I can't let this Leica glow thing go

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by leicaglow, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. So at the risk of getting the verbal tilt shift kicked out of me, here it goes:

    I've gotta think that Leica glow is something real. I don't see it in my Nikon, Hasselblad, or LF shots. But it
    is obvious to me in 50% of my Leica shots. For those brothers and sisters that don't "believe", just skip this
    thread. For those that do, is it possible this is the result of such a short distance between the lens and film
    plane, or a narrow cone of light or something? I do see it often with another favorite camera I shoot with, the
    Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35mm folder with 45mm Zeiss lens, and I do see it even with VC and Zeiss ZM lenses. Do you
    have any thoughts about this? I can't let this go for some reason.
     
  2. What lenses do you see it from?
     
  3. I used Nikon film cameras in my old portrait studio. One year I tried a Leica R4. The difference between the pictures, with the same film, was very surprising. I don't know if glow is the best word but the Leicas are in a class by themselves. Later I found out that the M series gave even better results, probably because there was no mirror moving.
     
  4. Glow does not exist. A certain amount of flare of highlights does in older Leica lenses under certain conditions. it exists in some Japanese lenses also.

    The other fact is tonal representation rendered by european lenses is different than Japanese. If you shoot in black and white, the difference in heritage is very obvious. Put two color slides together taken same time same place, and the difference is obvious. As you progress to later Japanese designs, the difference narrows but remains.

    Adapting a Leica lens to a Pentax and using it in the middle of a roll of slides is what prompted me to sell my Pentaxes. I also achieved a decade long goal of making really good black and white prints. I did not change film, developer or anything else. I spent years trying films and developers to no avail. Plain old D76 and plus X worked for me with the Leica. The first roll worked and that was that. My last vacation, I carried a Nikon digital and Leica with film. Leica digital is also superior, but not on an economical basis. I will not buy a problematical M8 and the R digi does not exist and will not meet my price point when it does. Digi is kind of a leveler, but not completely.
     
  5. I "believe" as well... it's not what makes every photo (and I take plenty of photos with Japanese gear that I am happy with), but it does show up and it is real... even other photog friends of mine see it in some prints and can identify it imediately (and they aren't shooting Leica). Leica didn't get to stay in the camera business just based on snob appeal, their stuff is really good and distinctive.
     
  6. I see it using a 21 SA, 35 ver 1, 50 pre-asph, 50/1.4 SC Nikkor in LTM, and Fat 90/2.8 Tele-Elmarit. All pre-1968.
     
  7. I do see it often with another favorite camera I shoot with, the Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35mm folder with 45mm Zeiss lens..
    Michael, With all due respect, if you see "it" with that lens (a fine coated Tessar), either the lens needs a CLA or you need a different perspective. ;)
    That ain't "glow"!
    For "glow" use any lenses with a few plano-convex elements in their construction (like the early Summicrons. Lots of spherical aberrations.
    The current generations of Micronikkors (60mm f/2.8 G, 105mm f/2.8 G, 85/2.8 PC-Nikkor) all have such elements added for better bokeh but are coated better (so little glow).
     
  8. BOKEH, dude. It's called BOKEH.

    Jeff M
     
  9. it

    it

    Leica lenses, in the right hands, make nice photos. So do many others.
    <p>
    The 'glow thing' is a crock IMO.
     
  10. Can we see some examples please.
     
  11. I never see Leica "glow" from any of my Leica multi-coated lenses. If I did, I'd figure they were defective.
     
  12. I suspect that the glow, if it exists, does not translate on to the internet. Given a carefully crafted monochrome bromide print viewed in ideal conditions, very possibly something is going to show up, but when that image has been scanned, jpegged and rendered into screen pixels a few hundred size in each direction, nothing subtle is going to be there.
    The whole thing reminds me of the mystique surrounding tube amplifiers for hi-fi.
     
  13. Leica glow?
    00RP6Z-85819584.jpg
     
  14. The glow is a curious, but absolutely true ,sense of three dimensionality,that is reality, in the photograph. My 35mm summaron 3.5 produces some of the most wonderful images. As do my two summicrons (DR and collapsible) even my old 135 hektors. It has nothing to do with flare. Scoffers abound, but the "glow" does exist, and you never see it in nikon or pentax stuff, however competent sharp or excellent those lenses may be.
     
  15. SCL

    SCL

    In over 40 years of using Leica gear, I have yet to see "Leica Glow". I've seen flare, aberation, high contrast, silky smoothness, but no "Glow", in my work or others. I've come to the conclusion that "glow" is a nondescript term coined by marketers and "true believers" trying to justify the mystique of their cameras. Having said that, I continue to love my Leicas.
     
  16. "The whole thing reminds me of the mystique surrounding tube amplifiers for hi-fi."

    Except - tube amplifiers don't use negative feedback - and they don't clip like a transistor amplifier. The closest to a tube sound from a transistor amplifier are the amps made by Balanced Audio Technology (BAT) specifically because Victor Khomenko uses parallel out-of-phase signal paths to cancel the distortion instead of negative feedback.

    I know that Bob Carver did the famous "Santa Fe" test in which he measured a tube amplifier output, spent all night in a hotel room modifying one of his transistor amplifiers to sound like a tube amp, and the next day in double-blind testing nobody could tell the difference. But, the point is - he had to do quite a bit of work to make a transistor amplifier sound like a tube amp - and there is a real, audible difference between tube and transistor amplifiers.
     
  17. I think the "Glow" Michael A. and Mark H. might be referring to a a certain soft 'roundness', (3-Dness), and tonality of the images. A Elmar 50mm screw i had on my IIIF exhibited such characteristics. But it surely isn't limited to Lecia lenses....
     
  18. the only photo ive ever seen that "glowed" was an original ansel print of "aspens". none of my lieca or nikon pics have ever glowed for me--perhaps its my technique. wonder if a person could tell the difference betwen pics taken with nikon and leica when laid sise by side, all other variables the same? doubt i could.
     
  19. Open any image in PS, go to USM, enter amount 20%, radius 30 pix, threshold 1. Season to taste with the fader. There you have it,
    instant glow.

    That being said, yes, I think there is sometimes a certain quality to photos made with a Leica, and some Leica lenses (the
    ones I know are Summicron 50, Summicron 35 4th version and 90 Tele-Elmarit), which is hard to describe. A lighting in the
    details, a special local contrast, maybe, which make things stand out, a general almost tactile sense of three dimension, I
    don't know. I've even seen it with non-Leica M lenses. I think. Maybe that's what somebody coined glow, for lack of a better word. And no,
    it's not to justify anything, because I couldn't care less.
     
  20. For those brothers and sisters that don't "believe", just skip this thread. And yet ya' still keep raining on our parade. And also, glow to me is not fuzzy light such as that from a foggy, or single or non-coated lens. It's more like a quickening of the tonal range, particularly evident in dramatic lighting, and has a look to it that is very different than what you would see with a Nikon. Here are some examples (I just grabbed a few that display what I see as glow):
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
     
  21. SCL

    SCL

    I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder. I don't see anything which is unique to Leica in the above shots which couldn't be reproduced with a lot of other cameras.
     
  22. Tube amps rock. Funny how I like the whole tube amp sound and feel. Prefere vinyl to cds but some how like digital images for color. And some tube amps do use negative feedback. Tube amps clip much better than transitors. I like to drive my drive amp so hard that it clips, nothing sound sweeter than an overdriven tube amp.
     
  23. It's real. Kraut lenses have it in bushels! Don't have Leicas anymore, but all of my Zeiss optics exhibit this weird phenomena. Some of my
    Russian lenses do too, and even my old East German Zeiss Jena lenses. It must be some bizarre component of the raw materials used
    for optical glass over there. I do like my Nikon older AI lenses for crispness though. Totally different look.
     
  24. Stuart

    You are hardly being a maverick - pretty well every guitarist prefers (or professes to prefer) a tube amp. The Leica glow is more controversial - many people think it is a post-hoc justification for owning Leica.

    I have to say I do not think there is anything special about Leica glow. I do think Leica optics are famous for their high quality - but "glow" is not of these characteristics in my opinion as I don't really know what it means: unless it refers to the results from uncoated or flare-prone single-coated optics - which can be nice, but hardly unique to Leica.
     
  25. "I like to drive my drive amp so hard that it clips, nothing sound sweeter than an overdriven tube amp."

    Except it's not clipping the signal like a transistor where the top of the waveform gets either totally clipped off (exceeds the maximum gain level) - or, depending upon the amplifier design - the waveform crest bends over much like a wave in a lake or ocean right before it turns into a whitecap.

    Tube amplifiers usually distort the waveform by making out-of-phase harmonics - which is why most guitarists still prefer tube amplifiers - they're tone generators depending upon how you set them up. I use one of these: http://www.rivera.com/products/rseries/r30-112.php
     
  26. Are Leica lenses capable of making superb images? Absolutely. But this glow thing, I don't know. I think it might be your head swimming from the expense of buying Leica. ;)
     
  27. I think the Leica glow is there and has multiple causes, some already discussed. One reason I'll add is the lenses are sharp wide open, Thus a sharp subject against a very out of focus background makes the subject pop out in a nice way. And colors have a better rendition. I did a comparison with my 50mm Summicron M and my Canon 50mm f1.4 EF lens, same exposures, same roll of slide film. The difference was noticeable at arm's length on the light table, even to people with little photographic experience.
     
  28. I prefer the glow produced by my Mamiya 7.
     
  29. I am always amazed that some people spend a little fortune on one of the most expensive photography system in history,
    namely the Leica M and digital M, and then keep saying that there is nothing special to Leica photography that couldn't be
    done with another system. I'd love to have that kind of money to waste :)
     
  30. We (humans) perceive glow everytime when a luminance gradient (a smooth variation in luminance, compared to a steep edge) increases linerly to a plateau. Then our brain let us "see" something as glowing. So, a possible explanation of the observed glowing effect is that the Bokeh in Leica lenses features such linear increments in intensity (=luminance), yielding glow perception. Other Bokehs are nonlinear, that is more like created through Gaussian blur, and in this case our brain does not create a corresponding sensation. Explained in more detail in http://arxiv.org/abs/0709.3237
     
  31. I've been shooting Leica M cameras since 1970 and as much as I love the gear I just do not think the Leica "glow" is apparent in anything other than silve prints on fiber paper. It sure is not apparent in 72 DPI web images.
     
  32. I'll agree, and disagree; certain bodies & lenses have a " look" most don't but very once in a while some do;
    Leica R has a certain look, leica M certainly has a look; Hasselblad V series has a look, Canon 5D certainly has a look; they are all different but very identifiable, different, and pleasant; the images they produce look-----
    better- different; so, is it a glow, maybe, maybe not, but it is different and better. You just make your own choices as to what which equipment best translates to the printed image what you feel and see when composing the image. Yamaste.
     
  33. it

    it

    Glow is about light not glass.
     
  34. Here is a glow example, I think. with Summicron ASPH
    00RPYk-86033784.jpg
     
  35. Noise Ninja?
     
  36. No noise ninja. So far as I remember, no noise reduction of any sort. The negative was a bit over-exposed. Scanned on Coolscan IV. Only global adjustments: level, brightness, contrast etc. No selective manipulation.
     
  37. 35 f1.4 has pretty good glowing effects. I don't think the camera body has much if anything to do with the lens actuance.
    00RPa0-86049684.jpg
     
  38. Here is another with an 8-200 f2.8 on a D200 body. Mind you the lack of hair may add to the glowy effect.
    00RPa6-86051584.jpg
     
  39. A pigeon example with a consumer level zoom on a D200
    00RPa8-86051684.jpg
     
  40. Another glowy 35 f1.4 on an FM3A
    00RPaD-86055584.jpg
     
  41. I think for glow on negative films (bw or color), a tad over-exposure is helpful, perhaps even necessary.
     
  42. The 45 f2.8 AiP is a Tessar design and it glows too
    00RPaG-86055684.jpg
     
  43. You're mistaking burned out highlights for glow. That is not glow. Glow is when the light areas shine a bit into the adjacent darker areas. I used to have a 35mm Summilux and that had definite glow at f1.4. I'll see if I can dig out an examplle or two.
     
  44. it

    it

    None of these glows IMO.
     
  45. "light areas shine a bit into the adjacent darker areas"

    I believe that is how lens flare is defined. Not glow.

    I think glow is an arrangement of luminosity that tricks the eye into thinking it is 3D while it is really 2D.
    Natural depth perception uses many different visual cues (including for e.g., occlusion, linear perspective,
    chromatic shifts etc), of which differential texture gradient and shading/shadowing may be the two most important
    optical properties relevant here. Under certain conditions some lens/film combinations may render a particular
    quality of texture gradient and shading that we possibly associate with a 3D molding of sorts, and the luminosity
    associated with such a rendering might be the 'glow' we speak of here.

    I agree that not all of the effects illustrated above would qualify as glow in my opinion. But then this is a
    rather subjective matter, so opinions would likely differ.
     
  46. I think i know what you are talking about. I've seen it in many shots I shoot with my Pentax FA Limited lenses (31mm, 43mm, 77mm). Especially the 31mm and the 77mm.

    I think its a matter of extreme sharpness, great bokeh, and the right aperture along with the right subject to camera distance. It gives the image a 3-Dimensional look. It is more evident in slide film than in print film. Especially when it is projected with a good slide projector.

    Sorry I can't give any examples as I don't have a slide scanner. But I think I know what you are talking about. In fact, I believe the Pentax Limited lenses are known for this phenomenon. I've never seen my Pentax 20-35mm zoom achieve the same results.
     
  47. Yes, it glows [​IMG]
     
  48. oops, to compressed, here's the link:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/161/376326289_0542f57e99_o.jpg
     
  49. BTW, great shot Tirta!

    I used to call it the Leica glow or 3D effect, etc. but from what I have read, the terms that I have seen used the most to describe what separates Leica glass from all of the rest, is 1. micro-contrast and perfectly rendered out of focus areas, 2. bokeh.
     
  50. Michael,

    I'm not a Leica user but i offer a subjective perspective of what i think from a non-Lecia user that have put a bit a thought into the Lecia buzz. IMO, the majority of folks who own and shoot this type of gear are well experienced natural light journalists/photographers. They understand good light, Bokeh, and they have at their disposal the best glass on earth for this purpose. I personally think that the mechanical elements (camera bodies, glass etc..) involved in producting the photo have a much narrower gap in quality than thought of by the Lecia owners. In other words, IMO the Lecia users are giving too much credit to their equipment than to themselves for knowing how to use it and the ability to see the light properly. I see the examples posted here and i can honestly say that i see nothing "special" mechanical wise. What i do see in some of the examples is a capture of good light. Nothing that i haven't seen before from other experienced natural light shooters that use different equipment. What i would like to see Michael is an example of what you are talking about specifically. I would like to see the same compositions shot under the same conditions, with identical lens settings to see the large gap in quality that is spoke of here. My bet is that with the best glass in the world combined with the awsome M series bodies gives the user a level of confidence that enables them to see the light and desire to capture it at a higher level.
     
  51. Every one of the examples posted or linked above seems to illustrate a different thing. Animesh's example looks to me like partial solarisation or reversal of the tone curve. Others just look like nice sunlight, some like uncontrolled highlights, some just look like...well...lights! Tirta's is very effective backlighting, nicely judged exposure and other good qualities, and arguably could not have been done with a mediocre lens. But none of these examples has any (good) quality that I feel could be attributed unambiguously to lens characteristics.

    What I do notice with my only Leica lens (50 'cron) is that it captures a deliciously long tonal scale, provided it doesn't flare (grrrr!) and that I expose and focus and develop correctly. At its best this really lifts the in-focus areas off the page. This is very evident in a print but is actually difficult to retain in a scan (at least given my skills and equipment). I've only a small sample of manual Nikon lenses to compare with. Of those, only a Nikon 105 f/2 ever did it for me (once in 20 years), but the Summicron hits that sweet spot regularly.
     
  52. Although it has been touch on here and many earlier threads, I'd love to see a thread that focused exclusively on each contributors definition on what they feel glow is. No other chatter, just step up to the line and define it. A photo example would be a welcome plus. Only then will real communication occur as everyone will know what the other is seeing. For example, blown out highlights and over development are sometimes touted as glow. Sometimes it is edge definition, or light wrap from unique lighting situations.
     
  53. Jonathan, Tirta's although nice is not backlit but rather side lit. The so-called Leica glow I believe refers to the acuity of the lens at the interface b/w the sharp focus and OOF highlights. This property is not exclusive to Leica glass. Someone above referred to some Pentax "Limited" glass that can also capture similar acutely focused highlights not unlike the Leica examples highlighted here.
    00RPz2-86273584.jpg
     
  54. I've never figured out what the Leica glow thing is. However, when shooting my CL with the stock 40mm and using Kodachrome 25 years ago I entered some of the slides in a competition. The judges were all very experienced and well respected. In the competition they picked out everyone one of the slides and said they were taken with a Leica after several others noticed there was something different about the looks. The judges also mentioned they could tell by the glow. They also picked out one slide but were not in agreement it was from a Leica though they all agreed it could have been. The camera was my Minox ML and again Kodachrome 25.

    About a year later a group of us did a shoot of the Everglades. I used my Bronica, Polaroid, CL and Minox. Some of the others asked about the Leica "glow" and we did somewhat of a controlled comparison. We all used Kodachrome 25 and the other participants used 50mm but we adjusted the distance to target so in the vf we all saw the same image. The was a good representative group of camera makers including Nikon, Canon, Pentax, and Olympus. I also loaded a 35mm back for the Bronica and used the 40mm lens. The aperature and shutter speeds were set to the same on each and we fired the shutters almost exactly at the same time so there would be no issue of changing light. At the competition which the judges found interesting as they were being challenged to pick the brand rather than pick the best shot. They were most correct with the Leica and then split on all the others. Each judge was able to identify pretty well each shot for the brand of camera they used, i.e. one judge was a Nikon guy and guessed most correctly the shots from the Nikon. None used Olympus and they were guessed all over the place including Leica. The Bronica shots stumped them all but one thought they might be a Rollei 6003 (I think that was the 35mm model).

    I personally think it is really the glass formulas that we are dealing with in the why it looks different department. Part of this is from my perspective is b/c the ML lens glass was being bought from Leica and ground by Minox and the results from each seem so close.
     
  55. When I think of "glow", I tend to think of 1950's German Glass. Xenon, Summarit, Summicron, and

    50mm F2.8 Skopar on the Vitessa T, wide-open <p>

    <img src=http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2216/2336758381_0b82f58e82_o.jpg> <p>

    I also like lesnes that Preserve shadow detail, the lower contrast lenses of the 1950's.
     
  56. Collapsible Summicron, wide-open on the M2:

    <img src=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3008/2287586434_d9aa2807a2_o.jpg>
     
  57. My Leica lenses don't have it: can I send them back to Solms for a metaphysical upgrade?
     
  58. Canon digital technology is clearly superior to Nikon's older film era stuff. Nuff said.
     
  59. BTW, if your Leica lenses don't have the 'glow', it's probably because the seals have degraded over time and the special 'glow' fluid-gas phase substance has escaped over time since they were produced. A CLA and 'glow' recharge from a certified Leica technician should fix the problem.
     
  60. <img src="http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00P/00PPQU-43347584.jpg">...

    come to think of it, I do think I see some 'glow' here...

    But' that's probably because I spent in excess of $1000 on a single lens, not because it's a Leica. This glow here comes from a Canon.
     
  61. Yes, yes, YES! There ARE believers! There are those that understand the glow. It's not just voices in my head!<g>

    See, I knew many of you would come around. I specifically asked for those who didn't believe in Leica glow to simply skip this thread. But could they? No.

    They are so weighted down with the burden of their curmudgeonry and dogma that they had to make cracks about tube amps, and toss up shots with non-Leica lenses that absolutely don't have the glow. Tirta's shot is exactly what I'm talking about. I've used several dozen Nikkor lenses, every Hasselblad lens, many FD and EOS lenses, and while some are nice, none have exhibited the Leica glow.

    So go ahead and mock. The loss is not mine, it's yours!<g>
     
  62. Glow is a very subjective term. It means different things to different people. I associate "glow" with "glow in the dark", and use it to describe lower-contrast/higher resolution lenses that do not clip highlights and shadow area. The Japanese lenses of the 50's went for high contrast at the expense of resolution. They produced vibrant colors that became popular. This is my favorite "glow" shot, taken with a 50mm F1.9 Scheider Xenon wide-open on the Retina IIIS, a $10 investment.
    00RQ4h-86321784.JPG
     
  63. SHOULD be SCHNEIDER Xenon...
     
  64. SCHNEIDER Xenon again... (at least it's easier to type that Taylor, Taylor and Hobbs Xenon)
    00RQ55-86325584.JPG
     
  65. And I really miss the days when I could just buy an MTF dress in toddler size and she would just wear it.
    00RQ5A-86325784.jpg
     
  66. Just one more statement...

    No one would dispute that my 1952 Summicron glows. All by itself. And you can get rid of the radiation damage to the glass by using UV light.
     
  67. i see a lot of glow in my 1937 9cm elmar f4. wide open or just a stop less renders a specific amount of softness that makes the subject feel like experiencing a natural glow. perhaps this is because of the uncoated nature of the old glass. i always took it to be very flattering.
     
  68. Brian,

    Doesn't the non-radioactive collapsible 'Cron also display glow?
     
  69. I used a rented Leica one weekend over 40 years ago, and that's been pretty much the sum total of my Leica experience. I did go as far as putting an M4 on layaway in the early '70s (I still remember the price: $435!) but soon released it...unfortunately, a rangefinder did not fit my needs as a professional, and when the R series came about, lens and accessory choices were too limiting. (Guess that's why most everyone else used Nikon, too!)

    But I always loved the results from the Leica, and of course, the mechanical precision of just operating an M was a source of enjoyment whenever I could get my hands on one. I often thought there was something special about the look of a photograph shot with a Leica lens, and one time years ago, I broke out a few photography annuals (back when Pop Photo published such things, with the tech details listed somewhere in the back of the magazine) and decided to see if I could pick out Leica shots from the rest.

    Surprisingly (or, some may argue, not so surprisingly), my ratio of hits to misses was exceptionally high. So that little experiment confirmed for me that there was something special about Leica glass--even though I couldn't define it back then, and probably still can't to this day.

    Ron Hildebrand
     
  70. OMG Grayson, you spent over $1000 for that lens? and it's a Canon? My mint chrome 50mm cron asph only cost me $586
    and it comes with the glow. Geez.. I thought Leica glass was expensive.
     
  71. Listen unbelievers: If you deny the existence of glow, the brothers of Al Glow-ita will earn themselves immediate translation to heaven, where they will receive every screw lens and body ever made, by blowing themselves up next to your infidel Japanese camera-rubbish!
     
  72. Such a ridiculous topic this is. "I see a certain glow in the photos I made with my Leica lenses. I know it is there but I can not put my finger on it. Are there other people out there who see it? But I only want to hear from people who agree with me since I do not like to be told I made a mistake".

    I have used Leica M and R cameras with several lenses including the Apo macro 100mm and the M 90mm apo asph. lenses. Never have I seen any glow. They did render a somewhat cooler colour that I liked but glow? No. The only time I saw a certain kind of "glow" was in the images I made with the Zeiss 100 Zf lens. That lens beat the crap out of the apo macro 100mm R lens by the way and I do not care that it is not "made in Germany". Whatever that designation means, other than that it is made in Germany.

    Leica's are good for reportage style photography, especially the M series. For anything else they usually suck, simply because of the small image area. I like the portraits and landscapes I made with my Hasselblads much much better. They may not have a "glow" but at least they show lots and lots of detail. Shot a scene in the Himalayas a few years ago with a single coated 250mm sonnar from the 1960's from miles away. There is a small village in the image. On the slide it is just a few milimeters square. With a small magnifier and on the scan I made from the slide (Velvia 100F), the windows and doors in several houses can sill be seen (distance was at least 10 kilometres away, probably further).

    It "may be my loss", at least I have not lost my mind!
     
  73. Raid, the later Collapsible Summicron has basically the same signature of the early Thorium based lens.

    Unless you place a Phosphor screen over it. Then the early one displays more glow. The front element is thorium based, unlike most Hot-Glass lenses that used it only in the inner elements. Hence, a phosphor screen over the non-Leica hot glass lenses will not display this measurable "Leica Glow".
     
  74. > 50mm cron asph

    Leica never made a 50mm Summicron with ashpheric elements. Maybe it was a Summilux?
     
  75. If you can't see it or measure it, it's a Myth. If you can see a difference, and measure it, using subjective terms to describe it makes it sound like a myth. Here is an example of my definition of the subjective term. The older Leica lenses have lower-contrast and preserve shadow detail. The dark areas "glow", using the subjective term. Shot in direct sunlight, most of my lenses would have lost the detail under the sailor's cap. My Nikkor 8,5cm F2 would have upped the contrast, and lost the eyes. 1954 Collapsible Elmar 9cm F4, wide-open on the M3, fujicolor 200.
    00RQKT-86469584.jpg
     
  76. I was struck by one of the images of an Indian boy. The photographer said he overdeveloped the film. What he had was an image where the developer continued to develop in the transitional zones between densities. We used to strive for this effect by following different procedures in agitation times and frequency of agitation, so the developer would perform its magic. So, Leitz lens or not, that was a function of the developing process. Having said that, digitally speaking sometimes the best of both worlds is a Leitz lens mounted on and EOS body!
    00RQNf-86503584.jpg
     
  77. I have to add, I made no adjustments other than raw to jpg and resizing. None--not in the raw converter or in CS3. ISO 1600, 1/400s @ f16. Manual focus, AV mode, no tripod or monopod. I did shoot at -1.33 eV to correct for the exposure factor the adapter seems to create.
     
  78. Then minor adjustment and regular sharpening (my in-camera setting is always neutral):
    00RQO5-86511584.jpg
     
  79. Has Leica ever tried to explain the glow? I can imagine reasons they would or would not want to do so. I can see why they wouldn't want to give away their "secret", but have they ever tried to address it at all?
     
  80. If all of the above be glow, then glow gotta go.

    --Lannie
     
  81. Look at it from a "coolness bragging issue"; <BR><BR>Who talks about "Zorki glow";or "Argus glow" or "Petri glow" or "Brownie Glow" or " I-zone Glow" one gets from a Britney I-zone sticker camera?<BR><BR>the "glow" from my early 1960's Hit 16mm camera was then called flare; but that was a different era; before folks collected cameras before BS marketing. <BR><BR>A 1930's uncoated F3.5 Xenar/Ektar/Tessar on a simple Kodak Retina or F2 Xenon on a 1930's Retina has a certain "GLOW" to it that a 1940's non BS camera book called "filling the shadows look"; where the uncoated lens spilled light into the shadows; ie "pierced the shadows" as a 1940's term were one got brighter shadows due to lens flare.
     
  82. So, no one has subjective photographs from 2 or 3 camera/lens combinations at the same spot and time to check if glow is lens
    or light? I have no personal stake in this since for me a good photo is simply a good photo, with or without any claimed glow.
     
  83. "For those brothers and sisters that don't "believe", just skip this thread."

    So, if I am reading this correctly, you only want answers that support your assertion that this 'glow' is real. You do not want answers that explain the 'glow' in realistic terms or from people who do not see the 'glow' at all. If it exists only in silver based prints on a certain paper, that's fine, but I must believe that it exists to enter your conversation about it.

    Is Leicaphilia the next sweeping religious movement? Is the enigmatic 'glow' the answer to life's big mysteries? If we believe in the 'glow', will we see it in all our prints?

    Sir, I believe that the only thing glowing here is your imagination, with a bit of low contrast and lens flare thrown in. I have seen the photos posted which are deemed to possess the magical 'glow', yet I have not seen any magic in them. Most don't have anything that I would call 'glow' at all. Some have lowered contrast due to flare, which gives them a tone which some might consider 'dreamlike'. There is little doubt that differnet lenses impart subtly different characters to the images they resolve, but this 'glow' you speak of is a vague and ethereal character which has yet to be defined or demonstrated in any realistic terms.

    Thus, I recommend that you do some real-world, side-by-side testing of your 'glowing' Leica lenses against other lenses which do not possess the 'glow'. First, you'll need to construct a scene with very few variables, most specifically lighting angle, intensity, and color character. Set a tripod and shoot the scene with your 'glow' lens. Then, place a lens which matches nearly precisely the focal length, aperture, and front element shape and diameter in exactly the same relative position to the scene, and shoot it again. Compare the two shots carefully. Define the 'glow' in this way until you can demonstrate it in a concrete manner. Then show us how the other lens lacks this 'glow'. Repeat with every other lens you can find, regardless of outside diameter, and compare those scenes as well. Only then will you be prepared to carry on a discussion of what the 'glow' is and from where it comes.
     
  84. as a tube-amplifier designer, I can tell you that there is some form of negative feedback in all amplifiers. it isn't necessarily a bad thing .. in fact, just the opposite if done correctly. a tube-amplifiers signature generally comes from what it cannot do well, which just happens to please the ear. I suspect the optical artifacts of a lens that diverge from perfection, just happens to be pleasing to the eye.

    the notion that perfection, be it optical, aural, 18% gray, etc. somehow commands us to find pleasure within it. personally, I find the flaws far more interesting most of the time. as a designer, you need to identify them and spend your life learning to control them better.

    photography and art is much more than some pursuit of perfection. which it is not.

    daniel taylor
     
  85. Clearly, there are lots of skeptics on this issue, just as there are on the comparably contentious issue of "bokeh." For photos shot under certain conditions, however, especially at large apertures in available light, one can sometimes see a difference between photos taken with Leica lenses and photos taken with other lenses. While not easy to define using words, the difference involves certain image characteristics, rather than anything mystical. It's not just a question of lower contrast and moderate flare from 1950s-era lenses. It may have something to do with the way in which some Leica lenses, including newer as well as older ones, render an optical impression of three-dimensionality, of depth and roundness and plasticity, especially in portraits, as opposed to being solely a question of shadow detail or highlight flare. It should not be a surprise that lenses, being designed by human beings and reflecting their personal judgments about the tradeoffs to be made between the various aspects of optical design, might have recognizable qualities despite being inanimate objects. Optical design is an art as well as a science.

    One might draw an analogy to musical instruments, which are also inanimate objects that reflect the judgments of their designers about the tradeoffs between various aspects of design, whether one is discussing handmade or factory-manufactured instruments. It isn't just Stradivarius or Amati violins that are distinctive. Both the Fender Telecaster and the Gibson Les Paul are guitars, both are considered good instruments by a number of guitarists, and both can be used to play the same notes and chords, but most guitarists can tell them apart very quickly, even after hearing just a few notes, despite the fact that they are both mass-produced instruments. It isn't mystical nonsense; they simply sound different enough for most guitarists to be able to distinguish readily between them based on sound alone. If you ask for someone to explain in words how they're different, the answers are often a jumble and convey little meaning to people other than guitarists -- one might try to describe a Tele as having a nasal quality, honk or quack, another might talk about a Paul sounding fuller or having more sustain, and still others might go on about the differences between single-coil and humbucking pickups, or bolt-on maple necks and set-in mahogany necks. While the verbal descriptions and explanations may be unpersuasive, guitarists can usually tell the difference between them based on sound just the same.

    The differences between the optical qualities of camera lenses tend to be more subtle, are not always as readily apparent, may only be visible with some types of images and not others, and are not always easy to identify or describe readily using words, but they do appear to exist. That does not mean that they are sufficiently obvious to be evident to all photographers, are sufficiently clear-cut to be described in consistent terms by people with differing backgrounds or personal frames of reference, or are sufficiently important to make a major difference in the overall quality of all photographs. There are many other aspects of image quality that may be more readily apparent -- composition, lighting, focus, exposure, contrast, depth of field, image blur due to camera motion, and film grain, among others. For an image that suffers from unimaginative composition and poor lighting, or is out of focus, underexposed or blurred, the concept of "Leica glow" is meaningless. In addition, it is indisputably clear that truly excellent photographs can be taken with other types of lenses. There are a very large number of high-quality photographs taken with Nikon, Canon, Zeiss or Hasselblad lenses, to name just a few, and there are doubtless photographers who prefer the optical signatures of those lenses to Leica glass. In some well-shot photographs taken with some Leica lenses under some conditions, however, there are subtle optical or image qualities not attributable to factors such as focus or exposure which at least some viewers can perceive, and which some people describe for want of a better term as "Leica glow." Your mileage may vary, and so on, but that's my take on it.
     
  86. Jimi Hendrix played a Fender Stratocaster with 'glow'. oh wait .. he set it on fire with lighter-fluid.

    never mind ...

    daniel taylor
     
  87. Here is one that I think glows:-
    <br>

    <img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/6393954-lg.jpg" alt="" height="540" width="340" border="6">
     
  88. I think some of you have demonstrated with your own mean spirited words why this guy wants non believers to skip this thread.

    Some of you are getting really annoyed about the fact some Leica owners really like their cameras and lenses and want to wax lyrical to each other on the Leica forum. What in the hell is wrong with that? Do we really need to address people as Sir here? How come you're all getting so uptight!? Does this description really anger you so much!? If it does, maybe you should have skipped the thread like the man says. We're not talking political ideology here.

    If you're so content with your gear let the dude have his description.

    I seem to remember photographers mostly being artists. Is it any wonder then we might take to using such terms?

    Yes I use a Leica M system, I've used a lot of others too. I don't think I've seen this glow in my photographs, but the character the lenses posses does seem to stand out, a lot. No I haven't done any tests. Test won't make a damn bit of difference, being happy with what you have and being inspired to shoot does make a difference. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, no one is hurting anyone here. Each of us are drawn to subtle nuances in mediums, it's probably why we choose one over the other, fortunately that's not the reason people are looking at our pictures. Therefore it only matters that we like what we like, and I Leica Leica.
     
  89. It's probably the way that the notion was presented: "Leica lenses do this, but no other brand of lens does it. It can't be quantified, it's just magical and you're missing out unless you see it." I believe that Leica lenses have a signature that is different from mainstream lenses. It's an optimization trade-off.

    One feature not mentioned, that can easily be quantified, is color-correction. The Infrared Focussing index for the Summarit and Summicron lenses of the 1950's is just past the DOF mark for F2. That's fairly amazing considering that they are not apochromats, do not use quartz, Calcium Fluorite, or some other exotic material. Look at a current 50mm Nikkor, and the IR mark is somewhere between F4 and F5.6.
     
  90. I encountered the Leica "phenomenon" in the 70's. I was in high school and shooting with a Pentax H3V and
    Minolta SRT-101. Both well regarded cameras. Friends used Nikon and the occasional Canon.

    When we processed our film and looked at them hanging in the darkroom there was a similarity to them. One of my
    friends borrowed an M-4 and 50 Summicron from his Dad and when we hung his negs to dry we could immediately see
    the difference from all the other cameras. They were very much more contrasty and had real snap you could see
    from a distance. When printing them we had to go a grade lower in paper to reduce that snap. When equalized for
    contrast it was harder to see differences but the images tended to be significantly sharper.
     
  91. Here's my contribution. I don't know if "glow" is the best term to describe the Leica difference. But a difference there is. My hands-on experience: Went on a trip to Japan w/a Minilux and a Nikon FT-2 SLR with AI Nikkors 24/2.8, 50/2 and 105/2.5. Used the same batch of Fuji Reala for either camera. Took it to the same place for processing. Had 5x7 proofs made. world of difference. The Nikon shots looked paler, less contrasty, less "alive". The Minilux shots looked more... well, 3D, alive, micro-contrasty, etc.... (fill in your favorite term). The point is: It wasn't even close, and my wife, who is not a photographer but has a good eye, was able to pick them out of the stack with no problem. And that with a Minilux. So, whatever terms you want to use to describe the difference is fine by me.
     
  92. "They were very much more contrasty and had real snap you could see from a distance."

    Now this I can relate to, since clear, contrasty images are indicators of quality in a lens. If that is what people mean when they speak of "glow," all well and good. Marc Williams' pictures are masterpieces of the kind of clarity that I am thinking of. As for many of the photos above, I confess that I do not see that, but something else that is much less worthy in many cases, in my opinion.

    --Lannie
     
  93. Here is what I am talking about:

    http://www.photo.net/photo/7974472&size=lg

    --Lannie
     
  94. Fab Mastronardi [Subscriber] , Nov 07, 2008; 12:18 a.m.
    "Here is another with an 8-200 f2.8 on a D200 body. Mind you the lack of hair may add to the glowy effect.

    No offense Fab but 50 cc's too much cyan shot with a Nikon camera is not what my intentions were with this thread.

    Brian Sweeney , Nov 08, 2008; 09:11 a.m.
    "If you can't see it or measure it, it's a Myth.

    Religion, quarks, the earth being round. They were / are all myths. That's pretty preposterous if I might say so.

    Grayson McBrickwater , Nov 08, 2008; 02:30 p.m.
    "For those brothers and sisters that don't "believe", just skip this thread." So, if I am reading this correctly, you only want answers that support your assertion that this 'glow' is real.

    No. I only want those who truly see and understand what Leica glow is, to suggest how it can be achieved. As any technique worthy of mastery, I simply wanted help from those who truly see it to suggest what they believe it is and how it might be replicated. Is that so far fetched? For those who don't see it (the way some people don't understand or see value in a style of art), I simply asked them to move on and not criticize those of us who want to pursue how to use it, not ridicule us.

    "Is Leicaphilia the next sweeping religious movement? Is the enigmatic 'glow' the answer to life's big mysteries? If we believe in the 'glow', will we see it in all our prints?

    If you know how to use a lens with great bokeh, is it too far fetched to suggest you might want to experiments with what spatial quantities maximize the pleasing effects of a particular lens or aperture without try to suggest it is a religion?

    Daniel Taylor [Hero] , Nov 08, 2008; 03:17 p.m.
    as a tube-amplifier designer, I can tell you that there is some form of negative feedback in all amplifiers. it isn't necessarily a bad thing ..

    Forgive me, but are we really back to talking about tube amps again? And this relates to Leica glow and our ability to replicate how?

    Daniel Taylor [Hero] , Nov 08, 2008; 03:20 p.m.
    Jimi Hendrix played a Fender Stratocaster with 'glow'. oh wait .. he set it on fire with lighter-fluid. never mind ...

    Very helpful. Thanks.

    Ross Wilson , Nov 08, 2008; 04:00 p.m.
    I think some of you have demonstrated with your own mean spirited words why this guy wants non believers to skip this thread.

    Some of you are getting really annoyed about the fact some Leica owners really like their cameras and lenses and want to wax lyrical to each other on the Leica forum. What in the hell is wrong with that?

    Exactly! Thank you Ross.

    Brian Sweeney , Nov 08, 2008; 04:09 p.m.
    It's probably the way that the notion was presented: "Leica lenses do this, but no other brand of lens does it. It can't be quantified, it's just magical and you're missing out unless you see it." I believe that Leica lenses have a signature that is different from mainstream lenses. It's an optimization trade-off.

    I absolutely did not say that. If you re-read my message, I made the assertion that it might be the short or narrow angle of light and that I also saw it occasionally with my Zeiss Ikon Contessa rangefinder. The reference point is that I called it "Leica" glow because that's what it's known by.
     
  95. Lanny, I do shoot with an H3 when I rent them for fashion shoots. I've not seen Leica glow with any of my Hasselblad equipment. Though nice; though contrasty; though sharp, they just don't exhibit a glow.
     
  96. Hmm, I don't think I explained my point well earlier with the hibiscus shot. What's apparent to me--because I use this same flower bush time after time to check a new lens--is that I often find that I have to pump up saturation with Canon's cheaper lenses, sometimes a bit with the Ls, but the Leitz lenses, of which I have four, all seem to produce more than satisfactory saturation and color, even though my sensor is recording the light in neutral mode. From long experience shooting with an M3, years ago, I can safely say that catching the light right, combined with the inherent saturation of the lens, can give one that satisfactory--if not glow--remarkable contrast and crispness. The shot below benefited from late afternoon "golden" light. Unfortunately it is a scan of a print, the orinal negative is buried somewhere in years-old stacks awaiting archiving.
    00RQav-86615584.jpg
     
  97. Sorry, Michael. I forgot that Marc shot that one with the big Hassy digital. Well, anyway, it made my point, and you have no doubt seen comparable results from Leica. People like what they like, and I am not going to try to tell them that they should like something else.

    --Lannie
     
  98. Here is another that I found to glow
    <br>

    <img height=507
    width=500 hspace=5 vspace=10 src="http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00D/00DYyX-25667384.jpg">
     
  99. Well, Michael, here is one of your own that really does glow, I have to confess:

    http://www.photo.net/photo/6823551

    --Lannie
     
  100. We are discussing the optical qualities of lenses here, not religion or philosophy. Whether one professes belief or disbelief in the existence of the "Leica glow" is not something of major import. I don't think that Leica lenses have mystical qualities. I just think that they are superb lenses, not all of whose optical qualities are fully understood by most photographers in ways that can be readily explained in non-technical terms.

    This is one of those debates where one side argues art, and the other side argues science. The issue, of course, is that both photography and the field of optical design are somewhere in between art and science, and do not rest clearly either on one side or the other. One must be a scientist and engineer to design lenses, and scientists using measuring instruments and quantitative and analytical techniques can offer us significant insights into art. In the end, however, science cannot explain art satisfactorily, including the intuition as well as knowledge and skill that seems to differentiate great lens designers from merely good ones.

    Optical design is not just a science, but also an art. Leica's optical designers over the course of several generations have included the late Max Berek (1886-1949), the late Walter Mandler (1922-2005), Lothar Kolsch, Horst Schroder, and Peter Karbe, Leica's current head of optical design. While it is evident that they have all had significant scientific and engineering backgrounds, they also seem to be gifted in ways that involve creativity, intuition and artistry in addition to scientific knowledge. It isn't just Leica enthusiasts who take that view. When Dr. Mandler died a few years ago, one of the people quoted in the photographic press as expressing great respect for his ability was Ichiro Yoshiyama, the former Chief Operating Officer of the Minolta Corporation. Anyone interested in additional information on Leica's optical designers over the years, and on some of the issues involved in optical design, might take a look at the following sites:

    http://www.eightelmphoto.com/articles.htm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Mandler

    http://www.koelsch-schroeder.de/english/k_s_optical_engineering/l_koelsch.html

    http://www.koelsch-schroeder.de/english/k_s_optical_engineering/h_schroeder.html

    http://www.overgaard.dk/leica_history.html

    http://www.imx.nl/photo/optics/optics/page93.html

    http://www.imx.nl/photo/optics/optics/page61.html
     
  101. We are discussing the optical qualities of lenses here, not religion or philosophy.
    Actually the similarities are there. It's kind of funny that even the people who believe in the "glow" can't agree on exactly what that "glow" is. Sort of the same as people who believe in the existence of a deity or higher being can't agree on if it's God, Allah, Buddha, Shiva, Ra, Zeus or whatever... the faithful just "know" their gods exist even in the absence of any objective evidence that they do. I guess it's called "faith" for a reason.
     
  102. It's a Myth- we were on the subject of Leica Glow, not the existence of Zeus or any other deity. If it is not an
    optical property that can be seen or measured, then it's just a Myth tied to the Leica Name. If you care to state
    optical properties that set Leica Lenses apart from other designs, than it's worth discussing.
     
  103. >I've gotta think that Leica glow is something real. I don't see it in my Nikon, Hasselblad, or LF shots. But it
    is<p>
    >obvious to me in 50% of my Leica shots. For those brothers and sisters that don't "believe", just skip this <p>
    >thread. For those that do, is it possible this is the result of such a short distance between the lens and film <p>
    >plane, or a narrow cone of light or something?<p>




    It's not the back-focus distance or narrow light cone. Nikon RF's, Contax, Canon RF's, and in fact most RF
    cameras have similar designs. Most fixed-lens cameras as well, rf or point and shoot. As stated, it's probably
    the set point for contrast vs resolution selected for Leica designs, and the degree of color correction. These
    properties can be measured and described.

    But if you do not want to tie it to a set of optical properties and just refer to it as "Leica Glow" for the
    brothers and sisters that believe, great.
     
  104. I am sure it has been done, but why not simply do a quick study shooting the same scenes using different lenses? Leica sets the baseline .. and assess from there. I shoot mostly film, but the only glow I have been seeing (consistently) has come from digital photos I have seen. it really is all about light isn't it? Steve McCurry's work always seems to have a glow, but he is a master of selective lighting. and Frans Lanting. hmm .. could it be it has more to do with the light and photographer than glass?

    just thoughts .. waiting for the tea kettle to boil,

    daniel taylor
     
  105. Here's Mike Johnston's recipe for "the glow," as posted on the Luminous Landscapce. Its a generic recipe for any camera system, and it is limited to old fashioned B&W silver gelatin printing.

    I believe that somewhere in this same site is posted an article on adding the glow to a digital image.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/sm-02-04-28.shtml
     
  106. I'm a little late to the thread, but then I've had a chance to read it all. Part of the problem is the use of the term, "glow." I have no idea what that term means with respect to a flat photograph that cannot physically release any kind of light itself. My backlit flat screen monitor glows behind images, but it does that for all of them. Some of the better descriptions above used more appropriate words.

    It cannot be a myth "if it cannot be seen or measured," but several people provided instances of neutral judges who could consistently "see" it in printed photographs. So, it can be seen. I was completely convinced by my own children when they looked at my Nikon photos side by side with my first Leica 50mm Sumicron photos: "We like these the best. They look more 3-D." Another way to communicate what it is, therefore, is to say what the opposite would be. My kids could do it, untrained. The Nikon photos were good (best fixed focal length lenses--50mm and 85mm), but "flat." That's the easiest way to describe it. Other cameras tend to produce flat looking images. They come closer to Leica images with telephoto lenses (Nikon 180mm lens) when the foreground is in focus relative to the background (hence, bokeh), but . . . and this is a big exception, Leica lenses can often produce the same depth and 3-D plasticity with wide angle and normal angle lenses. As someone else said above, many Leica photos have a "real snap you can see." So, if it can be seen, and seen by more than one person, it's an objective fact. Objective: when two or more observers reach the same conclusion using the same methods.

    So, I'd recommend dropping the use of the term, "glow," and sticking with "pop," "snap," and 3-D look to them. These words are easier to understand and don't get in the way of the phenomenon that's being observed. Too much time is being wasted by arguing about what the WORD "glow" means rather than what actually makes the photographs different from others. By the way, not all Leica images have this quality, just a lot more of them. Worth the money? Not to some. But once I saw the difference it just seemed to expensive to me to keep taking photos with a camera that hardly ever produced that kind of effect. It would just be a waste of time and money
     
  107. Lannie, Yes, that is the glow I'm talking about. It's a little harder to capture in a scan, as someone else responded, but it sure is easy to print it from the negative on an enlarger.
     
  108. I have Leicas, mostly old ones.Taken many pictures.I slogged through this thread when I should have been out shooting and I don't have a clue what it's about. Maybe I need new glasses.
     
  109. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/188/376399656_ed8e5003f3_o.jpg
     
  110. Okay, so let's say we call it micro contrast, do you guys agree that Leica lenses produce better micro contrast than other
    35mm format lenses?
     
  111. It would be useful to understand / define micro-contrast. I suspect Leica lenses are not the only ones that can produce the glow. I think Zeiss lenses are candidates for Leica glow as well. What would be useful is to know: 1) What lenses are likely to produce Leica glow, 2) What lighting conditions aid in producing it, 3) Is there a relationship between focal length and aperture in producing it, 4) Are certain films, speeds, developers, etc., more likely to capture it, and 5) What other factors might be involved in replicating it?
     
  112. I have learnt so little from all of this. As Peter Mead said, let everyone define 'glow'. No effort is made to do this.
    Whether I like the pictures from my M Leica lenses or whether I think they have something special and whether
    someone else can pick that same something still does not mean it is Leica 'glow'. I am trying, although perhaps not so
    hard as I don't really care if there is or is not a Leica 'glow'. The likelihood, from the above thread, is that there is not
    such a thing. Some think it is blown highlights, or the result of haze in '50s and earlier lenses. One says its Bokeh. MS
    Keil admirably attempts to define the quality of the transition from sharp to out of focus in mathematical terms. Has
    anyone downloaded his paper? In a way this is an historical enquiry, more the province of an etymologist than a
    photographer or mathematician. Somewhere, some time, someone used the term Leica 'glow'. He (unlikely to be she as
    women are so sensible as evidenced by their absence here) possibly meant something by it. The idea caught on. The
    usual thing would be that those who took it up and promoted it actually meant something quite different. If research could
    track down the originator or the early proponents we might be close to knowing how to define 'glow'. Then we could work
    out whether it exists. Meanwhile the term remains pretty much meaningless and I wouldn't ever use it. Wittgenstein: 'Whereof one cannot
    speak, thereof one must be silent.'
     
  113. Well, Michael, I am simply saying that there is glow and then there is glow, and sometimes it has nothing to do with the brand of glass:

    http://www.photo.net/photo/6823551

    Sometimes, that is, people and things just get warm and "glow."

    Clarity and contrast are what I look for in images made with a good lens, of whatever brand, and from whatever country of manufacture.

    --Lannie
     
  114. Man oh man this is a long discussion! I won't read it all. I read and skimmed and hopped to get some gist of it.
    There's a glow. It almost shows up invariably on Summicron 50 Ms. I believe it is because the lens 'comes together
    masterfully' and renders the 'tipical and optimal normal lens shot' with so finely corrected aberrations at that
    particular point that gives you the sense of faithfully seeing the actual subject as it is.It is not a Leica Patent.It's just
    that Leica works best to get it.A close performer is the nikon 50 1.8.I have some pics with it that look glowish but
    something is missing.Tightness.The 'tightness' of correction at that precise point that pokes your neurons to
    say "that is the actual thing" and your perception remembers more keenly the real subject because of it and the 3
    dimensionality and glow of life remarkably get recorded.A face shot shows the sides of the face in the same focus
    resolution as the nose with negligible distortion if any.It's a sweet spot.Another pic of some other situation with the
    lens may not show 'the glow'.The nikon 50 1.8 is a reckoning by nikon that this is the case
    but to get each of those lenses tight enough to have a competent glow will put the price up there with Leica's.So they
    let it go at close enough ,hit or miss.Another case of a fine lens is the Contax G normal 45 planar.The colors are
    superb but the look is 45mm.It is off tightness by those 5mm.Close but no glow even though the color rendering is
    often superior to Leica's warmer one.Those 5mm toward telephoto make the Cron50 more intimate.The 45 is more
    social.
    There is glow and it is a remarkable feat of engineering and a spot that Leica may know how to get better than the
    rest.
     
  115. I still remember an article in a Dutch photomagazine from about 15 years ago written by 2 authors. One was a Nikon user, the other was Erwin Puts and most of us know which brand he uses and adores. The article compared the 24, 35, 85 and 180mm (ed Nikon and 3,4 apo Leica) lenses of Nikon and Lieca mounted on an F3 / R7. Exactly the same scene was photographed from a tripod on the same slidefilm.

    The conclusion of the article was that while comparing the not marked slides, most of the times neither author could tell which brand was used. Sometimes they were even naming the qualities of a certain brand after which it turned out that the photo was made with the other brand. There were subtle differences indeed, but subtle and most of the times not showing to either author, even to Erwin Puts.
     
  116. Oh, for heaven's sake. All of you need to get away from your computers and go take some pictures with whatever camera you prefer. That's what photography is about; NOT these eternal internet forum discussions about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
     
  117. Bill, well put........I would suggest Konica 40/1.8, 50/1.7, 85/1.8 & 100/2.8..........
     
  118. The `Leica Glow` that you mention to might be down to the vintage of certain Leitz lenses. Do a Google search for the late `James Ravilious` who used Leica rangefinders with older single coated lenses which produced sharp, but softer gradation B&W negatives than the newer multicoated lenses. His photos in the book `Down The Deep Lanes` are superb.
     
  119. http://www.jamesravilious.com/default.asp
     
  120. The glow you're seeing is probably from your computer screen. Try printing your pictures. Those with olde Leicas might like
    to use correspondingly olde darkroom methods. If there's enough "glow," you won't even need a safelight.
     
  121. I'm REALLY having trouble understanding why the naysayers simply can't move on. Is it so hard?

    Bill, sorry for the delay, I've been out photographing all day.

    Clive, you're absolutely right. I've only printed a few dozen images this weekend. We've already said it's easier to show in a print. Keep up or read the part about moving on if you don't see the glow.

    If I was simply a Leica collector, would I have asked about Leica glow? Keep up people!
     
  122. More enlightenment (sorry, unavoidable pun) from Mike Johnston
    here and especially, here
     
  123. Good link, Mani. That's a man who knows what he's talking about.
     
  124. >>> I'm REALLY having trouble understanding why the naysayers simply can't move on.

    Same reason the faithful are not able to consider other points of view?
     
  125. Interestingly, in Mike Johnston's 10-point recipe for the "glow," only the first point is attributed to the actual Leica lenses.
    According to him, use of film, developer, enlarger and photographic paper is more important, as each get at least two
    mentions.
     
  126. There are a hundred responses in this thread, and no two people have the same impression of what constitutes "glow."
    So, much like religion and 'god,' it does exist, but only as a personal explanation for whatever that particular person
    wants to explain. Someone (Einstein or Nietzsche?) said god is the sum of all the properties of the universe. That seems
    to be the approach of defining "glow" here. It's all things, so it must also be nothing.

    Tirta's photograph is fantastic. But, it's the result of amazing light, composition, that particular film, and how a lens
    renders it all. It's not glow. It's just a great photograph. If there were some component of a Leica lens responsible for
    that, that type of image would be more easily repeatable.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Michael Church's post. THAT is where the truth lies.
     
  127. This is a photo taken with a Zeiss Jena 5cm 2.0. Is this a "Zeiss Glow"?
    00RSQs-87499584.jpg
     
  128. Is there a Sonnar glow? -- Raid
    YES -- to illustrate, the first is from a ZM 50mm Sonnar, the second, from a ZM 50mm Planar.
    The first has an obvious glow, while the second, which is a lot sharper, does NOT, although it shows a nice 3D-like separation between subject and background.
    Sonnar
    [​IMG]
    Planar
    [​IMG]
     
  129. So it's a subjective characteristic, right?.
     
  130. IMHO, it is not subjective. I do believe it exists and I think it is some sort of spherical aberration. Thus, the effect is effectively minimized when using aspheric lenses. The "glow" also seems to be most evident when the image is sidelit.

    Anyway, that's my understanding, and I'm sticking with it. IOW, I don’t know for sure, but I’ll know it when I see it.

    Keith
     
  131. Here is some great classical Zorki Glow:<BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/LTM%20lenses/tripods-213.jpg?t=1226448105">
     
  132. Here is some some Summarit F1.5 Glow <BR><<BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/Summarit%20F15/_EPS5853NUGGETS.jpg?t=1226448226">
     
  133. Here is some some Ektar glow on a Signet 35<BR><<BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/signet%2035/SIGNET35GORDOsmallfullframe.jpg?t=1226448335">
     
  134. Noctilux glow <BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/Noct/tripods-322.jpg?t=1226449202"><BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/Noct/tripods-323.jpg?t=1226449258">
     
  135. Photographers confused by this glow thing :<BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/paparazzi/Cameras03.jpg?t=1226449326">
     
  136. Xenotar glow <BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/biker/tripods-498.jpg?t=1226449673">
     
  137. 16mm Fisheye Nikkor Glow on an Epson RD-1<BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/EPSON%20R-D1/_EPS0572NIKKOR16mmcloset.jpg?t=1226449903">
     
  138. TOO MUCH GLOW here ruined a Nice Canon FTb:<BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/Canon%20FTB%20goof/tripods-152.jpg?t=1226450204"><BR><BR><img src="http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y148/ektar/Canon%20FTB%20goof/b3ef65a0.jpg?t=1226450272">
     
  139. Would you say that this shot has glow? - Just answer "yes" or "no" and briefly explain your verdict!
    00RSjI-87623584.jpg
     
  140. Glow...
    [​IMG]
     
  141. Peter - no, I don't see it. In fact, looks like that image was shot with a "highly corrected lens" -- I would even guess that it has aspherical element(s).
    Brad - nice shot, but I don't see it either.
    From Kelly's series, I see the glow in the Summarit image and the larger Noct image, but not in any of the others.
    Again, that's what ***I*** see/don't see. If you don't agree, that's fine. While I do believe "glow" exists and is observable (since it is a function of a lens' spherical aberration), it is not necessarily a must-have for an image to be inhrerently good (or bad). Like I said, I don't see it in Brad's image, but I happen to like that image -- noce composition and tonality.
    Here's another example -- glow / spherical aberration:
    [​IMG]
    Again, just my $0.02.
    Keith
     
  142. Brian Sweeney's Nov. 11 3:35 pm post has a glow.

    http://www.photo.net/leica-rangefinders-forum/00RRXT
     
  143. it

    it

    Holga glow
    <p>
    <img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/33/37233969_62d9a77f27.jpg?v=0">
     
  144. As Shakespear said " To glow or not to glow that is the question"
    He did of course have a slight speach impediment so what he really was saying was to Go or not to GO.
    I think he might have had a Leica, not sure which model but quite an old one I expect.
     
  145. I love these kind of threads: gives a good idea of who hasn't any self-control. Incontinent people are the kind you can't trust, and that is very useful to know.
     
  146. >>> Brad - nice shot, but I don't see it either.

    Thanks Keith. But the shot was intended to be a goof. There is no glow...
     
  147. i get glow from my camera phone -- does that count?
     
  148. Glow:

    http://fhunter.com/american.htm
     
  149. Bob.
    That is an unfair comment. These people are quite serious. To some it is just about the overpriced outmoded and overated equiment they use but it is not really fair to use comments like that. Hey just noticed my phone has a glow also. I think phoneglow is only on the Nokia. Is yours a Nokia also? How many megapixels?
     
  150. Brad, don't despair. I have a bottle of Kodak Photo-Glo right here!

    uh oh .. my bad. it's only Photo-Flo not Photo-Glo.

    drat .. foiled again!

    dt
     
  151. "i get glow from my camera phone -- does that count?"

    Bob and Graham, why even make comments like that? Do you care so little about photography or what others are trying to achieve? It's very childish.

    "To some it is just about the overpriced outmoded and overated equiment[sic]...'

    Graham, I don't even see that you have a portfolio here. So obviously your equipment isn't serving you.

    MODERATOR: since so many think this issue is a joke, let's just close this thread. It has little use to anyone at this point, least of all the OP. It has obviously run its course. It certainly does not speak well for the Photo.net community.
     
  152. Michael et al.
    Whilst the post is closed I would hope that a sincere appology to all dedicated Leica people
    would show. I have every respect for them and am sorry that my childish humour may have caused offence.
    None was intended. And yes I do see the Leica difference.
    Graham
     
  153. "So at the risk of getting the verbal tilt shift kicked out of me, here it goes:" --Michael Axel

    Michael, you led off pre-disposed to some grief, so you should hardly be surprised to find it here. your basic premise was that Leica lenses have a 'glow' and that justifies their insane pricing. unfortunately, though not unexpected, there were no submissions that showed this 'glow'. in fact, the submissions showed really poor photography and processing in my opinion. Tirta submitted a beautiful picture resplendent in 'glow' but as we all know it was because of the gorgeous evening golden light. my Canon G2 would have glowed all evening.

    it was a good discussion. been discussed many, many times before. next time you make an assertion, you might want to provide an example and have some technical substantiation behind your proposition. I think the distillation of this thread, is that it is NOT the lens, but the combination of good positioning, great light, luck, a worthy subject, and finding yourself in the right place at the right time.

    daniel taylor
     
  154. I posted at photo here. It isnt glowing. Some would say it has good plasticy or 3D rendition because the woman at the
    right stands out - more than just because of sharp subject against unsharp background.

    Keith L commented on my photo: "In fact, looks like that image was shot with a "highly corrected lens" -- I would even
    guess that it has aspherical element(s)." - sorry Keith, but wrong (no offense, please read on.) The photo was made a
    few days ago with a beaten up 1964 design - the Nikkor-H 85mm f/1.8 - shot wide open. Maybe its all in the eye of the
    beholder. But we still miss to see photos with glow.

    None of the photos shown in this thread show glow. I have Leica books from the 1940s and '50s - no talk about glow
    formed by lenses. Ludwig Leitz - son of Ernst Leitz II writes in 1949: "When everything goes right, a slide is a
    reproduction of nature in terms of range of light levels and color and the reproduction can only be influenced by cropping,
    perspective and - if you go further - lighting." So with everything right, Leica founded their products on reproduction. A
    few years later Ludwig Leitz would lead Leitz with his brother.

    The closest I get to glow is in a text by Alber Boger in the Leica-Brevier 1949 published by Photographia zu Wetzlar. He
    writes about the strongly developed negative, that on a soft paper grade gives a smooth enlargement with a soft glow
    with a quality equal to a contact print.

    In an 1949 interview with Professor Dr Max Berek - wissentschaftliche Leiter at Leitz and responsible for designing the
    5cm Elmar, the 5cm Summitar, the 5cm Summarit, the 8,5cm Summarex etc - he explains that even the first lenses for
    the Leica were highly color corrected. This I believe sets the Leica lenses apart from many competitors. But he goes on
    to say: "If we were to talk about differences between similar systems, then it would be on the basis of limitations in the
    measuring techniques." I believe he here refers to the Contax - what other similar system was there? His final remak in
    that interview was, that "with todays (1949) level of optics, the wellmade photograph is less of an optical problem but
    much more a matter of the technical precision of the camera, the properties of film and especially the schooling of the
    user of the camera." Sorry, but still no glow.
     
  155. >>> Brad, don't despair. I have a bottle of Kodak Photo-Glo right here!

    No problem Dan. I have a bottle myself and dip my compact flash cards in a fondue pot of the stuff before putting them in
    the camera. It does work.
     
  156. "See, I knew many of you would come around. I specifically asked for those who didn't believe in Leica glow to simply skip this thread. But could they? No. "

    What is the value of asking people who may disgree with you to leave the thread? Is it fair to prove Leica's glow by asking non believers not to comment?
     
  157. The old 1937 Rollei Standard I have wth a 75mm F3.5 Zeiss Tessar has a glow to it; its great for portraits. Glow is not just a Leica thing; its one of older lenses and often uncoated ones designed i older eras; with different design goals.
     
  158. I don't think the OP ever tried to prove to the non believers that Leica lenses really do glow. That's why he only asked for
    the believers opinion about their experience with the lenses that they think have this "glow", so there is no need to get
    upset and try to prove otherwise. We should all just be respectful of each other's opinion. To the non believers, I'm sorry if
    my photos upset you, I just wanted to share my experience with the believers about what I think is what they called the
    Leica glow, not trying to prove to you that there really is a glow. Peace.
     
  159. "Glow" is not the right word. If you cannot agree on what the word glow means, then there's no way you can ever agree if "whatever it means" applies to any object in the real world such as a photograph. Which are these are you referring to:

    Noun
    1. light produced as a result of great heat
    2. a steady light without flames
    3. brightness of complexion
    4. a feeling of wellbeing or satisfaction
    Verb
    1. to produce a steady light without flames
    2. to shine intensely
    3. to experience a feeling of wellbeing or satisfaction: she glowed with pleasure
    4. (of the complexion) to have a strong bright colour: his pale face glowing at the recollection [Old English glōwan]

    If you put a negative or slide on a light table, they all "glow." Leica images have a greater 3-D quality or "pop." These qualities can be defined and agreed upon by multiple observers when looking at the same photograph or negative.
     
  160. Maybe its just that some Leica shooters understand lighting abit better than a dRebel user; and thus the 3D look is thru better lighting?
     
  161. As we say in England: men sweat, women perspire, and ladies glow.
     
  162. Kelly, that lens must have a really big gouge in it. Missed the best part of the shot. I'd switch to a different lens if the chance ever comes around again.
     
  163. I think it's ok for some people to have some yuks in this thread while others are taking it more seriously. Any mockery seems to be good natured enough. I sold my Summicron as part of a way to finance a good digital, but I will always miss it. There was something special about some of my pix with it. Whether at F2 or f11. Most of the "examples" here though, don't show me anything. Someone said it right: show us the glow, & show us the non-glow, together. Here's one I think is special:
    00RU5H-88281584.jpg
     
  164. "Maybe its just that some Leica shooters understand lighting abit better than a dRebel user; and thus the 3D look is thru better lighting?"

    I don't think Canon/Nikon folks talk about "glow," so they don't try to post examples within discussion threads like this one. I think the
    'effect' is pretty much random, and even people who swear their lens does the glow thing can't repeat the effect when they want to. So, a
    Leica guy shoots a thousand pictures, finds two that he thinks exhibit 'glow,' and then attributes it to the Leica magic glass. The Canon
    guy shoots a thousand, doesn't recognize the same effect as anything to discuss in those terms, and so he doesn't attribute anything to
    the Canon glass.

    Whatever it is - and still, i maintain there is no recognized definition - it involves favorable lighting conditions and a combination of film,
    exposure, printing/processing. So, it's SITUATIONAL and not related to a piece of equipment.

    And, i always thought it was strictly a black and white thing. Not color. And, it has nothing to do with "flare." I always thought it wasn't a
    literal application of the word "glow," but more of a description of how a print appeared somehow 'luminous' - but, that's just me. And,
    then we're left with an explanation/definition of the word Luminous....
     
  165. Robert Clark, it's actually an Aussie expression, and it is, "Horses sweat, men perspire, ladies glow."
    I second Ian's assertion that Holga's glow.
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3157/3015310144_8c772e4815.jpg?
    v=0
     
  166. Indeed. The two Holga shots here exhibitfar more 'glow' than anything else posted. But I digress.

    I am a skeptic by my nature. I do not, however, dispute the claim that different lenses display different optical characteristics which may be discernable by trained or untrained viewers in the images the lenses produce. I also don't doubt that different manufacturers produce lenses based on different design principles, and these will likely render some fairly characteristic differences among lens families produced by these different companies.

    I'm still waiting for an explanation of what, exactly or approximately, you have determined to be 'glow' apparent in photos taken with Leica lenses, followed by some examples which demonstrate a comparable scene with and without it, so that we may understand what we are discussing here and possibly offer a hypothesis as to where the difference lies. Until we are all speaking the same language it is impossible to answer the question.
     
  167. I tried to offer this question about 50 posts ago, but my laptop battery failed, so here it is: Can anyone provide a reference to the first usage of the term "Leica glow." What were the original images referenced?
     
  168. Jack Lo,

    Great, great picture.

    Perfect exposure to get the mood.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  169. So, what is the general concensus on Leica Glow ? It is not really a "Leica" ownership, but older lenses and special light with certain photography skills may bring out a certain glow in some images?
    00RV5L-88739584.jpg
     
  170. Here is another photo taken with a pre-war 5cm 2.0 Sonnar. Is there a "glow"?
    00RV5p-88743684.jpg
     
  171. Sonnar: backlight with flare in #1... could be 'glow' in #2, though we have not yet established what 'glow' refers to, so I'm unable to say for sure. Is it the 3-D look? Is it only tenable in black and white images? It's an enigma. The OP can't even describe what it is or compare it among other shots which do not have the 'glow'. I'm on board with the Holga Glow from the examples posted here. It's a combination of vignetting, edge softness, and moderate contrast which create a dreamy look, similar to what the more expesive Lensbabies give us for other camera systems. Holga is famous for thier revolutionary plastic lens design...
     
  172. This photo pasted below was taken with my first Leica and possibly the first roll put through my brand new Leica IIf. Before I ever heard the term "glow" referred to as a quality of a lens, that is exactly how I described the skin tones in my wife and child. For me it still glows. What do you think? [​IMG]
     
  173. My photo didn't open. I'll try again [​IMG]

    00RVJ1-88853684.jpg
     
  174. Lester: I have seen this image before,and I like it.
     
  175. Yes, that Summitar shows the "Leica Glow" that I'm used to seeing.

    After reading this thread, I have no clue what these other people mean by Leica Glow. So I'll stick to my definition, and my 20 or so Leica lenses.
     
  176. Yes, Brian, we wll will stick with our definitions of Leica Glow.
     
  177. Yes Lester, that photo glows!
     
  178. Seems to be a lot of confusion between crappy lens flare and true Leica glow. Some people are color blind. Others can't hold a tune. Most of you can't seem to comprehend Leica glow.
     
  179. Lester, your photo displays what I, too, think of as Leica glow: the smooth transition of tonal values from the
    midtones to the highlights, as shown here in the skin tones. And, beyond its considerable technical merit, I'm
    sure your photo has special meaning for you. The little guy in the picture must now be around 60!

    Of course, in the production of smooth tonal transition -- call it "glow" or any other word -- additional factors
    come into play, such as lighting, exposure, development and even film size, with larger formats generally capable
    of producing smoother transitions. However, the lens seems to play a role, too, and Leica lenses seem especially
    good at helping to produce the effect. Whether this is merely because Leica photographers tend to be more
    skillful and careful than other photo enthusiasts, as suggested in a post above, I cannot say.

    Some posters admit they can see these smooth tonal transitions; it's the "Leica" part of the phrase, rather than
    the "glow" part, that they object to since they claim, correctly, that not all Leica photos exhibit this
    characteristic and some non-Leica photos do. They have a point. Still, the phrase seems justified, if only for
    historical reasons.

    Other posters claim not to see the phenomenon at all -- not in the examples posted above, many of which simply
    show flare or softnes, nor in any other photos. I would urge them to keep their minds open and examine
    fibre-base reflection prints rather than jpegs on a backlit screen before jumping to the conclusion that the
    phenomenon does not exist. Maybe with a print in hand they would find it easier to see what we're talking about.
     
  180. How about this one for glow? Leica III with 5cm F2 Summitar.
     
  181. Some people are color blind. Others can't hold a tune. Most of you can't seem to comprehend Leica glow.
    And some people are in such slavish awe to icons that they willingly arrest their own development. Each to his/her own.
     
  182. This is NOT Leica Glow, but is more a product of the indirect lighting coming from sunlight hitting the piece of drawing paper. Nikon S3-2000 with 50mm F1.4 "Millenium Nikkor-S", wide-open. This is a modern multi-coated lens in S-Mount.
    00RVst-89153584.jpg
     
  183. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/sm-02-04-28.shtml

    Russ
     
  184. Thank you Steve.
     
  185. Neither, sorry.
     
  186. Lester's pic has it.
     
  187. Thank you Raid, Brian, Mohir, Johnathan and Mani for your valued comments. The film is Agfa IF and developed in D76 stock. I did my own developing and enlarging in the one room I rented for me, my wife and 2 1/2 year old son. We lived with a family that took in students for room and board. I was studying graphic art at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen. I bought a Liesegang 6x6 enlarger and used my Summitar for an enlarging lens. What nerve I had to leave my job at MIT to go back to art school. It turned out to be a terrific experience and an introduction to the Leica world.
    00RWdf-89513884.jpg
     
  188. it

    it

    I don't see any hint of "glow". It's extremely flat on my monitor.
     
  189. Ian, I work with a laptop exclusively and the angle of the monitor is a variable and I never know if what I see in tonal values is the same as what other people see in their.screen. The second photo of Claudia and Marc with a tricycle is the next frame to the first one of my wife and son in front of a pet shop. I see the same "glow" in the second one, which for me is in the pearly skin texture. I have processed it this time darker and used the same sepia-like duo-tone I used in the first dual portrait. Does it glow a little more, now? It think I made it less flat.
    00RWgF-89521584.jpg
     
  190. I'm not sure what leica glow is. If it is flair, that normally does not help an image. The previously mentioned Mike Johnson article is excellent for achieving quality B&W images.

    I use a Leica M-35mm v2, Minolta M-40mm, and Leica M-90mm Fat Elmarit. The 90mm has low contrast but produces nice portraits. My other cameras are a wonderful Rollei TLR, 80 Planar, Bronica RF645 (3 optics) and 2 Minoltas with 1970s lenses. Minolta and Leica glass are known for their similar Bokeh, the reason I bought Minolta. There are no differences between Leica B&W negatives and Minolta except the Elmarit 90mm has the lowest contrast.

    More important to images is the 3-D plastic effect seen in many older lenses. This look has a touch of ambiguity, part of the charm. The camera optic which often renders a smooth 3-D look is my Rollei TLR at f/4. When you see it your hooked. My Minolta 58mm f/1.2 and Leica 90mm have the look. Other lenses retaining certain aberrations have it too. But non of my other lenses produce the look more often then the Rollei. The look involves sharpness, enhanced by the larger medium format negative, good edge contrast and smooth Bokeh. Moderate contrast is part of recipe.

    I once read the more perfect optics become, the less interesting pictures they produce
     
  191. I have fought and fought myself, but at long last I just have to show my example of Leica glow.... Here it is with the wonderful and rare Swedish Army Leica that I was lucky enough to get for a steal from the Ukraine. Things really keep well in that climate -- this one still has a lacquer smell on the gold plate! Imagine. Anyhow, here's the glow on some vegetation with the wonderful Elmar f/3,5.
    00RX6G-89757584.jpg
     
  192. Michael (the original poster),

    Since you state that 50% of your Leica shots show the "glow" why don't you settle the argument simply by posting a lot of examples from your own files?

    (Apologies if someone has already suggested this. I would have needed the indefatigability of Saddam Hussein to have ploughed through every post, interesting though many of them are)
     
  193. Here's some bronze bust glow...but, then I know why - the photo was made with an Imagon.
    00RXNj-89906184.jpg
     
  194. I'll play this game and add to the dialogue. I've been using Leica M cameras for about 20 years. I also use Canon SLRs both for film and digital. What I've discovered with the Leicas is that the lenses have an ability to see almost two stops deeper into the shadows. This allows me to worry less about exposing for shadow detail as I know that if I bias toward my highlight or midtone exposure I'll have reproducible detail in the shadows. I think it's this openness in the shadows that is erroneously referred to as glow.
    Unfortunately, "glow" is a poor term to describe this sense of luminosity as most people (and particularly Leica non-believers or decriers) think of it as flare or hazing. That's the effect I get with my Holgas and that's why I use them.
    I also think Leica glass has a particular plasticity or rendering of three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface. I think we forget, looking at monitors all the time, how a nicely made print can be a world into which we just want to reach and touch the subject. Recently, I had cause to pull out some transparencies of architectural interiors made with one of my Hasselblads (how I miss them) prior to scanning. I was louping it on a light table and I couldn't believe how dimensional it was. Anyway, I ramble.

    Carl S.
     
  195. I'm enjoying this thread. I've shot Leicas for a long time and, while I didn't really realize it a long time ago because I generally saw only Leica pictures, nevertheless lately I found that I generally could differentiate them from other camera/lens manufacturers. They had that subliminal "something," alright, but I never thought of it as "glow." I have been five years in digital (Canon) and am now returning to my Leica/film roots to recover what I've been missing. I remember one photo magazine article making reference to the unique Leica "creamy bokeh" and it hit me that that's exactly what it was: there was a creaminess in some lenses that was there that was hard to define. It wasn't just in the out-of-focus areas but was generally present throughout. I wanted some "art" in my photographs so on eBay I bought a used "bokeh king" Summicron 35/2 version IV to see if it did what they said. A week later a screwmount Summicron 35/2 ASPH appeared on eBay so I stretched the budget thin and got it as well. (Don't think I'm rich, I'm far from it, but one of the fun things about recreating my Leica equipment on eBay is that I'm buying used screwmount lenses and they are positively cheap compared to new Canon "L" lenses I've been using.) Here's a link to a shot (My Girl) with the Cron ASPH on a iiif that shows "creamy bokeh" in the out-of-focus people and windows in the back of the room. That combined with a sharp focus on the foreground subject--to me--makes for a 3-dimensional picture and might be what some call "glow." The other picture (Sun Tree) does have "glow" but I'd ascribe it to the sun behind it. < http://www.photo.net/photo/8256694 >
     
  196. The Leitz lenses ARE special. So are the Zeiss lenses. I've noticed that the Leitz lenses give a different look to the pictures. Here's my opinion on why the Leica image is different. A perfect aperture is a perfect circle. For example, Waterhouse stops, which are generally brass sheets with a sized hole in them for a single aperture. The sheet was inserted between the lens elements. A separate sheet for each aperture. Modern cameras use diaphragms instead of Waterhouse stops. These diaphragms have a number of leaves. The more leaves they have, the more the circle approaches a perfect circle. Real cheap cameras have as few as 2 leaves with a 90 degree notch in them, basically a square aperture. Some lenses have 5 leaves, therefore 5-sided apertures, some have more sides. The Leica has more leaves than any other camera that I know of, giving it a more perfect aperture. If you use any lens wide open, that is, without showing any of the diaphragm, you should get the Leica "glow" with it. Give it a try.
    00RYAy-90301584.jpg
     
  197. Clearly many people reading this thread don't know what the poster is referring to. It is nothing to do with lens flare; if anything, it is the ability of Leica glass to isolate a strong element (like a candle in a dark room) without the light "bleeding" into the surrounding area. And it isn't bokeh either - my Zuiko lenses (especially the 50mf1.4) give great bokeh, arguably better than Nikkor but they don't "glow"... I don't have Leica but my Zeiss lenses (biometar 80mm & sonnar 180mm) have it - you feel you can reach into the photo and grasp the image - especially in MF. As in this example: [​IMG]
     
  198. <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2356/2203316276_6fe5659f38.jpg?v=0"><br><br>Fine, then. Mamiya-Sekor glow. It aint exclusive to Leica, if that's what it is. It's more exclusive to shooting wide apertures with good lenses. It's not hard to get 3D separation from small DOF if you have a focal length/aperture/minimum focus distance combination that gives it to you. In this respect, most macro lenses 'glow'. I'm still not seeing anyone offering any evidence that Leica lenses do anyhting better than any comparable lens from another manufacturer, nor offering any examples of how comparable images differ as a result of passing through Leica glass rather than Some Other glass. This has become the Longest, most Pointless thread I've seen in a long time as everyone seems to want to offer an unqualified opinion on 'glow', but no one is able to produce a concrete example that actually illustrates said 'glow'. Seriously, people.
     
  199. <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2356/2203316276_6fe5659f38.jpg?v=0"><br><br>Oops... Mami-glo
     
  200. haha he's great and I bet he glows in the dark. I wouldn't say he is glowing here though...

    hmmm....I am beginning to think [WARNING - TONGUE-IN-CHEEK ASSERTATION IMMINENT...] that it is the photographer rather than the lens that imparts the glow...
     
  201. haha he's great and I bet he glows in the dark. I wouldn't say he is glowing here though...

    hmmm....I am beginning to think [WARNING - TONGUE-IN-CHEEK ASSERTION IMMINENT...] that it is the
    photographer rather than the lens that imparts the glow...
     
  202. Still waiting for the OP to produce some of his many pics that show the Leica glow. Come on - don't be shy!
     
  203. Bruce, re-read my post on Nov 6, 12:26PM above. I gave 8 examples. You might have missed them because I didn't post the pic, just links.
     
  204. #1 and #2, yes. #6 nails it! others, no.
     

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