Daily Inspiration #90 Part 2 by Joseph Hughes

Yesterday I posted two images from Mr Joseph Hughes who was excited to be shooting out in Denmark and LEARNING more about what is obviously a passion of his. This website is all about the fun, the passion, and the journey we all take with our photography and as I have stated several times in the past, the daily inspiration posts are not mean to all be spectacular magazine cover photos. The only requirement is the photographer have a passion for photography. Lots of harsh criticism was dished out to Joseph which is fine, as that helps us learn but sometimes people look at the gear being used and expect the gear to produce the jaw dropping results. Anyway, I received a few more images from Joseph and these have been processed, cropped, etc. Wanted to give Joseph another spot here because I have seen more of his work and I really enjoyed it. So here are two more from Joseph which are terrific IMO. Again, these two have been processed and this makes all the difference in the world 🙂 Thanks Joseph and wish I was out in Denmark shooting!


  1. Doesn’t matter. Leica them self (Peter Karbe as far as I remember) have stated that the R lenses are superior to the M lenses. The larger size alone make it easier to design a better lens even with the exact same lens design. And this will also explain why the S lenses probably will surpass the M and R lenses.

    The superiority of the R lenses is visible even with a 10MP digital back on an R9. But I will also say that looking at the hires originals from Joseph V Hughes photos taken with the Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 and the 70mm S f/2.5 … some times we just couldn’t tell one from another without the EXIF data. The image quality is that great, and so is the sharpness of the lenses thought he bigger sensor and better resolution definitely plays in in utilizing the lens’ qualities.

    (The 180mm S lens which we did not have is considered to be even better than the 70mm S lens in terms of definition and sharpness)

    So in a way it would be fair to expect the NEW Leica M lenses to be in fact better than any existing R lenses of which the last fixed focus lens was made in 2002. After all the last R lens developed was the he 15mm Super-Elmarit-R ASPH from 2001 and then the 90mm Apo-Summicron-R ASPH f/2.0 (then the zoom lenses 21-35mm Vario-Elmar-R ASPH from 2002 and then the 28-90mm Vario-Elmarit-R ASPH from 2004).

    After this came the now legendary 50mm Summulix-M ASPH f/1.4 which must be considered as a breakthrough for Karbe.

    So add one more dimension to the R versus M versus S lenses, and that is time. Lenses just generally become better and better from Leica.

  2. David S. says:
    April 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    “2) Leica has really only made one superior product: the M series of rangefinders. Their SLRs and R lenses have never been as strong as the M’s, which is why they have disappeared and are not particularly prized. The various point-and-shoots like the x1 are just Leica selling its brand. The S2 is more of an overgrown R.

    Leica does only one thing well, and the S2 isn’t it.”

    I have some questions for you;
    How many Leica R’s have you actually owned? Do you own or have you used an S2 extensively?
    Basically, I’m curious to know how you arrived at such broad-sweeping conclusions.
    Any clues will, I’m sure, prove most enlightening


  3. Steve–

    Thanks for posting the pictures it was fun to shoot Thorsten’s wonderful daughters.

    I certainly appreciate all of the constructive comments made, so no offense taken.

    No doubt as we all know, whether enthusiast or pro, at a moment in time we make focus/composition/exposure decisions. Some of these are correct and some may be wrong. In the prior day photo with the dark clouds, I was as interested in the Danish “volcanic ash” as in the beautiful model. Shooting wide-open with short depth of field is a choice one makes, and for me has become a style. Some people like it, some don’t. Is one style better than the other? I don’t know.

    Most of all I would encourage others to send in their photos as it is a healthy exercise.

    Again, Steve thanks for the website, there’s a lot of good going on here!

  4. Well, I have to say that these two images are WAY better than those first two.
    Here I can see how good composition can make a big difference.

  5. Well, I liked the other two shots, and these as well. I didn’t think Joseph was a pro, but an enthusiast. I frankly don’t care what camera her uses. I just like the pictures for what they were. I understand the whole let-down of cameras, as I too wasn’t impressed so much by the Leica S2 as others were. I don’t know why, but I guess I was expecting more oomph from a camera costing that much. No reflection on the photos though. It’s weird. Certain cameras have certain characteristics. Sometimes I don’t like the files that come out of the M9 due to the colors. I like the M8.2 better in that regard. Other times I hate the metering in the Leica system, and prefer my more accurate metering in the nikon system.

    We are all perfectionists. We are searching for the holy grail. We’re never going to get the perfect camera or the perfect camera bag. I think I need a Xanex now.

    Oh, one more thing, speaking of perfect:

    What is an awesome P&S digital camera, that is small, with a zoom lens, that can shoot RAW which will beat out the Canon G9, G10 series of cameras overall? Anyone have an answer to that?
    I don’t want a 4/3 camera system. I want a small point & shoot that has a zoom which shoots RAW, like the D-Lux 4, but better than that and the Canon G9 series.


  6. Eric,

    I agree. I am in the wine biz and when we do blind tastings it is always enlightening. I’ve given clients a taste of a $2,000 bottle of Chateau Petrus while showing the label and they go gaga over it and then the same wine served blind left them disappointed. There is certainly a high level of expectation when we know the gear used for the shots and that is why I try to usually ignore it. In fact, it may not be a bad idea for Steve not to even mention, until maybe a few days later, what gear was used for these daily inspirations. By taking away some bias, we could just admire the picture for what it is without judging the photographer based on the camera/lens that was used.

  7. @max and David
    I have seen amazing work done with a disposable camera and I have seen horrible work with hassleblads but overall that is not usually the case. Most people have a level of expectations when they hear certain gear. If I said I just did a photoshoot with a proffesional model, fifty thousand dollars of Hassy gear and ten grand of lighting and ended up with bad shots I would get a lot of heat anywhere including here but if the same shots came from my point and shoot no one would care. Thats an extreme of course but still people link great photography with great gear although so many greats worked with what would now be considered garage sale stuff. Also clearly Joseph has a lot of talent as those two photos are great, everyone produces alright images and great images, and ive produced horrible images at times.

    Also I would question you on the point of sensor size. Clearly P65 backs do a better job then full fram 135 sensors, so I do not think weve hit any such limit yet. I dont think we will ever get to 8×10 size sensors for photography (other then scientific uses) but 4×5 maybe, hard to say.

  8. David,

    #3 is the key point there. I like these pictures better than the other ones because the composition/post processing is better, with the top one being more dynamic and interesting because of the little girl bright and spontaneous smile. As far as I am concerned, If they were taken with a $30 Holga they could be just as nice and maybe even more interesting. Anyway, Joseph did a fine job with what he had available and I’m sure it was a great learning experience. I hope he wasn’t offended by the criticism, as I am sure no one intended to come across as a wise-ass.

  9. Don’t blame the guy. He was just playing with the gear, so it shouldn’t have been read as some kind of artistic statement.

    Also, I have yet to see any shots from an S2 that looked even the slightest bit better than those from a 5DMkII. The m9 shots here are stronger. I’ve actually seen horrible shots from an S2 that looked like shots from a point-and-shoot, believe it or not, but that was in the hands of a lousy photographer.

    There are two takeaways from this:

    1) we may be reaching the point of diminishing returns on DSLR sensor size. It may be that we have hit the limits of what a digital sensor can give us; and

    2) Leica has really only made one superior product: the M series of rangefinders. Their SLRs and R lenses have never been as strong as the M’s, which is why they have disappeared and are not particularly prized. The various point-and-shoots like the x1 are just Leica selling its brand. The S2 is more of an overgrown R.

    Leica does only one thing well, and the S2 isn’t it.

    3) Your camera doesn’t matter.

  10. Honestly everyone that I remember was very polite about it, and I think its some what fair to expect a certain level when the equipment goes into that price range, perhaps not logical but certainly expected. These two are very lovely and have a lot more character while the problem with the last two is that they seemed a little generic and dull, these certainly dont classify as dull. Good job.

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