Monday, November 13, 2006

so on the last roll, that got developed a few hours ago, there are mostly shots of details or city sceneries because i just felt a bit bored of streetshots.. so i tried myself with these:

(i'm going to rant a little.. because some things are just too fucked up.. you can also just stick to the images itslef, that have almost nothing in common with the rant but are just examples that should make my words more clearly)

it's funny how people wouldn't use a rangefinder for still lifes usually. they stick to slr or medium format. these kind of photos that are following in the blog are not really possible with anything else than a rangefinder though. not without a tripod and a bunch of time.

so all the following shots are handheld from 1/30th to 1/4th of a second. all sharp. all the way i wanted them to look like. these were just tests. i wanted to test what is possible with that small camera called M6.

setting up a tripod there would have been a pain in the ass, but who needs one, if you have a superduperfinegrained trix+3 and a rangefinder.

thats a kinda shot, you usualy just don't take without having a tripod and time. shooting this on 3200asa and wide open on f2.0 sounds like complete nonsense, right ? but hey, i'm going to print this and hang on my wall probably... this photo took me 10 seconds. f2.0 1/15th.. look at that.. i'm pretty amazed by this sharpeness and details and tones.. and all that.

how is that possible ?

a: exposure must be right on.
b: focus.
c: hold still damn it. and use a rangefinder.. forget a slr !
d: correct developement !! (!!)
e: correct print


ever heard about the term "bokeh" ? yeah it sounds crap.. almost like an anime emotion. like oh your bokeh is sugoi and kawaiii !! which would mean something like "wow the unsharp area of your photo is awesome and cute"... well it is, awesome. there is a reason why people call that lens "bokeh king"...

i always find it great when people argue about lenses, and MTF charts.. and how sharp this lens is and how sharp the other is... but people forget that sharpenes is just one parameter of a lens. if you care about photography, you also care about contrast of a lens, shadow detail, dynamic range, colours, bokeh.. all these things are dependent of your lens too.. not just your freaking sensor (nowadays).

so what's the geeking all for ? i think geeking is good when you know to use your knowledge. i love it when people talk so much with their forum-educated brains.. but can't shoot a good photo, because they have no freaking talent or eye at all.

i highly prefer people who just don't say a word and make nice photos to the opposite.. if you have talent, feel blessed, do something with it.. and if you have both, the talent and technical geek knowledge, even better... but only geeking sucks balls !

so something about this photo. i could have shot it at f2.0 1/30th but i decided to stop down to 2.8 1/15th because of these cute stars that are created when you stop down a little.

see that photo of the heineken bottles ?
taken at an 8th of a second. ever tried to shoot in the shadow at night ?

this photo is great in b/w. it will look UBERnice on fiber print or platin or whatthefuckever.. it's good to have it on a negative because i can do so much with it now. i can print it in so many ways and enlarge it however i want to. i always find it cute how people shoot their digital slrs and then bring their decalibrated, oversharpened, interpolated, noisy digital files to the lab to get some cheap prints from a machine that produces 100 of them an hour.

it's nice that you like these DA prints so much.. but damnit, I CARE about my photos and that means that i want to do more with them than just uploading some NANO-jpgs in the net and maybe let them get printed by some lab around the corner !

what an oldschool bike. i was waiting for the night bus so i had enough time to take this one. f2.0 1/8th 3200 iso.

you may ask why i am always adding the technical data ? because it maybe makes some people realize the sircumstances. maybe it makes some people feel ashamed that they could have never taken such a shot, like gilad or ssilence or gwarf.. ahah.. and maybe it makes some people realize that I AM YOUR MOTHER/FATHERFUCKING GOD DAMNIT !!

i'm going to praise the M ONCE MORE. why ? because you can't find another camera that is able to produce such a photo. shot at f2.0, 0.7m minimal focus distance, 1/4th second, handheld at 3200 iso. no, the pigeon did not fly away after the shutter.. i could have taken another shot to be sure.. but i was sure already. why ? because i am GOD damnit!

this dude.. was one of a very cool kind. he was so cool that i felt like i'd better shoot him with a baretta instead a leica.. but yeah these kind of people exist and we should just face it that some people define stupidity. this way of cool acting is clearly just a sort of hiding from real feelings and your real self. you get to learn that in your first lession of psychology.


Anonymous said...

too bad you can never print them BIG

4x5 for life

Anonymous said...

This should be in the dictionary next to the definition of black and white photograph

f-hole said...

...and you get to learn about goD's in your second lesson!

foig said...

Those results sure are impressive for handheld, godbless the leaf shutter (though it does have its flaws)

Anyone who shoots street and is interested in street photography knows that leicas are the shit for that medium, but for those like me who's money goes on rent and bills and boring things because we work low paying jobs i think my nikon fm3a, 28mm 2.8 and trix400 does the job to the level where im happy as larry.

One day i will probably own a leica body and glass of some description but it sure aint happening soon (plane tickets are of a higher priority for me at the moment)

I used to get so hung up about gear in my pre film digital days, but since i have started soley shooting film for my personal work i really am happy with what i have.

The printing thing i agree with you 100% no inkjet printer or ink combo can produce the results that a well made hand print can. Thats why i go to exhibitions, to see those glorious looking prints!

Its good to know god shoots a leica too!

artis said...

night photos looks good. nevertheless, hyping yourself must be fun!

deadaluz said...

you getting better again
maybe you need a little bit agression to rock?

Adam said...

damn these photos are sharp and there just scans, i bet the prints are kickass, oh and i went to the lake a couple nights ago, it was fuckin freezing, but i still got some shots, f/2.8 1/30 - 1/4, hopefully there gonna turn out nice

adamkozlowski said...

Hey... That's cool, God has a blog. And God wants me to buy a Leica M6 or M7, but i will half-sin and buy a Bessa R3M or R3A. And a 40/1.4. And more lenses in the future.

adamkozlowski said...

But Sev, one more thing - yes, some shots can't be done with anything but a rangefinder...

...but i'm receiving my EOS 1N RS on thursday. And yes i'm gonna be able to see what i shoot (hello to dark shots, panning shots, etc). And yes i'm gonna be very quiet (say hello to the sleeping pigeon).

Surely, i won't see everything sharp and i will have to carry 1,5 kilo of the camera + batteries alone, not to mention the lens. But still... Why don't they make the RS version of the 1D, it's beyond my comprehension.

But yeah, i'm selling some of my stuff (some records, my Kiev 88, my Sonnar 200/2.8 and the 300/4, maybe some other stuff) and getting a Bessa. Why not an M6? For the same reason why many M6 or M7 users buy Bessas. Because they're cheap. Even if you break or lose it or it gets stolen - no biggie.

apixx said...

dammit bist du gut! GUTER GOTT!

Henri said...

first of all, you didn't say what lens you used! to take a night shot with a 24mm is 10 times easier than with a 50mm.

I only find the heineken shot actualy intersting. the other ones just don't work. maybe they were only "tests" to see how your camera handle night shots?...

you have to know that you don't need a leica to shoot awesome night photos that are sharp (and everything) enough, any slr with a 28mm (or wider) that is heavy enough will go perfectly at 1/15th!

stop talking about material, forget that you have a leica... just think it's a simple camera (even if it's one of the best one, that has great glasses) This camera helps to be invisible, that's all!!! ... just forget it... at your level, every shots will be the same, exept that you'll be abble to get the shots when you need to be invisible, so that's cool, but that's almost only about that! a good photo is a good photo, even if it can be a little tiny sharper (because you used pentax and not leica)... it's still a good photo!

a camera isn't here to copy or duplicate (exept for family snapshots... etc)... it's here to translate what you see, and what you feel. A leica can help to understand that, and to aplicate it... because the camera is so well made that it's fast, don't make noise, and seems invisible. but any "good" camera will work, and even for night shots.

adamkozlowski said...

@henri - Actually Henri, i dare to disagree. I have disagreed with Severin and some of his fellows on DA about the rangefinders, but now i can agree with them.

Yes, a rangefinder is not a perfect camera, and surely it is not a good camera for a beginner. You need to be a good photographer first, you have to have good imagination beforehand, in order to make good photos with a rangefinder. But... when you satisfy those prerequisites, the outcome might be truly awesome.

SLRs (except my EOS 1N RS, soon to arrive) have a problem of viewfinder blackout, mirror slap, and usually also size and weight. There is also the case of the 1:1 magnification of certain RF viewfinders - shoot with both eyes open. So, not only do you have a bigger view than the actual photo (which SLR has it?), you can shoot with your other eye open all the time - catching action, controlling.

You try to say that you can shoot great night photos with an SLR. You mention that great bokeh is also possible with an SLR. Yeah, but the size and cost of the 35/1.4L lens for an EOS is terrible. Try the 50/1.0L for size (not to mention that only the EOS mount makes making such lenses possible - the ancient F mount of Nikon is not suitable for that). Try the Voigtlander 12 or 15mm lenses for the M-mount and compare to a Sigma 12-24 or the Canon or Sigma 14 - check the difference in size and price.

Try buying a 400D + 35/1.4L lens (producing approx a 50mm coverage). Have it? Now compare its cost and size with a Voigtlander Bessa R3A or R3M with the 40/1.4 Nokton or the 50/1.5 Nokton.

The fact that Sev uses Leica doesn't really make his photos be sharper - it makes certain photos POSSIBLE. Yes, i agree, many photos are not possible with a rangefinder - macros, product shots, shots that require very high precision and control over the DOF, fisheye or tilt-shift shots.

And yes, i generally prefer my SLRs. But i can't do certain shots. I can't be invisible, i can't be ideally quiet, i can't focus in low light... Nor can i afford a 35/1.4L for my EOSes. Maybe a 50/1.4, yes. But the 50/1.2L or 50/1.0L? I can't afford an M6 now either, not to mention an M7.

@foig - who said that M6 has a leaf shutter? ;) Leaf shutters are only present in certain TLRs, LF cameras etc.

Henri said...

adamkozlowski, you didn't understand me!

I know that a leica is one of the best camera... I even sayd so! I also sayd that you get almost "invisible" with it. I know that!

"I can't be invisible, i can't be ideally quiet, i can't focus in low light... " ... with a not so expensive pentax slr (pentax mx, k2...) camera and an awesome and not expensive pentax 30mm 2.8, or many other cameras and lenses you'll be able to focus in low light - without spending more thatn 400 dollards if you whant to talk about the price). you won't be as quiet and invisible ok, I know that, I even sayd so! but you can still take good (street) photos as you will take them with a leica! you just have to learn to be more loud and less invisible maybe.

"it makes certain photos POSSIBLE", show me some photos that are impossible to take with a small slr (om2 for exemple).

and don't see why you need to be a good photographer at first to use a rangefinder! there are so easy to use... it's even easier to focus!

mehrzweckraum said...

why so bitter? sorry about only using 7 days to build the world and since then just fooling around with cameras?

btw, digital compacts are better than leicas because the shutter is more silent and you can actually see what your picture will look like. and if the light is low you can always use the flash in the camera!
and 8x10" for the rest!

Alex said...

I'm loving the technical info, learning a lot ;)

adamkozlowski said...

@henri - you want examples?

one very obvious: infrared photography. can't be easier with a rangefinder. even more - try shooting an slr with a deep red filter screwed on - you won't see shit. try a good polarizer - 4x light loss in the viewfinder is a nono.

another example - even more obvious, looking at Sev's gallery - panning shots! yes, i will be able to do them with my 1N RS, but if i set a higher aperture value, i will lose light, unlike with a RF.

400 dollars for pentax and 30/2.8? drop it. i spent 330 dollars for an EOS 1 and the 35/2. That's better. Yeah, i know that there are some small SLRs, but the FM3A is overpriced. Hey, i can get a Zenit TTL and a 35/2.8 lens for what - $50? It's quiet and small, but the viewfinder is dim. But rangefinders are even smaller (no mirror, hurray!) and even quieter. Only a camera with a leaf shutter is quieter.

one more thing - i don't care about leica. leica is way overpriced imho. no wonder many leica-m photographers own bessa-r kits. what i talk about are rangefinders.

We both love our SLRs, don't we? But , speaking mathematics, the sets of photos being possible to make with a RF and a SLR only partly overlap - there is a lot reserved only to RF and a lot (maybe a lot more) reserved only to SLR. But don't try to convince me that everything i can do with a RF i can also do with an SLR, cuz that's simply untrue.

Henri said...

@sev: an other question, on the photo you say that the bokeh of your lens is so awesome.
why is the car in the center-left realy more blurry than the one in the left. at first I thought of the heavy light of the center... but that can't explain totaly the large difference.

Not good exemples... and maybe there are few exemples in wich you can't do stuff with a slr that you can do with a RF, but if you read my first comment again and understand what I meant, then you'll get that's not really my point!

"panning shots! yes, i will be able to do them with my 1N RS, but if i set a higher aperture value, i will lose light, unlike with a RF." what do you mean you will lose light??? you certainly wont in the viewfinder of the slr !!!???

Ryan Marr said...

i have 5 words for you. large format point and shoot.


your pigeon looks a little out of focus but maybe it's the paralax of the ledge.

foig said...

To be honest i know very little about the mechanics of leicas, cheers for pointing that one out adam! What shutter mechanism do they use?


smkblog said...

@adam and henri

first off all, before you write to me, you should start with "dear god"..

after clearing this up, i'll bless you with my words !

first of all, i could give a damn about who is using what camera, since i only care about mine. so if you say that you can shoot useable photos (which means, focused, not blurry, correctly exposed) with an slr in the night, that's great.

i'm speaking of my own experiences though and i have been shooting with different kind of slrs in all kind of light situations and i know what is possible and yes i have shot useable photos at 1/8th of a second or even a 4th.

you know the difference between shooting a rangefinder and shooting an slr.

it's ensurance. if you have only one chance to take a photo and you know this chance lasts for a couple of seconds.. the rangefinder will make this photo possible.

if i shoot a whole roll at 1/8th or 1/4th, i KNOW that 50% will be useful photos..

if it happens that such long exposed photos turn out sharp with an SLR, it's almost just luck. with a rangefinder, it is not. there is the difference.

you could say that everything is possible with an slr and i will say, yeah, good for you.. but can you ensure me that this photo will turn out the way it should, BEFORE you take it ? i doubt it.

every camera system has it's right to exist and there are many many reasons for it.

the shown photos in my blog are just valid examples that should show you, why a rangefinder was the only choice for them.

one more thing. adam. the 50/1.0L by canon is crap. there is a 50/1.0 by leica, which i used for a few rolls and that's amazing.

yeah. i shot all these photos on 35mm focal lenght by the way.

smkblog said...

oh and.. yeah since you mentioned the heineken one.. here is a crop:

beat that ;)

you can show me your 1/8th at f2.0 3200iso shot-crop ;)

Miauzz said...

you're not God, but you're close.

And, about the heineken crop... fuck! :X at 1/8 its fantastic!

About the leica thing... The Oly OM-1 is good for me now... it has to be, i cant afford a leica right now... And you know that an M + good lens is not affordable to everyone..

Anyway, gonna sleep a bit, and then hit the darkroom. ;)

Piotr said...

the M. is fucking ridiculous.

i am so glad I purchased mine. there is absolutely no way I can ever get the same results with anything else.

foig said...

"if i shoot a whole roll at 1/8th or 1/4th, i KNOW that 50% will be useful photos.."

Good way of putting it, i can see what you're getting at now!

James said...

well, on this blog Im not god, clearly sev is. However, I have dabbled here and there at being a god, and since I just got an M6 in the mail today all I can say is that its a slice of fucking heaven.

henri said...

we just don't have the same definition of "useable photos" then.
I understand what you mean thought! and you are right... but when you have the choice between an slr and leica, the choice is always obvious... and I allready know that, that's not what I was trying to point out.
anyway, what I have to say won't change anything!

adamkozlowski said...

@sev - you probably read me wrong Sev, i tried to defend your position on Leica and rangefinders in general. The 50/1.0 is just another example. Yes, Canon version is crap, and guess what - no other manufacturer can do it in an SLR! Why? Because of the size and construction of the lens mount. It's only possible to do in a rangefinder. And if i wanted to buy a 35/1.4L, i can buy a Nokton 40/1.4 or the 35/1.2 by Voigtlander and i can become, maybe not be God, but surely Jesus. And i will not spend zazillions of euros on the 35/1.4L.

So yes, i defend your thesis on rangefinders now and, as you remember, you, Sev-God, had me converted some time ago.

But again - you are a bit too bold in your statements - You praise your Leica for ensuring you that the long-exposed photos are sharp... No, Sev. You're god, remember? Your second name is Manfrotto, remember? So, forgive me, but Leica has nothing to do with a good photo - average photographers will screw up a 1/4th or a 1/8th photo, no matter what camera they use. They might even use the 30D + 17-55/2.8 IS @ 17mm with 1/8th - and they will still screw up. Hey, i've seen blurred fisheye shots at 1/8th too!

@Sev and Henri - tomorrow i'm getting a 1N RS. I know i'm repeating myself too much, but i want You both to know how important that is and how different that camera is to anything you've ever held in your hands (unless you did actually handle the RS or the RT). I will try to write something about it in my blog, finally (cuz it's empty now).

@Henri - losing light - even if i use my 1N RS (which has a fixed mirror, so i see the picture being made) and i try to stop down the aperture (say from 2.0 to 5.6) in order to increase shutter time, for example for panning shots in relatively good lighting conditions, i will see the view thru a stopped-down lens = less light! I think it's the language bareer Henri, sorry.

adamkozlowski said...

@FOIG - well, i know the shutters in most rangefinders are mechanical. No batteries mean only no metering, but you can still shoot photos.

My old rangefinders (Russian Leica copies) have a horizontally moving cloth shutter. Voigtlander Bessas have a double metal blade shutter with vertical movement. I don't really remember now about shutters in all Leicas, but probably apart from the M7 and M8 the shutters are purely mechanical. But i might be wrong about the M7.

Henri said...

it's not the language bareer... but on every slr (maybe expet for the one you are buying ) when you actualy stop down (change the aperture), it doesn't change it until you press the shutter button. so you always see at full aperture and at full light when you look through your viewfinder even if you are at f-22 or whatever! if it wasn't the case... then slr will be real crap and wouldn't even exist!!!

smkblog said...


the RS, has a fixed mirror. that means that you have to share the light that comes through the lens for the finder and film. that's the disatvantage, you lose a step at least..

adamkozlowski said...

@sev and henri

Yes, the RS arrived. Mint. Paid about $500. Yes it has a fixed mirror so you can see the photo being made. With long exposures this does make a difference. Plus, it's much more silent than the EOS 1. The light loss on film is 2/3 of a stop and the light loss in the viewfinder is a full stop, but still, the viewfinder is brighter than all non-pro SLRs IMHO.

One disadvantage - if it wasn't meant to be used by photojournalists (10 fps, 0.006s release time lag), it could have do without the fixed battery grip which holds the insert for 8 AAs. That's 8 rechargeable AAs i have inside and guess what - it weighs just a bit more than the 1D Mark II :)

So yes, it comes nowhere close to a 35mm rangefinder as far as size is concerned, but at least it's more silent, reacts faster and you can see the picture being made.

smkblog said...

adam.. i doubt that it has a very bright finder. i dare to say that the FM series is twice as bright or a F5.

ever looked through the 1dsII with a 1.4 glass ?

the RS was made for sport in the first step.. i would not suggest it as streetcamera, because of the loss of light. therefor you have rangefinders of all kind.

adamkozlowski said...

@Sev, yeah, you're obviously right - 1V, 1Ds - they will all have much brighter finders, but... 1N RS is still way better than a 300D or even the 30D, cuz they're murky and dim.

But the nice thing is also the difference in sound. At least when compared to other SLRs that i have. Especially if you switch it to the RS mode, then at half-press the small secondary mirror flips down and then it's even more quiet.

And actually i'm finding it the hard way, that the slightly darker viewfinder is not a problem for street photography... it's the weight of that thing! The size of it too, kind of... Bessa or Leica can fit in a small pocket. This one can fit in a bag. Oh wait, i do have one coat with a pocket of the size of the 1N RS. But if i put it there, i'm gonna look like Quasimodo ;)

But i think that indeed the 1N RS will remain my main SLR for film. A rangefinder is another story... Thanks Sev.

smkblog said...


yeah i know what you're talking about. a 20d or 300d has a dark finder.. almost unsueful for manual focus..

but why switch to something that is in between the tiny, dark viewers and the big bright ones ? why not get a bright one if possible..

that's what i meant, the RS is a very special camera.. if you shoot SLR for portriats and planned work, let's say, family, marriage, holiday.. etc... the mirrorslap won't make a big difference.

since you seem to plan to get a rangefinder for street, whatfor do you use the 1N then ? think about it if you really need that RS or not fot these photos or if a brighter finder and more light for the film would have been better !?

pcfranchina said...

Great photos!


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