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

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Subject: Re: Tom A. / M2/M3/M4 conversion
From: Jack Gottlob <>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 16:42:02 -0800

Harrison McClary wrote:
> >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
> photographer.
> 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

I'm glad that I asked, because I enjoyed reading your answer.  I too 
prefer fixed lenses but last month I happened by the Columbus Street Art 
Sale in NY, and I saw a guy who's work blew me away. (His name is 
DelPrado)  When we spoke he told me that he shot everything with a sigma 
zoom lens on an old 35 body.
Up until recently I felt that the 35 was suitable for little else than 
sports, journalism and action. The work that I've seen has changed my 
jack gottlob