Poland Model Photography – June 2015
Matthew Osborne Photography (“Mr Leica”)
I am just back from another 4 days shooting in Sopot, Poland. I stayed in my favourite hotel on Sopot beach, Hotel Bursztyn, and teamed up with Malva Model agency girls again and also with models from 2 other model agencies. Some new faces and a few you may recognise. Some of the regulars were away shooting in Asia / elsewhere in Europe so I hope to catch them next time if they are home.
As usual, the hardest part of the trip is packing beforehand trying to decide what cameras / lenses to take. Right until the last minute the plan was to take my usual Leica M9, a Leica M3 and then take the Nikon F4 SLR to try. I was then stuck with what Nikon mount lens(es) to take for the Nikon F4 as I needed a 50mm (do everything lens) but also wanted to take my new Tokina 100mm f2.8 lens. I then started to consider taking the Nikon D800 instead of the Leica M9 as kind of a test to myself. Can I like the photos from the Nikon D800 CMOS sensor again? It has been over 18 months since I moved to from shooting with the Nikon D800 to the Leica M9 so perhaps it was time to give it another try. The D800 made sense on multiple levels. 36mp high resolution images for the models and agencies to emjoy. D800 longer battery life vs the Leica M9 for full days of shooting. D800 autofocus lens option if I want it for moving subjects and the biggest advantage, I could take one set of lenses for 2 camera bodies. After weighing my bag with various combinations the final camera bag consisted of:
Camera gear for June 2015 trip (2 cameras, 4 lenses)
- Nikon D800 DSLR (digital camera)
- Nikon F4 SLR (35mm film camera)
- Nikkor 50mm f1.8 E series MF lens (pancake lens)
- Nikkor 24mm f2.8 D AF lens (for some interior photos)(less so for models)
- Rollei Planar 50mm f1.8 M42 MF lens (+ tiny M42 – Nikon adapter)
- Tokina 100mm f2.8 AF Macro lens (for portraits and macros)
- 5 in 1 reflector
- 35mm film (Kodak T-Max 100, T-Max 400, Fuji Acros 100, Kentmere 100, Portra 400)
To recap this is what I took on my last trip to Poland (similar space and weight):
January 2015 Poland Trip camera gear (4 cameras, 4 lenses)
- Leica M9 (digital camera)
- Leica M3 film camera (with 50mm framelines)
- Leica M2 film camera (with 35mm framelines)
- Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 lens (for M3)
- Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f1.4 lens (for M2)
- Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm f1.4 lens (for M9)
- Mamiya 645 Super + Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9 lens (medium format film camera)
Was I pleased with my camera and lens choice?
I think yes. I still find it easier to focus a rangefinder cameras vs a SLR/DSLR but after reviewing some of the resulting photos I am extremely pleased with the detailed captured in the Nikon D800 NEF RAW files. A broad dynamic range and lots of detail / sharpness. Perfect for fashion photography and to my eyes more similar to the smooth Leica S2 camera images than the Leica M9 photos. The Leica M9 images to me are more like classic 35mm film grain such as Kodak Tri-X whereas the Leica S2 and Nikon D800 is more like medium format 120 Fuji Acros 100 film (slightly extreme examples but to help visualise) for example with a broad range of grey tones. Neither style is bad and both have their uses. In the past I loved the narrow dynamic range of the contrasty Leica M9 black and white JPEG files yet at the moment I am really enjoying the broad dynamic range of film and the Nikon D800 RAW files.
I was pleased with both the Nikon D800 and handling of the Nikon F4 (film not yet developed). Could I take the same images with a Leica M3 vs the Nikon F4 with the same film loaded and a 50mm lens? Yes I think so. The Leica M3 is smaller and lighter and I can operate it in my sleep. The Nikon F4 was good if I wanted to use the autofocus Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro lens or the wider 24mm Nikkor but for the majority of the photoshoots I could have probably got away with just a 50mm lens. Next time I might take a Nikkor 50mm AF lens for speed or perhaps the Nikkor 60mm f2.8D Micro lens instead of the 100mm Tokina Macro. Both lenses are very sharp.
Could I take the same images (camera operating speaking) with the Leica M9 vs the Nikon D800? Again I think yes but just with smaller files produced from the M9 and from 0.7m-1m away for Leica-M lenses vs up much closer with with Nikon D800.
Time to Think..
During the trip I had time to think more about Leica-M lenses vs lenses for Nikon cameras and also the limited useable max ISO of the Leica M9 vs the Nikon D800 ISO. I will put a post together when I get chance.
For now here is the first digital sample images from the trip:
Model – Weronika @ Malva Models
Nikon D800 + Tokina 100mm f2.8 AF Macro / Nikkor 50mm f1.8 E Series