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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 02-05-2012   #126
c.poulton
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Interesting case Joosep - where did you get it from? Not sure I would want to carry it around everyday, however it looks good for travel.
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Old 02-05-2012   #127
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Originally Posted by c.poulton View Post
Interesting case Joosep - where did you get it from? Not sure I would want to carry it around everyday, however it looks good for travel.
I got it from a local auction site.
Bought it about year ago. In mint condition.
Paid 175 kronos for it... About 11 €. Got lucky I guess.

Its very light. After I got this, all my soft bags have remained untouched. Bought another hard case, brown leather, a little bigger, just in case.

Its very nice and subtle.
Its my alpha and omega bag. Travel, everyday, whatever.
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Old 02-05-2012   #128
c.poulton
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Well, for that price you certainly got lucky - it does look like a good strong protective case.
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Old 02-06-2012   #129
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Originally Posted by Chris Bail View Post
I just ordered a custom Timbuk2 classic messenger bag in olive drab green with their camera insert and a grab strap for the manliest looking man-purse I think I could manage. Eagerly awaiting its arrival.
Chris,

I did the same as you with a custom Timbuk2 classic messenger bag in gray wool (x-small) with the Snoop camera bag insert (x-small). Here are some images with an M9, Summicron-M 35mm ASPH, Summicron-M 50mm and Elmarit-M 90mm stowed in their respective cases. There is still room for an iPad in the back inner pocket. I also ordered the velcro silencers that Timbuk2 offers. You will love this bag.









Rick

Last edited by rrdaz30 : 02-06-2012 at 16:14. Reason: added images
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Old 03-31-2012   #130
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Anyone using a Pacsafe bag or backpack? Here's a review (no camera content though):

http://youtu.be/txBVQVRUAMc
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Old 03-31-2012   #131
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There is really no such thing as a perfect bag. At least, not one that serves all purposes. That is why I have 4 main camera bags. They are:

- Billingham Hadley Pro. For everyday office. Fits a lappy and 2 Ms, but it is a tight fit. On weekends, and without the laptop, I can fit a Mamiya 7ii and an M in there and I think a MacBook Air will fit too.
- Billingham Small. For weekend walks.
- Domke J-811. For when I travel, like back to Sydney on vacation. This thing can fit 2 Ms, a medium format the size of Mamiya 7, various other small accessories or devices and a 15in lappy.
- Domke F3X. I only use this when I know I have to run or move about a lot and also when the weather is bad. But since I like to walk around with some style, I prefer the Billinghams.
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Old 04-26-2012   #132
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i like bags that are discreet and can hold one M body with lens attached, plus 2-3 more lenses. i am always pondering alternative to my domke f-5xb. i'm not sure why because it suits my needs quite well. i have purchased a couple other bags, but then sold them (including the domke f-803). i have pondered the a&a "oskar's one day bag," but wish it had a zip closure under the flap cover. if it did, i would probably give it a try.
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Old 04-26-2012   #133
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Man, you guys are so classy! I just throw everything into individual heavy-gauge freezer bags, and dump it all into a Timbuk2 or Duluth bag, or an old LLBean bag. The freezer bags are adequate padding, and I can easily see what's in each one. One body, two, three, one lens, five--it's all the same. When I had Leica stuff, and all the lenses had their own identities, read by feel, I had sock tops, cut off and seamed, as lens cases, but now that I'm using Nikon gear and all the lenses feel the same, the plastic bags let me see what I'm reaching for.
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Old 04-26-2012   #134
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Like everyone, I've gone around with different bags. In the end, I have come to really appreciate the waist-belt with shoulder strap style. When I'm shooting, I'm often squatting down or climbing over things, and I really want the security of a well-attached bag.

The best size for me has two dividers and can hold 3 prime lenses and a camera (with lens). When I'm traveling everything is in the bag; when I'm shooting, the camera is over my shoulder and the lenses are separated by the dividers.

I have two bags that work well for this: the smallest Think-tank, the "Speed-Demon", and an old Lowepro "Photo-Runner" (wish I could find these on Craig's list). The Think-tank is well-made, well-designed, slightly heavy, but very comfortable. The Lowepro is lighter, less bulky, and completely satisfactory.

Either of those bags works perfectly for my Leica or my Pentax K5 kits. My Pentax lenses are all FF (unrequited longing for a FF Pentax DSLR), and have no problem fitting, and that includes (barely) a 300mm f/4.

My solution feels good because it is small, efficient and secure. If I was carrying a pro-level Canikon or any zoom lenses above the consumer grade, I'd need a bigger bag.
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Old 05-06-2012   #135
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Small and worn Albinar bag for me, three lenses, a Maxxum 600si with battery pack, six filters for black and white, cable release, and that's it. The vertical grip made othe camera heavy and shortened my space.
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Old 05-09-2012   #136
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The perfect bag has many characteristics I won't recite here and one I will:

It has no damn velcro closures.

So irritating to be at a string quartet performance & shatter the atmosphere with the rip of a velcro closure.
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Old 05-18-2012   #137
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I've recently purchased a used in mint condition Leica Billingham bag for my GXR system. I have been using a Bare Bones Bag. I really like the BBB but the previous post above is the reason I wanted to try a bag without Velcro. I'm sold on the Billingham bag!
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Old 05-18-2012   #138
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I carry my one and only camera (Fuji X100) in a 30-year-old Aztec fanny pack. Usually, I just sling it over a shoulder. It holds a camera, extra battery, extra SD card, cleaning materials, cell phone and a package of chewing gum.

My X-Pro1 is just four days away. When it arrives I will have to re-think things.
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Old 06-13-2012   #139
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I've got lots of bags, one for almost any situation. My most recent bag is a Domke F5XC which I bought for my X-Pro 1kit but I'm amazed at what I can easily fit in. Check out the YouTube overview of what I've been using the F5XC for?
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Old 06-13-2012   #140
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I just use my man-bag, either a Leica M3 with 50mm Summarit, and 90mm APO Lanther, or my Fotoman 69 with an extra film back.
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Old 01-02-2013   #141
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New and old.

Leica (what became the M-Classic) bag ... $19.00, including coffee stains, eBay.

Billingham Hadley Pro ... 12 years old now; looking a little deflated as its insert is being borrowed by another bag here.

Crumpler ... what is this? a Three Million or a Two Million ... about $25 on eBay used. This bag travels with me nearly every time I alight on my bicycle.

A leather bag labeled Land Rover that my wife picked up at a consignment shop for $10. A little too dainty for me. This one fills space in the closet.

My newest bag: a Brady Ariel Large. Not the usual though. These are made to carry trout. No kidding. Brady sells a rubberized liner. This bag doesn't have the liner and it won't be carrying trout anytime soon. This one is in wool. It was a Xmas gift from my Mrs. It is currently borrowing my Hadley insert while I debate what to use as a permanent insert. Unlike Tom A, I can't imagine using a towel as an insert without also imagining myself sweeping up broken glass from a dropped lens. I like that this bag is not one I'm likely to pass anyone else carrying and it sure doesn't look like a camera bag. The Hadley Pro insert is a tad too small. I'm thinking that a Hadley large will fit just right. I intend to use this bag until it becomes threadbare.

There's a Tenba bag somewhere in the basement feeling a little left out. Too damned bad.
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Old 01-02-2013   #142
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have been using Think Tank retrospective 10 for the past 3 yrs (used to hold my D700 and lenses). Fit my iPad or MacBook Air, lens pen, blower, memory cards, rain cover for bag, wallet, car keys etc ...
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Old 01-13-2013   #143
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[quote=Kent;1793926]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

This is EXACTLY the same bag I have, for which I made the inserts (orange colour though) myself.
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Old 01-13-2013   #144
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I like the BBB and Leica Billingham Combo Bag. Perfect for my M-E and a couple lenses.
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Old 01-13-2013   #145
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Funny I have two Domke F-2s an F-8 (my daughter grabed that), a Billingham precursor to that Hadley, a Billlingham Polar (or something like that - very small), but I still seem to return to the Brady trout bag. Mine was a hand me down from a friend and must be 50 years old. The waterproof liner died years ago and the outer strap were fragile. The company that now owns Brady sent me gratis replacement strap a few months ago and the bag looks good to go for at least another 50 years. Currently a Linhof 220 is dwelling inside - that is a hard camera to bag in a compact package.

BTW the tiny Billingham is perfect for a RF body, meter and often an extra lens - real minimalist (but not quick draw).
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Old 01-13-2013   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doolittle View Post
I fit in two M bodies with lenses and a Rolleiflex T comfortably (Rolleiflex fits nearly exactly into slot).
Do you buy extra insert for yours? I use the original insert and put my beatup Rollei in the no protection slot when out shooting but i'm planning to travel soon and the idea of no protection and sitting on the airplane above head compartment is scaring me off. I'm thinking a Tenba Pro 2 insert, any other suggestions guys?
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Old 08-23-2013   #147
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I'm wondering if any one has any experience with the

Incase point and shoot or Incase http://goincase.com/shop/incase-poin...hoot-field-bag

or Incase Stussy Field Bag http://goincase.com/shop/incase-stussy-camera-field-bag

Basically same bag with a different design. Seems like it should do well with a camera and maybe one or two extra lenses.
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Old 08-23-2013   #148
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For me is the Lowe pro Reporter series, S&F Reporter 300, It's just a great all around
bag I even have to smaller sizes. I did try the Crumpler million dollar bag, but it's like
a log.

Range
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Old 08-23-2013   #149
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I use my first "real" bag, a Domke F-6. It fits my M4, film, an extra lens, and whatever books I need for school. It also has enough room for my F2 and a few AI-S lenses if I want to bring a film camera for a friend to shoot with. I seem to have discovered a little-known secret about bags - they weigh less when they aren't full!
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Old 08-24-2013   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrdaz30 View Post
Chris,

I did the same as you with a custom Timbuk2 classic messenger bag in gray wool (x-small) with the Snoop camera bag insert (x-small). Here are some images with an M9, Summicron-M 35mm ASPH, Summicron-M 50mm and Elmarit-M 90mm stowed in their respective cases. There is still room for an iPad in the back inner pocket. I also ordered the velcro silencers that Timbuk2 offers. You will love this bag.









Rick
This looks pretty nice. Seems to be the right size. I'd love to see some more pictures.
Is there room for an iPad or magazine/map?
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