Today's Leica and the decisive moment

Discussion in 'Misc. Hybrid Discussions' started by chip j, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. chip j

    chip j Member
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    Leica's come out w/some ultra-fast glass, like the 75mm 1.2 Noctilux. This lens is said to be difficult to focus wide-open w/a film M. The best way to focus it is w/a an EVF viewfinder, where you can zoom in on the focus. But, in the time it takes to do THAT, wouldn't the "decisive moment" be gone?
     
  2. guangong

    guangong Member
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    Such a lens probably is a lens for special applications such as for use in theatres and most likely corrected to be used at f1.2. A 75mm 1.2 lens must be quite a heavy large chunk of glass, besides being expensive. A lens for a specialized market. My 90mm Summicron and 2.8 Elmarit should be adequate for 99.99% of photographic needs with longer M camera lens.
    Have used my Retina II or III and Rolleiflex, all with 2.8 lenses to photograph a number of instrumental and vocal recitals. Of course, these were shot by invitation of artists. With leaf shutters, extremely quiet. Used my 50mm 1.5 Nokton wide open only once to shoot Mingus Big Band in a really dark venue.
    With this 75mm 1.2 , conditions would probably require prefocusind anyway.
     
  3. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member
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    HCB used 90 f4, not as much as 35 and 50, but he always kept it with him. Later HCB was seen in Paris with 90mm, it was an article about UK-French couple he took back then. 90mm lens has very shallow DoF.

    Some old Magnum photogs still using Leica, younger photographers not so much. If you are into decisive moment photography you need to be rich kid as HCB was, or poor and eager as GW was. These days kids wants office and buy Leica for status at forums.
    More expensive Leica gear gets more utterly boring and giftless photography comes. I don't blame those who takes photos like this.
    To be able to buy 10k+ single camera, lens kit you need to be successful in money making, not in photography of decisive moment.
    Good Leica photographers I have seen and chat with are using used film M and LTM and not expensive lenses.

    But with 1.2 lens decisive moment is simple, it is the moment you have it in focus. :smile:
     
  4. Colin Corneau

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    A lens that fast is for portraiture, stage/theatre or other specialized uses...for something quick you need a bigger DOF and either zone focusing or AF (in which case I use my Canon 85/1.2, anyway!)
     
  5. Dali

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    The decisive moment is when you sign the check for such lens. After that, who cares?
     
  6. faberryman

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    The 75mm 1.2 Noctilux does have more that one aperture. If you need greater depth of field, stop it down.
     
  7. slackercrurster

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    OP, if you like sharp photos, few lenses do good wide open . I always test my lenses to see where the limits are. Some are acceptable opened up, others are poor. If you can't focus in time, you zone focus. If you got a dummied down lens that has poor manual controls, then too bad for you for fast candid shots in poor light where your AF just goes back and forth or focuses on the wrong thing..

    All these hi-tech things they come up with don't further street photography. These super fast lenses are for the bokeh freaks that say 'hey, look at my bokeh or look at my shallow depth of field.' But usually nothing noteworthy about the pix other than that.

    Leica or someone should make a recreation of the Oly Pen half frame film came in M43. Have easy to use manual controls. Then you would have a great street weapon. The Leicas and Fuji are OK for street. But a little easy to adjust M43 would be great. You would look like a tourist and not stand out much. I've used M43's for a year. Great mini cam except you can't adjust manually easy. And as you said, the decisive moment is gone.

    Now I shoot wide open once in a while. But it is for light needs, not for bokeh (usually) I'd prefer to stop down some like 2.8. - 5.6.

    Shot with a Leica 35mm wide open @1.4.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. slackercrurster

    slackercrurster Member
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    Yes, that is how it is. 'Hey...look at my Leica and $10,000 lens!'

    In the old days everything was manual. Now just Leica and half-ass Fuji for manual.

    Only way I could afford a digital Leica was my mom died and left some $. I sold off an old Epson RD1 and I was able to buy a used Leica on eBay. Back in the day the M3's were not that crazy in price. Still high, but attainable for most.
     
  9. jim10219

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    From what I understand, HCB was prone to post up at a location, focus the lens, and then wait for the decisive moment to occur. He also didn't tend to focus very close, which gives you a much larger DOF and probably stopped down a bit for most shots.

    But that does bring to mind something I don't get about most lens reviews I see online. It seems everyone loves to test these super fast lenses outside, wide open, with a model, so that the backgrounds are blurred beyond all recognition. I always thought that if that's the look you're going for, why not shoot in a studio with a blurred backdrop? To me, the whole point of taking a model out to a beautiful location, is to get a beautiful location in the background, not a blurry splash of color.
     
  10. Eric Rose

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    This whole razor thin DOF thing is so cliche. When HCB and scads of Magnum photographers where doing outstanding DM work I believe they usually stopped the lens down to at least f8. Zone focus was probably liberally used at well.
     
  11. Ko.Fe.

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    My mother purchased me digital Leica at my fiftieth BD. She made some money on short term bank account. If not her, I would have to sell all of my photo gear to get one.
    Films one are OK, then used.

    The problem with Leica is what they are completely distanced themselves from photographers and only selling boutique (mediocre) cameras.
    M10 has no dust cleaning sensor function. And it is 8K USD camera.
     
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