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haziz
06-28-2010, 17:11
This blog posting by Mike Johnston got me thinking:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/05/a-leica-year.html

Why not? It certainly would allow me to focus on my photography rather than my gear fetish and terminal case of GAS, though I doubt if I have the will power and fortitude to completely abandon my 4x5 and my digital gear for the next year. Even if it ends up being a "mostly" one camera, one lens, one year, I would still be much better off.

The camera is obvious, my new to me Leica M3. It certainly would allow me to work on my metering skills far more than my M6 ttl. The lens is also obvious, the DR Summicron 50 mm (sans goggles). It would allow me to use this focal length more (I use 35 mm more, though 50 mm is my second most used focal length). It just seems a natural for the role.

I have hesitated about the film for the last week or two. Tri-X seems the obvious choice, and is a film I have used fairly extensively in the past though less often than FP4+ and HP5+, but surprisingly I am finding that I like the TMY2 I have been testing in My M6 even more specially when scanning.

So which is it? Tri-X or Tmax 400? A coin toss today settled it (I think). Tmax 400 it is; to be developed in Xtol 1:1.

So who is with me in this endeavor? Come on, you know it's good for you!

One camera, one lens, one year.

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Hany.

back alley
06-28-2010, 17:19
one camera
one lens
one day

easy...

dan_sutton
06-28-2010, 17:21
I'm doing this as well. Don't overthink it. It's not meant to be nail biting. It's meant to get rid of all the choices, color, lens, film, developer, post, etc and get you to making photos. So now all you are thinking subject selection, composition, and then what size to print

haziz
06-28-2010, 17:24
one camera
one lens
one day

easy...

Come on! Even I have the willpower and fortitude to do better than that!

cnphoto
06-28-2010, 17:26
I wonder if you could do a 2 camera, 2 lens, 1 film, 1 year ;)

M4-P w/ 35mm and M3 w/ 50mm... because that is basically my whole setup - ha.

I have thought about doing this, if I did it would be my M4-P and 35 'lux. I think I could easily live with that combo for a year...

semilog
06-28-2010, 18:08
So which is it? Tri-X or Tmax 400? A coin toss today settled it (I think). Tmax 400 it is; to be developed in Xtol 1:1.

That's my main setup, too. I get the 2TMY in 100 ft spools and bulk load. Lots cheaper that way. BTW, how does it mesh with the DR? It's to my liking with the Summicron-M (current optical formula), but that's a more contrasty lens.

benlees
06-28-2010, 18:24
Why not do one field of view? This is what I do- mainly because lenses tend to be expensive.

Crown Graphic with a 135mm, Mamiya 7 with the 80, and an Fuji GA645. An average FOV of 38mm, in 35mm terms. Basically the same as one camera, one lens but you get to use fun stuff and you can still say that you are pure of vision!

MCTuomey
06-28-2010, 19:16
one year? at my age?

no, period

Spleenrippa
06-28-2010, 19:26
For every camera you don't use, I'm going to use three!

back alley
06-28-2010, 19:33
one year? at my age?

no, period

geez, i never even thought of that...but now that you mention it...nfw!

aizan
06-28-2010, 19:36
i'm doing it, too. 6 months to go!

kdemas
06-28-2010, 19:41
I like the concept but I had trouble doing a "1 lens 1 camera" challenge for just two weeks! Not my thing I guess :)

That said I actually got some nice results, though I chose a SLR for the period.

gphickey
06-28-2010, 20:28
I'd go with the Tri-x or Hp5+ rather than the Tmax which is more finicky to expose and develop. If you are using a camera without a meter you want as much exposure and development latitude as you can get.

I went for a dozen years shooting HP5+ using two Pentax slrs only. One mounted with a 28mm F2.8 and the other with a 135mm F2.8. The camera with the 28 strapped around my neck, the other over my right shoulder. After awhile my feet would just automatically take me to where I needed to be for a shot. My humble opinion. Too much gear interferes with image making. You spend your time considering which lens is best when you should be considering how to use best the lens you have in hand. Like structured poetry it forces creativity.

bgb
06-28-2010, 21:15
I'm very tempted as GAS is really ruining my photography

Guess i could go one camera, one lens and one film until the end of the year ... 6 months seems like a reasonable time frame. Not sure I'm up to a year to be honest.

Ok I'll be brave and try a whole year starting July 1st

FED-2
50mm collapsible
not sure about the film ... what ever I pick up cheap :)

If I can do a whole year without falling to the dreaded GAS I will be able to afford an M3 and i will deserve one too!

Rico
06-28-2010, 21:33
Great idea from MJ for persons with one lens to their name, but I want to enjoy my gear. Since my eye accommodation is going to hell, I might prefer the Single Subject Distance challenge: use any lens, any system, any exposure, but focus must be 1½m. :)

morback
06-29-2010, 00:33
Too bad it only works with a Leica...

yanidel
06-29-2010, 00:49
after a few years with rangefinders, one camera and a couple of lenses becomes an evidence. No need to force it IMO ;)

Keith
06-29-2010, 01:05
One day I'll work out how this approach can be of any benefit to one's photography ... currently though it escapes me!

:)

MCTuomey
06-29-2010, 02:11
geez, i never even thought of that...but now that you mention it...nfw!

i can't imagine wasting a year trying to shoot the variety of things i shoot with one camera and lens. field sports with an RF? street stuff with a dSLR and big ole 85? what about macro? studio or location portraits? we're talking tools here.

i guess i believe that the subject and what you want the image to be determines what gear to use. not the other way 'round.

kossi008
06-29-2010, 02:46
I'm durrently doing the one body, one lens, one day project suggested by Back Alley. Only it's a different lens from time to time. :D

sreed2006
06-29-2010, 03:21
From the very first sentence of Mike Johnston's essay:

...if any young or beginning photographer of real ambition within the sound of my voice would like to radically improve his or her photography quickly and efficiently, I suggest shooting with nothing but a Leica and one lens for a year.

(Bolding added by me.)

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/05/a-leica-year.html

If you are not young anymore, you missed the boat on this one, sorry.

If you have taken more than a hundred rolls of film, or have already filled one hard drive with pictures, the train has already left the station, sorry.

I too have pondered whether this would be a good thing to do. I can see that it is a tremendous learning technique, but that first sentence, explaining who qualifies, has put me back to my senses.

Time has marched on for me. I was young and starting out 35 years ago. Starting this lesson now would not be the same at all. I would still learn some things, but one camera, one lens, and one film for a year would cause me to miss a tremendous number of photographic opportunities, and I think the loss of those opportunities would weigh too heavily on me to make the effort justifiable.

For those like me who are not qualified due to age or experience, I believe the best thing to do is to keep a link to Mike Johnston's essay and share it with any young photographers. They will benefit, and in the end, we all will from the better pictures that they take.

Keith
06-29-2010, 03:42
There's a little too much of the ... "follow me and I'll lead you into the promised land." ... thing going on for me in that blog article! If someone want's to pick up a camera and one lens and shoot with it exclusively for a year I'm OK with that and if it improves their vision great ... the sermon I can do without!

jsrockit
06-29-2010, 04:18
There's a little too much of the ... "follow me and I'll lead you into the promised land." ... thing going on for me in that blog article! If someone want's to pick up a camera and one lens and shoot with it exclusively for a year I'm OK with that and if it improves their vision great ... the sermon I can do without!

I agree... it's a bit silly. Not saying it is a bad idea, but it isn't for everyone. I've actually done what he has proposed (as have many) for years in the 90s. However, it depends on the type of photography you enjoy.

venchka
06-29-2010, 04:37
Even old news like this stirs up discussion.
With no planning or thought (my usual way of working), the only film camera I have picked up this year has been the Hassy 501 + 80 Planar. Curious.

Mcary
06-29-2010, 08:44
i guess i believe that the subject and what you want the image to be determines what gear to use. not the other way 'round.

Agree!

I've recently began shooting street and what with just trying to get a few OK shots from each roll of film I can't see using say my Bronica SQ rather then my M4-2. Talk about making things harder on myself.
On the other hand I can't see limiting myself to 35mm film when shooting under controlled or semi controlled situations.

Pickett Wilson
06-29-2010, 09:18
Well, that might work on THIS forum if the idea is to buy or sell one camera, one lens, each day! ;)

Most of us here like playing with new toys too much to use a single camera or lens for an entire year!

bobby_novatron
06-29-2010, 09:34
I'm in the same camp as sreed2006 and Pickett Wilson. What they said.

I think the whole romantic, struggling artist idea of using one camera / one lens / one film for an extended period of time really would teach you a lot about photography. It would also teach you a lot about frustration and the limits of your gear and your technique. I can't imagine the number of great photo opportunities I'd miss out on if I forced myself to just stick to a 50mm standard lens and some 100 ISO b&w film.

As always, these inanimate objects (cameras, films, lenses) are just tools, and the real photos are created in our minds and in our eyes before the shutter is pressed.

Another analogy: I like taking photos for various reasons ... but I like to think of the sum of my photos as a construction of ideas, feelings & perspectives that I had while I walked ever-so briefly on this Earth. So if I'm constructing something that I think is valuable, wouldn't I want a variety of tools to suit the job? Restricting myself to a couple pieces of gear is like a carpenter trying to build a beautiful home using only one really good hammer and some nice finishing nails.

gdmcclintock
06-29-2010, 09:37
One camera, one lens, one year studying light with B&W film, at best pompous advice, at worse utter nonsense!

venchka
06-29-2010, 09:40
Going through my negatives from a year in Germany, 1969, when I owned 1 Canon IV-S2 & 50mm lens and a Mamiya TLR with 1 lens, my photographs didn't suffer in the least. OK, not eactly 1 camera and 1 lens, but there were many times when I only had 1 with me. Yes, I was a starving E-3/Artist.

gdmcclintock
06-29-2010, 09:50
I lived in Paris from 1978-1982 and had only a 1953 Rolleiflex. I am not arrogant enough to believe that those photographs are better or worse than those I will shoot tomorrow because I had only one camera at the time.

jsrockit
06-29-2010, 09:55
I could totally get away with one camera and one lens...and most of the time I do. But for others who hunt birds with their camera or need to get the shot to pay the bills.... I doubt it would be relavent.

aizan
06-29-2010, 10:02
the challenge is about mastery over your tools, materials, and process to give you the freedom and ability to work on a photo project. that's not pompous advice.

fotomeow
06-29-2010, 10:14
yes, IMO there is some truth that the one camera/lens will teach me some good tricks. I also believe there is an irony at work here: to become more dependent on fewer tools will actually give me a certain freedom in image-making.
However, I also simply enjoy the challenge of a one lens combo: yes, I enjoy climbing over things, under things, and through things to get the proper composition from a single FOV. Thats a main reason i shoot manual RFs: auto-everything cameras with zoom lenses are just too damn easy to use!

gdmcclintock
06-29-2010, 10:20
"the challenge is about mastery over your tools, materials, and process to give you the freedom and ability to work on a photo project. that's not pompous advice."

Pompous because it's arbitrary. One need not "challenge" or limit oneself to one tool or set of tools to gain mastery.

aizan
06-29-2010, 10:29
it's a lot easier, though!

thomasw_
06-29-2010, 10:30
the challenge is about mastery over your tools, materials, and process to give you the freedom and ability to work on a photo project. that's not pompous advice.

Well put, aizan. Fewer variables, more of a focus.

lic4
06-29-2010, 12:40
I think there is some truth to it. The photographers I like best seem to have the most minimal camera and lens set up, which lends their work a more consistent style.

konicaman
06-29-2010, 13:13
Hmm...did that back in the 70ies when a Konica T3 with a 50mm was my only camera/lens and FP4 my preferred film. Don't feel like doing it again...

Still - I really got to know that 50mm ;)

barnwulf
06-29-2010, 13:36
One camera, one lens and one film is a great project. I think that this is one of those things that you have to do for at least 4 to 6 months to understand what it does for you. I did this back in the 1960s in college studying photography. It wasn’t a Leica, it was a Nikon F, a 28mm lens and Plus X film. I had a 50mm and a 35mm, but the 28mm was just the lens for me. I was completely focused on my photography and images.
Up until recently I was shooting all color landscapes with medium format film, a Nikon F100 and a D700 mostly with zoom lenses. I have stopped all that work and have been shooting with Leicas now for about a year and a half. I don’t shoot many landscapes any more. I shoot nearly all black and white film and I could easily get into the 1 camera, 1 lens, 1 film thing again. I am still shooting mainly with a 28mm lens on my M6. I also use a 35mm and a 21mm on occasion. I have recently been using only a 35mm lens and I like that it’s forcing me to compact my images a bit. I think it’s a great idea for a serious project. I might just try to shoot with my M6, a 35mm lens and Tri X for a year. I should probably start with saying I will do it for 6 months. At my age, who knows. Wow, this will greatly lighten up my camera bag.

anu L ogy
06-29-2010, 13:42
I have owned 3-4 cameras in my life, and had a 50mm on all of them. I have a 50mm on my current camera, and i found i wanted something wider so i bought a 28mm. I ended up hating how wide the 28mm is, and now I am back to 50. Go figure.

barnwulf
06-29-2010, 13:50
I still have that same Nikon F and the 28mm Nikkor lens. They are a little beat-up now but they still work fine.

paulfish4570
06-29-2010, 14:00
As much I love my RFs, I would do the photo-monk thing with a Pentax SP1000 and S-T 55/2 or other good normal lens. Why SLR? Range of 18 inches to infinity versus 3 feet to infinity with the Takumar. With a Meyer-Optik Oreston 50/1.8, 10 inches to infinity. That is quite a walking zoom.
If I had to go RF, Yashica Lynx 14E with its fixed 45/1.4 ...

P. Lynn Miller
06-29-2010, 14:11
I still have that same Nikon F and the 28mm Nikkor lens...

Which Nikkor 28? One of my all time favorites was/is the first Nikkor 28... the Nikkor-H 2.8cm f3.5... flared like mad but had something special about it, especially with Tri-X.

I think most of us over 35 years old, did the camera, one lens, and mostly one film thing, because back in the 'good old days', that is all you could afford. With the advent of the DSLR and kit zoom, that has all changed.

For my Dad it was a Nikon F with a 50/1.4 and Kodachrome 64... for probably 15 years, unless he was shooting medium-format or large-format.

For me it was a Nikkormat FTn with a Nikkor 300/4.5 and Kodachrome 64 for almost 5 years, as I wanted to be a Wildlife photographer.

Today my camera of choice is a Nikon F with a lens from 20mm to 105 depending on the mood, most likely between and 28 and 58. As for film, after shooting B&W for almost 10 years, I am back shooting color, expired Konica 100 of some sort. Unless I am doing some snapshots with the Speed Graphic and Aero-Ektar, now that will take you a thing or two!

barnwulf
06-29-2010, 14:52
Lynn, Yes it's the Nikkon H 28mm 3.5 lens. It has a dent in the filter ring but otherwise it's still fine. Since it was such an important camera and lens for me I haven't been able to part with it even though I don't use it any more. Jim

sreed2006
06-29-2010, 15:31
One camera, one lens, one year studying light with B&W film, at best pompous advice, at worse utter nonsense!

Well, I cannot agree with what you say. I think that Mike Johnston is pure genius to come up with the idea and to write it the way he did. It is absolutely brilliant. I mean that.

But - only if you do exactly as he says. I have never seen one set of ideas so twisted, altered, changed, misrepresented, and partially ignored, and then mocked, in my entire life I don't think.

If a young, energetic, beginning photographer did what Mike says, he/she would become a far better photographer, and probably learn more in one year than using any other method of learning.

If I put my dozen cameras and couple dozen lenses away in storage, and bought a Leica and a lens to go with it, and did what he said, I would probably become a better photographer, but only by a little bit. There are too many miles and years and shutter releases between where I am now and where I was 35 years ago. I'd be bringing a whole lot of baggage along, and what is required for the lesson plan to work is no old baggage.

His idea can be altered, and that new plan used, but then that isn't his plan. So, that is why my comments earlier in this thread about the train already having left the station. If you don't meet the requirements, you cannot do the deal.

Keith
06-29-2010, 15:40
I suggest shooting with nothing but a Leica and one lens for a year.

I don't understand why it needs to be a Leica and that suggestion in itself tends to make me suspicious of the rest of the advice unfortunately.

Vincent.G
06-29-2010, 17:22
To be honest, this project appeals to some only. For me, I hate knowing the rest of my gear sits idle in the cabinet for the rest of the year. One week is the most for me if I were to do it. I find it monotonous to shoot with just one body and one lens. I prefer to use all the gear I bought and it helps that I am contented with what I have.

I tend to approach photography from another perspective, I usually know what I want to shoot and will choose the most suitable equipment for the job i.e. I make a conscious choice of what I want to find before I go out to shoot. Sometimes it depends on my mood, whether I feel good to lug a heavy medium format TLR around or just want to do some street shooting with a RF or SLR. Do these make me inconsistent in my style? Not really. I find that this IS my style.

maggieo
06-29-2010, 17:29
I don't understand why it needs to be a Leica and that suggestion in itself tends to make me suspicious of the rest of the advice unfortunately.

There are very good reasons for it, as Mike explains in his follow-up to the original post. (http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2009/05/why-it-has-to-be-a-leica.html)

There's several, but the first one and the last one are good summations of the ones in-between:

Why it has to be a Leica: well, other cameras can be good teachers too. But the Leica is the best teacher, and here's why you should pick it and not a substitute:

1. It's no fun to look through. Totally boring, in fact. Just a window. The framelines aren't even accurate, so you you can't get all prissy about edges and exact framing. And about that "what you see is what you get" with an SLR, digital or otherwise? Not so, because you're always seeing through the lens at its maximum aperture, meaning its minimum d.o.f., aberrations maximized. That particular distortion is just as distracting as parallax and the other flaws of rangefinder viewing, just different. The RF camera sees like you should during this year: at a glance, taking everything in at once. A few months of shooting with a Leica and you'll start to get a feel for what aperture you need for what depth of field. (Mostly I think you'll learn it's not as all-fired important as the SLRs—and the online forums—would lead you to believe.)

...

6. Finally, and just as importantly as any other reason here: a Leica is a Leica. The icon, the legend, all that, yatta yatta. It has been responsible for far more than its share of great work; more great photographers used it in the second half of the twentieth century than any other camera, at least part of the time. You can see even in the comments to the previous post that the camera provokes strong emotions and opinions; no other 35mm excites nearly the same passions nearly as universally in our little craft. Until you get to grips with a Leica, you haven't gotten to grips with a Leica. So, do it. Then you'll know firsthand what everyone is bloviating about, and need never suffer a scintilla more angst on that account.

Pretty practical and down-to-Earth, really. And remember- this is a project for a beginning photographer, not an old pro with a bunch of gear, though obviously it can be done by non-beginners.

Keith
06-29-2010, 19:06
It has been responsible for far more than its share of great work; more great photographers used it in the second half of the twentieth century than any other camera, at least part of the time.

I'm sure a lot of Nikon SLR shooters who have dragged their cameras through war zones etc in all sorts of conditions will dispute this.


You can see even in the comments to the previous post that the camera provokes strong emotions and opinions; no other 35mm excites nearly the same passions nearly as universally in our little craft.

Reality or hype?


Anyone who agrees totally with Mike's opinions will see them as fact I guess ... but every opinion has a counterpoint ... neither are necessarily correct.

Rico
06-29-2010, 22:46
... I think most of us over 35 years old, did the camera, one lens, and mostly one film thing, because back in the 'good old days', that is all you could afford.
That's true for me, now that you mention it. In the early '70s, I spent two years with a Halina Paulette, fixed-lens 45/2.8, Pan F hand-loaded from a 100' spool, and the same developer (May&Baker Promicrol). I simply couldn't afford a greater selection. Then I advanced to a 1946 6x6 folder, and did it all over again. During this period, I drooled over the Nikon F2, Contax RTS, and Rollei SL66. Would such extravagance really destroy my photo education? Perish the thought!

Sandwick
06-29-2010, 23:25
People seem to get really bent out of shape over this suggestion by Mike Johnson - I thought it sounded very practical (apart from the single contentious paragraph about Leica mystique and more significant photographers using it than anything else in the second half of the 20th Century etc etc) and interesting, but each to their own. Quite often on this site I see members discussing the importance of learning to see the changes in light and that it's the person not the camera that makes the picture. I thought that was all MJ was trying to say: use a simple and consistent set of tools and, because all of the choices and decisions require to be made in the photographer's head, rather than in the camera, and assuming you are systematic in reviewing your output, you will learn a lot about light, composition, depth of field and so on. I can't see why this is contentious. I should also say that I've never tried it; I have too many toys and I've never felt the need, but I could certainly see the appeal to someone starting out. Might we have been better disposed towards Mike Johnson if he'd just suggested using a rangefinder rather than a Leica?

kossi008
06-30-2010, 00:44
I agree with some of MJ's article, but I also agree with P. Lynn Miller: Been there, done that. When I *was* a young photographer, I had an SLR w/ a 50 mm, because it was all I could afford.

It sure helped me develop my style, but it also showed me its limitations. Thus, the advent of the 28 mm lens was a hallmark in my photographic career. Even that was a limitation and helped my style: I would not fall into the trap of taking totals of buildings, because very often I simply couldn't. I had to think really hard which *part* of the building to include into the frame to capture its spirit. Don't get me started on what crap I produced later with a 17 mm lens.

So in essence: I think it is a useful lesson. But I took it already. I also took the liberty to completely ignore the "it must be a Leica" bit.

sig
06-30-2010, 02:06
Based on his arguments it would be even better using something else than a Leica. Anything else is not cool, not a icon and not a legend. I will estimate it is better than 4.5 years in any photo school and about 20 to 25 years of trading.....

Feel free to thank me when you are finished.

sepiareverb
06-30-2010, 02:10
Don't see the point really, unless a specific project is possible only with one lens. I'm more of the Every camera, Every lens, As long as I can project type.

Mcary
06-30-2010, 02:34
Come on people lets get serious here, If you're going to do this then do it right and use Large Format!

Matus
06-30-2010, 03:33
I would actually give it a try, but I am perfectly sure that my camera guild at home would complain about neglecting others :D

Seriously - I have 3 cameras that I use in 3 formats - should I decided to shoot only 1 (and even with only 1 lens) it would be most probably 6x6". But deciding NOT using my 4x5 set up for a year would be the best way to forget how to use it and would mean that I should probably sell it.

Still - my experience is that shooting 3 different formats on the same trip makes it harder to concentrate on the image itself.

pvdhaar
06-30-2010, 04:27
Intriguing as it is, I don't see myself committing to the one camera/lens/year concept..

I'd first be trying out each camera/lens combination I have to see whether I could live with just that for a year.. Well, and that kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it?

MCTuomey
06-30-2010, 08:56
I'd first be trying out each camera/lens combination I have to see whether I could live with just that for a year.. Well, and that kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it?

:D :D :D :D

haziz
06-30-2010, 17:17
I'd go with the Tri-x or Hp5+ rather than the Tmax which is more finicky to expose and develop. If you are using a camera without a meter you want as much exposure and development latitude as you can get.

I went for a dozen years shooting HP5+ using two Pentax slrs only. One mounted with a 28mm F2.8 and the other with a 135mm F2.8. The camera with the 28 strapped around my neck, the other over my right shoulder. After awhile my feet would just automatically take me to where I needed to be for a shot. My humble opinion. Too much gear interferes with image making. You spend your time considering which lens is best when you should be considering how to use best the lens you have in hand. Like structured poetry it forces creativity.

Actually after agonizing over it more and after adjusting levels on my scanned film, and after doing some serious grain-peeping at ridiculous magnifications (on the scans). I am leaning towards Tri-X myself though more for emotional reasons than any real superiority over Tmax 400. It just feels llike the right film to go with an M3 and a DR Summicron. This despite my supposedly decisive coin toss in favor of Tmax 400 and though I do realize the current film is quite different from the Tri-X of 1960.

The one area where I am not going vintage is the developer, where I am using Xtol 1:1 rather than D76.

Having gone through this comparison, I actually have a very positive opinion of Tmax 400. I have not found it finicky with exposure in both metered and non-metered Leicas, and being fairly fastidious in the darkroom, I have not found any difficulty developing it. It probably is in fact a "better" film than Tri-X. It certainly has finer grain and scans a bit better. My final output will be scanned but some will be wet printed.

semilog
06-30-2010, 17:52
Having gone through this comparison, I actually have a very positive opinion of Tmax 400. I have not found it finicky with exposure in both metered and non-metered Leicas, and being fairly fastidious in the darkroom, I have not found any difficulty developing it.

Same with me. I *love* 2TMY. It's my impression that the 2TMY formulation is more forgiving than the original TMY. It's very good in XTOL and it has real character in XTOL + Rodinal. Of course, I'm actually reasonably careful about time and temperature. A decade as a biochemist will do that to a person :rolleyes:.

tstermitz
06-30-2010, 20:03
I think Mike Johnston's idea is brilliant, if personally difficult to accomplish. I'm as guilty as the anyone of being too scattered or lazy or easy on myself.

From the responses here, it seems that most posters haven't actually read Mike's postings. He writes very well and is always interesting, and he provides many ideas validating this exercise. One other reason to use a Leica is that you could sell it at the end of the project for the same price you bought it.

I teach for a living, and one of my observations is that "Mastery is all about simple things done well". If every one of my students would spend two or four times more on the fundamentals, then they would certainly progress faster.

Here is a suggestion for the experienced and jaded photographers: Choose a lens outside your comfort zone, say a 28mm or 24mm if you prefer 35mm or 50mm. Spend three months building a portfolio of images from that new perspective until you really know that point of view.

Obviously you could set yourself any number of other constrained exercises: Only multi-people shots with 28mm, only city architecture just past sunset, only geometric patterns in vivid color, only overcast or high-sun.

The point is to challenge yourself using a restricted set of variables, with sufficient repetition to master that challenge. Lots of repetition will consolidate your learning.

Tom Stermitz
http://photokinesis.us

back alley
06-30-2010, 20:33
why is there such a great need on the part of some to get others to do what they want?

Spyro
06-30-2010, 22:40
Whenever I change lenses my photography goes backwards for a couple of months, this is because of my shooting style. I've been using a 28 lens for so long that when I switched to a 35:
- It took me a while to decide how far I want to stand from people to get a perspective that I like, at what distance perspective distortions started and what options tilting the camera gave me at that distance from subject. Perspective is important to me, it affects the feel of the photo.
- It took me a while to frame intuitively, I like to shoot fast without taking my time looking through the VF.
- It took me a while to get a relatively accurate feel for the limits of the new dof when I prefocus (again, thats how I shoot).
- It took me a while to get a feel for the magnification of the lens, how big or small faraway objects would look in a photo.

I missed photos in the process and that was just a 7mm difference. I reckon if I ever use a zoom lens it will only take a quick twist of the ring for my head to explode.

But. Thats just me.

Keith
06-30-2010, 23:24
I reckon if I ever use a zoom lens it will only take a quick twist of the ring for my head to explode.


Please be sure to get photos when this happens ... it sounds spectacular! :D

MCTuomey
07-01-2010, 00:56
I teach for a living, and one of my observations is that "Mastery is all about simple things done well". If every one of my students would spend two or four times more on the fundamentals, then they would certainly progress faster.

Here is a suggestion for the experienced and jaded photographers: Choose a lens outside your comfort zone, say a 28mm or 24mm if you prefer 35mm or 50mm. Spend three months building a portfolio of images from that new perspective until you really know that point of view.

Obviously you could set yourself any number of other constrained exercises: Only multi-people shots with 28mm, only city architecture just past sunset, only geometric patterns in vivid color, only overcast or high-sun.

The point is to challenge yourself using a restricted set of variables, with sufficient repetition to master that challenge. Lots of repetition will consolidate your learning.

Tom Stermitz
http://photokinesis.us

Sensible proposition, tailorable to one's own interests or preferences or available gear. And to one's present skills, whether beginner or more advanced. So much so it wouldn't bring many hits to one's website for its controversy, would it? :)

ampguy
01-01-2013, 14:06
So far here is my setup: EPL1, Hexanon AR lens 40/1.8, b/w mode. We'll see how far we can get through the year with this setup.

helenhill
01-01-2013, 14:09
So far here is my setup: EPL1, Hexanon AR lens 40/1.8, b/w mode. We'll see how far we can get through the year with this setup.

Sounds Great .. go for it
Make it FUN !!

ampguy
01-01-2013, 15:38
That's the whole point of it for me. Well pretty much, the fun part is to see if the limitation yields interesting photos that it normally wouldn't without the limitation, and there's only one way for me to find out!


Sounds Great .. go for it
Make it FUN !!