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Leica Look

By Zach

Hello all,

I have what may be a common question, but everyone is so great here I'm going to ask anyway. I've heard of the "Leica look" but honestly haven't seen it until this site. The images on here (color and B+W) all have a very consistent yet unique look to them that are similar (but in a lot of ways better) to what I attempt to create and I have to ask; is this "standard" or the results of PP (or a combo).

What I'm specifically referring to is the great contrast and tone in the B+W's and the wonderful bold/vivid colors and sometimes dreamy look of the color images. I have experience with Zeiss optics and know they greatly enhance the contrast and colors of the camera's I've owned and I assume the quality Leica optics have something to do with it.

I'd love some input and opinions on this question from you fantastic group of photog's.

Sincerely,
Zach

Replies

Reply from Steve Lee on 07-22-11 1:04 AM
I'm not sure there is a "leica" look, though I do believe certain leica lenses supply dreamy softish images. and this is now known as the "leica" look.

Having used the 50 1.4 and 74 1.4 lux for many years I still find that the Canon 50 and 85 1.2's give just as good a final "leica" look. I've judged these leica v canon lenses many times and I can't tell the difference.

I do love the 50 1.4 Pre-ASPH though.
Reply from Daniel on 07-17-11 9:03 PM
As a dSLR user for many years, now switched to Leica m9, yes there is a Leica Look in my opinion. It has nothing to do with processsing. The lux lenses are especially dreamy, however all leica lenses are simply the best glass in the world.
Reply from Philip Chan on 12-20-10 9:21 AM
Zach, suggest you to borrow or rent a Leica camera, and shoot a couple of rolls or process some memory cards, with a good Leica lens, and see for yourself :) But myself very happy with the crispness of my pictures--guess it is that Leica look.

And started this Leica path albeit 'expensive' hobby, with a 2nd hand Digilux 2 camera...go get one if you can get your hands on one. But be warned ... you might get hooked :)

GL, Philip
Reply from Jacques Weiss on 11-11-10 1:24 PM
hello Zach, i think you're absolutely right when you talk about consistency of all the pictures in this website. It has to do for sure with the absolute superiority of Leica cameras and lenses, but what Doug says is also very true. Leica users have i think a particular way of looking around and making pictures because they know picture will be great. Therefore it becomes a passion, and because of that we look for more "extreme" pictures, more challenges..Before using Leica i tried many times to take a photo of a nice landscape or sunset or group of people...and when looking at them was disappointed by the result. With Leica it just works! A friend of mine looking at my pictures said: i don't see only a landscape on this photo, i see it through your eyes and with your emotions"!
Reply from Ashwin Rao on 10-27-10 12:53 PM
HEre's a thread that I started a few weeks back at DPReview:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1038&message=36590647

And a similar one at Steve Huff's site:

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2010/10/11/the-leica-look-comments-thoughts-by-ashwin-rao/

My $0.02
Reply from Douglas Miles on 10-26-10 11:57 PM
Hi Zach - I'm thinking what you are noticing may be more a "Leica user" way of working, seeing and presenting. Here we have Leicas with Leica lenses, and also various non-Leica cameras using Leica lenses... That could easily lead to some consistency in look, as I think that's dependent more on the lens than the camera body. But here there are also Leica cameras using a variety of non-Leica lenses... Zeiss, Voigtlander, Konica, etc.
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