Budapest Models: Leica M240+M3 & Nikon FM

Budapest Models: Leica M240+M3 & Nikon FM

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

August 2017

Here is a post I wrote but didn’t get chance to share from May when I went to Budapest –

Leica Photographer

Budapest, May17

I’m just heading home after a very enjoyable few days in Budapest. It was not quite my normal style of cramming in 5 models a day morning til night but I still managed 8 photoshoots and got to see a little bit of the city too!

Cool Bikes

If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed I’m currently training for an endurance triathlon called an ‘Ironman’. I was very aware that I couldn’t just stop training when I got to Budapest as it would put me back a few weeks in terms of progress. I had hoped to run each day but annoyingly I’ve picked up the standard Achilles’ tendon issues due to over training. My plan was therefore to use the Budapest Bubi bikes to keep my legs moving but just before going to use one I read on Trip Advisor that tourists have ran up huge bills by taking a bike out for 24hrs. They are more designed for locals to use and drop within 30mins. Instead I found Bikebase Budapest and hired from them a retro single speed bike to cruise round the city on. I was really sad to give it back after 24hrs! On the last day I then found myself will a spare hour before the first model arrived so I ran to the shop, literally, hired another bike from them and went and did a quick 20km loop along the Danube river before dropping it back and running back to the apartment just in time for the first model! I loved every minute cycling in the sunshine and the Budapest cycle paths are much better than most of the cities I’ve cycled in in the UK.

Single Speed

Models

I found some of my go to model friends were out of town during my stay but luckily I headhunted a few new girls to join me for photoshoots instead. I get more and more picky with the models I work with year on year so that makes the task 10x more difficult! If I wouldn’t include a model in my portfolio then I don’t ask to work with them. I met 5 models I’d worked with on previous trips to Budapest and then 3 new girls. The models I knew from previous visits really stepped it up a level and on the whole produced some of our best images together to date I think. Picking new models based on Instagram photos can be risky as most models are now pretty good with the various editing apps to the extent that that you would not recognise them in real life! Luckily for me though, the unedited photos I was seeing on my Leica M240 LCD with these girls far exceeded any expectations I may have had from Instagram. Iphone selfies with lots of filters applied can be nice I’m sure but they don’t compare to a proper camera. From the models positive responses it seemed it was not just my opinion!

Some of the photos I was capturing on this trip were instant favourites but I was consciously working differently to how I have been taking pictures recently.

Back to basics

In my earlier model photography I relied heavily on using available light to illuminate models. That was especially true when using my Leica M2 and Leica M3 as I can’t use my flash triggers on them (as easily) but also for all the much earlier work with cameras like the ARAX-CM, Yashica MG-1, Pentacon Six TL, Voigtlander Bessa R3A and others. More recently I have favoured cameras like the Hasselblad 500CM/ 501C, Mamiya RZ67 Pro II, Leica M6 Classic, Leica M4P, Mamiya 6, Hasselblad XPan all which let me use wireless off camera flash easily. Likewise for the digital photos I nearly always use flash when shooting in the UK and often when overseas also to create light when I want and where I want. (There will always be exceptions such as Budapest last autumn when I was using the Leica M2 for some available light work).

Budapest Models Blog Post

I was digging through my old photos on Flickr and thought to myself, I never take photos like that anymore yet I quite like them. Most of my model photography was with available light and I used all my lenses at their widest aperture for dreamy shallow depth of field portraits. I think as I started to use more and more flash I started to stop the lenses down and I often shot with a model against a wall so I didn’t need a shallow DOF. Another reason for stopping lenses down on the Leica M240 over the last 6-9 months is I noticed the rangefinder needs recalibrating again but I’ve not had 6-8 weeks free to send it away to Leica Germany. As such I just use the M240 stopped down a little (f4 on a 35mm lens).

I think partly due using lenses stopped down lens I have not been as excited to take photos with the Leica M240 as I used to. I packed the ‘M’ to bring to Budapest as it was the only camera that gives high quality images and high resolution for the models that packs small in my bag and can work well in low light if needed. I did consider the Leica M8 but some experienced models almost expect the super polished modern look from a CMOS sensor so don’t always appreciate the 10MP more filmic style. I appreciate both.

Rangefinder or LiveView

I was partly through the first photoshoot in Budapest shooting at around f4 on a 35mm lens and I suddenly had a light bulb moment. I could focus the image with the LCD in LiveView mode and then shoot my lenses wide open. That was that and I didn’t look back once! I shot all photos after that wide open using LiveView to critically focus and I got quite quick at it by the end. I also shot almost the entire trip with available light at perhaps ISO 800 max. (There was one exception where due to the photo style the model wanted we used flash and stopped down!).

Lumix LX100 Fashion

Most of the photos I took will therefore look a bit different (hopefully!) compared to my photos over the last 6-12+ months or so I think. It was so nice to use the lenses wide open again and for what they were designed for. The star of the trip was without doubt the Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH which was on the M240 camera most of the time. I will definitely get the M240 recalibrated at my earliest convenience. One point to note is although LiveView is a good plan B option, I believe the rangefinder focusing method is still king. It is faster and the camera is much more stable resting the camera against the forehead so to me is better for critical focusing and allows the use of slower shutter speeds.

Camera Gear

  • Leica M240 digital camera body
  • Leica M3 film camera (recalibrated)
  • Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH lens
  • Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 classic lens
  • Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 lens
  • Nikon FM SLR film camera
  • Voigtlander 40mm f2 SL II pancake lens
  • Lumix LX100 digital compact (backup)

35mm Film

I have been using mostly Kodak Double-X 5222 black and white film over the last six months and Kodak Motion Picture colour film stocks (As I bulk load them). I therefore decided to take different films for a change and went back to film I used to use a lot in my early film photography. I took Kodak T-Max 100 and Kodak T-Max 400 and a roll of Kentmere 100 to use up. For colour film I took Fujicolor C200 as I like the fine grain and some Kodak Porta 400.

Thanks

As usual a big thank you to all the models I worked with in Budapest. It is the models that make the trip. In no order thanks to Franciska, Cynthia, Nikoletta, Daniella, Flora, Sara, Lili and Tamara. You may recognise a few familiar faces! 🙂

First look

Here are a few photos I have processed since getting home but as always there will be more to come to my Flickr feed and Instagram account (@MrLeicaCom) in the coming days/ weeks.

…luckily as it has taken me so long to post it here are quite a few photos from Budapest!

Leica M240 Digital – Colour

Leica M240 + Voigtlander Nokton 40mm
Leica Fashion
Hello from Budapest :)

Leica M240 Digital – B&W

Voigtlander Nokton 40mm
Nokton Classic 40mm
Leica Art Nude
Leica M240 + Voigtlander 40mm
Central Budapest
Leica M240 B&W
Leica B&W
Budapest Models
Budapest Model

 

Leica M3 Film Scans

Modern Vintage
Leica M3 Portrait
Leica M3 + TMax 400
35mm Kodak TMax 400
Leica M3 + Nokton Classic
35mm Kentmere 100 Film

Sadly both rolls of Kodak T-Max 100 film I’d shot didn’t develop properly (massively under exposed) hence most of the film photos shared are from the same shoot.

Nikon FM

I have yet to develop the colour film shot in the Nikon FM SLR as most of my time has been going into Ironman triathlon training, hence this late post. Once developed I will be sure to share the results! 🙂

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1958 Leica M2!


1958 Leica M2 Film Camera

1958 Leica M2!

My latest purchase! 🙂 I am now a proud owner of a Leica trioM2, M8 and M9!

This was an unplanned buy. I was ready to shoot 35mm film last weekend but found my Voigtlander Bessa R3A shutter completely jammed. I tried the usual tricks to rectify the problem per YouTube but no luck. The Bessa’s are well known to be a poor man’s Leica and although they are great when they work I need a camera body I can rely on. For that reason I turned to Leica.

Leica M2 – Some call it the pinnacle of Leica engineering when it was released in 1958. I have one of the later ones with a self timer and rewind lever. It has a bright viewfinder with 35mm, 50mm and 90mm frame lines. If I want to use a 28mm lens I just use the entire viewfinder area when composing a photo.

Leica M2 vs. Leica M6 Classic
– I toyed with the idea of getting the newer Leica M6. The M6 has a built in light meter but cost more than 1.5x the cost of a used Leica M2. I did not need the meter and wanted an affordable Leica film camera to mount my various Leica M lenses.

Leica M2 vs. Nikon FM – I already own a ‘beater’ or ‘user’ brassed black Nikon FM 35mm SLR camera. It was less than 5x the cost of the Leica M2 and I asked myself can I do without the Leica film camera. I slept on it but it my M2 purchase decision came down to my Leica M mount lenses (a mix of Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses). Their compact size, the focal lengths available and most importantly the fantastic image quality made it a no brainer. For a small film camera setup to thrown in a bag the Leica M2 wins every time. I still have my Nikon FM to use with some of my nice Nikon glass such as the Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s.

I have wanted to get back into shooting film for some time and I have done almost none since I got my Leica M9 last year. Getting a Leica M2 film camera is the quickest and easiest way to get my interest in film photography back very quickly!

Leica M2 sample images will be posted as soon as I get chance to shoot some film and get the negatives developed at home.

MatthewOsbornePhotography – Leica Wedding Photography – Leica digital photography and now Leica film photography also.

Kodak T-Max 100 Film

Kodak T-Max 100 (& T-Max 400) Film

I started getting into film photography during 2012 and I was using the classic black and white film, Ilford FP4+. For 2013 I tried Kodak T-Max film and liked this modern emulsion using T-grain for finer more grain free results for scanning. I used 35mm T-Max 100 in my Nikon FM and Voigtlander Bessa R3A rangefinder and 120 Kodak T-Max 400 (& 100) in my medium format cameras. I tried different formats – 6×4.5 (Contax 645), 6×6 (ARAX-CM (Kiev 88)), 6×7 (Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II) and 6×9 (Moskva-5 folding camera).

I develop my own black and white film using Xtol and/or Rodinal and often via stand development. It is very easy and allows you to develop the film to get the look you desire. This is not possible if you send film to a lab. You do not need a dark room, just a ‘Paterson tank’.

For colour film photography I use mostly Kodak Portra 400 for medium format and Kodak Portra 160 for 35mm. (See blog link below).

Here are some shots from 2013 to show the look obtainable from Kodak T-Max film.

35mm 135 Kodak T-Max 100 Film (Voigtlander Bessa R3A)

FilmIsNotDead
Edinburgh
Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f4
35mm Kodak T-Max 100

120 Kodak T-Max 100 & 400 Film
Contax 645
Contax 645 B&W Wedding Photography
Contax 645 Asian Wedding
Contax 645 Wedding Photography
Contax 645 Wedding
Bridal Photography on Film
Gina with Contax 645
The Dancer - Rodinal Stand Development
ARAX-CM (Kiev 88)
Fashion on FILM
Model Photographer - Film Photography
NT Packwood House Estate
ARAX Landscape
Film Photography
India Street Food (1)
Mamiya RZ67
All Stars with Mamiya RZ67
Nella!
Fashion on Film
Film Fashion Photography
Black & White Film Wedding Photography
Engagement Shoot Film Photography
Model Photography on Film
Evening Stroll
Sex Sells..Film
Moskva-5
Russian Moskva-5 Folding Camera
Moskva-5
Russian Moskva-5 6x9 Folding Camera

Leica M9 CCD Sensor vs. Film
The filmic look of the Leica M9 CCD sensor really threatened my continued use of using 35mm black and white film. I stopped shooting film for over 3 months once the M9 arrived. I then found time to develop some film from the Voigtlander Bessa R3A that I shot before buying the M9. The results have fully restored my faith in film. I like the imperfections and arty feel that true film photography can capture. For 2014 I look forward to using my new Leica lenses on my Bessa R3A alongside my Leica M9. I also bought Mamiya RZ 645 film back, Mamiya RZ 6×6 film back and a Mamiya RZ Polaroid film back so the future for film looks bright for 2014!

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk

Related Posts

Rodinal Stand Development
Ilford FP4+ Film
Kodak Portra Film
Mamiya RZ Film Backs

Discussion Shared from LinkedIn – Can Lenses Be To Sharp For Portraits?

LinkedIn – BridesView Group

Discussion – Can Lenses Be To Sharp For Portraits?

LinkedIn Original Discussion Thread

I just replied to the above thread and I thought you may find the topic of interest and the details below of potential use.  Here was my reply:

“As for sharp lenses for portraiture, I specialise in female portraits and have used some of the best and sharpest lenses for Nikon, Leica and medium format Contax 645, Mamiya RZ67 and more.

A point was raised above Can a lens be too sharp for a flattering portrait? Answer Yes I think so. I aim to get my photos correct in camera so rarely airbrush a pimple unless a one off special photo. If you pose and light them well initially you can normally cover most of the imperfections. I also do not have time to remove every wrinkle. I cringe when I see a pore free texture free airbrushed portrait. They can look awful if done badly.

So back on topic.. lenses being too sharp. Yes they can. Even though I work with the majority of models aged 17yrs to 30yrs some of the lenses I have used will make a face unflattering unless the model has porcelain skin when I can then go all out for sharpness.

List of lenses that can be too sharp for portraits:
Samyang 85mm f1.4 @f1.4 (sharper than Nikon 85mm f1.4D BTW at f1.4)(Great lens!)
Example standing further back, Ukraine
Innocence?
Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens – very very sharp but not fast enough (sold)
Early example with my old Nikon D700
Magdalena (2)
Zeiss ZM Planar 50mm f2 T (on Leica M9)
Example standing further back. F2
Leica M9 - B&W Film Look
Nikkor 35mm f1.4G – super sharp
Example on D800, high key Poland
Aga (2) SOOC with D800
Rollei Planar 50mm f1.8 (Great little lens)(Same as a Zeiss Planar 50mm with different badge)
Example on Nikon D800
Katie, as shot

Lenses for non-perfect skin:
Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-s (fantastic lens that gives a dreamy look shot at f1.2 but still sharp)
Example on Nikon D800
Alice SOOC
Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f1.4 (on Leica M9)
Example
Leica M9 B&W Portrait
Lensbaby Edge 80
Example – Kodak Portra 35mm film / Nikon FM
Film Photography Fashion

Lenses that do it all:
Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s (sharp at f2 yet flattering as shallow DOF)
Example on Nikon FM – 35mm Film photography
Film is NOT Dead - Model Photogaphy
Zeiss Planar 80mm f2 T (on Contax 645 medium format film camera) (very sharp+shallow)
Example – film photography wedding portrait
Contax 645 Wedding Portrait
Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 (on Mamiya RZ67 ProII)(sharp yet shallow DOF)
Example – 6×7 medium format Kodak T-Max film
Film Fashion Photography
Zeiss Pancolar 80mm f1.8 (M42 mount)(Great for portraits)
Example up close on D800
Katie with CZ Pancolar 80/1.8

If you want to see more examples see my blog or Flickr. Many examples of each combination and 99% of the photos on there have not been airbrushed so what you see is what the lens provides”.

Join me – LinkedIn

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – UK Leica Wedding Photographer

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Related Pages  – Shared Photos From my Flickr.com Sets

Wedding Photography

Film Photography

Model Photography

Misc

Camera Gear & Lenses

http://www.MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk

Gallery – Samyang 85mm f1.4

Sadie SOOC.. the Samyang 85/1.4 MF is back! :DRaj's Pre-Wedding Maiya Ceremony YesterdayClosing of the Maiya CeremonyThe Build Up To Raj & Manny's Wedding DaySadie in MonoSadie with Samyang 85/1.4 @1.4
Evening walk through the fields with SadieGalyna, UkraineGalyna, Uzhgord. UkraineUkrainian GoddessInnocence?Galyna in Sepia
Aylona Relaxing on the RiverbankAlyona in MonoWindow LightDancing in the Rain!Olga, UkraineSadie while on walk yesterday
Poonam & Brampal's WeddingShona, EdinburghAlyona, Ukraine SOOCSvitlana, Ukraine SOOCNovember 2012 - WhatDigitalCamera magazineJon & Elizabeth

Nikon D800 + Samyang 85/1.4, a set on Flickr.

Photos with the amazing Korean Samyang 85mm f1.4 lens.  My favourite Samyang lens and favourite 85mm lens. It is sharper than my Nikkor 85mm f1.4D shot wide open at f1.4!

Photos taken with Nikon D800 & Nikon FM SLR film camera. Photos include Model Photography & Wedding Photography / Digital Photography & 35mm Film Photography.

Gallery – Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s

Sadie SOOC with ...Nikkor 200mm f2 AIS!! :)Sadie SOOC - 200/f2 AISManny on his Wedding DayRaj & Manny's Wedding DayKatie with Nikkor 200/f2 AISKatie with Nikkor 200/f2 AIS
Sadie with Nikkor 200/f2 AISOne from Today's Wedding..200/f2 AIS on Wedding DayStacey SOOC, 200/f2 AISSikh Wedding with 200/f2 AISStacey with AIS 200/f2
Dan with Nikkor 200/f2 AISNikkor 200/2 AISKatie SOOCSadie with Nikkor 200/f2 AISKatie SOOC with Nikkor AIS 200/f2Katie SOOC today with Nikkor 200/f2 AIS
Katie SOOC with Nikkor 200/f2 AISSadie SOOC with 200/f2 AISKatie SOOC with 200/f2 AISHarriett with Nikkor 200/f2 AISLuna with Nikkor 200/f2 @f2Luna with 200 f2 AIS Nikkor

Nikon D800 + Nikkor 200/f2 AIS, a set on Flickr.

Photos with the mighty Nikkor 200mm f2 AI-s. Photos using Nikon D800 and Nikon FM 35mm film camera.

Includes Model Photography & Wedding Photography / Digital Photography & 35mm Film Photography