Becoming mindful...

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by michael_levy|3, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Yesterday, while I was walking around taking pictures, I stopped for coffee. I was using my 75mm Summilux and a Visoflex. While I was sitting there, I saw opposite me what I thought was a good photo opportunity. I set a not-completely shallow depth of field, carefully framed the shot, looking all the way around the edges, focused, and took a couple of shots. One is below. 1/90 second. But, dam! the result is nowhere sharp! I think the culprit is camera shake - the 75mm lens is less forgiving than my most-used 35mm.

    I think my pictures are improving as I slowly internalize everything I am trying to learn, both technical and artistic. Now I have to add a new though: remember to hold my camera correctly! Does anyone have some practical suggestions on turning all these requirements into automatic behaviour?

  2. Starting out shooting slides you develop a knack for framing and getting the horizons parallel to the frame. With today's post processing cropping, it couldn't be easier. Some cameras allow for a grid screen option to make things easier yet.
  3. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I think of it as becoming habituated or (self) trained to hold and release in certain specific ways. Really no different than shooting sports or archery.
  4. “I think of it as becoming habituated or (self) trained to hold and release in certain specific ways.”

    .....and follow through.
  5. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Maybe a bit less with cameras...;)?
  6. I know I hold the release down well beyond the “click”.
  7. That's a tough one. I am betting that your position while sitting at your table was a bit awkward. Maybe you supported your elbow on the table, but maybe it was unsteady, or maybe it flexed too much.
  8. Sharp enough for Government work.
  9. It can be hard to distinguish OOF from camera motion. I don't see doubling at the resolution of these samples, but that wouldn't be surprising either. If you use a shutter speed of 1/f, camera shake will reduce the effective resolution to the equivalent of 6 MP. I've never used a Visoflex, but I presume it has a magnifier.

    Accurate focusing is always problematic with a rangefinder camera, increasing with the focal length. I can no longer focus a 90 mm lens accurately, even using a tripod, without assistance. Nor can I see the full 35 or 28 mm frame while wearing eyeglasses. I have tried the following with a modicum of cucess:

    • Use a 1.5 diopter adapter, roughly my distance prescription
    • Use a 1.4x magnifier (the diopter attaches to the eyepiece) for 50 mm and up
    • Use a green laser pointer to place a sharply defined spot on a surface with low contrast or detail
    The last is particularly effective on still life objects and artwork, and can be seen in bright daylight.
    robert_bowring likes this.
  10. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    How about simply estimating the distance and using the DOF scale in addition to best effort focusing? As to the rest, whatever an individual requires.
  11. That works for a 35 or 50 mm lens, f/8 or smaller. The DOF of a 90 mm lens is paper thin at f/2. Even a bad job us ing the rangefinder is betterh than a good job estimating the distance, even if you could properly interpolate the engraved scale.

    I have used my 90/2 on a Sony A7, and it is a very sharp lens indeed. It never looked that good on a Leica M, and even "acceptable" was a poke-and-hope proposition. By the time I developed astigmatism in my eyes, focusing became nearly impossible without assistance. How do you make a double image less doubles?

    When everything works perfectly, the Leica's superimposed image rangefinder almost pops when in focus. That doesn't happen when you get older. In the day, I seldom ventured wider than f/8, and f/16 ruled when possible. Now with digital, I see (and avoid) the diffraction effects smaller than f/5.6.

    There are little extensions on the top and bottom of the rangefinder window in an M, representing the DOF at f/4 and f/11. Pretty narrow! I'm lucky to even see these guides.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
  12. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    And you use f 2 for what, except when you want a particular DOF outcome, Don't have a Sony, understand they are excellent, just not my 'cuppa.
  13. As far as the "artistic" image posted.
    I'm a bit distracted by the 'thing' hanging on the wall. I much prefer the art of simplifying an image...
    More legs & shoes, less wall and hangy thingys...
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  14. How about a shallow DOF to make the subject pop against the background? You should be able to use f/2. After all you're paying for that with a Leica. However it's very hard to focus a 90 mm lens on a Leica, or a DSLR for that matter. An EVF (or live view) with digital magnification is the most accurate way to focus by a wide margin. By coincidence, the only EVF I own is attached to a Sony. When judging the sharpness of a lens, using an EVF takes focusing accuracy out of the equation.
  15. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    What I said that you chose to quote?
    Under all but the worst circumstances I have few problems focusing manual lenses - just lucky with my vision at my age, I did get an EVF for each of my Ricoh GXRs because I have little use for and rarely use Live view.
  16. At least with a DSLR (and EVF) the image fills the entire viewfinder. In a rangefinder, one size fits all. The 90 mm frame ranges from half-size in an M3 to a little larger than the rangefinder patch in an M9. This handicap is dismissed by true believers, saying sharpness isn't all that important.
  17. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I have and use an M 3 and a Leitz 90 from days of yore, works well for me. At the moment, no newer Leica camera for comparison - when in doubt, read the distance, apply the F stop that gives you the depth of focus you need and have a go. Thinking about it, an inexpensive hunting / shooting distance rangefinder might be useful for some.
    Moving On likes this.
  18. The DOF scale on a 90 is pretty skinny. You have one reliable choices - infinity. Hyperfocal? Forgeddaboutit!
  19. Thanks - appreciate the feedback...

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