Leo Laksi’s Bangkok And Back

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Upclose on Thonglor with a Canon 5D and 70-200mm f/2.8 L lens. Leica M8 too.

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Leica M8 with Summicron 90mm f/2 lens

Leica M8 with Summicron 90mm f/2 lens at f/2 and 1/360 second

I don’t normally use my Canon 5D as I am thoroughly dedicated to my Leica M8.  I decided to break it out and give it an airing.  Today I attached my 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L lens and did a walk around my neighborhood in Bangkok.

However, before I got started I met the guy in the above photo who had recently purchased a 5D Mark II and 24-105mm f/4 L lens. We chatted a bit and we got around to the subject of “bokeh”.  While we talking up a storm, I took the above photo with my M8 and Summicron.  Afterwards, he left  on a motorcycle and I continued on my walk.

Some people think that a medium zoom lens is made to bring distant subjects closer.  I look at this lens in a different way.  I think this zoom lens is in its element as a longish portrait lens, great for those photos within ten meters.  Because my experience with the M8 and  lens has taught me  to judge most lenses in two ways: how they perform as a wide angle lens and as a portrait lens, I look at all lenses in this way.   Obviously, the Canon lens is not a wide-angle lens.  As a lens for use at portrait (or just beyond distances), it’s pretty good.

However, is it a good as the Leica for closeup portrait work?  Although I didn’t take a comparable photo of him with the Canon equipment,  I think the answer is in the above photo. Exceptional Leica optics.

And oh, by the way, I took only that one photo.  No multiple exposure “gone wild”  photography for me.

Obviously the photos below are not portraits but I have found that it is difficult to take “candid” unrehearsed photos with the Canon body and lens.  It’s the sheer size of the kit that’s the impediment.  People notice the camera and almost always comment.

On the other hand, the M8 is almost never noticed.  With the above photo, I turned on the M8, focussed the lens at 1.5 meters and pressed the shutter.  The camera was not noticed and therefore the subject was entirely relaxed.  (Afterwards, I showed the photo to him to explain the concept of bokeh.)

The following photos were taken with a Canon 5D and 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L lens. All photos were shot at f/2.8.

Koi at 85mm at 1/320 second

Koi at 85mm at 1/320 second

Grilled port at 160mm at 1/500 second

Grilled pork at 160mm at 1/500 second

Mangos in the sun at 130mm at 1/5000 second

Mangos in the sun at 130mm at 1/5000 second

On the other hand, it’s a huge rig to carry and can’t compete in terms of agility and ease of use with my M8 and lens.  And I am not sure that’s its any quicker on the draw to use, even with auto-focus.

Oranges at 85mm at 1/1000 second

Oranges at 85mm at 1/1000 second

Steaming congee pot at 70mm at 1/1000 second

Steaming congee pot at 70mm at 1/1000 second

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Written by leolaksi

March 16, 2009 at 6:44 am

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