Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/07/07

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Noctilux Gloom-Buster VS 75mm f/1.4 ...
From: Ted Grant <>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 22:03:12 -0700

Carl Socolow wrote

<<<<<I used to do daily news photography I worked with guys who had grown
up using Speed Graphics. For them, they had one good chance at making the
photo; a second sheet of film was often a luxury.>>>>>

Hi Carl,
How true a posting! I know just the kind of guys you are talking about. I
was influenced by and learned more from the gang I worked with than any
other group.

We had 12 sheets of 4X5 film and 12 assignments! And if you shot a second
sheet on the same subject, there was a possiblility the old guy who did the
printing might kill you for making more work for him. :) He just put the
fear of the great God of the Darkroom in you if film was wasted.

He wouldn't print any of those "toy negatives (35mm) so don't bring them in
here!". There was only real film, 4X5 and toy film. Toy, meaning anything
smaller than 4X5.:)

<<<<Of course lens changes were next to impossible. This brought to them a
discipline which they instilled in me. Namely, that you could do just about
anything with a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera. If you wanted a tight shot move
in closer; a wide shot, move back.>>>>>>>>

This is such a simple way of thinking and shooting that it gores right by
many of the younger crowd today because they've grown-up with zooms and and
carrying quick interchangable lenses. Many of them wouldn't think of
backing-up for a wider shot, lean back maybe. Walk back 20 feet? Forget it.

<<<<<Timing, awareness, subject knowledge, discipline and interaction were
the qualities they continually emphasized. So, too, were lighting and a
sense of narrative or story telling.>>>>>>>

They're still the best basic commodities for shooting today! However, many
still have the idea the "best ___camera__ in the world takes the best
pictures!" :)


Ted Grant
This is Our Work. The Legacy of Sir William Osler.