• Dave Raaum

Time To Shoot Some Film

I am feeling the urge to get out and shoot some film today. There's a roll of Kodak Portra 160 in the Leica M4 and I'm just waiting for the cloud cover to dissipate. Need some sunshine to make the most of color film with ISO 160. Using the rule of "sunny 16" that's a shutter speed of ~150th of a second at f16. Moderate cloud cover and I'd open it up to f11, shade at f8, or maybe f5.6. Why is this important? For those of you who aren't familiar with the Leica M4, it does not have a light meter. I have a small meter that mounts in the accessory shoe, but I still like to think first and then check with the meter to make sure my guess was right.

Leica M4, Built To Last (January 1969)

That's really the part about shooting with film that I like the most - the thinking part, taking my time to get it right. When I'm shooting digital I just grab shots and put the thinking on the back burner. If you think too much you might miss something. That's been my experience anyway. Doesn't mean that you can't slow it down when going digital; in fact, my photos are better, and I get more keepers when I go slow.

Leica M4 Pilot View

The camera came off the assembly line in January 1969 - well somewhere between January and March 1969. The lens is a Summicron 50/2 DR - like to think the DR stands for Dave Raaum, but it really means Dual Range. Normal focusing distance for a rangefinder lens is roughly 30 inches. But the DR can focus to 17 inches if you have the Leica goggles that were available as an option. You need the goggles to take advantage of the close focus capability and avoid parallax issues. I searched high and low and was able to locate a pristine copy in Europe. Well that's enough about the geeky stuff. Film is supposed to be fun.

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