Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/02/22

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Subject: Re: [Leica] red dot - the point
From: Paul and Paula Butzi <>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 09:32:00 -0800

At 06:41 AM 2/22/98 , you wrote:
>what anyone that ever took a class in 2 dimensional design knows is that
>bright or colorful (espescially red) highlights grabs a viewers eye.
>(any packaging designers out there?)
>if i am trying to communicate with a portrait subject, i'd rather they
>didn't get distracted by a red dot - its hard enough to coax someone into
>looking directly into the lens.
>i don't want my tools' self advertising to get in the way of the job it was
>obtained to do.  also, the point of a black camera is discretion.  the red
>dot and overly large, bright white lettering work against this.

The distance between the infamous 'red dot' and the lens axis on *my*
m6 looks to be about 4cm.  Assuming that you are working at the
*minimum* focus distance of .7m, that works out to a subtended angled
of approximately 3.3 degrees.

I doubt very sincerely that you could reliable tell the difference in prints
between a subject staring fixedly into the lens axis and staring at the red
dot.  I just tried an experiment with my family, and none of us could reliably
determine eye line that accurately at a distance of .7m.

You might have trouble with getting your subjects to direct their gaze
where you want, but the red dot isn't the culprit.

>that is bad design, to work against yourself...
>i think the m-6hm is the most perfect camera i've ever seen (can't wait for
>mine), but these two features have to go.  I'm going to fill the lettering
>with something water based and easily removed (like tempra or something to
>knock the bright white down) and experiment with tapes for the dot.
>I hope to spend no more than 20 minutes on all this (which is less than i've
>already spent reading the thread...)

Bingo.  Could we put this all to bed, now, please?  Instead of telling us how
you hate the red dot, tell us something about how the M6 is a great camera
for the way you do portraits!

- -Paul Butzi