View Full Version : Need some advice on RF
I shoot weddings on weekends, on occassion and depending upon the church I either have to stand way in the back (I have telephoto lenses for those instances) or if required I may fing myself in the ffront pew with the family shooting sitting down so as to not to interfere or distract from the procedings, what I'm looking for is a camera that I can use under those conditions.
This are my expecs:
1. Quiet shutter
2. Leica compatible lens mount
3. Aperture priority
4. Automatic film avance (this is optional)
Righ now I have am XPan, but the lens is a bit slow, I have consider the Hexar as an option, and like the Leicas but I can deal with the way in which film is loaded under pressure.
Any adviced will be greatly appreciated and feedback on the Hexar as well.
There are no Russian cameras with both a Leica compatible lens mount and which are also quiet. Russian cameras are a lot of fun, but not what you are looking for. Rule these out.
Hugh, the only camera that meets these requirements besides a Leica M7 is the discontinued Konica Hexar RF. The shutter is quiet, but some people complain about the whir of the motorized film advance that follows it; you'll have to listen & decide for yourself. There have also been mixed reviews about the compatibility of Leica lenses. It is an M-mount, so the lenses mount just fine, but the question is whether they will focus properly with it. Some say yes, some no. If you have Leica lenses, maybe a camera shop will let you try it out. The Konica lenses are reportedly superb, but their lens line for this camera is limited (28, 35, 50, 90 - with the 35 being very hard to find in USA). They are currently for sale on e-bay, but otherwise they are hard to find new. I have seen them recently in Camera Wholesalers (Stamford, CT), Photo Stop in NJ (check their website), & one of the camera shops in Bryn Mawr, PA. You can find it at B&H but only in a kit for $2500 with the 50/1.2 - which might be just the thing for indoor shots at weddings & still cheaper than a comparable Leica package. B&H also has the body available for $1000 but only the 28/2.8 lens. I have seen them readily available on websites of camera shops in England with all lenses including the 35, which I think is f2 like the 50. The 28 & 90 are both 2.8. Build/construction of both the body & lenses is excellent.
Have you considered the Leica CL/Minolta CLE?
I believe this meets all of your specs except for the automatic film advance, which you said was optional anyway...
Minolta CLE on CameraQuest (http://www.cameraquest.com/cle.htm)
I have no experience with these, so others who have would be more qualified to offer advice/opinions than I. However, it seems that a good one might meet your needs.
I might also add that in my experience, there are no quieter shutters than leaf shutters, which to the best of my knowledge are not available with a Leica (LTM or M) mount for lenses. (The Braun Super Paxette had a 39mm thread mount, but not with the same lens registration distance - LTM lenses won't work with them.)
You might consider a trade-off: give up Leica lens compatibility in exchange for quietness. A fixed-lens rangefinder of the 1970s in good working order can be VERY quiet. My favorite for quietness is my Yashica Electro CC - 35mm lens, f1.8 as I recall. It has the annoying 'Yashica Clunk' noise on wind-on, but still very quiet. There are lots of others of this type. There are even some with interchangeable lenses - the Diax IIb comes to mind.
If you must have a modern/new camera, have you considered the Cosina/Voigtlander Bessa series? I find that my Bessa (LTM compatible) is fairly quiet (no, not REALLY quiet). No aperture priority, though.
Lots of choices, but you may end up having to make a minor compromise. If it were me, I guess I'd opt for silence - that makes leaf shutters a good choice.
OR...what about digital? Some can have their electronic beeps and whistles turned off - my Olympus D-40 can, for example. But if you're shooting available light/no flash, you'll want a nice fast lens. The Olympus C-5050 has a nice 1.8, as I recall.
Just some thoughts, hope this helps...
I wonder if this calls for a "software" solution rather than hardware? It sounds like the major issue is camera position.
While I'm not an experienced wedding photog, it strikes me that some preliminary work with the wedding planners and scouting the possibilities at the site could pay off with more useful and varied camera positions.
The Minolta is a nice idea if I can find one, I already have my Lynn on the shop, as far as the wedding planners suggestion, those are not the source of problems but the clergy, some don't care if you use flash through the entire ceremony shile other want you to shoot from a fix location 200 yards from the altar, that is where this will come in handy.
The digital is always an options but cameras like the 5050 (I have the 4040) are not as responsive as a good mechanical camera.
BTW, any point and shoots that I should be looking at that can go up to 3200 ISO, I like the Leica CM 35mm Autofocus, but is to much money.
Nikon 35ti, Fuji Klasse = Rollei AFM (Rollei has different coating),Contax T3, Hexar Silver...I used a Minolta TC-1 for a few days,borrowed from a photographer friend,very quiet,excellent lens.
Xpan is Fuji,if you like Super EBC Fujinon, Klasse or Afm maybe worth to check out,$299 ,B&H .I don't think the 38/2.6 is inferior to the CM's 40/2.4. Minilux has a very very small viewfinder,hope the CM improved it.
Why Xpan in the first place?
The Xpan I use for large wedding groups, essencially it serve another purpose during the wedding as I tend to work in very tight spaces.
Always wondering how for average joe processing flims at Walgreen to print Xpan pictures?
If Xpan, why not 645?
In weddings, all those,as we call them,Mr. Dog and Mr. Cat (unknown relatives and friends from no-where) use 35mm...
An Xpan with a 45mm lens acts like a better wide angle rectilinear than a comparable 645 lens, I have those as well.
For all the rest is either digital or 645.
I shot weddings for years and I know the problem with "clergy preferences": no flash during the ceremony, you can't come past 5th pew, etc.
If I wasn't able to get the shot during the wedding,I compromised by recreating the shot after the ceremony: the kiss, lighting the candles, the rings, and others that didn't need to have the audience in them. I never had a problem getting cooperation from the church, attendants, or family.
Candids are another issue, I typically shot them with a telephoto lens on my Nikon F4 and all others with my Hasselblad.
As far as Leica mount cameras, get a Leica and practice loading it over and over, use 36 exposure film so you won't have to load as often, or buy 2 bodies and keep both loaded.
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