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I have decided on this issue a long time ago, well before the lockdown: photography for me, as something that gives me personal satisfaction, is film photography. My only current pain with my Leicas now is that i can't get rid of the M9. Its sensor has already been replaced once and if I try to sell it, the price will be miserably low. So I have to keep it and live with it.

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logan2z

I can't help but be amused at the already heated discussions about the M11 on the new M11 sub-forum at LUF.  I'm just glad that I don't have to be concerned with any of the issues being discussed there when using my film Ms (issues with the sensor-based metering system, unpleasant electronic shutter sounds, missing menu features, SD card accessibility, firmware problems, limits on exposure time, etc,).   I pick up the camera, compose, focus, press the shutter, and done.  Nothing needs recharging

adan

Sort of. Just remember that without the subsidy and profits from the digital M's (and other digitals), an M-A wouldn't exist. MPs would be rare as hen's teeth (and collector-expensive). Leica would have gone bankrupt around 2006±. (Absolute best-case scenario - it would cost $20,000 to cover overheads, and/or still be made in the Solms garage - no Leitz Park Wetzlar). A plain vanilla 50mm Summicron would exist (it was made as far back as 1995 or so in current form)  but would be at lea

Ouroboros

I enjoyed the video, it's always good to see people getting on with making photographs with film cameras. Photography has always been a source of of geeky fascination for many people to a greater or lesser extent as well as being a means of creative expression, I don't see anything new there but I think it's clear that the fascination has become obsessive and possibly even more important than creating images for many of those people. The feeding frenzy of speculation and outright garba

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2 minutes ago, 250swb said:

But 99.9% of shutter actuations are used to record simple things, not to create art, unless your benchmark of art is abysmally low brow. I think your definition of how digital cameras have enabled art confuses accidental 'art' with the intentions of an artist. So a photo that turns out pretty, easy on the eye, is colourful, etc. has very little to do with art, just as a pretty or colourful painting by a chimpanzee, or a toddler isn't art. Isn't the buffoons reaction to a Picasso typically 'a child could do it', which equates a simple visual metaphor with the work of an artist?

Improvements in digital cameras simply extend the range in which accidental art can be made, night becomes day because of higher ISO, what do we learn, nothing that we can't intuit anyway because the aim 99.9% of the time to demonstrate the cameras abilities, not the abilities of an artist. So given how little digital cameras encroach on the work art and artists (the 0.1% of shutter actuations) it's hyperbolic to suggest they make a significant contribution to art of any sort, other than the 'art' Granny would like.

First of all, 99% that you came up with is an extremely random assumption with zero proof!
 

Besides, I said, sophisticated modern cameras can still be used in the most basic form possible.. cameras don’t force you to shoot at 20fps burst, there’s AFs too and there’s MF too right? I didn’t refer to those images that end up in the trash anyway… even if they do.. who creates these rules for “art”.. so what if the artist had created 10 artistic images in the 1000 he/she shot? That doesn’t take away anything from the 10.. why does one need to count the 990 at all? Are you telling me you’ll shoot 500,000 picture perfect artistic gems? In that case, I bow to you! trying to quantify this with individual preferences and baseless logic doesn’t mean anything to me.. in the name of art, film camera artists also produce garbage looking images.. not every image shot in film by everyone is going to be this awesome masterpiece.. film photography is still a thing and it has its place.. nobody is dissing that (at least i am not..) belittling the tech is probably done by someone incapable of using the tech or probably jealous that photography as a job is now accessible to everyone? They’re probably intimidated by the exceptional images modern cameras produce and how easy it has become to capture them? 
my point however is, there should be acceptance in general for all art forms and all gear to coexist in harmony.. who’s to say what is right and what is wrong? There’s only personal preference/opinion!! 

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Since I'm not an artist - but an engineer by nature - I'm not likely to create great photographs. I consider cameras as "functional art" in themselves, and I enjoy the process of using them. That process got forged to a comfortable point in college in the 1960s, using meterless SLRs and my Leica M4, later adopting metered Leicaflex SL and M6. That process of image capture is still my comfort zone, so I use my M10 exactly like I use my M6, as this process of using both for capture is enjoyable.

While I made a good living developing software and systems for data acquisition and analysis, that was work - and now I don't care for spending hours on a computer refining images that I tried to capture just as I wanted them. With slide film you captured the image and accepted what the film produced - which is how I use digital. I still enjoy the darkroom part of film, as that's a process I've also done since 1960, and I will scan negatives and prints to get a digital image, but I got tired of the "photoshop" process long ago.

I haven't had any photos published since the early 1980s - but haven't submitted any since then either. So I guess I'm just a snapshooter, but I enjoy using a Leica for that purpose.

I don't mind Leica adapting to go after a larger market, but I doubt if I'll buy any more Leica gear, as I have all I need. If the company folded I might not notice.

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Of course there's much discussion around the M11 - it's new, innovative and it's a Leica. People want to come to terms with it's design, what it does, and how it does it. People love to geek out over technology.

But just head over to Photrio, and read all the posts geeking out about film emulsions, exposure indexes, developer choices and dilutions, agitation schemes, etc. Same thing, different subject.

I don't get too fussed about the M11. I would love to try one out - I probably will rent one to do that (whenever they become readily available). I'd like to see what it can do. But for the present, I'm sticking with my M2 and especially my Barnacks, which give me great pleasure to use lately. I'm not a pro, so I can allow for these personal enjoyment types of cameras. 

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On 1/14/2022 at 4:26 PM, logan2z said:

I can't help but be amused at the already heated discussions about the M11 on the new M11 sub-forum at LUF.  I'm just glad that I don't have to be concerned with any of the issues being discussed there when using my film Ms (issues with the sensor-based metering system, unpleasant electronic shutter sounds, missing menu features, SD card accessibility, firmware problems, limits on exposure time, etc,).   I pick up the camera, compose, focus, press the shutter, and done.  Nothing needs recharging, I don't care about battery life, my shutter has no lag and is pleasantly quiet (click), it stays open as long as I want it to, I don't need to futz around with SD cards or cables - I can just focus on photography (remember that?!)

On that front, I had to laugh at the Leica Store Miami's live stream yesterday that introduced the M11.  I watched the first 90 mins just to see what all the fuss was about and... not a single photograph was shown.  The entire discussion revolved around the technology of the camera - the sensor technology, the way it buffers internally, pixel binning (whatever the hell that is), including 10 minutes just discussing the type of cables that should be used to transfer data from the camera to a computer.  It was both funny and sad at the same time.

I don't know when photography became all about the technology and no longer about the art of picture making.

The only positive Leica-related thing I saw this week was this YouTube video about a slide film workshop at Leica Wetzlar.  At least Leica hasn't completely lost touch with the world of analog photography...

 

 

I haven't read the rest of the responses, but to you I say:

Amen

...and:

Hell Yeah!

lol...

—Peter.

https://www.instagram.com/walkinginthegrain/

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This is such a good post. I completely agree. I have had little interest in a digital M until now, and the M11 is of exactly zero interest even if I were given one for free. This original post set me thinking why this might be. I think it is because the M11 has killed the Leica M as a camera. A continuously open shutter (where taking a picture is basically creating a screenshot) from a mirrorless sensor doesn’t make sense in combination with a rangefinder. It only makes sense when used with an EVF. In which case get an SL. I think I read Erwin Putts remarking that the core of a Leica M is a rangefinder and a cloth focal plane shutter - and I think that was basically true. 

In my view the endless push for more megapixels and resolution is also a creative dead end, and this M11 really clarified that for me. I will happily stick with film and go back to the darkroom (and projecting E6) with renewed enthusiasm. 
 

Having said that I hope the M11 is a commercial success so that Leica continue to make the M-A and MP.


 

 

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Great thread, and I pretty much agree with the above sentiments. I have three film M cameras - an M2, M4, and M5. There's nothing that gets the creative juices flowing quite like a fresh roll of film, one of those cameras fitted with maybe just a 35 or 50 lens, and some free time in the city.

There is something wonderfully uncomplicated and zen-like in shooting a film M. To know that it won't go obsolete, that the card won't corrupt, or that the battery won't die.

That said, I also have an M Monochrom mk1. I bought it new in August 2012, and we're now into 2022, so it is very nearly a decade old. Leica fitted a new corrosion-free sensor to it in 2016. I've used it a lot, and in all weather conditions, even dropped it on the pavement a couple of times, and it just keeps going. It's like an old friend to me - every inch a proper Leica M. I can get stunning A2 prints from it. I do worry about its longevity, and I remember lots of comments on the forum about a digital M becoming a paperweight after ten years. I hope that's not the case - I've a friend who still regularly uses his Canon Powershot G5, and it's nearly 20 years old.

So yes, as others have pointed out, it was the M8 and M9 that really saved Leica's bacon. They're a great company, and we'd really miss them if they weren't around and building these products that we all want.

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Fellows

We in the "film community" have to admit that these digital marvels are capable of producing images of far greater resolution and far greater fidelity to light than our mechanical cameras.  We can argue about the "aesthetic" of film being more to our liking than digital images, but there is a plethora of software tools capable to emulate our sacred grain and make the photographic results of these "competing" technologies indistinguishable from one another.

The differences live on, however,  with our love for--or our addiction to--the process of film photography that starts with the opening of the little box,  enjoying the whiff of the emulsion, threading it through the sprockets and spools while we marvel at the smoothness of the winding and the shutter release.  

And then, perhaps the most important is that we have the thrill of anticipation, the delay of gratification that i'm sure many of us feel.  When I release the shutter, I am more often than not convinced that I have begun work on a masterpiece and can't wait until I am able to coax the latent image out with the help of my little kitchen darkroom.  Unfortunately, I am almost always disappointed with the results, always having to do with my own failings rather than of my equipment--but when I'm not disappointed  I'm rewarded with something I can truly call my own and not have to share credit with some monolithic slab of silicone and plastic that most of us can never truly understand.  

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On 1/15/2022 at 2:12 AM, 250swb said:

But 99.9% of shutter actuations are used to record simple things, not to create art, unless your benchmark of art is abysmally low brow. I think your definition of how digital cameras have enabled art confuses accidental 'art' with the intentions of an artist. So a photo that turns out pretty, easy on the eye, is colourful, etc. usually has very little to do with art, just as a pretty or colourful painting by a chimpanzee or a toddler isn't art. Isn't the buffoons reaction to a Picasso typically 'a child could do it', which equates a simple visual metaphor with the work of an artist?

Improvements in digital cameras simply extend the range in which accidental art can be made, night becomes day because of higher ISO, what do we learn, nothing that we can't intuit anyway because the aim 99.9% of the time to demonstrate the cameras abilities, not the abilities of an artist. So given how little digital cameras encroach on the work of art and artists (the 0.1% of shutter actuations) it's hyperbolic to suggest they make a significant contribution to art of any sort, other than the 'art' Granny would like.

Sometimes 'art' is in the editing and selection process.  Take Garry Winogrand for example.  He took thousands upon thousands of quick snap shots his entire career, but only a tiny fraction of them have become established as "artistic" images.

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On 1/14/2022 at 10:26 PM, logan2z said:

I can't help but be amused at the already heated discussions about the M11 on the new M11 sub-forum at LUF.  I'm just glad that I don't have to be concerned with any of the issues being discussed there when using my film Ms (issues with the sensor-based metering system, unpleasant electronic shutter sounds, missing menu features, SD card accessibility, firmware problems, limits on exposure time, etc,).   I pick up the camera, compose, focus, press the shutter, and done.  Nothing needs recharging, I don't care about battery life, my shutter has no lag and is pleasantly quiet (click), it stays open as long as I want it to, I don't need to futz around with SD cards or cables - I can just focus on photography (remember that?!)

On that front, I had to laugh at the Leica Store Miami's live stream yesterday that introduced the M11.  I watched the first 90 mins just to see what all the fuss was about and... not a single photograph was shown.  The entire discussion revolved around the technology of the camera - the sensor technology, the way it buffers internally, pixel binning (whatever the hell that is), including 10 minutes just discussing the type of cables that should be used to transfer data from the camera to a computer.  It was both funny and sad at the same time.

I don't know when photography became all about the technology and no longer about the art of picture making.

The only positive Leica-related thing I saw this week was this YouTube video about a slide film workshop at Leica Wetzlar.  At least Leica hasn't completely lost touch with the world of analog photography...

 

I understand and largely agree with you regarding the over-emphasis on technology.

Having had a bad experience with a Leica M9 (wildly inconsistent white balance and freezing of the camera) I was supremely happy with the Zeiss Ikon film rangefinder camera. It had a much better viewfinder than the M9 and was more pleasant to use, with both Leica and Zeiss lenses.

I reluctantly ceased film photography because of the general hassle of getting film developed and scanned into digital form.

I am now using the Leica Q2 and the Leica CL; both are excellent cameras.

P.S. I don't know what pixel binning is. And I don't care.

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On 1/15/2022 at 6:23 AM, frame-it said:

+1

 

On 1/15/2022 at 9:12 AM, 250swb said:

But 99.9% of shutter actuations are used to record simple things, not to create art, unless your benchmark of art is abysmally low brow. I think your definition of how digital cameras have enabled art confuses accidental 'art' with the intentions of an artist. So a photo that turns out pretty, easy on the eye, is colourful, etc. usually has very little to do with art, just as a pretty or colourful painting by a chimpanzee or a toddler isn't art. Isn't the buffoons reaction to a Picasso typically 'a child could do it', which equates a simple visual metaphor with the work of an artist?

Improvements in digital cameras simply extend the range in which accidental art can be made, night becomes day because of higher ISO, what do we learn, nothing that we can't intuit anyway because the aim 99.9% of the time to demonstrate the cameras abilities, not the abilities of an artist. So given how little digital cameras encroach on the work of art and artists (the 0.1% of shutter actuations) it's hyperbolic to suggest they make a significant contribution to art of any sort, other than the 'art' Granny would like.

+2

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11 minutes ago, StephenH said:

Fellows......when I'm not disappointed  I'm rewarded with something I can truly call my own and not have to share credit with some monolithic slab of silicone and plastic that most of us can never truly understand.  

Whilst I can agree with much of your post, Stephen, this bit, I'm afraid, makes no sense.

There is absolutely nothing intrinsically different about whether the latent image is captured by means of a chemical-emulsion-coated piece of synthetic material or if it's captured by means of a "slab of silicone and plastic". By then all the hard work has already been done - courtesy of the act of tripping the shutter by the photographer.

All that remains in both cases is to process-out the latent image in whichever manner the photographer thinks will be best suited to the end result. In filmic terms this will centre around which developer to use...etc...etc...etc...and in the digital world the photographer will choose how best to process-out the DNG file by means of whichever software tools are at his or her disposal.

The end-results in both instances are down solely to the skill of the photographer; not whether a piece of emulsion or a slab of silicon has been used in the images' genesis.

As such a photographer using either capture-medium might well produce something which they 'can truly call their own'.

Philip.

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On 1/14/2022 at 9:26 PM, logan2z said:

I can't help but be amused at the already heated discussions about the M11 on the new M11 sub-forum at LUF.  I'm just glad that I don't have to be concerned with any of the issues being discussed there when using my film Ms (issues with the sensor-based metering system, unpleasant electronic shutter sounds, missing menu features, SD card accessibility, firmware problems, limits on exposure time, etc,).   I pick up the camera, compose, focus, press the shutter, and done.  Nothing needs recharging, I don't care about battery life, my shutter has no lag and is pleasantly quiet (click), it stays open as long as I want it to, I don't need to futz around with SD cards or cables - I can just focus on photography (remember that?!)

On that front, I had to laugh at the Leica Store Miami's live stream yesterday that introduced the M11.  I watched the first 90 mins just to see what all the fuss was about and... not a single photograph was shown.  The entire discussion revolved around the technology of the camera - the sensor technology, the way it buffers internally, pixel binning (whatever the hell that is), including 10 minutes just discussing the type of cables that should be used to transfer data from the camera to a computer.  It was both funny and sad at the same time.

I don't know when photography became all about the technology and no longer about the art of picture making.

The only positive Leica-related thing I saw this week was this YouTube video about a slide film workshop at Leica Wetzlar.  At least Leica hasn't completely lost touch with the world of analog photography...

 

I enjoyed the video, it's always good to see people getting on with making photographs with film cameras.

Photography has always been a source of of geeky fascination for many people to a greater or lesser extent as well as being a means of creative expression, I don't see anything new there but I think it's clear that the fascination has become obsessive and possibly even more important than creating images for many of those people.

The feeding frenzy of speculation and outright garbage surrounding the M11 before and after the release has exceeded anything that has gone before, attributable mainly to  Leica's own marketing and careful brand image-building, social media and forum discussions.  It is inevitable.

Whilst I'm not a newcomer to Leica M film photography, having owned my MP since 2006, I bought my first digital Leica M in mid November, an M10-R black paint version, whilst being fully aware of the impending release of the M11.  I weighed-up all the leaked and rumoured aspects of the camera and made the decision that the M11 was not for me as it a clear step away from the original Leica M ethos. The M11 seems to me to be a stealthy move towards an evf based 'mirrorless' style camera that I personally don't want or need.   

My decision to buy the M10-R was more concerned with having a digital Leica M that remains operationally as close to my existing film MP as a digital Leica M can be, even down to the anachronistic removable baseplate, which I actually like, without having more technology and unnecessary resolution crammed into it than I actually want or need. 

I like having two cameras, one digital camera (finally, a digital M that appealed to me when none previously from the M8 onwards have done) and one film camera, that are operationally quite similar and even look alike as a bonus!

Two weeks ago, I fulfilled another long term ambition.  I bought a mint condition iiif RD ST with a nice little 50mm red scale elmar, with serial numbers from my birth year.

My point behind all of this is that I shall quietly continue to use my cameras, film and digital, without involvement in the energy-wasting obsessiveness over trivia that we see going on in other parts of the forum. 

I find photographers who distance themselves from all of that crap are all the more interesting.

 

 

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On 1/14/2022 at 11:26 PM, logan2z said:

I don't know when photography became all about the technology and no longer about the art of picture making.

It has always been about technology. Even the original Barnack vision was all about a "small enough to carry around body making sharp negatives enabling big prints" – a technologically advanced camera for its time. In art, you also tend have an artistic vision. You then use whatever technic or technology to support that vision. 

That said, also I agree with Puts in that rangefinders and digital bodies somehow are a bad fit. Just get an SL or any other cheaper but equally advanced other brand digital body.

Then again, also the current Leica film bodies appear to only be there as nostalgic marketing tools. Both the MP and the M-A seem to follow form and not function. Arguably, after the M7 all Leica M-bodies have been more or less only fan-service (this is an idea I recently read from an M11 review online – can't remember where though anymore, but I wholeheartedly agree with it).

So, in that light, I don't really understand this film vs. digital juxtaposition present in this threat. 

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On 1/15/2022 at 4:12 PM, 250swb said:

 So given how little digital cameras encroach on the work of art and artists (the 0.1% of shutter actuations) it's hyperbolic to suggest they make a significant contribution to art of any sort, other than the 'art' Granny would like.

How can you think this was any different with film? 99.9% of all images taken on film were no different to the 99.9% taken on digital, very few were ever taken with artistic intent.

It's exactly like saying that because the majority of words typed on computers are used to spout drivel on forums or send messages to friends,  that a writer can't produce an incredible novel using his laptop... but if he wrote it on a typewriter instead he would have better success. It's nonsensical. 

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Clearly, the M11 engagement in this forum outdoes the engagement here in this thread.. so, barring a handful of folks, it seems like the progression of M is well received? Just guessing.. I have no other statistics to count on.. 

 

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I find it equally interesting, if not amusing, that it seems many if not most film photographers these days don’t print their pics, content to scan and view them digitally.

I shot with film cameras, 35mm to 8x10, from 1974 until 2008 (including Ms starting in the 80’s), always processing and printing my work.  Since transitioning to digital in 2009 (with the M8.2), and now using the M10 Monochrom and M10-R, I’ve continued to print my work. The shooting process and end result is still disciplined, yielding a similar amount of pics and prints annually; only the tools have changed.  I don’t miss darkroom work, and greatly appreciate the benefits that technology has yielded in terms of convenience and flexibility, without disrupting my own creative process and goals.

The M11 discussion seems much like every other new M release on the forum… always controversial and entertaining… until the dust settles in a year or two.  But it’s a gear forum primarily, not a picture forum (despite the photo sub-forums and the ‘I like film’ thread), so not terribly surprising.

BTW, a number of folks have in fact shown and discussed their photographs using the M11, not just discussed the technology, including Jono here, and David Farkas from Red Dot Forum (in his written review that was mentioned in the YouTube video).

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S
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14 hours ago, Ouroboros said:

My point behind all of this is that I shall quietly continue to use my cameras, film and digital, without involvement in the energy-wasting obsessiveness over trivia that we see going on in other parts of the forum. 

This!! I agree…BUT, people like what they like.. when 2 people who like the same thing come together, they go on and on.. some people find it fascinating and some of us don’t.. I guess that’s OK! 😀

 

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1 hour ago, Jeff S said:

I find it equally interesting, if not amusing, that it seems many if not most film photographers these days don’t print their pics, content to scan and view them digitally.

I find it a bit perplexing, to be honest.  To my mind the natural end goal of film photography is a darkroom print.  If I were only going to scan/post my photos online then I'd have a hard time making the case for shooting film.

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2 hours ago, Stevejack said:

How can you think this was any different with film? 99.9% of all images taken on film were no different to the 99.9% taken on digital, very few were ever taken with artistic intent.

 

I have no idea what you are rambling on about. Nothing is different with film, what gave you that idea?

Edited by 250swb
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