Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/07/17

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Subject: Craftsmanship
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 1996 18:11:49 -0400

Hi All,

Chris wrote:

>(snip)...I also appreciate the "feel" and "individuality" of things built by
>In a sense, I went back to photography with a Leica, because it affords me
>the controls that I do not have with the new AF/zoom/etc. cameras. True, the
>many of the new cameras have "manual" modes, but they are not really meant
>to operate in those modes.

This describes my sentiment rather well. I would like to add that as a
professional myself, I believe that the appreciation for craftsmanship we M6
users often share can extend to one's photography as well. As Eric points
out, there are times when an SLR is the best tool; but when I have the choice
(and the time) I almost always opt for the M6 and a more methodical, maybe
more craftsman-like approach. 

Further, as a matter of preference, I also feel no real attachment to
computer photogizmos like the new Nikon F5, even when it may be the best
tool. And it should be pointed out, with all the talk about Leica pricing,
the F5 is a much more expensive camera than either the M6 or R7/R6.2.
Frankly, I'm skeptical whether the F5, or F4, or the Canon equivalents will
hold their value as well as Leicas, and whether 40 years from now people will
still be chasing them as much as M6s in the manner M3s are sought after
today. Finally, in the types of photography I usually do (technical,
portraiture, and scenics), autofocus offers no advantages and is often a

>...However, technologies do peak out.

As film appears to be doing even now, sadly.

>Personally, I am becoming a fan of the Leica stuff built between 1955 and
>1975. It seems to have the right combination of "feel", price, and optical

The current production equipment seems to provide the best combination of
color saturation, contrast, and sharpness for my taste, but I must agree that
(allowing for sample variations) _some_ of the older lenses have slightly
better sharpness. The exception I would make to this is my new-formula 50mm
f2.8 Elmar, which is simply the sharpest 50mm I have ever used (and I have
used _a lot_ of them).

A question for the group: What is the best 90mm M in your experience? I seem
to get the best results from a 5-element (fat) Tele-Elmarit.

Thanks for your patience. I realize this is a long first post.

Will von Dauster

Denver, Colorado, USA