Gymnastic decorating

Gymnastic decorating

While visiting Headcorn village yesterday, on the drive in my wife pointed out this young lady painting the front of this old grade two listed building. I believe it was an old Inn but now houses a couple of small businesses, one of which I think is a ladies hair salon. I managed to get an informal portrait of her on what was a very hot day for us all in the south of England. To be honest I’m surprised the paint wasn’t drying out before she could apply it with the brush!

‘Painting by numbers’ – Headcorn, England.

Both images taken with Leica M-P (Typ-240) Summicron 50mm f/2.

September 2021.



Decisions.

Jacks‘ the Doberman Pinscher – Summicron 50mm f/2

Recently I made a decision regarding my Leica lenses which I have mulling over for quite sometime. For the last few years I have been mainly using a 50mm lens for my photography and I like the idea of using just one lens but couldn’t make my mind which focal length I wanted stick too. There’s always that thought in the back of my mind that you’ll need different focal lengths for every occasion.

Two years ago I purchased the Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH partly out of wanting to make it easier to do street photography by using a wider lens and the fact that everyone else seems to use a wide angle lens for street images these days. The other thought was it to be used for any landscape images and could even eventually be my go to lens. On conclusion I think this was silly idea on my part and shooting zone focusing at f/11 or f/16 with a fast ISO all the time just to guarantee getting a street shot is not my style of working. While I’ll done it, I didn’t really enjoy shooting street images this way and as for the odd landscape or seascape I might take, interestingly I found most of the this type of images I’d previously taken where with the 50mm lens.

‘Choppy waters’ Isle of Sheppey, England – Summicron 50mm f/2

Another point was finding my dislike for the finger or focusing tab. I found every time I used the 35mm after using the 50mm Summicron (which on version V has no focus tab) I would find the finger tab annoying and did not use it. I think, you either like using a focusing tab or you don’t and I now find it just getting in the way all the time. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great lens but the focal length is just not necessary for me now some how.

The 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit, at the end last year before Brexit came into force I bought this lens from the Leica Vienna store online. It’s a lovely little Canadian made lens from the early 1980’s and wasn’t expensive at all. While thinking it was a good idea to have such a focal length available to use I in fact only used this lens twice since purchasing it. Once for testing and the other occasion for my image ‘Shoes’ you can see below.

Conclusions.

…So I have decided I am a 50mm focal length photographer.

Having rambled on, how I have come to the conclusion, I do only really need one lens, a 50mm lens for my photography and going through my images I found nearly 80% of them were shot using a 50mm lens, so why use anything else. I’m glad I had use of the 90mm but I so rarely shoot portraits or have the need to take pictures at this distance that I found they can also be done with a 50mm lens. I got 35mm Summicron for street photography but it’s not a necessity for shooting the subject nor do I need to have it in my bag for a landscape I might take. Yes it wasn’t cheap but I knew that either way if I sold the 50 or 35 I would get my money back.

Not wanting the 35 or 90mm to be collecting dust on the shelf, I’ve decided to sell them both. While looking up current prices of used Leica lenses on the internet I see a review on a 50mm Summilux lens, a version I wasn’t not aware of, the Leica Black-Chrome Summilux-M 50mm f/1.4 ASPH. Knowing all about the older Summilux’s and yes there’s always that envy factor of the f/1.4 …I know. For sometime I have had half an eye on maybe purchasing an example but the not the new version Summilux ASPH, model: 11 891 with it’s built in hood and focusing tab.

On a side note regarding the Summicron 50mm f/2 version V hood design. I have found the built in hood on the Summicron can get damaged very easily and I read some other photographers having had the same issues with Summilux and it’s built lens hood. Two years ago while in Le Mont-Saint-Michel in France, a woman lost her footing going up some stone steps and fell against me and in turn knocking the lens into a stone wall. While the damage to the lens didn’t seem that great at the time, a small nick on the other edge of the metal lens hood, later I found the hood would not retract properly back into the Summicron lens body …expensive repair!

New acquisition.

So onto the new acquisition, this lens is a modern version of the 1959 Summilux 50mm f/1.4 but with 2014 aspherical optics, made with solid brass, it has no focus tab, comes with a detachable brass hood and should last my lifetime. The extra stop will be a great bonus and the Summilux gives very smooth creamy bokeh which is as far as I know is unrivalled by any other lens.

Image courtesy from Leica AG

I didn’t see the point of owning two Summicron 50mm lenses, so I’m keeping the Summicron 50mm Duel Range lens to use on my M3. By selling three of my Leica lenses, this will cover three quarters of the cost for a used, excellent condition Summilux from Red Dot Cameras, London which hopefully I’m expecting to arrive tomorrow morning.

https://www.reddotcameras.co.uk/

Legs

I came across this Peugeot J7 van converted into a camper among the many that are parked up at the seafront, Minster, England. Apart from the vehicles aged look, I liked the hanging lantern lights and stencilled monkey advertising on the side panel. Lady inside didn’t want her picture taken but did not seem to mind or notice her legs being on show which added to the picture.

Taken with my Leica M-P (Typ-240) Summicron 50mm f/2

Outgoing waters

Isle of Sheppey, England. August 2021

I couldn’t resist taking this shot, the light this particular morning was beautiful.

I’m finding using the M-P built in meter a bit troublesome to use and I’m finding I am going back to using my handheld Weston Euromaster V light meter. Problem is having shot so long without a integral meter, I’m shooting without it and when I do disagreeing with it’s readings. The picture above I ended up taking by guessing the exposure as with the camera’s meter I could not get it right.

I do wonder how many others find the same issue and resort back to using an external lightmeter?

 Leica M-P (Typ-240) Summicron 50mm f/2 plus digital yellow filter.

The Spider

Funny how you take a shot and don’t notice a small element of the image until post processing. I was taking pictures of the grasses lit up by the morning sunlight using my new M-P and having shot a number of images I returned home.

click to enlarge image.


Even while finishing the image I still hadn’t noticed the spider until as always I view my finished pictures large on my 30 inch computer screen. Although the spider is very small, the detail of the web when seen large is just amazing to me and completes the picture in a subtle way. Think this image is going to used a large wall print for our new home.

For those of you struggling to see the creature and think Martin has lost his marbles, below in a close up of the image above.

Taken with my Leica M-P and Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH

Shining through

I’ve shot this sort of image before but this time the clouds where just right covering the whole of the sky giving very soft low light when sunlight wasn’t breaking through the cloud bank.

Picture was taken the following morning after Storm ‘Evert’

I just love the way our Met Office has for the past couple of years have to name these weather fronts we have from time to time here in the UK. Think they’ve got jealous of the United States and other parts of the world with the cyclone, hurricane and typhoon names.

Taken with my Summicron-M 50mm f/2, digital yellow filter preset and shot in Minster on Sea, England.


Colour saturation worries.

Finding my feet with my new Leica M-P, I have been a little concerned about colour images being too rich. I discover there two colour film presets built in to the camera. Not wanting to get too deep into digital manipulation of any kind the original JPG image below was taken without ‘smooth’¬†film setting. This might look ok to some but me looks wrong, missing detail and doesn’t represent what observed this morning when I shot this image.

On the one hand I wonder if this is cheating but on the other realise it a get way of toning down the colours which would be in my eyes over saturated. Shot with the film Smooth setting, I still had to bring down the levels within Gimp to get the picture below just right though.

Taken with the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH at Bartons Point Coastal Park.


Reading the Leica M-P operating manual while walking around and using this camera I feel like the German officer played by Gert Frobe in 1956 film Those Magnificent Men
in their Flying Machines

In the film having never flown a flying machine, he said “there is nothing a German officer cannot do” …later you see him reading the aircraft flying instructions while flying the aeroplane!

Image courtesy of forgottenfilmcast.wordpress.com

Canada

Mote Park, Maidstone England. July 2021

Great day for light yesterday. Very stormy with broken sunshine here in the UK, some places like London had localised flooding but for us not much rain to speak of. Walking around Mote Park, Maidstone I found unfortunately there was very few people visiting and so I had to find different subjects to shoot with my new Leica M-P. Walking up from the boathouse in the background of the picture above I spotted the Canada Geese were standing in a row along the lake edge. Walking slowly around so not to disturb them I want to capture image with the storm clouds in the background but as I approached the birds to get closer with the Summicron 35mm many birds jumped in the water and paddled away leaving only half the amount of birds. In my mind I did wanted to get down to their level but with a lot of hissing I thought better of the idea …must carry my other lenses with me!


Digital filters

All went well with this shot even managing to use the built digital yellow filter. I’m half and half on using the built in digital filters, while the jury is still out on this idea seems to work well though. I would be interested to here other peoples thoughts and ideas on using this type of built in filter, maybe any pros or cons there are on using digital built in camera filters.


After a great morning shooting when I finally got home I noticed I’d still had forgotten to manually add the 35mm Summicron which is not a coded lens. May have to consider having my Leica lenses 6 bit coded. Final image is crop from the original as to the right of the picture was half a bird leaving the frame. Post processing was kept to a minimum as usual. Picture was shot in JPG, with a little dodge and burn mainly on the birds, plus the added frame by using Gimp 2.8.

Image taken on my Leica M-P (Typ-240) Summicron 35mm f/2 ASPH

First shots

It’s been a few days and I am struggling a little to get the settings right with my new Leica M-P. Keep forgetting to press ‘set’ on the back of the camera and finding the images are not black and white, forgetting I can change the ISO mid shoot or I’ve not used the manual setting for my Summicron 35mm or my 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit lenses nether of which is a non 6 bit coded lenses.

Early days I suppose, other than my user errors I cannot fault the camera.

This one of the first pictures I shot Dahlia in our new garden. Taken using the Tele-Elmarit 90mm f/2.8 hand held, with Weston Euromaster lightmeter. I then find out having read in the instruction manual that this camera actually has a spot meter. Think I’ll still carry my Weston lightmeter regardless. You know how it is, your dying to use your new camera when really you should sit down and read the camera instruction manual first. Still all was not lost, my wife likes the image enough it’s now used as a wallpaper on our desktop PC.

When I can get the hang of this thing, it is really something! Think it’s going to make street photography easier, both to shot and post process. Above taken at Minster Leas, England using the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH.

One decision I have made is to solely shoot JPG files. As I’ve said before, I don’t alter images very much nor use digital manipulation so I cannot see any reason to use RAW files. Most of my work is going to be black and white anyway and reading reviews it’s suggested that JPG files a better for monochrome pictures particularly for street images.

Image taken at Minster Leas, England. July 2021 with the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH


Leica M3

Just after we moved into our new house my wife was given some flowers, pink and white lily’s to be exact. Having a moment to spare I used the M3 plus the Summicron duel range 50mm and this was the result of my efforts. Not bad considering the Fuji Color 200 was from my late father’s refrigerated film stock and was dated 03/2002.

Natural light and exposure taken with my Weston Euromaster lightmeter. Film development was done by AG Photographic lab.

I suppose I’d better think about changing my blogs name now seeing as I’m using digital as well as film.