Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/09/08

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Subject: Re: [Leica] RF question from an SLR kind of guy
From: "Don Dory" <>
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2002 10:53:16 -0400
References: <> <000b01c25744$bcd714c0$1c820043@pcr>

The answer is to keep pressing the shutter button.  After taking uncounted
frames(at one time I was rolling three hundred feet of Tri-X a week) you
begin to get a feel for what is going to happen at any given aperture.  Very
rarely I get surprised as I was with the recent saucers in the wide open
Summarit, it wasn't the out of focus that surprised me, it was the rendition
of the highlights in the background.

Also, to some extant, you have to go with the Ted viewpoint that what is out
of focus is of limited interest for most subjects.  In other words, if you
are using a Noctilux wide open focusing close then not much of the
background is going to be recognizable.   Similarly, even wide open, a 300
F2.8 is going to show a lot when focused at infinity.

The difficulty is when you are using a middle aperture at a middle distance
with a normalish lens.  I think this is where the bokeh people get the
argument for bokeh.  For many people the look of the  35 Summicron gen IV is
so pleasant because the transition from sharp to unsharp is so smooth.  It
allows the photographer to be more careless in consideration of the scene.
I suspect that is also why so many people, myself included, keep the DR
Summicron in our bags.  It is not as sharp as the latest version but it is
better in focus transition which is valuable for some scenes.

And, to answer the question, yes, I do have and use virtually every 50mm
made to fit a Leica.  They all have interesting uses and looks that can make
a photograph.  My only real hole is the 50 Nokton from the fifties, but I
will not pay what is being asked today and haven't met the proverbial pissed
off spouse that wants to sell one for a buck.

In summary, it is really using your tools until you know exactly what that
tool will do for you in most conditions.

Thanks for asking.


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In reply to: Message from "Aram Langhans" <> ([Leica] RF question from an SLR kind of guy)