Discarded Stuff… and a discarded photo!

Sometimes you can find lots of off stuff, discarded, waiting on the sidewalk for the trash truck to come by. Or stuff stashed into containers.

And some very few times this trash makes for a nice photo subject.

Of course here I fell over one of the problems quirks of the rangefinder cameras, and specially my Leica IIIa with it’s tiny viewfinder, hard to frame for a guy wearing glasses like me.

Parallax error!

Even at over 3 meters away, the viewfinder gave me a bad frame here. And as I don’t like to crop (apart from straightening my horizons), I always tend to get close and frame tight. Bad choice!

This would, in my opinion, have been a nice photo but for the fact that I noticed too late that I cut off the whole right side of the trash bin.

Too bad, that makes for bad blood between me and Oscar! Of course the day after developing this film I went again with the Spotmatic…. but the trash was gone. Duh…

You get only one take at a photo most often, so it better be right immediately.

Photography is made (partially) of regrets… Sometimes you regret that you forgot to take a camera, you regret that you were too lazy or too late to get a shot. You regret you got your settings wrong. And here I regret that a great camera like Oskar sometimes is not up to it’s task.

Or rather the guy behind the cameras was not up to the task. Too stupid to remember about that darn parallax error. One good point for SLRs, they are good for stupid guys like me!

Tell me, if you shoot rangefinders, how often do you get your frames wrong. Of course more modern rangefinders have viewfinders that adjust parallax automatically. Good for you M-shooters.

Thanks for reading…. hope you don’t regret it!

19 thoughts on “Discarded Stuff… and a discarded photo!

  1. Never had a problems so far with my Leica, nor the FED 2, with framing, but hey… I’m the first to admit I have made some prize cock ups with any camera. I can’t be the only one who has taken a load of images only to realise the camera wasn’t loaded with any film!

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  2. The more you use a given camera the more you get used to its peculiarities. How about a bright line viewfinder for the shoe? Vidcom or something? Not cheap but they look really cool on a Leica. No need to focus though, use zone and hyperfocal tables, for 50mm lens is 10 meters surely. I guess you were just too close but in anycase all this never cropping is gospel nonsense spread on the internet that comes originally from Cartier Bresson’s handstamps and then only because he saw compo and framing as the aesthetic choice of the artist-photographer not the picture editors who use pics for illustrative purposes and that pi$$ed him off. BTW I can imagine those radiators will find their way to Britain as architectural salvage especially if some are iron.

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    • Ha, have fun with the radiators then!

      In fact I have an external viewfinder with exchangeable caches for 35, 50 and 135mm field of view. Looks fine on the IIIa And it has a manual parallax correction I often forget to set… silly me. Not that I don’t shoot enough with Oskar, I’m just plain stupid. 😉

      As for the cropping, I really try to avoid it. Just my way of doing.

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      • What viewfinder is that you’ve got for it? Although I have distance glasses I can managed without them but I have to have reading glasses to see settings or else be really aware of where I’m at in that respect. I find viewfinders and all that a hindrance for street photography where what matters more is being aware of your focal length and what it can cover. Seriously, a lot of the time the camera sees things I don’t especially at 28mm and in the big city sometimes that’s just precious. But then we all do different kinds of photography, and your shots are more “studied”. You not gonna flog that Leica now are you? Thought it was a family heirloom. Thought you were flogging your Spotty. Did you sell your Plustek in the end?

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      • I have some no-name finder with a ‘normal’ view of 35mm and two shields to put in the front with 50mm and 90mm cutouts. Less squinty than the built in viewfinder. And parallax adjustment, very rudimentary but working. A bit like zone focusing….

        I’ll keep Oskar I guess. Old friend and all. The Spotty’s still here of course though the Pentax MX is gone.

        And the Plustek’s gone too… no need for it any more.

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      • Frank, when you’ve got a second to spare any chance you could you measure in millimetres the distance from the front to rear elements on the Jupiter is it or whatever lenses you use on your Leica. Checking a theory about using one on my Russian enlarger. Ta!

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      • Okay, thanks for that Frank. My enlarging lens is just about that from front element to inside of screw flange, it was slightly harder to measure with the recessed lens. Having the lens focus would fix any slight difference I guess. Good to know it’s confirmed as working on your enlarger anyway.
        BTW as I was searching in vain for a 44mm step ring to try for a large format lens I came across some lens reversal adapters that makes your lens a macro – viz your new ‘scanning’ method. Maybe you’d tried that along the way.

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      • It was srb-photographic.co.uk – an engineering firm that does their own range of adapters. “Reversing rings” to reverse mount a lens, and also they do “enlarging lens adapters” that allows you to use L39 enlarging lenses as macro lenses with extensions and so on. The catalogue is quite good, prices aren’t but cheaper ones from China I suppose. Thought it might be useful to you or someone out there anyway.

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  3. I love those old radiators, I think I would have been tempted to climb into the skip for a close up…

    Your framing issue is something I haven’t thought about since I’ve switched to digital, and even when I used film SLRs. Call it lazy or obsessive or whatever, I just think composition is really important and I like to know what’s the frame and what isn’t.

    Like you, I very rarely crop (only really occasionally for family photos in public places, to cut out other people for example), for the same reason – I like the composition I frame at the time to be the final photograph.

    I’ve never really got into rangefinders, this being one of the reasons!

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    • I might rethink the rangefinders… poor Oskar!

      Of course it was my fault, I know I should have compensated for parallax… or used my external finder with parallax correction.

      Ahem better not climb into that thing, looked mighty unstable….

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      • I guess if you just used the one camera often enough and for long enough, the framing would become second nature. I just like to see it rather than guess!

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      • True, with my Spotmatic I would not have messed up the shot! Even if you try to compensate with a rangefinder you’ll never get the precise framing you’d like.

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  4. I seldom miss the framing with my LTM Leicas. I think that’s because I know that if the subject is not at infinity the edges of the viewfinder window are only an approximation of the 50mm lens coverage and I frame accordingly.

    I do have three other solutions that I use from time to time: (1) Use my IIIg which has parallax correcting frame lines like the M cameras. (2) Use an external viewfinder. I have an SBOOI on the IIIf right now. (3) Use the Visoflex.

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