Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/11/30

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Frustrations!
From: "JeffS" <>
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 09:11:30 -0700

- -----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: <>
Date: Monday, November 30, 1998 12:36 AM
Subject: [Leica] Frustrations!

>I just completed a printing session in my darkroom. Days like these make me
>wonder why I continue with this !#$@ hobby !:) Frustrations today centered
>negatives that could have been good, but were not. I thought I would relay
>what I've noticed, and maybe some of you folks who know what your doing can
>help me out.
>The pictures I take are a mixture of snapshots and landscapes. Most of my
>people pictures are of friends and relations (too shy around strangers!).
>landscapes that I enjoy most have some type of machinery in them.
>I use an M6, and 35 and 90 summicrons. Film is generally HP5+, with some
>100 and TMZ. I rarely print larger than 7" x 9" on 8x10 paper.
>Before I list out my screw-ups, I would like to pat myself on the back and
>that I do seem to be able to set the exposure properly. None of my messed
>negatives were messed up because of exposure. Anyway, here we go:
>1) Not getting close enough to the subject. This problem struck mostly in
>people pictures. I find that what I want to print is usually about 1/4-1/2
>total negative. This means that I have to enlarge the negative a lot, which
>makes the grain very visible and seems to soften the overall image. I
>if I should change over to a 50mm lens - I never seem to back away from my
>subjects - I just don't get close enough. Maybe I could just have someone
>stand behind me and push hard at the right moment...
>2) Depth of Field - not enough. This one really makes me mad. I know how to
>figure this out (though it is a little harder with an M6 than it was with
>SLR with DOF preview). I think that I just have to be more thoughtful (hard
>with a moving 3 year old), and for landscapes, pack some sort of camera
>support (a mono pod?) to enable smaller apertures.
>3) Camera shake. Is there any way to practice holding the camera still? I
>usually follow the 1/focal length rule of thumb for hand holding, but I
>have trouble, especially with the 90. A related question, when you hold the
>camera vertical, do you have your right hand on top or bottom?
>Those were today's problems, with the negatives I thought worthy of trying
>print. Of course there were many that were not worth even trying -- but I
>think that is a relatively common occurrence. The final bit of frustration
>not having anything worthwhile to practice my printing on - I am relatively
>new to the darkroom (~150 sheets of paper exposed).
>Anyway, any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance,
>David Feldman
>Davis, CA