Leica vs Mamiya: Budapest Models

Leica vs Mamiya: Budapest Models – June 2018

Blog Diary

Here is the write up from my last model photography trip to Budapest in June detailing camera gear choices, film stocks used, models, locations and more.  Which camera will suit me best – Leica vs Mamiya?  It is quite wordy so you may want to get comfy and grab your favourite drink before starting (or just scroll through the images!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leica Photographer UK

Intro

June 2018 and I’m just on my flight out from the UK to visit Budapest for a few busy and hopefully fun packed days of model photography. I visited Budapest a lot last year but this is my first trip since Christmas so I feel it is well overdue. I haven’t been shooting a great deal in the UK compared to what I used to. Partly time constraints and partly getting too picky with the models I work with.  Much of my free time is currently taken up with triathlon training. My second obsession along side photography. In good weather I much rather be out on the bike(s) or doing a long run in the sunshine that stuck indoors looking at computer screen. I have a lot of film still sitting in the fridge too waiting to be developed when I get chance.

Camera Bag – Leica vs Mamiya (s)

  • Digital Leica M240 camera body
  • Leica M3 film camera body
  • Leica M4-P film camera body
  • Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f4 lens
  • Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm f1.4 lens
  • Leica Summicron-M 28mm f2 ASPH lens
  • Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH lens
  • Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 lens
  • Leica Macro-Elmer-M 90mm f4 lens
  • LUMIX Lx100 / Leica D-Lux Typ 109 (backup)
  • Mamiya 7 6×7 medium format film camera
  • Mamiya 50mm f4.5 lens (for Mamiya 7)
  • Mamiya 645 Super medium format film camera
  • Mamiya 80mm f1.9 lens (for Mamiya 645)
  • Speedlights
  • Tripod + Mini tripod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leica M240 Fashion

Budapest – Camera gear decision

I did my usual 6hrs or so of packing last night ahead of flying. Not much sleep afterwards, maybe 3 hours. It always take a me forever to pack. I have and use a lot of different film cameras so when it comes to packing for an overseas trip it’s always a struggle to choose.

Leica Cameras

When I was in Tenerife with Aneta last month I used 2 Leica M film bodies and switched between the two with one Leica camera loaded with black and white film and one with colour film. It worked well so my first 3 cameras packed were 3 Leica Ms. The digital workhorse Leica M240, a Leica M3 and a Leica M4-P.

Mamiya 7

The next camera to pack for me was a must as it is my latest camera purchase. I brought my new Mamiya 7 6×7 medium format rangefinder camera together with a 50mm lens which I also just bought and have yet to try out properly.

Leica vs Mamiya vs Fuji GF670

Rangefinder camera like Leica Ms and the Mamiya 7 are great and generally a compact size and I find them easy to focus but they don’t focus super close to a subject.  For more intimate headshots and for medium format film with a more shallow depth of field I really needed a different style of camera. That ruled out my Fuji GF670 and Mamiya 6 which are both rangefinder cameras.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leica Model Photography

Hasselblad 500CM

A Hasselblad 500CM is my usual choice but I think the location might be quite dark again so I wanted a faster than f3.5/f4 Hasselblad lenses I use. Hasselblad have the 80mm f2.8 lens but I’ve yet to become a big fan. That ruled out Hasselblad.

Mamiya RZ67 Pro II

The obvious choice was then the Mamiya RZ67 Pro II with its amazing big and bright easy to use focus screen and with the 110mm f2.8 lens.  Sadly it was just too big and heavy to bring in my limited luggage space. I then thought about an SLR 35mm camera like the Nikon F4 (smaller than my Nikon F5). 35mm film camera are better than medium format film cameras in low light as I can use f1.4 (or faster) lenses.  My ‘problem’ was I wanted to give the models in Budapest better than 35mm film scans. The model standard there is generally very good (for my taste) so I wanted my best images of the best models captured on 120 medium format film.

Mamiya M645 Super

I chose my Mamiya 645 Super as a compromise between the RZ67 and a 35mm Nikon. The M645 film format size is 3x greater than 35mm so I can capture more detail and better tonality verses 35mm film.  The other reason for picking the Mamiya 645 is it has a 80mm f1.9 lens. This is very fast/ bright in the medium format camera world and it is lighter and smaller than a Hasselblad. The Mamiya 7 will be better for wider shots and then the Mamiya 645 for softer more dreamy close up photos.  With the Mamiya 7 being my newest camera I really hope I can use it as much as possible but if it is too dark inside for the 50mm f4.5 lens then I can use the M645 with 80/f1.9 lens instead.  The fast and small Leicas can then capture everything else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voigtlander Nokton 40mm

Budapest – Choice of film

Again, as I expected dark conditions in the apartment I tried to pick film stocks that work better in low light. Black and white film includes 35mm and 120 Fomapan 100 (that I use at ISO 100-400 usually but can push to ISO 800 If needed), 120 Kodak T-Max 400 (to use at ISO 800 If needed), 120 Ilford HP5 400 which I have only just recently started to appreciate, to use at ISO 1600 and I might even try it at 3200 and lastly 35mm Kodak Eastman Double-X to use at ISO 1000 approx. For colour film I have 120 Kodak Portra 400, 35mm and 120 Cinestill 800T (excited to finally shoot the 120 Cinestill that I bought on pre-order when announced and had it shipped from America), 35mm Kodak Vision 3 200T, a real favourite of mine and then for outside a few other different films.

2 Days, 10 Models – 9:00-21:00 Photoshoots

I had a busy few days getting up early to do things before the  first model arrived then photoshoots back to back 9:00-21:00, roughly 2hrs per model.  I like to make the best of my time in a city abroad so I don’t mind going home tired!  I wont detail minute by minute but below are my thoughts after the two days of photoshoots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm

Conclusion – Summary

Writing this part on the 4am night bus to the airport and then on my flight home. I think this visit to Budapest was possibly my best yet.  The weather was great, the apartment was fantastic, the models exceeded my high expectations and the cameras / lenses did all I asked. Very enjoyable and I didn’t want to come home.

Near perfect balance

On past model photography trips I’ve been guilty of booking myself up with models and then not seeing further than my apartment walls and perhaps a few surrounding streets (if weather allowed it).  Since then I have enjoyed cycling photography holidays where I have hired a bike and taken a camera and then just go exploring.  For Budapest this time I hired a bike and for the remainder of the first afternoon the day I arrived I just went cycling (and running). For the next two full days of model photography I set my alarm early and went exploring before breakfast. I love the derelict factories and railway and unlike often the case in the UK, I can get really close to take pictures.  Having a bike meant I could cover a lot of ground easily and quickly so I felt I saw more of the city this visit than any other trips so far.  Also as cycling is my number two obsession after photography, being able to enjoy my two passions was the perfect mix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mamiya 7 50mm lens

Apartment

I found the apartment by trawling the internet for inspiring photos. I got lucky this time. Yes the apartment was quite compact and dark inside but the decor and styling was unique and really special.  Not so much inside but outside in the courtyard which I was given full access too. It was a small hotel and restaurant and David who looks after the guests could not have been more welcoming. Considering a new girl kept arriving every 2 hours throughout the day for two days the hotel could have easily said no visitors or words to the same effect. A huge thank you to David and the hotel staff for being so welcoming and accommodating. For the first day I did most of the photos close to my apartment front door and balcony but on day two we were using every inch of the space we had available to us.  As I used the same location for nearly all models there will be some over use of backgrounds but it was so pretty it might not be a bad thing and it ties all the photos from the shoots together as a common theme.

Cameras (and lenses)

Overall I was pleased with my camera choice although I’ve not seen the resulting photos yet. Fingers crossed!

Leica cameras

The digital Leica M240 did great as usual and the photos on the camera LCD looked very promising. I took two Leica M film bodies but I shot nearly all black and white film on day one so the second body didn’t get much use. I shot a little 35mm colour film on day two but not so much.  The Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH lens didn’t leave my Leica M3 for models and was perfect when I had less light to work with. The Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm was probably on my M240 75% of the time and the the Leica Macro Elmar 90mm f4 was used a lot especially on day two.

 

 

 

 

 

Leica M4-P + Summilux

Mamiya M645 Super

The Mamiya 645 Super is a nice camera to use and I think easier to focus than a Hasselblad 500CM for me. My only gripe with it is it the waist level viewfinder suits shooting a horizontal landscape 645 orientation but I normally seem to gravity to a portrait orientation meaning it is quite difficult to compose and focus with the camera on its side. I tried to use the Mamiya 80mm f1.9 lens wide open a lot, especially on the first day so hopefully I nailed the focus. The 80mm f1.9 was perfect for the low light photos and I could use it more like a 35mm camera.  Normally if I am using Hasselblad 500CM / 501C I find there is often not enough light for the f3.5/f4 lenses I use.

Mamiya 7

The other camera I had with me was my newly purchased and highly regarded by many Mamiya 7, a 6×7 rangefinder camera. I had only developed one roll of film with it so far in the UK and I wasn’t particularly impressed by the results. To my eyes a Hasselblad 500CM produces much more pleasing images to my eyes.  As for Leica vs Mamiya 7, the biggest observation I had was how the Mamiya 7 needed so much more light that my 35mm film Leica camera/ lens combination. I was using f1.4 lenses on the Leica but the Mamiya 50mm lens is f4.5 (over 3 stops darker) so if I was at ISO 400 with the Leicas (often the case on my Budapest trips) I needed >ISO3200 for the Mamiya. As such I used the Mamiya 7 camera less in the lower light areas of the hotel courtyard.

Leica vs Mamiya 7 (Size!)

I did take the Mamiya 7 with me when I went out exploring on my bike for the first two days to try the camera with non-model subjects. I shot a few rolls film of random scenes that caught my eye so I’m excited to see the results. When I last did a cycling photography holiday to Fuerteventura I took a Voigtlander Bessa R3A 35mm film camera as it is lighter than  a Leica M3, M4-P, M6 etc. The Bessa R3A is very similar in dimensions to a Leica M camera body and with a Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f4 lens on it offers a super compact travel camera. To then try to fit the weighty bulky Mamiya 7 / 50mm lens combo in my same little cycling rucksack was a bit of a squeeze.  By day two I was running low on 120 film so I took the Leica M4-P / 21mm Voigtlander combination for more urban photography.  The Leica /Bessa size is certainly more suited to my cycling photography needs / demands but if the high resolution 6×7 film negatives of the Mamiya 7 blow the 35mm film scans ‘out the water’ then I will take the camera that gives me the results I desire.

Mamiya 7 50mm lens

With model photography the Mamiya 50mm (and 65mm) lenses have felt a little too wide so far but for buildings and scenes I think the 43mm could have been even better than the 50mm to capture the wide scenes my eyes were seeing. That said I use a 50mm without the external viewfinder (that’s why I bought the Mamiya 7 50mm lens not the 43mm). I would not like to have to carry an additional external viewfinder needed for the 43mm. (With the 50mm composition can be estimated by using the full area within the rangefinder viewfinder). Lastly on day 2 I was shooting some flat (model up against backdrop) but wide environmental portraits in colour and I think (and hope!) the Mamiya could have been perfect for the job. Fingers crossed as I have high hopes!

 

 

 

Leica M240 + Voigtlander 40mm

Film

Most of my photos whether digital or analogue were shot at ISO 400. I shot Fomapan 100@400, Kodak T-Max 400@ 400/800, Ilford HP5 400@400/800/1600, Kodak Portra 400@400 and Cinestill 800T@200/400/800.  I know I could have pushed some of the film more but for some of the shoots I was using mostly digital so I just didn’t bother with film.  As with model photoshoots in the past some models I shot lots of film and some none or almost none. I normally try to use some film with most models as I want to capture their beauty forever on emulsion but the way some models pose just doesn’t work for juggling multiple cameras for my style of working.

Models

All 10 models arrived as they promised and many fitting me into their already very busy schedules. One model flew in from Croatia at midnight the night before our 9am Budapest shoot the following morning. Some models came straight from their long day at work or a full day of modelling or fitted me in between jobs. Considering some girls have photoshoots all the time as that is their full time job, it is quite humbling that that want to meet me to stand in front of yet another camera for more photos, and seemingly be happy and excited with the results. I try to keep my expectations low to avoid my disappointment and I thought a few models might cancel but I was really thankful that everyone showed up to meet me for my very brief visit to their city.  I was also happy to see two of the girls again from when I visited Budapest last December.  When I worked with Aneta and Edina last time it was dark and the apartment was very limiting.  It was great to offer them a daylight shoot, or some daylight for Edina’s evening slot! Aneta said something like you seem to have got better (looking at the LCD and screenshotting half the photos with her iPhone.  It’s amazing how just a bit of light makes everything look better! 🙂

 

Leica M 240 B&W

Big thanks

As with every shoot a huge thanks to the models.  I can’t do it without you!  You may recognise some of my favourites from my previous trips.  After lots of messages in the build up to the trip, a big thank you to Franciska, Cynthia, Nora, Tamara, Edina, Lili, Anett, Boglarka, Sara and Lilla. You were all awesome!

Film Photos

August 2018 – I have not had chance to work through all the Budapest film images yet (and have only used a handful of digital pictures) .  I will include some Mamiya 7 photos in the Mamiya 7 blog to follow and I will try to put together a mini blog for more Leica vs Mamiya 645 Super film photos.  I’m trying hard to get back to blogging more frequently like I used to a few years ago. I plan to get back to writing shorter posts more often rather than just these very wordy “blog diaries” once a month or so (which i’m sure hardly anyone reads anyway!) Thanks if you are still reading at this point!  Hopefully some readers may find certain facts / thoughts shared interesting or of some use.

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Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 Bokeh

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Model Photography – Tenerife (III)

Model Photography – Tenerife (III) – Aneta

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica
August 2018 (from May 2018)

Blog Diary

My first model photography trip to Tenerife was in September 2017 which was just me and model Lindsay. I then went again in January 2018 in a small group. After the first two trips I felt the photos were generally better when I worked 1-2-1 with one model and when we were both solely focused on making good pictures without other distractions.

This Tenerife photoshoot would again be 1-2-1 and this time with Polish model Aneta. We are both very results driven and hard working so I expected non-stop photos for the full 3 days. Writing this blog on the flight home this was an understatement ha. Aneta’s wish list and supply of clothes was endless and even using almost every hour of daylight each day we still probably needed at least 1-2 more days to do all we wanted to do.
Rather than split it into three days and say what we did each day I will just talk more about the cameras (as the days blurred together).

Camera Gear

  • Digital Leica M240 camera body
  • Leica M3 35mm film camera body
  • Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f4 lens
  • Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f1.4 lens
  • Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 lens
  • Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH lens
  • Leica Macro-Elmer-M 90mm f4 lens
  • LUMIX Lx100 / Leica D-Lux Typ 109 (backup)
  • Hasselblad 500CM 6×6 film camera + WLF
  • Hasselblad Acute Matte D Split prism focus screen
  • Hasselblad Acute Matte cross hair focus screen
  • Zeiss Planar 100mm f3.5 CF lens
  • Zeiss Planar 60mm f3.5 CF lens
  • Hasselblad SWC-M 6×6 film camera (fixed Zeiss Biogon 38mm f4.5 CF lens)
  • Hasselblad A12 film back (6×6)
  • Hasselblad A16 film back (645)
  • Mamiya 6 6×6 film camera

Film

  • 35mm Kodak Vision 3 50D
  • 35mm Kodak Vision 3 500T
  • 120 Fomapan 100
  • 120 Ilford HP5 400
  • 120 Fuji Neopan Acros 100
  • 120 Kodak Portra 160
  • 120 Kodak Ektar 100

Leica M3

Medium format cameras

As you may have spotted from my camera bag list I brought a lot (and that was after weeks of trying to decide what to take). For this trip I will wanted to focus more on medium format film and just have one 35mm camera for fun photos (or fast snaps or as a colour alternative if the 6×6 cameras were shooting black and white film.

Hasselblad SWC-M

I expected to use the Mamiya 6 camera the most and Hasselblad SWC-M the least. The opposite was in fact true and I used the SWC-M the most. The Hasselblad 500CM was somewhere in between. I’m not sure the results will be any good using the SWC-M but I got a great workflow going and just loved the size of the camera and point and shoot (almost) approach. My method was to measure the distance with a Leica camera rangefinder then read the distance off the Leica lens then dial it in on the SWC-M lens, copy the exposure setting, compose and click. I took the Mamiya 6 rangefinder camera to work quickly with on location and to capture more environmental portraits. I took the Hasselblad 500CM mostly to work in close to the model (using the cross hair focus screen) but also a few shots from a distance with the split prism focus screen. I find neither screen works as well for both situations (for the mentioned styles of photography, for me). Ie. split prism screen up close I struggle with and cross hair screen from distance I can’t see to focus accurately.

I took the Hasselblad SWC-M instead of a 4×5 film camera believe it or not but it didn’t pan out like that. I planned to shoot carefully composed images on a tripod but it was 99% handheld rushed photos, trying to catch a nice pose before Aneta moved. I found my eyes were naturally seeing wider scenes than the Mamiya 6 75mm lens or Hasselblad 500CM 60mm lens could capture. I don’t think the wide lens necessary suited every image I shot but I’m super excited to see the results. The fixed 38mm f4.5 Zeiss Biogon lens (35mm 21mm equivalent) is extremely well regarded yet I’ve not used the camera as much as I had hoped. Maybe I will going forward now I’ve got my own method of using the camera. Fingers crossed!

The 4×5 Camera Effect

One thing I really noticed in Tenerife this time but also at home is after buying the Intrepid 4×5 camera and viewing a lot of 4×5 film images on Instagram, I find I want to shoot nice light on pretty much any subject. Most often buildings. Aneta was getting changed and I found myself photographing the hotel corridor, the outside of the hotel, off the balcony and even a half cooked approached at long exposure night photography. The Hasselblad SWC-M and a 4×5 view camera are obviously very different beasts but the SWC-M feels like my new pocket 4×5 camera somehow (you would need a big pocket but vs. a 4×5 camera and tripod the SWC handheld is quick and easy and portable and yet hopefully still captures quite nice photos for those landscape or building shots.

I will certainly pack the SWC-M as my first medium format camera for future overseas photoshoots and next time I will try to make time to take more non-model photos with it. (Taking a few location shots this trip was better than I normally do and also it provides a nice visual memory of the location I was at rather than a sequence of model faces that could have been shot anywhere (sometimes the case for me)). So I guess the bad news for people that follow me for the “nice” girls photos is more non-girls photos to come this year but for anyone that appreciates general photography hopefully I will capture a few photogenic scenes.

Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4

Hasselblad A16 (645) Film back

What caught me out the most in Tenerife this time was juggling a 6×6 standard Hasselblad A12 film back with the crop 645 Hasselblad A16 back between the Hasselblad 500CM and SWC-M cameras. So many times I forgot I was using the 645 crop back and composed for the 6×6 square view I saw on the focus screen. I think I will lose a few shots sadly with chopped off head and feet but hopefully not to many. (My fault for trying working fast with 3-4 cameras at once).

The 645 back also gave problems where I wanted to shoot vertical crops so had the Hasselblad 500CM on it’s side using the WLF ‘cack-handed’ (feeling upside down and back to front while trying to compose). I was using one Hasselblad back with 120 B&W film and the other film back with 120 colour film to start with but at one stage both backs were shooting black and white.

I was using two different B&W film stocks so again I got myself confused and metered the wrong exposure for some photos. I shot all the colour 120 film I took and a lot of black and white too so hopefully I will get some nice ones even after all the errors I know about. I shot 8 rolls of 120 film in total which is good for recent times (and 4 rolls of 35mm film). It was great to have a good model I enjoy shooting with to ‘invest’ in shooting 120 film with. I’m getting picky in my old age so it needs to be deemed portfolio worthy in my eyes to shoot 120 film. It is too expensive and time consuming to develop to shoot photos that I will never use.

 

Hasselblad Double Exposure

Ilford HP5 Pushed to 1600

I accidentally found results on Flickr of Ilford HP5 being pushed to ISO 3200 and with fantastic results. I bought some HP5 to take to Tenerife solely to use to be pushed. Sadly as it was so bright in the daytime I only pushed the HP5 to 1600. I will see the results and then try pushing to 3200 next time if the 1600 look is very useable.

Leica M3 Film

Originally I planned to take two film Leica bodies but then realized I only have two pairs of hands so didn’t need to take even more cameras. I wanted to shoot mostly 120 film and I only shoot film when I think a digital photo looks worthy of shooting on film. (This can result in very few film images or it can result in lots of film photos like on this trip. It depends on the model and the available light).

As I shot most of the colour 120 film quite early into the trip I was glad to have 35mm colour film as a backup. The Leica M3 was without doubt the fastest film camera to operate and is always a joy to use. For fast pace model photography it is just perfect.  It has 50mm framelines but I shot a lot with wider lenses too (35mm mostly) and used an external viewfinder to focus (or just guessed). Hopefully even if I screwed up a few 120 film shots I got others on 35mm film.

 

Leica M240 Fashion

Leica M240 Camera

The digital Leica M240 was my main camera for Tenerife. I packed a few different Leica M lenses as they are all relatively small and gave me options for different styles of photos. The most used lens was the 35mm Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4 I think so I must of being seeing the world as a wider scene. I did use the 90mm Macro-Elmer more on the last day too.

No Flash / Available Light Only

For once I packing no additional lighting at all. Not even a single speedlight. I didn’t even use a reflector (not once). (That is probably why I had the extra luggage capacity to take so many cameras!). The weather was not blue sky sunshine much of the time and we even had a little rain one day but I enjoyed working just with available light and it was bright most of the time. I think these Tenerife model photography photos may have a slightly different look to my norm as I normally use a lot of lights in my photography. I enjoyed the simplicity and speed of working with daylight and I think it makes you work a location harder when using exiting light rather than just making artificial light wherever you want it. Both lighting scenarios have there pros and cons of course but for me different is interesting and fun.

Hasselblad Portrait

Model

I have worked with Aneta a few times now after she first approached me via email. We work well together and she knows how I operate and I know she is there to get the results she needs. Aneta did an amazing job bringing lots of nice clothes after weeks of me email her suggestions and photo ideas (plus her finding her own ideas too). Aneta always looks good to me but she put in the additional physical training ahead of our shoot to look at her best for Tenerife. That meant that pretty much every item of clothing looked good, very good or just made your eyeballs pop out on stalks! I was so happy I made the choice to shoot higher resolution 120 medium format film as some images I think I will look back on forever. Hopefully timeless classics and where only a few models I know could produce the same image.

Aneta is very body confident and for some photos I need that confidence combined with the amazing physical form. Helmet Newton came to mind when I was shooting some of the photos. I’m not one of these photographers that lies naked girls on a car bonnet or sit them on a motorbike (not my thing) but like Helmut Newton, sometimes some nudity can look amazing and I think it celebrates the female form. I hope Aneta can look back on some of the photos when she is old and enjoy seeing herself at her physical peak. Equally I never saw myself shooting nudes or mostly nude photos a few years ago! I just seem numb to it now so that might be why some of my Flickr or Instagram model photography photos are racier than they once were. Hopefully still tasteful though.

Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4 Flare

Location Shoot

Aneta and I did well in trying to use as many different backdrops as possible during the 3 days. A polar opposite to some of my past model photography shoots in Poland where many girls were shot against a white hotel wall (often due to rain outside and limited daylight). Hopefully that will add to the interest and variety in the photos even with the same model. My brain is a bit fried after 3 busy days but I think from memory the balcony shots might be the ones I am most likely to print. I want to start printing more of my work so I hope I got the results I needed. Coming soon.

Next Time – What would I do differently

If I think positive and the photos are as good as I saw through the film cameras, next time I won’t change my setup too much. I will leave the Mamiya 6 camera behind and the Zeiss 60mm lens and use the Two Hasselblad cameras both with A12 6×6 film backs. I would take the Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 for the Leica M3 as I rarely shot the Summilux wide open at f1.4. The Summarit is a smaller lens and balances much nicer on a film Leica camera body. Lastly I would take more colour film as I enjoyed shooting some colour for a change (I shoot mostly black and white film on grey days in the UK and in the studio).

Whatever the film photo results, thanks Aneta, I think we both gave it our all and some of the digital photos we’ve taken looked amazing on the Leica M240 LCD. Aneta pushed me by giving me scenarios she wanted me to photograph (that I may not have thought of) so I think I come away a stronger photographer (and I never stop learning using my various film cameras).

Film Photos

As it takes me time to develop and process film photos I will start to post the “blog diary” type post first, as here, with a few digital sample photos, and then share follow up posts containing the film photos at a later date.  As it is a few months now since this trip to Tenerife I have included a few teaser film photos too which I will share again in the film specific blog posts to come. (I have yet to develop the 35mm colour film so have that to look forward to!).

Hasselblad SWC /M

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Models

 

Model Photography – Tenerife (II)

Model Photography – Tenerife (II) (Jan18)

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

May 2018

 

Another blog post I wrote quite a few months ago.. trying to catch up!

Nikon F5 Fashion

Recap

In September 2017 I invited Lindsay (also from Coventry, UK) to fly with me to Tenerife for a few days of model photography in the sunshine (Blog linked below).  We both really enjoyed the experience so booked flights as soon as we got home to visit again in early 2018.   Once we shared our Tenerife photos on social media and said we were going again a fellow local UK photographer that has worked with Lindsay before said he would be interested to join us. To cut an even longer story short we arranged 4 models between us for the next Tenerife photoshoot and there would be two photographers, me and Kev.

Leica Photographer
Tenerife Marina Photoshoot
Colour Fashion Photography

Las Americas

Kev had lived in Tenerife in the past so organized a hotel for us all in Las Americas.  I was not sure what to expect as had never visited the area but I feared there would be too many English tourists. Actually the hotel had a great location close to the beach and with all of us together in one large apartment it was quite social and easy to communicate and plan photoshoots.

Leica M240 Sensor Banding

Camera Gear

    • Leica M4-P camera body (film)
    • Leica M240 camera body (digital)
    • Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 lens
    • Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 lens
    • Leica Macro-Elmar 90mm f4 lens
    • Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 lens
    • Nikon F5 SLR camera (film)
    • Tokina Macro 100mm f2.8 lens
    • Voigtlander Ultron SL II 40mm f2 lens
    • Nikkor 28mm f2.8 E lens
    • Leica D-Lux Typ 109 / Lumix LX100

Leica Fashion

Tenerife Photoshoot – Day 1

For the first afternoon when we arrived to Tenerife we had a little walk around to look at potential locations for photos. We settled on using a secluded urban area to get some graffiti style photos before it was dark. Being a newly formed group we were all getting to know each other a bit better so probably didn’t make best use of the daylight. Once back at the hotel Lindsay and I still wanted to shoot so we went back out again to take more photos. Most of the photos I took on day 1 used flash so I was less inclined to shoot film.  (I do shoot a lot of my analogue photos with flash but in a fast paced environment I prefer available light)(plus it depends on my taste that day of the week!)

Nikon F5 Fashion
Tenerife Photoshoot
Model Photography B&W

Tenerife Photoshoot – Day 2

We had broken cloud and sunny spells again during the morning. One of the UK models had fallen sick prior to flying so didn’t travel meaning there was only 5 of us. We found 2 Tenerife models interested in meeting us so the plan was to meet them at 7:30 ahead of a sunrise shoot. Neither local girl showed up at the hotel so we had our usual team of 5 for the morning from the UK. We didn’t get much sun at sunrise so I did all my photography with flash again. That meant again I shot 99% digital photos (if it doesn’t feel right I don’t shoot film).  For the afternoon a contact I had in Tenerife arranged for one of her girls for us to shoot with.  Kayleigh knew the area so made a few phone calls and got us access to a partially build / derelict club that was been renovated.  The workmen gave us full access and worked around us and we got to shoot in a new location and away from the tourists on the main strip.  The models rotated between two photographers and I tried to ensure Kayleigh got the shots she wanted before we had to leave. She was very body confident and relaxed in front of the camera so the resulting photos were a little bit racier than I anticipated.

Candid!
Not the average day..

A great experience even if all very hectic as we were working fast and swapping between models back to back. Working fast meant I had to get the job done rather than ‘play’ with film cameras so again almost all photos were digital. By late afternoon we had finished as Kayleigh had to go. Everyone was slumped in a bar both mentally and physically exhausted by the crazy experience that just happened. We had coffees and quick sit down then most people retired to the apartment to relax. Lindsay and I were still keen to shoot again so shot some cheeky shots on the hotel balcony. At last, I managed to shoot  a bit more film!  Next we all headed to the beach for sunset. We arrived too late to use the sun and beach properly but I still did a few photos for the girls.

Nikon F5 Fashion

Tenerife Photoshoot – Day 3

I ran in the morning again before everyone else got up and noticed we had clear skies. I decided to try to simplify things for today and also try to create different looking photos photos. I didn’t take the 90mm Macro-Elmar-M lens for the digital Leica and went with a 50mm lens instead. I put a 35mm lens on the Leica M4-P (Voigtlander Color Skopar) but wished I had taken my 28mm Leica Elmarit-M. My eyes seemed to be viewing wide today.  I put a 28mm Nikkor E series lens on the Nikon F5 so was glad I had that option. Amy was keen to shoot more today so we did a series of images at the hotel on the roof. I was really enjoying working in direct sunlight and managed to fire off two rolls film before we even left the hotel. Yey! Good times. I kept the same setup for much of the day and I really liked some of the images we were seeing on the digital Leica LCD. The last shoot in Tenerife was on the beach at sunset. I finished film in both the Nikon F5 and Leica M4-P and then shot digital until the sun went behind clouds.

End of the film
Towel Series

Summary

I really enjoyed our Tenerife shoot despite some concerns ahead of the trip. Everyone got on well together, we didn’t have too much downtime between photos, the weather was warm and dry, the location and hotel was better than I expected and the models gave me the opportunity to try new ideas or styles that I may not have shot before.  I think without exception, everyone said see you on the next one so I will definitely be organizing another trip.

Kodak Ektar Fashion
Kodak Ektar Skin Tones

What to do different next time

It is very tempting to travel light without lighting gear next time but then equally I know in some situations I will wish I had it. I will certainly take a 28mm lens for the Leica cameras as 35mm was not wide enough. The Nikon F5 was fun to use but when using the manual focus smaller lenses like the 28mm and 40mm I could have taken my much lighter and more compact Nikon FM camera instead.    Looking forward to the next Tenerife photoshoot already!

Nikkor 28mm f2.8 E on film

What to do different next time (II)

Most of this blog was written immediately after the trip before the emotions had time to settle.  After have time to develop most of the film from Tenerife (some colour still to develop I think), I feel I work better 1-2-1 than with a group as here.  My style continues to evolve but I think perhaps on the whole the photos from the first trip to Tenerife with just one model might be better (or more specifically more keepers / a more productive trip).  When it is 1-2-1 we are 100% focused and “dialed in” as to the task and nothing else really matters other than good photos / getting the shots we both need/ want.  With that in mind for my third photoshoot in Tenerife I travelled with just one girl.  Polish model Aneta (to follow)! 🙂
Nikon F5 B&W Fashion

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Nikon F5 B&W Fashion
28mm lens

 

Budapest Models + Leica: Dec17

Budapest Models + Leica: Dec17

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

May 2018

Written on the flight home, here were my thoughts after my model photography photoshoots in Budapest at the end of December 2017..  (and sorry I am so far behind with the blog!)

Leica Summilux 50mm ASPH Portrait

Intro

I spent the last two Christmas holidays (2015+2016) visiting Poland for model photography shoots so I thought this year I would go to Budapest for a change.  It became apparent that many of my regular Budapest models were out of town during my stay so I took the opportunity to work with some new faces. I’m glad I did as now I have three more great models to add to my Budapest model list for next time.

I booked a city centre Airbnb apartment again for a few days. Although it was quite spacious and very central it didn’t really have any photogenic features and was very dark inside.

Happy New Year!

Camera Gear

  • Hasselblad 500CM film camera
  • Hasselblad A12 6×6 film back
  • Zeiss Planar 100mm f3.5 CF lens
  • Leica M4-P camera body (film)
  • Leica M240 camera body (digital)
  • Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 lens
  • Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 lens
  • Leica Macro-Elmar 90mm f4 lens
  • Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH lens
  • Leica D-Lux Typ 109 (Lumix LX100)
  • Manfrotto PIXI EVO Tripod
  • Siri Carbon Monopod
  • 120 Film – Fomapan 100/ Kodak T-Max 400
  • 35mm Film – Kodak T-Max 400/ Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222
  • Speedlight

Available Light Photography

Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH

The AirB&B apartment was so dark inside with little window light and little useful/ useable continuous lighting (room lights).  I almost didn’t take a speedlight to Budapest so I could shoot with available light but I’m so thankful I did.  I shot almost every digital photo at ISO 800-1600 with the Leica M240 and I metered the few film photos I took at ISO 800 and will push the Kodak T-Max 400 film one stop during developing. (400@800). 98% of the photos were taken inside as the clothes the models were wearing were not suitable for the daytime temperatures as low as -3 degrees celsius.  (I much prefer to shoot outside especially in a beautiful city such as Budapest but it isn’t always possible).  I tried to use what little window light we had in the apartment but that meant using camera settings such as f1.2-f1.4, 1/45-1/60, ISO 800-1600.

Voigtlander 35mm f1.2 ASPH II Film

For available light photography I shared the Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 lens and the Voigtlander Nokton Classic 35mm f1.2 ASPH lens between the Leica M4-P film camera and digital Leica M240 camera bodies.  I also wanted to use the Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90mm f4 lens so for that I used flash.  (Being an f4 lens it needed more light than was available to use, even with a high ISO).  My new flash trigger was being temperamental so I had to use a mix of off camera flash and on camera flash (direct flash and bounced flash) with my mini speedlight.  I also used one of my bike LED lights as a video light if I needed a little extra lighting. The lack of  interior lights meant I had to create my own lighting for almost all photos with the gear I brought with me from the UK.  I probably overused a few of the spaces in the apartment but I didn’t want to shoot up against a white wall where possible (I did that far too much for a previous Poland photoshoot trips).

Leica M4-P Portrait

One advantage of the small speedlight/ light source is it was highly likely that every set of images would look a little different even shot in the same part of the apartment. Just a small change to the light position had quite a big effect to how the light illuminated the model. I realize that most decent modern digital cameras from the likes of Sony, Fuji, Nikon and Canon now have a useable high ISO far in excess of 6400 but it reality if you are shooting indoors after daylight hours then standard ceiling lights are unlikely to give you ‘exciting’/ flattering lighting for people photography (or any photography where you want to illuminate the subject). My top tip to myself after this visit is always carry a small speedlight even if I plan to shoot only by available light!

Kodak T-Max 400@800

If there was too little light for fast (“fast” = small f stop like f1.4) 35mm camera lenses then there was certainly too little light for a medium format camera. I had packed a table top tripod (the Manfrotto PIXI EVO tripod) in case I did any landscape photography in Budapest so I took a couple of Hasselblad Portrait images with the camera setup on the tripod on a table facing the model. I fired the camera with a cable release but I’m worried the models moved to much to get any sharp images.

Hasselblad Girl

UK Models (and Overseas)

I worked with three new models and my model friend Nikoletta (ex-Miss Universe Hungary).  I’m not sure what they put in the local water but Budapest homes some of the most beautiful girls I’ve met in any country I’ve visited.  I had to ask on two occasions “Are you all natural or artificially enhanced as it all seemed a bit too perfect”!  They both replied 100% natural to which I think I answered “Amazing high 5”!.  As I’ve written in other blog posts working with amazing models is not all good.  My expectation bar is now so high I am shooting less and less in the UK.  I just can’t find girls with the look I appreciate easily (seemingly near impossible!) I did maybe two months of almost no model photography in the build up to Christmas 2017 in the UK.  That contrasts to when I was shooting 3 times a week in the UK when I started out with my people photography/ portraiture and when I shoot 5-6 girls A DAY on some overseas trips!  There are some pretty girls in the UK but they are in such high demand due to the novelty factor that I often rather wait til I travel abroad to get a similar look but where the experience and resulting images are appreciated 100x more by the model.  Maybe I am just too needy ha!

Hasselblad High Key

As a note, UK model agencies such as some of those in London can have fantastic models (and I have worked with a few) (models from all different countries including the UK) but I just really struggle to build a lasting working relationship with them.  Overseas I just find it easier, to find great models and also model agencies wanting to collaborate.

Hasselblad 500CM film camera

Off Topic – Models and Wedding Photography

With me shooting less and less models in the UK at the end of 2017 my plans are changing.  For 2018 I now aim to shoot more wedding photography than model photography so that I still get to use my cameras and shoot between my overseas model photography trips.  I do enjoy wedding photography, especially engagement shoots and the wedding day itself but I’ve always struggled a bit with wedding photo editing. (It takes me too long so I limited the number of wedding bookings I took a year).  Hopefully I have now streamlined my wedding post processing a little it won’t deter me from taking additional wedding bookings for 2018-2019.

I continue to use the Leica M240 as my main digital wedding camera but also use a digital Hasselblad which is very rewarding to use and of course wedding film photography with both Leica M film cameras and Hasselblad 500 series cameras.  I realize wedding photography images are often deemed dull and repetitive when it’s not your own family or friends weddings. I want to challenge myself with the task of making wedding photos that are as well received on platforms such as Flickr, Facebook and Instagram as my often scantily clad beautiful models.  I realize this may prove difficult but if I rely solely on Flickr likes the last wedding themed shoot I shot was my most popular to date (Harriett & Ash).  I just need to carry this new enthusiasm forward into 2018!

Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH II

Budapest Trip Thoughts (On Flight Home)

The lighting conditions were far from ideal and I wish we had braved the cold weather for more interesting outdoor photos.  There were not many models available being the holiday period but I was very happy to discover the three new models and I look forward to working with them again on future trips.  I am also disappointed I didn’t get to use the Hasselblad camera more but equally I am interested to see how the higher ISO digital Leica M240 images look.  Previously I have usually tried to keep the Leica M240 ISO low  and maybe ISO 800 maximum in most situations.

Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90mm

New Favourite Lens

If you have followed my model  photography for a while you will know I have nearly always favoured either a 35mm or 50mm lens focal length on my Leica cameras.  I have used wider lenses (which I often chose for my Leica wedding photography) and also longer telephoto lenses but not repeatedly.  35mm – 50mm lenses tend to be compact so perfect travel companions for photoshoots shoots whereas my Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO and Leica Summicron 90mm f2 Pre-ASPH are both big lenses so are often left behind when I travel.

The new Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90mm f4 lens has become somewhat of a game changer as it is super compact when collapsed and lightweight too.  I really appreciated the Macro-Elmar 90f4 for this Budapest trip and I think it was my most used lens.  In addition to this the Macro Elmar 90mm lens was the lens that captured the images receiving the most wow comments from the models. It is extremely rare that I have a Leica lens that focuses on a model closer than I need. (0.8 meters close focus distance when using the Macro-Elmar lens without the Leica macro adapter, (sold separately).

Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90mm Headshot

Models

A big thank you models Edina, Anett, Nikoletta and Boglarka and I look forward to visiting again soon!

Leica M4-P Portrait

Matt

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Leica Elmarit 28mm f2.8 ASPH

Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 ASPH Lens

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica – February 2018

I realised I haven’t yet write a review on the Leica Elmarit 28mm f2.8 lens I bought back in 2016.  It is a fantastic lens, super sharp wide open at f2.8 (as you would expect from Leica) and very compact for a Leica lens with a 39mm filter thread.

leica elmarit 28mm

Rather than probably just repeat what others have written before me I thought it is probably easier to show you what the Leica Elmarit-M 28mm lens can do, both on a digital Leica camera and on film, black and white film and some colour film (click any image for details of what film was used).  Thanks to Ruby who features in a lot of these photos.  Many of the photos were shot during one of my 1-2-1 model photography workshops on location in London.

Leica Elmarit 28mm f2.8 – On the digital Leica M240 camera

Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8
London Model Photography Workshop
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 + Leica M240
Leica B&W
Leica M 240 Portrait
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 Portrait
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 Portrait
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8

Leica Elmarit 28mm f2.8 – On a Leica film cameras (Leica M2, M4-P)

Leica Elmarit-M 28mm Fashion
Kodak Double-X 5222 film
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 ASPH
London Photography Workshop
Kodak Double-X 5222
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 ASPH Film

Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222

Kodak Double-X 5222 @800

The Beauty of Film

Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 – Landscapes on Film

River Danube with Ice
Leica Film Landscape
Leica Elmarit-M 28mm Landscape
Leica Landscape Photography

28mm Leica M Mount Lenses

My first Leica M mount 28mm lens for my Leica cameras was a Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2 lens.  I bought it to use for weddings early in my Leica photography.  I will write a short review on the Ultron 28f2 when I get chance.  Next I bought the Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 lens, featured here, as I wanted a smaller 28mm lens for travel when size is everything.  Finally only a few weeks ago I invested in a Leica Summicron-M 28mm f2 ASPH lens as I want to try to use it for weddings in 2018.  It is larger and heavier than the Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8 lens, being an f2 lens so I will keep the smaller Elmarit for when there is plenty of light or if I am stopping the lens down for say landscape photography.  I wanted get the Leica Summicron-M 28mm f2 to use for available light wedding photography.  Yes the Voigtlander Ultron 28mm lens is also f2 but I think I got my heart set on the Summicron-M 28mm ASPH (and it will hold it’s value in the long term so I see it as an investment).

28mm Elmarit vs 28mm Summicron vs 28mm Ultron

Here is a quick visual size comparison of the three 28mm lenses

  • Left: Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8
  • Centre: Leica Summicron-M ASPH 28mm f2
  • Right: Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2

(*Sorry for the coloured lighting and dust on the lenses!)

P1050181LR

P1050179LR

Recommended!

I highly recommend the Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8  lens if you photography in places where you don’t need a faster aperture.  No complaints from me and definitely a keeper!

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Lens Filters for Leica M Cameras

Lens Filters for Leica M Cameras

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

January 2018

P1050178LR

For model photography and my usual Leica portrait work I don’t normally use camera lens filters that often, and especially not for digital photography (more with film cameras).  I own yellow filters, blue, various ND filters (neutral density), IR-cut, polarising filters, warming filters, cooling filters and lots of UV filters (and Skylight filters) in various sizes.  Each filter has a purpose.

Lens Filters Explained

Quick summary of what I use each lens filter for (plus a few extra filters I have for other cameras) –

  • Yellow filter: Black and white film photography (portraits & landscapes) – to lighten yellows/ darken blues
  • Orange filter: B&W film photography (landscapes) – to lighten oranges/ darken blue skies (higher contrast), and helps penetrate mist and fog
  • Red filter: B&W film photography (landscapes) – to lighten reds more and makes blues skies turn black (very strong contrast), also helps penetrate mist and fog
  • Green filter: B&W film photography (landscapes) – to lighten green foliage
  • Blue filter (“cooling filter”) (shades of blue like 80C & 82B): Colour film photography – to colour correct tungsten balanced film when used in daylight. Film like Cinestill 800T, Kodak Vision3 200T/ 500T
  • Warming filter (shades of amber like 81A & 81C): Colour film photography – to colour correct daylight balanced film when used in indoors with tungsten light. Film like Cinestill 50D/ Kodak Vision3 50D, Kodak Portra 160/400/800, Fuji Pro 400H and most colour film available today
  • Polarising filter (or more specifically circular polarising filter): (landscapes) – to darken blue skies and make the clouds “pop”.  Can also be used to adjust reflections on water / surfaces (to more or less reflection)
  • Neutral density filters (ND filters): For fast lenses (lenses with wide maximum aperture like f1-f1.2-f1.4)(all cameras) – I use ND filters when shooting in bright conditions with flash and also on the older Leica M film cameras (such as a Leica M3) that only have a maximum shutter speed of 1/1000 (vs. 1/4000 for the Leica M240). In practice I only really use ND filters on the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 lens in the UK as the weather is rarely “too bright” for most lenses.
  • IR-cut filter (Infrared cut off filter): (digital Leica M8 colour photography) – Without the IR-cut filter the colours from the M8 are not natural looking. (*See details in link below – Leica M8 & IR-cut filter post)
  • UV filters: I went through a period of getting clear UV filters for most of my Leica M lenses to protect the front element from damage.  I find I attach the UV filters for my Leica wedding photography mostly after an expensive lens was damaged at a wedding (Nikkor 35mm f1.4 G lens – pre Leica days).  Apart from wedding photos and some travel photography I don’t use UV filters too much now.

Using filters on a Leica camera (compared to on a SLR/DSLR)

Leica vs. DSLR – Using filters – Disadvantage

One thing to note for fellow Leica photographers is if you’ve not used a circular polarising filter (CPL) on your Leica camera before you might find it is a bit of a fiddle (I did!).  This was especially the case for me when I was frequently moving locations and shooting in multiple directions (north, south, east, west and all angles in between).  When photographing with a SLR/ DSLR camera you look through the lens to compose an image. This means that with a CPL filter on the end of the lens you can just look through the camera to see the effect of the filter. Easy. (For example if you point the lens at the sky and then rotate the CPL filter you can see the sky get lighter or darker blue and you can stop at the desired look).  With a Leica camera we don’t view or focus an image through the lens like a DSLR.  Therefore to see the impact of a polarizing filter you have to take the CPL filter off the lens and hold it up to the scene/ sky  to look through it and see what angle of rotation gives the desired look. You then need to reattach the CPL filter to the lens and remember the preferred orientation (for example to give a more vivid blue sky might be number 5 on the CPL filter ring at the 12 O’clock position ). To complicate things further, if you are then switching between landscape and portrait orientation when holding the camera you need to turn the polarizing filter each time you turn the camera. If you are then using a clip on lens hood (as I was) that covers the filter you need to take off the hood to see/ move the CPL every time you take an image in a different direction or orientation. Maybe I just like to make life difficult for myself!

For normal/ traditional landscape photography however where you setup a tripod with the camera pointed in one direction and wait for a few hours for the best light to hit a scene, this will not be an issue as you only need to go through the filter “setup” process once.

*Note – Please note this is only an issue with a Leica film camera or an earlier digital Leica camera such as the Leica M8 and Leica M9.  The digital Leica M240 (and Leica M10) both have LiveView so you can review the impact of the filter if you compose with the LiveView option rather as with the viewfinder.

Leica vs. DSLR – Using filters – Filter Advantage

DSLR users don’t always have it easier than Leica photographers though. When it comes to neutral density filters like a 10 stop Lee Big Stopper,  with a DSLR camera you need to focus on the subject first then attach the ND filter otherwise you can’t see anything through the lens. With a Leica camera you view the scene via the viewfinder/ window on the top left of the camera body rather than through the lens so you can leave a ND filter attached throughout a shoot and make various new compositions with ease.

*Note – The only downside to not looking through the lens with a Leica camera is you can leave the lens cap on all day and not notice until you get back to your computer/ dark room that all the images are black.  (This is more of an issue with a Leica film camera as most digital Leica cameras have the rear LCD and default to a preview image after each photo is taken.  With film Leica cameras there is no chimping at the LCD so you need to be more focused and make sure the lens cap is off!).

Filter Rings (Step Up Rings)

A set of good quality filters (such as some of those mentioned above) is expensive so it doesn’t help when lenses come in different shapes and sizes.  Leica M mount lenses come in a variety of filter thread sizes and mine vary from the smallest thread size being 39mm (classic Leica filter thread size) through to 60mm for the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 lens.  Some Leica photographers choose to invest in a set of lenses with a common filter thread size so any filter fits any lens.  An example from the lenses I own is the following lenses all have a 39mm filter thread; Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f2.8, Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5, Leica Summicron 50mm f2, Leica Macro-Elmar-M 90mm f4  and Leica Elmar 135mm f4. For this reason a bought a few 39mm filters to retain the small lens size/ diameter/ compactness of the 39mm lens-camera setup.

For my main set of filters I use the 52mm size as I already owned some 52mm filters that I had used on my smaller Nikkor lens (pre-Leica days).  I then bought various low cost Chinese step rings on eBay to step up the filter diameter size from 39mm, 43mm, 46mm and 49mm to 52mm filter size.  This is a much cheaper option than buying a set of filters for every thread size and I can use one set of filters on nearly all my Leica M mount lenses.  The only exception is the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 v2 lens where I had to get a few larger 60mm filters for it but I find I use these on some of my non-Leica camera setups (or with a 52mm-60mm step ring on smaller Leica M mount lenses).  I guess the best tip is buy a set of filters to fit your largest lens and then get step-up rings so they can be mounted on your smaller lenses.

Summary

I’m sure most readers knew 99% of that information already but if you are currently using a DSLR camera and are tempted to make the jump to a Leica rangefinder camera it may be of some use.  Equally if you are just starting out with your photography and have perhaps one camera and one kit lens some of this information might save you some money in the long run.  Lastly if you have never used a film camera but are looking to try film in 2018 I think the coloured filtered used with black and white film photography give some of the most interesting results.

Related Links

 

Thanks

Matt

 

Leica Wedding Photography: Flic & Mark

Leica Wedding Photography: Flic & Mark

Happy New Year!

One more example wedding from those covered in 2016 before I move onto wedding photography taken in 2017. Flic and Mark’s wedding shot in October 2016 at the Birmingham wedding venue Fazeley Studios, Digbeth.

Photos taken with a Leica M240 and Leica M8 digital cameras using a few different lenses (listed).

Link to photos below:

2016 Leica Wedding Photography: Mark & Flic Birmingham Wedding Venue – Fazeley Studios (191 Fazeley St, Birmingham B5 5SE) http://www.MrLeica.com October 2016 Mark & Flic Mark and Flic chose the Birmingham wedding venue Fazeley Studio in Digbeth. I knew the area from my model photography and the area attracts some of the most […]

via 2016 Leica Wedding Photography: Flic & Mark — Leica Wedding Photographer (MrLeica.com)

Leica Wedding Photography: Sarah & Cris

Leica Wedding : Sarah & Cris

Finally sharing some of the wedding photos from Sarah and Cris’s wedding back in October 2016. Leica M240 + Leica M8 wedding photography (but also a digital Hasselblad H3D-31 camera).

Link to photos below:

2016 Leica Wedding Photography: Sarah & Cris Wedding Venue: Hotel Felix, Whitehouse Ln, Huntingdon Rd, Cambridge CB3 0LX http://www.MrLeica.com October 2016 Sarah & Cris Sarah and Cris kindly invited me to cover their wedding at Hotel Felix in Cambridge last October. Cris was a fellow Leica photographer/ enthusiast so I took my usual wedding camera, […]

via 2016 Leica Wedding Photography: Sarah & Cris — LeicaWeddingPhotographer

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Hasselblad, Leica & Polish Models

Hasselblad, Leica & Polish Models

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

October 2017

Here is the blog diary I wrote to document my last model photography trip to Poland on the flight home.  Sorry it took a while to share!

10 Models in 2 days.. Poland

Leica Summilux ASPH Portrait

Choice of Cameras

I really enjoyed using the Hasselblad 500CM medium format film camera in Tenerife and before I went I replaced the PM45 prism viewfinder with the much lighter and more compact waist level finder (WLF). I had been happy the camera looked more ‘classic Hasselblad’ and that it fitted into my camera bag easier but the final photos are what matters. When I scanned the film from Tenerife I noticed I had much more photos that were sub-standard as they were not tack sharp and many mis-focused slightly. I could only think it was me being less accurate at focusing using the WLF rather than the prism viewfinder.  The WLF is certainly more difficult for me to find focus. I refitted the Hasselblad PM45 prism finder in hope that my photos get back to the standard I demand.  I think my sharpest Hasselblad photos to date were model photography images shot in Hamberg with the 60mm Zeiss Planar lens but I also had success with it in New York and Poland previously using the 150mm Zeiss Sonnar and 120mm Zeiss Makro-Planar lenses.

I’ve started using a different small camera bag to my usual Billingham Hadley Digital (perfect for Leica cameras but not for the Hasselblad camera shape) as it gives me a bit more space and enough room for all of the below mentioned  cameras and lenses.  It is a really old bag I got free with an eBay film camera purchase but it does the job I need well.

Polish Girls

Hasselblad and Leica

The Hasselblad setup using the 180mm Sonnar and ISO 400 speed film will require enough light for a minimum aperture of f4 and shutter speed of ideally 1/125 or more (I will use the 500CM camera with a monopod to increase my chances of sharp photos).  I therefore packed a speedlight to boost light levels / brightness if needed.

I brought along the Leica M3 to use with available light. Using the Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 lens and Kodak Eastman Double-X 5222 film I can shoot at f1.4, 1/50, ISO 800 (easily) in low light.  When there is sufficient light I will use the Hasselblad as much as possible followed by the Leica M3 (moreso in less light).  For all digital photos I will use the Leica M240 camera.

Voigtlander Nokton Classic 40mm

Final Kit List

    • Hasselblad 500cm 6×6 film camera
    • Zeiss Planar 60mm f3.5 CF lens
    • Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f4 CF lens
    • Leica M240 digital camera
    • Leica M3 film camera
    • Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH lens
    • Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 lens
    • Carbon Monopod
    • Speedlight

Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f4 CF

Day 1 Model Photography

On my first day I had 4 models starting from 8:30. It was about 10 degrees colder than when I left the UK, overcast and raining in Sopot so not ideal conditions for a beach location shoot. The first photosession was all inside and all digital. The second shoot was a new model from the local model agency, Malva Models who I have worked with before. We managed to get outside briefly but it was cold and the rain kept starting again.

For the afternoon I was to revisit a makeup artists apartment that I shot in December 2016.  The MUA had invited her friend too so I had two models and seemingly unlimited creativity in terms of hair styles, makeup styles, cool props, a few different continuous light sources, light stands, a studio backdrop and a cute little dog called Boris to help us. The first 3hrs passed really quickly and I loved the results I was seeing. Next the wine came out and the shoot got extended as it was going so well. After that there was offer of pizza and more wine before the next look but my Leica M240 battery had almost died. Not wanting to miss out on the fun I ran the 2km back to my hotel, grabbed my spare battery that I had accidentally left behind and then 2km back to the apartment just in time for the pizza arriving. After very tasty food and more wine I setup the lights for a bedroom set. Throughout the photosession I was metering with the Leica M240 often shooting at the settings set for the Hasselblad film camera, f4, 1/60, ISO400.  I used both the new Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f4 lens and the Zeiss Planar 60mm f3.5 for wider shots or mainly for when there was not enough room for me to walk back with the 180mm lens to compose.  For the Hasselblad I was using mostly 120 Fomapan 100 black and white film metered at ISO 400 and 35mm Kodak T-Max 400 black and white in the Leica M3.   I used the Leica M3 camera without flash and with the Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4  lens shot wide open at 1/50.  After a very enjoyable afternoon and evening I finally got back to my hotel at about 21:30.  A perfect end to the first day and I could not have asked for anything better.

Behind the scenes!

Day 2 Model Photography

Former Miss Poland picked me up at 8:15 in a little sports car then we travelled to her apartment for the photoshoot.  I managed to finish the expired roll of Kodak Portra 800 shooting on her balcony using available light and then most of the other photos were inside with digital. We even managed some lifestyle photos with her dog.   As time goes on I seem to enjoy lifestyle photography more and more and it is one of the looks/ styles I enjoy to photograph.

Next I had another agency model I had spotted on Instagram but also from Malva Models.  I thought she was local when I invited her but she actually lived 3hrs away and came by bus. The weather was a bit brighter, warmer and drier so I made use of the beach location and shot almost all the shoot outside. When the light levels are low working on the beach helps as the water and sand reflect light up onto the model like a giant reflector.  The Zeiss Sonnar 180mm telephoto lens was a joy to use out in the open and in these conditions the 40mm and 50mm Leica M mount lenses suddenly felt too short. I wish I had brought the Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO lens or Leica Summicron 90mm for more of a telephoto look. Next time!

Hasselblad 180mm Sonnar f4

The third model I spotted on Facebook and had sent her an invite on the chance she would respond.  It later became apparent she was signed to a Warsaw model agency but lived closer to Gdansk. From the first few test photos I knew it was going to be a good shoot. Even as a new model she could hold a pose and eye contact better than some of the full-time models and took direction really well.  This was perfect for the Hasselblad film camera that is a little slower to operate than the Leica M3. The next model cancelled so we kept shooting and I loaded a roll of colour Fuji Pro 400H to fire off in quick succession using the last of the evening sun. I really hope the Hasselblad photos look as good as they appeared in the viewfinder!

Fuji 400H B&W

The model after that was late so I had half an hour to run to a shop to buy some fresh bread to eat to keep me going and then I walked along the beach front to the pier to meet the model and her friend for an after sunset low light shoot.  We shot until it was completely dark and then it was back to the hotel for an indoor shoot with a girl I worked with a few years ago. It was a nice catchup and hopefully give a confidence boost plus some new photos for Instagram and Facebook.  We finished about 22:00 and that was the last shoot done for Poland. I had an early flight home the next morning.

Leica Summilux ASPH 50 Portrait

Summary

October is probably too late in the season to plan for lots of outdoor photos on the beach in Poland so I was happy I could use the new Zeiss Sonnar 180mm outside as planned. In all my previous visits to Sopot, the longest lens I have used is the 120mm Zeiss Macro-Planar so it will be good to compare the look of the 120mm vs. 180mm lenses at the same location.

I was very lucky to have been invited to the makeup artists apartment for most of the first day as we had heavy rain and not much light. My plan for the two days was to shoot inside the hotel as little as possible (as I have visited it so many times) and to instead find different backdrops to use.  I did reasonably well to achieve this goal I think.  My previous visit to Poland was mostly models photography with flash against a white hotel wall so I think this visit should hopefully bring more interesting pictures.

Leica Model Photography

I have high hopes for the Hasselblad 500CM film photos (especially with the new Sonnar 180mm lens) so I shot 7 of the 8 rolls of 120 film I took with me.  I used the Leica M3 less and shot 2 1/2 rolls of 35mm. As with all my model shoots some models screamed out ‘need to shoot this on film’ (because of the pose/ look, the clothes, the location, the light or all of them combined) and other less so. As such I think most of the film was shot with 3 or 4 models of the total 10.

Doing a shorter more intense two days rather than four days in Poland worked better as I had almost no time wasted/ down time compared to previous visits. I enjoyed meeting / and discovering some new faces and I will certainly keep in touch for future visits.

Polish Girls

Thanks

As with all my model photography trips, a huge thanks to the models, especially those that didn’t know me previously and who trusted me to give them some nice photos in exchange for their time. In no order thank you to models Dorota, Kinga, Pola, Marta P, Marta W, Weronika, Marysia, Paulina, Natalia, Kinga S, to Malwina at Malva Models agency and to Monika at the hotel.

I still haven’t developed all the film and I have held back some of the developed Hasselblad film images for a Hasselblad specific blog post that will follow this one.  As always more photos will be shared to my Instagram (@MrLeicaCom) and my Flickr as I get chance.  Thanks

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