Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/09/12

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Subject: Re: [Leica] It's all about M's
From: Dante A Stella <>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 06:58:58 -0400
References: <> <>

Axel Schwieker wrote:

> This accuracy is of _no_ use if the smallest exposure adjustment you can
> do on a M is 1/2-stop. 1/4 stop shutter+meter accuracy is enough.

But it is of use if you have a continuously-variable electronic shutter.  And
Leicas don't have 1/4 stop shutter + meter accuracy, in part because each part
of a meter-focal plane system has a 1/4 stop tolerance, which is additive.  1/2
stop is enough to influence things.

> AE does not ensure correct exposure. It screws up at least just as often
> as fully manual with intelligent presetting.

In my experience, AE with a lock function produces correct exposures 98+% of
the time.  It only requires you to understand the metering pattern.
"Intelligent presetting" completely breaks down in situations where you are
below the thresholds of the basic exposures -

> If you never shoot in quiet places, this my be true. The motor
> dependability however has another drawback. The Hexar is dead without
> working batteries.

This is a rehash of an argument that has been going on for 30 years.  A CR2
(which, incidentally, the R8 uses, too), weighs half an ounce and is not a big
deal.  For the weight (and size) of a Leica winder of any description, you can
carry 50 or more of them - meaning that you would need to go through 5,000-7500
rolls of film before having a dead battery.  I have been using cameras with
batteries for about 16 years, and I have yet to have a battery-induced failure,
even in a couple of -20 F winters.

You can see what faction is losing this argument when all top-end professional
SLR cameras require batteries to operate (and this has been the case for some
time).  It's not a big deal.

If I need something really quiet, I reach for my black Hexar AF.  Makes an M6
sound like a gunshot.  Contrary to what most people think, even rubberized
cloth (and Canon foil) focal plane shutters are quite audible in really quiet
places.  If you are cathedral shooting in Europe, I have discovered that even
the Fuji GA645s are not audible - and they are quite loud.

> The M6 is a thinking photogs tool, not for the dumb masses. DX is just
> convenience for weekend shooters. Please consider, I shoot most of my
> film at a different rating than its DX encoded ISO number. DX reading
> just gets in the way. A camera without DX override would be useless to
> me.

Again, I'm not sure what you are trying to argue.  The Hexar has a DX override,
which I use most of the time for print film.  And you make a funny point - why
would being a "thinking photographer" necessarily coincide with having the
money to buy a Leica?  It sounds like the same argument that people with
$30,000 stereos make - implicitly that *they* can hear the difference.
Frankly, I would guess that poor people would have better hearing (since their
hearing has not been made weak by disuse).  A Leica does not necessarily
transform you into a "thinker."  Of course if you are financially tapped by
buying one, you may need to save film.

> What you _really_ need is a direct manual setting of the ISO speed.
> Well, maybe some brains ;) Nothing more.
> Axel

What camera lacks manual ISO?

Dante Stella

Replies: Reply from Mark Rabiner <> (Re: [Leica] It's all about M's)
In reply to: Message from Axel Schwieker <> (Re: [Leica] It's all about M's)