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Tuesday, 28 November 2017


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What a fine group of photos! This will just further burnish the Leica legend.

The Peter Wright shot has print sale written all over it.

Hey, I'd love to see more... digital space is free

Some interesting shots, and I liked the commentary that went with them.
But I'm surprised that you consider the Panasonic lenses to be true Leicas.

[That standard was "Leica branded." The alternative would have been to get into adjudicating what is and is not a true Leica lens. Given Leica's secrecy about where various lenses are made and, in some case, by whom, that was not a place I wanted to go! (Personally I probably wouldn't admit anything post-Mandler, and that would get me all kinds of outraged blowback :-) <--at least half kidding.) So for our purposes if it says Leica on the lens, then it's a Leica lens. --Mike]

Dave Reichert‘s photo in profile of the young hippie girl is just beautiful. As is the girl. I might not have cropped it so much, but in either case it’s great. I wouldn’t mind a print actually, and I almost never say that.

Saying that David Burnett is "currently with Contact Press Images" is kind of like me introducing my better half as my "current wife." It's true, yes, but implies certain things about the past that didn't really happen. Mr. Burnett is one of the co-founders of CPI, and also a personal hero of mine. I was thrilled to meet him at a symposium a few years ago.

Love the man with fish by Ivan Muller and the one by Dave Reichert!

I wasn't as interested in this set of photos when compared to the cell phone set, just shows that the cell phone finds better images because it is in your pocket now. very very few people walk around with a Leica, me included.

You know, these thirteen in one posts are pretty amazing. Pace yourself!
Looking forward to the next one...

This is an interesting experience, thank you Mike.

I am somewhat puzzled by most of the pictures here. But there are diamonds among them. The Kodachrome from Millard Maclaughlin's grandson is wonderful. I'd love to see more from his collection. And the photo of the young car driver from Lindsay Bach is very nice.

Way above the rest are the photos from Darko Hristov. These are moving. His mention about the Leica S vs Elmarit 90 on a old M2 makes my day.

Great post idea, Michael, and a joy to read! I hope this will endure as a regular feature of TOP.

Great post Mike!
I'm enjoying all the photos, and the backstories about them!
I look forward to more 'bakers dozen' posts. Great job, but it does look like a lot of work! Ask management for a raise.😄

[That bastard Mike Johnston is a cruel boss. He doesn't give any of us raises. In fact as more and more photo sites pop up and the younger people all go watch videos, he keeps cutting our pay. But it's okay. We just tighten our belts and give thanks we don't have to sell soap for a living. --Mike]

including the portrait of science fiction authors Larry Niven and Robert A. Heinlein, and the picture of Henri Cartier-Bresson out and about.

OK, now that's just cruel, Mike! At least post them in the comments!

Don't make me post an M mirror selfie!!!

Great photographs here. Mike, I think you've really hit on a good idea with the "Baker's Dozen" series. Please keep it up!

Jealousy alert indeed! :) I don't hink you'll get many complaints if this format over-runs. Some lovely pictures there, pulled together nicely by your commentary.

Mike, How about a post showing the "Honorable Mentions"

The lovely photo essay by Darko Hristov was a very cool story and I am glad it had a happy ending and that you put it in this post.
I found all the pictures interesting in different ways and my goal for this afternoon is to find a closet full of old cameras before they go to the dump :-).

Ivan Muller's fisherman and Dan Smith's diner shot both have that shot with Leica look. What I find amusing is that one is a full-frame-film rangefinder and the other is a 1/1.7" MOS sensor P&S—with each having the same centered composition reportage style. I'm impressed by both +1.

Love the Baker's Dozen concept... Keep them coming!

This amends my previous senior moment, post.
Ivan Muller's fisherman was actually shot with a Leica X1 APS-C P&S. Dan Smith's Mohall Diner portrait uses a Panasonic Lumix LX7 P&S. Ah, the irony—the most Leica-rangefinder looking shots comes from autofocus P&S cameras. The rest, although nice, could have been shot with anything from DSLRs to large-format.

I think all you grizzled old photo-dawgs out there will agree: "Shot on glorious Tri-X ... Huh? "Why don't you speak for yourself, J̷o̷h̷n̷ Mike?" Different strokes for different folks, my all-time favorite B&W film is Kodak BW400CN.

Always a pleasure to view photo from various photographers and the back stories really make the set. However, I did end the viewing with a question: "Would I really know if these were taken by a Leica lens/camera if you hadn't set that as the criteria?" My initial thought is no, I would not. I think that says a lot about how far we've come in the digital age in terms of camera and lens development. Maybe it because my current brand of choice is designed and manufactured by a company with significant history in analog film.

Well done Mike, another outstanding effort. As other commenters have said, please pace yourself. As a suggestion, given the difficulty in limiting the post to 13 images, perhaps just call it a 'TOP Dozen', and the Management can specify the number of images that constitute said dozen at will, based on the submissions. Or even do both, the Editor's Bakers dozen, and then the staff-picked TOP Dozen :)

Good pictures, good stories!

Since I was reading some old Larry Niven in bed this evening and the next book on the bedside cupboard is by Heinlein, I'm with Maggie Osterberg on this one.

I might even like to see a photo of that French sounding bloke who gave up taking photos to do drawing, if it's not too far off topic...

there are some nifty pictures in the Leitz "Lens" collection. Further reminders that a Brownie Holiday in the hands of Weegee would have been... well.. it would have made for some great Xmas week family pictures. The range of glass is pretty interesting: i always especially loved the Elmar 50s, their heritage in that preWar period when you had to really be a Photographer, dedicated to a lot of side line crafts (focusing, framing, winding.. all that stuff that has disappeared in the new world of digital auto everything.) There is a feeling in the heritage in the old material that is hard to match today, even with all the cool stuff we have. And thanks to Ken Bennett for reminding me that the woman I'm sharing a hotel room with tonight is my 'current wife!' It's true we started Contact 42 years ago - a seriously hard to believe number, as refugees from GAMMA and ZOOM - and it has been a very cool ride though the last quarter century of the 20th, and the start of the 21st. The bottom line being you never know how things are going to work out....42 years can go by in a flash.

Good inspiration!

Darko's comments on the M2/Elmarit 90/2.8 reminded me of the thousands of photos I took with that combination 50 years ago. WHo today would have considered shooting races with such a rig?

Laguna Seca Can Am, 1967
Bruce McLaren

I have particularly enjoyed all the Baker's Dozen articles so far and, although not really a Leicaphile, this one is my favourite (though I did briefly own a 1946 IIIc and 50/3.5).

Normally I wouldn't approve of cheating but this kind of cheating - slipping in extra photos accompanied by caveats or excuses - gets my full approval. Keep 'em coming.

I am in awe that my photo was selected. Thanks to everyone. Boy, I sure was SERIOUS in 1967.

Anyway, found the lenses, that one was taken with the Elmar 5cm F3.5 collapsible that came with the Leica IIIa I bought at a used camera store. I also have a 127mm F4.5 Wollensak Velostigmat that I used for "telephoto" and closeups.

The photos in this set are remarkable.

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