Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/16

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Subject: [Leica] Few questions and comments
From: "Victor Wek" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 17:45:45

I have few questions:
- - How to focus and compose picture on old rangefinders? I use Zorki 4k with 
135mm lens, and sometimes 35mm lens on my M3 with Russian extra viewfinder 
(28-35-50-85-135 for ~15$). First I focus and then compose. Is this a proper 
order? It really helps to know the lens coverage.
Bessa T can be good in situation one lens one camera. If Bessa T is light I 
will consider 'T' model for my hiking trips.
- - What special about black/white photography? A lot of Leica users prefer 
this type of pictures. Any time I see B/W picture I wish it will be a color 
one. Even weddings or funerals look better in color then B/W. Slight color 
changes, look great in color, differences in gray tone do not appeal to me.
- - Does anybody use new film without wet processing? Does it really compare 
to regular film? The new film was presented on last Phokina.
- - What was typical film speed in Uhr Leica time? 100ISO, 50ISO or 800? A lot 
of old Barnack's photos have grain. I saw two small photos in 'Leica 
Photographie' made with current 'Uhr' camera and I noticed grain too. Is 
this matter of film used or old lens design?
- - Does anyone do multiple exposure on M Leica, by playing with R knob? Can 
this cause any damage to the wind mechanism?
- - I read Erwin review about R 50mm/1.4 Lux, other people opinion like Tom's 
'The Nocton 50/1,5 is sharper than the Summilux'. I have a feeling Leica 
will do modification to the M Lux (late 50-ies design). They modified almost 
each lens in last couple years, but no M 50mm lens was
change (maybe Elemar with M6J production?). I think increase in production 
quality is not enough for M Lux. Does anyone have information or predictions 
about redesigning 50mm M line by Leica in the next 1-2 years?  I like to 
have one fast lens, 50mm/1.4 will be perfect.
- - Does the current Sumilux have similar, artistic characteristics as 
Noctilux? I run few rolls,but Noctilux is too heavy to me. Noctilux paints 
pictures, it does not make them, they look like pastel art paintings, sharp 
and soft at the same moment. Everything is there: slight color changes, 
color clarity, light modification, sharp objects. With aperture 1.0, the 
depth of field looks bigger then 2mm, on portrait shoot.

Few comments:
- - I use 15mm Heliar, finally I discover how to use 15mm viewfinder properly. 
Finder has no frame like Leica 24mm finder and I had to judge lens coverage 
base on external window. External viewfinder body frame gives me proper lens 
coverage. To be precise I change angle I look through to see exactly where 
the external viewfinder window is. I never focus this lens, my aperture is 
4.5 to 5.6 range and I always use hiperfocus. Good lens for portraits, my 
friend on horse looks like
'Don Kichote'...
- - Recently I used my Nikon FM2, and I almost broke my thumb. To advance the 
film takes such an effort comparing to M6.
- - I did some lens testing. Couple years ago I borrowed Tri Elemar, and I saw 
differences mainly in grass or sand shoot between Leica and Nikon 
lenses.When I bought my new M6, 35 and 90mm lenses I did additional 
comparison. 1st different look, the Leica lenses 'cut' the film, I can count 
grass, someone hair, on Nikon is blur. 2nd out of focus
area changes dramatically when Nikon lens is use, and focus area disappears 
very slowly when Leica lens is use (35/2 or 90/2).  3. Color are smoother 
with Leica lenses. Places with lot of light are often washed out with Nikon 
lenses, but the same spots with Leica lenses still have some color 
gradation. 4. There is no dark area on Leica pictures. The lens can always 
bring some light which exists in dark areas, the same spots on Nikon photos 
are dark. For testing I use M6 and Nikon
FM2  with mirror up (timer) on tripod, and the same lens type from both 
- - Everyone is surprise on the wedding in church, where pro use Canon Eros or 
Nikon F5 with flash, and I do not have to use flash. They have fast lenses 
2.8 etc and I use my M lenses and aperture 2-2.8, they have to use flash I 
do not. I use Reala or Superia 200 and I have times 1/15 - 1/60 sec.
- - In Poland I bought my Russian equipment Zorki 4k with 50mm (~20$), and 
135mm for ~16$.  Actually I bought few lenses but bad ones  I throw away (it 
does not matter when you buy by kilograms). Lenses are inconsistent in 
quality, I found bad and a good lenses. Zorki sometime raps my film. If 
anyone have time to find working equipment it can be great camera. When I 
finally got good Jupiter lenses, my photos are technically better.
I bought this camera because of smell. It has special leather-oil type of 
smell, no camera has that!


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