Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/01/22

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Subject: Re: Off subject (somewhat)
From: Donal Philby <>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 15:06:16 -0800

Dan Cardish wrote:

  I am sure that I can manually focus a lens
> faster than messing around with that control.  Also, the camera had been set
> in the 8fps mode.  Everytime I pressed the shutter release, the camera fired
> of a dozen rounds.  The salesman told me that I was the first customer to
> complain about it.  I just wanted to see how the camera felt to use,
> normally.  That 8fps along with the "matrix colour metering" system are just
> a couple of useless marketing gimmicks, IMHO. 
> Dan C.


It really depends on the use you need the tool for.  I share a studio 
with two photographers that primarily do sports.  Both we Nikon users 
who switched to Canon.  Both had many bodies and all the big glass.  
Both have in the last two months returned to Nikon for the focus speed 
and the fps and the durability over the Canon.  Plus the better glass.  
These guys often operate at 8 fps to catch peak moment or to get a 
sequence.  Like using the M to focus off center, with the F5 you plan 
where you focus before the action starts.  But both are amazed at how 
the camera tracks across the frame automatically.  For them, range 
finder focusing would be a useless marketing gimmick.  And if you've 
never used a Nikon meter, especially with flash fill, you don't know how 
easy formerly difficult jobs can be.  

The last couple of days on a magazine assignment is was shooting 
location portraiture of about 30 high level computer industry leaders.  
I would literally have 3-5 minutes to drag them outside during 
conference breaks, find a spot with vaguely useable light (while trying 
to make each one different), pull the flash off camera for a little 
controlled fill and open fire on program automatic.  Even AF helps when 
you're holding flash in one hand, camera in the other.  We're talking 
blind faith in exposure. Supposedly the F5 is even better than my almost 
flawless N90s.  I only hope the R8 is somewhere close in capability.

Some features are for professionals that have to produce no matter what.  

Donal Philby
San Diego