Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/12/09

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Subject: Re: 35mm Eyes
From: Donal Philby <>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 16:04:45 -0800

Marc James Small wrote:

> I do know several pros who shoot sports events (mainly races of one sort or
> the other) with Canon AF gear, and they uniformly acknowledge that shooting
> with a long, fast prime (2.8/300 L or so) will lead to a fair number of lost
> frames, but that using the motor drive and a LOT of film ensures that some
> of the shots are dead on.  


A Couple anecdotes.

One of my studio mates shoots surfing and mentioned when he moved from MF Nikon 
to AF EOS-1 that his hit focus rate went from about 10 frames per roll to 34 per 
roll.  That is mostly with 600mm from beach and with 100mm when swimming with 
camera in housing.  He is switching back now to Nikon with the F5.

My other studio mate showed me two sets of film of a baseball batter hitting and 
running toward first base where the photographers were standing.  His were with 
his EOS-1n and 400 2.8; other set by associate standing next to him with F5 and 
Nikkor 400 AFI 2.8.  The Canon focused three frames out of seven, the F5 focused 
10 out of 10.  The quality of the optics also seriously favored the Nikkor.  

Lots of the discussion along this thread is threoretical, of course.  The key 
isn't that AF is better than MF, it is that sometimes the only way you are going 
to get the picture is AF.  I just wish Leica could see the year 2000 approaching 
and give us equipment that we could choose to MF.  Given the variety of vork I do 
I think if I move to Leica Rs that I will have to keep the Nikon stuff just for 
AF needs.  And that is awfully inefficient use of capitol.

Donal Philby
San Diego