Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/10/26

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Re: shot not possible with digital
From: "B. D. Colen" <>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 17:31:24 -0500

Wow, Andrew, please be really careful or that ax you're grinding is
going to whack your head clean off...:-)
Having permission to shoot doesn't have a freaking thing to do with
being able to shoot unobtrusively...Go try it...

As to shooting a 1/15th of a second on a "well-lit" subway
train....well, I don't know about you, but getting a shot at 1/15th when
you're standing on something moving - unevenly - is hard for any kind of
camera. And btw, I pointed people to an image shot at, I believe, a 1/4
of a second with a digi....

Yes, film is better at 1600 - but film at 1600 is no great shakes
anyway; it's a compromise. As to shooting at 1/2 second - good for you
that you can handhold your M at that speed...I can't anymore, so it's no
loss to me that my digital is tough to hand hold...

You want to shoot everything on film with Ms? Go for it. But recognize
that there are people successfully using digital cameras - and film SLRs
- - for things you say they can't use them for.

BTW - The subway shot was taken with a full-size digital SLR, without
permission, without signed clearences, etc. etc. etc. And no one paid
any attention to me or the camera for the simple reason that I didn't
call attention to myself and the camera isn't noisy. In fact, it's not
much louder than an M - it's just a different sound.

But obviously, each time I or someone else meets whatever test you put
up, you'll change the test - because I believe in your original post you
talked about shooting at 1/8th of a second - not 1/2...So I showed you a
shot at 1/15th on a moving train, and all of a sudden we were talking
about a shot at 1/2 second....LOL...

The odd thing is that when using my Ms, I rarely found I had to shoot at
below a 1/15th of a second. Sure, there's the rare 1/8th or quarter of a
second...But I'm hardly going to chose my equipment and capture medium
based on the handful of times each year when I may take a shot at 1/4 of
a second or slower.

So why does the idea of digital SLRs make you so hostile? ;-)

- -----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Andrew
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2003 2:30 PM
Subject: [Leica] Re: shot not possible with digital

On Saturday, October 25, 2003, at 01:44  PM, B. D. Colen wrote:

> This suggestion that you need an M or people will freak out and point
> at
> your camera is such horseshit people who claim it should be required
> clean up after themselves with a shovel. Yes, the M's a wonderful

Of course you can shoot people candids with almost any kind of camera - 
duh -
but my earlier point was that shooting in v.low light, hand-held, is a 
huge stretch
for the current crop of DSLRs.  Hell it's a stretch for even a film SLR.

v.Hard to focus in v.low light.  Hard to hold the camera steady with 
its flipping
mirror. Hard to remain inconspicuous when a current high-end DSLR is 
the size of a washing-machine.

Looking at your URL eg (subtitled "Blundering Clumsiness by a Cowardly
Photographer" I presume), which was taken an well-lit subway train - the
validity of my point still holds.

f2.8 at 1/15th at 800 ISO is pretty easy for any camera.  Now try f2 at 
1/2 at
1600 ISO.  (That's a 5 stop difference mate.)

>  in hospital rooms, delivery rooms, churches, at private dinners in 
> family homes

Yeah well - you probably had prior, written, permission to shoot in all
these locations.  In which case you could have even used a 11x14
view-camera and not bothered anyone.

But here's an exercise for you however.  Walk away from the keyboard for
a while and go down to a local department store.  Don't ask for
permission, just start photographing.  (1) it's usually quite dark in
there and (2) dept. store staff are really hostile towards 

After a few "interesting experiences" I think you will slowly realize 
DSLRs aren't as inconspicuous or low-light capable as you once liked to
imagine.  :?)

Andrew N.

(Who somehow managed to contribute to this thread without quoting every
single reply ever posted...)

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