Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/01/18

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Subject: RE: [Leica] RE: 75 Summilux M, focus point approximation, 75mm frame, and Dr. Joseph Yao
From: "Dan Honemann" <>
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 20:30:09 -0500

John (and any other interested LUGgers),

> I'm sure your conclusions were made after careful planning, as well.

Yes, to put it euphemistically.  In fact, I've been _obsessed_ with this
decision for (too) many months.  I started with just a chrome .72x M6 TTL
and the current 50 summicron (black).  Soon thereafter, I added an M-grip
(which I love and depend upon), a universal polarizer (also love, but hate
the price and the build quality--mine is already falling apart after only 5
months of use), and a Kodak 4200 carousel projector (wish I had gotten an
Ektagraphic now).

I got by with this simple kit since last April, and shot a hundred or so
rolls through it.  It's probably all I ever needed, to be honest, but I was
looking for a little help with street shooting (more DOF, hence the 35),
close-up work (tighter image size, hence the 75) and low-light capability
(hence the summiluxes).

> You wouldn't happen to be shooting Astia and/or Agfa Scala
> would you?
> You wouldn't by chance be using a Domke F803 bag would you?  Any
> Billingham
> or Fogg supplementary bags?  Grips on your cameras for easy of withdrawal
> from the carrying case  and for enhanced balance?

Bags: I bought both a Domke F803 (bingo) and a Courierware bag, but pretty
much use the latter exclusively (the Domke gathers dust, but it's a fine bag
in its own right).  It was silly to buy both, but I was initially
unimpressed with the Courierware bag and so ran off and got the Domke.
After using them both for a couple of weeks, I settled on the Courierware
with a tenba insert.

Film: I mostly shoot Tri-X for b&w (although I just discovered Agfa 100 and
LOVE it) and either Velvia or ProviaF 100 for color.  Andrew Moore (my
co-conspirator in obsessing over camera equipment decisions, and a big help,
along with several other LUGgers) convinced me to shoot some Astia and I
just got the slides back this evening.   I may be a convert.  Never tried
Scala, though.

Accessories: I've gone a little crazy in this department recently.  I bought
the following all within the last two months:

- -- Gitzo 1227 carbon fiber tripod + a Linhof Profi-II ballhead
- -- Bogen 449 carbon fiber monopod + Bogen 3232 tilt-swivel head
- -- Really Right Stuff clamps and plates for the above
- -- Leica table top tripod and ball-and-socket head (I'm on a stability kick
- -- Leica SF 20 flash
- -- Lecia 5x loupe
- -- Eschenbach 6x illuminated magnifier
- -- Porta-Trace 11x18 light table
- -- Sekonic L-208 Twinmate light meter (reflective and incident)

The 35/1.4 asph and Hexar RF are on order from Joseph Yao and should arrive
within the next two weeks.

Of all the items on my list of recent acquisitions, the only one that I'm a
bit disappointed with is the L-208 meter.  I had hoped to mount this on the
hotshoe (it comes with an adapter) of my father's old Kodak Retina IIa to
use as a reflective meter, but it's really a bit too big and bulky for that.
It does make a fine pocketable meter; however, if I'm going to have an
external incident meter that I keep in a pocket, I'd rather have the Gossen
digital Luna Pro F.  Since the Twinmate arrived just last week, I'm toying
with the idea of seeing if I can trade up for the Gossen (this is the one
piece of equipment that I got from B&H).

> I decided to simplify my life by using one magnification for all
> three of my
> TTL M's - 0.85.  It's easy to get used to using the entire field
> of view of
> the 35mm ASPH 'Lux with the 0.85  Having only one magnification
> gives one a
> lot of flexibility - although many would disagree.

Alas, I'm an eyeglass wearer and the 35 on the HM finder is invisible to me.
Even the 50 takes a look around to see.  But dedicating a 75 to it should be
fine for my purposes.  I love the 90 frame in the .85x (it looks like the 50
frame in the .72x to me).  I need the Hexar for the 35.

> Three bodies with three lenses is definitely the way to go.

Absolutely agree.  Changing lenses is too time-consuming, prone to
accidents, and just plain inconvenient.  Besides, with three bodies you have
the option of having three different emulsions available without having to
change mid-roll.  Making the Hexar one of the three means having the option
of a 1/125s flash synch, 1/4000 sec top shutter speed, AE, and a quiet

> A 90mm and 21mm (w/finder) would extend
> this outfit to cover just about any conceivable situation (at a
> pretty hefty cost, though).

Yup.  Although I keep hearing rave reviews of the 135.  And I'd probably opt
for the 24 asph over the 21.  But hey--those decisions are down the road
yet.  I think there isn't much I'll miss between the 35 and 75 Luxes.

Happy shooting, John.  Wish I were out in Phoenix, too; these wintry
Baltimore days get old fast.