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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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Old 10-16-2018   #41
Kupepe
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I'm finding it kind of disappointing after all of the time we spend talking about Leica with you at another place....

Is it about street photography or about upgrading your digital camera? If it is updating from old digital camera then Fuji x100f is good choice.
Street... Honestly I haven't seen many good examples of street photography with this series. Bushy was good with it in RFF gallery and one photog on Flickr, I'm subscribed.
He is really good. But this is it of what I'm aware of.

Film M is very different story for street photography. Or any film M. It is what classic street photography is and was. So, if someone here thinks it will not make you better street photographer, the facts are telling it will. But you have to be gifted and willing to work.
It doesn't mean you have to Winogrand film, but you have to practice.

8200 series Plustek scanners are small, quiet and power sufficient. I use it for BW and color.
And they are just regular gear sold new in regular stores.

If I would chase the street with digital I would choose between Pen F, current and coming GR and M8. Most of interesting (not mobile zombies and backs) digital street I have seen comes from GR. M8 has some good history in it on Flickr and here. Bushy again.
And Pen F is RF style with true manual focus lens with focus scale available.
Thanx for the input. I currently use a GRD2 as an always-with-me camera. 28mm is hard for me. If I am not too close then composition is really messy. And cannot be in arm's length all the time ... yet at least
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Old 10-17-2018   #42
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Unfortunately I can't develop my own film ... two little kids in the house ... no chems allowed in the house if not for the laundry machine ... kids will turn to Hulk apparently
If you're talking B&W chemicals, the laundry products are almost certainly more dangerous...and any commercial products you use to clean the bathroom will be a hundred times more likely to cause harm.

If your other half is paranoid about 'chemicals', use caffenol: instant coffee, washing soda and vitamin C. Xtol is one of the most eco-friendly developers if you're concerned about toxic effects to the general environment. Use dilute white vinegar for a stop bath, or plain water.

Fixer based on sodium thiosulfate is mostly harmless unless you drink a gallon of it. Sodium thiosulfate is a medicine used in cancer treatment, cyanide poisoning etc. and has no significant toxic effects.

Get processing!
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Old 10-17-2018   #43
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I have three kids at home currently. One was born and at home with all kind of chemicals including BW, ECn-2, C-41 and E6 since birthday. It was four kids at home back then. It is not about kids, but elder ones.
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Old 10-17-2018   #44
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Get an X-Pro2 and forget about all this other stuff.

My goodness, what a lot of ****.

Mike
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Old 10-17-2018   #45
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It is not about kids, but elder ones.
LOL

So true.
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Old 10-17-2018   #46
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Originally Posted by Yokosuka_Mike View Post
Get an X-Pro2 and forget about all this other stuff.

My goodness, what a lot of ****.

Mike
I do love these threads, where someone posts with a fairly clear idea of the options and their various implications, and doubtless walks away muddled and confused.
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Old 10-17-2018   #47
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Thanx for the input. I currently use a GRD2 as an always-with-me camera. 28mm is hard for me. If I am not too close then composition is really messy. And cannot be in arm's length all the time ... yet at least
I concur. I have some good photo from my digital GR-ii, but most are bad because of (what I thought was) a combination of 28mm and lack of VF. Images from my film CLE are much fewer, but lightyears better, many more keepers per day of shooting.

When it became clear I will never do 28mm well for street, I tried an X100 (35mm and VF) but returned it, so it's not just FOV and VF. Images just didn't sing like my film images do. They in fact were inferior to my digital GR's or even my clamshell 35mm film Olympus's.

But if you search on Flickr you will find many good street photgraphers using X100 series cameras, so YMMV.
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Old 10-17-2018   #48
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Get an X-Pro2 and forget about all this other stuff.

My goodness, what a lot of ****.

Mike
Well, this is the kind of threads that would get a lot of "my way or the highway" replies. It's quite fun to see them every now and then.
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Old 10-17-2018   #49
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
I'm finding it kind of disappointing after all of the time we spend talking about Leica with you at another place....

Is it about street photography or about upgrading your digital camera? If it is updating from old digital camera then Fuji x100f is good choice.
Street... Honestly I haven't seen many good examples of street photography with this series. Bushy was good with it in RFF gallery and one photog on Flickr, I'm subscribed.
He is really good. But this is it of what I'm aware of.

Film M is very different story for street photography. Or any film M. It is what classic street photography is and was. So, if someone here thinks it will not make you better street photographer, the facts are telling it will. But you have to be gifted and willing to work.
It doesn't mean you have to Winogrand film, but you have to practice.

8200 series Plustek scanners are small, quiet and power sufficient. I use it for BW and color.
And they are just regular gear sold new in regular stores.

If I would chase the street with digital I would choose between Pen F, current and coming GR and M8. Most of interesting (not mobile zombies and backs) digital street I have seen comes from GR. M8 has some good history in it on Flickr and here. Bushy again.
And Pen F is RF style with true manual focus lens with focus scale available.
I don't think street photography is about film or digital. It's about an attitude and a way of working. I also disagree that shooting film will make you a better street photographer.

I think that shooting digital will allow you to review your work more quickly and will let you chart your progress more easily, therefore helping you to improve.

I do agree that using a Ricoh GR or Leica M will help, based on ease of use, portability and being unobtrusive if that's your choice.

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Old 10-17-2018   #50
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Thank you all for the input ...

I think I start having a plan formed in my mind now ...
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Old 10-22-2018   #51
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bulk load short rolls....
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Old 10-23-2018   #52
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Thx for the input ... really. Serious is not for the gear ... that is my GAS. Serious was trying to get a steady flow of pictures ... which means make adjustments to tools used. Unfortunately I can't develop my own film ... two little kids in the house ... no chems allowed in the house if not for the laundry machine ... kids will turn to Hulk apparently
I'd disagree with that. Just sounds like you're lacking in inspiration and aren't shooting enough.

I'd go and buy some inspiration (ie photobooks) and try and have a look at the city with new eyes. I'd recommend Sergio Larrain, Robert Frank, Daido Moriyama and Bernard Plossu; especially if you've been shooting Tri-X.
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Old 10-23-2018   #53
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Wanting new gear is an itch that only new gear can scratch.
But there is no real upgrade from what you already have. The X100 isn't much better than the GRD. You're going to have to get into a much newer processor, faster lens and better high ISOs if you want perfectly still images at night.
That said...
Your MX and 50/1.4 are an amazing kit. Get a light meter and expose for the highlights at night. Its a little more film noir but you'll be surprised how bright it is at night. In Philly my night time shooting is about 1/30 to 1/15 using a 28mm f/2.8 at 2.8. I shot this way ever since I got an RD1 years ago and didn't want to dial the ISO above 800. Which is well within the latitude of 400 ISO black and white film to shoot on the same roll. Especially if your mode of output is through a negative scanner. One stop is nothing.

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Old 10-23-2018   #54
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I'd disagree with that. Just sounds like you're lacking in inspiration and aren't shooting enough.

I'd go and buy some inspiration (ie photobooks) and try and have a look at the city with new eyes. I'd recommend Sergio Larrain, Robert Frank, Daido Moriyama and Bernard Plossu; especially if you've been shooting Tri-X.

Good list. I might also add my favorite: Garry Winogrand, who shot mainly Tri-X.
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Old 10-23-2018   #55
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I don't think street photography is about film or digital. It's about an attitude and a way of working. I also disagree that shooting film will make you a better street photographer.

I think that shooting digital will allow you to review your work more quickly and will let you chart your progress more easily, therefore helping you to improve.

I do agree that using a Ricoh GR or Leica M will help, based on ease of use, portability and being unobtrusive if that's your choice.

Ernst
It is not 0 and 1. It is 00000..000000000.... and 11111...111111111...
I was talking from my and else experience.

My experience in street photography started with earlier cameras in mobile phones, then moved to earlier advanced digital P&S, then to crop DSLR, then to FF DLSR shooting from the hip on UWA zoom.
Progress I made in several years was ... zero.
Then I had project in Vancouver and BD Visa gift card from my daughter and her exBF. I went to camera store and purchased Oly XA. This is how street photography started for me for real. Then it crapped out I came to film M. Feel free to check my progress in street photography on Flickr.
It is documented from DSLR to Film M.

Here is one known internationally photog who has started with street by M9 and only became who he is after switching to M3 with J3 on it.

OP is on early stage of street photography, but he is on the right way. Backs and mobile zombies are dross. Next stage is snapshots of random strangers with faces close. Pro 2 guy is on this stage and active.
We were all on these stages. Mobile zombies, then feeling cool how we took it close. But no cigar.

The argument how digital camera gives you more is not an argument if you are into certain type of street photography. From one point it is primitive set if film is used. ISO is your shutter speed and you are changing sun and shadow with one aperture click. If it is not Zeiss ZM 1/3 it is fairy easy to do .
But another point is how long your subject lasts in your alignment, situation. Take Pro 2 guy photos as example, he has no time for second shot of people walking close. You can't retake it. So, reviewing will do nothing for you. But of course you need to know what the exposure is.

If you don't know what the exposure is, digital camera will help. I personally only learned about exposure with digital camera. And if you want good street photos you need to learn about exposure before going on the street. IMO.

I took with me M-E on Manhattan 2016 trip only because it was more simple for many family images. But for street photography for me and this known internationally street photos film M is better tool. Because it is primitive. And because of it, it is easy to have full control of it. Both of us are using meter less Leica and I can't recall major failures on street photography. I spend more time trying to make digital cameras work for the street. And often ending up getting most accurate exposure by switching to M and S16.

Here is another recent street photog I'm aware of with FED-2, it was his personal choice, again because it is primitive. But his pictures are much better from what I see from digital street photogs.

Again, different approach. I saw recently an interview with photog who is using M240 and Heliar 50/2.
He was going on and on and on how he took two hundreds shots of same basker to have slowmo effect. But to me it was not worth it on result.
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Old 10-24-2018   #56
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...
But another point is how long your subject lasts in your alignment, situation. Take Pro 2 guy photos as example, he has no time for second shot of people walking close. You can't retake it.

...
This is inaccurate.
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Old 10-24-2018   #57
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It is not 0 and 1. It is 00000..000000000.... and 11111...111111111...
I was talking from my and else experience.

My experience in street photography started with earlier cameras in mobile phones, then moved to earlier advanced digital P&S, then to crop DSLR, then to FF DLSR shooting from the hip on UWA zoom.
Progress I made in several years was ... zero.
Then I had project in Vancouver and BD Visa gift card from my daughter and her exBF. I went to camera store and purchased Oly XA. This is how street photography started for me for real. Then it crapped out I came to film M. Feel free to check my progress in street photography on Flickr.
It is documented from DSLR to Film M.
My street photography also improved greatly when moving from digital to film. But it had very little to do with exposure (besides maybe negative film being much more forgiving than digital). I use my film camera almost always on aperture priority auto, just adjusting aperture and exposure compensation according to light direction and to keep reasonable shutter speeds. This pretty much worked perfectly (and better than digital) from the first time I used the camera so exposure has been a nonissue.

For some reason I get much better composition and decisive moments with my film camera. This was pretty much immediate, not much of a learning curve. I haven't quite got to the bottom of why, but I feel things like digital autofocus can bad for layered compositions, making you miss shots, so manual helps there. Digital bursts seem to create very obviously lazy and bad street photography for the most part. I think the fact that with digital you are taking more thoughtless shots (because it is "cheap") will actually make you a worse photographer, ingraining the wrong reactions and muscle memories.

Faster feedback might help with learning exposure but once that issue goes away I'm not sure faster feedback will really help you get good compositions and moments. For me the only thing that helps that is getting out there and taking photos when moments present themselves. Either you capture it or you don't; it really doesn't matter how long you wait to develop the film IME.
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Old 10-24-2018   #58
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Wanting new gear is an itch that only new gear can scratch.
But there is no real upgrade from what you already have. The X100 isn't much better than the GRD. You're going to have to get into a much newer processor, faster lens and better high ISOs if you want perfectly still images at night.
That said...

Phil Forrest
The X100F (not the original X100) has a faster lens (f/2 vs f/2.4), a much much newer and larger set of sensor & processor and light years better high ISO performance than the GRD2. ISO 3200 is perfectly usable and 12800 is OK, while with the GRD2 you barely get past ISO 200. The X100F also focuses much faster under any conditions except SNAP. 10 years in camera evolution does show some heft here.

You might have confused the 2005 GRD2 with the 2015 GR2.
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Old 10-25-2018   #59
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My street photography also improved greatly when moving from digital to film. But it had very little to do with exposure (besides maybe negative film being much more forgiving than digital). I use my film camera almost always on aperture priority auto, just adjusting aperture and exposure compensation according to light direction and to keep reasonable shutter speeds. This pretty much worked perfectly (and better than digital) from the first time I used the camera so exposure has been a nonissue.

For some reason I get much better composition and decisive moments with my film camera. This was pretty much immediate, not much of a learning curve. I haven't quite got to the bottom of why, but I feel things like digital autofocus can bad for layered compositions, making you miss shots, so manual helps there. Digital bursts seem to create very obviously lazy and bad street photography for the most part. I think the fact that with digital you are taking more thoughtless shots (because it is "cheap") will actually make you a worse photographer, ingraining the wrong reactions and muscle memories.

Faster feedback might help with learning exposure but once that issue goes away I'm not sure faster feedback will really help you get good compositions and moments. For me the only thing that helps that is getting out there and taking photos when moments present themselves. Either you capture it or you don't; it really doesn't matter how long you wait to develop the film IME.
Have to disagree here. Street Photography has always been to some extent about firing off a lot of shots, even in the film days.
Robert Frank shot 28,000 photos over two years which was narrowed down to 83 for the Americans book. Moriyama was recommending his students shoot something like 18 rolls of film a week (may even have been a day...).
Vivian Maier and Gary Winogrand left behind stacks of undeveloped film after they passed away

I think firing off a lot of shots at stuff that may be interesting, and then discarding the ones that didn't work is part of the process of a being a better photographer. Experience doesn't change this, just means the quality of your discard pile is higher.
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Old 10-25-2018   #60
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Well, from my point of view street photography is very dynamic - you've got one shot to get it right, after that the moment has passed and it's all over. Period. Be prepared, know what you want, look at the light, the background, the potential subject/object/person/target the thing that will make your photo work and then step up to the plate and do it! One second after that and it's all over. You've got it or you don't.
That's my opinion. That's how I do it.

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Old 10-25-2018   #61
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I am going to come in from left field, how about either a new Sony A7 or a used A7s and use your Pentax lenses. I am a long time M shooter with film I stayed with film as long as possible but I was just too lazy to get into the darkroom. I have a used Sony a7s that I use a ton of old manual focus lenses on and I am very happy. 12 meg's and full frame are a great combination, I can shoot in low light with no problem my file sizes are not huge and I can make prints at any size up to 13 x 19 that look fine, my printer won't go any larger. Have fun
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Old 10-25-2018   #62
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Have to disagree here. Street Photography has always been to some extent about firing off a lot of shots, even in the film days.
Robert Frank shot 28,000 photos over two years which was narrowed down to 83 for the Americans book. Moriyama was recommending his students shoot something like 18 rolls of film a week (may even have been a day...).
Vivian Maier and Gary Winogrand left behind stacks of undeveloped film after they passed away

I think firing off a lot of shots at stuff that may be interesting, and then discarding the ones that didn't work is part of the process of a being a better photographer. Experience doesn't change this, just means the quality of your discard pile is higher.

Well yes and no. If you look at Winogrand's (at least his NYC work) or Frank's contact sheets, you can see that they shot with thought and/or artistic instinct all the time; there are no throwaway shots, basically all their shots are keepers to you and me. Like strength training, things should be as easy as they need to be, but no easier, or you could actually regress. I think that's why using my digital camera makes me worse. I fail to see how someone who is taking a while to finish a roll because of lack of worthwhile photo-ops in their surroundings would be helped by a digital camera - there wouldn't suddenly be more worthwhile photo-ops. They may be better served traveling to a bigger city for a few days where they can shoot more. (That's what I am forced to do because of where I live.) A second film camera for pushed Tri-X for low light, now that I would like to have, for sure.
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Old 10-25-2018   #63
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Well yes and no. If you look at Winogrand's (at least his NYC work) or Frank's contact sheets, you can see that they shot with thought and/or artistic instinct all the time; there are no throwaway shots, basically all their shots are keepers to you and me.
You really should order a copy of the book of Magnum contact sheets. Lots of mediocre images surround the iconic ones. Looking through it gives one hope.
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Old 10-25-2018   #64
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all decisions are reversible. get the M6 first since it helps to slow down. slow down helps to produce better photos. if you dont find you enjoy it, sell the M6 at no loss and get a Fuji X100 whatever version is cheaper. i bought my m6 and never regret it.
i'm agreement though film/digital doesn't matter as much as disciplines, subjects,... but first get the camera out of the equation so you dont have to question why your camera is not good enough.
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Old 10-25-2018   #65
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You really should order a copy of the book of Magnum contact sheets. Lots of mediocre images surround the iconic ones. Looking through it gives one hope.
Mediocre photos don't void the artistic intention involved with every shot. It's just very hard to get the end result right, since it's in the field.

I plainly have no idea if you could think so fast with a 20fps machine.
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Old 10-25-2018   #66
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I agree. Don't overthink it.
100f then hunt around for an M6- my 100f never leaves my neck as a daily journal- M6 is a nice to have when u have the funds-done over think it.....
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Old 10-25-2018   #67
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Lets assume that one does not have a visual preference for the end result produced by either film or digital. I would think that one of the keys to any type of photography, not just street photography, would be using a camera that you are personally comfortable with when taking photos. This would include things like ergonomic factors, simplicity/complexity of available controls, lens options, personal budgets etc..

If you find a camera that you are able to buy into from both a functional and an emotional standpoint then you'll likely be more primed to create the kind of images that you want to make. There are no guarantees of course as the camera won't do this by itself. But if you find a camera this is a pleasure to use then you'll likely get more enjoyment out of the process of capturing images with it. That's more likely to result in a positive effect on the photos themselves. Everyone has their own philosophy when it comes to life, likewise there's no need to have the same camera, format, or approach to photography. Ideally, creative pursuits should bring out the differences in each of us more so than the similarities.

In the case of the OP, none of this is to say that the cameras already owned aren't the right ones to use. Perhaps the camera side of the equation has already been figured out. Many times in creative pursuits the best option is to completely step away from it for a set period of time. Coming back refreshed with a renewed interest has it's advantages as well. Best of luck to you!
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Old 10-25-2018   #68
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Even recognized street photogs not always machine gun it.
I could instantly recall three.

To understand low light street exposure digitally light meter app is good alternative, IMO.
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Old 10-26-2018   #69
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All this debate over what works better for candid photos is meaningless. Set a small aperture. Zone focus. Look for something interesting to photograph and take pictures. Use digital, film...whatever. You use both the same. No difference.

Look at classic "street" photography (Jeez, I hate that term!) and you'll find they almost always had lots of depth of field. Leica rangefinders might be appealing but they aren't easy to use for follow focusing. Just go with the zone and click away. You can do the same with the X100 and XPro series--focus manually in a zone or autofocus a point and lock focus and then look for an interesting subject.

The decision over an M6 or an X100 series Fuji should be based on other factors since both cameras can be utilized in identical manners.
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Old 10-26-2018   #70
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For zone/prefocussing imho nothing is faster than a lens with a focus tab if you know which position of the tab represents which distance, so normally on the way of the camera to my eye I was ready with (pre) focussing (plus adjusting the shutter speed if necessary) and ready to shoot directly, works btw also for moving subjects to some extend if you start adjust the focus in the same direction as the objects move, means if the object comes towards you start at infinity and adjust accordingly. Something I really miss on my T3, my fix focus there is usually set to 3m but if I need other distances, especially much closer I have to activate the AF via the AFL-button.

Never had a X100, so no idea how fast you can switch between the different types of focus. I would probaly prefer the X-Pro with a manual lens and focustab for this if you go digital.

Juergen
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Old 10-27-2018   #71
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The Leica-type focus tab is ideal for zone focusing on the fly. You can focus by feel in an instant even before the camera is to your eye, no need to even check the rangefinder patch once you are used to judging distances. Preselecting zone focus with an X100 then being restricted to subjects that fit in that zone doesn't seem as flexible. Autofocus may be more flexible, but it depends how good and fast it is - and it can frustrate the photographer's intention if it focuses on the wrong plane in a layered composition.
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Old 10-28-2018   #72
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It's easy. If you are having G.A.S then just get an M6 and a 35mm Summicron.
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Old 10-28-2018   #73
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It seems me two points were mentioned by the OP: possibility to shoot in low light and possibility to have the result in a short time.

In my opinion digital is the best option. Fuji, Pen F , M9 or other is up to personal taste, and finance.

robert

PS: of course we all know, myself included it is possible to shoot film in low light but considering the film cost you need to shoot 24/36 frames before developing and it can take time, as the OP mentioned.
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Old 10-28-2018   #74
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I have read all the answers and advice..sigh.
If you want not need a Leica M6, it's on your head!
The cost of another MX, Me body w for Leica will be less than a filter.
Shooting crazy high ISO is only possible with digital..
My original Pentax Optio made images in darkness. , noisy but view-able .
Contrary to what one reads, high ISO on digital can be very noisy even now!
Are you a pro photographer that has to work in the dark?
Flash can open up a new world.

If you go film, there's cost of scanner, developing equipment, chemicals, time to learn about developing and scanning..
Scanning a very poor way to show off film results as against printing in darkroom.

I often left Leica at base not risking damage, weather, bad company, flying debris as stone, bricks and bullets..
Nikon my main cameras also left at base..
Used my old Pentax system as cheap to replace!

Read about services and cost of maintaining a Leica..
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Old 10-28-2018   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
If you go film, there's cost of scanner, developing equipment, chemicals, time to learn about developing and scanning.
as he wrote, he's not shooting much, means a Plustek 8200 for 100$ used does the trick, developing equipment is easy and cheap to find for around 20$, chemicals dito if he chooses a developer which lasts long. Learning developing depends on, I use Diafine, easy task. Scanning, yes, take some time but as does post processing with digital.

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Scanning a very poor way to show off film results as against printing in darkroom.
Lets say not the best way, but firstly, you can scan now and print later in the darkroom the best shots when the kids are grown up (or in my case when I'm retired), secondly, the results you can get with a good printer and paper are absolute fine. Not to forget that for many people its easier to process the scanned photos in LR or PS than to reach the same result in a darkroom, this needs far more experience and practice. And this only for b/w. Color is a total different story.

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Read about services and cost of maintaining a Leica..
To be fair, in case of an analog Leica, you should also read about price stabilty and longevity both, lenses and cameras. I used my M6 nearly 10 years w/o any service and its still running after I sold it 3 years ago to a friend, btw for 200 bucks more than I paid (used) for. Who cares there about probably 1 time in a decade occurring maintenance cost. And before you ask, no it was not on my shelf, I shot around 2000 films with it and didn't treat it with 'special' care.

Juergen
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Old 10-28-2018   #76
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Well yes and no. If you look at Winogrand's (at least his NYC work) or Frank's contact sheets, you can see that they shot with thought and/or artistic instinct all the time; there are no throwaway shots, basically all their shots are keepers to you and me.
I like them both, but no photographer has ever made all keepers.
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Old 10-28-2018   #77
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You really should order a copy of the book of Magnum contact sheets. Lots of mediocre images surround the iconic ones. Looking through it gives one hope.
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Originally Posted by Archlich View Post
Mediocre photos don't void the artistic intention involved with every shot. It's just very hard to get the end result right, since it's in the field.
That's good to know. It describes me, and most everyone else, perfectly.
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Old 10-28-2018   #78
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I like them both, but no photographer has ever made all keepers.
True, but their consistency is nevertheless quite impressive, hence their success at the end.

Juergen
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