Problems - difficulties - faults! (Or: "The Leica, my scanner and I")

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by LaFoto, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    For more than two days I have wondered if I should start a thread like this at all, if so, where to start it, and how to call it.

    Well, I have settled on the General Gallery (for you are going to see all sorts of photos).
    And yes, I have decided to share my pics.
    And I called it as you saw before you opened this thread.

    Why the difficulties, why the problems, why the faults?

    It's all about me using my Dad's Leica.
    And as many of you here, also I am pampered by the digital era, by zoom lenses and auto-focus or even auto-everything (which I no longer use, not even in digital, mind you).

    But that Leica has a fixed focus 35mm lens ... and I find that I have to get myself into a totally different mind frame whenever I use that camera. And sometimes the outcome is just ... not good.

    For this roll of film, I set myself the assignment "Wide Open Aperture Only", only because I am notoriously bad about taking notes on my settings (too pampered by exif data and so on). So I would at least know about my aperture. I had planned to have it at widest open (= f2) at all times, to later find out I had somehow moved the dial a bit, so now the photos are between f2, f2.8 and f4.

    Among other things I tried to take "given light only" portraits (or let's call them "face photos") of Sabine, only to see if a regular El-Cheapo-200-ISO-Fuji film would allow for it.

    I made all the mistakes one can possibly make! Composition was totally off, and once more I was proved that portraits and wide angle don't go together well!

    To make matters worse, my (equally El-Cheapo) scanner, which after only two years seems to be at the end of its life, it is getting worse by the day, gives me horrible scans, so I have to work on the scanned prints like crazy to make them presentable AT ALL ... well, at least so the scans would resemble the prints (which are good, that lens does take tack-sharp photos!)

    OK, after this long ramble that few of you will have wanted to read, some example pics - and you will see that I can make all the mistakes of a total newbie even now, after all those years!

    One:
    Original scan of Sabine at her computer:
    [​IMG]
    (Yes, this is what I originally get)

    Establishing similiarities with the print:
    [​IMG]
    (Wrong as the white balance may also be on the print, this being a daylight film and the light being that of lamps, it is sharp, all the same)

    Further edit - better composition, I think:
    [​IMG]
    A crop

    And an experiment: a conversion into B&W,...
    [​IMG]
    ... for that is what I think the photos I take with the Leicashould be: black and whites, but getting them developed and printed is ever so much more expensive than colour film.
    Oh, and I am just seeing that this is one of my playing around with the layers and desaturating the colours one by one, leaving only the green :oops: )

    Yes, it will only be Part 1 and you will (if you want to) get to see other examples later.
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Ok, so after I got a bit long-winded about my difficulties in USING the Leica, as well as those in SHARING my problematic photos, here are some more:

    Two:
    Again - original as it comes out of the scanner first

    [​IMG]

    Then the attempt to give it the look the print has:

    [​IMG]

    And a look that I thought ought to have been the look in the first place, if we all lived in an ideal world, that is:

    [​IMG]


    Three

    Same procedure as before - original scan

    [​IMG]

    Closest likeness with print as possible:

    [​IMG]

    Better compo and "colours" (I think)

    [​IMG]

    Four

    What the scanner gave me:

    [​IMG]

    Just ABOUT what the print looks like "in real life":

    [​IMG]

    And look: composition like that of someone who holds a camera in hands for the first time ever: eyes smack in the centre of the frame (though I did go vertical at last) ...

    ... so here is a crop that I might have made if I had my own darkroom and knew how to make my own prints:

    [​IMG]

    These are just the test pics with Sabine indoors. I have many more examples to show you... :roll:
     
  3. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Several weeks earlier, I took this one of Florian, my son, when we were waiting in a doctor's waiting room, and the print does not show the clear division between window light (from left) and lamp light (from right), as the scan does or any attempts to adapt the scan to the colours of the print ... I just could not fight this division of his face into pink and yellow:

    Original scan:

    [​IMG]

    First edit (to resemble print, but it doesn`t):

    [​IMG]

    A little play with desaturation and a (so I think) better crop:

    [​IMG]

    And a full b&w conversion:

    [​IMG]

    Of course he asked me about the Leica and its use and the apertures and how to set them, and how to set the exposure and focus, and wanted to play, so he took my photo (I was sitting at the opposite wall of that waiting room):

    Original scan (and original composition, too, of course):

    [​IMG]

    First edit (attempt to make the scan resemble the print):

    [​IMG]

    Second edit (crop and play with levels etc):

    [​IMG]

    Third edit (b&w)

    [​IMG]
     
  4. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    So now that you know where my problems with composing properly with the 35mm and those with my scanner are, do you still need to see all the ugly original scans? I don't think so.
    The following were not cropped, so I show you the end product of my digitalisation process at once, all right?

    1.
    [​IMG]

    2.
    [​IMG]

    3a.
    [​IMG]

    3b.
    [​IMG]

    4a.
    [​IMG]

    4b.
    [​IMG]

    5.
    [​IMG]

    I took these last ones (and more) on Wednesday for I wanted to fill that film at last and meant to also show the bleakness of our awful (and way too warm) January weather.

    For more I'll start a "Part 2" thread, but not tonight.
     
  5. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    11,770
    Likes Received:
    109
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    just out of interest, what Leica is it?
    and don't talk to me about the weather
     
  6. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The M5
     
  7. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    11,770
    Likes Received:
    109
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    ahhh the M5 introduced the year I was born.

    we part exchanged a Leica M6 on saturday, I would of borrowed it this weekend but I can't focus it very well, never been very good at MF
     
  8. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Messages:
    9,469
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    TX
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I think you're on the right track, by keeping one setting static and worrying about the others. I was bad about writing down my settings when I shot film, but when I started to it did help! That and bracketing, which felt at first was a waste of film but I really learned how much impact just a few stops or a change of shutter speed could have.

    On a completely unrelated note...it's amazing to see how much your children have grown in the past few years! "Faults" or not, I really enjoyed looking at these photos!
     
  9. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You should invest in an 80A filter. This way you can continue to use daylight film, but for the shots you will be taking indoors under tungsten illumination, you'll get a nicer color balance in the negative. For your portraits, don't be afraid to fill the frame. If you aren't going to do that, then let's see more of the environment. Many of these are "tweeners" to me, or in-between a portrait, and an environmental portrait. The dead space above your daughter's head in the first few is just wasted space. Either show more or less I think. You end up cropping them anyway. Take a look at your crops, and try to think about that the next time you shoot. Leaving some room to crop can be ok, if you want to print a photo with a different aspect ratio than 2:3, but I would still think about how you've been cropping, and come in closer.

    In the photo of your son, you say you cannot see the difference in light from the daylight on his right side, and the lamp on his right in the print. I can clearly see the difference in this scan, obvioulsy, and it must be in the print. No matter how different the print is in terms of color balance, the ratio cannot be different. My guess is that the lab tech corrected for the tungsten more. A cooler skin tone on his right is probably less noticable than a very orange/yellow one on his left. It is wise to avoid mixed lighting for portraits, at least at first. It is near impossible to get a good color balance in a print. One or more parts of the scene will be discolored when you choose a spot to correct to.

    It might be helpful to you to shoot B&W film for a while, and just concentrate on your exposures and compositions. Leave the difficult aspect of color out of it :p If you make yourself a little sheet to keep track of your exposures, and really compare them to your negatives, you'll start to learn quickly. Don't look at the prints, because the lab tech is correcting them for you, unless you ask them not to correct, so you can see exactly what you did.
     
  10. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thanks for looking and commenting, Matt.
    I feel very honoured.

    Now this is not to make excuses, for I started this thread to SHOW you (and admit to) the difficulties I am having - zoomlens-spoiled as I am - when using this 35mm fixed focus lens. And all my photos are mere "play", only tests. Or taken for fun. Like the two in the waiting room in two different light sources.

    What I have learned is that with a wide angle lens that only allows for a maximum proximity of 70 cms to your subject (take Sabine as the example) you cannot take any really good portraits. For all these examples show the closest I could possibly get, there was no closer, so apparently this lens is not designed for any real portraiture. "Environmental portrait" at the most - as you call it.

    I wonder what camera my dad used when we were little and he took close-ups (candids) or real portraits (with us posing) ... supposedly the Rolleiflex - or his older Leicas have different lenses?

    Well, anyhow, what surprised me is that while concentrating so much on getting the focus right and in the right spot of Sabine's face, for example ("Aim at the root of the nose", my sister kept saying, "the root between the eyes, not the tip"), I forgot ALL about composition and left her squarely in the centre! :oops:

    My problem may also be that I am not so very much a "wide angle person", I have struggled with the wide angles almost forever - but this lovely little camera does all right as an outdoor camera, even when loaded with my el-cheapo-Fuji-colour-print film (which I use and will continue to use for economical reasons, for getting a print in colour costs me 1 cent per print, while getting one b&w print is 35 cents !!!).
     
  11. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    One more of my earliest photos on this film (with the "assignment" Wide Open Aperture Only in my mind), just the "resembling-the-print-the-most" edit and a crop edit after that, of Mia, the cat, lounging on our dinner table (! :shock: !)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. cosmonaut

    cosmonaut No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,122
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    North Georgia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Rangefinders have their benefits though. I also am experimenting with one, a Canon QL-17. I took it out for a test drive yesterday. I have only shot one roll of film in it before now just to test the metering system.
    For one I like the fast lens. I think I will finally be able to use lower speed films without a tripod. I also like the small size. I don't know about the Leicas, but the Canon is very small and easy to carry. I also can't beleive how quite it is. When I first got mine I thought the shutter was broken.
    I have color film in it now but think I will try some B&W. That's probably what I will wind up using for mostly anyway. I have only recently bought my first DSLR, but I intend to carry both the DSLR and Rangefinder in the same backpack. On the down side mine is hard to focus and meter, and I also miss the zoom. But being 40mm seems to be a good comprimise. I will share some pictures if they come out...
    Cosmo
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
cat dinner table
,
leica m5 examples
,

photo with leica 3a rangefinder