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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 09-12-2011   #81
BMacW
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This is the BEST bag ever!
http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/bags/aaa5/

You can carry very little and keep it light with an insert. Or pack everything for long trip and off load the cords, charger, laptop when you reach your destination.
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Old 09-12-2011   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMacW View Post
This is the BEST bag ever!
http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/bags/aaa5/

You can carry very little and keep it light with an insert. Or pack everything for long trip and off load the cords, charger, laptop when you reach your destination.
that does look interesting...
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Old 09-12-2011   #83
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i really like this domke insert, called the "dslr" i believe, and any bag which fits around it. a leica with a big lens, and two other (big) lenses fit easily, and the two small pockets can hold a light meter, phone, mp3 etc. stuff.

the photo is of someone else's insert and contents, but gives you a good idea how well a small combination will fit.

greetings from hamburg

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Old 09-12-2011   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickp View Post
i really like this domke insert, called the "dslr" i believe, and any bag which fits around it. a leica with a big lens, and two other (big) lenses fit easily, and the two small pockets can hold a light meter, phone, mp3 etc. stuff.

the photo is of someone else's insert and contents, but gives you a good idea how well a small combination will fit.

greetings from hamburg

rick
I've looked at a few of those on eBay. I was tempted, but my Tamrac 706 convertible can hold all that plus at least two more lenses, plus compartments for film, flash, and other stuff. And it has a waist strap so I can use it as a fanny pack or slide it around and it's a shoulder bag.
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Old 09-12-2011   #85
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I've posted about my bag before, but for those who haven't read those threads... I give you my all time favorite camera bag: The Grafea PHOTO







I can easily fit two bodies and half a dozen lenses, with side pockets holding 8 rolls of film total. The front pocket fits my E-Book reader for down time and all my other little trinkets. You can read my full review of the Grafea Photo on my blog.
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Old 09-12-2011   #86
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speaking of bags...i went looking for a bag that could hold my ipad, my x100 and my rd1 along with a couple of lenses...plus extra batteries for both cameras, sd cards, business cards...everything that i might want to take on a short trip...
and i found one!

the tamrac rally 5...

only problem is, it's too heavy for me to carry for too long, comfortably. this would have been perfect maybe 10 years ago.

but i still might try it for my toronto trip...take the domke 5xa along if i want to travel lighter once i'm there.
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Old 09-12-2011   #87
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I use a Billingham 445 as a generic all-purpose bag. Enough for a day's work (I can put a laptop, a ring binder and a few books in it if I want), but it also works for carrying a DSLR, 2-3 lenses, a monopod, and a spare set of clothes for a weekend.


(not my own picture, it's from here)

It's a bit tricky to put the Billingham 445 on luggage trolley. I ended up using a Spannflex for the base and two S-biner double-gated carbine hooks for the top:



That way I can attach the bag to the trolley in about two seconds.

I use the Billingham inserts with other bags, too, if I need something more compact.
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Old 09-13-2011   #88
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That's a beautiful bag, Disaster_Area, but if I walk out in the open with that I'd end up as a red splotch on the pavement in my God-forsaken country. That said, I just ordered a Billingham 207 so I'm in trouble now.

rxmd: you walk around with that bag?! I find my 445 to be enormous! I relegate it to airport-travel-with-everything-plus-kitchen-sink-bag.
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Old 09-13-2011   #89
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rob
i take your point, and your wish to (be able to) carry more equipment when required. i use the smaller insert to put a physical limit on what i can carry around = a useful limit on how much gear i own = a self-imposed anti-GAS measure.

so far so good. an m9 with 24, 50 and 75 fit fine and cover most of what interests me. analog - an m2 with 21 super angulon and light meter plus film fit perfectly too.

wish me luck. i'm so 'weak' when i pass a camera store .

rick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
I've looked at a few of those on eBay. I was tempted, but my Tamrac 706 convertible can hold all that plus at least two more lenses, plus compartments for film, flash, and other stuff. And it has a waist strap so I can use it as a fanny pack or slide it around and it's a shoulder bag.
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Old 09-13-2011   #90
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Quote:
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rxmd: you walk around with that bag?! I find my 445 to be enormous! I relegate it to airport-travel-with-everything-plus-kitchen-sink-bag.
Yes, I do. (I just spent two weeks in backwaters of Xinjiang with it.) The Billingham 445 is admittedly more of a backpack replacement, though - for the situations where I need to carry something except the camera (everything between water bottles, toilet paper rolls, laptops, tools, groceries, books etc). I normally have something else to do besides photography, and for that I need stuff, too. For that the 445 is very convenient - it's actually smaller, but considerably more durable than the backpacks and the Bagjack messenger bag it replaced.

If I need something small, I use a military surplus bag:

Usually I put a Billingham insert inside it.
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Old 09-13-2011   #91
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rxmd: thanks for the update! Maybe it's my mindset that needs to change: that the bag makes me look conspicuous and weird! Great bag tho'.
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Old 01-16-2012   #92
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I have to admit that I love my new BareBonesBag Reporter



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Old 01-16-2012   #93
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I'm in a search for a bag for Pentax 67 and its a damn problem, cause most of small bags are not deep enough to store it...
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Old 01-18-2012   #94
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Quote:
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If I need something small, I use a military surplus bag:
That looks like the Bundeswehr bread bag. I have one in green. The original strap is useless (too short), so I replaced it with some other surplus strap.
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Old 01-18-2012   #95
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The biggest argument this new year with my wife during our general cleaning is the number of bags I have in our closet and family room, unbelievable how I accumulated those. Secretly some more bags in my office. Is this addiction???
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Old 01-18-2012   #96
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... Hadley Pro, practical and elegant ... as you can see

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Old 01-18-2012   #97
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Most recent is a black Hadley pro and coming is an M51 military engineer field bag (olive).
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Old 01-18-2012   #98
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Any of the Chapman fishing bags with a Billingham hadley insert, or, if I need a backpack a Duluth waxed canvas Scout pack with the same Billingham insert (which just fits).
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Old 01-18-2012   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbielikowski View Post
I'm in a search for a bag for Pentax 67 and its a damn problem, cause most of small bags are not deep enough to store it...
The "Beast" fits resonably well in my Slingshot 200. I do have to take off the wooden grip, but it stored elsewhere in the bag and there is still room for an extra lens or two.
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Old 01-18-2012   #100
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Some great looking bags and reviews contained in this thread along with the links to the various websites.

The bag that I have settled on is the Artisan & Artists ACAM-7100 Messenger-style camera bag. Carries two Leica M bodies with lens, and room for additional accessories, i.e. batteries, film, memory cards, cleaning kit, light meter, filters . . . . .

Comfortable bag that fits to the body with a wide comfortable strap. Pictures and pricing can be found at Pop Flash a sponsor of RFF on the home page. Not affiliated, but I did buy my bag from them.
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Old 01-20-2012   #101
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A & A bag (I forget the model). It has been everywhere.

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Old 01-20-2012   #102
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I love the Fogg B-Laika and the Hadley small for my M-bodies + 2 lenses and film/batteries. I always had bigger bags that I just hated taking out. Now when I go out, I'm covered, and at little cost in terms of size. Also got great deals on these 2 bags, as I know they are really expensive brand new. Fogg B-Laika cost me $250 (still alot, but not bad), and the Hadley small at a steal for $20. Overall, I think $270 is not bad for bags that will last forever, and fit my equipment perfectly.
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Old 01-21-2012   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.scooter View Post
The "Beast" fits resonably well in my Slingshot 200. I do have to take off the wooden grip, but it stored elsewhere in the bag and there is still room for an extra lens or two.
Thanks for advice but I need something smaller, just for body+45/4, lightmeter and few rolls of film.
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Old 01-21-2012   #104
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http://www.tenba.com/products/Messen...to-Insert.aspx is the insert I use to convert my messenger bag into a camera bag. Very convenient and you basically can use it in any bag you like. Domke has more options, but concept remains the same http://www.tiffen.com/results.html?s...ablename=domke
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Old 01-21-2012   #105
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Quote:
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Thanks for advice but I need something smaller, just for body+45/4, lightmeter and few rolls of film.
For that do you really need a bag? Use your pockets and the neck strap
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Old 01-21-2012   #106
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For that do you really need a bag? Use your pockets and the neck strap
thats what I usually do, but I need it for two things: snow/rain protection and bike riding. april-september I commute on my bike and the bag I have is too small.
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Old 01-21-2012   #107
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bike riding?
get an Ortlieb bag for your handlebar (with klickfix) and the foto insert for it.
it is safe when mounted on your handlebar, when you crash, you will not damage your spine, the camera is safe (if you use a racing type road bar) too, and it is out of your way.
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Old 01-22-2012   #108
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I've found I shoot more and better if I don't carry a bag.
Just my camera on a strap and a spare roll in the pocket.
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Old 01-22-2012   #109
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I have a Billingham 225 bag, and it is roomy enough to carry a pair of M cameras with lenses mounted, as well as a Rolleiflex. I like the heavy padding in the top of the bag which can prevent damage to my gear if I happen to drop it. My bag looks like it has been through the wars, and my girlfriend complains that it looks grungy, but here in Tokyo a new replacement would cost more than $500 USD. I would rather spend that kind of money on a lens or a body.

But in most cases, I don't bother with a bag, I simply wear my camera with a good strap, and carry my film in my pocket. Sometimes I wear two cameras, I don't have to fumble around so much when I don't have to dig a camera out of my bag.
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Old 01-22-2012   #110
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Some time ago, when I mainly was walking around with DSLR gear, I used LowePro or Samsonite backpacks or huge bags by Kata or Crumpler.
Now, that I mostly use my NEXes, I need something else.

For example this one:

German Army combat bag, large

At the moment, my favourite bag is this CCS Hertiage, despite being well used (or perhaps because of that):

Heritage Bag by LucisPictor, on Flickr
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Old 01-22-2012   #111
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My first post. Been reading and lurking for a while....

+1 for Hadley pro. One M body, two lenses, films, & misc. Plenty of room for future expansion that GAS will bring.

I have another non-descript, small, cheap bag bought from the local REI to carry compact film cameras. The Hadley pro is too big for these and would be an overkill.
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Old 01-22-2012   #112
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I'm thinking on a Domke F-803 for my M2 and Rolleiflex. Does a Rolleiflex fit in? I mean easily fit on height and width.
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Old 01-22-2012   #113
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rollei, that looks more like a fashion accessory than any domke that i have ever owned.
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Old 01-22-2012   #114
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Quote:
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My wallet doesn't think so, Joe
i buy used most of the time.

anyway my favourite bags these days are think tank retros...nice looking, manly enough and they work.
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vintage looking
Old 01-22-2012   #115
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vintage looking

Looks very discreet, but also a bit Euro/Castro style... strap looks thin.

I'm looking for a way to attach velcro inside of bags without sewing. Do you know if this is possible?


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Anybody else refuses to carry his cameras in a DOMKE, BILLINGHAM, etc., fashion accessory ?

This might be for you then:

...

Very compact, great padding, perfect for a 2 body, 2-3 lens combo. US 58 including shipping from China; look for ebay seller explore339.

Roland.
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huh?
Old 01-22-2012   #116
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huh?

That bag costs double what any f5xb I've paid for, and it doesn't appear to hold more, have better inserts, or be made better other than having some black painted (possibly lead paint...) leather.

What are we missing here Roland? Does it come with a vintage Luger hidden inside?


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rollei, that looks more like a fashion accessory than any domke that i have ever owned.
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Old 01-22-2012   #117
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rollei, that looks more like a fashion accessory than any domke that i have ever owned.
preach.

I'm happy with my F3x at the moment, although I do have a thousand suggestions for a better bag. I might try other ones down the road, but I've already come to terms with the fact that there is no perfect bag. So I'm reluctant to spend money on proving myself right.
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Old 01-22-2012   #118
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I'm sorry I disrupted the man-purse discussion. Carry on ...
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Old 01-22-2012   #119
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I'm sorry I disrupted the man-purse discussion. Carry on ...
roland, it's all in good fun my friend!!

tho i was confused by your post...you seem to knock the 'man purse' but your comment was more about the value of a bag.
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Old 01-25-2012   #120
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Just picked up a TT Retrospective 5 which seems to be fine for my RF kit at the moment. Inside is a R3A, R-D1, CV 90, CV 50 1.1, CV 35 C, a no name 28 3.5 w/finder, spare batteries, and a few extra rolls of film.
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