Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/12/02

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Subject: Re: [Leica] There's viable and there's viable
From: Mark Rabiner <>
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 23:23:07 -0800

Mike Johnston wrote:
> Mark,
> Let's just say I think you'd be in an extremely small minority treating
> the M6 as a "viable commercial system." <g>
> --Mike

Well "viable commercial system." Is a pretty vague thing for me to have said. An
M6 is not a Hasselblad. But it is what it is. It is simply not limited to
stealth street shooting. I am cranking out rolls with my "moterized" M6 with
Balcar and White Lightning Strobes. Doing things I did for years with my Nikons.
Model Portfolios, Fashion, Promotional photography. A 1/50 is no problem in a
studio situation. You just have to be aware of letting models get too close to
light heads with bright modeling lamps while using faster films and not stopped
down very far. 
Having switched to Xtol as my black and white developer I am now wanting to use
400 speed films when I used to use 100 or even 50.
I am having no problem doing that, sometimes I'll see a highlight trail in the eye.
I'm sure plenty of photographers are using M6s for annual reports and on
location fashion. Those everywhere fold away round reflector things have become
mainstays replacing fill flash in many a shoot which would require them in the
80's. I've never done annual reports but plenty of on location fashion and the
M6 is a great tool for that from what I can tell so far. Plenty of fashion
photographers use M6's and fashion is a mainstay of what we think of  when we
think "commercial". Toaster ovens is the other thing we think of when we think
"commercial" and that belongs to the larger formats.  The Hasselblads and the
Sinars. The shot of Anne Leibowitz in Vanity Fair with her M6 and winder comes
to mind. I believe she was covering something for a film production company. In
effect Promo shots, a big budget thing of course. No one of course questioned
her use of equipment. I'm sure no one complained. I'm sure she got the shots she
was trying to get. I'm sure she cranked out a ton of film and was all over the
place and ran her M6's through the wringer. And I'm sure they did the job the
needed to do passing with flying colors. But I'd love to see some of the shots
as they weren't shown in that issue of Vanity Fair. No one said "Where's your
Mamiya 6x7's Annie? Where's your Nikons don't you care about us?" We know of the
solid reasons she picked the M6, a solid camera. Vi able.
Mark Rabiner
Vi do you ask?