 1

Canon Eos 630

Canon Eos RT

Canon Eos 1n

Canon Eos 1nRS

Canon Eos A2

Canon Eos A2e

Mamiya RB 67

Leica M6

Leica M6 .85

Leica M4p

Fuji GSW690

Fuji GW690

Fuji GX617

Konica Hexar fixed 35mm lens

Mamiya 7 (2)

Hasselblad 201F

Leica R8 (2)

Canon Eos 1ds

Canon Eos 1ds ii (2)

Canon Eos 1ds iii (2)

Leica D-lux 5

Panasonic Lx-2

Nikon D3x

Nikon D3S

Leica M8

Leica M8.2

Leica M9

Leaf Aptus ii 10

Contax 645

Cambo Wide RS

Nikon d800e

Canon Eos 1d mark IV

Fuji x100s

Leaf Credo 80

Canon 5d mk iii

Canon 1dx

Canon 1dx mk ii

Canon 5ds R

Phase One DF+

Phase One XF

Leica M 240-p (2)

Fuji x100v

Leica Q-P

Leica SL2

Cameras used extensively but not owned

Nikon F3

Nikon F5

Contax G2

Hasselblad x-pan


So I really appreciate all cameras and brands.  I think we are all in the same boat finding the perfect set of gear for each of our specialties.  When photography is your profession, and your mortgage is on the line, some factors come to play more than others.  I have found canon and Nikon professional services a great safety net when you need cameras or lenses back fixed fast.  Although I can also see that their stuff has always just worked for me without complaint.  I scraped up all my extra cash back in ‘88 and bought my first real camera.  Two used cameras of professional quality in the case.  One was a Nikon F3 that looked like it had been to a war zone and back.  The other a canon F1n that belonged to the local coroner who was moving on.  The canon was perfect and like new. So I went that direction.  Strongly favored canon then and also moved to the Eos 1 system with good autofocus back when it came out because of my pj work in sports and news.  Been heavily canon since then.  Added specialty cameras along the way for travel and commercial work.  My favorites were the Leica M6, Mamiya 7, and Fuji GX 617.  

Today, I think Leica and it’s alliance have moved the goalposts with dependability and features that other cameras don’t provide.  Multishot is one of those I love.  The User interface is just great.  When mirrorless first came out, I really had a problem with the Viewfinders and their resolution.  I stopped in to the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles back when the SL came out and I still didn’t like the viewfinder even though it broke new ground.  I hated the electronic viewfinders on my m-240 p’s also.  Not very useful.  I tried out Fuji, canon, and nikon’s new mirrorless viewfinders and really wanted to like them…  but I just couldn’t and wouldn’t settle.  Kept saying I’d wait til the next gen.  But tried the SL2 finally this year and thought they finally nailed it.  Bought it the next week.  I see no reason to shoot with the canon’s after my experience with the sl2.  Just adding lenses now and more bodies.  I’m all in and really enjoying it.  It may not offer everything Nikon, canon, or Fuji provide.  But it ticks all my boxes and I love the files, and user interface along with the glass.  As a professional working with Leica, it just requires for you to have more backups than the others because you can’t afford to be shut down 4 months at a time waiting on a service item.  

But the main reason I have shot with all Leica’s has always been the natural color and sharpness with bokeh.  Now with Multishot as one feature, I can generally leave the larger digital backs alone and condense what I am carrying.  I can also avoid tripods more often with IBIS even in lower light and have more flexibility with lens choices across all brands.  I find that I can also travel lighter with this system and it gives me options no other system gives me.  
 

I hope that answers some questions.  Exciting times for all of us.

Robb

Nothing to add here , only the good stuff ! 🤗

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