Done in by my Nikon, Leica comes through

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by albert_smith, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. I had a unique opportunity this past weekend to talk to and photograph a photojournalist that I really like, and it ended with me being kind of embarrassed. I was shooting in Daytona at bike week, and was using a Nikon F3 with a telephoto and my M6 with 35mm Summicron. In the crowds of people I saw many photographers, from many sources, but one caught my eye. It was one of the Turnley brothers. Since they are twins, I didn?t know which one, but hoped for it to be Peter, because he authored one of my favorite (modern) photo books, ?THE PARISIANS?. I went up to him and asked which brother he was, and it was in fact Peter. I talked with him for several minutes, expecting for him to be rushed or snobbish, but he was a very nice guy. We talked about his book, and because I own it, we could talk about specific photos in it. He was genuinely happy to talk, and I could feel some appreciation for my positive feedback on his book. We even talked about Robert Frank and his book being the inspiration. He was loaded with all of the latest digital gear, and then looking at me said, ?Oh, a traditionalist, huh?? He talked about my lenses, and my Leica for a bit. After some time, I asked if I could take a photo of him, to which he replied yes. I grabbed my Nikon, zoomed, framed, focused and? nothing. No shutter, no motor, nothing. It was just me standing in front of this photojournalist looking stupid. I dropped the Nikon, grabbed the Leica and moved in, but so did the crowds, so he was being approached by several of the other PJs in the crowd. I took one crappy snap and thanked him. Oh, the Nikon? A simple dial on the back of the motor drive had got moved off of an unlimited setting to a sequence setting at some random number, and the motor stops when the sequence is reached. Just my luck, it picked that frame I was going to shoot Turnley with to be at the end of the sequence. This had never happen in over twenty years, so I never figured to look at that when I was standing there looking stupid.
  2. ...and my Leica shot after Nikon died.
  3. Just goes to show a mechanical Leica in the hand is worth
    two electronic cameras in the (Jeb) Bush (land).
  4. I had a similar experience with the Contax G2... I couldn't take a shot because somehow I was somehow in the multiple exposure function. Luckily, my subject was stationary, so I managed to get the shot in the end. But if it was not, then I would have lost the shot. The things that happen when you let the camera think for you...
  5. Bad luck!
    When I had my D60 for the first week I accidently set it to timed exposure and had to ask a colleague for help :)

    Same day I set it to AI-Servo AF and wondered why the AF helplight from the flash didn't work.
    Yes, the D60 doesn't focus in total darkness without help :)
    Again I had my colleague to help me operate my camera.
    The following weekend I studied the manual!

    But I have to agree, the less buttons and settings the less chance for error.

    On the other hand, I once shot my GF windsurfing and after 40 shots it was clear that I had no film in my RTS!
  6. the reason your subject is a famous professional and you are not. he knows his equipment
  7. Did I ever tell you about the time that I got over 50 shots on a roll of 36
    exposure Kodachrome?
  8. Maybe it isn't an issue of "letting the camera think for you" or not, but a matter of not
    turning the camera to "multiple exposure"!
  9. BILL - and the good thing is, after the 50 shots, you can reuse that roll of Kodachrome.
  10. The F3 rarely goes wrong on you, unless it is run over by a heavy truck, then
    you might have to change the foam.
  11. "the reason your subject is a famous professional and you are not. he knows his equipment"

    That's pretty arrogant coming from someone whose been on this Forum for all of one day and doesn't know Albert from Adam. Would you be shocked to know that even famous professionals have made mistakes at one time or another during their careers?
  12. Stuff happens. It's good to have a back up.
  13. best to try and fit in you think so Eliot? The behaviour on this forum is the worst on all of the photo net. arrogance and rudest is common currency amongst leica owners especially.
  14. But there is no complaint possible that will change so I fit in instead.

    Thank you.
  15. Eliot I returned the favour of clicking on your name and see you have a great leica but can only focus in one shot out of three. Why?

    Are you a great professional photographer making a mistake as well?
  16. Brandt. I don't know what your problem is. Those three pictures are in focus, but something about you is not. I am a hobbyist not a professional photographer, as are many contributors to this forum. Did you come on this forum just to bash Leica users? people you don't know anything about?
  17. I enjoy watching them bash each other around

    You are the best

    it is like Oprah for the educated
  18. Well, if you do plan to join the ranks of the Leica bashers, you will need to develop your technique better. Check out some of the A-list of Leica bashers, like El Fang, Doris Chan, Chuck Mercier, ].Z., Scott Eaton, to mention a few. You might as well learn from the best.
  19. Ding!Ding!Ding! OK Eliot & Brandt, go to your respective corners. Don't want another million-dollar-baby incident right here on our beloved LF.
  20. "the reason your subject is a famous professional and you are not. he knows his equipment."
    Even the best people who know their equipment inside out can still get a setting knocked off by accident. Pro or not, he had the presence of mind to immediately switch to his other camera and get his shot. So STFU.
  21. "....he was being approached by several of the other PJs in the crowd. I took one crappy snap and thanked him."

    Albert, you made one there in that sentence. You actually posted TWO photos and not one. They were not 'crappy' as you described. They are both sharp and contrasty (looked like you were having to work in harsh light) but they retain enough shadow detail under the hats brim to see the guys specs and ears to complete his expression.

    These look like two competent journalist shots one static and a little posed, and the other moving with more environment and a pre-occupied intent evident in his walk. Both are composed with subject to left of frame with an instinct toward a "journalist's" composition that allows room for copy (text) around the subject.

    I like the first one best. Good job under unexpected pressure.
  22. brandt,
    these guys are out taking pictures. you're wasting your time on a computer. does your mother know you're not in class?
  23. I had harsh light and an unexpected subject doing photos of a guy jumping that I was only aware he was about to do in a few seconds time. Luckily I was walking towards the London Eye in 'tourist mode' with my Bessa/Summicron loaded with 400BW and I stopped for a few moments and go 3 off during two jumps. Bright white sky, bright white buildings etc and man with darkish complexion. I had no chance to compensate and left it entirely to the TTL metering AE mode on the R3A.....
  24. I too am an amateur but like albert I like to always be prepared.

    Albert was more prepared as he had two cameras and lucky he did.
  25. Brandt you started out the wrong foot. Post some pics. We like pics.
  26. You actually posted TWO photos and not one.
    Trevor, that top shot is a Nikon photo, made later in the day after I had figured out the problem (and corrected it in two seconds). I didn't feel good about disurbing Turnley again, so I shot from afar.
  27. I agree with Albert about Turnley's book on Paris -- quite good, even if a few shots seem a bit too emulative (is that a word) of HC-B. Not a bad guy to emulate, though.

    I enjoyed the story, Albert. Reminded me of the time I was shooting a big blues festival in Tulsa and it started pouring rain in the middle of a set. I found myself onstage under a giant tarp with the band. I tapped the frontman (Mato Nanji of Indigenous) on the shoulder as I held up my camera. He turned around and mugged -- really made a wonderful face -- and as I pushed the button, nothing happened. Pretty embarassing, as it was my point 'n' shoot. I fiddled with it and fortunately he later turned around with the entire band and gave me another shot.
  28. "He talked about my lenses, and my Leica for a bit."

    Are you sure he wasn't just a collector who looks like Turnley? I mean, we all know a real photographer would _never_ talk about equipment : )
  29. Um, Albert, many years ago I took a short course on wildlife photography from Joe MacDonald. One of the few things he stressed repeatedly was what he called "equipment compentence." It seems he was right.


  30. Albert:

    Let me see: am I correct to conclude from your story that no Leica has ever been found not shooting by some stupid action of the photog. Such as yours on the F3 ...

    And if so, how come? This baffles me. Does not Murphy's law hold/apply in Leica land, too, as it does everywhere else?

    What if your second camera had been a Contax, Hexar, Canon, Holga?

    The logic here has a big tear across sensibility, in my book. And why do people now bash the F3 because one photog did mis-set the dials? Come on, everyone be fair and expose the hoax and the jokester as a fraud ... to logical thinking. And let us not howl illogically in defense of the Leica brand religion. Come on!

    Leica does not deserve such diss-service.
  31. Let me see: am I correct to conclude from your story that no Leica has ever been found not shooting by some stupid action of the photog.
    No. This is just a single event, not a trend. My Nikon has never failed in over twenty years (mentioned in the narrative), and I have had Leica M3s fail during use. This is just a forum for Leica users, and this is just a story. The Leica could have failed and the Nikon could have been my fall-back. I never fell for the "Leica is perfect" belief system. It is just a thing not a religion.
    Don't look for an agenda, there is none. This is just a story.
    FWIW... I posted this same event on my Nikon site, but slanted towards the preventative caution angle (watch that dial on the back). No one there thought I was putting Nikon down.
  32. rj


    Good story Albert, I often have two different cameras while walking around and it helps me that they both be manual cameras. For me it is a Pentax mx and a leica m3. If I am using a couple of different types of cameras, it helps that the buttons and controls are at a minimum.

    What I really want to know is how the bikes looked. I went to Daytona once and thought it was way cool.
  33. What I really want to know is how the bikes looked...
    I'm going through a couple of hundred shots to put together a folder. Usually most people that look at the folders never click on the motorcycle photos, but they do click on the girl shots based on the counter. I have cut back on the actual bike shots each year and shoot mostly people based on that feedback. Here is a sample from the Leica. This guy's bike actually blows out fire.

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