Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1993/06/15

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To: Ihtisham.Kabir@Eng.Sun.COM,
Subject: Re: Difficulties in focusing and composition
From: David.Bernard@Central.Sun.COM (Dave Bernard)
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 93 07:53:35 EDT

> From Mon Jun 14 21:56:57 1993
> Date: Mon, 14 Jun 93 17:55:02 PDT
> From: Ihtisham.Kabir@Eng (Ihtisham Kabir)
> To:
> Subject: Difficulties in focusing and composition
> X-Sun-Charset: US-ASCII
> Content-Length: 783
> This is for Leica uses who photograph people - street photography,
> or photographing children.
> Some difficulties I have been facing with my M6:
> 1. I find it very difficult to focus on anything moving towards
> me (specially our ten-month-old son.) Does anyone have any special
> tricks or is it practice, practice, practice?

First, figure out which way the lens turns to focus closer, so that you
can slowly refocus as the subject moves closer.

Secondly, forget the tyranny of the rangefinder rectangle.  Depend a lot
more on zone focussing and depth of field.  In essence, turn the camera 
into a box camera where you can.

Insisting on precise focussing while action is going on is to downgrade
the camera to a mere SLR!

Constantly refocus the camera, even when you're not looking into it, by
depending upon the distance markings on the lens.

The Leica shines in action shots; learn to do what is necessary such that
you just pick up the camera to your eye and shoot without delay.  After 
you get one or two shots off, then you might have the luxury to use
the rangefinder to focus precisely.  But by then, your actual picture
might have evaporated.

In short, the key is "instinct shooting."  

Of course, none of the foregoing would probably work for anyone else, but
it's how I cope with it, and at this point SLRs seem so slow to me... which
is why I use them mainly on tripods anyway.

> 2. I constantly mess up with "peripheral vision" when composing, ie,
> the stuff on the edge of the frame. Either I'll cut off something
> good or include something bad. This one is practice, practice, practice,
> for sure.

	Are you sure that the parallax correction is working OK?  Or
	maybe you're doing a lot of shooting at extremely close range?
	Or maybe you're doing extremely careful composition, in which
	case an SLR might be superior.

> When using my Canon AE1 SLR, these problems are not as frequent
> (although focusing can be a problem in available light work.)  

	Give yourself 12 months to get to like the Leica, and to
	get the results you want.  If after that time it's still
	not serving you, dump it and buy a couple lenses for your
	Canon, and lots of film.

> Any hints or comments? (No, don't tell me to buy an autofocus camera)
> Thanks,
> - Ihtisham Kabir