I will be out all day today shooting and doing some shopping for my 8 day road trip coming up this weekend (will update from the road!) but had to point out all of the used deals going on some great Leica gear! Check out the sidebar to the right. A 35 Summicron ASPH for $1799, a mint Silver 50 Summicron for $1199, A sweet chrome M7 for almost half price! The 90 Cron ASPH for $1999 and even a somewhat rare Silver 24 Elmarit in like new condition. Lots of deals going on today.
Buying Leica used is a GREAT way to add to your collection. Many times used prices are so much lower and is an easy way to try something out. For example, the silver 50 summicron. I just saw a silver 50 Summicron sell for $1350 by a private party but B&H has one for $1199. Great deal on an awesome lens and an easy “no loss” resell if someone bought it and did not like it. I am on the verge of buying a used Leica film M and not sure which to go for. M6, M7 or MP. Whichever I buy, it will be used as a new MP and M7 these days go for $4500.
OK! I am off for the day to go shoot the Leica M7, Oly E-PL1, and test the 18 Elmar and 24 Elmar lenses (which seem to be pretty nice in my initial test shots). I will have a post later with some cool Friday links so until then, HAPPY FRIDAY! The weekend is here!
Better late than never …when we can realize that we are “fighting”over a topic that will never be won ,and can just get out there and use the equipment we have ,think of the fun we can have . Think of the two medias as independent, apples and bananas, and leave it at that . A grand piano and an electric keyboard…etc. etc.
Just like you I do like film. I used it for many years and during my years at university I pretty much lived in a darkroom. I agree with all of you that film has a flair/character that one can’t find in digital. To me, it’s not about which one is better but rather about personal preference/taste or convenience or what’s the better medium for a given task.
Having said that I think it’s pretty obvious that I don’t have a problem with film (hey which one is better, M6TTL or M7?).
The problem I have, though, is with people who are stuck in time and think they have to convince everybody that film is way superior and digital is borderline evil with all those manipulations possible and in fact has nothing in common with photography anymore.
What irritates me the most is that for some reasons many traditional Leica users are the loudest and most ignorant one’s when it comes to fighting the good fight for film.
Basically if you like film, good for you! Enjoy it. But stop the missionary work please!
(Newsflash, even Leica itself jumped head first into the digital age now.)
To be clear what some thought as pretentious on my part is merely annoyance.
Max, as Steve said already there are many high end digital systems/cameras that surpassed film. I really don’t see a reason why i should do your homework.
Also, if you consider producing something better than film as the pinnacle of digital capture and therefore no need to go any further, then I really don’t know what to say.
Technology doesn’t stop but always strives to go further.
On the other hand, please don’t confuse marketing hype (“abc got more megapixel than xyz”) with advancements in technology.
PS: In case my voice got to harsh or I offended anybody … my sincerest apologies.
@Harald…We all shoot digital and enjoy it, we all do PP and we all Know about cross processing, printing dodging and burning to increase DR of films.. Who is pretetious…Saw an expo and wondered if m’y 10yr files were as good as m’y 20yr negatives. I gave m’y last film camera to a local photoclub 3 months ago.
@ Federico – I want a film M to add to my M9. Shooting film is a different experience with a different result and look. It can be fun shooting different films and even fun processing your own negatives. Mainly, I want a film and digital and if I can find a nice used M I may jump!
@ Francis – great points!
@ Max – I know YOU love your film and I have had a hard drive crash in the past losing thousands of images (stupid to not have a backup I know)
@ Sergey – Thanks, it should be fun 🙂
@ Bene – Well said!
@ Stephanie – Congrats! Those silver summicrons are NICE!
@ Yang – Yes, the m8/m9 is lighter and more “hollow” feeling than the MP or M7 which feels like a solid hunk of metal. They are also also thinner. They feel wonderful!
@ Harald – Yep, digital quality (with the better cameras) has surpassed film in regards to sharpness, noise, resolution, etc. BUT film does have a character that digital can’t always match. Much like the difference between film and video for TV or movies. To me, film gives a different “flavor” and “feeling” but the M9 files will always be cleaner and smoother. I think I will have fun shooting both, but with film costs the digital will be getting more action.
Thanks for all of the comments!
Hey Antoine, who says we don’t enjoy shooting? I do, A LOT 🙂 This is all in good fun, in a civil manner. Nobody is getting ruffled up here. Hasselblad/Steve McCurry…how much did he get paid for that? Or maybe he got a free camera 🙂
Smiling when browsing your useless rants and flames, guys ! Why don’t you just enjoy shooting ?
I’m a happy owner of a M3 and a M8, and I do enjoy both of them. I think it’s a great thing that both can share those wonderful lenses. My only complain is I wish I could focus closer than 70 cm (M8) or 1 m (M3).
And just to add to the discussion without any judgement, check about this guy who was saying he missed the kodachrome not so long ago (third one of the list, a certain Steve McCurry) :
What is so arrogant in preferring film to digital and considering it superior? Also, why is that so many great photographers still shoot film for much of their important work?
Also, which sensors have surpassed film so far and if so, why do camera manufacturers keep pushing the envelope with megapixels etc? If the pinnacle in digital capture has indeed been reached, why do people still buy new digital cameras?
I don’t know what you guys are smoking but digital past film some time ago. It might be wishful thinking on your part but the quality of digital is way ahead of film.
Shooting film is nowadays only based on personal preferences but not because it’s the superior medium.
Regarding scanning, some might have noticed already that Nikon is discontinuing their line of film scanners. Unless one is happy with home wet/darkroom work and inhaling the necessary chemicals, soon their only will be the Imacon scanners left. For a cool 10 grand – cheap compared to professional drum scanners, though.
That some pros use film as back-up is for most simply a cheap alternative to another high-priced digital camera or an even more expensive second digital back.
Oh, and by the way, results that film gives you instantly compared to hours in front of a computer, well there’s a simple explanation for it. With film one decides on a “profile” in the moment of purchase, with digital one can do profile wise whatever they prefer, colour, or B+W, or this or that kinda film look.
Working with Photoshop, Aperture, Lightroom, Phocus or whatever else has nothing to do with image manipulation. Yes, one can do that if they choose to but otherwise the computer and those kind of software are simply a replacement for tools one finds in a darkroom.
Also, if one of you really believes that in the good old days of film nobody, amateur or professional photographer, did (or could) do any form of heavy manipulation … well, all I can say is, keep on dreaming. For the professional their was an entire industry available for this kinda stuff available. I know of retouchers who hand painted things onto positives that looked so real that one could bet money on saying that it was really in the picture when the shutter got pressed.
Digital pretty much killed this industry. With the computer things became a lot easier and those specialist were simply not needed anymore. Yet, that doesn’t mean it never happened and film is oh, so true and innocent compared to digital.
People, just drop this arrogant attitude and get over it.
I had my MP next to an M9 in the Leica store, put my own lux 50 asph on it, and had a play.
The haptics are totally different from the MP, somehow feels a bit hollow.
I was planning on buying a 50 Summicron so when you posted the deal on B&H’s used lens, I went for it. Humm, I could get used to having a ‘personal shopper’ 🙂
Many M9 users still pair with a film M. In the event you feel like playing with ISO 25 or ISO 3200. Or you just feel like going down to the basics.
I think that more people, as they get a little more seriously into photography, understand that. Digital still can’t touch film and then there is the issue of storage and archival. Once you have thousands of images stored in 1-2 huge hard drives, that may fail over time, or the technology evolves and you may not be able to open those files easily in 20-30 years, that’s a problem. I don’t know about anyone else, but I still shoot film for anything that really matters to me. Plus, I can’t stand sitting in front of a computer playing with Photoshop/Lightroom or whatever trying to attempt result that Kodachrome, Velvia, Ektar, Tri-X Delta 100 give me effortlessly. Obviously, if one is heavily into image manipulation, digital is the way to go. For anything else, film still rules and that won’t change for ONE reason: ECONOMICS. I’ve said this before: camera manufacturers have no interest in reaching that pinnacle because if they do, they won’t sell anymore new cameras. Think about it: if you have a full frame digital for $1,000 and it gives you the same quality and simplicity of film, would you ever buy another one? I have four film camera bodies, an M3, MP, M7 and a Nikon FM3A. Will I ever need anything else? Hell no! Unless one breaks down, there is no reason.
With digital though, people get sucked in every 18 months with a new model, loaded with new and mostly useless features, and it is a never ending cycle.
Look at Leica for example: their best camera, EVER? The M3. Even to the silliest details, that camera is flawless and the pinnacle of mechanics. There is one little thing that I can’t stand about the newer Leicas (MP, M7, and M9) and that is the finder windows always get dirty with finger prints, no matter how careful you are and that is because the glass is flush with the body. The M3? Nope. The glass is recessed and there is a small lip protruding. You will never get a fingerprint onto those pieces of glass unless you go poking. That’s a 60 year old design and it was downhill from there.
In the end, digital has saved camera manufacturers and they have found the perfect vehicle to get consumers to continuously buy. With film, it was a dead end street because, again, there was nothing new to invent or improve. The proof is even in lenses. Unless one is doing meaningless tests with charts etc, in real world photography, some of the old lenses from Leica, Zeiss, Nikon are still unequaled and can be bought for little money. My favorite lenses for the M9 for example (and film obviously)? The Summar, Summitar, f3.5 50mm Elmar, 90mm f4 Elmar and the 135 f4 Tele Elmar. If Leica could figure out a way to correct for the 21mm Super Angulon f4, that would be another one. Probably all can be had for the price of a 50mm Summilux (or less) which is the lens everyone wants, even though it won’t help anyone to take a better picture.
Okay, rant over 🙂
Steve, I cant wait for you to get a film camera like the M6 or MP. Then you can review various films along with lenses. This will make your blog even better! Wonderful idea.
Federico…because film is still better 😉 …and Steve knows it.
Steve may have different reasons to buy film but I went to see a photo exhibit about a month ago in Ottawa. The work of Gabor Szilasi. Some of the pics had been shot in 1954 and re-printed in 2004 with no-loss in quality. Look at your digital pictures from 1999 or 2001 and I doubt that these files can compare with a 1954 negative. Go at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, the picture in there of the French artisans who built it are razor sharp and date from around 1880 try to make a 3feet by 2 feet printout of you EP-1 or EP-2 (ok glass plate were large format but the “file is still usable 120 years later). I just got an M8.2…industry leading sucky AWB (who cares we shoot RAW anyways)… films have 2 options. When film technology evolves, all cameras are instantly updated to the latest captor. As scanning technology evolve you will always have better and better digital files from your negative. I saw on a Contax G2 forum a quotation along those lines: “no one can stop evolution, digital will eventually evolve into film”. I don’t think film is dead in big part because of its archival capabilities. A few years back there was a digital film that never picked up and never evolved but it was turning any camera into digital, the digital module was being inserted at the place of the film. Leica used to have a Digital Module for the R camera, you could shoot digital or film with the same camera. Anyways, I am contemplating it too.
Why do you want a M6, M7 or MP (film) when you have an M9 ?