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Steve Huff's two favourite digicams ever.

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by bilzmale, May 31, 2010.

  1. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    No prize for guessing one is the Leica M9 (if you know of Steve and his site) but it's nice to see what he ranks second.

    Worth a read here.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I have to say that I've been doing bits and pieces with the E-PL1 and really find it a very good camera. It's different to the E-P2, but in many ways just as good. In fact, that has led me to consider buying the 17mm for my E-P1, which has kind of languished because of the lack of the external EVF.

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  3. GaryInOz

    GaryInOz Mu-43 Regular

    64
    May 11, 2010
    Sydney, Oz
    Thanks Bill, interesting read.
     
  4. nokiamia

    nokiamia Mu-43 Regular

    102
    May 20, 2010
    Malaysia
    Phew, a mention of EP2.
     
  5. Mosca

    Mosca Mu-43 Regular

    103
    May 27, 2010

    Ray, isn't there an optical viewfinder for the E-P1, to be used with the 17mm?

    Seems to me, if you hook that up you will be holding all the marbles, so to speak.
     
  6. nTo

    nTo Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Dec 28, 2009
    Indonesia
    why is it the EPL1 is better than GF1 ? lol
     
  7. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    There is an optical viewfinder, but with the AF, it really isn't necessary. I'd just make the E-P1 a P&S.

    Cheers

    Ray
     
  8. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    Interesting read, but honestly I have never quite understood the Leica thing. I have owned and used an awful lot of "pro" cameras over the years, but have never found a way to work out the price to performance ratio that comes with Leicas. It is hard to believe they are any better than all the Nikons, Canons, Contaxs, Mamiyas, even Hasselblads and Olympus cameras have used over the years. When I first started getting really serious as a photographer all I wanted was a Hasselblad, I got one and I learned to hate that camera, did return to Hasselblad until I bought an H1 to shoot digitally. For all the hype about the Hasselblad, it never ever shot as well as my Mamiya RZ67 or Fuji 680, two amazing cameras.
    Though my medium format digital cameras may cost a lot more and my Canon 1Ds bodies cost almost the same I just cannot wrap my head around spending something like $11,000 for single camera body and one 35mm lens. At this point my m4/3 cameras are filling that street photography niche fairly well, not quite as nicely as my Contax G2s did, but so far I see them as a great new tool that will only get better

    Honestly I even like my Swarovski and Nikon binoculars more than my Leica ones
     
  9. robertro

    robertro Mu-43 Veteran

    223
    Apr 22, 2010
    Leica love...

    With the same money, why own a bad car when you can own the world's most expensive consumer camera?

    Much better fashion accessory - as much a camera to be looked at as to be looked through!:smile:
     
  10. kwaphoto

    kwaphoto Mu-43 Regular

    55
    Jun 4, 2010
    Colorado, USA
    I agree. The P:p ratio is way out of whack to me. However, I must admit they look and feel great, the IQ is great (within it's inherent limits) and the red dot is a nice touch. Other than that, I agree.

    m4/3 has a chance to really encroach on the Leica territory IMO. If they focus on the IQ (ISO 100-1250 range) and don't chase after the insane levels (ISO 25,000+), improve DR to equal FF DSLR's and keep a high end line of glass in addition to the affordable stuff, I think Oly/Panny have something to really tempt the Leicafiles and others who have always wanted a Leica. This is in relation to the rangefinder STYLE bodies like the Pen's and GF-1 - these should really focus on the above, not high ISO, >5 fps, etc. These are tools for a specific purpose. They should chase after the other stuff with the DSLR styled bodies and maybe new lines.
     
  11. Mosca

    Mosca Mu-43 Regular

    103
    May 27, 2010
    1) For all that a Leica costs, the company loses money. (Leica AG posted a small profit in '07.)

    2) I've never used a Leica. But I've never played a Steinway, or a Stradivarius. What the heck; they're all pianos, they're all fiddles.

    If an artist needs a tool, then no other tool substitutes. If a photographer needs the qualities that a Leica brings to his or her vision, then whatever it costs is irrelevant; it is the tool that gives life to the vision. The same with instruments. The world would be far poorer in spirit if there weren't craftsmen producing $100,000 pianos, and musicians who would hock their homes to play them. Thank heaven for the Italian craftsmen of the 1500s, whose instruments are being played 400 years later. And thank goodness for the craftsmen at Leica, who have helped countless photographers realize their art.

    Me, I'm happy with my Canons, and my E-P1. But if I needed a Leica, then I'd need a Leica.

    Edit: and film Leicas are essentially free. They don't depreciate. Buy one used, shoot with it for a year, sell it for what you paid for it.
     
  12. Brian S

    Brian S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Apr 11, 2009
    The price of the M9 is about the same as a Nikon D3x or a top of the line Canon.

    I bought an "almost-new" M8, near mint in box with under 400 clicks on it, for 1/3rds the price of a new M9. It's a really nice handling camera. I put the money for an M9 in a CD, will decide if I want one in about a year.

    I typically keep a Jupiter-3 on the M8 that I got for $60, I rebuilt it. Early KMZ lens with German glass in it.
     
  13. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    Brian that is my very point the M9 body cost about the same as a Nikon D3x or Canon MKIV 1Ds, two far more versatile cameras, with the Leica having no better IQ than either of the others. Working professionally the Nikon and Canons feel and work like industrial tools, the Leica has always been a small niche use camera. While I love shooting street photos, I have a hard time rationalizing spending that much on a camera that is not versatile enough to use shooting everyday as a professional.
    Amateurs have bought far more Leicas than working pros.


    Also while I understand the analogy that Mosca is trying to make, I see a vast difference between a hand made wooden musical instrument and a mechanical tool. Every hand made wooden instrument whether it is a violin or guitar (something I know little about) has a unique voice (wood types, age craftsmanship) and for the sophisticated user with a good ear, one can hear the subjective difference. Cameras of the same model are pretty interchangeable with some very slight optical difference in lenses.
    Still one should buy what inspires them regardless of price; I just for one cannot see it with Leicas.
    Now if you are talking about wine I can get really foolish with a price to performance ratio, but again a subjective feeling more than an objective test.
     
  14. Brian S

    Brian S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Apr 11, 2009
    I would not buy a D3x for home use, and my D1x is all I need for work. If I wanted a D3x for work, I could easily replace the D1x. The D3x is about 1/2 the price of the Kodak DCS200ir that I bought for work in 1993. $18,000+ for a DSLR, a couple of ED lenses, SCSI "hitchhiker" disk, and extra battery pack.

    I would spend the money on the M9 for personal use because I like using the M3 and M8. Using the DSLR is just not the same. I prefer the older lenses, and the rangefinder function. I could not justify an M9 for work, which is mostly technical and scientific photography.

    I suppose that I agree on the M9 for one choice, even though I do not have one yet. The EP2 would be my second choice for a digital. I've gone through a few generations of them, actually handled a DCS100 when new. I passed on it in favor of the DCS200 which was coming out at the time. The DCS200 is the first commercial self-contained DSLR, not requiring an umbilical to the storage unit. I still use a Nikon E3 full-frame digital for documenting projects at home. It is basically an F4 turned into a Digital SLR, full-frame equivalent using a relay lens.
     
  15. nokiamia

    nokiamia Mu-43 Regular

    102
    May 20, 2010
    Malaysia
    Talking about Leica and D3X is beyond my league. But as a newbie in photography, I've always thought (even before this thread) that Leicas are toys for the rich, just like a classic Ferrari Dino with gear stick and winding windows but costs more than the latest Porsche that's faster, auto-everything and a couple of cupholders.

    I could never imagine a Leica being used for professional work. I don't think the M series are designed for that. But more likely to be used in a relaxed pace.

    But one thing for sure, the Leicas look really good. Sometimes, that's just enough to break ones piggy bank.
     
  16. Brian S

    Brian S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Apr 11, 2009
    Leica's have been used for professional work in the past, and the M9 is making it into the hands of some pro's these days. Maybe some end up being toys for the rich, I do use mine a good bit. Two weeks ago at the wedding of my Godson, I was the only photographer shooting without a flash at the reception. The professional had a Canon DSLR with flash and zoom, a couple of guests had DSLR's with flash and zoom, and most had P&S. The Nikkor 10.5cm F2.5, Jupiter-3 5cm F1.5, and Voigtlander 35/1.7 allowed existing light work.

    Film Leica's are realatively cheap these days, a user M3 and Summicron 50/2 can run $600 or so. Mine did.
     
  17. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    steve huff and puff , great comments about the leica and epl1 , always enjoy his site .....thanks
     
  18. Mosca

    Mosca Mu-43 Regular

    103
    May 27, 2010
    I think we agree; the instrument analogy was the closest I could come. My point isn't so much that I think it's a good value, or the best choice, but that I don't feel qualified to question the artist for choosing that tool. The money comes and goes, the art lasts forever. (Ars longa, vita brevis, 'n all 'at.)
     
  19. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    Most due end up in the hands of the amateurs, it has always been that way.

    Brian to compare any new camera to those Kodak DCS cameras is little disingenuous, even though those were the first real "DSLRs" they were not only expensive but they were horrible. I still have a few sitting around the studio as doorstops.

    All I am saying is Leica people keep referring to the mystical quality of Leicas, as if it is unachievable with other cameras. If I want the highest quality IQ camera right now with the most versatility it is either a Nikon D3x or the upcoming Canon MKIV 1Ds, they are both built like serious tools, they both have amazing IQ, they both have an incredible list of optics, that may not be the cheapest but they are available and attainable. Just go to the B&H web site, Leica does not make a single lens for the M (that is not at least $1700.00 and most are at least 3 to 5 thousand. Working professionally usually requires two of everything, that is two bodies at $7000 each, and even you just had one each focal length 21, 24, 28, 35, 50 and a 90, (a very limited system by the way) you would have spent
    $ 33,000 with no better IQ than either the Nikon or Canon.

    Secondly most of the Leica shooters I know love and use their cameras mostly for street photography, a style of photography far more forgiving in IQ than most anything one shoots when you are being paid. Why does one believe that you need the “sharpest lens ever made” for shooting candid images on the street? Back in the day most of us were shooting Tri-x, many times pushing the film for that wonderful grainy look. The images were more about statements and mood more than look how sharp that street vendor is.
    I love street photography, my all time favorite street cameras are my Contax G2s, those AF rangefinder cameras were perfect for that niche.

    Right now most of my work is shot on either a medium format Leaf AFI or Hasselblad H2 both with Leaf backs: or Canon MKIII 1Ds(MKIVs are on order) because we need the highest IQ for work. Actually tomorrow I am dusting off my Fuji 680III and shooting some film, should be fun. Leicas, not even the new S2($27000), are even thought about for this kind of stuff. For street shooting I usually prefer a more fun tool like my m4/3 cameras, if I really need something with better IQ, I just grab a Canon.
     
  20. Brian S

    Brian S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    714
    Apr 11, 2009
    Comparing cost of the early DSLR's with state of the art equipment is valid in making the point that it cost a lot less than it used to, and the new equipment is better.


    Kodak DCS200ir, Micro-Nikkor 55/2.8, R60 filter.



    1.6Mpixels. After almost 18 years, 3 Pixels have gone bad.

    As far as Leica's- you get the Leica Evangelists and the Leica Haters. Extremists. The ones that get up on soap boxes and espouse the wonders that only Leica can produce, and those that just hate the word Leica and everyone that uses them.

    Kind of like the Canon lovers vs the Nikon lovers and every one else that gloms on to a brand of camera and has to put down everything that they do not use.

    Me- I like to use Russian lenses on my Leica's.

    [​IMG]

    Pass the Beer Nuts.