Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Shot That's Close to My Heart - From Leica IIIC

Intensity, by Reed A. George
Leica IIIC, Leica Summitar 50mm f2 Lens
I recently picked up a nice Leica IIIC for an amazing low price. Knowing that it had been purchased from Leica repairman extraordinaire, Youxin Ye, I could be confident that it would work well. It does.
Here's a shot from my first roll through the IIIC. I shot it at a music festival, where my daughter did me the pleasure of accompanying me. That's asking a lot of a twelve year old. But, we're still buddies, and always will be.
This is the online scan provided by The Darkroom, who processes my film. (Click Here) to visit The Darkroom for excellent, fast, cost-effective processing of your film.
I absolutely love shooting the old Barnack screwmount cameras, like this IIIC. Prices on these cameras have dropped, so you can own and shoot a piece of Leica history for a very reasonable price these days. This new IIIC has the special sharkskin covering, which was only used for a short period in Leica production. I'm happy to have it in my collection.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Over - A Nice App For Adding Text to Images on iPad

Just Playing Around
You know how Starbucks has those little cards giving away a free App or song each week? This week's App in my local store is called "Over." Over is an image editing program, which allows you to add text or art to your pictures. Pretty darned cool.
I downloaded Over from the App store, and played around a little with it, just using images that were already on my iPad. This is a very simple way to add text to your images. I'm thinking of making electronic postcards from your beach vacation, for example. Here's a hint: once you've added text and hit "Done," use the yellow arrow on the right of the screen to find options for how to modify it. The options that come up are on a wheel, which you can spin for more options. I'm sure this doesn't make sense, but it will once you open the App. Finding the wheel is necessary to be able to save your image, for example.
Here's another image I played around with:
Could Be Useful
Hmm. No bad for the price (free).

Friday, June 28, 2013

Andrew Esiebo on NYT Lens Blog - West African Barber Shop Project

I am always interested in new photography projects, and how to find them. Many times, they end up being concepts that sound routine, banal, but once the photos are made, an unexpected depth is discovered.
Nigerian photographer Andrew Esiebo decided to photograph barber shops across West Africa, including the countries of Ivory Coast, Senegal, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, and Mauritania. Mr. Esiebo comments on the trust that is required to allow a barber to shave you with a straight razor; it leads to a special kind of relationship.
Mr. Esiebo found similarities in the shops across West Africa - hand painted signs, posters of sports teams, religion, famous musicians. He also noted how similar hair styles are across the region, even though each may connote a different meaning in different countries. Men's hairstyles can be intended to communicate toughness, freedom from conformity, or attractiveness to females.
Mr. Esiebo notes that most foreign photographers coming to Nigeria want to focus on photographing the slums. He feels that the barber shop project provides a different view. I agree.
(Click Here) to read the entire post on the New York Times' blog "Lens."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Leica at The White House!

I recently nominated my friend and colleague, Jason Osborne, for a White House science award known as Champions of Change: Citizen Science. Guess what? He won! And, I got an invitation to accompany him to The White House in Washington, DC to receive his award.
The White House, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summilux 35mm f1.4 Lens
iso 160, f16, 1/125 sec.
Okay. The event was at The White House, not in The White House. It was actually held inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB), adjacent to The White House. A massive, imposing structure, EEOB is full of history and executive presence.
EEOB, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summilux 35mm f1.4 Lens
iso 160, f11, 1/180 sec.
Stairway, EEOB, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summilux 35mm f1.4 Lens
iso 640, f2.4, 1/125 sec.
The event was moderated by Joe Palca, Science Desk Correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR). Philip Rubin, Principal Assistant Director for Science, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Ellen McCallie, Program Director for informal Science Education, National Science Foundation (NSF) gave brief talks about the importance and wonder of "Citizen Science," which is a new breed of science, where citizens (both ordinary and extraordinary, but not necessarily career scientists) contribute to scientific discovery and advancement, and gain science education through participating in real science projects.
Jason won the award because of the citizen science program that he and partner-in-crime Aaron Alford (co-founders of a non-profit called Paleo Quest) developed to involve the public in discovery and description of micro fossils. The program is called SharkFinder. (Click Here) to read about Paleo Quest and SharkFinder.
Jason's Talk, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summilux 35mm f1.4 Lens
iso 640, f2.8, 1/180 sec.
After each awardee made a short presentation, there was a panel discussion, addressing questions on citizen science from the audience.
Panel, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Elmarit 90mm f2.8 Lens
iso 640, f3.4, 1/180 sec.

Jason at The White House, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Elmarit 90mm f2.8 Lens
iso 640, f4, 1/180 sec.
This was an incredible opportunity for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the event, and consider it a once-in-a-lifetime chance to photograph at The White House. I'm also extremely proud of Jason, Aaron, and Paleo Quest for their success - all the result of hard work and concentration on the importance of science and education.
For more information on the Champions of Change program, (Click Here).
I decided to shoot my Leica M9 at this event, knowing that I'd want a fast lens, quiet operation, and likely no flash. I settled on the Summilux 35 because of the fast f1.4 aperture, and the 90mm Elmarit f2.8 for longer shots. I did not want to be fiddling with lens changes during the event, so I kept it to these two lenses. I'll admit that I was tempted to shoot a Nikon DSLR and zoom, which would have worked fine as well. As it was, I felt that my work was unobtrusive, and I'm pleased with the results overall.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This Might Be A Fun Little Gadget - The Kick by Photojojo

Photojojo is marketing "The Kick," an LED light array, complete with an iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) app. You can use it to light photographic scenes, either attached to your iPhone, or remotely. It even has a tripod mount so you can stably mount it just about anywhere.
The Kick provides constant light (not strobe), and has the following features:
  • Color balance via the app (2,500 - 10,000 K)
  • Intensity control
  • Tripod mount
  • Rechargeable Li ion battery (charge with USB)
  • Ability to sample light and mimic color balance with the LEDs
There are some pretty cool example shots on the website.
(Click Here) to investigate The Kick on Photojojo
Cute. $179 cute? Hmm. That seems like a lot. Probably not buying one this week.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Live Music Coverage - Donna The Buffalo and Floodwood at the State Theater

On May 11, 2013, I got the opportunity to shoot photos of the band Donna The Buffalo for a local live music blog, Cosmic Vibes Live.
Donna The Buffalo, by Reed A. George
Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-D 50mm f1.4 Lens
iso 3200, f2.4, 1/90 sec
The show was at the State Theater in Falls Church, Virginia. This was the first coverage I've done for Cosmic Vibes Live where I didn't have to do the writing. While I enjoy writing, I found it really nice to be able to focus on the photography. The writing was done by Jim McWalters. Jim and I met at the State before the show so that Jim could interview bandmembers Tara Nevins and Jeb Puryear on their tour bus.
Interview With Tara Nevins, by Reed A. George
Nikon D700, Nikkor AF-D 50mm f1.4 Lens
iso 2200, f2.4, 1/45 sec
(Click Here) to read Jim's show review on Cosmic Vibes Live. The interview will be covered in an upcoming piece.
The show opened with a brand new band, Floodwood. Including two members of the band Moe. (Al Schnier and Vinnie Amico), Floodwood has a distinctly different sound from Moe. This band has a lot of energy on stage, and the new sound is great.
Floodwood, by Reed A. George
Nikon D300, Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-D Lens
iso 3200, f2, 1/180 sec.
Floodwood, by Reed A. George
Nikon D300, Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-D Lens
iso 3200, f2, 1/125 sec.
Floodwood, by Reed A. George
Nikon D300, Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-D Lens
iso 3200, f2, 1/125 sec.
Here are a few more shots of Donna The Buffalo:
Donna The Buffalo, by Reed A. George
Nikon D700, Nikkor AF 180mm f2.8 Lens
iso 6400, f2.8, 1/125 sec
Tara Nevins, by Reed A. George
Nikon D300, Nikkor AF 180mm f2.8 Lens
iso 3200, f2.8, 1/125 sec
Tara Nevins, by Reed A. George
Nikon D700, Nikkor AF 180mm f2.8 Lens
iso 6400, f2.8, 1/125 sec
Donna The Buffalo has been around almost 25 years, starting up in 1989. They have a very rich, positive sound. In fact, they have a new album out, "Tonight, Tomorrow, and Yesterday." It's their tenth studio album, the first in five years. I got a copy before the release on the night of the show - it's really worth listening to! Give it a try.
A little on my photographic approach - I used Nikon DSLRs for this show. It was my first time at the State, and I was happy to have the high iso capability of the Nikons with me. The lighting there was a little low for such a large venue, and a little muddy. As you can see, I did need up to iso 6400 to make the shots. I've just started using a Nikon D300 as a second body; the D700 is my primary. While the D300 does a nice job, the high iso performance is noticeably more noisy than the full-frame D700. No surprise there. Also, while most concert photographers use the 70-200 f2.8 zoom, I have recently gotten a used 180mm f2.8 Nikkor AF lens. I LOVE IT! The 180 is half the weight of the 70-200, and yields excellent images in my opinion. I won't be going back to a zoom for the long end of my concert shooting anytime soon.
Overall, it was a great experience shooting this show. Thanks to Jeff and Jim at Cosmic Vibes Live for the opportunity!

Monday, June 24, 2013

First Regional Meeting of The International Leica Society (LHSA), Washington, DC, June 22, 2013

I am a member of the International Leica Society (LHSA). LHSA members are pursuing regional gatherings, with the purpose of building on the benefits that have already attracted us to LHSA which include the Viewfinder magazine, national meetings, raffles, and other opportunities to interact, teach, and learn about Leica and Leica photography.
(Click Here) to learn more about the LHSA. If you're a Leica enthusiast, you really should consider joining the society.
Our first Mid-Atlantic regional meeting was held on June 22, 2013 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. The following people attended: Gary Irons, Charlie Arnhold, Bill Barton, Oleg Stepanov, Kevin Hase, Gerry Dreo, and myself (Reed A. George). The courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery turned out to be a nice place to meet, as there is plenty of space, great lighting and climate control. It is also a short walk from the new Leica Store DC. The only drawbacks were parking availability and cost of refreshments.
Through the course of introducing ourselves, we learned how each of us began photography, and came to use Leica equipment. Of course, we also got to see, handle, and sometimes even shoot equipment that others had brought, with bodies ranging from an early Leica C Standard to a new M. Other notable pieces included Charlie's Hektor 135mm screwmount lens with black lens head and chrome body, Gerry's lovely M3, and Bill's Ricoh GXR with Leica M mount module.
We took the opportunity to decide and agree upon some guidelines for future meetings. First,we came up with a few alternative locations in Vienna, Virginia, with better parking and coffee (which, of course, is critical!). Meetings will be held approximately quarterly, and we all agreed that the next meeting will be in the latter half of September. I will take responsibility for planning that one. More details coming soon. We are not particularly interested in group shooting, but may do special sessions, such as renting studio space for a future meeting, so that Mr. Arnhold can teach us about lighting. On the subject of photographic themes or contests, we agreed to a very simple approach: each member will bring one print to every meeting. The only requirement is that the image is shot with a Leica camera or lens. We will be relatively flexible, accepting any Leica lens or body, and even Leica branded Panasonic lenses.
One question that never got fully addressed was whether participants must be members of LHSA. As stated at the outset, the purpose of these meetings is to add value to LHSA membership. However, we would also like the meetings to attract new members. My personal feeling is that participants should at least be prospective LHSA members, but we'll continue that discussion at a future meeting.
We all walked over to the Leica Store DC to finish up the afternoon. Eric Oberg, General Manager,and his staff welcomed us to the lovely new store complete with equipment showroom, gallery, and teaching space. We also got a look at the new Leica Vario.
I'm quite encouraged by the turnout and the engaging discussions that we were able to start at this initial meeting. Thanks to everyone who came out. I look forward to the next one in September.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Excellent Photo Reportage From Turkey - nickthetasmaniac on

Poster nickthetasmaniac has posted an excellent series of images from the upheaval currently going on in Turkey. Shot with the Olympus OM-D, these images really give the feel of the place and situation.
(Click Here) to see the whole post. Pay particular attention to the fifth image in the series, of press videographers donning gas masks. Very cool commentary on the situation
Nick did very nice work with the OM-D.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The 50mm Summarit (The Old, Fast One) - You'll Being Seeing More From This Lens In a Coming Month

One of the lenses that I'll shoot for a month as part of my Whole Lotta Leica series is the original 50mm f1.5 Summarit in LTM. I'm writing about it today because I found a post with some interesting example images.
Shot by raytoei on rangefinderforum, the images simultaneously show some of the quirks and strengths of this classic lens.
(Click Here) to see other Summarit images from raytoei on rangefinderforum, including some that show where the lens excels (hint: not in direct light coming into the front element). The shots in the post are all shot on a Leica M6.
My example of the 50mm Summarit was my very first Leica lens. From the 1950s, mine has exceptionally well-preserved glass surfaces, which is rare for this particular lens. Most of them have "cleaning marks" on the front element. Just in case you're wondering, "cleaning marks" are scratches. I don't care if they got there through someone trying to be nice to their lens or not, they do degrade image quality.
Anyway, mine doesn't suffer much from scratches, but it does have some internal haze. I haven't sent it off for cleaning, mainly because I'm afraid of it coming back worse than when it left. For some reason, the glass on these particular lenses tends to scratch very easily. Instead, I purchased an aftermarket hood from Cameraquest, which helps keep internal reflections down. I also don't rely on mine as an everyday lens; I use it when I'm looking for a particular mood in my images. Here are a couple of my own images from the Summarit:
Nature's Code, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Summarit 50mm f1.5 Lens
iso 200, f2, 1/180 sec
Artifacts of Life Past, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Summarit 50mm f1.5 Lens
iso 200, f2.8, 1/250 sec
I haven't decided when I'll shoot the Summarit for my WLL lens. Probably sometime in the winter.
By the way, this lens is not to be confused with the modern Leica Summarit 50mm f2.5. That is a new lens, made with modern materials and manufacturing technologies; it suffers from none of the fragility or age-related flaws (features) of the older, faster Summarits.
You can buy the modern Summarit 50mm f2.5 (lower cost than a Summicron or Summilux, but yielding excellent Leica image quality) here:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Brian Sweeney Writes About Using the Old Zeiss Sonnar and Leica Digital M on THEME

I love using classic lenses on my M9, as you will have seen by my "Whole Lotta Leica" series. I also love to learn more about these old lenses and how they are designed and perform.
Brian Sweeney has made a name for himself in adapting Zeiss Sonnar lenses to Leica M mount. Brian recently wrote a post for the blog THEME, describing a lot about lens design history, adapting Sonnars, and the resulting images.
(Click Here) to read Brian's post on THEME.
Here are some new things I learned from Brian's post:
  • Leitz (Leica) has taken the approach of minimizing aberrations in their lens designs, particularly through symmetric "double Gauss" optical arrangements. According to Brian, this is the approach used from the early days, up to and including the modern APO Summicron.
  • The concept of double configurations is that the front lens assembly's aberrations are cancelled out by the light going through a paired optical assembly at the rear.
  • Asymmetric designs allow for wider apertures.
  • Zeiss has usually pursued brighter lenses and higher contrast than Leitz. They achieve this through asymmetric design and minimizing the number of lens interfaces and gaps. For example, the classic 5.0 cm f2 Sonnar has 6 gaps, as compared to the similar era Leica Xenon, which has 10.
  • Zeiss Sonnars in original Leica mount are very rare. As a result, Brian has found ways to remount them from other mounts, like the much more prevalent Contax mount. In the post, he even shares a link to instructions to try it yourself.
In Mr. Sweeney's examples, I can see what he describes about the different rendering of the Sonnar. While very sharp, these older lenses, many uncoated, don't have the contrast of a modern lens. While lower in contrast than modern examples, they are described as being higher contrast than older uncoated Leitz lenses, like the Summar.
I have a couple of uncoated Leica lenses - a Summar and a Summitar. Both are favorites of mine. I don't have a classic Sonnar, but I do have the modern example of the Zeiss C-Sonnar 50mm f1.5. It's an amazing lens - both loved and hated strongly by different photographers. I love mine. In fact, I think it will be my Whole Lotta Leica lens for June.
Here's an example shot from my modern Sonnar on the M9.
Low Light Performance of Acoustic Burgoo, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Zeiss Sonnar C 50mm f1.5 Lens
iso 1250, f2, 1/125 sec
If I were to pursue a classic Sonnar for my Leica, I would try to buy one from Brian. They come up every once in a while on the forums.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I'm Hosting the First International Leica Society (LHSA) Regional Meetup in DC This Saturday!

Daguere Statue, by Reed A. George
Leica M8, iso 320, f9.5, 1/180 sec
This coming Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 1:00PM, I'll be hosting the first regional meetup of the International Leica Society (LHSA) in the atrium at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
If you're not familiar with LHSA, (Click Here) to check it out. Originally known as the Leica Historical Society of America, the LHSA has broadened and updated its scope, renaming itself to the International Leica Society. It is a great society to be a part of, offering an excellent journal, "The Viewfinder," national meetings, a raffle (ongoing at the moment, where members can win a new Leica M or APO Summicron lens, a Leica X2, or a Leica Dlux-6), a lively community on Google+, and now, regional meetups.
We will plan to meet at 1:00PM, get to know each other a little, maybe see an exhibit at the gallery. Then we'll head out and do some shooting around DC, ending up with a visit to the Leica Store DC.
Right now it looks like 6-8 of us will be there. So, get your membership up to date, grab your gear, and come on over!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Leica's New X Vario - the "Mini M?" Not All Bad, Though

There was a lot of hype on the internet surrounding the announcement of Leica's latest camera, the X Vario.
Leica X Vario
Image Source:
(Click Here) to see the camera on Leica's website.
Leica chose to emphasize ties between the M digital rangefinder cameras and the X Vario, which seems to have set peoples' expectations for something different than what was delivered. With a 28-70mm equivalent field of view zoom, and f3.5-6.4 aperture, this is no fast lens rangefinder. The forums are in an uproar. However, there's a lot to like with this camera, if you can get past the maximum aperture of the lens.
On the subject of maximum aperture, I go back to my belief that there are different cameras for different needs. While I'd never be completely satisfied if the fastest lens I had for my Leica M9 were f3.5, one of the cameras I still lust after is the Fujifilm GF670 medium format folding camera. (Click Here) to see the GF670. This camera has an f3.5 lens, but of world class design and manufacture. The GF670 would be a slow camera for me - not for action shots, for sure. In fact, it would likely take more images on a tripod than off.
Modeled far more after the X2 than an M, the X Vario has a relatively large APS-C sensor (1.3X crop factor). Being able to go higher in iso without noise issues could really compensate for the slower lens.
Nick Rains, an Australia-based photographer, wrote one of the first reports I've seen by someone who has actually used the X Vario.
(Click Here) to read Nick's post on
Nick tested the camera in gloomy weather, so he shot at high iso (3200) a lot. Nick argues that the f3.5 lens is no slower than most kit lenses for DSLR cameras. True, but then you can change to faster lenses with a DLSR. One important point Nick brings out is that the Leica lens is as good (sharp, no chromatic aberration, great color) at f3.5 as it is at f8; that is not the case with kit lenses. Nick seems to like the X Vario at some level, and in his post demonstrates the great sharpness of the lens and low noise of the sensor. He made some 16x20 prints from the camera at iso 3200, and was pleased with the result.
So, before we let the forum hype tell us this camera has no place, let's see what results people can actually produce with it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Low Tech Wonders - Converted Polaroid 103 Images

I wrote a little about my Polaroid 103 camera, rescued from a dusty shelf in an antique shop, some time back. (Click Here) to read about how I got it going again.
Since then, I've also tweaked the "electronic eye," adding a handmade paper diaphragm (a hole punched in a piece of paper) to reduce the light coming in. I found that it was underexposing, even with the exposure adjustment all the way toward the bright side. The paper aperture fixed it, and it shoots just about right with no exposure offset.
So, I bribed the kid - sure, you can have a piece of cake after dinner, if you come outside and let me shoot pictures of you as you eat. Here are the results, scanned on my Epson V750:
Oops, a little motion blur. Here's my favorite from this series:
She said "It looks like I'm summoning lightning." I agree.
And here's the most artistic shot I've made with the 103 so far:
It's actually a very capable camera.
One thing that's interesting - there are two types of Fuji pack film that are available and work in the camera (see links below). One is iso 100 color, which you see used in all the images above. The other is iso 3000 (!) black and white. Here's the funny thing. Since the camera is fully automatic, you can't change the exposure. Apparently, it uses a much smaller aperture for the black and white, making it shoot at approximiately the same shutter speed as the iso 100 film. I thought I should be able to make great low light images with iso 3000 black and white film. Not so. Indoors, because the aperture is small, the shutter speed is quite long, even with iso 3000.
Anyway, I'm glad my Mom sent me the Polaroid. It is a nice diversion.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sad News - Wayne Miller, Magnum Photographer, Dies at 94

Image Source:
Wayne Miller, celebrated Magnum photographer, who covered subjects ranging from World War II in the Pacific to child care (for Dr. Spock's books) recently passed away at 94 years of age.
My personal friend, who I met in a way completely unrelated to photography, is Mr. Miller's son. In fact, that's my friend being delivered in the image above. As I understand it, his grandfather is the doctor delivering him, and of course, his father, Wayne Miller, took the shot.
We have lost a treasure. Do a search of Mr. Miller's work to be inspired to shoot more, shoot better.
(Click Here) to read the story at the NY Times.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Comparison of Leica DLux-6 to Classic Leicas From An Unlikely Source

Image Source:
Jack Forster has written an article in Forbes magazine about the Leica Dlux-6 compact camera. I've never seen an article like this in Forbes, but maybe I just don't know the journal that well.
In any case, Mr. Forster makes some astute comparisons between the Dlux and classic Leica cameras. Basically, he stresses the fact that Oscar Barnack stressed the importance of compact cameras in a day of large format film.
He points out that the Dlux-6 is essentially the same camera as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, a camera that I happen to own and love. Sometimes it embarrasses me with its capabilities, compared to the other, much more expensive cameras I typically favor. Forster points out the differences between the Lumix and Leica, but they seem very minor to me.
Features he likes are the real f-stop aperture ring, and of course, the fast f1.4 lens. He also makes the point that his wife, who generally dislikes digital cameras, really got attached to the Dlux. That's a good sign that Leica and Panasonic are doing something right in their design.
(Click Here) to read the full story on Forbes' website. Sorry for the click-through ad - it's them, not me. But, the story is worth reading.
I sure like my DMC-LX7. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to explore manual settings, great optics, and raw image capability in a compact, reasonably priced camera.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Whole Lotta Leica - June's Lens is the Modern Carl Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f1.5!

Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f1.5 Lens
This month, I'm going from an old, slow (f3.5) wide angle LTM lens to a modern, fast (f1.5), 50mm.
The Zeiss C Sonnar is a very interesting and controversial lens. The "C" stands for classic, which means that this is a modern incarnation of the classic Zeiss Sonnar design, made with modern materials and manufacturing processes. I believe it's manufactured in Japan. To me, this is the perfect marriage - classic German design and modern Japanese manufacturing.
Because it's based on a classic design, there is some focus shift when shooting close up at wide apertures. This means that while your rangefinder indicates you're in focus, the lens' focal point is a little closer o further away. There is a lot of talk online about having your Sonnar "optimized" for focus at either f2.8, which is a common wide aperture to use, or f1.5, which is why many people spring for an expensive fast lens - to shoot wide open.
I got my C Sonnar used, so I honestly don't know which aperture it's optimized for. I've shot it at both f2.8 and f1.5, and have no complaints.
(Click Here) to see a shot at f2.8 on film.
So, wish me luck! I'm taking the M9 and the C Sonnar (only) to a weekend Leica workshop in DC. I hope to have some nice results to share with you soon.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Low Tech Wonders - A Triptych From The Brownie Bullet

I was looking over some of the first images I made on the Brownie Bullet last night. You may remember that I figured out a way to rig it to shoot panoramic images on 35mm film.
(Click Here) to read about how I did that.
Anyway, three of the images seemed to go together. Following up on some recent advice I got in my Leica Akademie workshop, which was to "live with your images," I printed out a big 13x19 triptych of them. Here's what it looks like:
Brownie Bullet Triptych, by Reed A. George
Brownie Bullet Camera, Converted To Shoot 35mm Panos
Personally, I like it. Imperfections and all.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Some Whole Lotta Leica Results - Summaron 3.5cm f3.5 LTM Lens on the Leica M9

I have been shooting quite a lot this month, but not particularly a lot with my monthly feature equipment. One reason is that I got a Leica M3 DS (film camera) that has my interest. Another is that both my WLL lens for this month, the Summaron, and my Skeletons From The Closet camera, the Autocord, are both f3.5 lenses. That's somewhat limiting for me, as I'm used to shooting at least f2 lenses.
(Click Here) to read about the Summaron.
I have posted a few results from the Summaron already this month - (Click Here) and (Click Here) to see them.
Here are some new ones:
Sibling Rivalry?, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summaron 3.5cm f3.5 LTM Lens
iso 200, f6.7, 1/30 sec.
The shot above is probably my favorite from the Summaron this month.
I never did get into the city to do any street photography with the Summaron this month. I did spend some time in the countryside.
Barn, Harpers Ferry, WV, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summaron 3.5cm f3.5 LTM Lens
iso 200, f13, 1/125 sec.
Meadow Sunrise, Manassas, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summaron 3.5cm f3.5 LTM Lens
iso 160, f5.7, 1/60 sec.
Sunbeam, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summaron 3.5cm f3.5 LTM Lens
iso 160, f4, 1/60 sec.
Here's a family snapshot to wrap things up.
Kitchen Fun, by Reed A. George
Leica M9, Leica Summaron 3.5cm f3.5 LTM Lens
iso 1250, f3.5, 1/25 sec.
My conclusions about this lens are: 1) it's tiny, 2) it is capable of very nice images, especially in the way it renders color, 3) the f3.5 aperture is limiting to me. I have always enjoyed the images I've made with this lens on film. I shared some of those in the lens introduction post (first link above).
I think the correct use for this lens is on a screwmount Leica (Barnack) camera. The size fits well with the screwmount cameras, the 35mm focal length and small maximum aperture lend it to use where shallow depth of field is not necessary (or to put it another way, where you need depth of field to allow quick focus setting). I think I'll mount it on my Leica IIIC and take it street shooting soon. I know it's great for that.
I don't want to give the wrong impression about this lens. If someone asked, I would recommend that they try it. It does some things very well. On the other hand, I I would not suggest that anyone select it as their only lens.
For June, I've selected the Zeiss Sonnar C 50mm f1.5 lens to mate up with my M9. There can be no excuses about a slow lens this month.