Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/10/15

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Subject: Re: Pretenders to the Throne
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 18:31:34 -0700

At 05:45 PM 10/15/97 +0000, shawnl wrote:
>It seems that Mr. Gandy was attempting to make the point (quite 
>successfully, in my mind) that the word 
>"Leica" is more than a brand name which is stamped on the body of the 
>camera at the factory.  It is also a certain mystique, heritage, and 
>perfection of design which has endeared so many people to the M cameras.  
>It is a feeling, much like the elusive "bokeh", which makes cameras such 
>as the M's a thoroughly unique experience in photography today.  
>It seems 
>that the R cameras, specifically the R8 as it is referred to by Mr. 
>Gandy, lack this quality in that they are merely an interation of the 
>common SLR camera.   

That last sentence is the biggest bunch of cow manure I've heard in a long

This is nearly the new millennium. A century minus a simple decade+3 away
from the blessed event. The mystique, heritage, and perfection that
endeared so many, is still there, carried on into all of the current
professional Leica products. Just because it's nearly ninety years later
doesn't mean they forgot the formula. The whole industrial world has
changed from then.

Nostalgia and $1.25 will buy you a cup of coffee.

Which cameras have the knobs been falling off of. In which cameras does the
frame counter quit. Which camera loses its ability to focus clearly due to
mis-aligned parts. Which camera is a SOB to load. For *true* focus
accuracy, which camera must have each lens calibrated to the body it will
be used on. Is this the "M's thoroughly unique experience in photography

As far as QUALITY goes, the R cameras have an impeccable track record. The
R6.2 & R7 are head and shoulders above the M6 sold during the same period.
It's rare that an R camera just breaks or quits. It is never mis-aligned.
Just read through the LUG archives if you want proof. This list is
saturated by people that have been screaming and yelling about poor M quality.

On September 16th, Ferdinand published, on this list, a response from Leica
Solms, which addressed some of the admitted to, M camera problems. Now...
do you really want to continue bashing the R's lack of quality? I think not! 

Are the same people around that produced the original blessed Leica? NO. Is
the same company still making Leicas? NO. If the company that makes Leicas
today, was operated like the original company was operated, would we have
new Leicas today? NO.

There is a feeling that comes with using what you have a passion for.
Whether it be a Omas fountain pen, Ferrari, or a Leica. Unless you are one
with what you are using, the vision could be astigmatic. Using equipment
that you have confidence in, allows you to produces better results. But
here at the end of the 20th century, a different, more global, business
philosophy must endure. The exact same philosophy that built M6's, built R7's.

Perhaps the R Leica is now the genuine Leica.

I am NOT bashing M cameras. I simply pointing out that no matter which
camera you so passionately envelop, there are two sides to every fence. We
each choose that which FITS OUR NEEDS! Be it psyche related, or work
related. But to cast aspersions on others because you think that you are
the only one who "holds the key" to "claim the jewels" well...

Nostalgia and $1.25 will STILL buy you a cup of coffee.

My treat this time.


ps... A few more questions: Is the Visoflex a "real" piece of Leica
equipment? Why was the Visoflex produced? Oh, I see, it's "real" because it
mounts on a rangefinder camera. It allows the use of telephoto lenses above
135mm. Yes. Uh huh. And allows macro photography as well. OK... Cool... A
Leica SM/M/SLR. Maybe those smart Leica technicians will build the mirror
box into the camera body and add a 90 degree prism so that we can use any
lens at any time without having to worry about framing and focus. Boy,
won't that make sports photography easier! And wildlife photography easier
too. Good idea. Maybe some really famous photographers will like this new
ADAMS, oh my gawd... Ansel Adams??? Yes, Ansel Adams!. But, of course, we
couldn't call them "Leica" photographers, after all, they weren't using
Leicas. They were using that box with a mirror. No, not a Visoflex, a