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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Arles report
Old 07-26-2008   #1
Roger Hicks
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Arles report

A beautiful city, countless photo exhibitions, a chance to try the latest Leicas... For a report on this year's show, take a look at

http://www.rogerandfrances.com/photo...es%202008.html

And there's still time to see most of the shows! There are a couple of faults (typos, one missing pic) but the web-master should cure them pretty quickly. But as it's now twenty-five to two in the morning, I'm off to bed...

Cheers,

R.

Last edited by Roger Hicks : 07-26-2008 at 16:34.
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Old 07-26-2008   #2
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How lovely. At this time of year I long for those lazy, indulgent days in the culture of La France profonde, but childless and employed I wait till September for my turn. Tell us more about the "latest Leicas", please.
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Old 07-26-2008   #3
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Originally Posted by Austerby View Post
How lovely. At this time of year I long for those lazy, indulgent days in the culture of La France profonde, but childless and employed I wait till September for my turn. Tell us more about the "latest Leicas", please.
Can't until September 15. The 'latest Leicas' at Arles were just the current ones -- but there are some really interesting lenses lined up for photokina. And one or two other things that they wouldn't say too much about: just 'You must be at photokina'.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-26-2008   #4
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Roger, are all the images M8, I like them. They seem less plastic than DSLR. I have to go out, but I will come back and read it completely though. Thanks for the link.
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Old 07-26-2008   #5
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nice. love your fotos. tks. P
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Old 07-26-2008   #6
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Why do filmcameras outdo digital ones two to one in Arles ?
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Old 07-27-2008   #7
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Yes, they're all M8 shots, mostly taken with 35/1.4 pre-aspheric, 50/2.5 Summarit (as I said, Frances just bought one) and a few with 50/1.2 Canon. I used the M8 in the interests of speed because they're just record shots, not Fine Art (insofar as Fine Art means anything -- after all, it's not the only thing F.A. stands for).

As for why film cameras outnumber digital 2:1, I'm not sure -- but as someone else said, it's almost as though the proportion of Leicas to SLRs is reversed. Of course it isn't but it sometimes feels that way. I think it's because so many Fine Art photographers feel that silver halide has more soul than digital. Are they right? Who knows. But it's a popular perception. Most artists prefer good, simple, durable tools, so maybe that's it.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-27-2008   #8
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thanks for the review/article on Arles - makes me want to go as soon as possible... the photos add a lot to the article...

can't help but notice some banding issues in 'Couple on dais' - were these images taken with an M8? or is it a scanning issue?
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Old 07-27-2008   #9
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Originally Posted by monochromejrnl View Post
thanks for the review/article on Arles - makes me want to go as soon as possible... the photos add a lot to the article...

can't help but notice some banding issues in 'Couple on dais' - were these images taken with an M8? or is it a scanning issue?
As soon as you can, GO! The problem is finding both the time and the money together: most of my life, I've had one or the other. Now I'm only a day's ride from Arles, I don't need so much of either.

Where do you see the banding? There's a bright streak behind the LH blue wall, but that's the way it was lit. Yes, it was M8, and yes, I've had banding problems, but I don't think I see them here. (Point 'em out and I might see 'em -- my internet computer, one of half a dozen I use regularly, has a lousy monitor anyway)

Cheers,

R.

Last edited by Roger Hicks : 07-27-2008 at 09:21.
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Old 07-27-2008   #10
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Ouch...from where I sit, I see three bands.


- Barrett
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Old 07-27-2008   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
A beautiful city, countless photo exhibitions, a chance to try the latest Leicas... For a report on this year's show, take a look at

http://www.rogerandfrances.com/photo...es%202008.html

And there's still time to see most of the shows! There are a couple of faults (typos, one missing pic) but the web-master should cure them pretty quickly. But as it's now twenty-five to two in the morning, I'm off to bed...

Cheers,

R.

Well damn, i wish I had been in Arles when this was going on. I was there back about a month ago...
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Old 07-27-2008   #12
Tom A
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Roger, thanks for the Arles shots. Looks hot though and being of Scandinavian descent, I start melting at 30+! I like those visiual overloads that only France can put on. When we lived in Paris, in the early 80's it was the start of "Mois de Photo" there and one would come home after 9-10 exhibitions/day with seared eyeballs!
We spent some time in Arles in the early 90's. We were contemplating buying a house there at the time. Sanity prevailed and we didn't as the ownership of a second home would force us to go there at least a couple of times a year, to the detriment of other trips.
I think film is doing a "come back" (though I dont think it really went away completely). In Tokyo in May/June I saw more film based cameras around than dSLR's. I think the 5 MP cellphone has taken over from the digital P/S and the editing process of shooting DSLR has become too tedious.
Photokina could be interesting, we will be there on the Thursday/Friday and avoid it as a plaque on the Sat/Sun (rather go to the camera swap on the Sunday anyway).
It will be interesting to see what Dr Kaufman can do. He has the advantage of being an enthusiastic photographer and collector, just like Mr Kobayashi and that could steer Leica into a new direction, actually listening to the user of cameras, rather than the "marketing" and "designer" experts.
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Old 07-27-2008   #13
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It will be interesting to see what Dr Kaufman can do. He has the advantage of being an enthusiastic photographer and collector, just like Mr Kobayashi and that could steer Leica into a new direction, actually listening to the user of cameras, rather than the "marketing" and "designer" experts.
Let's hope so!
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Old 07-27-2008   #14
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Roger, I finished your report. Excellent; 'an hotel' you must have had a very very good English teacher.
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Old 07-27-2008   #15
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Ouch...from where I sit, I see three bands.


- Barrett
Dear Barrett,

I still couldn't see 'em on my internet monitor so I went and looked at the calibrated Iiyama monitor on which I prepared the article. Yes, I can see a couple of thin lines streaking sideways from the fluorescent lights, but I can't help feeling that our Welsh chum's 'enormous magenta bands' is something of an exaggeration. Then again, his reference to Dr. Kaufmann being my good friend illustrates his talent for understatement.

But thanks for pointing them out so I can see them.

Cheers,

R/
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Old 07-27-2008   #16
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Well damn, i wish I had been in Arles when this was going on. I was there back about a month ago...
BAAAAD timing!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-27-2008   #17
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Roger, thanks for the Arles shots. Looks hot though and being of Scandinavian descent, I start melting at 30+!
Dear Tom.

You're welcome!

This year and last were quite cool -- maxima in the low 30s (80- 90 for diehard Fahrenheiters) -- but yes, a hot Arles requires EVEN MORE rosé wine...

My belief is that Dr. Kaufmann is very much like Kobayashi-san: a real enthusiast, and a thoroughly nice guy. Much like Dr. Nasse at Zeiss. We are extremely fortunate to have people who speak our language (photographically speaking) in such positions of power.

Point fully taken about a maison secondaire. Every now and then we think about this; do the sums; and conclude that barring capital appreciation, it makes MUCH more sense to wander rather than to buy. If money is no object, the capital appreciation may sometimes justify second (third, fourth, fifth...) homes; but we've never been that rich.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-27-2008   #18
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Originally Posted by YrDdraigGoch View Post
Come on, if that was from any other camera you'd be trashing it.

Dear Yg-etc.

No, I probably wouldn't notice there either. You may not have noticed, but I don't habitually review digital cameras. If you don't like the banding -- which I regard as trivial, in the context -- and it worries you, it's easy. DON'T BUY AN M8.

What is upsetting you so much?

I vastly prefer film to digi. For a piece like that, where I'm not after 'fine art', digi's fine, even with banding -- and the M8 is the only digi I enjoy using.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 07-27-2008   #19
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It's nice on a Sunday afternoon to be able to travel vicariously to the South of France. Looks to be a lovely spot for photographers share and visit.
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Arles
Old 08-11-2008   #20
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Arles

Roger
Looks great, I've never been [although only two1/2 hours away] as always seems to be somewhere else in July [too manyt people in Antibes , we go to lreland every August]
It also looks a a lot more laid back than Visa in Perpignan, I have been there last two years and now plan on alternating the two.
How are the evening slide shows?
Will be passing your way en route West Cork>Antibes [via Roscoff] at end month, and again end September and end October.
We could compare monocles..................
Slainte!
Clive
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Old 08-11-2008   #21
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Yes, I can see a couple of thin lines streaking sideways from the fluorescent lights, but I can't help feeling that our Welsh chum's 'enormous magenta bands' is something of an exaggeration.
Different monitors, I guess, but on the laptop LCD that I'm using at the moment the bands are glaringly obvious.
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Old 08-11-2008   #22
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Roger
Looks great, I've never been [although only two1/2 hours away] as always seems to be somewhere else in July [too manyt people in Antibes , we go to lreland every August]
It also looks a a lot more laid back than Visa in Perpignan, I have been there last two years and now plan on alternating the two.
How are the evening slide shows?
Will be passing your way en route West Cork>Antibes [via Roscoff] at end month, and again end September and end October.
We could compare monocles..................
Slainte!
Clive
Dear Clive,

A LOT more laid back, from all I've heard, though I 've never been to Perpignan. When are you passing in August? And how close? We're near Loudun. We have a guest room...

End September we'll be in Cologne (photokina) and end October we may be in Spain (dunno yet).

Ka no maure,

Roger

Last edited by Roger Hicks : 08-11-2008 at 13:52.
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Old 08-11-2008   #23
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Different monitors, I guess. . .
Dear Alan,

Almost certainly the case. On the calibrated Iiyama, nothing much. On the awful, ancient internet HP, very little. But I've never found laptop screens very forgiving.

Cheers,

R.

Last edited by Roger Hicks : 08-11-2008 at 13:53.
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Old 08-11-2008   #24
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Ouch...from where I sit, I see three bands.


- Barrett
I see four or five on my monitor. Quite prominent.

/T
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Old 08-14-2008   #25
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Roger, thanks for the Arles shots. Looks hot though and being of Scandinavian descent, I start melting at 30+!
>SNIP
TomA
Thanks for the report Roger.
Would like to go there but I don't speak a word french.

OT. Tom A where does this Scandinavian descent originate If I may ask.
Being a Scandinavian myself I must say it is not typical for us... or maybe Im the exception.

Kind regards
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Old 08-16-2008   #26
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Hi Roger,

Just wanted to say a few words about PhotoVisa in Perpignan. I had photos in an exhibit there in 2003 and so I had the opportunity to be in the city for a week. PhotoVisa is about photojournalism and is heavily weighted towards war photography. there was walls and walls of images of death and suffering.

While I believe the world must be able to see these images the overall effect is numbing and depressing. In a way it takes the fest out the Festival. So much so that local businesses got together and started a second concurrent show called Festival Off featuring theater and lighter photography.

I haven't been in Arles during the Festival but I love the city and it look like a lovely event.

Best

Steve Meltzer
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Old 08-16-2008   #27
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Hi Roger,

Just wanted to say a few words about PhotoVisa in Perpignan. I had photos in an exhibit there in 2003 and so I had the opportunity to be in the city for a week. PhotoVisa is about photojournalism and is heavily weighted towards war photography. there was walls and walls of images of death and suffering.

While I believe the world must be able to see these images the overall effect is numbing and depressing. In a way it takes the fest out the Festival. So much so that local businesses got together and started a second concurrent show called Festival Off featuring theater and lighter photography.

I haven't been in Arles during the Festival but I love the city and it look like a lovely event.

Best

Steve Meltzer
Dear Steve,

Thanks very much indeed for that insight. I'd always wondered whether this might be the case with Perpignan; it's one of the reasons I've never made more of an effort to go there. But I suppose I should go once, at least.

Cheers,

Roger
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Old 08-20-2008   #28
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Roger

Perpignan and the area around it is worth a visit. We are off to Normandy in mid-September for a couple of weeks of down time. Happily the dollar:euro exchange rate has improved.

If you go to Perpignan check out Creapolis (sp?) the local camera outlet. They've got a good deal of interesting gear. Here in the US camera shops are becoming rare birds indeed. Part of the 'fallout' from the digital reveolution is the loss of camera shops and knowledgeable staff.

Steve
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Old 08-20-2008   #29
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Thank you Roger for an enjoyable 15 minute return to France (spent 7 days near the Gironde estuary a couple of weeks ago). Have read your mentions of Arles on many occasions but this illustrated report really does make it seem tempting.
Bands - what bands? I didn't notice them until prompted to look for them but now of course they won't go away..... not the kind of shot that needs perfection anyway.
Love your "Out of Focus", most striking image of the whole report - I hope you'll remember to use it next time you draw up a list of advantages/disadvantages of RF v. SLR!

Cheers, Robin
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Old 08-20-2008   #30
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Thank you Roger for an enjoyable 15 minute return to France (spent 7 days near the Gironde estuary a couple of weeks ago). Have read your mentions of Arles on many occasions but this illustrated report really does make it seem tempting.
Bands - what bands? I didn't notice them until prompted to look for them but now of course they won't go away..... not the kind of shot that needs perfection anyway.
Love your "Out of Focus", most striking image of the whole report - I hope you'll remember to use it next time you draw up a list of advantages/disadvantages of RF v. SLR!

Cheers, Robin
Dear Robin,

Thanks for the kind words -- perhaps we can meet there next year, insh'Allah. PM me and I'll give you the address of a bargain hotel in the centre of Arles. Bargain, that is, but stilll with your own bathroom...

Bands: yes, my feeling too, both in 'didn't notice them' and 'now of course they won't go away'.

And thanks especially for the kind words about 'out of focus'. Sometimes the 'failures' succeed -- so why not take credit for them? 'Taking a good picture' and 'recognizing the pictures that work' are not always the same skill.

Oh: and Steve: thanks for the information about camera stores in Perpignan. Couldn't agree more about the decline in camera stores! But you've 'down time' in September and you're not going to photokina? Shame on you!

Cheers,

R.

Last edited by Roger Hicks : 08-20-2008 at 14:16.
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Old 08-21-2008   #31
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Roger

Right now I'm sitting in a hotel in Orlando, Florida under, literally under Tropical Storm Fay which has parked on top of me. I came here to tape some photo classes for the web, which I did but was supposed to have a few days in between to trounce about and shoot. Well so far I have shots of my room interior and rain drops on the windows. EEEEEEEEEEE

As for Photokina, well you can't be in two places at once and I've been shooting along the Seine on a personal project. About 100 years ago my grandfather walked from Warsaw to Paris to Le Harve to get on a boat to the US. I'm sort of following in his footsteps shooting what I think he would have seen--some things haven't changed-- and what is new.

So we are off to do that. But i am sure you will be our eyes and ears there and let us know all about the new gear. I'm really interested in the Panasonic Lumix LX3 which almost seems like a digital CL.

Steve
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Old 08-21-2008   #32
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Bands: yes, my feeling too, both in 'didn't notice them' and 'now of course they won't go away'.


Oh: and Steve: thanks for the information about camera stores in Perpignan. Couldn't agree more about the decline in camera stores! But you've 'down time' in September and you're not going to photokina? Shame on you!

Cheers,

R.[/quote]

Roger, just got back from Washington State, my best shots judged from "chimping" seem to be from the 12mm CV. I was getting over exposure of the basalt columns, dialed down the exposure, and got a significant blue shift, like Smurf city.

And I think my friend in Ville Juif has rental property in Perpignan if you need a place to park the bike, I would be happy to inquire. They summer in your neighborhood I think, with the five grand kids.

When you get to Kent, (Ohio), there is still a good shop there, my dad was friends with the manager's grandfather. ;-)

Jorge may be retiring, maybe I can talk him in to a road trip, I know several people whose better half's prefer they peruse camera stores solo. ;-)

Regards, John
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