Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/08

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Performers and flare
From: ralph fuerbringer <>
Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2000 12:54:36 -0400

ed meyers goes into the closet! he started automatic flarefill nonsense
with uncoated lenses,slow film, outside in the hot sun w/bruce davidson. now
he's passing himself off as a low-lite fast -film photographer using inside
flare for fill. in support of his weird theories he uses quotes from
 Erwin Puts( below) to confirm a flare prone lens just makes dark areas
muddy. could anyone but an editor so succinctly disprove his own case?  he
called me weird. i can't decide what to call him now. I like inside-outside
ed,but muddy meyers sounds so good.then there's always editor.ralph

> From: Edward Meyers <>
> Reply-To:
> Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 09:19:09 -0400 (EDT)
> To: L U G <>
> Subject: Re: [Leica] Performers and flare
> If only low-light photographers could use a 100 ISO speed film
> and make meaningful images with slow speeds and a tripod...
> It is not the case, however. So we do what we can with high-speed
> films. Filling in deep shadows in high-contrast low-light
> situations, without a flash (hopefully), if helped by flare,
> then the photograph might look better. If only this were a
> perfect world... Ed
> On Tue, 8 Aug 2000, Erwin Puts wrote:
>> It was noted: "Once you get past Erwin's bench tests, is there really a
>> "bad" version of
>> the Summicron 35?...I've owned various versions over the years - I assume,
>> as I've purchased them all used at widely different period of my life - and
>> they've all be terrific performers."
>> If this really is what the poster assumes, I can only add: if your
>> definition of "terrific performers" is modest enough, he is absolutely
>> right. Most Leica photographers I know however see very discernable
>> differences. The performance you can extract from a lens is tightly coupled
>> to technical expertise and the level of your demands and your type of
>> picture taking. Without this background info any statement about good
>> performance is void.
>> The flare issue. Flare is defined as unwanted stray light, that will be
>> uniformly distributed over the whole image area. If we have a scene from
>> black to white, we will have a range of figures that indicate relative
>> contrast, we have a rnage of 100 to 0.25 lux, indicating light and dark
>> areas, which is a contrast of 400:1. Add a uniform flare level of 0.25 lux
>> and we now have 100.25 and 0.5, giving a contrast of 200:1. The effect on
>> the dark areas is big and on the lighter areas to be neglected. This example
>> shows two things: flare does simply give greater negative density in the
>> thin parts of the negative (the black areas), and will give a dark grey
>> instead of a black, suggesting detail, which is not there.
>> The old story that you can use a low contrast and/or flare prone lens to
>> compensate for high contrast in the scene is not correct. The highlights are
>> not affected and the dark areas just become muddy.
>> The best proposal: buy a high contrast lens, use a 100ISO BW film that gives
>> good toe density and expose and develop to get the maximum contrast your
>> print paper can handle.
>> Erwin