Why a M7

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by allen herbert, Mar 10, 2002.

  1. M7 seems to defeat the whole idea of leica Ms, will the m8 or m9 be just like a contax g2.Leica need to read their own brochure.It seems to me they are loosing their way.They have done all this before with the R8(NEED I SAY MORE).More gadgets to go wrong,more and more dependancy on the tool doing it for you.I will never forget my batteries going on my nikon 801 at a friends wedding.My understanding
    of leica Ms is that you take the photo not the camera,that is the whole idea of the camera.Correct me if i am wrong.
     
  2. this is true of all cameras: "you take the photo, not the camera"

    <p>

    I don't care for automation, and will stick with M6 TTL's (i like the
    size of the shutter speed selector)... but if somebody wants that
    automation they can go right ahead and get it for all i care. There
    are enough M6 TTL's out there to last me a few lifetimes.
     
  3. I have asked myself the same question. As long as I am able to set the
    corrent time/aperture I wonder what I use the M7 for. However I am
    apparently not the only Leica customer so there might be others who
    will likely use the new features. As long as Leica does not kill their
    own heritage I am fine. And with 5 Leica M6 bodies I will be able to
    inherit some to my kids....
     
  4. There are lots of situations when having the camera pick the
    shutter speed automatically can be handy and not compromise
    the quality of the exposure.

    <p>

    Control comes from knowing when the camera will do the right
    thing and when it will not. Whether you set the shutter speed dial
    by hand or the camera does is not all that important IMHO.
     
  5. Personally, outside of providing a tight (1 degree) spot, it's hard
    for me to see how the M6 could be improved. And it seems as if most
    of the improvements for the M6 have made there way into the M7. As
    far as batteries go, I don't know what to say about someone who
    doesn't carry spare batteries for an important occasion. After all, I
    carry spare batteries for my M6. You can carry enough spare batteries
    for the M7, in a minimum of space to last a lifetime. I think I
    caculated by six spare M7 type batteries take up about as much room
    as 1 AA. I just hope the M7 doesn't become another M5.
     
  6. Allen and others. Even if you don't use the AE feature (and who
    among us would not use it if it were there?), the M7 has other useful
    features. For one thing, it has a more accurate shutter (whether in
    AE or not) with nearly continuous settings. That is to say, the
    shutter accuracy is greater and the exposure accuracy is greater. In
    addition, the VF window is multicoated to reduce RF patch flaring.
    Not to mention high speed sync (1/250-1/1000) with the Metz flash
    unit. These sound like useful features to me. However, others may
    disagree.
     
  7. The M7 is a real Leica.

    <p>

    It work exactly like a M6TTL, but faster.
     
  8. Sorry dude, but a Leica M7 rocks the house and doesn't defeat the
    purpose of Leica M's. Only a crappy photographer will defeat the
    purpose of Leica M. And there is a saying: take a photo by all means
    necessary.
     
  9. It seems if you're under pretty consistent lighting throughout a
    scene there's not much need to fiddle with settings. I preset the
    aperture for lighting and DOF needs, then it's just shutter and focus
    to worry about. I like my M6TTL, got it in Jan. and could've waited
    for the M7.
     
  10. I would better depend on a M7 made by Nikon rather than Leica.
    Until Leica has proven the M7's reliability in the marketplace, I
    will not be convinced. Prove me wrong Leica....I dare you!
     
  11. The main problem I forsee for the autoexposure of the M7 is that
    it makes the exposure from a spot metering, not a center
    weighted or a matrix metering. therefore lots of wrong
    exposures may occur. (when AE lock is not used of course). It is
    the opposite with the spot metering of the M6 that gives the
    photographer the exact exposure after one has decided wich part
    of the photo has the highlights, where are the shadows and
    where exactly to aim the spot metering to get things right!
     
  12. Marco. I don't understand your comments. The metering syste in the
    Leica M7 is exactly the same as that in the M6. There is AE exposure
    lock so you can meter on something appropriate and then recompose.
    You would have to do exactly the same thing with an M5, M6, or
    M6TTL. Only the M7 will give you a more accurate exposure, since the
    shutter speed set is essentially stepless. The M7 was designed to
    give MORE ACCURATE shutter speeds as well as exposures. Of course,
    like any manual exposure system, it must be used with some care and
    thought.

    <p>

    The metering pattern of the M6/TTL and M7 are identical. Neither is
    a spot meter, but a cenral circle corresponding to 13-23% of the film
    image area depending on the distance to which the lens is set. This
    may be considered a "large" spot, but is the pattern preferred by
    Leica, precisely because of the problem you mention with metering a
    timy area not representative of the entire scene.

    <p>

    Kristian. I don't think Leica needs to prove anything to anyone.
    After all, they did develop the first commercially successful 35 mm
    camera and gave produced an excellent series of M cameras and an
    outstanding series of lenses. Anyone who is concerned about the
    first batch of cameras having particular problems can buy the camera
    with USA passport warranty. Any problems will be fixed (or the
    camera replaced) without regard to the cause.

    <p>

    Personally, I would be more concerned buying a state-of-the-art
    autofocus auto everything camera because there are far more things to
    go wrong. Anyway, anyone who doesn't like the electronics
    incorporated into the M7 doesn't have to buy one. But my guess is
    that most of you M users will eventually end up owning an M7 sooner
    or later. The same goes for the M8 and M9 :).
     
  13. Marco is spot on about AE exposure :)

    <p>

    It is quite conceivable that in blotchy contrasty lighting or high
    contrast subjects that the AE exposure is all over the place, thanks
    to the fat spot metering pattern.

    <p>

    Finger tip single exposure AE lock is great, but only for a single
    frame. It is ergonomically awkward to make sure that a sequence of
    frames is consistently exposed, in AE mode, in the sorts of
    situations I have envisaged as being challenging.

    <p>

    To do that, the only solution would be to switch to manual.

    <p>

    Multi-exposure fingertip AE lock, in addition to the single exposure
    lock, (perhaps incorporated into the sliding on/off switch around the
    shutter release) would have greatly increased the value of AE in this
    camera.
     
  14. Mani and Marco. Maybe so. I didn't think of that aspect of the AE
    lock - that you have to repeat this operation for each frame. But if
    use an M motor at 3 FPS (for which I myself have no need), is there
    enough time for the camera to make new AE measurements for each frame
    or will it just use the original AE locked exposure. I would think
    the latter is more likely, but I don't know. This issue only comes
    up because of the AE feature.
     
  15. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    More gadgets to go wrong,more and
    My primary camera is a Mamiya 7. I've used it through the Central American jungle and in North African desert. I've worked in pouring rain in Europe and on the street just about everywhere. I have yet to have a problem, ever, and the Mamiya 7 is more dependent on "gadgets" than the Leica M7.
    I would also point out that the press photographers has delivered consistently from Afghanistan with almost all digital cameras in unbearable conditions and have yet to complain about their equipment. What are you doing that is so much more likely to cause "gadget" failure?
    more dependancy on the tool doing it for you
    Photographers, photographers, always do it for themselves regardless of the equipment.
     
  16. The M7 is one case where I won't be able to offer my opinion for a
    while. Until the bugs in the M7 (and there will be) are documented
    along with their fixes, and the prices fall several hundred dollars
    (and they will) I will continue to use my M6 classics and my Hexar
    RF.
     
  17. I'm sorry Allen, but every time I read something on this forum about
    cameras that are dependent on batteries I have to go look at the
    calendar and see what decade we are living in. Those tiny little dinky
    batteries take up no room and cost next to nothing. The lithiums last
    forever so why not stock up and be prepared for crying out load. If I
    can carry eight extra AA lithiums in an extra holder for my Canon
    EOS-3 just in case, I think I can handle having an extra battery for
    my M-6. Geeezzz!!! And on another note -- the best photographer I ever
    met once said "It ain't the arrows, it's the Indian."
    --------------------------------------------------------------
     
  18. This whole batteries thing is such unadulterated rubbish. You're
    telling us you're worried about batteries, typing on a computer
    connected to a global network of other computers, you watch TV, drive
    a car, use a cellphone, listen to the radio and so on and so on. Go
    and buy some batteries. Put them in your pocket.

    <p>

    If your nikon failed during a wedding it was your fault, not the
    camera's - you should have had a load of spare batteries.

    <p>

    Yes, yes, the Leica philosophy! No batteries = good pictures, the
    best cameras were made fifty years ago, etc etc. What a load of
    nonsense.
     
  19. Isnt everyone missing the point here. The M7 is meant to compliment
    the M6 ttl which is going to still be produced alongside the M7.
    They are 2 different cameras and will always be preferred by some
    people and hated by others. Lets see if they are more reliable than
    the first R8 cameras! ;]
     
  20. Sometimes I wish I worked for Leica. Like right now. Never a dull day! Just imagine having worked on the M7 project for the last few years and now the thing is coming out.
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]Read all about it![/FONT]
    Hundreds of [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]"Wow!"s[/FONT], hundreds of [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]"Eee!"s[/FONT].
    All at the same time!
     
  21. Sorry cannot resist, have to say this.When you change clothes dont
    forget your batteries.Make sure you have got the right ones.Get your
    wife to remind when you go out to say dont forget your batteries.Make
    sure you dont drop them out of your pocket.I just love them anyone
    got a spare battery for a *****.
     
  22. Gee, we Leica photographers must be sorry lot! Nearly every other
    35mm camera on the planet needs batteries to operate these days and
    yet people make great photos with them. Yet it appears from some of
    the above posts that Leica shooters are just too darned stupid to put
    an extra set of batteries in their camera case.
     
  23. How is your new FlashBangWallopm896.I hear you do not have to bother
    to turn
    it on,or even bother to press that bothersome shutter release.Just say
    take,hold on tight and it whirls around taking photos.It even took
    some nice
    photos 40miles away and some of the craters of the moon.l hear is has
    improved your eye for a good photo and improved your tech skills.And
    if you
    do not like what it took just change them in photoshop super to what
    you
    thik they should have been like.I am sure it has brought out the real
    photographer in you.That pink leatherette battery holder for it is
    really
    wow,looks as good as the camera.And the company has kept to
    tradition by
    othering it in the original colors.Luky you
     
  24. On the battery issue...

    <p>

    Howevver, the average technoblitz camera winds up in the trash
    in 10-15 years. A Leica can reasonably be expected to last over
    50 years. Will the required batteries still be available in 50
    years? I dunno. I have my dad's old Instamatic fromm the 70's
    that took Mercury cells. Can't get batteries for it any more. With
    an M6TTL, in 50 years you still have a good manual camera
    (sans meter) if the batteries go away. With an M7, well, may be
    you retrofit an M6 shutter to it ;-)
     
  25. Watch me get branded as uptight for this.
    I've got a Konica Hexar that works well for me, and I just traded for an M6. My wife and I will be spending something like a year overseas (Guatemala, Honduras -- don't know for sure as she'll be an MD but not board certified yet. We're working on the details) in places where even Peace Corps workers have problems with parasites because you can't pack in enough firewood to be able to boil all the water you drink (no roads or infrastructure).
    I find the idea of a camera that will work fine without film to be very comforting. I don't know that I could do the same with 2 available shutter speeds as I could with the full range of speeds available -- I could very likely make it work, but not nearly as well.
    That's not to say that I make camera decisions based on whether the cameras are fully manual or not (though in MF I am drawn toward Hasselblad 500's and Rollei TLR's), but I think it's reasonable for some of us to say it's one of the features we look at.
    Of course, if you never leave the city then these concerns might not affect you at all.
     
  26. Hi folks !

    <p>

    Use this:

    <p>

    http://users.skynet.be/fotoshopping/m6bh.jpg

    <p>

    (copy and paste in your browser, I don't know how to put links here.
    sorry)

    <p>

    a little accessory sold with every Minolta X-Series camera. It holds
    2 PX76 batteries. And for the M7 ? Take 2 of them ..... :)

    <p>

    Michael
     
  27. Derek, isn't there a middle way here? Sure in very extreme
    circumstances that few of us are likely to find ourselves in, a
    mechanical camera makes sense. But even if you leave the city for a
    month, taking a few batteries along isn't the end of the world!

    <p>

    You're obviously going to have the time of your life, congrats.
     
  28. Why do most pros carry a machanical camera as back up.Due to probs
    with batteries.Runout,failure,none obtainable in location.Did not
    take anought.OR FORGOT. To read some of the comments posted nobody
    has every forgot anything ,they are perfect people.The laws of the
    universe also say... your batteries will fail at the most awkward
    time and place.How easy to misplace/lose to little silver bats.bottom
    line take hand held meter get better results,if you loose it etc you
    can still takr photos anyway.
     
  29. As a recent convert to the
     
  30. Lets see. I think the question is "Why an M7?"

    <p>

    OK-Pretend you're Leica AG. You want to survive of course, yet
    remain true to your heritage and fans. How do you do that? You do so
    by an evolutionary upgrade to your premium RF product.

    <p>

    In this case by providing additional circutry and electromagnetic
    controls to the existing mechanical horizontally traveling focal
    plane shutter that has been around for close to 90 years. They've
    got some experience there, witness the R series as far as
    electronically controlled shutters.

    <p>

    As a result you have a camera with AE priority and a more accurate
    exposure control. This will expand their market in two areas. First
    the "neck jewelry" crowd, who only want a Leica to impress their
    friends and now will be able to "run it" and produce at least
    properly exposed images, and second, those pros who already realize
    the benefits of Leica glass, but often need the speed that will be
    provided by the AE capability. The rest of us will just benefit from
    the more accurate shutter.

    <p>

    To the purists out there that bemoan the fact that that the all
    mechanical shutter is passing on, Leica knows that over time
    you're "passing on" to, and ultimately, that's not good for their
    business. They may not be able to stop that from happening, but they
    must recognize it and act accordingly.

    <p>

    In the M7 they have responded to and rewarded that loyalty. If I
    choose to put lenses almost 80 years old on an M7 I'll be able to.
    By sticking with a horizontally traveling FP shutter, they've been
    able to retain a body shape that has been around and loved for almost
    50 years.

    <p>

    And if they are able to survive for another 5 decades, I suspect that
    they will be producing parts for the M7 inhouse at that time, as they
    now do so for the bulk of the parts that go into the M3.

    <p>

    I don't think I can add much to the above posts regarding batteries.
    The Ms have required them for 18 years now for full operation. If
    the lesson has not been learned in some quarters to carry spares it
    never will be. Does anyone know of a currently produced premium (or
    even cheap) 35mm camera that does not require them? Of course,
    should they fail, the M7 still offers some function, albeit reduced.

    <p>

    I doubt seriously if the M6TTL will continue to be produced. If you
    want one simply buy a M7 and turn off the AE, or pick up either a new
    one from the existing inventories, or a used one. If history is any
    guide, there appear to be used Ms always available. If you want a
    new M6 though, I think you better get one in the near term. I don't
    think Leica is big enough now, nor will their business ever be again,
    to devote resources to production of two M bodies as they did some 20
    years ago in the past. And even that was less than 1000 M4Ps
    concurrent to the M6. Before that you have to go back to the 60's
    with M2/3 RF bodies.

    <p>

    All said and done, I think they made the most logical of moves, with
    concessions both to the past and future. The M7 is the result. They
    fully realize that while they can't be revolutionary, neither can
    they stand still.

    <p>

    Best,

    <p>

    Jerry
     
  31. Derek,

    <p>

    If you "find the idea of a camera that works with out film"
    comforting, then I presume you'll be going digital. You'll need
    batteries there to.

    <p>

    Have a great trip.

    <p>

    Jerry
     
  32. As I was saying before I accidently hit return; I'm amazed Leica
    didn't take a bigger risk and leap forwards. IMO they seem to hung up
    with producing 'collectors' cameras rather than working tools. If you
    want automation - get a Hexar RF, if you want RF on a budget - get a
    Voigtlander. I bought a very 'user' M6 recently and it's a tool, a
    means to an end and it does the job very well but it's not perfect.
    If I were leica I would have taken the 'M' concept further; a revised
    body shape with a moulded grip and rubberised covering to make the
    camera feel even more a part of the user, weather seals like the pro
    SLR useres have, a narrower meter area, single framelines, shutter
    readout and a faster top speed. Auto exposure is no use if you have
    a narrow area - it's a gimick why not do it properly and do matrix
    metering? I have often thought of the similarities between the M
    cameras and the Porsche 911 (I'm not going to list them as there are
    too many) but would you buy a 911 with an auto gerabox?
     
  33. Jerry,
    if you turn the AE on the M7 off, from what I have read in
    magazines, the M7 will be left with just two mechanically-set
    shutter speeds : 1/60 s and 1/125 s. Now if thats true, that would
    be very constricting for shooting. I may be wrong, so someone
    with more direct information can give more clarity on this.
     
  34. Hello Sparkie,

    <p>

    All the shutter speeds are running even in manual mode. The 1/60s and
    1/125s are mechanical speeds and works also without batteries.

    <p>

    Michael
     
  35. Thanks Michael. Does this apply to when the batteries run out?
    Will all manual shutter speeds still work? Or will you only be left
    with a box that can operate on only two speeds. Thanks,
     
  36. You got me. Everyone, please substitute "batteries" for "film" in my above post -- I think most knew what I meant though.

    <p>

    As far as batteries or not, I don't see it as a big issue. The F5 was the biggest consumer of power I've ever used, and I only had
    problems with batteries the first time I used it for a serious shoot (40+ rolls, took 2 changes of batteries and I was *out*); this was
    remedied by purchasing a NiMH battery and carrying about 20 AA's as backups.

    <p>

    My Hexar does fine, my Sony (filmless!) digital camera does fine, etc. But operation without batteries *is* a valid feature to be
    looking for in a camera for some subset of the population (think running 10 rolls per day for a year in a place without electricity,
    running water, or roads; photography in really cold environments; bicycling across China for a couple of years where the availability of
    odd-sized batteries is nonexistent). One shouldn't be attacked or called names ("luddite!") for pointing out that one of the features
    Leica M cameras have *always* had has been removed.

    <p>

    IMHO, of course. Apologies in advance for misspellings and misstatements (and lack of hyphens.)
     
  37. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Why do most pros carry a machanical camera as back up
    to They don't. This is a myth. A few years ago, I spent some time with a very successful (Aperture published his book etc etc) war photographer who works primarily in the jungle. He carried two cameras dependent on batteries. Period. That's where most photographers are at these days.
     
  38. To answer a few points raised.
    1.The auto everthing people will never be happy until the camera
    leaves the house on its own,takes the pictures and returns wagging
    its tail,while they watch television.They like Leicas as a fashion
    statement.
    2.Leica have survived all these years because of the, so called
    purists,and many more will join the ranks because the Leica is a
    purist camera and proud of it.Real photographers undestand these
    facts.
    3.The M6 is the flag ship in the Leica range,the most successful by
    far and the sales of other products are based on its reputation.
    4.The m6 has been so successfull that other manuf have emulated it.
    For example would we have a metal bodied nikon f5.etc.
    3.Leica by introducing the M to the auto everthing market are in a
    very real danger of loosing those purists who have stuck by them.
    4.Nikon already in that market with the fm,hex,volt who are producing
    cameras now which are mechanical without battery or any other
    dependancy.I wonder why.
    5.Quality non dependancy will always win throught.Even the auto
    people are starting to get bored with button pressing.
    6.If the M7 could be switched to full manual mode i would be
    happy ,there is a big market among the flashbangers.But Leica to
    compete in that market changing their flag ship into Fashbang camera
    will be in the meduim to long term a grave mistake.Flashbangers by
    their nature always want the latest.The m will end up like the r at
    the poor end of the market unable to keep up.
    7.Better if the m was left alone and compete with a new camera or the
    r range.
     
  39. I don't think you have to be in favour of automation in cameras to
    want the M7. I'm getting one and I don't intend to use the aperture
    priority at all (probably will sometimes though; my wife certainly
    will). I want it for the more accurate shutter speeds, the on/off
    switch, and being able to tell whether a film is loaded. DX is
    convenient (but I wouldn't buy it for that alone). The new flash
    features (HSS and rear curtain) sound useful, but I had them on my
    F90 and never used them.

    <p>

    Nigel
     
  40. The point i am trying to make is the M is starting to move into the
    wrong market.One of the important features on the M was the fact it
    could be operated in a purely mechanical way.Now only partly,what
    next on the M8.As for the so called myth i could fill 50 pages of top
    pros who use mechanical cameras as backup.Get real batteries fail in
    extreme tempatures ask the manufactures of them.
     
  41. Yes Sparkie, you will be left with a box that can operate on only two speeds ... but I don't think this is a real problem. Like the most guys in this forum (?) , I mean that carrying spare batteries is not a real problem. Have a look at my solution : batterie carrier for neck-strap from Minolta. Ask for them in a well sorted photo-shop >>>
    [​IMG]
    it carries to PX76 batteries (take 2 of them for the M7)
    Michael
     
  42. nice little gadget michael. pity about the M7 box when theres no
    'juice'. at least i can still use my M6TTL with my Weston
    lightmeter when my batteries run out. best,
     
  43. yeh, you get my vote allen.
     
  44. "The auto everthing people will never be happy until the camera
    leaves the house on its own,takes the pictures and returns wagging
    its tail,while they watch television.They like Leicas as a fashion
    statement."

    <p>

    Come on guys, you know he's right!
     
  45. Sorry cant help it...........is there a gadget to fit a pork my on my
    lenses strap.
     
  46. mean pork pie
     
  47. Sorry Allen, my english isn't good enough to understand what you mean
    by 'pork pie'...

    <p>

    Michael
     
  48. ok hamburger
     
  49. I think it's a kind of hat. Not worn by yorkshiremen.

    <p>

    By the way, isn't the whole premise of this thread mistaken -
    shouldn't it be "Why _an_ M7"? Not "Why _uh_ M7". I suggest we start
    again under the newer, fresher heading.

    <p>

    Oh god - my puppy just ran off with the toilet paper - what do I do
    now?
     
  50. Allen, problems to explain ? I didn't know Hamburg was in Belgium. A
    bientôt, malpoli.
     
  51. Sorry to sound rude but i get fed up with all this gadget techonology,
    when really it only gets in the way,and encourages us at to become
    button pressers.
     
  52. My computer is clockwork, actually.
     
  53. Shame is not you could use it anywhere.nice little battery bag at...
    any colour.
     
  54. Ok Allen, that's exactly my opinion but I don't think that 'button
    pressers' will buy an M7 and if they do, it's certainly not for
    taking pictures but in place of a new cartier watch and if they
    contribue by this way to the survive of the Leica company, it's ok
    for me. Hope M6 will be continued ... and WE will never become button
    pressers.
     
  55. Probably many of us have seen the documentary on CBS about 09/11.
    These highly emotional images were recorded by a all digital video
    camera. I am still meditating about the possibility of modern
    electronics under extremely severe conditions. I am not sure my M6s
    could have resisted to such a stress and still record image...
     
  56. Sparkie,

    <p>

    I believe that when you turn AE to off on the M7, you're left with
    virtually an M6 TTL albeit with an electronically controlled
    mechanical horizontally traveling cloth fp shutter. Otherwise why
    would they still have included the two opposing arrowheads and the
    center red dot in the VF? What use would they be? How would you
    expose a subject contrary to what the either the AE mode reads, or
    what it reads in the current M6 (TTL or otherwise).

    <p>

    As he has had one hands on for a week or two, perhaps Lucian can put
    that issue to rest.

    <p>

    On the Weston meter. I use my Master V occasionally with the
    incident attachment. However I hold little hope that when the
    selenium cell goes replacements will be available. Particularly a
    few years down the road. If the market isn't there, whos going to
    bother?

    <p>

    Best,

    <p>

    Jerry
     
  57. Yes you are wrong Allen.

    <p>

    Don't forget Leica is a compny, they create things which are sold.
    The more they sell the happier the workers are.

    <p>

    I would not think it is worth to jeopardise a whole company to keep a
    myth.

    <p>

    But photography does not sell good these days. A friend, the street
    corner photographer says all the profession is suffering.

    <p>

    Just a comment: if you car has ABS brake system and power steering,
    sell it, you never know, it can go wrong.... If you have a mobile,
    forget it, it will never work properly.

    <p>

    In other ways, consummer electronics have been better lately.
    Cheers.
    X.
     
  58. Yes. And when there is a power outage, Allen Herbert will probably
    walk around in the dark because he doesn't trust his battery operated
    flashlight. There are now three inane posts on the same subject.
    Enough is enough. Can we raise the caliber of the discussion on this
    site. It's the 21st century. Batteries are here to stay.
     
  59. Where are we going when a Leica user(MAYBE)compares photography with
    mobile phones,Abs brakes.Keep clicking my friend one day you will get
    a goodun.Ha!
     
  60. And the Myth ,which is not a myth, has kept it going.
     
  61. Allen and Michael,

    <p>

    I have used Leica cameras since 1960, and during that time, in each
    of the over 60,000 plus images I have captured, it was necessary
    to "press the button" for each and every one! Don't think that makes
    me a "button presser" in the context you envision.

    <p>

    Please take the time to review the history of Leitz/Leica, going back
    even before they made their first photographic tool. Whatever they
    have produced, they have always endeavored to fashion the most
    precision of tools that they were capable of for its stated purpose,
    starting with their microscopes, and continuing through to the bodies
    and lenses of today.

    <p>

    During the whole of that time, they have never introduced a
    revolutionary product. Rather they have chosen to take the
    evolutionary road, and the only time they stepped off that path (the
    M5) they learned their lesson quickly. There only goals are to
    survive to enable them to continue that heritage.

    <p>

    Perhaps the question should be reversed. What do each of you think
    should have been done to the M6TTL as a next "evolutionary" step? Or
    do you think they should now or ever, have done nothing at all?

    <p>

    Jerry
     
  62. As i have already said with a option to go fully manual.
     
  63. "M7 seems to defeat the whole idea of leica Ms...Leica need to read
    their own brochure.It seems to me they are loosing their way."

    <p>

    Allen, I agree with you completely.

    <p>

    Tacking on a little AE, without making it the best, most ergonomic
    and fluid AE is a hesitant, pointless little step.
     
  64. Were the same kind of doubts expressed during the evolution of the R
    cameras? After all, apart from the R 6/6.2, R cameras have always
    been battery-dependent and offer much more automation than the M7,
    with both aperture priority and shutter priority AE, variable program
    mode, as well as electronically-timed manual mode. Did they come in
    for the same amount of criticism, or do RF users have different
    tastes from SLR users? The R6.2, with its all-mechanical shutter and
    ability to operate without batteries if need be, has proved to be so
    unpopular that Leica has discontinued its production; yet the all-
    electronic R8, which is absolutely dependent on batteries, is still
    in production. No manual speeds on the R8!
     
  65. Why an M7?

    <p>

    Because without it,and other evolutions,Leica,in my opinion
    won't survive. There are too many photographers out there who
    want,for each their own reasons,cameras with more features.
    If Leica continues to ignore them they're doomed.Companies such as
    Contax have taken a significant amount of this segment away from
    Leica and with it,much needed capital to remain viable. Likewise,
    they would be making a huge mistake if they ceased production
    of the M6.
     
  66. Jerry,

    <p>

    don't misunderstand me. I like the M7 and as soon as possible I will
    get one. With button-presser I mean those people who come in my photo-
    store. Many of them have expensive P+S cameras like Contax T and when
    they ask me about the Leica M6 I have to tell them that they better
    take a Contax G2 because they don't even know what is shutter speed
    and aperture. If I sell an M6, they will never make a good picture
    and won't come back to my store.
     
  67. I always thought if you want a fully automated, bells 'n' whistles
    Leica you get the R8. If you want a fully mechanical Leica you get the
    M6TTL. That up till now was logical and clear (IMHO). Now with the M7,
    its a little itsy, bitsy. Sort of like a blind man who has lost his
    cane and doesnt know to go forward or backwards or stay-put. Instead
    has gone sideways. Dont mean to sound sarcasatic, but there is one
    truth, and that is you can't please everybody all of the time with one
    product.

    <p>

    Hi Jerry,
    I use a Weston Euromaster, and these selenium batteries are supposed to
    last between 20-25 years. If it dies, it dies completely and not a
    half-assed reading. So you will KNOW when it has died and gone to
    selenium heaven. The company here in the UK that makes them still in
    the guise of the Weston Euromaster II will replace, check and calibrate
    your oldie for a reasonable price. These meters have gone to the north
    pole and back and still keep reading.

    <p>

    Best,
     
  68. .I WOULD HAVE SOLD THEM A M6, AND GIVEN THEM A GOOD PHOTO BOOK(FREE)
    AND MARKED THE CHAPTER ON AP AND SP.THEY WOULD HAVE GOT A LOT MORE
    OUT OF PHOTOGRAPHY.AND YOU WOULD HAVE GOT A VERY HAPPY LONG TERM
    CUSTOMER.TO MY MIND ANYONE WHO WANTS TO SPEND THAT MUCH ON
    PHOTOGRAPHY DESERVES THE EFFORT.UNLESS THEY JUST WANT A JEWEL TO WEAR
     
  69. Ohmigod, he's started shouting now...
     
  70. Oops must have pressed the wrong button,activated one of the Strutting
    Peacocks.
     
  71. Gentlemen,

    <p>

    Excuse me to intrude in this discussion.

    <p>

    It seems to me two different questions are mixed here and that's why
    the argument is getting so harsh and nobody seems to be
    understanding each other.

    <p>

    In the messages of Mr. Allen Herbert I see a "philosophical"
    statement more than a technical one. For him, the M camera should
    remain what it was because it represents the lack of any kind of
    automatism and the real masterization of photography bt the man (or
    the woman) behind the camera. This I can't agree with nor condemn
    either. Just because each photographer facing his subjects has his
    own method and what is important is what is on the print at the end.

    <p>

    But I can't agree with the old and, in my opinion, completely
    obsolete debate about the use of batteries.

    <p>

    Someone in this thread made a revealing goof in formulatiing his
    opinion about the alleged consequence of being battery dependent.

    <p>

    He confused battery and film... If he, or anybody else, could tell
    me why it is less difficult to find spare film in remote areas than
    it is to find spare batteries, please let me know...

    <p>

    Going to such remote areas you must bring with you the spare films
    in sufficient quantity and I see few problems (moreover with the
    small volume they represent for a M7 or even for an Hexar RF like
    mine when compared to what should be necessary for a modern
    motorized reflex SLR) why it is "sooooooo" difficult to get the
    necessary quantity of spare batteries. So that point seems to me
    irrelevant to consider as a liability to condemn the new M7. By the
    mechanical operation is not a guarantee of being ever able to
    operate properly... One year ago my faithful M5 had a broken shutter
    curtain mechanism in the midst of a picture scession and there was
    no way to fix it immediately (finally it ended its eventful life,
    the camera being economically impossible to repair at all). Nowadays
    (I knew the time it was not so, I'm an old photographer) electronic
    components had proven to be as reliable as mechanical ones. So I
    think the debate is totally pointless. We are not talking about the
    interest of an old fashioned motorcycle used in remote areas and
    which could be fixed by the local blacksmith, obviously something
    which give it a decisive advantage from a modern all electronic
    regulated state of the art new one. We are talking of a very high
    precision device which mechanical or electronical can't be fixed
    anyway in such remote areas... To be fair the only likely problem
    you can have with a battery operated camera is cold weather
    operation. But since many years, it has been addresed by most
    serious manufacturers with separate battery packs you can put in
    your warm pocket... So it is no more something technically unsolved.
    Finally, you'd better remember the M6 is ALREADY battery dependent
    as far as its metering system is concerned... So Mr. Herbert, why
    don't you chose an M4 or even an M3 here is a real all mechanical
    camera with no battery at all... By the way why not chose an Ur-
    Leica by the way as the coupled rangefinder is not indispensable the
    photog. may in fact appreciate the distances by himself doesn't he?
    And you'll get an even more reliable camera because it will lack a
    feature that - after all - can be a source of malfunction :))).

    <p>

    Metering... Someone mentioned the Weston meter with selenium... Not
    battery dependent of course... I had the occasion to use a Weston
    and no doubt it was a fine meter. BUT, if you try nowadays to find a
    Weston which the selenium element is still in proper useable
    condition you might have to travel a long way... Most are definitely
    dead as the selenium element is not due to last forever... So to say
    battery dependence for metering will be something you'd better get
    used to anyway. I don't know any manufacturer currently producing a
    selenium meter today.

    <p>

    Considering these elements, is the way taken by Leica a reasonable
    one?

    <p>

    My answer is definitely YES... As a candid shot camera "by
    excellence", to have an AE mode if required (remember this not a
    mandatory automatic camera) is a real "plus" Leica M USERS had
    strived for a (too) long time ! ...

    <p>

    Did they succeed in upgrading the original design a way it both
    brings the M camera at the forefront of small format cameras as was
    once the Leica rangefinder series and so justifiy a very heavy price?

    <p>

    My answer is NO... Sadly, but firmly NO.

    <p>

    Up to and including the most dispelled M5 (this is pure injustice
    considering things from a user's point of view), Leica was ever
    including top notch state of the art features to their M camera
    bodies... Thereafter they were unable to cope with the state of the
    art in camera bodies and maintained there position because they were
    the only company to produce a rangefinder body with interchangeable
    lens (these of an unsurpassed quality by the way)which concept is
    the only one to keep the small format camera specific advantages for
    what they really are worth: limited volume, capabilities to operate
    in small contrast, low light conditions at full aperture with a
    perfect focusing no AF could match in such situations, silence. Add
    to this (unfortunately for the prices we pay for) the snobs
    and "collectors"... The M6 was only a kind of attempt to put things
    back on the tracks with TTl metering. Almost 15 years after near to
    ALL the other 35 mm cameras had already included such a feature.

    <p>

    Unfortunately, the much awaited and hoped for M7 - as a good camera
    it might be intrinsically - is still a latecomer. The only points it
    is really superior to my Hexar RF (if you excepts the 0.58 variant)
    is a better finder with more effective base of measure for the
    rangefinder (hardly decisive if don't use frequently tele-lenses or
    high end fast lenses at full aperture) and Konica could easily
    correct the Hexar defect with a magnifier as an accessory, just as
    Leica recently did... The second advantage being the manual advance
    and the associated perfect silence... Unless you specialize in live
    entertainement photography the very small noise of the Hexar RF
    integrated motor is hardly a liability. But, more important, both
    these advantages were already present in an M6 ! ...

    <p>

    TTL flash I hear you say ? Again something present in the M6 TTL.
    Moreover, if TTL falsh is something valuable, how about the limit at
    1/50th of a second to synchronize it ? The Hexar RF has
    unfortunately no TTL flash but it synchronizes at 1/125th of a
    second and this with any flash unit. The M7 could only operate a
    single Metz unit up to 1/1000th of a second but beside being obliged
    to buy this precise flash unit, fill-in will be as tricky as with
    the Hexar as you lost TTL measure on the way! ... And most of the
    time, using a rangefinder camera means the flash is better used as a
    fill-in device, don't you think so ??

    <p>

    Finally, the M7 is still using the Leica way to load films... Really
    a piece of crap ! Not only slow but also dangerous in difficult
    action situation as you might well have troubles not loosing the
    body plate which fully separates from the camera...

    <p>

    So what do you really get for more than twice the price of an Hexar
    RF... Practically VERY few ...

    <p>

    And that's the great mistake and the point where the M7 is liable to
    be criticized...

    <p>

    On the contrary to Allen Herbert, I think Leica didn't went as far
    as they should have done to produce the first 21st century RF camera.

    <p>

    I must prize them for not going to the AF (which is unable to be
    precise enough to match a classical rangefinder) but (I hate to say
    that) to keep an already obsolescent concept with their shutter
    (which could have permitted 1/2000th of a second and much more
    important be synchronized at 1/250th of a second) just to keep two
    magnificiently useless mechanical speeds is stupid (not to mention
    the more economical way a fully electronic shutter could be produced
    and assembled and the related and necessary lower price the body
    could have been sold). To have kept the metering to a mere AE + AE
    lock mode is sheer non-sense... I think you can do almost as fast
    with manual settings if you have to recompose and automatic mode is
    strictly justified only when maximum speed of operation is needed
    (at least for any serious photog. having some familiarity with Ansel
    Adams theories and their use in practice)and the only auto-mode to
    permit "push button operation" with a real chance to get a
    technically good pic is matrix measuring. For symetrical reasons in
    manual mode, the best can only be extracted with a very precise spot
    measure. Leica has kept the (bad) compormise of an heavily centered
    measure both in automatic and manual mode. And last but not least
    the pesky loading system has been kept...

    <p>

    The result is clear the M7 is much too expensive for what it is
    worth and does not offer any significant improvement not only over
    the M6 TTL but over the much less overpriced Hexar RF.

    <p>

    If someone has already read the excellent test of it by Mr. Putts,
    it is also clear that if no "Leica killing" features were
    incorporated in the Hexar RF it is because Konica was trying to
    reach an agreement with Leica... As these negotiations failed, I
    doubt the next evolution of the Hexar RF will be so deliberately
    limited not to compete directly with the M bodies... Only had a
    better finder with 0.72 magnification and an adaptable magnifier and
    TTL capabilities (and why not 1/250th sync. speed) and you're equal
    or bettter than the M7 for half its price. Add matrix metering in AE
    mode and spot metering in manual mode (and if possible manual
    advance or silent mode for the motor) and you've got a "Leica
    killer"...

    <p>

    I waited a long, long, time for the M7 to appear... I dreamt of real
    state of the art range finder camera, I didn't get it with the M7. I
    don't think I'll go back now to Leica bodies... Sad to say that as a
    long time Leica buff... But I'm a user, not a collector.

    <p>

    As a final, I must also say to the one who told us the lack of
    proper battery will forbid him to use his cherished Leica M7 fifty
    years from now, he is very unrealistic... He must consider instead
    being short of film supply much earlier than of proper battery units.
    True, unless you can afford an astronomical sum to buy a very high
    definition digital back for a medium or large format camera, silver
    based emulsion is still the best to take pictures. But face the
    facts, with a high end film scanner an the proper printer you can
    already get prints in A3 format from a 35 mm film which equals in
    quality the classical color prints (and if you use bichrome function
    in Photoshop even match very good classical B&W prints by the way).
    Tomorrow, you'll do exactly the same with digital cameras (not the
    ones designed today for digital only but our good old models with
    appropriate backs and full format sensors)... Leica M7 backward
    looking way of loading is not only a practical liability but
    precludes the use of such a full format digital back... Not so with
    the Hexar... THINK about this important shortcoming twice before
    buying...

    <p>

    Friendly to all, from a disappointed Leica fan from France

    <p>

    François P. WEILL
     
  72. François said:

    <p>

    Metering... Someone mentioned the Weston meter with
    selenium... Not battery dependent of course... I had the occasion
    to use a Weston and no doubt it was a fine meter. BUT, if you try
    nowadays to find a Weston which the selenium element is still in
    proper useable condition you might have to travel a long way...
    Most are definitely dead as the selenium element is not due to
    last forever... So to say battery dependence for metering will be
    something you'd better get used to anyway. I don't know any
    manufacturer currently producing a selenium meter today.
    ANSWER:

    <p>

    Still being made in England today by Megatron. You can email
    them from your computer or ring them to mail order direct. They
    are not as elusive as the holy grail. And are about as far as
    reaching for your keyboard or phone.

    <p>

    http://www.megatron.co.uk/euromaster2/

    <p>

    For background and history:
    http://WestonMaster.com/indexa.htm

    <p>

    For repairs Megatron do it also, or check this:
    http://people.smu.edu/rmonagha/mf/weston.html

    <p>

    Best,
     
  73. Allen,

    <p>

    this is why it's better you don't have a camera store (I know that
    you don't want to own one). I'm very amused about your reactions.
    Thank you.
     
  74. just a thought M ,nice to put a smile on a face,you are right i
    dont.Could never handle all those buttons. Regards Allen
     
  75. For him, the M camera should remain what it was because it represents
    the lack of any kind of automatism and the real masterization of
    photography by the man (or the woman) behind the camera.

    <p>

    I could have not put it better... thanks
     
  76. and i would get all my batteries mixed up.and someones mega-skyraker
    zoom would not work...oops lost a customer.And someone would hit me
    over the head with their free photo book thinking I,m taking the
    p***,hope i dont have bad dreams tonight.
     
  77. ... Considering that, in his first post two days ago, Allen was
    asking about the suitability of the M vs. R for his shooting,
    yesterday he had made the decision to go with an M, and today he's an
    experienced M6 owner worried about Leica's glorious tradition, it
    seems pretty obvious we're dealing with a pure-bred troll.

    <p>

    Very, very amusing ...
     
  78. Let's go to LOST SOUL ... bye here.
     
  79. I forgot ... with a little stop at M7 MISTAKE.
     
  80. Enjoy, i am sure you will find them more interesting,and with a lot
    more input than your usual discussions about the best lense cap for a
    canon, Regards Allen
     
  81. Allen, can’t you be serious !

    <p>

    I’m sure you’re a passionate lover of your M… Something no one
    having ever used a M body can honestly deny to have been. But please
    face the facts. Your point of view is perfectly respectable but not
    really practical anymore for the specific kind of photography a M is
    dedicated to.

    <p>

    I have been “educated” in photography at a time the amateur world
    hardly used any meter (Selenium and hand held of course). B&W was
    pretty much the only kind of film used, color being a “deluxe”
    feature hardly affordable by the average photog. They now say their
    B&W films were never more tolerant in exposure than today. They may
    be right when using test beds in their laboratories. But we all know
    the other part of the process, I mean printing, is done on very poor
    paper (of the plastic variety) by the average people and that even
    the highest class of classical paper so called “archival” or “fine
    art” is hardly the equivalent of a standard quality paper of the
    60’s … It means that your negative can have better registered the
    information than before but it will be impossible to print them
    correctly if slightly off in exposure. Practically exposure should
    be almost as accurate as with a slide to get a print I will describe
    as “merely acceptable” with plastic paper and say rather good with
    a “deluxe” classic paper (unless you are an expert printer
    compensating with masks and other tricks the mediocre quality of the
    paper). Not to mention the fact that you’ll have a hard time finding
    a way to glaze your prints perfectly with what is left to do so on
    the market today (and with a sky high price)…

    <p>

    I’m sure 90% of the work is now done with color film and serious
    work, we all know that can’t be done but with slide films to be
    exposed within 1/3 of a stop…

    <p>

    So to say a meter is now a must.

    <p>

    Thanks to Sparkie I know now a Weston is still available … So far so
    good, but (I went to the site he indicated) it is far more limited
    in metering range than my Sekonic which happens to be a flash-meter
    too (yes SOMETIMES I need to change the batteries …). Now I must
    confess I use my hand held meter more in the incident way than the
    reflected mode and you know why ? Just because it is easier and
    faster to measure in the reflective mode with a TTL meter and you
    can chose your point of measure better by the way.

    <p>

    I have nothing against using a totally manual and mechanical camera
    even devoid of any TTL measure though. And in fact before my
    Hasselblad was stolen I did it more than often… But this way to take
    pictures belongs to subjects that are not fleeting ones… Not the
    ones I usually tackle with my old M5 and now with my Hexar RF… With
    this kind of camera I want to record LIFE… Spontaneous, candid
    shots.

    <p>

    Did you know the famous Cartier Bresson, using an M3 when shooting
    the May 1968 events in Paris got completely overexposed films… His
    images were saved only because he was Mr. Cartier Bresson by the
    laboratory producing intermediate negatives (one could easily
    imagine what would have been the outcome for an unknown freelance
    photographer coming with such badly exposed negatives)? Here is the
    truth behind the myth surrounding the great old times of fully
    manual guesswork photography ! …

    <p>

    The real question is what kind of photography you practice with your
    M… If you do the same work I did with my Hasselblad, then I
    understand perfectly your point: true the manual way makes the
    photographer think twice before shooting and I think it is the best
    way. But is it really what the M (and before it all the other Leica
    models) was conceived to do ? I don’t think so… They were made with
    action and life in mind. And the M5 and the M6 were better suited
    than a M4 to do so because of TTL metering, so is the M7 with the
    option IF REQUIRED to use AE mode and a better M7 with matrix would
    have been the ideal tool for today.

    <p>

    I agree with you when you imply “gadgetry” as found on most of the
    35 mm SLR of today (including the AF unless you use a long fast tele-
    lens for action photography) is useless and even makes the
    photographer lazy, making him lose contact with what he does and
    control (AF epitomizing the point because it generally precludes the
    rational use of depth of field in the pictures for lack of proper
    engraved indications on the lens barrel and proper resistance to
    maintain the chosen focus position: a clear cased of “imposed
    automatism”). But please, admit each time an automatism is ACTUALLY
    fully optional, its use (or no use) is the result of the
    photographer’s deliberate choice… So it does no harm at all, on the
    contrary it just broadens the capabilities to register some kind of
    image otherwise impossible to record (or only recorded by chance).
    For me FRAMING and the TIME you press the button are the main
    decisions you take. Then come (but only then) the choice of the
    exposure… Just because you must have time to do so… Which is
    obviously not ever the case in real life photography.

    <p>

    That’s why I’m convinced the problem with the M7 is exactly the
    opposite of what you describe, it is not too “automatic” (that would
    have been the case if it was auto mode only, or AF equipped) but
    insufficiently automatic when automatism use is required by the
    subject.

    <p>

    Friendly

    <p>

    François P. WEILL
     
  82. Your thoughts are well put.and deserve an equally well thought out
    answer,this i will post soon. Regards Allen
     
  83. With practice exposure,speedsettings become a state of mind.No
    exposure meter will ever be as accurate as the human mind.This is
    only achieved with practice,and more practice.There is a satisfaction
    on its own in achieving this skill.Many Leica users and others are
    already there.A auto everthing or just a little bit of auto is a
    barrier.By our nature we follow the easy option,hence the growth in
    auto everthing, not just in cameras.We are always rushing to the next
    moment.Most experienced non auto focus users will focus their camera
    as quick as the auto man.Okay many people cannot be bothered with all
    this,just want a picture,i really feel they are missing out on part
    of the photographic experience.

    <p>

    This is my the first part of my answer,i will follow in parts to the
    rest of your thoughts.

    <p>

    You really Know how to get people to put their thing caps on.Regards
    Allen
     
  84. Second part
    Leica is only a small company in cannot compete in resources with the
    nikon canon giants etc.It relies on its quality of product.which in
    my opion is the very best.And yes, i do believe in that extra
    something which is in a Leica photo.Yes i do believe that Leica
    should produce a auto everything in conjuction with one of the
    giants,who would love to use the name LEICA.I do not think they have
    the money on their own.Hass did it with one of the giants.But i still
    believe they should keep a fully manual camera as part of their
    heritage and for people like me.There is a interest in manual cameras
    and it is growing,giants do not waste money.The Leica is what they
    are measured by,these new manuals.Have to have a rest know.
    The next part will answer my critics this trolling thing,then i will
    move to your ques Leica was designed as a action camera and has never
    moved on.
     
  85. to my critics
    i am not sure what trolling is.If it means lively discussion on a new
    M ,and more than one posting..i plead guilty.If it means we should
    not be talking about the latest Leica product..guilty.If it means
    only talking about what some boring no interest thing ...guilty.If it
    means not answering geniune questions about hexor lenses..guilty.If
    it means pleasing a small group of people trying to flog their
    products...guilty.If it means not being a decent person not guilty.If
    it means not answering back to a adult version of school boy bullies
    on the web...Tough!If it is about looking at newsgroup pictures i
    love them please MORE MORE AND MORE.Regards Allen
     
  86. Yes you are right it was.,and guess what it still is.Okay it has not
    got a big auto tele for sport, nothing is perfect use Nikon i
    do..Street or scenic is still the same,as are family shots.The Leica
    or any manual makes you move in close(sound like a Leica brochure)be
    part of the action ,and you will be a part of it.People will forget
    about you, then you will get shows shots that the auto zoom
    boys/girls have wet dreams about.And you will enjoy yourself being
    part of the party.The price is nowing your bus short cuts seldom
    work.Bit like soaps chewy but empty.iam sure Mr c made mistakes still
    did not stop him from being the man.
    Next part Why should i bother with all that stuff,the picture is all
    what matters who cares how i got there,whats wrong with photoshop
    anyway its the results what count.
     
  87. It does matter, to who,you.Really we can surf the web copy any
    picture. Tell all our friends look what i took!they would think we
    are a wondeful photo man/women.Or you could wander around New York
    in the rain,be accosted by the local police. and lowlifes.Half your
    exposures have not worked ,because you did not use a exposure meter
    (you listened to that troll)But there was a couple of shots which
    did,and they are not that bad ,even pretty good.Need i say more.
     
  88. M7
    Well,i must admit i have posted a few blood boiling statements about
    this camera.
    Why to have some fun!not really.
    And what is ,should i buy a r or m when the r is half the price about.
    Well i will post these anwers tommorow.to quote Mr Sparkie i have run
    out of juice.
     

  89. Allen,

    <p>

    You write:

    <p>

    >> With practice exposure, speed settings become a state of mind.<<

    <p>

    My answer will be: it used to be so… And it is still the case for
    speed as it is very easy to determine which one will avoid the
    subject to be unintentionally blurred… As far as f stops are
    concerned and taking into account what I wrote in my preceding post,
    I have to disagree… We are no more exposing B&W films with an
    effective printing tolerance of say 3 f stops. We are mostly
    exposing slides with a 1/3 of an f-stop tolerance… The scale is not
    the same and the consequences of a minor misevaluation can ruin all
    the work.

    <p>

    >> No exposure meter will ever be as accurate as the human mind.<<

    <p>

    I beg to disagree as far as technical considerations are concerned.
    What is true in what you wrote is that not a single automatic system
    can replace the human mind in choosing what is to be measured
    (knowing no film can register what our brain can perceive at the
    same time in term of contrast). This is very different from the
    accuracy of a measure and relies more on Ansel Adams theory… This is
    linked to interpretative photography. Of course even the best matrix
    system will never be able to equal the human brain and the human
    sensitivity here. What such a system can do (and it does do it) is
    to permit a technically correct exposure when you have no time to
    practice an interpretation of the subject…

    <p>

    >> This is only achieved with practice, and more practice. There is
    a satisfaction on its own in achieving this skill.<<

    <p>

    I was once able to do that quite well (not with a Leica as at that
    time it was only a dream for me but with a Czech copy of the
    Rolleiflex: a Meopta Flexaret IIIa) . But it was the time of B&W
    only and with very few different films (I always used the Ilford HP
    3 – low light situation – or the Kodak Verichrome Pan outdoor in
    sunny days) so this skill was rather easy to master. Taking into
    account the real tolerance of the film + paper combination of the
    time… I think this is no more practical today (color + actually
    intolerant B&W). Add to this a natural tendency to broaden the
    choice of films used depending on the subject with all those slide
    films with different dominant and contrast available on the market…

    >> Many Leica users and others are already there. A auto everything
    or just a little bit of auto is a barrier. <<

    <p>

    If someone has been courageous enough to learn the real way to take
    pictures (a way which needs to use your brain) I doubt he will use
    any auto device that would limit his control of the final result. I
    don’t think Leica M’s or any similar cameras have ever attracted
    lazy push button guys… So I don’t see them staying “auto-mode” if it
    diminishes their capabilities to stay in control.

    <p>

    Read Putts test on the M7 when he speaks of how he used the A mode…
    And the results he obtained.

    <p>

    >> By our nature we follow the easy option, hence the growth in auto
    everything, not just in cameras. <<

    <p>

    Allen, I ever judge my work (and the work of my fellow
    photographers) by the result: i.e. the image. Any camera I used (and
    I used a lot in my life, mine and those friends were kind enough to
    lend me) has been judged by their ability to deliver the image I
    wanted them to deliver, the one I pre-conceived in my brain. I had
    once an “auto all” Nikon F4S. From the beginning I NEVER used
    the “program” setting. I wanted to control my depth of field and I
    wanted to control the amount of blur I authorize on a moving
    subject. I wanted to test the AF with tele-lenses in action
    photography. I discovered two things: The AF was less than perfect
    in many situations it would have been most helpful (they say the
    newer AF are better in those situations, so be it and I won’t
    comment further) and it was a real burden when it goes to shorter
    focal lens and didn’t permit the use of the depth of field the way I
    wanted to use it. So soon the AF lenses were gone and back to the
    manual focusing ones and finally this cumbersome body was sold. The
    only feature I regret is matrix metering. More than once when I had
    no time to set the beast in spot mode, chose the right place to
    meter and re-compose the image, it saved the day (I was a news
    reporter at that time). Sometimes the value of a picture is carried
    by the subject itself, and the right moment to click. Not by the
    virtues of an artistic interpretation. And still these images are
    powerful and moving. This is where AE is useful. AF is bad because
    it has the side effect of depriving you of depth of field control
    but I admit it is necessary to obtain the best result when you have
    to capture a flying bird in close up with a long tele-lens or – for
    the sport photog. I’m not – the crucial moment of a match. I hate AF
    because “de facto” it can’t be fully disconnected, like I hated the
    first AE cameras because you were unable to go manual if required. I
    want and need the choice…

    <p>

    My practice with the Hexar RF (which is very similar to what is
    described by Putts in his test) has simply teach me another way to
    do the same I did with my manual M5… I use AE lock and recompose.
    The effect is absolutely the same as to frame for exposure, set it
    manually and recompose. It is only a tad faster (but not so). When I
    need something more special I simply go manual. The same applies to
    the M7 and – again I insist – unfortunately, just because manual or
    AE lock modes are so close that the gain is thin when you need fast
    operation. When I have to resort to an automatism I need it to
    perform really faster than me, or I don’t NEED it. Though it may be
    a tad more comfortable.

    <p>

    You have to dominate your camera and not to be dominated by it. It
    is as simple as that.

    <p>

    >> We are always rushing to the next moment. Most experienced non
    auto focus users will focus their camera as quick as the auto man. <<

    <p>

    100% agreed but this is due to the very nature of AF an IMPOSED and
    IMPERFECT automatism (even when not in use it still interfere with
    manual operation) and the fact any knowledgeable photog knows how to
    use the DOF ring… But I’m not convinced a MF user can focus as fast
    and accurately a 400 mm tele-lens as an AF can do on the other side…

    <p>

    >> Okay many people cannot be bothered with all this, just want a
    picture, I really feel they are missing out on part of the
    photographic experience. <<

    <p>

    The problem is what do you call a picture? I’ve nothing
    against “souvenir hunters” but I think calling them photographers is
    a term of abuse. I don’t think either they want any kind of
    photographic experience at all. They want a souvenir and they are
    the best candidates for the entry level (and so drastically
    overpriced) auto-all digital cameras of today… Like they were
    candidates for the awful 110 format or the Polaroïd some years ago…
    IF (and that is the case of most Leica users) you have experienced
    what quality means in term of image rendition and docility in doing
    exactly what YOU (the man behind the camera) want to obtain you
    won’t accept any stupid allegedly do it all automatism will impose
    on you… When the world relied on horse riding for fast move there
    were bad riders and good ones, the world now relies more on car
    driving to do the same and there are still good and bad drivers… A
    man behind the reins or behind the wheel … But in any case a man.
    The same applies to cameras but if the camera doesn’t
    authorize “manual override”…

    <p>

    >> Second part Leica is only a small company in cannot compete in
    resources with the nikon canon giants etc. <<

    <p>

    What a mistake! True “Leica cameras” is a small unit but it is
    nevertheless part of a very rich and highly profitable optical group
    doing in medical and military appliances to say but a few.

    <p>

    If the higher echelon of the group had decided a major investment in
    camera RD there is more than adequate resources to do so.

    >> It relies on its quality of product. which in my opinion is the
    very best. <<

    <p>

    I agree on every part of your statement as far as lenses are
    concerned. I am more sceptical when it goes to the camera bodies,
    which is a pity as they WERE the world leaders not so long ago.

    <p>

    >> And yes, I do believe in that extra something which is in a Leica
    photo.<<

    <p>

    Two things here:

    <p>

    The M concept is something which is impossible to beat as it gives
    you a certain way to take pictures (exactly what you say below in
    terms of being part of the action). But it doesn’t mean this concept
    can’t be better served with new features.

    <p>

    The lenses are truly exceptional… Nothing in small format
    photography has this special rendition. And – surprise – they work
    exactly the same when attached to my “lowly” Konica Hexar body…

    >> Yes I do believe that Leica should produce a auto everything in
    conjunction with one of the giants, who would love to use the name
    LEICA <<

    <p>

    I have to disagree here… Each time Leica (Leitz then) introduced
    something new in its great old time, it was something perfect in the
    sense it worked exactly as it was advertised and was ever highly
    useful. Even the now so “cumbersome and slow” and
    discontinued “Visoflex” was a masterpiece when produced at a time 35
    mm SLR didn’t know about auto pre-set aperture and instant mirror…
    Because at that time you could have both a RF camera AND a SLR
    camera in one and it was not slower than the competitors when used
    as a SLR.

    We don’t need something with "Leica" put on it and full of useless
    and bothering gadgetry. Particularly AF like the “infamous” Contax
    G2. But YES we need a M (with the M SOUL) but which permits us to
    face situations more than often encountered in today photography
    with the same chance of success as people using modern SLR (in the
    same range of focal length of course) PLUS what ever made the M a
    superior machine for spontaneous candid shots… And we need it
    without being unable to use it the old way should the old way might
    be more efficient. My only concession being on battery dependence
    which IMHO is no more a true liability. We need Leica to retake the
    leadership there and we need Leica to produce a much more affordable
    camera through the use of modern technology.

    <p>

    >> I do not think they have the money on their own. Hass did it with
    one of the giants. But i still believe they should keep a fully
    manual camera as part of their heritage and for people like me. <<

    <p>

    Of course I see no reason to discontinue the M6 TTL and it doesn’t
    seem to be part of their project either… After all Nikon recently
    issued a new version of the old FM (once one of my favourites)… But
    if Leica wants to survive I think they MUST produce something more
    convincing than the M7 as an everyday TOOL.

    <p>

    >> There is a interest in manual cameras and it is growing, giants
    do not waste money.<<

    <p>

    Of course there is… As soon as you discover the simple notion of
    DOF, you run fast from their auto all AF cameras… And who but a very
    thin minority uses a 300 mm and more tele-lens everyday (where AF is
    really efficient). But a medium solution is available nowhere. Even
    the new Nikon with MF is devoid of the matrix metering… So you have
    the choice between auto-all and shut up and something bringing you
    back at least 20 years ago…

    <p>

    >> The Leica is what they are measured by, these new manuals.<<

    <p>

    Both economically and by concept I see nothing really comparable.
    Hexar RF is not a really mechanical camera and Bessas are not in the
    same league at all. Nikon is a SLR and no more 100% mechanical (it
    is an FA 3)…

    <p>

    >> Yes you are right it was, and guess what it still is. Okay it has
    not got a big auto tele for sport, nothing is perfect use Nikon I
    do.<<

    <p>

    Allen, I don’t compare the M (or any other RF cameras for that
    matter) with SLR’s… This would be perfectly stupid… I know the
    virtues of RF cameras and their limits too. As I’m not a wild life
    or sports photographer, I don’t need a big AF tele-lens… Anytime I
    need something good for a manual tele-lens or macro-photography I
    use a medium format SLR (better surface, better image). And I won’t
    hesitate to use a large format should the movements associated with
    such cameras were necessary. But for me, wildlife or sports
    photography taken aside, I see absolutely no need for a SLR in small
    format photography… for the very reasons you expose thereafter…

    <p>

    >> Street or scenic is still the same, as are family shots. The
    Leica or any manual makes you move in close (sound like a Leica
    brochure) be part of the action, and you will be a part of it.<<

    <p>

    I don’t need to go manual in exposure to be near the action or be
    part of it, I need a RF small format camera… This is the power of
    the concept. Would it be mechanical and fully manual or fully
    electronic (with the option to go manual at will) it doesn’t change
    the basic concept. The second camera will simply permits you, should
    the need arise, to get a very fleeting subject with much more chance
    of success… Did you ever “steal” an image? I did. And this is the
    way I proceed: I simply use a wide angle pre-set with the needed
    depth of field and take the picture at waist level without framing
    the scene… The exposure to use may be tricky to determine and even
    if it is not so, to rely on a matrix here will guarantee you the
    result technically speaking. The same applies when you put your
    camera over a crowd your arms fully extended …

    <p>

    >> People will forget about you, then you will get shows shots that
    the auto zoom boys/girls have wet dreams about. And you will enjoy
    yourself being part of the party. The price is knowing your bus
    short cuts seldom work. Bit like soaps chewy but empty. I am sure Mr
    c made mistakes still did not stop him from being the man. <<

    <p>

    He was the man… And I am the man when I switch my Hexar RF to auto
    mode too… I know where and when to switch it and why for… Where is
    the difference ? Easy to know: should Mr. C have had simply an M5
    instead of an M3 his negatives would have been correctly exposed…
    And more than often a fleeting subject or a fleeting expression on
    the face of someone, a play of light I have captured, because I was
    on AE mode and fully concentrated on my subject bothering only to
    the composition and the choice of the moment…

    <p>

    >> Next part Why should I bother with all that stuff, the picture is
    all what matters who cares how I got there, what’s wrong with
    photoshop anyway its the results what count. <<

    <p>

    Yes it is the result that counts, what it can convey to you and the
    others looking at your picture.

    <p>

    >> It does matter, to who, you. Really we can surf the web copy any
    picture. Tell all our friends look what i took! they would think we
    are a wonderful photo man/women.<<

    <p>

    Are you really serious and what this deviation from the subject
    exactly means ? My pics are mine the pics from other people are
    theirs … MY result counts for me.

    <p>

    >> Or you could wander around New York in the rain, be accosted by
    the local police. and lowlifes. Half your exposures have not
    worked ,because you did not use a exposure meter (you listened to
    that troll). <<

    <p>

    What troll at all… To be accosted with local Police (and even
    clubbed when working) was something I practiced more than often when
    I was a reporter. But I don’t see any advantage of having missed
    some good pics for not using a meter…

    <p>

    >> But there was a couple of shots which did, and they are not that
    bad , even pretty good. Need I say more. <<

    <p>

    What you seem to have some difficulty to admit is between the shots
    you missed some might have been even more evocative and powerful
    than the mere two you brought back and I see no reason to spoil such
    work by a bad exposure. I would have simply brought back some more
    interesting usable shots on the way. Of course if my composition was
    poor and the moment I click was wrong the fact to have a well
    exposed piece of s...t means absolutely nothing… But these
    parameters are not influenced at all by using a meter or not… Nor if
    this meter is hand held, TTL, manual or AE… But in some occasions AE
    metering will probably have permitted me to get an interesting shot
    I would have missed otherwise… It is entirely up to me to chose the
    moment I have to use it.

    <p>

    >> M7 Well, I must admit I have posted a few blood boiling
    statements about this camera. Why to have some fun! not really. And
    what is , should I buy a r or m when the r is half the price about.
    Well I will post these answers tomorrow to quote Mr Sparkie I have
    run out of juice. <<

    <p>

    To compare the R to the M is something I’ll never do (unless you
    want to compare the lenses of similar focal length). I really don’t
    care about the R being half the price of the M. it is not the same
    philosophy, nor the same use. But to compare the M7 to the Hexar RF
    seems to me very relevant. Unfortunately for Leica, I think the M7
    few advantages are not worth the increase in price (more than
    twice). Should the M7 had brought really significant new features,
    my opinion should have been different (it should have implied
    serious financial problems for me and a lot of frustration waiting
    to have the necessary money to buy it). I still admire the M6 but
    I’m not ready to spend so much for an all manual camera body using
    the same old shutter that was used 50 years ago. So to say for
    something which had been fully amortized since decades… I don’t want
    to add any commentary to that statement regarding the honesty of
    Leica practicing such a price for it. Enough said

    <p>

    Best regards

    <p>

    François P. WEILL

    <p>



    <p>

     
  90. Allen, you said: "My understanding of leica Ms is that you take the
    photo not the camera,that is the whole idea of the camera. Correct me
    if I am wrong."

    <p>

    You're not wrong but neither are you completely right, because your
    statement is too limiting. The same philosophy applies equally to
    Leica R. Many successful R users would be justifiably offended if
    they were told that the camera had taken the picture, not them.
     
  91. Anand held will help you train yoursef to think correct
    exposure.Before you use thik what the exposures will be right,the use
    the meter as a check.Soon you will not need it. The best meters on a
    camera is the simple one,if that is the way you want to go..Why,you
    know it will be wrong in certain situations.,backlite etc,therefor
    you can easly correct it.When we go to the 3D MATRIX WE ARE NEVER
    SURE IT IS RIGHT OR WRONG.how can we know when ti compensate.No
    metering system yet devised gets it right all the time.,by the time
    they do you wont need it anyway.Auto focus,good for sport,good for
    nothing else.
    I was reading a advert,this top photographer was showing how he had
    improved a landscape by enhancing the sky etc by using grands, warm
    ups.To my mind ,what he was saying was
    that he did not like the photo he was seeing,so he has changed it to
    what he wants to see.Should have used photo shop easer.
    Which leads me on to the thought to what is a photograph..
    1.A photograph is what is in front of the camera,love it or leave it.
    2.A photograph ,or anything else which has been changed from the
    original should be called a Pictoral Image,not to get confused with a
    photograph.I am sure those Pictoral image makers would be get more
    satisfaction ftom a brush and canvas.
    And can some one tell me what the sklight filter is all about.Better
    still how have they fooled a lot of photographers into putting a
    piece of cheap glass in front of a expensive lense,seems to defeat
    the whole objectExcuse me can i use your window i would like to take
    a photo through it.Yet again another example of a gizzo to feed to
    the unthinking crowd.No wonder why we a have barking made nutters
    followed by people without a thought.
    Regard Allen
     
  92. "Excuse me can i use your window i would like to take a photo through
    it.Yet again another example of a gizzo to feed to the unthinking
    crowd.No wonder why we a have barking made nutters followed by people
    without a thought"

    <p>

    Yes, no wonder!

    <p>

    Come to think of it, I think I preferred it all uppercase...
     
  93. Some one has upset him,was it me!
    Just for you..I saw a man who was not there,he was not there again
    today.I do wish that man would go away.
    Lots of love Allen
     
  94. Allen,

    <p>

    Sincerly, I tried to make you understand SIMPLE things and you are
    more and more answering aside of the question.

    <p>

    It is PHYSIOLOGICALLY impossible for ANY people even the best
    trained individual to get an exact numerical measure of light with
    the accuracy a meter have. And this is scientifically proven.

    <p>

    The human brain is sensitive to contrast and light level but can't
    give you a direct precise numerical reading like an instrument...
    You can "approach" a numerical value with training but you can't
    beat the precision of the instrument. This is sheer non-sense to
    pretend the opposite... All, even the best, of the production in
    photography before the meters came in general use are the product of
    the BROAD tolerances the film and paper combination once permitted
    in B&W. If some where exposed perfectly (say + or - 1/3rd of an f
    stop), it was only by chance. This "margin of error" does not extend
    to the 1/3rd of an f stop required by modern color slide films.
    Besides, not so long ago, when orthocromatic films were still in
    current use as day to day films, they were developped under the same
    kind of dark red light we still use in dark rooms for papers. So
    mistakes in original exposure were compensated for in the
    developper. That's why old days photography was a viable technic.
    These are things of the past.

    <p>

    Now I said (I don't know how I can make you understand that) the
    time you "guess" the right exposure (admitting you can do so taking
    into account the actual margin of error tolerated by modern films
    and papers in B&W) and then control the accuracy of your measure
    through a meter and set your camera accordingly, any fleeting
    subject justifiying the use of something automatic will be long gone.

    <p>

    They even will be long gone if you don't verify your guess and just
    set your camera to what you think is the right combination of speed
    and aperture. This is where you NEED automatism... The question is
    not to get the subject correctly exposed each time but that without
    it you get it 1 time in a 100 and with it say 50% of the time with a
    classical AE and 90% of the time with a matrix (I know it because I
    used it).

    <p>

    A simple meter (and I'm sure YOU KNOW that) is set to have a
    directly usable measure when the surface which is measured has a
    reflectance of 33% - the so-called neutral gray. Hence, if you want
    a TECHNICALLY correct exposure, you must measure on something akin
    to neutral gray which refers to a significant part of your subject.
    Having a simple AE will forbid you to do that so I agree with you
    here. Simple AE is a stupid device.

    <p>

    Now let's go to manual with TTL reflective measure. The sequence is
    as follows: frame for exposure following the rule exposed earlier,
    then set the camera manually (admitiing you have already chosen one
    of the settings following the old rule moving subject = speed rules,
    still subjects = DOF rules) then re-frame for composition then click.

    <p>

    This process take a time I will call T1. With an AE lock you just
    set the aperture in advance (hardly a problem to guess the minimal
    aperture compatible with the speed required for the subject as it is
    well within what a trained photograph will be able to... this is not
    a 1/3rd of an f stop business). Then you frame for exposure and lock
    the measure at the same time, then reframe and click... Precision is
    equivalent to manual mode and certainly faster and more precise than
    guesswork... So it takes you a duration I call T2. My experience has
    made me learn T2 is inferior to T1 but not so much for a trained
    individual. Conclusion AE lock may be a more comfortable mode than
    manual but not such a gain as to be a decisive advantage over manual
    operation with a TTL meter WITH A FLEETING SUBJECT.

    <p>

    Matrix metering is an entirely different process which is no more a
    metering process strictly speaking but an analysis of the image by a
    computer which also compares the results to built-in examples in its
    memory and much faster than your brain will do. Your evocation of a
    backlit situation proves you know NOTHING of the capabilities of
    these engineer's marvel. It DOES recognize a backlit situation and
    auto corrects it from the very moment your main subject occupates a
    certain surface of your composition and auto corrects it
    accordingly. In practice the result is TECHNICALLY good in 90% of
    the cases. So you can just frame and click with 90% chance to obtain
    a technically well exposed picture. So it is 10% LESS effcient than
    manual or AE lock + spot meter used by a good photographer... But
    its advantage over the two other technics is clear when you take
    into account the time you have to capture the subject. It would be
    utterly stupid to use a matrix metering when you have time to
    operate a way a careful thinking will be permitted to get a 100%
    correct exposure (moreover when you want to apply the Zone System
    and so go to interpetative photography - but remember it was devised
    for use with a large format camera in landscape phtography in mind,
    hardly the usual way to use an small format RF)but to do that you
    NEED TIME... For a really fleeting subject, YOU HAVE NO TIME...
    Trying the old way will lead you to no image at all in MUCH MORE
    than 10% of the time (the margin of error of the matrix metering)...
    Hence when you are forced into automatism, better to have one 10%
    wrong than to get nothing usable 90% of the time...

    <p>

    Matrix is a much better answer than AE lock in those situations and
    than manual operation with classical meter and of course much better
    than guesswork not because it is perfect but because it permits you
    to get the image you want with a tremendously increased probability.

    <p>

    Yes PROBABILITY as no system is perfect and certainly not the "human
    system"...

    <p>

    Now when you have situation that permits you to masterize the
    exposure yourself (by whatever mean you consider appropriate) it is
    better to go manual... My experience tells me a spotmeter directed
    by a good photographer brain being the safest way than to guess but
    if you want to guess I have no objection excepts, once more, the
    laws of probabilities will be against you even if you're trained. No
    human being is a lightmeter or has one incorporated in his brain
    (even Mr Caertier-Bresson, remember my example?).

    <p>

    What you (apparently) CAN'T understand is I don't care with very
    fleeting subjects if my matrix will not be 100% accurate when I know
    any other method - even much more accurate on the paper - will end
    up with missing the subject at all 90% of the time because it fails
    to satisfy the necessary speed to react and you can't rely on
    tolerance for an approximate pre-setting.

    <p>

    It doesn't create any barrier between me and the subject, and
    certainly NO BARRIER in my personal choice because I (and I ONLY)
    will decide when to use it or not, according to the situation and
    not any kind of lazyness...

    <p>

    Friendly

    <p>

    François P. WEILL
     
  95. It would seem to me the cusp of your argument is for those fleeting
    shots full 3D matrix is the only answer.If this is not used good
    shots will be lost.The human mind will never be able to compete,which
    has been proven beyond doubt, am i correct in this assumption.
     
  96. Allen,

    <p>

    In a certain way YES... At least the better answer we have in the
    present state of the art to get the maximum probability of success.

    <p>

    Same applies whenever you have to steal an image through a technic
    which excludes actual framing through the finder.

    <p>

    May I add, once more, I consider matrix metering absolutely useless
    and worst than manual setting of the exposure in any other case?

    <p>

    My "philosophy" is ever use the most appropriate and safe technology
    to get the picture you have in your mind... It is THAT simple.

    <p>

    Friendly

    <p>

    François P. WEILL
     
  97. Two random thoughts:
    1) Has anybody here ever really been left "stranded" by a dead
    battery? If not, then why is everyone so concerned about the battery
    dependency of the M7?
    2) How can Erwin Puts, in one article, praise the M6 for its manual
    operation (for the way it keeps photographer in touch with the
    subject, etc.) and now praise the M7 for its automation which allows
    photographer to concentrate on the scene before him/her?
     
  98. Right on the spot Douglas!

    <p>

    You write (and ask):

    <p>

    >> 1) Has anybody here ever really been left "stranded" by a dead
    battery? If not, then why is everyone so concerned about the battery
    dependency of the M7? <<

    <p>

    Yes it happened to me with a voracious Nikon F4S but I say "guilty
    Your Honor"... It was entirely my fault I should have had spares.
    That's why I don't think to have to rely on spare batteries is more
    a liability than to rely in spare film... What photographer will
    pretend not to have run out of film in the midst of a scession ? If
    one let us know... I think we will have a winner in the Liar of the
    Year contest ...

    <p>

    But, despite the mechanical perfection and alleged durability of a
    Leica M my M5 quit me without warning last year with a broken
    shutter. And if it happens you have no recourse. Mechanical things
    ALSO break sometimes...

    <p>

    So from where did come the myth of the superior reliability of
    mechanical cameras ?

    <p>

    Easy to explain: the first all electronic cameras were unreliable
    because they were not well protected against the hardships of
    professional photography. Then a mechanical camera was really much
    more reliable. Nowadays it is no more than a legend referring to a
    time long past. Sometimes legends are hard to die in the
    photographic world (sigh).

    <p>

    >> 2) How can Erwin Puts, in one article, praise the M6 for its
    manual operation (for the way it keeps photographer in touch with
    the subject, etc.) and now praise the M7 for its automation which
    allows photographer to concentrate on the scene before him/her? <<

    <p>

    In the Leica legend is mixed a lot of truth and many mythes.

    <p>

    Manual operation has NOTHING to do with contact with the subject but
    rangefinder small format camera has (no big tele-lens, few use of
    flash because of the ability to focus perfectly at wide aperture,
    small size of the camera). With ANY small format range finder camera
    (Note: Contax G2 IS NOT in this category and no AF camera is) you
    muist be near to your subject and part of the action. But this truth
    was lost as for years the Leica M was the only range finder camera
    with interchangeable lens in production. And as it was ALSO a
    mechanical camera, there was an identification between small format
    RF and manual camera.

    <p>

    The same applies (but we are going farther from your question) to
    the famous "special thing" in Leica phtography. One thing is true,
    the rendition and quality of Leica lenses is unmatched. The other
    part is a myth, the way a Leica M user takes pictures does influence
    the final rendition but not because the body is a Leica: ANY small
    format RF camera using the same lens will produce the same kind of
    work. I do that everytime I take pictures with a Leica Lens on my
    Hexar RF (so most of the time). It has to do with the limits imposed
    in focal length by RF concept.

    <p>

    What Mr. Putts has discovered through the M7 is something I
    discovered when I switched to the Hexar RF about a year ago: AE-lock
    mode gives you comfort and slightly faster operation and a tad more
    concentration. Hence, manual operation has NOTHING to do with the
    proverbial Leica style. But he has not yet fully analyzed the
    consequences of this discovery. So goes his traditional plea for the
    Manual M6 which is - in fact - sheer non-sense.

    <p>

    Friendly

    <p>

    François P. WEILL
     
  99. To be honest, I've got a lot of bad experience with different,
    completely battery operated camera. If the camera must be stored in a
    sort of damp environment (in Europe much more common than in the US),
    the electrical contacts can corrode nastily. The corrosion is
    sometimes even invisible, so You have to know it, that something like
    this awful phenomenon is possible. After cleaning the contacts with a
    match (the clean wooden part) everything worked well and there was no
    scratch at the contacts. So keep a cleaning tool with You, if You go
    out! Wooden matches and toothspicks are quite well. If there are
    security concerns, just shorten the toothpicks to 1/3 inch (1 cm).
    That's long enought to hold them tight without touching the surface of
    the electrical contacts.
     
  100. Hello Christoph,

    <p>

    I'm also living in Europe, France to be precise. The question you
    raise about contacts is a real one but any system should be
    treated "a the book says" don't they?

    <p>

    In case of prolonged storing of a battery operated "something" you
    have to remove the batteries from the device. Otherwise contact
    corrosion will ensue... Since years it is clearly indicated on each
    booklet accompayning cmaeras with batteries...

    <p>

    As dampness has also a potential extremly preoccupating effects on
    lenses in the way fungus may develop on the lens coating, it is also
    advisable in such conditions to use silica gel bags to avoid any
    problem. Remember a lens having fungus problem is definitively
    destroyed. You may clean the glass but the coating will remain
    destroyed where the fungus had set in.

    <p>

    Considering this problem has no remedy and concerns any camera,
    mechanical or electronic, I don't think the obligation to remove the
    battery set during prolonged storage is really a very considerable
    liability...

    <p>

    Friendly

    <p>

    François P. WEILL
     
  101. 99 Replies could make this the longest thread in our history, or
    perhaps the second-longest, after the one about what everyone does
    for a living.

    <p>

    I couldn't resist making it 100.
     
  102. Must add that extra 1
     
  103. When you read these comments from this Forum it makes you think

    <p>


    Here's my reaction: 1) M7 is quick. But if you're using M7 and M6 you
    have to pay attention. Occasionally I almost forgot to adjust M6 per
    metering because you quickly get use to the M7 selecting an aperture
    for you. (Remember, the situations I was shooting under were fast and
    furious). 2) The shutter release takes some getting use to.
    Technically it may have less lag time, but in practice it definately
    has a sort of sticking point where it locks the AE reading. It threw
    me a couple of times when I was under pressure. 3) The M7 did
    something weird during prolonged shooting with lulls in between. It
    suddenly failed to respond when I pressed the shutter button. And I
    mean failed to respond at all despite pressing hard on the shutter
    button. And I couldn't advance the film. I immediately flipped the
    on/off switch and it was okay then. I don't know if the on/off swich
    was slightly moved and caused it or what --but it wasn't showing the
    red "off "dot. I certainly do hope this is user error and not
    a "BUG". I think it may shut down after not using it for some period.
    so that will take some getting use to. 4) In back lit situations the
    M7 is no faster than a M6. You have to fool the meter by reading some
    correct middle tone , lock the AE, then recompose. With the M6 its
    just a matter of opening up with out all the rigamaroll.
     
  104. Batteries, meters, I don't mind. Where can I buy more time/opportunities ??
     

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