Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/11/25

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Subject: Re: Tom A. / M2/M3/M4 conversion
From: Harrison McClary <>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 97 08:10:45 -0000

>I don't think that the camera, or type of camera that you use has any 
>bearing on ones creativity.  Perhaps on a persons selectivity in what is 
>shot, but I feel that owning Michaelangelo's chisel would not make one a 
>great scupturer. I have seen photos that great impact, (on me), taken 
>with every format, and with all kinds of lenses.  Haven't you?

I was commenting on how I see things and that FOR ME zooms reduce my 
creativity.  I prefer non zoom lenses.  I have never said that just 
because you get a more expensive camera you will become a better 

Photography is a very personal thing and you must be intune with how your 
gear functions, and how it allows you to see the world.  For me, a zoom 
lens is a kind of cop out.  Instead of thinking how the lens will either 
compress the distance scale or exaggerate it as a wide lens does I simply 
stick the zoom on the camera and twirl the dial until it looks ok through 
the finder (I guess what I am getting at is that -for me- working with a 
zoom allows me to get lazy, and it is when getting lazy that I make 
mistakes).  With Primes I can "see" how each of my lenses will handle the 
situation and get, IMO, a more interesting photo. Just because someone is 
able to shoot great shots using a 35mm camera does not mean he can do the 
same on 4x5, or vice verca.  We all use the gear that we feel most 
comfortable with and allows us to shoot the images we see.  Of course we 
all have seen great photos on differing formats and cameras.  Another 
former UPI associate of mine has a photo he shot that has been in several 
LIFE magazines and in one or two of their special books, he shot this 
photo with a POINT & SHOOT.  I would never be fool enough to say the 
camera is what makes the photo, it is the person behind the lens who 
makes the image.

Having used a Canon system that was composed entirely of zooms, and now 
using a Leica system that is made of all primes, both M and R I can say 
that FOR ME the Leica system is more to my tastes.  The fit and feel of 
the equipment is second to none.  I missed the prime lenses and am glad 
to have a bag full of them again, my back is not so glad though!

Harrison McClary