Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/11/07[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
At 06:26 PM 11/7/96 -0800, Stephen Gandy wrote: >As as side note, the 35/3.5, 50/1.4, 85/2, and 135/4 are historically >very important lenses. These lenses in Leica mount, NOT Nikon mount, >established not only Nikon's post war reputation, but the growing >reputation of the entire Japanese photo industry. It was these lenses >on a Life Photog's Leica body which were first recognized and praised in >the New York Time's camera column (December of 1949 if my memory is >correct) as BEING BETTER THAN LEICA LENSES. Well, no, it's a year or so later, and it involved several of the War Correspondents in the Korean War, especially Duncan. They hype is great, the myth is deep, but, apparently, he DID like the 1.4/50 and 2/85 lenses quite a bit. He was the one who started the 'Nikon is better than Leica' stories going. What was actually happening was this: German lenses were almost impossible to get, especially in Tokyo, while the Nikon lenses were available. A war was going on, these correspondents owned their own gear, and wanted to risk NOT the hard-to-replace German glass, but the obtainable and rather inexpensive Japanese lenses. Once Duncan showed them that the Japanese lenses were capable of fine work -- most are, after all, direct thefts of German patents and built to high standards -- the next quibble was how to convince the magazine editors to not go ballastic when the found out their pictures were NOT shot with Zeiss or Leitz glass. So the campaign began: Nikon is better than Leica. Of course, it wasn't true then, and it's not true now. But editors, I guess, are really dumb -- they fell for it. Marc firstname.lastname@example.org FAX: +540/343-7315 Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!