Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/02

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Subject: Re: [Leica] First lens for a new M6 user?
From: Andre Jean Quintal <>
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 1998 01:24:21 -0400

At 19:17 -0700 02/09/98, Steve Maller wrote:
>My first inclination is the 35/2 because I'm looking to do "street"-type
>photographs and that seems to be the length of choice for this genre.
>However, there are those that say the 35/1.4 is better for this
>application. Right now in the US, the difference in price is about $1,100,
>[ . . . ]
>Steve Maller

	1/ Congratulations Steve !

	2/ If i may : to me, a one lens system "basic"
	simply cries out "wide angle". Anything between
	24 and 35 mm for "basic" lens. The Leica 35mm f/2
	is renowned for its crisp life-like performance.
	There was a time i was impressed by wide apertures
	but, with time, i realize my preferred shots are seldom
	below f/4 ones.
	Today's newer ISO 400 film emulsions provide
	such a MEASURABLY fine grain as to compete
	head on with ISO 100 films in a very serious
	and informed way (but other factors tip the scales
	towards the slower film types, obviously).

	The dilemma remains wether to shoot for prints
	or for projection.
	My favorite film remains Kodachrome 64,
	even above Kodachrome 25, when it's not for
	other people: for myself, i project wall-to-wall
	or as big as i can get away with and maintain a clean
	image. I have access to an old beaded Da-Lite
	6' diagonal screen but seldom use it.

	For prints, i keep shifting between brands:
	Fuji Reala 100, Kodak Royal Gold 100, Agfa Optima 100.
	Kodak tends to be more aggressive with promotions here.
	Or, if it's a real low light situation i have to "work with",
	i usually go for Kodak PMZ 1000 which, in a 4" x 6" or 5" x 7"
	is quite good PROVIDED you use an above average lab.
	[ I found one, out of town, about same prices, but
	three days more: the extra quality really is worth the wait.]

	As soon as Kodak Royal Gold 25 comes my way,
	i'll have a shoot out. Ektachrome E200 i have to try too
	for all the positive comments i hear (and read) about it.

	I avoid shooting "street" style photos when low light
	as people tend to get real "Big Brother" paranoid.
	If i do, i pre-focus, tend to use ISO 1000 color negative,
	but locally it's a no-no except for festivals and such,
	just for the kind of people who "hang out" after dark . . .
	The extra depth-of-field a wide angle lens then
	delivers is a real magic "no-question-about-it" plus.

	I would try to sell you on the idea of the 1 f/stop "slower"
	f/2 and apply the difference in due time when
	an opportunity to get a 75mm or 90mm at a decent
	cost to you comes by, new or pre-owned.
	There's a new APO 90mm coming out, so there'll
	be a wave of very clean 75 / 90 "used" lenses "floating" around . . .
	and so very few shoot with infra-red film !

	This would give then give you a VERY STRONG two lens
	professional grade camera "kit", Leica brand mind you,
	and there is not much, where practical photography
	is concerned, that you would not be able to do.

	As for the option of getting a 50mm "normal" lens
	as "basic", i simply don't like what "normal" lenses
	allow me to do in the way of perspective control
	and composition. With a 24 to 35mm focal length lens,
	there's a lot more "drama" that can be packed in
	a photo, not over-doing it.

	A third lens would "naturally" go super-wide
	but a very good projector would come before.
	With those new Kodak Carousel / Leica  "hybrids"
	just coming out, the better choice is 100% obvious
	where that is concerned.

	I hope you find my comments useful
	and enjoy an enduring and wonderful Leica experience.

	Andre Jean Quintal

	PS: If you can, do get the new TTL-capable improved
	Leica M6 version: you won't regret it. Trust me on this.

"He looked like lightning,
his robe was white as snow" . . .
Matth 28 : 3

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