6 Things from Philipp Leibfried

Home/6 things I love about the F6/6 Things from Philipp Leibfried

Project Description

I’m Philipp, from Germany, I live in Munich. I work as a software designer and developer, so photography is strictly a hobby for me, albeit one I spend a lot of time and effort on (sometimes). I’m still shooting film in this day and age because I love to see my images projected 8 feet wide on a silver screen. No beamer can beat a good slide in a good projector – even today. Also, I think that film still performs better in some situations, e.g. in heavily backlit or in very cloudy conditions – you’ll still see a bit of ‘structure’ in the sky on a slide where digital renders an uniform grey.

I bought the F6 right when it came out, in November of 2004. I had been using an F4 up till then, never liked the F5. For a while, I carried an F6 and an F4, each loaded with different kinds of film. Then I decided that the F4 was too different and much less smooth to operate and bought a second (used) F6 🙂 I shoot slides almost exclusively, my favorite films are: Fuji Velvia 50 for landscape and nature, Kodak E100G for everything else, and Fuji Provia 400X for animals at the zoo, insects and other types of images for which fast shutter speeds and/or handholding the camrea are required. Unfortunately, both the Kodak E100G and the Provia 400X have been discontinued.

6 Things I Love About the F6:

'Mists of Bavaria' This was taken early in the morning about 30 miles from Munich (where I live). Film: Fujichrome Velvia 50

‘Mists of Bavaria’
This was taken early in the morning about 30 miles from Munich (where I live).
Film: Fujichrome Velvia 50

1. It never gets in the way
The body and its controls are layed out in the most intuitive way possible, and when they aren’t, they can be customized 🙂 For example, I have the rear wheel set to control the aperture and the front wheel set to control the shutter speed. When shooting, the mechanics of taking a photographs do not enter my mind – because they don’t need to. Everything just falls into place smoothly and effortlessly.

This was also taken early in the morning about 35 miles from Munich, in the extremely cold winter of 2005/2006. Film: Fujichrome Velvia 50

This was also taken early in the morning about 35 miles from Munich, in the extremely cold winter of 2005/2006.
Film: Fujichrome Velvia 50

2. The “auto bracketing” feature
I shoot slide film almost exclusively. Even though the F6’s meter is amazingly accurate, sometimes I like a somewhat lighter or darker exposure a little better than the ‘correct’ one. The auto-bracketing of the F6 is very versatile, you can get almost anything you want, and it combines wonderfully with all the camera’s other features. Even when I have to change rolls in the middle of a bracketing sequence, it continues seamlessly after the new roll is inserted.

This was taken in August 2013 from Iceland's "Highway no. 1" which is the road running all around the island. No adventurous hiking trip was required for this picture :-) Film: Fujichrome Velvia 50

This was taken in August 2013 from Iceland’s “Highway no. 1” which is the road running all around the island. No adventurous hiking trip was required for this picture 🙂
Film: Fujichrome Velvia 50

3. Mirror lock-up
The F6 is the only analog camera from Nikon where they got this right (as far as I know). No switching to manual mode, no locking up and releasing the mirror by hand. Just set the transport mode to M-UP and press the button on the cable release twice. I do a lot of landscape photography with Velvia 50, which at apertures or 8 or beyond, will get your shutter speeds exactly into the ‘critical zone’ where mirror lockup is a must.

I took this during the famous carnival in Venice, Italy, in 2014. The "model" is a frenchwoman; surprisingly, there is a very strong French presence among the participants, and most of them have really outstanding costumes. Film: Kodak E100G

I took this during the famous carnival in Venice, Italy, in 2014. The “model” is a frenchwoman; surprisingly, there is a very strong French presence among the participants, and most of them have really outstanding costumes.
Film: Kodak E100G

4. Printing exposure data
I really love that the F6 will imprint exposure data onto the spaces between frames. With the F4, you had to get the clunky MF-23 data back to do that, and it was more limited as to what it would print.

I actually took a 5-day trip to Portugal just to photograph the monastery in Batalha. I knew it from previous vacations there, and I wanted to photograph it without the distraction of a girlfriend around :-) on Kodak E100G film, which I think is perfect for this kind of subject and lighting. I'm still depressed and angry about the fact that Kodak does not produce that film (or any slide film) any more, although it's been more than 2 years now.

Made during a 5-day trip to Portugal just to photograph the monastery in Batalha. Kodak E100G film, which I think is perfect for this kind of subject and lighting. 

5. The cinema screen-like viewfinder
Dude, that viewfinder is HUGE 🙂 And bright. And clear. It’s like looking at a cinema screen. To make matters even better, really *all* the information you could ever need is displayed in the viewfinder – and easy to read.

This was taken during a trip through the southwest of the USA. The location is Willis Creek, in the "Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument". Film: Fujichrome Velvia 50

This was taken during a trip through the southwest of the USA. The location is Willis Creek, in the “Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument”. Film: Fujichrome Velvia 50

6. Configurability
I like the way you can customized almost everything about the camera using a text-based display – no obscure codes the meaning of which you can never remember. And you can store 4 sets of settings – I can go from ‘tripod’ to ‘handheld’ to ‘flash’ mode, with different settings of the “function button” (among others) for each, in the blink of an eye.

%d bloggers like this: