Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/11/03

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Subject: Thanks and Roll Call
From: rardinge@KUHUB.CC.UKANS.EDU
Date: Mon, 03 Nov 1997 12:49:50 -0600

I would like to thank the group for the very helpful infomation I've
received from both my direct questions and by "lurking" a bit.  I recently
asked about a small camera bag recommendation and the answers I received
influenced my purchasing a Billingham "Alice" bag. It is just about perfect
for me. It holds my M6 and 3 lenses and film and gives me just enough room
left over to have a bit of a "working area".

I have read with interest the "Roll Call" posts.  It is interesting to see
what others find useful and important in making equiptment choices.  For my
part, I am 40, a physician, married (15 years) and have 2 children. (boys,
ages 11 and 13). I have been very interested in photography since 1971.
During the early 70's I took photographs for school newspapers and
yearbooks.  I also worked after school in a camera store.  I bought my
first Leica (a SS M3 with a 50mm 1.4 summilux with an eveready case) in
1973 (for $350 total).  I bought a Leitz-Minolta CL with 40/2 and 90/4, all
new, in late 1978. I still have this camera set, (I no longer have the
M3/ costs, etc.). I recently added the M6 (chrome, like the
old M3) and a 50/2 (both new-love the "rebates"). I just picked up very
nice "previously purchased" models of the 35/2 and 90/2.8 TE.  I also use a
modest Nikon outfit (N90s, 6006, 24, 35, 50, 85, 70-210, SB26) and I have a
small wood field 4x5 camera with 135mm and 210mm lenses.

I have a black and white darkroom and use the Leica primarily for B&W.
Most of my images that really please me were taken with a Leica RF. I have
tried to understand why this camera works for me.  I supect it is several
things. The most important is probably the ability to see "outside" the
picture area in the viewfinder. Other factors probably include the
ergonomics of the camera, especially the viewfinder being way to the side
of the body (instead of in the middle as in an SLR), and the quietness of
the shutter release (lack of mirror/motor noise).  I do enjoy hiking with
the Nikon and use color slide film with it. In this case, the SLR helps
with exact framing, ease of use with polarizers, graduated ND, exposure
calculation, fill flash, bracketing, etc. I chose to do some work with the
4x5 (black and white) primarily to force myself to pay more attention to
composition and to improve my processing and printing skills.

I find there are times that all three setups provide outstanding image
quality and times where everthing misses.  I truly think however there is
something a bit different to the best images taken with the Leica.  I
noticed it years ago.  Perhaps there really is good "Bokeh" (sp?).

If you would like to see a few of my pictures, feel free to visit:

This is a small personal page associated with some of my teaching
materials.  The B&W pictures are from the Tetons and are made with the 4x5,
the color photos are from Zion and made with the Nikon.  My current photos
made with the Leica are of my family and I am a bit reluctant to have these
on the "Web".

Thanks again for all your past help,

Robert Ardinger, Jr.

Robert H. Ardinger, Jr., M.D.