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Bill Pierce - Leica M photog and author

 

“Our autobiography is written in our contact sheets,  and our opinion of the world in our selects”  

"Never ever confuse sharp with good, or you will end up shaving with an ice cream cone and licking a razor blade."  

 

Bill Pierce is one of the most successful Leica photographers and authors ever. I initially "met" Bill in the wonderful 1973 15th edition Leica Manual (the one with the M5 on the cover). I kept reading and re-reading his four chapters, continually amazed at his knoweldge and ability, thinking "if I only knew a small part of what this guy knows... wow."  I looked foward to his monthly columns in Camera 35 and devoured them like a starving man.  Bill has worked as a photojournalist  for 25 years, keyword: WORK.  Many photogs dream of the professional photographer's  life that Bill has earned and enjoyed.  Probably Bill's most famous pic is Nixon departing the White House for the last time, victory signs still waving. 

 

Bill  has been published in many major magazines, including  Time, Life, Newsweek, U.S. News, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, New York Magazine, Stern, L'Express and Paris Match.  :His published books include  The Leica Manual,  War Torn, Survivors and Victims in the Late 20th Century, Homeless in America,  Human Rights in China,  Children of War.  Add to that numerous exhibitions at major galleries and museums.  Magazine contributions include  Popular Photography,  Camera 35, Leica Manual,  Photo District News, the Encyclopedia of Brittanica, the Digital Journalist, and now RFF.  Major awards include Leica Medal of Excellence, Overseas Press Club's Oliver Rebbot Award for Best Photojournalism from Abroad,  and the World Press Photo's Budapest Award. Perhaps an ever bigger award is Tom Abrahamsson's comment: "If you want to know Rodinal, ask Bill."

 

I met Bill in person through our mutual friend Tom Abrahamsson.  In person his insight and comments are every bit as interesting and engaging as his writing.  He is a great guy who really KNOWS photography.  I am happy to say he has generously agreed to host this forum at RFF  From time to time Bill will bring up topics, but you are also invited to ask questions.  Sit down and enjoy the ride!

 


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Old 03-19-2011   #51
mathomas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
I'm still waiting for Domke to come out with a "stretch" version of the F5-XB. It would be longer than the standard bag by one additional compartment. It would have three dividers, instead of two, to create four compartments. The belt loop would be replaced with a rear pocket, like on the F-803 and the F-6, etc.

In keeping with the designation of "stretch" Boeing airliners, this would be the Domke F5-XB-500 model.
Hehe. I feel exactly the same way. I even left a message on the Domke forum at tiffen.com suggesting a F-5XB "little bit bigger".

But I've solved my "perfect bag" problem. The perfect bag is really five bags, for different combos of gear, all Domke. Now that I think of it, I must be insane.

Last edited by mathomas : 03-19-2011 at 21:50.
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Old 03-19-2011   #52
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i think your wife might be right...
I agree, but it would not be bad if they ditched those Y-shaped straps on the side. Those ruin a good design, IMHO.
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Old 03-20-2011   #53
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i think your wife might be right...
I know -- I should always listen to her. Guess I'll just stick with my F-803, which BTW she likes.
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Old 03-20-2011   #54
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I also have an "S-06" bag from Shinzaburo - Hanpu Kaban in Kyoto as follows:

http://www.ichizawashinzaburohanpu.c...em.html?n=s-06

Wonderful bag, excellent quality and takes an insert of about 12x30

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Old 03-22-2011   #55
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For years I got along fine with a surplus gas mask bag which carried an M2 with 19. 35, 50. 90 lenses (each wrapped up in a high grade protective cotton sock), plus about a dozen battered tins of hand-rolled Tri-X. Bought around 1970, wore out in 2005. Since then various Nova squareish bags for one mini-cam each, a Domke F5 (I think, tag is long gone) which now carries two M9s and 2-4 lenses and/or flash gear, chargers etc. And buying a P45+ MFDB brought along a huge Pelikan plastic wheeled case for two Hassies and three lenses plus backs. I almost never use the Pelikan, and in fact always prefer to just hand carry one camera and at most one extra lens that I think I might need.

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Old 03-22-2011   #56
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I'm using the Tenba Mixx (small). It currently holds a Nikon D700 w/ 85mm 1.8 (hood attached), a second lens, Nikon SB-30 flash, voice recorder, 5 rolls of film, two reporters notebooks, and several pens and flash drives. The small external pockets and one of the two lens partitions on the inside remain unused. A lot of space for such a small bag. My only complaint is that it doesn't stay close enough to my hip, and slips off of my slanted shoulders constantly (can't help my genetics).
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Old 03-24-2011   #57
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I'm sure there is a thesis this for someone :-) .

My latest bag is a Domke f802 clone and its working out just great containing my M6, 50mm and 35mm lenses, lens cloths, rolls of film, notebook, holga and lots of room for more, without it looking like a camera bag.

Of course, I have many other bags, one of which is a Lowepro Nature AW II and weighs almost as much as the gear I put into it. You can imagine how much use that gets :-)
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Old 03-24-2011   #58
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I tried a lot of different bags but actually I guess I just found the perfect one :
It's a messenger bag made for (my) life by Chrome, San Francisco, USA.

With its comfortable strap, that messenger bag previously designed to be used on a bike fits perfectly to my body when I move, but with the quick release, I can take my camera instantly.
The two passed years it was with me in all my photo trips, and never betrayed me.

In my bag there's : a notebook, a pen, my phone, a pen lens cleaner, a cable release, my camera with 3 or 4 lenses, a flash unit, batteries for my camera and the flash unit, memory cards, and a mini tripod.
There's still little pockets for money, ID card, tickets…

(The partition is an addition; if I take it out I have my original bag back.
I can also get as many lens pouches as I want if I move the pads.)
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Old 03-24-2011   #59
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With rangefinders, usually two bags. The carry bag is an A&A - I don't remember which one - that holds two Ms, one with a 28 mounted and the other with a CV 21. A 50 Summilux pre-asph and a 90 Summicron, also pre-asph, are mounted back to back in the center compartment. An A&A film gizmo - holds four rolls - on one end, and two Vivitar 2800s in the outside pockets. Everything's available and nothing falls out. The in-the-car bag - a little bit smaller Domke - holds an M8, a Viso III, a 200, and a 135 2.8, extra film, batteries, etc. This can do everything I need to do, film or digital, except sports. For that, a Canon DSLR in a Domke F2. Too much? Sure. But I do shoot for work and don't always know what I'll need until I get there. For walking around, an M with a 50, a small 35 and a Tele-Elmarit back to back and a couple rolls of film.
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Old 03-24-2011   #60
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I just pulled the trigger on the perfect bag -- a Thinktank Retrospective 20. Yes, I know it is too big for a daily use bag with RF gear, but I already have a UD 30 for that. It is for my other uses where the Retro 20 is perfect: 1) with with my D700 and 2 zooms up to a 70-200mm OR 2) for travel with an RF body and 2-3 lenses, a NEX5 + kit lens, film, accessories and non-photo gear such as a rain jacket, Moleskine notebook, paperback to read, netbook, etc... Any other RFF'ers with the Retrospective 20?

PS - if you go to the blog below and link on the SPECIAL OFFER link to the TT website, you get a free accessory (small bag, strap, etc...) with your bag order. I'm not affiliated with the blog or its owner -- just wanted to pass along the deal.

http://www.ronmartblog.com/2010/01/r...-disguise.html
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Last edited by kxl : 03-24-2011 at 20:49.
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Old 03-24-2011   #61
back alley
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i just bought a domke 5xc, it can hold all my gear when i prefer to take it all with me rather than decide.
i have used the domke 5xb for years (off & on) for a smaller kit and i'm about to buy (again) a domke 5xa for when i want just a very few things to carry...
so clearly for me, the domke 5x series is perfection!
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Old 03-26-2011   #62
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Hmm, looks like I have the worst bag here.

Those Domke bags looks really nice







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Old 03-26-2011   #63
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The perfect bag, for me, would be the bag you can get order-made, or nearly order made. And then will last forever.

I am still to confirm that, but Fogg bag may very well be the ticket with that matter.
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Old 03-28-2011   #64
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You need a bag for your age. In 1969 I was balanced: the right shoulder bore a Canon FL body in a holster case with 85-300mm fitted. The left shoulder bore the weight of a plastic bag stuffed with Canon and Leica rangefinders. Today, at 71, I rely on a Hadley with M2 35, M3 50 plus a 28 coupled to a 90 by a ring. Plus a Sekonic incident and plenty of film. The olive green Hadley is so trashed that nobody will ever feel tempted to snatch it, butv it will outlive me...
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Old 03-28-2011   #65
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I have two Billinghams. One Hadley and one Alice. One Lowepro Slingshot 100 and LowePro Pro Runner 350 AW chinese lookalike.
Now I just carry my M2 w 35mm around my shoulder with film in my pocket. What a relief.
My other bags will go except for the big backpack.

I have however just ordered the ThinkTank Retrospective 10 for my Pentax 67 w/ two lenses. The magic of medium format is a heavy burden indeed...
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Old 03-29-2011   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Lupo View Post
I like this one too, but my wife thinks it's ugly. Ah well - so I have no taste!

And at least the price is a bit more palatable than the other one....
http://www.wotancraft.com/products/b...plorer/006.htm
Domke now has those waxed fabric bags; I think they call them "ruggedwear." I don't have any of them -- yet.
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Old 03-29-2011   #67
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Cant help myself, do you use colour or BW film in your D700?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaredangle View Post
I'm using the Tenba Mixx (small). It currently holds a Nikon D700 w/ 85mm 1.8 (hood attached), a second lens, Nikon SB-30 flash, voice recorder, 5 rolls of film, two reporters notebooks, and several pens and flash drives. The small external pockets and one of the two lens partitions on the inside remain unused. A lot of space for such a small bag. My only complaint is that it doesn't stay close enough to my hip, and slips off of my slanted shoulders constantly (can't help my genetics).
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Old 03-29-2011   #68
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i've got three that i cycle through right now. the general design idea is small+light, top open with zipper (no velcro, no clips, no flaps).

1. for a lot of stuff - diaperdude



2. for most days - eastpak madison (likely discontinued)



3. for light days - pacsafe fannypack. yes it looks douchey, but i have come to the conclusion that there is no elegant way to carry a camera. this one would be very awesome if it clipped on and off more easily.



oh, there's a 4. artist and artisan bag with inserts, which i take when i really take a lot of gear. i had bought it with the intention of it being my #1 bag, and it's great, but just very big.
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Old 03-29-2011   #69
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Good choice!

Chrome Mini-Metros have been my main camera bags for over 6 years. I have 1 left-shouldered & 1 right-shouldered & alternate between the 2 so I don't end up as a hunchback.

For inserts, I use Billinghams & Tenbas w/different configurations. They also fit in briefcases & other bags that I use for work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gekopaca View Post
I tried a lot of different bags but actually I guess I just found the perfect one :
It's a messenger bag made for (my) life by Chrome, San Francisco, USA.

With its comfortable strap, that messenger bag previously designed to be used on a bike fits perfectly to my body when I move, but with the quick release, I can take my camera instantly.
The two passed years it was with me in all my photo trips, and never betrayed me.

In my bag there's : a notebook, a pen, my phone, a pen lens cleaner, a cable release, my camera with 3 or 4 lenses, a flash unit, batteries for my camera and the flash unit, memory cards, and a mini tripod.
There's still little pockets for money, ID card, tickets…

(The partition is an addition; if I take it out I have my original bag back.
I can also get as many lens pouches as I want if I move the pads.)
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Old 03-29-2011   #70
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Domke F2.
*the* perfect bag.

Unless when you're shooting 8x10 with a beat up Burke&James, then a sturdy fruit box is the deal
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Old 03-29-2011   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanOnRoute66 View Post
If by "worst," you mean the most-worn, I don't think so:

Note the holes in the corners of the top flap and the cheesy patch covering a very large hole in the back pocket. This is one of the original Domke bags made way back when Jim Domke started the company. The bag has the plywood bottom.
Looks beautiful to me At least have some protection left
Mine don't offer anything as a protection, it's just soft russian gasmask bag. I love the color, but I like your more!!!
Respect,
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Old 04-01-2011   #72
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domke f2 of course
walking around bag is a domke f6, with single insert 9 2 lens.
in this, a nikon s2 rangefinder with 50, 35,or 21mm lens; inthe larger dection, a pentax mx with 50mm.

option of rangefinder or slr, as arises
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Old 04-01-2011   #73
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further to bags. the brady gelderburn is a joy in and of itself
great for the market, with rubber liner intact.
but never found it useful for cameras.
then came domke, and i've never looked back
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Old 04-03-2011   #74
csg
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I use a Filson's small field bag for my M8 and a couple of lenses. It also pockets for a phone, lens cleaners and all sorts of stuff. Its waterproof, doesn't look like a camera bag, and will last forever. It's perfect for me!
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Old 04-04-2011   #75
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Anybody tried sewing their own bag? I did some bags for my touring bike in the same styles as Carradice and Ghille Berthoud bags, and I'm starting to think about making something like the wotancraft bags, only larger (for my mamiya super 23 kit and flashes). I have googled a lot but I can't find anybody making anything inspiring. Mostly modding existing (often surplus) bags.

I'm also thinking of making a dedicated little TLR shoulder bag.
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