Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/04/06

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Rest for everybody. Was: This week
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 20:56:02 -0700

At 05:48 AM 3/30/98 -0500, Lucien wrote:
>Jim wrote:
>>See you all next week,
>We will miss the hundreds of mail following
>your "fanatical" positions.
>I wish you a great week and tons of pics.

Hi LUG people... I'm back :-)

So you'll have to be careful how you focus, take that UV filter off of your
"Modern" Leica lens, and I hope you all precisely calculated the metering
area of the M6 meter. There will be a test next week.

Don't forget... I'm watching again. ;-)

All joking aside, even though the trip was great, it rained 90% of the
time. I photographed only one scene with my 4x5 Linhof. I couldn't get down
to my favorite wildflower spot, about six miles south of Carmel, because
the road was closed. Mud slides. It was so cold, bleak, and windy at Point
Lobos, large format photography was not possible. Even scenics looked bleak
because the gray sky meeting gray water. I photographed a lot with my M6 so
we'll see. There was a photo workshop in progress. mostly LF, the rest
35mm. I felt sorry for them as mother nature was not cooperating. 

I didn't even take out an R camera. But I used a dozen rolls of film in my
new M6. Astia, Provia, and T400CN. This was my very first extended use of
an M camera. I carried it everywhere, and photographed everything.

There are some things I like and some things I dis-like about the M camera.

I like it's size. I like the fact that the viewfinder is always bright and
focus is easy, even though DOF is a guesstimate. I looked at the DOF scales
on my lenses a lot. I also figured and used hyperfocal distance focusing a
lot. I'm used to just looking at the DOF on the GG screen in my R cameras.
I liked that I could hand hold the M camera at slow shutter speeds. I think
so anyway. I'll know tomorrow. I like that it's quiet. And that it's small.
Even with Tom's winder. For occasional snaps, I used the film advance
lever. When photographing seriously, Tom's lever came out of the bottom,
which, makes a dandy handle for holding the camera steady, horizontally or
vertically. Tom's winder is really really a wonderful piece of equipment.
I'm used to a winder on my R cameras. Tom's winder on the M is the secret
to photography without interruption. And a steady rest as well. If you
don't have one on your M camera, you are truly missing out. I like how the
meter and LEDs work. The arrow direction for the f/stop, the dimming if an
arrow showing over/under exposure, and the sensitivity with respect to
subject matter seems to be a good all around solution. It works for me.

I DO NOT LIKE the fact that the bottom (Tom's winder in my case) comes off
(rather than hinged) to change film. What an utter pain! I wonder how many
war photographers dropped and/or lost the bottom plate to their SM or M
camera during the heat of battle? Dumb design that could have, and should
have, been fixed long long ago. I do not like the fact that commercial
film, with it's leader curled around the cassette in its package, creates a
hump in the film exactly where the sprockets are and can indeed, sometimes,
be a pain to get the film to line up and engage the sprockets. Basically,
loading film in the M camera, with respect to loading film in the R camera
is really primitive. I don't like that under certain conditions, the frame
lines and/or RF square disappears due to flare (or some other light
phenomenon) in the viewfinder window(s). Moving slightly clears the
condition. But it's a pain to have to dodge around to get necessary
information in the viewfinder.

I think I'll keep my new M6. And by the way, the RF lines up perfectly at
"infinity" which is like three miles (or more) away. Solms and Sherry are
correct. The RF is supposed to line up perfectly at infinity.

I didn't get to do a UV filter flare test. No real sunshine. Just patches
of sun now and again. Mostly again.


I briefly looked through the M6 slides. Boy... the meter seems to be right
on! Every slide I pulled out of the box was perfectly exposed. I'll look at
all them carefully later.