Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/01

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Exploring Leica
From: Scott Busby <>
Date: Fri, 01 May 1998 08:34:06 -0400

Greetings All,

  I'm a new member to the group as well as a new Leica owner.  I have
pursued the art of photography for the last 25 years.  Although
previously a pro, I forsook pleasing others to please myself

  I haven't used 35mm cameras in nearly 20 years focusing primarily on
medium format and occasional large format photography.  Quality, image
sharpness, big negatives, and superb equipment has always provided me
with the technically fine photos I desire.  However, as I have gotten
older, I've grown less inclined to drag out the heavy, cumbersome
equipment.  As a result, my interest in photography as diminished.

  With that said, I should tell you that because of this, I've sold all
my Hasselblad equipment and purchased a couple of M6s.  I decided that I
would simplify my photography and pursue the spontaneity the M6 allows. 
 I am becoming familiar with the Leica line (I was always aware of
Leica's incomparable reputation) and I'm starting to build upon

  Herein lies my problem.  Simply, I've completely lost touch with the
35mm world.  I want to maintain the quality of images I've come to know
with larger negatives.  Since I've solved the camera issue, I want to
move on to materials.  Here's where I lean toward your experiences.

  I primarily shoot black and white.  With medium format, I use strictly
Ilford FP4 and either D-76 or FG7 for my developer.  I use several
different brands of fine printing papers (I like them all for different
reasons) and process them in Dektol.  I never bracket exposures and a 12
exposure roll will yield 12 unique and different images.

  Now that you know a little of how I do things, the main questions:

1.  In black and white work, what are the film preferences and developer
combinations favored by the group? Why?

2.  In color, what are the preferences?  Are chromes preferred over
print film?

3.  When enlarging images, what is the acceptable limit?  I've never
enlarged a MF neg beyond 11X14. I know the answers to the above
questions will determine this.

  No need to reiterate the merits of the Leica or it's various lenses. 
I'm already convinced of them.  I just want to know how you as
photographers capitalize on these merits to there final end.  I don't
limit myself to any one type of photography.  Anything and everybody is
fair game.  My techniques are habitual, but I want to explore.

  Lastly, I don't depend on photography for my livelihood.  I'm strictly
an amateur and I'm the only one I have to please.  I don't want to
deviate from the main topic of Leica, but rather explore its use through
your experiences.  Your comments will at least provide me with a point
of departure.  Oh, and BTW, the list is a great tool.  I've already
learned a great deal.