Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/08/03

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Subject: [Leica] leica M vs. R for people
From: Francesco Sanfilippo <>
Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 18:10:41 -0700

After having shot hundreds of rolls with my Leica M and R
cameras over the past year, I have decided that I like the way 
the 100/2.8 APO photographs people better than any other lens.
I have used the 100/2.8 with both the R8 and the R4.  On the R4,
the weight is balanced beautifully and the combo is not awkward
around my neck or on my tripod.  I also finally got my 180/2.8-APO
to replace my 180/2.8 original version.  DAMN that's a fine lens too,
but I have not shot many models with it yet...only two.

I take my M6 with the 35, 50, and 90 AND my R4 with the 100 and 180
on EVERY photo shoot I do with a model.  I have tried and tried to get
my favorite shots with the M6/35 or M6/50 combo, and sometimes I do.
BUT, today I shot 2 rolls with the M6/35, 1 roll with the M6/50, and 
3 rolls with the R4/100, and I just examined the slides on the light box.
That darn 100 APO won again!  Almost every photo I made with that 
lens was stunning!  BEAUTIFUL bokeh at 2.8/125 in a partially shaded 
pine grove this AM, but it was 100F degrees out today!  I was on top
of Mt. Laguna here in So. CA. at 10AM, shooting on a horse trail that
runs along a crystal stream under a patchwork canopy of pines.  The
model wore some gorgeous baby blue lingerie that stood out marvelously
against the greens and browns.

Of course, photos are helped when the model is a veritable goddess, 
but the 100 APO was a standout!  I did some shots in the same lighting 
with the M6/35 combo and the contrast was much higher than in the 
100 APO shots.  Where the 100 APO balanced the highlights and the 
dark spots perfectly, the 35/2 ASPH blew out the highlights and 
blackened the dark corners.  I think I'll be lessening the load of M
equipment from now on and working more with the R lenses....I have
been forcing myself to use the M6 to work with models, but I find
I can focus the R lenses much faster and with much more accuracy.
Overall, I am more and more pleased every shoot with the results I 
get from the R4 and my 2 R lenses.

Maybe I'm just an SLR kinda it a genetic trait?  Must one be
born with the ability to master fast-paced shooting with an M6?

Just some comments from today's shoot......