Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/04/22

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Subject: Re: Leica M7
From: "Jeff Segawa" <>
Date: 22 Apr 97 14:04:57 -0700

On Tue, Apr 22, 1997 6:17 AM, Oddmund Garvik wrote: 
>Don Bledsoe wrote:
><<<It is a mechanical camera that is not battery dependent, therefore it
>will work when other cameras won't due to simple failure of an electrical
>circuit or the lack of batteries...I can still photograph when batteries
>either dead or simply not available.>>>
>I think there are no point here, but I often hear this argument,
>from Leica fundamentalists and "Sunday Explorers". The most fanatic about
>Leica "tanks" are those who really don't need such a "tank", who just
>about traveling in the bush, mountain, desert, Polar areas... There is
>nothing wrong about dreaming, but one "best camera" doesn't exist. It
>depends upon what you want to do with your camera!

I certainly hope that *real* tanks aren't made with faux titanium armor :-)
Leica could certainly stand some modernization without necessarily giving
up it's "Leica-ness", any more than Hasselblad has, with their 2000- and
200-series of electronic cameras.  Oskar Barnack didn't have access to
titanium, carbon fiber, teflon, or multi-processor workstations, but we do.

I think there's lots to like about the basic Leica concept, but after all
this time and expense, you think they'd have figured out how to make it
more resistant to dings, made baseplates that don't bow out, rangefinders
that don't lose alignment, and in general, expand it's capabilities. Why
NOT accomodate mini zooms and TTL flash?  Where the M excels is
user-friendliness, in the sense that it gives immediate feedback to any
input: Press a button, and something instantly happens, correct or not.
Some electronic cameras give too little feedback: The computer equivalent
would be a Mac or Windows system in which clicking an onscreen button had
no apparent effect (the button doesn't dim, no wristwatch icon, no sound,
no zooming effects, no drive activity lights flashing) until maybe 1/2
second later. It might be as fast as ever, but would sure FEEL wrong. But
this, and a lack of serviceability, are not problems inherent with
electronic designs.

My primary concern with batteries is that they pollute, and some cameras
consume them too quickly.