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  1. #1

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    Another rangefinder camera quandary, Leica M vs whatever

    I have settled into LF 4x5 and 8x10 comfortably, but now find myself in a 35mm vs MF quandary once again.

    I have owned quite a few 35mm and MF cameras including a Mamiya 7, Pentax 67 II, Kowa 66, Fuji 690 etc and others.

    I am interested in shooting at or around the 30-40mm equiv lens length mostly with B+W efke 25 or a technical film like Copex.

    I have several options and I now have a 2x3 crown graphic with a 6x9 roll film back that I like a lot and plan to keep

    I have several options that I am interested in.
    Also considering mostly enlargement size and ignoring grain for now.
    This is figuring a film like copex resolves 100-125lp/mm in average contrast.
    Also all this would be considering perfect shooting conditions on a tripod. etc.

    1. I could add a 75-80mm LF lens (like a nikon) in the 50 lp/mm range to my 2x3 graphic and shoot 6x9. Its bulky, very manual and slow. Heaviest of the bunch, but I have movements and I can shoot this lens on my 4x5 camera too. I figure a max enlargement would be 10-12X to roughly 20x30.

    2. I could go for a Fuji GA645ZI and have a zippy auto camera with a step zoom lens etc, although the lens is a tad slow.

    3. I could also go for a Fuji GA645I with a 60mm fixed lens. sort of like the ZI above but a fixed lens.

    Both 2 and 3 above, I would guess have lenses around 80 lp/mm so I would think a 14X enlargement would be in order or to roughly a 20x30.

    4. I could also go for a Leica M with a 35mm F2 lens or a Minolta CL with a 40mm lens. The sharpest lenses of the bunch, but interchangeable. Also the most expensive system. Considering Leica lenses resolve around 100 lp/mm, that would work out to a system rez of about 75 lp/mm. I could do a 18x enlargement or roughly a 18x24 print.

    My questions are, shooting a technical film like copex, These print sizes are looking very similar per my calcs. Of course there are format advantages, the leica is the lightest, 6x9 the biggest negative etc, but after noodling through this, I just cant see much benefit in shooting a 50lp/mm 6x9 over a super sharp 35mm Leica except that for scanning I could scan the 6x9 lower.

    BTW I do have a drum scanner.

    Also shooting copex or Efke, everything will be shot on a tripod.

    I do think that with 400 film, 6x9 would be better due to grain.

    Does any of this make any sense ???

    How big are you leica guys enlarging and still holding a lot of print detail ???

    How does the Minolta CL and 40mm lens compare to a M and a 35mm F2 for sharpness and contrast.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Will S's Avatar
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    I'm not sure you need a Leica M body to get the lens performance. Why not a Bessa R2a and a Summicron 35mm? Also, don't forget about the Fuji GS645 as an option. But, since you seem to have the dollars, what is wrong with the Mamiya 7?
    "I am an anarchist." - HCB
    "I wanna be anarchist." - JR

  3. #3

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    Nothing wrong with the M7. I guess I am just interested in something differnet like a leica.

  4. #4
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    Considering the resolutions and enlargement sizes you are considering, I wouldn’t use anything less than 6x9. Considering also the speed of use, I’d go with the Fuji 690 you mentioned.
    —Eric

  5. #5

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    Leica

    I'm not aLeica expert by no means but i'v been using a 111a and a 111f for a number of years and I would not use anything else in 35mm the cameras are small enough to put in your pocket there silent and the lenses are wonderful.There more then just sharp, they have a quality that is hard to explain. I'm going to say 3 dimentional. I use tri-x dev. in hc-110 and most of my prints are on 11x14 with no problem with detail. I almost forgot to mention the lenes I use,a50mm summitar f2 not the sharpest 50mm lens Leica makes but sharp enough for me.A 21mm super-angulon f4 and a 90mm elmar. the 21mm is very sharp and the 90 is ok, but as I said before there is somthing else going on with these lenes. Hope this helps.

  6. #6

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    leica on a tripod? medium format is so cheap now it really doesn't make sense to use 35mm for anything except handheld photography. No matter how nice of a leica you get the prints won't be as good as MF.

  7. #7

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    I've never used a Leica or a Fuji690, but I do understand the advantages of film real estate. I don't see how a Leica neg could come close to producing the same quality large print as a 6x9 neg, especially if you use a modern lens for the 6x9.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt miller
    I've never used a Leica or a Fuji690, but I do understand the advantages of film real estate. I don't see how a Leica neg could come close to producing the same quality large print as a 6x9 neg, especially if you use a modern lens for the 6x9.
    I was just curious and it is a question that I have pondered for a while since I have never used a Leica either, but I have heard of people doing outstanding 16x20 and even 20x30 B+W prints from a leica.

    That curiosity and this article is what got me going.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...-already.shtml

    I am not asking if the quality would be the same as 6x9 in all cases, but I am really wondering if a leica can keep up with MF (probably more 645) with a film like copex or Efke 25. With a soft 690 lens I am sure it could.

    My 2x3 crown graphic is decent and i do have a good lens, but I normally see rez at about 40-50 lp/mm at the film plane. Probably film flatness. Its a pretty cool retro camera, but not even close to a Mamiya 7.

    I guess one area of MF advantage, is you dont have to ring every last ounce of rez out of it to do a 16x20 print.

  9. #9
    Ole
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    So with a camera you have, you get half the resolution on film that you could get with a camera you don't have, with a film that's half the (linear) size???

    I've compared a Bronica ETRS with 35mm back with a top-of-the range (1992) Nikon with a top-of-the range lens. The Zenzanon 75mm was a clear winner in sharpness and detail rendition - even over the same film size.
    Leica lenses will perhaps be sharper, particularly in the wider focal lengths since they don't need the retrofocus compromises. But there are MF rangefinders too, not to mention LF cameras where no retrofocus is necessary and the film is even larger.

    Try EFKE 25 in 5x7"...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  10. #10

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    I have shot Efke 25 in 4x5 and 8x10. I am just curious about leica lenses.

    I think I might rent one sometime, just to try out.

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