Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/06/02

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Color print portrait film
From: "Gary Todoroff" <>
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 19:20:18 -0700

> From: Bill Bain 
> I have been drafted into doing my daughter's soccer team portraits . . .

Hi Bill,
Just last Saturday, It did an almost identical setup to the one you're
describing - a shaded backyard outdoor portrait using an M6 on a tripod
with 90mm Tele-Elmarit and Vivitar 285 with the BD-2 reflector card

Using Kodak Gold 100 ASA, an incident meter reading with my old Gossen
LunaSix showed 1/50 (M6 flash setting) between f/2.8 and 4, ideal to throw
the green background (a hillside of ferns) pleasantly out of focus. I set
the 285 flash on the yellow auto setting, which showed an f-stop of 1.4 on
the flash dial (set at 100 ASA). That gave me a fill flash of about 2 1/2
stops under my daylight exposure, regardless of the distance I shot at.

The pictures turned out excellent. The reflector card gave a subtle
catch-light in the eyes, somewhat larger and softer than the tell-tale
pinpoint light reflection of the direct flash. (You can just shape a piece
of white cardboard, too, and tape it to the flash). The amount of fill was
perfect to light up a shaded hand or fold in clothing. It was a portrait of
a woman and her dog - on a couple of shots we were all laying flat on the
ground (the dog held still best that way!), which would have made for very
dark shadows under her chin or under the dog's head. The fill flash setting
turned out just right - slightly lit, but not obviously filled.

A few of us on the LUG talked already about my chrome Tele-Elmarit. This
lens may be a collectible, but it is the best shooting portrait lens I have
every used in my 90mm experience, which has included Elmar f/4, Elmarit
2.8, Summicron 2.0, Elmar-C f/4 and Elmarit-R 2.8. I like them all, but
that Tele flatters people like no other lens I have ever used. It seems to
be an especially pleasing skin-tone combination with Kodak Gold. (With Fuji
Astia for slides, it's fantastic!)

So focus carefully and  keep that f-stop open wide! Unfortunately, that is
only possible in fairly dim light at 100 ASA, since we are limited to a max
speed of 1/50th with the M camera and electronic flash. I suppose you could
"gain" a couple of f-stops wider in brighter light by using Kodak Ektar 25
(or whatever it is called now) or even by using a neutral density filter.

Go for it, Bill, and have fun!

Gary Todoroff