Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/10/16

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Subject: [Leica] Oh, c'mon
From: Mike Johnston <>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 23:30:14 +0000

> The biggest problem with the M6 is not that it is a bad
> camera (it's a great camera, and progress will not alter
> that fact), but that it has stood still for too long.

This statement seems to contradict itself.  The M6 is a great camera,
progress will not alter its greatness--but it must not stand still?  Why
it remain the same if it is a great camera and is destined to remain
so?  It's
either great, or it isn't.

  -- Anthony<<<<<

I don't think so. The IIIf was a great camera. Did that mean there was
no need for the M3? The Duesenberg was a great car. Would anyone prefer
it to a Honda for the morning commute? The Spitfire was the greatest
fighter plane of its day. You bet on the Spitfire, I'll bet on the F16,
and let's see which one goes down in flames.

I don't need to go on here, do I?

Like those stupid view cameras relying on a basic design used since the
beginnings of photograhy 160 years ago and still the definitive way to
quality images Sinar's patents aside.
The Leica M6 is the Sinar of the 35mm rangefinder world and my guess is
guess is wrong. There is not mass exit from it to the high tech

Bad day at the office, Mr. Rabiner? If we try, I'm sure we could remain
gentlemanly in our tone as we discuss this.

There were more than 15 million cameras sold last year, of which some
450,000 were SLRs and fewer than 10,000 were Leica M6s. (Actually, I
have to confess I'm working from memory, as I've got the actual figures
at the office; but those numbers aren't far off if they're off.) You can
find your own figures and do your own arithmetic, but I don't think the
world's major camera producers are earnestly hoping for a mass exodus
away from Leica.

I've owned two M6s. I've shot approximately 600 rolls of film with them,
practiced my handling skills in the evenings, carried them everywhere
with me, and written encomiums to the M in both the old _Camera &
Darkroom_ magazine and _PT_. I used an M4 for a number of months and
learned how to guess my exposures (quite well, for the most part). I'm
not a alien interloper on the LUG. But if the discussion presumes that
we should dismiss all criticism of one company and disallow the very
_possibility_ that another company could do anything in any way I going to be attacked for suggesting that that's not very

- --Mike