So many questions! I’ll be concise, but hopefully comprehensive, in my responses.
In a nutshell, given you already have a D700, I would recommend:
(*i.e. one lens. I wouldn’t bother with any other for now. And really, it will free you.)
I should also inform you that I am biased towards CCD sensor-based cameras, even though the new “M” will have many features, the “older” technology wins out for me at base ISO (at least until I’ve seen evidence to the contrary).
Your question about the 35 Summilux vs. 35 Summarit: Both are capable, but the 35 Summilux is the optically “superior” lens (sharpness, micro-contrast, etc), however it tends to “paint” with bold strokes which is desirable for some subject matter but may be too harsh for others. The 35 Summarit, on the other hand, is a little more classic/delicate in its rendering with a smoother bokeh. It’s a lovely little lens. You may view examples from both the 35 Summarit and 35 Summilux on my site:
Ultimately, which you prefer is really a matter of personal taste, but if you opt for an M9 (vs. the new M), you really should purchase a Summilux lens for low light work. Also, the Summilux (50 or 35) lenses are something special and need to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
As for your question regarding whether the low ISO constraints of the M9 limit creativity, I’ll let my images speak for themselves. I don’t mean this in an arrogant way, but as a practical answer.
Finally, I shoot in DNG (RAW) format and am able to make minor colour adjustments easily during post-processing, so I do not have any issues with “skin tones”.
I hope this helps, and I thank you for your very kind comments regarding my work. Despite my answer above, I really do think the new M will be a terrific camera, so I believe you can’t go wrong either way.
Please help me to continue working on this site.
If you’ve ever been helped by any of my articles, or if you’ve written to me and have received advice, please consider making a contribution to help me run Prosophos.com. Whether it’s $1, $5, $10, or $100… it all helps.
This site is a labour of love, but any help I receive will help me devote more time to running it.
“I am new to following your site…via your guest blog entry on Steve Hufff’s site and I wanted to say I enjoy your work very much. The tones, the processing when in color and your subject matter are a joy. I look forward to seeing more of your posts in the future.
A quick question for you though. I noticed many of your portraits are shot with a 35mm lens. I am wondering if you are cropping your resulting image? I ask because your portraits are closer than what I am achieving with a 50mm without being in the face of my own children. Not that I am a purist and don’t crop images but I try not too. Appreciate your comments on this as you are able.
I should also add that I enjoy how you capture your children in the midst of their activities…not an easy thing to do I am sure but what a great result.
Thanks and I look forward to more of your work.
Best regards — Bishop”
Thank you so much for writing, and for the kind words!
In answer to your question, I don’t often crop when using a 35mm lens*, because if I did, I would lose the more interesting perspective I get with this FOV, vs. the 50mm. It’s true that one needs to be more careful with distortion when photographing people with a 35mm lens (and to some extent distortion is always there), but with practice you learn to minimize it and/or take advantage of it.
It took me some time to learn how to do this, because I was always a “50mm photographer”, but the rewards have been worth it. Of course, I still shoot with a 50mm lens!
I hope I’ve been able to help, and thanks again for writing,
*In those of my 35mm images where people appear “closer” than what you’re able to achieve with your 50mm lens, Bishop, I have obviously cropped the image. Having said that, I’m normally photographing people as close as possible.
My “Photographing your family with the BEST photo equipment” article was featured today on SteveHuffPhoto.com!
I’m once again honoured and would like to thank Steve for his ongoing support of my work!
If you want to see the article, as posted on Steve’s site, please click here.
For convenience, I’m re-posting the images below.
Thanks for reading,
(please click on the images below to view them LARGE)
Once again, the title says it all.
This is the second image posted today that was taken with the Leica 35mm Summarit – a lens that would not typically be considered as an ideal option for low light portraiture, but I find it quite versatile.
(please click on the image to view)
↑Leica M9 and Leica 35 Summarit @ f/2.5.
Posting photos with commentary – like I do on this blog – is new to me. I used to just post photos, free of my interpretation, because I believed the images should stand on their own merit. Interpretation would be left to the viewer.
I still believe that, but I’ve obviously softened my stance – hence this blog.
However, I’m posting this image, which I will leave hanging, unadorned by words (other than the title, “Something happening”).
I took it yesterday. Today I’ll leave the details up to you.
I’m curious as to what you dream up.
(please click on the image to view)
Leica M9 and Leica 35mm Summarit @ f/2.5.
“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.“
- Jack Layton (July 18, 1950 – August 22, 2011).
Chalk messages adorn the walls and pavement of Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto City Hall – an impromptu memorial in honour of Jack Layton.
If you wish to read more about Mr. Layton, see here.
RIP, dear Jack.
Both images taken with the Leica M9 and Leica 35mm Summarit.