User comments btil June 2003

G

Guest

Hello!

Could anyone who have used the new C3 comment on your views of this camera's performance? This would indeed help those who are considering buying it.

Thanks.

Sylvester
 
G

Guest

> > Could anyone who have used the new C3 comment on your views of this > camera's performance? This would indeed help those who are considering > buying it.

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Yes, I have a C3 and I really like it. I have had several similar focal length point and shoot cameras, including the Olympus Stylus 80W (28-80), the Rollei Prego 90 (28-90), Rollei Prego 100WA (28-100). I find the C3 to be every bit as good as the Prego 90, and far better than the others. The Prego 90 and C3 both have fantastic optics and make for beautiful images on negative or slide film. I think the Prego 90 has a slightly better focusing system, as it appears to make sharper pictures more often in lower light, but in bright light, or when the C3 gets the focus right, they are both equally outstanding. The C3 is a bit smaller and much more attractive than the Prego 90, and of course it is also in current production, whereas the Prego 90 has long since been discontinued. The C3 has become my favorite P&S when I do not need a really small camera, and the active focus is a real benefit to me for lower light situations - though it sacrifices the close-focus capabilities that most passive AF cameras have nowadays. The flash on the C3 is surprisingly powerful, even with ISO 200 film it carries quite a bit farther than my other cameras of similar size.

In summary, I think the C3 is a great camera, capable of fantastic images. It focuses fast, though it is not always as accurate as I would like, and it handles all of my point and shoot needs quite well. It looks great and works fast too, both important attributes to me. I think it is a bit overpriced for what it provides, and if money is an issue and looks are not, I would recommend the Rollei Prego 90 (with Schnieder lens) instead, if you can find a used in the $150 range. I have yet to try the famed Yashica T4 zoom, but as it has passive AF I am not so anxious - I have had bad experiences with passive AF on such tiny lenses... The C3 has a lot of stiff competition, and in Leica tradition it is not very competitively priced, however like other Leica cameras, it is excellent and a real pleasure to use.

I hope that this has been of some assistance, feel free to ask any specific questions!

- marc
 
G

Guest

Re: C3 focusing:
Marc Attinasi on Saturday, March 08, 2003 - 8:35 am wrote:

"when the C3 gets the focus right... " and
"It focuses fast, though it is not always as accurate as I would like"

Marc, can you elaborate on your problems with the C3 autofocus? Is the AF center-weighted or multi-point? Thanks.
- John McCormack
 
G

Guest

> Re: C3 focusing: > Marc Attinasi on Saturday, March 08, 2003 - 8:35 am wrote: > > "when the C3 gets the focus right... " and > "It focuses fast, though it is not always as accurate as I would like" > > Marc, can you elaborate on your problems with the C3 autofocus? Is the > AF center-weighted or multi-point? Thanks. > - John McCormack

I believe that it is center-weighted, or maybe a spot AF system. I just use the little area in the middle as the focus point, lock focus (and AE), recompose and shoot. The process is simple, and what I use with all of my P&S cameras that offer AF / AE lock. The problem is, the C3 seems to miss focus sometimes. Maybe I am not positioning the focus point correctly, or maybe I am not letting it 'lock' focus - heck I guess it is possible I am somehow releasing focus lock when I recompose - but I am inclined to think that the focus area is not where it says it is in all cases. The result, for me, is a few shots per roll that are less sharp than I would like.

Don't get me wrong, the camera is really good, but I am very picky about AF cameras because, well, I have to be - I don't get the opportunity to focus for myself so the camera has to do it right (not every time, just the times that count!). The good part about the C3 is that it focuses very fast, even in low light, and has NEVER made me miss a shot because it had not focused quickly enough. This is in contrast to some other cameras (with passive AF) that forbid exposure without focus lock and while they lazily try to focus my moment passes by... that really irritates me.

I wonder if anyone else has seen the less than stellar AF performance that I have seen. I wonder if it is due to the fact that I use slow film and hence tend to use the lens wide-open (I presume)? Anyway, that is what I experience.

- marc
 
G

Guest

Re:" I am inclined to think that the [C3] focus area is not where it says it is in all cases."

This may be the case. T3 users have reported the same situation with the AF on some T3s - the AF point is actually a point to the right and lower than the framing lines.

You could test your C3 for this error by pointing the camera to an area about 5 meters distant that contains only one vertical object, a sign post or light pole, for ex&le. See if the AF locks when pointed directly at the subject/object or whether it locks when you point the camera slightly to the left or right of the object. Worth a shot, so to speak.
 
Y

yinkhoon

I wonder if the C3 actually has a spot autofocus? On the leica website, the C2 is stated to have multi-spot AF, spot AF, and manual infinity. While the C3 is only stated to have Autofocus and manual infinity.
If that is really the case, then that may explain Marc's problems with locking focus and repositioning shots?
 

adeeh

Member
I'm a bit confused by this discussion - could someone enlighten me please. I have a C3 and find the focus to work well. The manual suggests that you put your subject in the frame in the centre and then lock this focus if necessary. This implies spot AF (it certainly does not have the wide area AF like the C2). I suppose the debate could be whether this frame is correctly aligned with the AF sensor and how well it copes with different focus points within the small frame.

Is this the issue under discussion? If so I'm not sure how the latest comment relates to this.
 

mattinasi

Well-Known Member
> (snip) > I suppose the debate could be > whether this frame is correctly aligned with the AF sensor and how > well it copes with different focus points within the small frame.

Yes, my original issue with the C3 AF was that the focus was sometimes off - not often, but enough to make me notice. I am extremely picky about AF performance on P&S cameras, and I just hate it when a pic is ruined because the subject is not sharp. Now, to be fair, I have to add an obvious statement: it could be that I am not pre-focusing correctly sometimes, that I fail to depress the shutter far enough to lock AF, or that I mistakenly release AF while recomposing, but it is equally (more) likely that the AF sensor is slightly off from the markings in the viewfinder (in fact it has to be off by some amount, how much I do not know). I have not really conducted any scientific tests to see how the AF sensor and frame correlate at the various focal lengths - I'm not really into that aspect of photography ;-) I like to take and look at pictures.

I have had many more experiences with the C3 since my last posting, and I must say they are very positive. I have found that 400 speed film is a blessing with the camera, and I particularly like Agfa Vista 400 lately, and my old standby Fuji NPH. It has become my most-used P&S... the Rollei has scarcely left the closet in the last few months.

Cheers! - marc
 

adeeh

Member
Hmmm - the issue of what film to use is an interesting point. I have found that I need to get down to 100/200 ISO to get the real benefit from the resolution of the lens. I've tried a few 400 films (Fuji superia, Kodak Portra 400 UC (pretty good colours))- but not Vista 400, but the 100/200 films are that bit sharper.
I've just started using the new Kodak Royal Supra 200 (this new release replaces supra and royal brands) which is claimed to set the standard for fine grained 200 ISO films. I think this works really well, not too slow, but with superb colour, grain and sharpness.
Linked to this, I do find that I get a terrific depth of field with my C3, the programming must tend to prefer to close the aperture before increasing shutter speed, or it's just another qulity of the optics and good film??
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Joy,

at the end of every e-mail you get is also a direct link to your profile to turn off the e-mail notifications.

If this link is broken (often with aol accounts), then go manually to the forum and in your profile as described in the help file.

Dirk
 

f16

Member
Thank you. I'll look out for Kodak Royal Supra. That's new to me.

I'm very happy with Fuji Reala at this time. And I always take it to a Fuji shop - just to be certain. The film can be fairly inexpensive from eBay if you buy ten cassettes at a time.
 
Re: Portra 400UC: I just shot my first roll of 400UC and found it outstanding. Grain is as good as most any ISO 100 film. Colors are exact and not too saturated (I thought it might be wildly colorful like Agfa Ultra, but it's not - closer to 400NC actually.) I prefer it over Supra.
 
Y

yinkhoon

Thanks to Adrian Holmes for his reply. I just got a bit worried and confused from the leica website which stated categorically spot AF for the c2, but did not mention for c3, thus wondered if that essential function was really omitted.

Anyway, I have gone ahead to purchase the c3, primarily for it's 28mm wide angle and faster aperture speed (although the c2's more compact size and cooler styling and cheaper pricing really attracted me too).

Yup, the c3 definitely comes with spot AF, but no multiple AF as in c2, which i guess, is why leica felt obliged to mention that spot AF is available in the c2 too.

And the c3 really feels comfortable to hold and handle, the rubber hand grip really helps make the grip more sure and secure, not to mention the large size. And once it's inside the leather casing, you realise it's really not that brick like.

All in all, it feels robust and likely to last a long time, which is good for a film camera which is fast going the classic traditionalist route in the ongoing digital wave!

Will write more on the picture quality when i have time to shoot in the weekend.

Yin Khoon
 

adeeh

Member
Thanks for the interesting comments. I like the leather case, but always feel worried about dropping it, so I bought a padded (but slightly bulkier) case for mine.
Have any of you tried the timed release yet - it works really well. I've taken some traffic trails and also some pics of lit buildings. The lens seems to give really sharp results in low lighting situations without flash, which I feel is also a significant improvement on my previous compacts which were fine on a bright sunny day but poor (gloomy and badly defined) in low light. The C3 results seem to be really crisp in all lighting. As you can tell, I'm really impressed!!

Look forward to hearing your results Yin.
 
Y

yinkhoon

Ok I shot my first roll of film with the leica C3, the AFGA200 that came with the camera. It was a cloudy day, so quite low light conditions, but i still managed to get good colours and contrast, no muddy colours. Flash is powerful yes and focus is so fast and responsive. But... pictures seem a bit on the soft side.. quite a few pictures, i was quite sure i got the focus lock and recomposed the shot, but the end result was a subject that's a bit soft. But maybe I have overly high expectations of the camera, given its price! For now I would say overall it's still above average.
 
Y

yinkhoon

Tried another roll of film, Fuji Superior 400 this time, in sunny conditions. Yup, definitely a few shots which are soft, especially if the subject is some distance away. When the subject is closer up, ie more zoomed in, the camera can focus better, with more pictures having sharp subject, but still a wee bit soft. The active autofocus, although seemingly fast and responsive, needs to be more accurate. Yes I suppose the infinity mode can be used, but for testing purposes, I left all settings on Auto, since that will be the setting I use most of the time for point and shoot...

Colours, contrast, exposure are good however. In conclusion, I still say above-average results for a point & shot, but not necessarily justificable the cost when looking at other alternatives. I would believe the Yashica T zoom with Carl Zeiss T* 28-70 lens can't do much worse than this, for half the price, so it will probably be a better buy for the money. Yes, the leica c3 has bigger (faster) aperture, but not so important a factor now to me when the image sharpness leaves something to be desired. So given that, I now think the smaller size of the Yashica is more important (after all, you buy a compact point and shoot more for its portability and convenience, for more creative control, i guess most of us still have our SLRs or medium format). Otherwise, if you look for SLR quality and sharpness, look at higher range Minilux zoom or Contax TVS III, or a fixed lens compact.

All these are my personal subjective views, of course, just listing them down in case it helps others who are going through the same decision making process that i did. Hope it helps somewhat, but pls don't ask me to do more scientific testing of variables, etc, haha.

I will be returning the leica c3 for either 2 yashica tzooms, or fork out a bit more for a contax tvs III.

Dear Adrian, pls don't take this as bashing the leica c3 and pls do continue loving your C3. It is overall, still a very good camera, probably as good as or even better than the Yashica Tzoom, but you see, I just want to get my full money's worth while I still can!
 
D

david40

> Re the C3: to get the best out of its lens, why not 1) shoot slides, not prints, and 2) do a really big enlargement, say 16x20? I don't think you can really judge a lens's (or camera's) performance from postcard prints.
 
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Craig24

Just to reinforce David's points which are spot on. Furthermore, use a tripod whenever you can. All this is basic to photographic practice even with the C3 P&S. Then blow them up big to see what you get. The most common cause of soft pics is due to hand held photography. You can not properly assess the image quality of a system from hand held exposures.
 
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