Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/12/14

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Subject: [Leica] Lee Friedlander and wide-angles
From: (Bill Franson)
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 1997 12:30:33 -0500

A question for the group:

I have read, and heard Lee Friedlander speak of a "congenital problem" with
using wide-angle lens in his desert and Olmsted series'. I quote him from
VIEWING OLMSTED: "The reason I started using [the Hasselblad superwide] was
that I was having some kind of congenital problem with wide-angle lenses [on
the Leica] in the desert, probably because of the light, and probably
because those lenses were designed for flat surfaces. Those lenses are
usually used by people who do architectural work, which deals with flat
surfaces, not so much with a large area with lots of details. I don't know
what the reasons were. It looked as if areas were out of focus and they
wouldn't be the same every time. I call it congenital because it comes with
the lens; it's not something anybody can fix and it's not that anybody even
knows why."

Can anybody elaborate on his perceived problem?

I am wondering specifically what M-series wide-angle lenses he may be
refering to. I own a 35mm f-2 Summicron and have never noticed a focus
problem. I am assuming, from looking at some of the images in VIEWING
OLMSTED (a great book by the way), that he was using 28mm and wider.