Walk in the park -- lots of photos

Discussion in 'Leica' started by Armanius, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Houston is generally hot and humid. Whenever Houston has a nice day, people flock to the park. One of the most popular parks in Houston is Hermann Park. Hermann Park is located near the Museum District. The Museum of Natural Sciences is located right next to it. The Houston Zoo is also there. My girlfriend and I decided to take a stroll yesterday at Hermann Park, and I decided to dust off the M9. I've been contemplating putting the M9 in the market. After all, manually focusing (while glamorous) can be a pain in the butt. As much as Leica fans talk about fast focusing, I still think a camera with good AF makes my life easier. It's hard to also have so much $ tied up in one single item, specially when other priorities in life arise, and then supersede the love or allure of the "red dot."

    At the beginning of the walk, I struggled with the focus as I was out of practice. But eventually, I got in the groove. I ended up using one lens almost the entire walk --the not too often used Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f2.5. The CV75/2.5 is a screwmount lens, and it is very cheap by Leica standards. If I recall correctly, I paid less than $300 for it. I've had people get angry at me for using a "cheap" lens on a Leica. A famous person (I won't name the person) even criticized me for using (what he calls) Sh*tlander lenses on the M9! I felt important when that happened! :) But I digress ... so I chose the 75/2.5 as my main lens for the day, because I'd recently purchased a Pentax DA70/2.4 for the K-5, which is a wonderful lens. My thinking was that the K-5 + DA70 and other lenses, even though it's a cropped sensor camera, could be a suitable replacement for the M9. The irony is that I've listed the K-5 for sale. So maybe the K-5 will be gone too. Oh well ... :)

    In any event, here are some of the photos that I took yesterday. After I got home, loaded the photos, and processed them in LR3.6, I was reminded of why I do love the "red dot." It's not to say that the images in this thread could not have been made with another camera. Or maybe, it would have been better if I had used a "real" M lens. I'm sure that the famous person would agree with the last statement. Oh well.

    (1) Inside the lobby of the Museum of Natural Sciences. This one photo was taken with the Voigtlander Skopar 50mm f2.5. The rest were all with the 75/2.5.

    Busy dad by Armanius, on Flickr

    (2) I think this guy was a "pro" going around soliciting business. He seemed to be taking photos of different people, with permission of course. I didn't ask for permission. :)

    The pro making money by Armanius, on Flickr

    (3) Just the typical lovers on a bench photo. No Eiffel Tower on the background. Still waiting to make that trip.

    Cuddling by Armanius, on Flickr

    (4) I wasn't quite sure if there was anything interesting about this photo. I cropped some stuff out and I ended up enjoying the colors, if not much else.

    Real people and stone people by Armanius, on Flickr

    (5) Cute toddler playing with the trash. The mom didn't mind as she was standing right next to him. Focus was a little off, because I really rushed the photo. I didn't want the mom to think I was a stalker (or worse).

    Dunk in the trash by Armanius, on Flickr

    (6) This cyclist was in the Japanese Garden, inside Hermann Park. He either didn't read the "no bicycle" sign at the entrance of the garden, or he just didn't care.

    No bikes allowed in the park! by Armanius, on Flickr

    (7) Even though it's technically winter here in Houston, some flowers still bloom. I think these are "knockout" roses. I think ...

    The roses are blooming even more by Armanius, on Flickr

    (8) Some more roses.

    The roses are blooming by Armanius, on Flickr

    (9) The M9 has no matrix metering or spot metering mode. Its only metering mode is a center weighted metering. As it turns out, the gentlemen on the photo was so pale that I blew the highlights (his skin) in this photo, and I couldn't recover it later. I really tried!

    Reflections and needing a tan badly by Armanius, on Flickr

    (10) It's always fun to take photos of people taking photos of others. It's specially fun when the subject of the original photo makes a funy face.

    The Monument by Armanius, on Flickr

    (12) Unknown flower ... focus was off.

    Sunflower? Probably not! by Armanius, on Flickr

    (13) There's a nice sized hill at Hermann Park, which is a part of the outdoor theatre. Kids like to roll down the hill, and this one kid was rocketing down on his bike.

    Downhill max speed by Armanius, on Flickr

    (14) And my favorite photo of the day -- my significant other. She's the unpaid but willing (most of the time) model. This photo, which was heavily cropped, really shows the resolving power of the M9. The 100% version of the photo shows even more detail than this 1024 pixel downsample. For portraits, too much detail is sometimes simply too much. I pushed the clarity slider to the left a good amount.

    View attachment 48510
    Leica portraits - lovely! by Armanius, on Flickr

    Thanks for letting me share these photos with you.

    ps: I picked up a GXR + M module. So far, it's still easier to manually focus with the rangefinder patch than the GXR's focus assists.
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  2. thekeddi

    thekeddi Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    South Australia
    Lovely! thanks for the photos :) I like the one with the little girl pulling the face too :)
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Fantastic colours, Armando. Looks like a great spot for photography. You've done very well with your "cheapo" lens :smile:. Do you think that you would like/use the M9 more if it was an AF camera, or is the rangefinder too much of an integral part of the M9 experience?

    Sounds like the perfect use for the proceeds from selling the M9, he he.
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  4. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Very nice set.
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  5. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Thanks Nic!

    As for the rangefinder experience ... I think I'd probably enjoy the M9 more as an AF camera. As of today, the X100's AF using the OVF is probably my favorite way of focusing. Fuji just needs to make it faster and more accurate.
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  6. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    Lovely colours and good detail.
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  7. Nice set Armando, and your regular model is looking as lovely as ever. My favourite is the kid at the trashcan. Focus is so overrated :)
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  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Very enjoyable set Armando. I'd love to try shooting with a real actual rangefinder again, but I seriously doubt I'd want to own one now that I've grown so accustomed to auto-focus. And, in any case, the Leica's price of admission is prohibitive even if I REALLY wanted one badly, which I'm nowhere close to wanting. Wouldn't mind renting one for a week, though, just for old-time's sake. But, as you show, for shots where you're not in a real hurry, manual focus can do extremely well - we certainly all got by with manual focus only for many many years and then, even when AF became available, it felt like a novelty for quite a while. I like several but really love the shot of the little girl getting her photo taken - as you say, the funny face makes it better.

    And as for famous people getting all up in your grill for something that's none of their business, there's a nasty dark and moist place where they're welcome to shove THEIR precious cameras and lenses! Shoot what you like!

    • Like Like x 1
  9. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    there really is something qualitatively different about what that great big sensor produces - and I don't mean when pixel-peeping, but a sort of richness/smoothness/subtlety of tone that comes off the images
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  10. serhan

    serhan All-Pro

    May 7, 2011

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  11. Nice little place to hang out.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Thanks Ray! The "famous" person has many precious cameras that could be used for such purposes! :) As for rangefinders, there are always film rangefinders that are still relatively cheaper. I still haven't quite figured out why no one else has made a digitial rangefinder -- other than they won't make enough $$$ unless they charge Leica prices.

    Thanks Sue. I'm sure she'll be thrilled to hear that!

    Agreed! At least I'd like to think so. :)
  13. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Epson made the RD1 ... they go for silly money on eB (silly expensive not silly cheap unfortunately) ... I've seen some really wonderful images on Flickr made with that camera and the CV 28/1.9, and all with "just" 6MP ...
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Oh yeah, I recall reading about the Epson. So the question is why no others?

    I remember my first digital camera with 2 mp - the original Canon Digital Elph. I thought it was the greatest invention since sliced bread!
  15. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    It doesn't surprise me at all that no-one made them.
    Rangefinder technology became mostly superfluous once SLR technology matured, and entirely superfluous once AF technology matured. It's a mechanical solution to a problem that has long since been electronically solved.
    The difficulty is all that fabulous Leica glass begs to be used ...
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  16. I remember a couple of years ago I was looking for a rangefinder that didn't cost arms, legs, your first born and your mother, and Epson was the only name anyone came up with. I did look at Leica prices and shrieked in horror.

    I don't think it was yer actual true blue rangefinder I was looking for, but rather the form/build of one... ie, the more compact body with a built in viewfinder and dials, dials dials, which is exactly what Fuji has now provided for us, not in one, but in three formats. Sony has now given us a NEX with a VF. Canon might some day bother to get off its corporate laurels and give us a decent VF to replace that godawful tunnel VF and Nikon might do the same. The rest... who knows. But I think with the way Fuji is powering on, we might at least see more, shall we say, rangefinderesque cameras in the coming years.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    I'm with you. The rangefinder is a great way to manual focus lenses. But for me, AF is the way to go, assuming that it's fast and accurate. I love the great image quality that the X100 produces. But the look, form and feel (in spite of the quirky menu and UI) takes it up an extra notch. The NEX7 is somewhat rangefindersque in the location of the EVF. IMO, as a right eye focus guy, that's the ideal placement of viewfinders. It avoids the nose grease smeared all over the LCD.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Herman Park brings back fond memories to me! When my wife was expecting our first child, we took a long, fairly strenuous walk through the park on a beautiful Sunday in early April - with weather much like you captured in your set. The next day, our daughter decided it was time to be born. Oh, and that was just about 34 years ago...

    Sorry for the digression, but photos of familiar places do that...:smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Must have been two awesome days for you Chuck! Thanks for sharing those memories. And congrats on the 34+ years of marriage. And kiddos!

    For me, Herman Park was the first time my girlfriend and I had photos taken together. I had a gorilla pod with me, and stuck the Oly E620 on it. I don't think we were even holding hands yet! So when I placed my hand around her, I think it surprised her. LOL!
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Country Parson

    Country Parson Top Veteran

    Apr 5, 2011
    North Carolina
    Lovely photos, Armanius, and a lovely "significant other" model. As I age I am with all those who vote for autofocus, though the NEX peaking runs a close second.
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