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gfspencer

Do You Ever Get Discouraged?

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I feel for you!

 

Toddlers and small children are the absolute worst in this context: unposeable, fast-moving, easily bored... and good luck zone focusing indoors in low light. I have absolutely been there, but gradually, graaaaadually, I've got more and more keepers of my lunatic toddler. Practice certainly helps. I've learned to keep a kind of "floating focus" where I don't focus-then-click, but am constantly focusing, trying to hold coincidence on his eyes; then click when he looks cute / isn't dribbling / is facing me etc. This is just as tricky as it sounds: constant-mode shooting for sure, and shoot lots and lots for culling later. But in the two years since I've had him, and the eighteen months since I've had the camera, the hit rate of acceptable photos really has gone up. And when they work, they look so much better than that caught-in-the-headlights P&S-flash look that is the usual alternative.

 

All of that said, I do have dark moments, in the dead of night, when I wonder if it wouldn't be quicker and easier with the dusty old D200...

 

Hang in there!

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I have to admit that there have been more than a few times when I have seriously considered dumping the M8. Adding a diopter and shooting without my glasses has helped a bit with the number of in-focus shots. But to be honest, these days I find myself having a lot more fun shooting the G1, GRD2 or DP1. And if I'm not having fun, I'm not shooting. So once again I'm wondering if I made a mistake getting the M8 (even though I am enjoying the M glass on the G1). So I guess that makes me discouraged.

 

Bill

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Re: Do You Ever Get Discouraged?

 

Yes! But I use that as a whipping device to urge myself on. Shooting with an M8, or any M camera, at a family function or amongst friends can be the toughest assignment you can have. It's equivalent to the "olympics of photography". I speak as a semi-retired (but not giving up) professional and a full time family and friends shooter, not to mention street etc.

 

I read from time to time of self opiniated photographers pooh pooh'ing 'domestic' and 'cat' shooters on this forum. Well, speaking from a vast range of experience in many professional areas of photography I can categorically state that the 'domestic' field is as challenging as any to master. It is essential that you train, practice, dream and whatever constantly to get it right. Good pictures just don't ' happen by themselves. In the days of film (dreaming again

 

Children's parties are one thing, but they are relatively unconscious to photographers. Far and away the hardest are adult 'gatherings' when they are mainly aware of cameras and their intent. I use my friends casual gatherings to "train" on. They mostly 'hate' me with a camera, but strangely they enjoy the results afterwards. Keep shooting and being seen with the camera, practice zone focussing as a beginning and fine tune 'on the spot' if the oportunity presents. The M8 has the ability to be 'auto' everything except focus if you wish but difficult light can demand manual, in which case, pre-set it. My favourite combo is the M8 + Noctilux, but success does not come easily. I practice a lot with it. I am very happy with my success rate and it is largely due to just that ... practice, practice, ....etc.

 

Following are some recent images, the first two at a child's 5th birthday, the second two at a post Xmas film screening at a friends private cinema.

 

M8,24mm @640 iso @ 1/60

 

M8, Noct @ 640iso @ 1/180

 

M8 + Noct @ 1250 iso @ 1/8

 

M8 + Noct @ 1250 iso @ 1/125

 

All the above images were 'grab' shots at the relative occassion (especially the second

)

 

These represent my 'successes'. I can assure I also have failures, but they are just the paving stones leading to the successes. My rather elaborate message is: don't be (too) discouraged, rather work on your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Your ultimate successes will blitz all the P&S efforts bar none! It does take time and practice. Now is the best time to start. Grab an 'M' and go shooting.

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I think we've all been there. Keep trying and don't stop. If you get one great image you've done well - it'll happen!

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My answer is "not at all".

 

I work with people a lot and used to shoot with a Fuji S2 Pro (very nice portrait camera, imho). I used to take A LOT of photos in one sitting but my success rate (# of usable photos) was pretty low. I would say that it was approx 20%.....

 

The M8 makes me think hard and prepare well in advance. It slows me down quite significantly. One typical comment from people is "wow, you are slow... you do not take many photos... mmmm... You sure I am getting some photo from this session??".

 

My success rate with the M8 is approx 50 ~ 60%. I am very happy and people are happy too:)

 

I tried IR photography with my M8 this past summer and had a lot of fun. I am going to explore it more next year. What other cameras let me have such pleasure without a modification?

 

I am considering getting a G1 because I want a second/back-up digital camera that I can use with my M lenses.

 

I am pretty much encouraged by my M8 and a happy, humble M8 user. Perhaps, it might be because of photography I do..

 

Never stop!

 

- Mashu

 

PS: Another typical comment from people is "wow what kind of camera is it? CUTE!!"

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Re: Do You Ever Get Discouraged?

 

Yes! But I use that as a whipping device to urge myself on. Shooting with an M8, or any M camera, at a family function or amongst friends can be the toughest assignment you can have. It's equivalent to the "olympics of photography". I speak as a semi-retired (but not giving up) professional and a full time family and friends shooter, not to mention street etc.

 

I read from time to time of self opiniated photographers pooh pooh'ing 'domestic' and 'cat' shooters on this forum. Well, speaking from a vast range of experience in many professional areas of photography I can categorically state that the 'domestic' field is as challenging as any to master. It is essential that you train, practice, dream and whatever constantly to get it right. Good pictures just don't ' happen by themselves. In the days of film (dreaming again

 

Children's parties are one thing, but they are relatively unconscious to photographers. Far and away the hardest are adult 'gatherings' when they are mainly aware of cameras and their intent. I use my friends casual gatherings to "train" on. They mostly 'hate' me with a camera, but strangely they enjoy the results afterwards. Keep shooting and being seen with the camera, practice zone focussing as a beginning and fine tune 'on the spot' if the oportunity presents. The M8 has the ability to be 'auto' everything except focus if you wish but difficult light can demand manual, in which case, pre-set it. My favourite combo is the M8 + Noctilux, but success does not come easily. I practice a lot with it. I am very happy with my success rate and it is largely due to just that ... practice, practice, ....etc.

 

Following are some recent images, the first two at a child's 5th birthday, the second two at a post Xmas film screening at a friends private cinema.

 

 

All the above images were 'grab' shots at the relative occassion (especially the second

)

 

These represent my 'successes'. I can assure I also have failures, but they are just the paving stones leading to the successes. My rather elaborate message is: don't be (too) discouraged, rather work on your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Your ultimate successes will blitz all the P&S efforts bar none! It does take time and practice. Now is the best time to start. Grab an 'M' and go shooting.

 

Awesome lively candid shots!

 

~ m

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I took the M8 with me when we went to visit our granddaughters for Christmas. Over four days I took about 300 pictures. When I put them on the computer yesterday they all looked like cr@p. Some were not focused. Some were not composed. Some shots of the grandchildren were blurs. (Okay, that's to be expected.) I might have 3 or 4 okay pictures. It was not the camera's fault. It was me. It makes me want to get a Canon G10 and take snap shots. Thank goodness I don't have to make a living doing this.

 

For the first 6 month I considerd my first M (a used M6 in 2003) a serious mispurchase and thought about selling it again. Then I noticed that my pictures began to change. It took me another 6 month until I began selling my Nikon SLRs. So keep on rolling - it takes some time until one gets used to rangefinder photgraphy. But it´s really worth the effort.

Happy new year

Olaf

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For the first 6 month I considerd my first M (a used M6 in 2003) a serious mispurchase and thought about selling it again. Then I noticed that my pictures began to change. It took me another 6 month until I began selling my Nikon SLRs. So keep on rolling - it takes some time until one gets used to rangefinder photgraphy. But it´s really worth the effort.

Happy new year

Olaf

 

Exactly my experience! I had forgotten. M cameras need time grow into your soul. Suddenly, you can't live or work without them. Like a good woman, you learn to trust them and they always serve you well.

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As others have said, we have all been there. I'm there pretty much each time I shoot! But I also aim for quality and not quantity.

 

My philosophy, if it it helps is as follows. If you got 3-4 shots out of 300, I'd say that is good. Think of how bored you'd be right now with 300 perfect shots! With 3-4 shots you can appreciate these particular pictures a lot more and possibly work on them in post processing to have just one memorable moment from that period. After all, how many pictures do you really need to act as a catalyst for happy memories?

 

This one is not perfect but it is all I need for the event:

 

 

LouisB

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Me too! Just the same feeling.

 

The room in which the grandchildren were opening their christmas presents was not well lit, there was mixed daylight and tungsten lighting, they would not keep still.........

 

My wife snapped away with her Leica Minilux Zoom and 200 ASA Kodak Royal Gold Colour Negative and has MUCH better pictures. Why would I want to change to digital was her, restrained, comment!

 

The lesson is that sometimes flash is good, auto focus is a godsend in some situations, zoom is practically essential and ideas of subject isolation using differential focus are totally misplaced is such circumstances.

 

My Digilux-2 would have been much more appropriate - I will use it next time.

 

Although not an M8 owner (yet) I was going to respond to gf in similar vein. While I have used my D2 for editorial work in the past, it is now used primarily for domestic album and framed pictures of the family and friends. In the situation described the D2, with internal bounce flash angle setting, I get lovely soft lighting in a typical domestic location. The lens is superb at full aperture and I can get a lot of pictures on a modest SD card. Everyone is happy! It may not arrest the fastest moving infant, but most of the time they are relatively still and fascinated with their new presents. I believe there is a case for using both cameras in their ideal elements.

 

In contrast, my film Leicas, with fixed focal length lenses, are too slow to use in the scenario being discussed, particularly if lens changing is factored into the equation. Zoom lenses are a real boon in those situations.

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I thought I made a big mistake switching from a DSLR to the M8. Focusing took a little longer to master, but I now find it much better than AF. It almost 18 months now, and I'm still enjoying shooting RF. And yes, for those bored moments, I simply go into GAS mode.

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...........In contrast, my film Leicas, with fixed focal length lenses, are too slow to use in the scenario being discussed, particularly if lens changing is factored into the equation. Zoom lenses are a real boon in those situations.

 

Funny, as a former D1 and D2 user, I don't miss a zoom lens at all. A good fast 40mm 'standard' is on the M8 nearly 100% of the time with a 90 and 28 either side for occasional use.

 

Horses for courses I guess.

 

Graeme

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Don't give up. This has happened to me as well, but this Christmas I have many more keepers than last Christmas as I am better for practice. I used ISO 320 mostly but 640 if darker; Summilux-M 35 and (old) Noctilux wide open to grab lots of light, and pre-set shutter speed to minimum 1/60s to reduce blur as you can bring exposure up in LR. AWB is quite good now but I sometimes used a white card to get a manual white balance for the room which has green painted walls. I support all the learning points made by other posters and say, keep trying.

Matthew

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Guest bwcolor

Bottom line--get the G10.

 

I've used film Leicas for fifty years. There is no match for the impeccible feel and function. But Photography has moved beyond Leica rangefinder camera in its digital version.

 

As a challenge to your ability to become a semi-pro in framing, focus and exposure, the M7 or M8 is unbeatable. But if you want to take nice pictures of the family, these cameras are not the ticket to pleasure.

 

The G10 is what the new Leica should be. All the technology is there, and the design is beautiful and functional. Buy it, read the instruction book, practice a little to get the feel.

 

Leica needs to forget 24 x 36, forget vintage lenses, make a G10 with Leica quality and new lenses, and selective manual-autofocus. Or get out of the way.

 

You are neither guilty of anything, nor deficient in skill or amibition: you are just trying to use an antique camera design in a world where new ideas prevail.

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This has been my first Christmas with my M8. Like you I was snapping away over the hols using family as victims of my 'craft'.

 

I must say I've achieved a far greater rate of keepers than I ever achieved with the D2, nor indeed with my M6. Even my significant other has been tempted to pick up the M8 occasionally because she says "it takes such great photographs". You have to know how blasé she is about my Leica addiction to understand what music that is to my ears.

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Leica needs to forget 24 x 36, forget vintage lenses, make a G10 with Leica quality and new lenses, and selective manual-autofocus. Or get out of the way.

 

That's an opinion that you are entitled to, but not one all of us share.

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Bottom line--get the G10.

 

I've used film Leicas for fifty years. There is no match for the impeccible feel and function. But Photography has moved beyond Leica rangefinder camera in its digital version.

 

As a challenge to your ability to become a semi-pro in framing, focus and exposure, the M7 or M8 is unbeatable. But if you want to take nice pictures of the family, these cameras are not the ticket to pleasure.

 

The G10 is what the new Leica should be. All the technology is there, and the design is beautiful and functional. Buy it, read the instruction book, practice a little to get the feel.

 

Leica needs to forget 24 x 36, forget vintage lenses, make a G10 with Leica quality and new lenses, and selective manual-autofocus. Or get out of the way.

 

You are neither guilty of anything, nor deficient in skill or amibition: you are just trying to use an antique camera design in a world where new ideas prevail.

 

I just cannot agree with any of the above, sorry, and the patronising tone ('But if you want to take nice pictures of the family') is not called for. My own reading of the post is that the latter is not what is desired but rather good or even excellent photographs of 'the family' - a perfectly legitimate subject and ambition in my humble opinion.

 

The G10 is a here today, gone tomorrow plastic product and as ugly as home made sin.

 

Enjoy your Leica and its 'antique' lenses.

 

Regards

 

Graeme

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Some weeks ago i went to the school party of my kid because teachers asked me to take pictures of the event after they saw some i took one evening when I went to take the kid at school. I was scared stiff.

Well, i took around 600 pictures at the school party and i saved about 240 of them. Ok 240 pictures out of 600 may seem discouraging but it is not since I took 600 because I knew that only a part of them would have been ok.

What i can say is that the 240 pics ok are something the teachers, used to compact-poin-and-shoot-flash-cameras, had never seen before. They were looking at them completely speechless (some were converted to B&W). Being the first time i was taking pictures of bullets running around a room, I was surprised as well. I had astounding portraits of boys and girls, pictures smelling of Leica quality all over. To teachers and parents these pictures looked like they were took by a pro and i'm not at all one.

I'm never discouraged, I sometimes think that there is something i still do not know about this great camera. I sure miss pictures, but this learn me something any time.

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