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Simon Says -- SimonSawSunlight Photo Technique From time to time its been suggested that RFF have a mentor Photography help section in terms of Technique - how to shoot this or that. 1st of all I had to find someone whose work I really like. 2ndly that photog had to be willing help others. That's the catch: so many excellent photogs just are not wiling to make the time for that, or just as likely, simply don't give a damn about helping others. SimonSawSunlight is an excellent up and coming photog whose work seems to go well beyond his 24 years.

You can view Simon's work at http://www.simonbephotography.com/  and www.facebook.com/simonbphotography Simon has been published in in FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), LFI (Leica Fotografie International) and more recently in Radiate Magazine. He also recently had a large solo-exhibition in Berlin. Not too Shabby! So, let us begin this adventure and see where it goes. Thank for taking this on Simon!


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A Short Guide to the German Language and the Messucherkamera and Other Notes
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
SimonSawSunlight
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A Short Guide to the German Language and the Messucherkamera and Other Notes

Greetings comrades,


I am currently sitting at home after a minor surgery earlier this week, which gives me plenty of time to scan my work from two weeks in Japan - and to think about the fact that the German language is a) laden with funny words and b) often mispronounced by fellow international camera aficionados, especially those of the anglophone variety. There certainly is no shame in that at all, we can all agree that if there were a list of all things more useful to a person of this era than learning german pronunciation, it would include all things except learning german grammar.

We will start with five simple words and then add more lessons to the thread as we go along. Suggestions and questions are more than welcome. Let's get started.


Lesson 1
Leica

Basically like a russian spacedog (See what i did there? Brilliant, I know.) You're doing it right, don't worry about it. Unless you're French. It's not Leyka. It's a Leitz Camera. LAITS!


Actually did turn into a space hot dog, Laika, the first face of the space race. spaceraceface. spfrace.



Lesson 2
Voigtländer

There's a chance you're doing it wrong. It is a bit tricky because nobody ever tells anyone that "oi" is just pronounced as a straight long "o" in this case. Like good old Berti Vogts (no "i" there, I know. I hope nobody told you it made sense either). While your potential efforts to pronounce "länder" with a nice germanic "AH"-sound (like Deutschlaaaaand) is commendable, the Umlaut "ä" (or "ae") makes it so that it is actually quite close to how you would pronounce the "a" in "Highlander" - unless you actually are from the highlands. And first things last: the "V" is actually an "F", don't ask, just do it. Fogtlendah. There you go, close enough.
The name stems from the Vogtland (formerly written Voigtland) region that spans parts of Thuringia, Saxony, Bavaria and Bohemia. It's quite beautiful, really. But the local accent is weirder than generic German, if you can believe it.



The entirety of Vogtland's largest human settlement, simply called Ort. Town hall / mayor's house, train station / beer garden, grammar police station (left to right). Also a textbook example of ruthless, unregulated gentrification.


Lesson 3
Messsucherkamera

That's the german word for "rangefinder camera". A German person might tell you that it is pronounced just the way it is written. Good luck! I will try my best to transcribe it: mess (literally like a mess) - zoo(sound of guttural scoffing)er - kah-meh (Kamehameha!)- ra. It's a guttural "r". You can get away with a tongue-rolled "r", some Germans do it.

But more importantly: yes, triple "s"! Back in the day it would have been Meßsucherkamera but the e is short and open ("Berlin") rather than long and flat ("Nordsee") and the powers that be turned every sharp "s" ("ß") following a short vowel into "ss", and every sharp "s" (ss) following a long vowel into "ß" in an orthography reform some twenty years ago. It's Fußball not Fussball. Oh by the way, ß is never used at the beginning of a word. If you do, you're out. Sounds complicated? That's because it is. Now imagine that reform kicking in while you're in elementary school and having to forget half of what you just managed to learn and doing it the other way. The Swiss generally don't bother with it and don't even have "ß" in their regular keyboard layout. An argument could be made that they do have way bigger issues to deal with in their version of German than some sharp Ss though.

It's not a B by the way. It has absolutely nothing to do with a B. It may look a bit like the Greek letter Beta but again, not a B. Want to know why it looks that way then? No? I'll tell you anyway: While some people just call it "scharfes S" (sharp S), others were taught the name "SZ" ("Esszett") because that's where it actually comes from. It's a combination, a "digraph", of an old long "s" and a tailed "z": ſʒ -> ß. Fascinating.


Not Erfurt's famous Schlobftrabe, but the other one.


Alright that's one letter done, moving on to the rest of the word. As you probably have noticed, it actually consists of three words. German compounds are a thing and they are great. The last word usually defines the actual thing you are talking about, so a Sollbruchstelle, a predetermined breaking point, is a point or location (Stelle) where breakage (Bruch) is supposed to (sollen) occur. What's a Messsucherkamera then? It`s a camera with a searcher (Sucher not a finder! Der Weg ist das Ziel!) that can measure/meter (messen) things. What does it measure? Well, it measures distance of course, but an Entfernungsmesssucherkamera must have been excessive even for German engineers, so they did the one thing nobody expected them to do. They simplified to the detriment of precision. Weak.


Severed head trophy of Johnny 5, currently displayed at the Old Voigtland Museum of Natural History, train station and beer garden, rooms available, no smoking.

Page 8 of "Ausführliche Anleitung Leitz Leica M2" (the "extensive manual") rectifies that blatant lack of precision to a degree by introducing us to the...


Lesson 4
Leuchtrahmen-Meßsucher
("ß". It's an old Anleitung.)

It would be perfectly acceptable for that to be Leuchtrahmenmesssucher, but it seems they wanted the word Leuchtrahmen to stand out, so this works fine. Leuchtrahmen are framelines. I have never heard a german person use the word Leuchtrahmen in this context. Everybody says "framelines", and that's your fault, people, or Sucherlinien or Sucherrahmen. That might be because "leuchten" means to glow and they don't exactly glow like neon lights. They're just there and you can see them in the Sucher. Rahmen means frame or frames. Sometimes plural forms are the same as singular in German. Get used.

So Leuchtrahmen-Messsucher means Glow-Frame-Measure-Searcher (again the Entfernung is implied) and the Leuchtrahmen part is basically pronounched loycht-japanesenoodles. But wait, this "ch" is not the same as the guttural scoffing sound in "Sucher". It is... a different guttural scoffing sound! With more resignation and tenderness to it, while the previous (
"Sucher") scoffing sound was more closely related to a light snore. Try scoffing gutturaly while imitating air escaping from a bicycle tyre this time. That's it, moving on.


More German talk of severed limbs. And censored lewds.


Lesson 5
Automatische Bildfeldsteuerung

Come on, you can do it! The Automatische Bildfeldsteuerung is either

a) the automatic selection of the correct framelines

b) the automatic frame counter reset

or

c) the instinctive knowledge that Sauerkraut does not belong on Currywurst and the consequent disposal of such an abomination in an almost automatic gesture without even looking at the damn thing.

Either way, it is fairly easy to pronounce "automatische". Think of it as a slurred gobbledygook of a vehicle, your grandmother and tables. Auto, Oma and Tische. Swallow one of the o's. Good. It means automatic. Now to the hard part.

Bildfeldsteuerung! Jawohl! Bild is fairly straightforward, so is Feld. (Oh, by the way, the german word for Sergeant is Feldwebel. Feld means field but I will die not knowing what a Webel ist. It doesn't mean anything and I certainly won't go around looking up the etymology of the word Feldwebel on German Wikipedia.


...


Alright Webel comes from Weibel which is an old word for usher and Feldwebel is technically a field usher with a gun. Are you happy?)

Steuerung is pronounced shtoy-eh-roung, also not too bad but
now try saying Bildfeldsteuerung three times and fast.
The Antwort to the quiz is a), the automatic picture-field-control of course. The frame selector is the Bildfeldwähler. No. One. Says. That.



Bild, Feld, Joystick. Nailed it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
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Vielen Dank! Always fun to have humour in German pronunciation. Last year my choir performed Beethoven's Ninth with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and we were taught correct pronunciation by the head of German music at the Royal College of Music. Strangely, Messucherkamera never appeared - I'm surprised the ch is silent though...but glad it's not CH as Swiss German is a thing of pure horror!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
SimonSawSunlight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesDAMorgan View Post
Vielen Dank! Always fun to have humour in German pronunciation. Last year my choir performed Beethoven's Ninth with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and we were taught correct pronunciation by the head of German music at the Royal College of Music. Strangely, Messucherkamera never appeared - I'm surprised the ch is silent though...but glad it's not CH as Swiss German is a thing of pure horror!

It's not silent! It's a guttural scoff paired with a dutch snore! Close to the swiss "K" / "CH" sound but not quite as aggressive. Sorry for not being precise enough.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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Enjoyed that, thanks!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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What about this monster: Scheimpflug
I use it but can't pronounce it!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saul View Post
What about this monster: Scheimpflug
I use it but can't pronounce it!

It's not the prettiest of names is it, but the good man was hardly a monster! It is pronounced along the lines of shime-pfloog (g as in pug).



In relation to that:

English term: tilt effect

German term: Schärfedehnung nach Scheimpflug

Fun Fact: The english term is more precise in this instance.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Simon I must say you are absolutely on fire lately. Every thread I click on has been revived or at least contributed to by you. And now this. As a fellow German even I feel like i've learned something.

Gute Besserung.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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A sequel on wheelchairs and TLRs maybe?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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A sequel on wheelchairs and TLRs maybe?
You mean zweiäugige Spiegelreflexkameras of course. I will gladly look into it.
Where do the wheelchairs come in though?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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Originally Posted by lukx View Post
Simon I must say you are absolutely on fire lately. Every thread I click on has been revived or at least contributed to by you. And now this. As a fellow German even I feel like i've learned something.

Gute Besserung.

Feurio, danke! What is it that you may or may not have learned from any of this, I wonder?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonSawSunlight View Post
You mean zweiäugige Spiegelreflexkameras of course. I will gladly look into it.
Where do the wheelchairs come in though?
I see "Rollie" quite frequently on the the English language forums...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonSawSunlight View Post
You mean zweiäugige Spiegelreflexkameras of course. I will gladly look into it.
Where do the wheelchairs come in though?
I see "Rollie" quite frequently on the the English language forums. That's not entirely uncommon as a term of endearment for Rollstuhl, "rolling chair", wheelchair. Rollt mir die Zehennägel hoch (makes my toenails curl) in either use.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
I see "Rollie" quite frequently on the the English language forums. That's not entirely uncommon as a term of endearment for Rollstuhl, "rolling chair", wheelchair. Rollt mir die Zehennägel hoch (makes my toenails curl) in either use.

Aaah, absolutely yes and yes. Definitely worth a lesson.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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HAHA, it's so funny.

Remembers me at the fact I had to explain the german Ö to a US-citizen. I tried to explain with the english word "turn", it has quite the same sound in it. Leave the "t" and "n" and you have nearly the german Ö.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
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It helps to have 7 years of school done in Germany
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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
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Long ago I encountered the correct German pronunciation for Voigtländer and have tactfully described it to my fellow photographer friends (who enjoy looking at my Bessamatic). Thank you for correcting the common tendency to pronounce "oi" as a dipthong, as well as the equally common mispronunciarions of "V" and "ä".

Slowly, I'm getting them to pronounce "Jena" correctly. After that, the next big task is introducing them to "Ihagee" (IHG) and other Exakta lore.
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A Short Guide to the German Language and the Messucherkamera and Other Notes
Old 1 Week Ago   #18
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A Short Guide to the German Language and the Messucherkamera and Other Notes

Lesson 6
zweiäugige Spiegelreflexkamera

That's a lot of letters in quite the sequence, isn't it. Let's take it step by step and in no particular order then. A "Spiegelreflexkamera" is generally translated as an SLR, a single lens reflex camera. But that's not quite right. It really means mirror reflex camera, no mention of the number of lenses, it could look like a spider's face for all we know right now. In comes the friendly adjective "zweiäugig" to lift the fog, because it means "two-eyed". (Where did the "e" at the end of "zweiäugig" go? Well that, my friends, is but one of the many exciting mysteries of the German language. Just learning a word and its pronuncation doesn't automatically grant you the ability to use it correctly. This is not Disneyland. And you don't want me to deep dive into how the ending of adjectives change (or don't) depending on the noun they describe, the four grammatical cases, and where it is placed in the sentence. Because it is a zweiäugige Spiegelreflexkamera but the Spiegelreflexkamera is zweiäugig. Ok? Good.)

The four consecutive vowels in the middle, including an Umlaut, look frightening at first but knowing that it is two words glued together, it is actually quite harmless.

You guessed it, zweiäugige Spiegelreflexkamera just means TLR. Why not use an abbreviation? Excellent question, but remember that, first and above all, abbreviations are weak, and ZÄSRK sounds like a fictional Hungarian copycat version of a Ukrainian-made large-caliber rifle from the 1960s.

Aussprache! (That means pronunciation!)

tsvai (like thai but with a tsvvv)-oygueegueh shpeeguel-reh(not ree!)flex-kahmehrah

Easy. Nice. But notice the ts for "z" in the beginning. The German Z is sharp! Which leads right to the next lesson.


Gotcha.



Lesson 7

Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex


This is going to be a short one, focusing solely on Aussprache.

IT'S TSAISS GODDAMMIT, NOT DZICE!

Just had to get that out. Anyway "i" is always some form of "ee" (longer or shorter, depending on stuff) in German, it only becomes "i" as in I when paired with an "e" to form "ei", which also means egg. Try to remember this part because we are going to build upon it later. I'm going all didactic on your beehives!

So the famous Zeiss-made zweiäugige Spiegelreflexkamera Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex is pronounced as follows:
tsaiss (or tsice if you must) eekon eekohflex.

It's not hard at all, just remember not to go around bragging about your dzice aykon aykoflex if you want or need to remain undercover in North Rhine-Westphalia or wherever. (North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the sixteen German states, or Bundesländer. It sounds like it should be a small place because the name is rather long and precise like "Oooh just a mere fourty steps north of the creek and then up the hill between the two old pine trees, onward for a mile and a half and then a skip-and-a-jump to the west you'll find a village so peculiar that the few Westphalians from the South Rhine who ever visited could not believe their Phalian eyes, let alone the Northphalians from the other side of the bog..." but it's actually huge, the most populous of the Bundesländer even.)

eekon, not aykon, eekoflex, not aykoflex. Not'n to do with the song.


These are icons. They clearly do not flex except for maybe one or two.



Lesson 8
Rollei / Rolleiflex


The most famous zweiäugige Spiegelreflexkamera of them all is not the Rollieflex! It's the Rolleiflex! Rolling-egg-flex! You do remember the lesson above so I have no more explaining to do! Yeah, didactics Mr. White!


I'm not quite sure how exactly Franke & Heidecke came up with the name and I'm not going to waste my time googling more things you can clearly google yourself if you're interested but I am 100% positive it's Rollei not Rollie. As fellow pedant and Ausspracheliebhaber retinax mentioned, "Rollie" is SOMEtimes used by SOME Germans as a diminutive term for wheelchair and the rest of the Germans collectively, unanimously think: "JUST SAY ROLLSTUHL, THERE'S NO POINT, ROLLIE SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE THREE YEARS OLD AND TALKING ABOUT YOUR BOBBY CAR (Bobby Cars are awesome) AND IT HAS THE EXACT SAME NUMBER OF SYLLABLES AS ROLLSTUHL. ARGH! WHERE IS MY SCHNITZEL!"


If you are seriously into all things Roll-Ei, Maryland's got you covered.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
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Here is something I posted not long ago elsewhere:

V - X - M is a common setting on Synchro-Compur leaf shutter cameras or lenses with such shutters. V ("Vorlaufwerk") is the delay timer - but X and M are flash synch choices.

(... and don't forget proper V and W pronunciation! Like, dude, your VW is not a "volks-waggin", it's "folks-vagen")
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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
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I think I made it about halfway through #3. Thanks.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #21
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I really enjoyed that, Simon! I wish you a speedy recovery.


Years ago, I studied languages (including German) and linguistics, so that gave me an advantage here. (I ended up living in Portuguese-speaking countries - Brazil and Portugal - however.)


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Old 1 Week Ago   #22
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i'm a germ. i come from germ-any.

not related to our lovely hobby, but a perfect example for the pitfalls of the german pronounciation: Kaiserslautern.
seems so difficult, that almost all american soldiers coming through here, call it K-town.
and then, send them to Pirmasens (i can be so mean ...)



(for your info: both Pirmasens and Kai ... K-town are small cities not far from where I live. remarkable only for their names, honestly speaking. except of course, if you serve in the US army, or you are a soccer fan)
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Old 1 Week Ago   #23
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Nice thread Simon!


Languages made a very interesting topic.

I am Italian but fell in love with photography while living in Germany...oh, well wait, in Bavaria actually :-) and everything I learned about photography was either in english or german at the point that when I was talking to fellow italians friends I hardly knows the right terminology in my native language...

Down there is "Leica" and not "Laika" :-)
I remember typing messsucherkamera, mittelformatkamera, rollfilmkamera, or belichtungsmesser in my e-bay.de search back then.

Now that I am living in Belgium I had to re-learn photography related terminology in French in case I want to discuss it with local friends...
The good things is that we don't need words to look at a photo.
Keep posting.


Servus und PfiatGott!


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Old 1 Week Ago   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastel View Post
i'm a germ. i come from germ-any.

not related to our lovely hobby, but a perfect example for the pitfalls of the german pronounciation: Kaiserslautern.
seems so difficult, that almost all american soldiers coming through here, call it K-town.
and then, send them to Pirmasens (i can be so mean ...)



(for your info: both Pirmasens and Kai ... K-town are small cities not far from where I live. remarkable only for their names, honestly speaking. except of course, if you serve in the US army, or you are a soccer fan)

For some reason, even some Germans struggle with Friedrichstraße...
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