Does this happen to you?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by chad_hahn, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. Sometimes when I take a picture with my M somebody will say, "The flash didn't go off." Is that because the illumination window kind of looks like a point and shoots flash, or is it just that people are used to a flash going off. I think it is amusing and have stopped giving long lectures about available light photography and the Leica M.
  2. Yep, w/my fist M2 ;-)
  3. Happens all the time. I believe it's because people are used to
    flashes, & they're accustomed to flashes because the lenses on
    almost all point & shoots (& the zoom lenses on many SLRs)
    are extremely slow.
  4. And what I find equally amusing is all the P&S flashes you see going off from high up in the stands of a stadium or arena. Folks must really fascinated with well exposed, flash photographs of the backs of heads of the others sitting a few feet in front of them at football games and concerts.
  5. I was at a museum in Spain several years ago, and almost got thrown out for using a flash. I was using my M6 and some-one else shot with a P&S at the same time. The guard thought it was mine and started to eject me. I took another frame, and NO FLASH. I continued to shoot available light, while others were told to put away their cameras.
  6. No Flash!
  7. yes, it happens to me very often. a leica M looks like a P&S cam for almost everybody, espacialy when the M is black (when people don't pay attention, it looks like a plastic P&S cam) and people don't know that shooting in low-light is possible, espacialy with what they believe is a cheap P&S camera.
    I like a lot when somebody tells me "hey you forgot to activate the flash !", that's funny.
  8. Sorry Todd, perhaps you forgot with this specific shot, but the
    drop shadows and coloration on the foreground figures are
    indications of flash aren't they? Or was there an intense
    balanced source lighting them?

    Regardless, it's perfectly balanced and makes a nice shot to be
  9. Doesn't just happen with the M, though I guess the window does look like a flash.

    It's a lovely, smug feeling to be among people and shooting handheld without flash, even with a N**** SLR! And once people twig that you know you don't have a flash, they think you really know what you're doing or must have a really special piece of kit, when all you're doing is shooting random shutter speeds either side of f/2 with Neopan 1600 pushed a stop, trying to find a trade-off between shadow detail and lack of motion blur.

    Also, as well as the reasons others have given, most people think ISO 400 film is fast - though maybe it is to you Kodachrome 64 crowd! And people don't know anything about how cameras work, or about apertures or shutter speeds. When I had a compact camera, not so long ago, I could never understand why it didn't take a picture of exactly what I saw with my eyes/brain, whether in broad daylight or at night. In fact I used to cover the flash because I didn't like the results...then wondered why I got a completely black print.
  10. i get comments on my m2 on a regular basis. one was a bartender the other day who commented "that's a nice one" "old?" me:"yup" him: "hmmm, so is it hard finding a place to develop the film for those things?" me: "no's digital" :)

    have had the flash question many times, especially when shooting at night. 400iso for me is slow for me and people don't have a clue what 3200 means. ....though it is fun talking about and enlightening them when they really would like to know.

  11. Todd, that's gotta be a flash shot. Either that or your assistant was following you with a hot light :) I don't think it does any good to be too dogmatic about not using flash; there are times when it's the only way to get a shot.
  12. Only in Museums, just like Mark said. I can count on it at the St. Louis Art Museum. One place where it didn't happen was in the Ft. Worth art museum. The guard was a Leica fan and he came over and started a conversation about various Leica models.
  13. You know what's funny about the p&s flashes going off in arenas at monster truck or wrestling matches? The TV people for those events (esp wrestling) count on people being stupid with their cameras, and they will put a star/cross filter on the lens of the camera that is doing crowd pan shots when the flashes are going off. Looks like a million tiny stars. How pretty.

    But back on topic, "The flash didn't go off" is one of the funniest things I get to hear if I'm shooting with an M camera.
  14. A Counter Story: The "flash" DID go off!

    Several years ago, the Natiuonal Geographic was doing a piece about the Washington National Cathedral. It was at Easter, and the Cathedral was awash with flowers. The photographers had set up their lights to illuminate the Main Altar to capture the floral displays. Their lights were suspended from scaffolding and were not obvious unless you looked way up.

    Between services, a little lady with a P&S went into the Great Choir to get a shot of the Main Altar.

    Just as she shot, the photographers turned on the lights to ascertain the balance and to get exposure readings - -bathing the Main Altar with lighting sufficient for their Kodachromes.

    The lady paused, looked at her P&S, rapidly crossed herself and fled!
  15. Once a guy started argueing with me, trying to convince me that what I am doing - shooting at this light with out a flash - is just not going to work. There was no point me trying to tell him what ISO 3200 means - he just didn't get it.

    The most fun I had when I went out shooting with my 16mm, an ARRI 16ST. I stopped counting how many people asked when this would to be on TV.
  16. "Once a guy started argueing with me, trying to convince me that what I am doing - shooting at this light with out a flash - is just not going to work."

    Yep, classical know-it-all. This species will tell you that you can't shoot in mixed lighting, that you can't shoot in low light (without some accessory), that you can't have a lens faster than f/1.0 or even that you shot won't come out for whatever reason.

    Or maybe they are insecure enough to want to show off a little of their "knowledge". The ego knows no bounds.

    It's always "can't" with these people. They'll never turn up when you're having a problem and say "You can fix that - I'll show you how!".

    Still, staying on-topic, I am guilty of being dogmatic when it comes to flash. I don't like it and I don't like the flashguns themselves, either. I don't use it but then again if you choose to I promise not to bug you about it. ;-)
  17. Many of the P&S cameras shoot wide open; and /or at a slower shutter speed; when the "flash mode is selected". This was true with the instamatic cameras; whose shutter dropped from 1/90 to 1/40 sec; when a live or dead flashcube was installed..These users are many times not being stupid; just doing what the Kodak owners manuals said to do;almost 40 years ago; which often times yields better exposed negatives....Most all the Kodak Instamatic series shoot longer exposures; when a live or dead flashcube is in place.....<BR><BR>Today; many of the auto P&S cameras from Olympus; etc DO expose film MORE when the "flash mode is selected". many default to a much wider aperture; which gives a better exposure of little Johnny; WAY down on the ballfield; during a night game...The flash ITSELF DOESNT DO SQUAT for the exposure; it is the increased shutter speed; and or the opening up of the aperture; that yields the MUCH better exposed negative......<BR><BR>The typical P&S 35mm cameras of the late 1980's ( see below) had a F4.5 lens; when in flash mode; and were at F11 for non flash asa 400; and F8 for asa 100 & 200....The usage of the camera in flash mode forces MILLIONS of everyday cameras to give more exposure; which gives much better negatives under dark conditions..........With asa 400 film; the aperture opens from F11 to F4.5 ; more than 2 + stops....<BR><BR>The usage of these cameras in flash mode IS the proper thing to do; because it DOES deliver a much better exposed negative.........<BR><BR>A pro friend told his wife that the flash mode didnt do anything; she proved him wrong; his ego was shattered; for being totally ignorant of how simple cameras work....<BR><BR><IMG SRC=>
  18. Some P&S cameras drop the shutter speed; and open up the lens to the max; when "flash mode is selected" .

    Here the increase in exposure can be 4 + stops; if the camera has asa 800 film; and a F2.8 lens......Since film is tolerant with overexposure; this is the correct engineering approach; to help the masses get better shots; under poor conditions....Thus the goofball in the stadium; using "flash mode" ; gains an extra 4 stops of exposure; which just might help yield some sort of an image of their "Little Johnny" playing ball; during a night game; etc....He ist being a goofball; just doing the proper thing to gain 4 extra stops of exposure..
  19. Years ago some wiseguy at Epcot made a snide remark to his companion after he saw
    me use my Chinon Bellami with the flash to take a shot of distant lights. I had forced
    the flash on in order to have the shutter not use autoexposure but to use a fixed
    shutter speed of 1/60 or whatever. The slide came out perfect.

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