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Why Keep Using the Wrong Camera?
Old 11-03-2015   #1
dave lackey
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Why Keep Using the Wrong Camera?

Ever missed a shot or even a whole trip full of photo opportunities? Or at best you came home and saw your images and you were disappointed?

Recently, I was able to grab only a single photo in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and although I was happy to get any photo of a bear cub in a tree, I was angry because I left my F6 at home. The single photo sucked but I am keeping it because our grandchildren love it.

The F6 would have been perfect, especially with a reasonable zoom lens. The D700 I wish I had would have been even better.

But, no, I only had a Leica M6. And the X1. Neither camera is exactly versatile. I had the same frustrations with the kids' football and softball games. Stealthy, small rangefinders really are a waste where I am most likely to need/want a photo.

SLRs now for most photographic endeavors. I really missed the versatility of my old, cheapo , tiny D40. The D3100 will now be a constant companion. But for sure I find RF to be lacking for most things these days. I guess life changes. Dang, I enjoyed the simplicity of my film Leicas and I still love them.

But this old dog has to stop carrying the wrong camera!
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Old 11-03-2015   #2
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You need the new Leica SL Dave!
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Old 11-03-2015   #3
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All cameras have their pluses and minuses. Your job is to pair them with the right situation. Don't blame the camera. Also you need to adapt to the environment. I once had a honker in NYC (Nikon D200 with 18-200 lens). Wanted to do some street shooting. Felt like the whole world was staring at me. So I did not shoot at all. So I learned the hard way too. Cheers.
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Old 11-03-2015   #4
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The right camera is the one I like using. That could be with a single lens from 28 to 50. I just make it work. Sometimes I go with a 21 or a 25. I struggle with the 90. Once I just took a 135. There's a learning curve to see shots in that focal length. I haven't been to one of the great US national parks. I still reckon a 35 or 50 would see me get more than one good shot....
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Old 11-03-2015   #5
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I turned up at my parents house to photograph my niece starting to crawl with a TLR :/

I need an affordable autofocus film option...or a really wide lens.
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Old 11-03-2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grouchos_tash View Post
I turned up at my parents house to photograph my niece starting to crawl with a TLR :/

I need an affordable autofocus film option...or a really wide lens.
Can get low. I used a modern equivalent of a TLR when my kids were small, the Coolpix 4500 with the swivel body. Look down at the LCD and the kids had no idea photos were being taken.
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Old 11-03-2015   #7
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It stands to reason why rangefinders were dropped, and SLRs took over. Both with pros and amateurs, from about 1961 on. I think some of us still use rangefinders because of their small size and quality, over their ability to take photos. Though their lenses are very good, almost always.

I took better pictures, from my first roll, with a K1000 I used in the Navy. I still have some large prints from that period, that look outstanding. But I like rangefinders, because they are small, and quality, and unique in the way they work.
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Old 11-03-2015   #8
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Dave--yep! Know what you mean--horses for courses dept. I've tried to use the P+S solution--Canon S95, which does a good job quality wise--but almost impossible to use in bright light. The EVF just fades to nada--so--DSLR or good old Nikon F series, and be done with it!
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Old 11-03-2015   #9
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I went down that road-I finally had to decide whether I wanted photos, or just play with the camera I liked.

Early on (well, relatively) I knew that there was a difference between having a (smallish) camera on me, and going forth to make photos.
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Old 11-03-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
All cameras have their pluses and minuses. Your job is to pair them with the right situation. Don't blame the camera. Also you need to adapt to the environment. I once had a honker in NYC (Nikon D200 with 18-200 lens). Wanted to do some street shooting. Felt like the whole world was staring at me. So I did not shoot at all. So I learned the hard way too. Cheers.
That sums it up perfectly, +1 !
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Old 11-03-2015   #11
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I suggest to go on trips with a GOPRO mounted on a drone - you will not miss anything.
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Old 11-03-2015   #12
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I was disappointed from the images I got fro my Rolleiflex Automat after a trip to Italy.
I ended up selling it because of that. All the landscape shots on the Alps came out kind of faded out.
However, I had remorse later on because I loved that camera and the portraits really came out very good. I bought a Rolleicord to make up for the loss.
I still don't know what happened with those landscape pictures. It might have been my fault and not the camera after all.
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Old 11-03-2015   #13
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I recently visited Phoenix on a business-trip and came home with two rolls of nothing. Couldn`t blame the camera though (Leica with 35mm Summicron and 25/4 Snapshot Skopar), there wasn`t a single interesting scene, at least for me, because the streets were almost empty during day and night time. A LF camera for architecture might have been more useful but that wasn`t my intention.
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Old 11-03-2015   #14
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It does sound like you have a different style to that afforded by the M range. I took a Nikon D2X and full complement of Nikon zooms around Yosemite and took many photos, but I don't treasure them as much as those with my M6 and MP with a 24/35/50 combo around Yellowstone.
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Old 11-03-2015   #15
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Old 11-03-2015   #16
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I don't use rangefinders anymore either... they might be the funnest camera to use, but it comes down to it not fitting what I want to do photographically.
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Old 11-03-2015   #17
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I like them for single person portraits, landscapes, travel photography, and everyday walk about things. I've used them for sports, but prefer an AF SLR. I also prefer an SLR for all the telephoto work that I do (anything 135 and above) for sports or animal photography as you mentioned. However I've never really been limited by my M's or other rangefinders. I just have to find subject matter that works with their views when I'm on a job with them.
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Old 11-03-2015   #18
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I find using Leica Ms very relaxing for trips to Nat Parks because I know they're limited in their use and I don't find myself having to photograph everything I see. If there's a bear in a tree, or interesting light on a cliff across the valley, I don't feel obliged to photograph it just because I have a telephoto. I can enjoy it for what it is and move on to the next view.
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Old 11-03-2015   #19
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Right camera is the one that gets you the shot.

Most of us aren't willing to carry all the cameras, like Larry Burrows.

Maybe the question is what's the best easy-to-carry all-around camera? One that will get more of the possible shots with good enough quality? Today, it's probably a small P&S with a zoom, but often for me it's the iPhone.
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Old 11-03-2015   #20
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I used to venture out with a 35 on my M and a 90 in my pocket...ready for whatever the world had to offer. Now , at 69, a small digital with midrange zoom is usually all that I need. And I believe that my shots have improved...why shoot at 35 or 90 when the shot really calls for a 60 perspective?
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Old 11-03-2015   #21
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Don't feel too badly, Dave. My wife and I spent two days in Cade's Cove in September, looking for bears. We only saw one, in a tree about 300 yards away, eating acorns. Even a 300mm lens on a Canon 6D DSLR and a 280mm (equivalent) lens on an Olympus E-M5 failed to get anything better than a black dot in the middle of the frame. Photographing wildlife well is a very specialized (and expensive) endeavor.
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Old 11-03-2015   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColSebastianMoran View Post
. . .what's the best easy-to-carry all-around camera? One that will get more of the possible shots with good enough quality?
Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the Panasonic 14-140mm (28-280mm equivalent) f3.5-5.6. I used that combination almost exclusively on a recent trip to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. My Canon 6D with two zooms covering the range of 24mm to 300mm sat in my hotel room. Not actually a heavy outfit, as full-frame equipment goes, but. . .why bother with even that much weight?
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Old 11-03-2015   #23
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Sometimes it doesn't matter what the camera is.

I've been to Cade's Cove once, and I didn't really care all that much about the bears. Cool if I saw one, not disappointed if I didn't.

About 5 minutes inside the cove my girlfriend yells BEAR!!! and I turn to her in the passenger seat and say where? Well, the bear cub was literally hanging on a tree outside her window (which was open) peering inside the car. I thought it was going to jump in.

Like I said, we had only just arrived, and had driven several hours to get there so all my cameras were in the back seat packed in my bags! I scrambled to grab my digital camera (which had a 17-35mm lens on it at the time) but by the time I got it out the cub got spooked and ran off into the fields. I got a snap but it was blurry and not even worth it. Funny story though. It was still a great trip and I had a ton of fun shooting other stuff. I had just jumped into large format and was shooting a huge 4x5 monorail camera - talk about "not the right camera." I lugged it (a Toyo GII) on top of a huge tripod all the way up to Clingmans Dome:



Anyway, no camera does everything.
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Old 11-03-2015   #24
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It's kinda like saying you're not going to use hammers anymore because they don't work very well on a screws.
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Old 11-03-2015   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
Can get low. I used a modern equivalent of a TLR when my kids were small, the Coolpix 4500 with the swivel body. Look down at the LCD and the kids had no idea photos were being taken.
I still have a 4500, not such a bad camera! Perfect for the kayak...
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Old 11-03-2015   #26
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Such a difficult question to answer...I like small cameras...not too heavy...simple to use...
M7 and X1 are a good couple but have their own limits, we all know ... so what?
With film it's easier, I have both RFs and SLRs, so the correct camera depending on the needs, but digital...hmm I only have the X1 !
I'm not able to answer ! Sorry Dave :-) I'think about...
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PS: just re thinking a little bit...if I need a picture it's important to select the correct camera...but I'm not a professional and if I just desire to have a camera with me going out I take the one I like most in "that" moment and I adapt, opps I try to adapt my style to the camera....sometimes it works, sometimes it ....
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Old 11-03-2015   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Ever missed a shot or even a whole trip full of photo opportunities? Or at best you came home and saw your images and you were disappointed?
Yup, a few years ago, on a trip to Egypt, Jordan and Israel, I brought my RD1s and a Bessa R3a. While I captured a few decent photos, I was disappointed with the rate of 'good' images.
Comparing that output to my trip last April to Japan, where I mostly used a D800e and a Sigma 35/1.4 ART, has me convinced that a DSLR (or mirrorless camera) is my tool of choice for my vacations. No more RF's on holiday for me.

Lugging everything but the kitchen sink while on holiday is a temporary inconvenience; missing THAT image because you skimped on gear is a lifelong regret.
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Old 11-03-2015   #28
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Quote:
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I was disappointed from the images I got fro my Rolleiflex Automat after a trip to Italy.
I ended up selling it because of that. All the landscape shots on the Alps came out kind of faded out.
However, I had remorse later on because I loved that camera and the portraits really came out very good. I bought a Rolleicord to make up for the loss.
I still don't know what happened with those landscape pictures. It might have been my fault and not the camera after all.
The Automat really needs a medium yellow filter at least.
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Old 11-03-2015   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave lackey View Post
Ever missed a shot or even a whole trip full of photo opportunities? Or at best you came home and saw your images and you were disappointed?

Recently, I was able to grab only a single photo in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and although I was happy to get any photo of a bear cub in a tree, I was angry because I left my F6 at home. The single photo sucked but I am keeping it because our grandchildren love it.

The F6 would have been perfect, especially with a reasonable zoom lens. The D700 I wish I had would have been even better.

But, no, I only had a Leica M6. And the X1. Neither camera is exactly versatile. I had the same frustrations with the kids' football and softball games. Stealthy, small rangefinders really are a waste where I am most likely to need/want a photo.

SLRs now for most photographic endeavors. I really missed the versatility of my old, cheapo , tiny D40. The D3100 will now be a constant companion. But for sure I find RF to be lacking for most things these days. I guess life changes. Dang, I enjoyed the simplicity of my film Leicas and I still love them.

But this old dog has to stop carrying the wrong camera!
Come on Dave.... You're no spring chicken Photographer.
The cameras can't lace up their shoes and get in the car.
It's Smoky Mts National Park not Central Park.
What exactly did you expect ?

Sorry for the tone... I'm just surprised you are surprised

Best!
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Old 11-03-2015   #30
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Quote:
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Come on Dave.... You're no spring chicken Photographer.
The cameras can't lace up their shoes and get in the car.
It's Smoky Mts National Park not Central Park.
What exactly did you expect ?

Sorry for the tone... I'm just surprised you are surprised

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Old 11-03-2015   #31
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Come on Dave.... You're no spring chicken Photographer.
The cameras can't lace up their shoes and get in the car.
It's Smoky Mts National Park not Central Park.
What exactly did you expect ?

Sorry for the tone... I'm just surprised you are surprised

Best!
Dave had to learn for himself. One camera doesn't fit all especially RF's. IMO after almost 5 decades shooting RF's they're for documentary and journalistic work primarily and that's what I use them for.

Dave I bet you get just as good or better shots with your D3100. Blasphemy saying that I know but for most people the D3100 is a better solution for everyday photography than a Leica.

All the great glass and cool camera bodies In the world are of no value if you don't get the shot.

I often suggest a D3100/3300 with the kit lens and kit 70(?)-200 zoom for the average enthusiast. I often get looked at like I'm nuts for not recommending something more expensive but in reality your D3100 will do a fantastic job and is most likely more advanced than you are.

I've been a pro for 5 decades and own a boat load of cameras including 4 M bodies and about 15 lenses. Guess what I bought for vacations. I bought a D3100 and a used zoom. The zoom was nothing fancy but I liked it better than the kit lens that I gave to my wife. I think I paid $85 for it.

Get the 70-200 long kit lens and enjoy.
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Old 11-03-2015   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Come on Dave.... You're no spring chicken Photographer.
The cameras can't lace up their shoes and get in the car.
It's Smoky Mts National Park not Central Park.
What exactly did you expect ?

Sorry for the tone... I'm just surprised you are surprised

Best!
Well, when I have spent my whole life in that park and we honeymooned there in 1971 with 2-3 trips back each and every year, I have shot everything more than twice! So I decided to take something light to sit outside on the parkway benches in Gatlinburg and get a few snaps. You know, people, street, my bride, etc.

Turns out we spent zero time on the street because we didn't want to screw around with the stupid wheelchair, and we decided to tour in the car. Two days in a row, we saw the same bears when we haven't seen them in several years at all. Sometimes Elk but not this year. No problem.. I had my F6 with me like every day... Wrong! No, I forgot I was traveling light because wheelchairs and bags are impossible to mix. Turns out I only had the Leicas... M3 is gone. M6 soon. X1 staying for pocket-ability.

Sometimes I have the wrong camera when I have to show up at kids' ball games. Leicas suck there, too, when carrying a bag, jackets, sweater, snacks, medicine and maneuvering a wheelchair, let alone going to restrooms. But caregiving every second takes priority and I can only take one camera on my shoulder at a time anywhere! Sometimes I might be free to shoot, sometimes not.

No, I did not have the right camera. It happens a lot. But since finances require my selling all but a few old SLRs and the X1, I will probably have the right camera more often than not in the future.
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Old 11-03-2015   #33
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Dave, you have more important obligations than a bear cub in a tree. I think your priorities are straight.
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Old 11-03-2015   #34
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Thanks, guys...

Here is the only keeper from the X1. A 35mm lens through the windshield of a car is not exactly the best for getting a great shot. Neither is walking up to the tree with Mama bear around. The lady in the bottom left is standing up in a convertible but there were some fools walking around. After this shot, we were able to get within 25' of the bear cub that was by then walking on the ground amongst the bushes so it was impossible to get a clear shot.

So, this is it, but the grandkids love it.

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Old 11-03-2015   #35
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I just came home from Arizona with 14 rolls of 6x9s which I shot on a rangefinder. They all kick ass. That's because I can make it work on what I have handy.
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Old 11-03-2015   #36
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yeah, dave --- i've ditched all my nikon gear, content with fuji and leica


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Old 11-03-2015   #37
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another with the fuji/18mm combo --- it sucks for sports... but i'm ok
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Old 11-03-2015   #38
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I bought an Elmarit-M 135/2.8 with goggles just so I could use my M9 for my kids' sporting events. Eventually, I'll probably end up getting a DSLR or a Fuji XProII for that sort of application.
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Old 11-03-2015   #39
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Quote:
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The Automat really needs a medium yellow filter at least.
Great tip. Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2015   #40
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For me, I wasn't terribly disappointed with the shots that I missed (even though I missed many), it was more about getting the image back and being disappointed that I didn't shoot it in medium (or large) format.

Nothing beats a properly exposed and focused 6x9 :-). And so, the Fuji 690 100mm and 150mm are my travel buddies.



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