The Flatiron Build

Added on by Bill.

The Gooderham Building, the 5-story triangular building in the centre of photograph, is commonly referred to as the Flatiron Building [1].  It was the former office of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery Company. William Gooderham, successful in the Distillery business, later became President of the Bank of Toronto in 1864 [2].  

Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2, ISO 160, f/4.8, 1/750 sec

This Bank through various mergers became TD-CT (or Toronto Dominion, Canada Trust). The two towers behind the Flatiron building are of the new Bank. 120 years of history in one shot.

St. Lawrence Market

Added on by Bill.

We were downtown yesterday, completing some preparations for our up-coming vacation so while in the neighbourhood we stopped off at the St. Lawrence Market.

Leica M9, Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2, ISO 250, f/2.4, 1/90 sec

I have not been there in years. Still crowded; lots of people walking around with cameras.  

Going Home

Added on by Bill.

After last weekend's show, on our way home from the Toronto Convention Centre.

Leica M9, Voightlander Nokton 50mm f/1.1, ISO 400, F/1.2, 1/90 sec


In Concert

Added on by Bill.

Carolyn has returned to her gymnastics, Aesthetic Gymnastics to be precise, and last night she was in performance in front of a capacity crowd at the John Basset Theatre in the Toronto Metro Convention Centre.  

Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 90mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/12 sec

They had a good show. Their form and flow was good.

First Impressions: The Rangefinder Character

Added on by Bill.

It's been a long time since I've used a rangefinder.  My first camera was one, a little Minolta. It was a 35mm camera. I remember when I got it I wanted an SLR. I thought I would prefer focusing on the full image rather than aligning the "dots" in the viewfinder. When I first got it the dots were a bit of a challenge. This approach seemed indirect and abstract to me.  I was about 8 years old.  I got used to it though. I'll have to see if I can find it.  

My second rangefinder was a Rolleiflex, medium format.  It was a hand-me-down.  I looked up the serial number; it was made in about 1945-46. The Rolleiflex was quite a different experience. There were not dots to align; one focused the image.  I liked that. But there was no viewfinder, rather one looked down through the view screen. The image was up-side-down  It was a very different interaction than looking through a viewfinder. I preferred looking through the viewfinder, but I liked the idea of focusing on the image. I also liked the large format. Although it was square. 

My penultimate camera was (and still is) a micro-four thirds style.  Not an SLR, but it does have a viewfinder and you do focus on the image, not some dot.  It also has autofocus.  It is a nice camera, lighter and less bulky than most SLR, or DSLRs. Body and lenses too. Yet, the sensor size is smaller. 2/3s the size of many DSLRs and 1/2 the size of a full-frame camera. The sensor size is partially about the image quality,  but also about the effect that one can get with a larger sensor.  

Now I'm back to a rangefinder.  It has a viewfinder. It's full frame. It has a dot to focus on; may be two if you count the one on the front. 

Leica M9, Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 ASPH., ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/25 sec

I read some fellows best practices and he said two things: [1] alway shoot wide open [2] for indoor shots shoot at ISO 800; for outdoor ISO 160 or 200.  The provider of that advice notes that while the lenses of many manufactures achieve optimal performance at 2 to 3 stops above their widest opening, Leica lenses perform across the scale. There may be some dispute here, but for argument's sake I'll accept it.  Setting these two adjustments leaves only one variable: the speed.  This mode will drive a specific character and style of photography.  

I always wondered why people who shot with these types of cameras shot people, street scenes and often in black and white.  May be the best practices above explain it. I've only had the machine for a week or so. May be later on I'll have confirmation.  But I will say I have urges to do the same.  May be its nostalgia.