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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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Gut Wrenching and Expensive
Old 10-19-2015   #1
Bill Pierce
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Gut Wrenching and Expensive

The latest full frame digital rangefinders and DSLRs are often larger than their earlier film counterparts. The small digital cameras of today are the mirrorless cameras. But, even mirrorless, full frame cameras often carry big lenses that co op the small camera convenience. Add to this the fact that sensor technology has advanced to the point were many of today’s APS C sensors can deliver quality that exceeds the quality of full frame sensors of just a few years back and you begin to question whether you need a full frame camera. The highest, highest quality big, big prints will always be the province of the mega megapixel sensors, and we haven’t seen those in sizes lesser than full frame so far. The good news is that while landscapes, architectural work and astrophotography will always benefit from mega megapixels, that kind of work does not demand a small camera. For the rest of us, smaller cameras that still deliver high quality images can be a real convenience and/or advantage. (And for those who are not inspired or actually required by paycheck to go out and shoot, convenience can be the difference between shooting and not shooting.)

I know we’ve talked about this in the past, but as sensor technology continues to improve I see more and more “large” cameras on the used shelves of both the big retail and smaller professional stores and more friends who are serious, often professional, photographers using mirrorless Micro 4/3’s and APS C sensor cameras. When you consider that switching systems is both gut wrenching and expensive, something is up. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
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Old 10-19-2015   #2
honozooloo
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Aloha from Hawaii Bill,

I've transitioned away from HEAVY, HUGE Canon 1D-series professional bodies to Fuji X-Cameras, notably the X-T1 and X100s. Ironically, as Canon pushes huger and huger MP counts in it's new 5D models, I've actually taken a step back from 22MP 5D mkIII files to 16MP Fuji X files. I'm not sure what perceived "need" those insanely high-MP bodies are supposed to be filling in the pro market, but 22 was already more than enough for me!

My kit has shrunk dramatically in size and weight. My back thanks me every day, and none of my clients (some of whom technically have full frame camera requirements) have complained about the supposed "downgrade" from a full-frame system. My sense is that many agencies/publications wrote camera requirements back when "full frame" really meant "better" than the smaller cameras, and that in 2015, these requirements no longer matter as much as they once did.

The 16MP Fuji X has been more than good enough for magazine covers and two-page spreads at the highest quality. Added bonus, I now feel a lot more connected to my subjects, as they and I can see each other's faces during a photo shoot, instead of a big ol Canon DSLr and lens, which is often quite off putting to many people who aren't accustomed to being photographed. The X-T1's small size and truly silent electronic shutter option are incredible for editorial work because they aren't distracting to the camera shy. The X100s's leaf shutter, built-in ND filter, and insane 1/2000 flash sync makes it a mobile off-camera strobe BEAST, and it's a favorite camera for portrait work here in sunny Hawaii.

Sure, if I shot a lot of sports, regularly printed large scale, or needed a robust weather-sealed system, I'd stick to Canon 1-series. But since I don't do any of the above regularly, it's also extremely nice to know there are smaller tools available for the job that I do.

EDIT: To comment on your "Gut wrenching and expensive" angle...the net cost of selling off my Canon kit in order to buy two X-T1s, a 16mm, 10-24mm, 23mm, 35mm, 56mm, 50-140mm lens(es), and the X100s was less than $1k out of pocket all told. In other words, yes it was scary leaving Canon behind, but it wasn't exactly expensive either.
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Old 10-19-2015   #3
JP Owens
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I'm conflicted by the abundance of options we have in cameras today. Because I shoot primarily for a newspaper, any 16mp m4/3 camera from the last few years yields more than enough image quality for my purposes. And, I have them and shoot them. But, I still love the images that come from my 5D II and 5D III when I look at them large on the computer.

On the other hand, as I get older, carrying around a couple of 5D's with L lenses for hours is not nearly as appealing as it once was! So, I'm trying various smaller cameras, with APSC size sensors. But they all have things I just don't like about them. I know the Sony E mount cameras are the new shiny things; but, having tried several of them, I just don't like them as objects. They feel too much like computers.

None of this is logical, really. I just don't get as much satisfaction using these latest wonder cameras, regardless of size or image quality. It really kinda freaks me out when I point an A6000 at a baby and it displays the word "Baby" in the upper left hand corner of the finder. Too much AI for me!
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Gut wrenching and expensive
Old 10-19-2015   #4
ayewing
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Gut wrenching and expensive

I think you have a good point. FF cameras may have shrunk abit but the laws of physics make it inevitable that FF lenses tend to be large and heavy particularly if you want a a wide aperture and/or a long focal length lens.

I am not a pro photographer and as I get older I find lugging large cameras and lenses more troublesome than when I was younger and fitter. I gave up my Pentax DSLR system some years ago and now I find that even my Leica M240 with lenses is big and heavy enough to make me leave it at home and take my little D-lux when I go for a walk rather than on a photographic expedition.

I rarely make large prints so FF is increasingly overkill as the results with my D-Lux or Olympus E-M1 seem pretty good. I know that FF at wide apertures gives greater subject isolation from the background but I have outgrown the fashion for images in which only a small percentage is intended to be in sharp focus.
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Old 10-19-2015   #5
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I don't find anything gut wrenching about switching systems, just costly. If I can't afford to, I don't and keep using what I have. If I can, and I want to, I do. It's not a big deal at all.

That said, I've settled on two systems ... Nikon SLR and Leica M ... as my base.
  • The Nikon F6 and D750 are large cameras, replete with tons of features and capabilities that I need once in a while. The lenses are somewhat large too—not that I own many, I don't have any of the big pro zooms as I prefer nice primes most of the time. I have my large range of both ultra wide and ultra tele lenses in Nikon mount, plus macros and other specialities. I rarely carry the Nikons other than when I am actively working on shooting specific things.
  • The M4-2 and M-P are svelte with compact lenses. They're at their best with 24 to 75mm lenses, for me. I can carry an M-P with two-three lenses all day without getting tired, shooting whatever I'm interested in.

This is the same as what I had in film gear for 20+ years. I use it about the same way. And it works just as well as it did then.

Still have my Oly system, which is more compact (with the right lenses) and has features that neither of the above do. And carry a Polaroid for a lot of my personal interest, which does an end-run around all the other stuff.

What's to discuss?

G
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Old 10-19-2015   #6
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These days I judge a camera by whether or not it will fit in the pocket of my pants.

I have never had an editor even ask me what camera I was using.
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Old 10-19-2015   #7
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I have a Canon Eos 3, it's the same size as my 5D and 5D MKIII, switching between them is incredibly easy.
Of course there are smaller film bodies, but the 3 is a fantastic camera, and there's something deeply satisfying about being able to swap and switch between them.

That said I do also use compacts as well, but I always have, they have very definitely rocketed ahead in capabilities, the Ricoh GR consistently amazes me with what it's capable of.
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Old 10-19-2015   #8
ColSebastianMoran
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Definitely leaning to the smaller sized options. I'm a serious amateur, not a pro.

Lately, I'm using the Sony A6000 with the 55mm Sony/Zeiss f/1.8 for portraits.

Compare that to a Nikon full-frame body with 85mm f/1.8. The size/weight difference is significant, I have trouble finding a difference in image quality or features.



( Screen shot from CameraSize.com -- D600 vs A6000 shown above )
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Old 10-19-2015   #9
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One of the great film cameras of all time is the Nikon F2 Photomic. With the MD-2 motor drive and battery pack containing 10 AA batteries, but no film, it weighs in at 1851 grams. It's dimensions are about 173 mm high x 155 mm wide x 70 mm deep. Let's compare it to the far more capable Nikon D2x (frame rate, auto-exposure, auto-focus, weather sealing). With the battery and CF card, the D2x weighs 1319 grams. It's dimensions are 155 mm high x 160 mm wide x 90 mm deep. Other than slightly wider and appreciably deeper, the D2x is the smaller camera. Once a lens for sports or wildlife photography is put on the cameras, the overall difference is minimal.
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Old 10-19-2015   #10
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There is also the clever Fuji "Evolution of the Photographer" ad

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Old 10-19-2015   #11
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It's the old 35mm vs. medium format debate all over again. Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
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Old 10-19-2015   #12
uhoh7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pierce View Post
The latest full frame digital rangefinders and DSLRs are often larger than their earlier film counterparts. The small digital cameras of today are the mirrorless cameras. But, even mirrorless, full frame cameras often carry big lenses that co op the small camera convenience. Add to this the fact that sensor technology has advanced to the point were many of today’s APS C sensors can deliver quality that exceeds the quality of full frame sensors of just a few years back
Maybe in landscape, but the crop is murderous for high speed character overall, I think.

Some of those Fujis with the fast lenses are nice, but nothing I'd trade an M9 to have, that's for sure.

Others may disagree.

A good M FF body could be much smaller and lighter than the M9. Those options are coming I think.

But a heavy rig is a PITA, I can't deny. I don't even want a 240 LOL, partly for that reason, though it's just a bit bigger.
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Old 10-19-2015   #13
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I love my Nikon full frame DSLR, but............. Here's the thing when I go away on holidays its hard to carry a large DSLR and range of lenses with me. And its not getting any easier. I am getting older and find that my stamina is not what it was so when out on expeditions its hard to carry all my desired kit. This means that even if I take gear with me it may get left in the hotel room.

To make matters worse, airlines are becoming a PITA. Last time I went on a short interstate visit I decided to only take hand luggage with me as I was only going for 2 nights. I found that the airline I was using now STRICTLY enforces cabin baggage rules and even weighs that cabin baggage to make sure you are not over weight or over size. If you are over, bags must go into the hold and you have to pay a fee for hold baggage. This meant it was not possible for me to bring my big camera and gear with me. There is no way I am checking in several thousand dollars worth of camera gear to be carried in a cargo hold and thrown about by baggage handlers.

International flights are a bit better admittedly as they are more generous with allowances, but even there I find myself leaving at home, my biggest pro lenses (such as my Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 AF and 80-200 f2.8 AF in favour of much smaller non pro lenses of similar focal length.

So I have begun to think. Perhaps its time I began considering replacing my DSLR gear with say the much smaller and lighter Sony equipment. I have an NEX camera and have found its image quality to be excellent with superb dynamic range. Perhaps I now need to consider one of their recent offerings in place of my Nikon gear. I am reluctant to do it but..........
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Old 10-19-2015   #14
Bill Pierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Owens View Post
I'm trying various smaller cameras, with APSC size sensors. But they all have things I just don't like about them. I know the Sony E mount cameras are the new shiny things; but, having tried several of them, I just don't like them as objects. They feel too much like computers.
JP - I don't know if it would be any help, but the Fuji cameras, and especially the XT-1, have a shutter speed dial, ISO dial and a lot of other dial and button controls on the camera so that one rarely goes into a menu screen when actually operating the camera. It's not totally "the old days," but it's close.
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Old 10-19-2015   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Owens View Post
I'm conflicted by the abundance of options we have in cameras today. Because I shoot primarily for a newspaper, any 16mp m4/3 camera from the last few years yields more than enough image quality for my purposes. And, I have them and shoot them. But, I still love the images that come from my 5D II and 5D III when I look at them large on the computer.

On the other hand, as I get older, carrying around a couple of 5D's with L lenses for hours is not nearly as appealing as it once was! So, I'm trying various smaller cameras, with APSC size sensors. But they all have things I just don't like about them. I know the Sony E mount cameras are the new shiny things; but, having tried several of them, I just don't like them as objects. They feel too much like computers.

None of this is logical, really. I just don't get as much satisfaction using these latest wonder cameras, regardless of size or image quality. It really kinda freaks me out when I point an A6000 at a baby and it displays the word "Baby" in the upper left hand corner of the finder. Too much AI for me!
Easy fix: save up your money, buy a Leica M-P typ 240 and your favorite pair or triplet of lenses. To heck with junky Sony and Fuji shiny things: this is a real camera the same way your 5D II/III are but half the size, half the weight, with MUCH smaller lenses, that will make photos so good it'll make you cry. Very little in way of goofy "baby recognition" features.

Nothing gut wrenching either, just a little wallet twisting. :-)

G
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Old 10-19-2015   #16
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I just use the fuji's for digital to cover out and about events.
Keeping a 5Dii for a long collected set of M42 reflex lenses that lend a special look when I want that.

When you stay within the fuji "ecosystem", the sensor size is of no interest. I mostly use the 35mm on one body and the 18-55 0r 55-200 on the other.
Fuji makes great lenses for their system. The cameras keep getting better and not costing more every cycle.
They are layed out like cameras with dials that have shutter and exposure values on them. Not blank computer controllers with controls that need to be assigned by each user.
They cost what working cameras should cost considering we are in the "teenage" years of digital imaging technology.
When we get to middle age years I might not mind springing for a camera with a heftier build and higher price tag. Why do that now?

I want to pay for a system that works for me without me having to work extra hours to support it!
One can own two bodies and all the fuji primes for the price of an MP-240 and still have dough left for an X100!!!
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Old 10-19-2015   #17
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I come from a pair of leica's. M3 summitar, M2 Ultron 28. The Nikon D3100, with a 40mm micro-nikkor, is excellent for scanning negatives, but it was clear from the start that shape and size are way over the top. Modern DSLR's, PASM wheels and other such ergonomic innovations are not for me : a diaphragm ring is supposed to be on the lens, as a speed dial is supposed to be near the shutter.
If I had my 'druthers, I 'd have an M240 or a Monochrom, but I'm dirt poor, so now I'm working a Fuji X-E2 to death. Fitted with the Summitar, I can have all the boke I want. The files have more detail, and at least similar dynamic range, compared to the Tri-X I was used to. Large prints aren't my thing, APS-c is plenty for me.

Not much gut-wrenching, except for the time I spent refining my choice. Hours of reading, scores of reviews, comparing brands and cameras and prices. Fuji came out ahead, first for ergonomics, then for sensor size. Panasonic would have been a second choice.

Except for an occasional twitch of Leica-envy, I don't worry very much about my camera anymore : I just set it and shoot it : the subject is what makes the photo, after all : what camera I use to shoot the subject is only marginally interesting.

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Old 10-19-2015   #18
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Crop factors mess me up...I need full frame to know what to do with my lenses. Hey you asked Mr. Pierce...
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Old 10-19-2015   #19
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It been disused many times on P.O.T.N. about FF and crop. If sharpness and colors is all you and customers need, yes, crop is good. Just don't tell folks like me what it is the same. I'm not blind.
Do I need digital FF which only I could see in my family as diffrent format, honestly, not.

It is 2005 DSLR and it has printable ISO 3200. Not so bad, I guess.
But I just don't want to walk with it. It is so bulky, I have to hold it by one hand and only have one more to deal with kid and dog. It is safety issue if I just wear it or it is hassle to get it in/out of the bag to get the picture.

Guess what, yesterday we went on hike. I don't have X-E, yet, so it is just M4-2 for now. I'm the only film camera guff on the very busy trail. What is the rest using as dedicated cameras.... Fricking DSLRs !!!
Younge people, my age people, momsies taking family pictures. I saw only one d-ude (why D U D E is getting blocked here now?) with fancy mirrorless and disproportional tele on it.

So, what you see on store shelfs, doesn't always represents what you'll see to been in use in real life.

Cheers, Ko.
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Old 10-19-2015   #20
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I've been shooting my Fuji's for quite a bit now and thought I'd dig out the Canon 6D just to keep it functioning. Grabbed the bag that is my Canon kit and started to heft it to my lap and nearly couldn't (arthritis). Now I'm sure I did the right thing by "down grading". I'm an ardent amateur who prints, but beyond that I have no need of the benefits of the large cameras anymore. As you state, the quality of the images from the newer ASP-C sensors is more than good enough.
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Old 10-19-2015   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
...
I want to pay for a system that works for me without me having to work extra hours to support it!
One can own two bodies and all the fuji primes for the price of an MP-240 and still have dough left for an X100!!!
All you need is one M240 body and two or three lenses. The rest is superfluous. Once you have that, you don't need to pay a penny for anything else—there's nothing you have to pay for beyond it, other than maybe a spare battery and a couple of memory cards.

It's not like any digital camera, once past its purchase price, requires ongoing maintenance.

G
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Old 10-19-2015   #22
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Without any disrespect .... I can't spend $7-10k Godfrey.
I can spend $2500 and I have.
It's not a matter of who's right or wrong.
We have different financial situations and priorities.
I have and love my film M and modest color skopar 50mm.
An m240 is irresponsible for a person like me to consider or plot to purchase.
Especially since I don't need it to do the work that I do.
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Old 10-19-2015   #23
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Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Without any disrespect .... I can't spend $7-10k Godfrey.
I can spend $2500 and I have.
It's not a matter of who's right or wrong.
We have different financial situations and priorities.
I have and love my film M and modest color skopar 50mm.
An m240 is irresponsible for a person like me to consider or plot to purchase.
Especially since I don't need it to do the work that I do.
I fully respect that an M240 is very expensive and out of range for many to afford. It wasn't exactly easy for me either. It was important enough to me, however, that I let go of other things to do it. This is certainly not the situation that's possible for everyone, and I get that. I'm sure the Fuji solution you've done works well and it certainly costs less.

What I don't understand is the angst, or 'gut wrenching' business. "I can buy two Fujis and an X100, plus lenses for that price!" Sure, but so what? "I don't want to buy something I have to work overtime to support!" Eh? What does that mean? Whatever you buy, once you buy it, you just use it. There are no further costs.

Unless you're not buying stuff but taking out a loan to have it ... I'd never buy a camera on payments unless it was part of a business plan of expected equipment costs. Buying luxury goods on time is a horrible way to destroy your life.

So ... If the film M and the Fuji do the job, and are what you can afford, life is good. If they're what you want for some other reason, that's even better. But if you rationalize the Fujis in exchange for an M based on money, but really want the M, you're just setting yourself up for gut wrenching and more time treading the hamster wheel of desire.

The Ricoh GXR I had was pretty darn good, and I wasn't very excited by the M8. I could have stopped there. But it didn't quite make the grade where I wanted it. The M9 was good, but the fact that I bought the A7 told me that it wasn't doing it for me right either. The A7 didn't either, and when I spent yet another unplanned load on the M-P, to replace the damaged M9, I said to myself, "this is the last shot. I can just barely afford it, and it it doesn't tickle me right, I'll get rid of all of it and stick with the Nikons." It's turned out right, it's produced the work I was hoping for, in the way I demanded; so the gamble went the right way.

What should other people do? I don't know, other than not put this stuff into heart and deep angst over money and desire. Buy what works, what you can afford, and be happy. Don't slam other products based on their price or brand or ... all that stuff. Just do objectively what gets the job done for you and enjoy the work, the photography, and the conversation.

It all works for me. :-) I'm just as happy with a fine photo out of a Polaroid OneStep that I rescue for a nickel as I am with the glorious tones of a Hassy SWC image enlarged to 40x40 grainlessly, as I am with my old Oly E-1 making a nice photo of falling leaves in morning fog. As long as the photos work and the equipment does what I want, that's all that matters to me.

Be well.
G
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Old 10-19-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
I fully respect that an M240 is very expensive and out of range for many to afford. It wasn't exactly easy for me either. It was important enough to me, however, that I let go of other things to do it. This is certainly not the situation that's possible for everyone, and I get that. I'm sure the Fuji solution you've done works well and it certainly costs less.

What I don't understand is the angst, or 'gut wrenching' business. "I can buy two Fujis and an X100, plus lenses for that price!" Sure, but so what? "I don't want to buy something I have to work overtime to support!" Eh? What does that mean? Whatever you buy, once you buy it, you just use it. There are no further costs.

Unless you're not buying stuff but taking out a loan to have it ... I'd never buy a camera on payments unless it was part of a business plan of expected equipment costs. Buying luxury goods on time is a horrible way to destroy your life.

So ... If the film M and the Fuji do the job, and are what you can afford, life is good. If they're what you want for some other reason, that's even better. But if you rationalize the Fujis in exchange for an M based on money, but really want the M, you're just setting yourself up for gut wrenching and more time treading the hamster wheel of desire.

The Ricoh GXR I had was pretty darn good, and I wasn't very excited by the M8. I could have stopped there. But it didn't quite make the grade where I wanted it. The M9 was good, but the fact that I bought the A7 told me that it wasn't doing it for me right either. The A7 didn't either, and when I spent yet another unplanned load on the M-P, to replace the damaged M9, I said to myself, "this is the last shot. I can just barely afford it, and it it doesn't tickle me right, I'll get rid of all of it and stick with the Nikons." It's turned out right, it's produced the work I was hoping for, in the way I demanded; so the gamble went the right way.

What should other people do? I don't know, other than not put this stuff into heart and deep angst over money and desire. Buy what works, what you can afford, and be happy. Don't slam other products based on their price or brand or ... all that stuff. Just do objectively what gets the job done for you and enjoy the work, the photography, and the conversation.

It all works for me. :-) I'm just as happy with a fine photo out of a Polaroid OneStep that I rescue for a nickel as I am with the glorious tones of a Hassy SWC image enlarged to 40x40 grainlessly, as I am with my old Oly E-1 making a nice photo of falling leaves in morning fog. As long as the photos work and the equipment does what I want, that's all that matters to me.

Be well.
G

Oh man... you really took some libertly with this.


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Old 10-19-2015   #25
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Digital really has not changed what gear I prefer to use all that much but the main purchasing point for me to consider a digital component is that is *has* to work seamlessly with the film cameras in the system otherwise I am not interested.

So for light and unobtrusive, I added a M240 onto my Leica system. For jack of all trades and master of all too, a Nikon D750 & D810. And just this week, for a digital option to my black and white fine art, I purchased a new Hasselblad CFV50c back for my expansive V system.

Film is most important to me but digital makes quick work of big budget shoots so when everyone plays nice together in the sandbox, well that makes me not care about the latest, the lightest or the mirror less.
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Old 10-19-2015   #26
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This is getting interesting LOL

I know I'm in trouble when I more than sort of agree with Godfrey. The thread title is definately a shade purple

The money issue is "the last war". It's much less true today. You want full frame with LTM and M glass it can be had for as low as 1100 (A7.mod) and fully native at 2200 (m9) or at most 3800 (M240) (bodies) If you don't need the red badge on your lenses, you can get three great ones for 1500.

However, that said, the Fujis are much smaller and lighter. That could make the difference in a good choice. I drag the M9 everywhere. To the market. But I would have called that ridiculous 3 years ago, when the nex-5n was my main camera. The M9, like G says of the 240, can make you cry. So I drag it.

I see little real disagreement in this thread. Everyone theoretically prefers FF, but obviously there are multiple additional factors, and individual priority orders will always differ.
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Old 10-19-2015   #27
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Well, that it why I shoot film, my Leica's and stuck with it. High dymmic range, simplicity, well crafted machines. That is all that I need! Great topic.
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Old 10-19-2015   #28
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However, that said, the Fujis are much smaller and lighter. That could make the difference in a good choice.
The Fuji cameras are generally slightly smaller, the difference is insignificant. The weight difference is significant. Whether that matters enough to become a deciding factor is debatable. Only some very specific needs rather than argument on every day use seem relevant from my point of view.

I think it is a question of price and feature set really. The many mirrorless cameras have taken away the size advantage that rangefinder cameras perhaps had in the past. For some people, size has been the only truly differentiating quality or feature of a Leica M camera. And that's fine.
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Old 10-19-2015   #29
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All this trend towards lighter and smaller makes that there are quite a few cameras that have become too light and too small. Ergonomics are the limit, not technology. And this is overlooked by a lot of the latest cameras.
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Old 10-20-2015   #30
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I purchased a Panasonic GF-1 along with the 20mm 1.7 lens when they first came out. I shot with it for a couple of months and went home one day and put every bit of my Nikon DSLR gear up for sale on eBay. I have never looked back. I shoot mostly street stuff and the m4/3 system fit my needs very well. It was liberating to reduce the amount of size and weight I was carrying around with me. I held onto a couple of film rangefinder cameras for a bit more before I eventually sold them as well and went completely digital. I am still shooting Panasonic cameras today.
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Old 10-20-2015   #31
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I recently got a modded A7 and it is absurdly tiny, roughly the same size as the X-T1. I suspect that, going forward, full frame cameras will be smaller. Including the next M-compatible Leica.
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Old 10-20-2015   #32
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I have yet to make the jump to digital, at the moment if I had the spare cash, it would be a two way race between the Fuji XT-1 and the Olympus OMD EM1. For my style of shooting and the print size I usually go to, the flagship bodies Nikon and Canon are putting out there are overkill and as much as I would love a Leica 240 MP, I just don't have the budget for that.
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Old 10-20-2015   #33
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Quote:
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.

It all works for me. :-) I'm just as happy with a fine photo out of a Polaroid OneStep that I rescue for a nickel as I am with the glorious tones of a Hassy SWC image enlarged to 40x40 grainlessly, as I am with my old Oly E-1 making a nice photo of falling leaves in morning fog. As long as the photos work and the equipment does what I want, that's all that matters to me.

Be well.
G
I'm back on this topic. Well I have an Oly e520. The 14-42mm Zoom does almost everything for me. 90% of my other gear is Leicas, Hasselblad, and Rolleiflex. My Oly is not the best in digital - but it does what I need. Film cameras are an "anchor" in this complicated world of digital technologies and standards that every manufacture wants to make. Film is film - 35mm or 120mm. That's it. Simplicity. No more anxiety. But, because I try to keep up with the new news, sometimes the doubt comes back, then I try my Oly... Good enough. I go and shoot my M3 and M2 - life is quality and good. Problems solved.
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Old 10-20-2015   #34
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This is getting interesting LOL

I know I'm in trouble when I more than sort of agree with Godfrey. The thread title is definately a shade purple

The money issue is "the last war". It's much less true today. You want full frame with LTM and M glass it can be had for as low as 1100 (A7.mod) and fully native at 2200 (m9) or at most 3800 (M240) (bodies) If you don't need the red badge on your lenses, you can get three great ones for 1500.

...
WHERE could I get working M9 for 2200?
PLEAsE, tell me!!!!!!!
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Old 10-20-2015   #35
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WHERE could I get working M9 for 2200?
PLEAsE, tell me!!!!!!!
A search on Ebay for sold auctions shows a few M9 bodies sold in the $2200-2400 range recently. All the ones sold in this price category are listed as either having high actuation counts, a good bit of cosmetic issues, some sensor problems, or likely sensor corrosion. I'd rate any of those cameras Bargain condition: working but with compromises. (It's true that if you buy one of these with actual sensor corrosion issues, you'll get a bargain because Leica will replace the sensor and then check the rest of the camera. However, they don't replace shutters with high actuation counts or necessarily fix all other problems without additional charge.)

The current going price for an M9 in VG to EXC condition, both functionally and cosmetically, currently seems to be between $3200 and $3900.

A similar search for M typ 240 bodies shows a couple in the $4200 range, but the vast majority selling in the $4600-5200 category.

G
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Old 10-20-2015   #36
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When you stay within the fuji "ecosystem", the sensor size is of no interest..
That's what sucks about Sony.. I'm in a perpetual state of FF envy. What's worse, is that every time that I've decided to trade in the nex-6, it pops out some kind of stunning image that completely messes with my just made up mind. It's been going like that for two years now, and its driving me raving mad..
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Old 10-20-2015   #37
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I think you have a good point. FF cameras may have shrunk abit but the laws of physics make it inevitable that FF lenses tend to be large and heavy particularly if you want a a wide aperture and/or a long focal length lens.
someone needs to help me with this concept as applied to this situation. and in english please.

first, as i understand them, the 'laws' of physics are not really 'laws', just a present point of understanding. have not some changed from einsteins time? even from the '60s (note string theory)? i remember a time when the 'laws' of physics meant the smallest computer we could make filled a small room, or when the smallest cell phone we could make looked like the one from MASH that had to be carried around in its own shoulder bag!

second, maybe we shouldnt get bogged down on my first point, so, more practically, are not rangefinder lenses full frame? are they not high quality? are they not geometrically smaller than slr lenses? do not mirrorless cameras accomodate rangefinder lenses? are the answers to all these questions compatable with the 'laws' of physics as we understand them? if 'yes' answers all of these questions, how do the laws of physics preclude producing small lenses for use on ff mirrorless cameras? the only answer that makes sense to me is that adding an af mechanism fully accounts for the extra size. i dont believe that, but even if true, how do the laws of physics preclude improvement?
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Old 10-20-2015   #38
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...

The current going price for an M9 in VG to EXC condition, both functionally and cosmetically, currently seems to be between $3200 and $3900.

...
So, here is NONE for 2200 and this is what I knew for sure. Not even for starting bid. And I'm quite sure those which were sold for 2200 were with the issues.
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Old 10-20-2015   #39
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So, here is NONE for 2200 and this is what I knew for sure. Not even for starting bid. And I'm quite sure those which were sold for 2200 were with the issues.
They are even as low as $1950 if you look at sold auctions... and without issues. The camera is outdated. There are current auctions at less than $2200 right now. It's not hard to find.
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Old 10-20-2015   #40
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Anarchy is in my system, without me knowing how it got there: I moved (up? down?) to a 4x5" camera this last year...
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