Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/09/27

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Subject: Re: Summars & the Quest for Sharpness at the Expense of Imagery
From: (James Everett)
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 15:04:39 -0400

>>Summars & the Quest for Sharpness at the Expense of Imagery
>>Book after book downgrades the lens and its so so
>>sharpness---recommending  in no uncertain terms not to waste time buying
>>or using it.
>>Yet it is one of my favorite lenses.
>>In fact, I love that lens, but NOT for its sharpness--because it is NOT
>>   Everyone seems to talk about how sharp a lens
>>is, instead of what images they have taken with it.
>>   Yet, the average Leica shooter usually puts up
>>their nose at such outdated unsharp lenses, and spends their time trying
>>to get the sharpest lenses instead of getting the best photographs.
>>I love this guy. Thanks Gandy, for the thoughts. Per your info, I am
>intrigued but am now aware that the example I am in touch with is
>overpriced. I may skip the IIIa and buy a Summar 50 f/2.
>I am pleased to see reality boiled down to its essence in the above
>statements. I have a photo (in a book) of Cartier-Bresson using an old 30's
>Leica and I wonder how it would fare on todays "bench" tests.
>My grandfather used to say, "A poor carpenter blames his tools.", in our
>world of immediate results and engineered obsolescence this is a pearl of
>ben holmes

Can't resist tossing in my 2¢ worth-- no matter how sharp your lens is,
SOMETHING out there is going to be even sharper. It's too easy get
obsessive about this (happens to me all the time) and forget about what
photography is supposed to be all about.

James Everett, Ph.D.
Ecole de Psychologie
Université Laval
Québec G1R 7P4
tel. (418) 656.21.31  poste 5151
fax. (418) 656.36.46