Which 50 to get
Old 01-10-2006   #1
Planar1.4
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Which 50 to get

So I see lots of talk about 50mm lenses and some good comparisons-

Has anyone compared the 50/1.4 Lux, 50/1 Noc and 50/2 'cron at 2?

I really wanted a 1.4 or better- but if the 'cron is that much better in "look"- and I know that is personal- then I would try to adjust.

My favorite pictures I have taken in my life were on a 50/1.4 Rokkor or the 85/1.4 Planar- all SLRs- and pretty wide open-
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Old 01-10-2006   #2
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You question is a little confusing. If you need f/1 or f/1.4, it doesn't really matter how much better the 'cron may be @ f/2. I think those who've done bench tests (E. Puts, etc.) would say that @ f/2, the current 'lux ASPH is "best" (MTF results. etc.), followed by the 'cron, & the the Noctilux. IMHO, weighing all the factors like size, weight, & cost, my verdict would be: if you need f/1, go for the Noct', if you only need f/1.4 go for the 'lux, & if you don't need f/1 or f/1.4, go for the 'cron.
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Old 01-10-2006   #3
Planar1.4
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I guess to clarify- the look would be the most important-

so was wondering if a comparison of the 3 50mm lenses at F/2 was done, since that would somewhat equal that field. Not real interested in MTF charts, but actual results and happiness with the final image at the limited DOF.

It was mentioned that the Noct' hood can get in the way of the M3 veiwfinder, so that is a consideration as well. I realize cost is in there as well!
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Check Sean Reid's review
Old 01-10-2006   #4
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Check Sean Reid's review

He has a review of fast lenses at Luminous Landscape, and linked from his website as well. seanreid.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Planar1.4
I guess to clarify- the look would be the most important-

so was wondering if a comparison of the 3 50mm lenses at F/2 was done, since that would somewhat equal that field. Not real interested in MTF charts, but actual results and happiness with the final image at the limited DOF.

It was mentioned that the Noct' hood can get in the way of the M3 veiwfinder, so that is a consideration as well. I realize cost is in there as well!
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Old 01-10-2006   #5
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if clarity is the big issue, I'd probably seek out a Summicron DR with good glass
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Old 01-11-2006   #6
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Reading Erwin's pages- it seems the new Summilux-M 50 Asph is the best one for my use.

How do I tell which 50 Lux is under the new formula- only the newest ones with the hood?
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Old 01-11-2006   #7
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It'll be the most expensive one

Seriously, though the ASPH has only been available for a few months so are unlikely to be around used. There are a lot of pre-ASPH Summiluxes appearing on the used market here in the UK.

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Old 01-11-2006   #8
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I haven't used any of my 50 Crons since I got a Lux (mine's an E43 version from the early 80s).
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Old 01-11-2006   #9
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By "look" what do you mean? I've compared all three just in terms of sharpness. At f/2 the current Summicron or the pre-asph. Summilux are equal centrally. Off axis mid to outer frame, the Summicron does better but the pre-asph. Summilux is slightly better in terms of resistance to secondary reflections at f/2. The Asph. Summilux does better than either but not at the extreme corner of the frame. The Noctilux is last but stopped down to f/5.6 and smaller is indistinguishable to the others. The "look" or image characteristic of the Noctilux is definitely different wide open and may be preferable to some because of it's telephoto like isolation in focus making the subject in focus stand out more than with an f/2 lens.
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Old 01-11-2006   #10
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By "look" I assume you mean a len's signature or "pop factor" at f2. I've used all of the lenses and they are all very competent at f2. Both the Cron and Lux have beautiful bokeh qualities.

I prefer the cron and lux at f2 ... only because there is no reason to use the Noct at f2 (especially given its extra weight and size). The difference in size between the cron and lux is negligible in my opinion, so it depends on whether you want 1.4 and are willing to pay an extra 500 for it.

Honestly, it is near impossible to convey these details via web photos or to make this decision on our collective, highly individualized subjective opinions. What may be great pop/bokeh to me on the Cron, may not suit your tastes. If possible, it may be worth your time to rent and shoot some test rolls. No matter what choice you make, however, you are in no danger of getting a bad lens :-)
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Old 01-11-2006   #11
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It's not only the narrow DOF for the Noct wide open that gives it its look, its also the abberation/coma filled quality of the OOF areas when the lens is used wide open. Some love it, some hate it, some just want to have any image on film/sensor in really poor lighting conditions.

I once took some wedding pictures with a Noctilux and RD-1 of a group sitting on steps outdoors at night listening to toasts . . . camera was actully on a tripod, but it was priceless being able to shoot without a flash. At f2, exposures would have been so slow that laughter in the group and people making comments to one another would have really blurred the scene. At f1 it was do-able.

At any rate, my advice to Planar 1.4 would be to try before you buy. Really, these things are so personal. A good place to shop is KEH, which has a really generous return policy on their used goods. You can order a lens, shoot for a week, see what you think and return it if it is not to your liking. Your main risk would seem to be the cost of shipping and insurance, which is little enough compared to a rental fee. If that advice doesn't suit, I'd get all the lenses that intrigue you and shoot, shoot, shoot. Compare and contrast. Be broke. Resolve to sell a lens. Reneg on your promise to yourself. Wind up with too many lenses. Hey, it works for me.

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Old 01-11-2006   #12
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The latest 1 has aspherical elements & so is marked w/"ASPH" on the lens bezel.

http://www.leica-camera.com/produkte...l/index_e.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Planar1.4
Reading Erwin's pages- it seems the new Summilux-M 50 Asph is the best one for my use.

How do I tell which 50 Lux is under the new formula- only the newest ones with the hood?
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Old 01-12-2006   #13
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yes, that new 'lux-M Asph puts a good used Noctilux back in my decision making.

Does anyone have a link to a good gallery of Noctilux shots. I have read a lot of discussion, but would love to look at some work- preferably hand held stuff....
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Old 01-12-2006   #14
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Try this: http://www.nemeng.com/leica/040b.shtml
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Old 01-12-2006   #15
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/furcafe...octiluxmc1988/

All handheld.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Planar1.4
Does anyone have a link to a good gallery of Noctilux shots. I have read a lot of discussion, but would love to look at some work- preferably hand held stuff....
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Five a Second. Chicago's Bell & Howell Co. (cameras) announced that it would put on sale this fall the world's most expensive still camera. Its "Foton" will take five 35-mm. pictures a second, sell for $700. Bell & Howell, which has found that "families of both low and high incomes now spend over $550" for movie equipment, hopes to sell 20,000 Fotons a year.
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Old 01-12-2006   #16
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I've been seriously considering the Summilux-M f/1.4/50mm ASPH. If it's as good as they say it is, (the only Leica lens with a floating element) it's probably worth the money. A perfect 50mm could be the only lens you ever need.
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Old 01-12-2006   #17
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If "clarity" or sharpness is an issue... my Zeiss-M 50/2 is sharper than either of my 50 Summicrons (M-50 Dual Range and R-50).
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Old 01-12-2006   #18
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Can we see photographic proof of that? Quite the claim and I'd like to see it for myself.
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Old 01-12-2006   #19
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Dito to what Stephanie said.
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Old 01-12-2006   #20
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Perhaps the Planar 50mm F2?
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Old 01-13-2006   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig M
I've been seriously considering the Summilux-M f/1.4/50mm ASPH. If it's as good as they say it is, (the only Leica lens with a floating element) it's probably worth the money. A perfect 50mm could be the only lens you ever need.

At that price it'd have to be, for me. I'd have to sell the rest of my lenses to get one. I shot with one, alongside my 50 non-ASPH Lux. The only thing I would lug around a 50/1.4 for would be handheld shots on fast film in very low light, and that's how I compared them. I couldn't discern any difference. No doubt, on a tripod with slow slide film the ASPH would pull out ahead. But for that kind of shooting, and that kind of money, I can (and in fact, did) buy a Hasselblad with a couple film backs and 3 lenses, and the results from teh Zeiss glass on a 6x6 tranny IMO give me more bang for the buck than any lens could possibly do with 35mm. Just my opninion, nothing against anyone who has the ASPH lens.
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Old 01-14-2006   #22
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I am a Voigtlander Bessa R3a owner with five Voigtlander lenses. I am curious about you Leica fanatics. I wonder when you all will stop desperately trying to justify the price gouging of a no-longer German-made camera when it is compared to the likes of Voigtlander or the upcomming Zeiss bodies and lenses? I can easily afford Leica and acknowledge that the camera body is somewhat better made, but if my Bessa breaks (has taken great abuse so far), I can buy SIX of them for the price of one Leica body! And the Voigtlander lenses are so close in resolution/color/contrast to Leica (IMHO) that there is no way the incredible price for Leica equipment is justified? Where are the objective comparison studies between the two lenses (Voigt and Leica)? I will bet my car payment that if Iwere to take a pix with my Bessa body and any of my Voigt lenses, then take the exact same pix with an analogous Leica lens (same exposure, same body or use a Leica body) and professionally process the picture, that professional photographers could NOT tell the difference consistently in real world picture taking. I do acknowledge that perhaps one Leica lens can resolve 125 lines/mm but I say that the Voigts can resolve 110 lines/mm. Can anyone tell that difference on anything other than a test bench? Certainly NOT in real world pictures, and certainly not enough to justify the $2900 price for a Leica lens when a Voigt similar lens is $400. You guys have all those leica lenses- let's see someone put it to a test and objectively compare real world photos taken with Leica, Voigt, and/or Zeiss lenses, and see what happens. I will bet you guys start crying when you realize that Voigtlander is eating Leica's lunch . I am taking the same quality pix (for all that anyone cares) that you are, and have the satisfaction that I am not being robbed by Leica. As a physician, all my buddies tell me how great their $$$ Mercedes are (I have owned two Benzes, two BMW's, two Volvo's) as they are being FIXED IN THE SHOP and my lexuses and I just keep driving past them. Their sad devotion to the "Benz mystique" keeps the Benz dealers happy and LAUGING at them for plopping down good money for a notably beautiful product, but not worth the price, and the Japanese do it better.

Any OBJECTIVE thoughts? Anyone willing to do a fair comparision?
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Old 01-14-2006   #23
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Stay calm, cme4brain, no reason to
Just acknowledge that other people have other preferences - for whatever reason.
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Old 01-14-2006   #24
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Old 01-14-2006   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoNL
Stay calm, cme4brain, no reason to
Just acknowledge that other people have other preferences - for whatever reason.

I just reread this thread. The original post asks for a comparison of 3 Leica lenses. The conversation has included a couple recommendations of the new Zeiss ZM 50mm lens. A reasonable suggestion of the excellent CV Nokton would also be appropriate.

Yes, stay calm, and have a look around at what everyone else has stated here to see some real objective opinions.
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Old 01-14-2006   #26
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I just would like to add which 50 I got ... 10 minutes ago: A 1962 DR-Summicron with Eyes, caps, and original box (!), in almost mint condition. I discovered it by chance immediately it went for sale (for a once in a life-time price, I might add)

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Old 01-14-2006   #27
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cme4brain, value is what is perceived by the owner/user. You obviously take great delight in using inferior products that cost less. You position is that the equipment is only slightly inferior and that you have realized a substantial savings in your purchases. Many people appreciate certain things for what they are, as much as for what they effect - and they will pay for the difference in quality. Leica cameras are collected by many and never used because the collector esteems the equipment for what he perceives it to be, without consideration for its photographic use.

You inflate your own ego by denigrating the choices of others. How dare they not embrace your obvious wisdom? Yet, you can be faulted by your own logic. Why not purchase a Toyota instead of a Lexus? Same company, slightly inferior quality (maybe), and you can save $$$? Better yet, buy a used Toyota ( since new vehicles depreciate 20% as soon as you drive them off the lot ) and still drive many miles, saving even more $$$. The point is: what you do with your $ is your business; what I do with my $ is my business. If you believe you are smarter than everbody else, you are entitled to your opinion. Just don't feed me your sh-t and tell me it is caviar.
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Old 01-14-2006   #28
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These are some comparison shots http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-...?msg_id=00D3fJ for cme4brain although most of you have probably seen them already. They may not be "real world" but they do partly demonstrate some of what you get for the extra money with the 50/1.4 aspheric, i.e. central resolution far beyond that of the ZM Planar and equal to the Summicron (both at f'2.8) but at a full stop wider.
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Old 01-14-2006   #29
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"Yet, you can be faulted by your own logic. Why not purchase a Toyota instead of a Lexus? Same company, slightly inferior quality (maybe), and you can save $$$? Better yet, buy a used Toyota ( since new vehicles depreciate 20% as soon as you drive them off the lot ) and still drive many miles, saving even more $$$. The point is: what you do with your $ is your business; what I do with my $ is my business."

Well said. This would be pretty hard to argue against, IMO.
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Old 01-14-2006   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cme4brain
I am a Voigtlander Bessa R3a owner with five Voigtlander lenses. I am curious about you Leica fanatics. I wonder when you all will stop desperately trying to justify the price gouging of a no-longer German-made camera when it is compared to the likes of Voigtlander or the upcomming Zeiss bodies and lenses? I can easily afford Leica and acknowledge that the camera body is somewhat better made, but if my Bessa breaks (has taken great abuse so far), I can buy SIX of them for the price of one Leica body! And the Voigtlander lenses are so close in resolution/color/contrast to Leica (IMHO) that there is no way the incredible price for Leica equipment is justified? Where are the objective comparison studies between the two lenses (Voigt and Leica)? I will bet my car payment that if Iwere to take a pix with my Bessa body and any of my Voigt lenses, then take the exact same pix with an analogous Leica lens (same exposure, same body or use a Leica body) and professionally process the picture, that professional photographers could NOT tell the difference consistently in real world picture taking. I do acknowledge that perhaps one Leica lens can resolve 125 lines/mm but I say that the Voigts can resolve 110 lines/mm. Can anyone tell that difference on anything other than a test bench? Certainly NOT in real world pictures, and certainly not enough to justify the $2900 price for a Leica lens when a Voigt similar lens is $400. You guys have all those leica lenses- let's see someone put it to a test and objectively compare real world photos taken with Leica, Voigt, and/or Zeiss lenses, and see what happens. I will bet you guys start crying when you realize that Voigtlander is eating Leica's lunch . I am taking the same quality pix (for all that anyone cares) that you are, and have the satisfaction that I am not being robbed by Leica. As a physician, all my buddies tell me how great their $$$ Mercedes are (I have owned two Benzes, two BMW's, two Volvo's) as they are being FIXED IN THE SHOP and my lexuses and I just keep driving past them. Their sad devotion to the "Benz mystique" keeps the Benz dealers happy and LAUGING at them for plopping down good money for a notably beautiful product, but not worth the price, and the Japanese do it better.

Any OBJECTIVE thoughts? Anyone willing to do a fair comparision?

dear doc,

i assume a modicum of intelligence seeing as you're a doc - even though half of the graduating class graduated in the bottom half...

i'll say this once -

this is a friggin' photo forum not a debating society!
we come here to talk gear, to have a good time and show off a photo or 2.
i didn't wake this morning with the intention of entertaining you by proving anything to you!
if you hear music dance with yourself but don't get pissed off if i decline your not so gracious invite.

your arrogance is annoying.
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Old 01-14-2006   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vol72
cme4brain, value is what is perceived by the owner/user. You obviously take great delight in using inferior products that cost less. You position is that the equipment is only slightly inferior and that you have realized a substantial savings in your purchases.

vol, you have to relax too. CV stuff inferior? I don't think so, it is just different. Man we all have to get this through our heads, IT IS JUST DIFFERENT.
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Old 01-14-2006   #32
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So Planar, what lens are you going to get?
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Old 01-14-2006   #33
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I think the most obvious difference between voigtlander versus zeiss leica is mechanical build quality. The voightlander are mechanical a bit less. I think optical Zeiss has the best cards. But the difference between these lenses when stopped down 2 a 3 stops are minimal. The way to achieve the optical performance different from the manufacturs Voigtlander and Leica use a lot of asp. elements were Zeiss uses clasical top design with the newest formulas and techonlogy. As tool for the photgrapher I think Leica is a bit to expensive. It's a sign that leica gear is always les used by professionals.
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Old 01-14-2006   #34
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Joe,

As you had said previously, the site it growing at a tremendous pace, and the membership is growing more and more, shall we say, "diverse." If I were you, I'd ask for a raise.
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Old 01-14-2006   #35
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Could someone please explain to me what is it about camera gear/photography that makes apparently well-educated and articulate people so childish?

Does this kind of behavior also occur on other special-interest forums as well?

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Old 01-14-2006   #36
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This, with a few obvious exceptions, is a really well-behaved forum. Log into a forum on any sort of audio gear, BMWs or politics if you want some real elemental animalism.
What was the question?
Oh. 50s.
Any post-1965 Summicron or Elmar, M-Hexanon or Sonnar is more lens than most people, papers and films can take advantage of.
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Old 01-14-2006   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_n
Could someone please explain to me what is it about camera gear/photography that makes apparently well-educated and articulate people so childish?

Does this kind of behavior also occur on other special-interest forums as well?

oh yeah!
check out some of the audio/video sites.

i got so fed up with the last audio site i was on that i just left it...and came here.

it's one of the reasons i try to maintain the peace here.
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Old 01-14-2006   #38
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And you do a great job Joe! How's the old ticker? It doesn't need this kind of silliness...

Thanks for educating me about other forums. Think I'll stick to photography...

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Old 01-14-2006   #39
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ticker seems ok, more testing this coming week.

that last audio site turned too many posts in political statements, too much venom directed at people.
i went there for audio speak and to learn nd maybe laugh a bit.

same here - i come here for photo speak, cause my friends can take so much befor bursting and really most of them do not understand the language.

i wish folks could keep that one thing in mind - - we are a photo/gear forum and the rest (subject wise) can go elsewhere.
and there is no place for downright hostility here, none!
except for me possibly...
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Old 01-14-2006   #40
Stephanie Brim
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Stephanie Brim is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Iowa
Age: 36
Posts: 2,854
Group Hug! Joe In The Middle!
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I had a baby girl on December 6, 2007. Yay motherhood!


One camera. Two lenses. Three shots per week.

2008 Street Photography Project
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