Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/07/24

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Subject: Re: Strap lugs
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 22:21:56 -0400


I avoided the problem by removing the front hinged section of an M3 case. I
then fasten my straps to the tough flanges of the case. I don't even bother
with the eyelets on the camera itself. The M3 is then protected by the case
as well. The only tradeoff is the extra time needed to remove the camera from
the case and the balancing act necessary to load it without the security of
the strap. But loading an M3 even under the best conditions is a chore. Its
precision works against you, what with the swinging back, independent-minded
baseplate and tricky threading with that wild take-up spool. 

The M6, I understand, has a fixed spool, so if had $2K to spend I might
lighten the loading protocol somewhat. The pro Nikons also have the eyelet
problem, so I solved the Nikon problem the same way.

Comparing the Nikon to a Leica reflex isn't really possible for me since I
never owned a Leica reflex and I don't expect to unless I get one as a gift.
I've seen them at shows and in the field. I do use a 1969 Nikon for B&W. I
can tell you that it's a very tough camera, particularly with a non-metered
pentaprism. The interchangeable screen in the Nikon F is a work of art -- as
precise as any lens. The fully removable back makes film loading obvious and
you can really get a grip on it; it doesn't handle like a bulbous football. 

Since the lens is the bottom line in a good camera system, I think we should
compare Leica with Nikon lenses. There the gap is closing rapidly. And so are
the prices for certain special purpose objectives. AF lenses are an entirely
new ballgame. I have no idea how Leica will meet that challenge -- if at all.

Footnote: The best lens I've ever used is a Nikon AF f3.5/4 35-70mm zoom. It
meets the standard set by my 50mm 1.5 Summarit and then goes ahead and does
the same at other focal lengths. Whether it will do that as long as the
Summarit has is an unanswered question. Carbonate plastic is one thing; brass
is another. From what I've seen, Leica doesn't make its own zoom lenses; but
things may have changed.