Leica Negs samples - anyone offering??

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Tom Stanworth, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Hi,

    Thought I would be overseas on a new job by now....as I am not I will continue to obsess about photography until I go!

    I would dearly love some kind (Uk dwelling) soul to send me an unwanted (but technically perfect) neg shot with a Leica M series lens (preferably something recent). As an antidote to LF, I would love a rangefinder but cannot aford one at the moment. I would like to print such a neg or negs (in my darkroom by me) to get an idea of the look that the optics would deliver and therefore to decide whether to go to the expense of Leica. I used to own a GR1s and so am familiar with great non-Leica primes.

    I have been printing a friends Mamiya 7 negs recently and they have impressed immensely, but I am tempted to go for 35mm as my travel companion due to small size. I just wanna know whether Leica offers something worth paying a whole lot extra for. I have seen prints from leicas but feel that printing one myself is the only real answer. If I go for a 35mm it would be a used leica body for sure (quiet, build), but I might go for voigtlander lenses to keep costs reasonable.

    Would anyone be able to help?

    Tom
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2005
  2. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    You lost me when you said "technically perfect". :wink:

    While I do find I can tell which contact sheets were shot with the Leica and which were shot with the Nikon, comparing the Leica to MF is too much apples and pears IMO. Two to three stops faster glass on the 35mm opens up shooting possibilities that you couldn't touch with MF gear. Conversely, 400 ISO film is fine grained in MF while you'd be limited in your enlargements from a 35mm neg (well, I would).

    Depending on your previous purchasing history, I have a store that will often sell me used gear, with an agreed buy back discount should I change my mind in 3-6 months. I "rent" stuff that way, confident that I can change my mind yet try it myself. In short, rent one, borrow one, steal one... but there's nothing to replace something you metered, framed and shot.

    2 cents (at best) :smile:
     
  3. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I am very happy with the MF/35mm differences, I just want to see what Leica offers over other lenses at the same neg size ie If I go for a 35mm syst, does a Leica lens justify the extra price to me. To determine this underlined bit, I fell that I would need to produce a print or two from Leica negs in my darkroom and make up my own mind. Thats why I am on the scrouge for a well exposed and developed sharp neg (can be as boring as hell) that someone could send my way.
    Tom
     
  4. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    Sorry, I misread a hesitation between a Mamiya / and a Leica comparison. I'm way novice at developing (read: destroying) my negatives... any conclusion one could reach regarding the lens would be more than invalidated by the fact that (pick one or more) my agitation screwed the accutance/my exposure was way under/my development was too long/my dilution too weak etc etc. It would be unfair to Leica.
     
  5. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    Chances are a Leica dealer would let you take a couple of pictures to check before you buy, perhaps with different lenses. They are expensive things and they should be used to people pondering before buying. Or if you don't want pictures of the local high street, you might be able to hire kit for a weekend and take some pictures with both the Leica and your existing kit and compare them.

    David.
     
  6. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Hi Tom,
    what would you like? color neg, color slide, b&w fine grain 100 speed, or something faster like tri-x? do you want sharp pictures or bokeh pictures? (come to think of it, they can be combined on one roll).

    Let me know, I'd be glad to shoot off a roll, process it and send it over. In return, I'd appreciate it if you would subscribe to APUG.

    BTW, a lot about the Leica experience is about the lenses. I'd consider a used Leica lens instead of the voigtlander lens.

    Take care,
    Tom
     
  7. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Tom,

    I am primarily looking for a neg from a slowish mono film (APX100/FP4 plus). No need for a whole roll, just a single neg that you consider to be technically sound would be enough. I will be subscribing to APUG just as soon as I get a pay cheque from my new job....if I ever get to Kuwait that is.........

    If you would be willing to post a neg, just let me know and I will PM you when I return from my first 6 week stint in May.

    Nikospero,

    The confusion was sewn by me! I am very impressed by the MF rangefinders but am considering something smaller. I am not taken by any of the 35mm rangefinder bodies apart from the Leicas (if only another manufacturer would produce a solid mechanical cheaper than Leica body!) and Xpan, which is also fearfully expensive (the 30mm lens.....!). If the Leica lenses do sparkle, it would be a toss up between an M6 and an RF645 probably. Very different beasts I know, but the RF645 is so cheap relatively and such a good travel compromise between size, neg area and cost (£649 new in UK). I just wanna make sure I am not just fond of the idea of a Leica......
    Rgds,

    Tom
     
  8. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    I have some Acros 100, I'll be glad to take a few pictures around town and send them to you. Sounds like you're most interested in sharp negs so I'll use my sharp lens :smile:.

    The weather in the Northeast US is dank and dreary through Easter, so if you can wait a week, I'll take them in sunlight. Why don't you PM me with your address details.

    Best wishes with your new job.
     
  9. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    To be honest, Tom, I'm not sure that doing your own print from a Leica-created negative will tell you what you really need to know about the "Leica experience". While the optics are a major part of the Leica appeal, there is more to the M system than just lenses. It's really an "integrated whole" sort of thing. Part of it is the basic difference in rangefinder operation - things that are common to almost all rangefinders. Then, there's the Leica twist to those things, such as the longer rangefinder base, and the additional accuracy of focus that provides. There's also the feel of the camera in your hands, how it operates (including its quirks), and whether that suits your way of working.

    Printing a negative won't give you a sense of the mechanical and subjective aspects of working with a Leica M. I think you really need to find a way to use one for a while to get a sense of those things. I'd also suggest that you examine the fit between the Leica M's distinctive features and your style of work. For example, do you find yourself in situations where you want to shoot at wide apertures (either due to low light or the desire to limit DOF)? (One of the areas where the fast Leica lenses really shine.) Do you often use fill flash? (One of the areas where the M doesn't shine.)

    As a relatively inexpensive intro to Leica M-like shooting, you might opt for a Voigtlander Bessa R2A or R3A. While not Leica glass, the Voigtlander lenses are really quite good, and the Bessa actually has some features I wish my M had.
     
  10. david b

    david b Member

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    The Mamiya 7 is a perfect travel companion. Don't overlook it.
     
  11. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    For some it is the lenses more than the M bodies. For me it is the reverse it is the Leica M range finder body which appeals to me. I have an almost 50 year old M2 and even though I have Leica glass I mostly use Canon lenses on the body. Some people like the newer Leica lenses some prefer the older "classic" Leica glass. Depends what you are looking for.
     
  12. Grady O

    Grady O Member

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    I use a Leica M7 with the 35mm ASPH 'cron. Although a wonderful camera, I am wishing I had gone with the Mamiya 7ii instead. Not much in the physical size difference, but that bigger negative makes all the difference. I'd send you some negatives, but I'm in the US.
     
  13. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Restricted Access

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    Difficult decision. I have tested also both possibilities: M7II or M7. About 1400g or 850g and more compact. Both cameras perfect lenses although Leica has almost no compromise in it.
    Both cameras and some lenses will lower your bank account significantly. Even second hand still a lot of money. It took me over three years for a decision. Mail me if you're interested.
     
  14. Mike Richards

    Mike Richards Member

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    Tom,
    I have a few "37th frame" negatives you can have. Includes Tech Pan, FP4, Pan F, Scala (negative), and some others taken with various lenses. If you send me your mailing address, I'll mail them to you. Understand you will post your results and observations. sat_doc@yahoo.com
     
  15. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Chers all for your offers. I hope to be away for 6 weeks by next weds so I will be in touch after then.

    As for the lenses vs the bodies...I am most keen on the bodies because they are unique (unfortunately) in construction and quietness. I do however want to find out what if anything I will get over and above 'regular lenses' in terms of image expectations. Primarily I wonder whether there is a hard to define look that will please me.

    As for teh Mamiya 7...I woul love one, but how expensive (compared to RF645)?