Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/03/27

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Subject: Re: [Leica] We're not alone - quality problems
From: "B. D. Colen" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 10:12:57 -0500

Danny - Right and wrong. HCB was still shooting by the time Nikon became the King of Photo Journalism and he was still shooting with Leicas. The Leica is still the quietest, least intrusive, piece of quality photo equipment available - and, unlike the Nikon, it does not give you an instant of mirror blackout during what could be the decisive moment. Also, one of the primary advantages of the Leica is the ability to focus the wide angles with ease...even the 21 is a piece of cake. Having been a Nikon user, and still the user of an ancient F, I can say that for most of us, focusing a wide angle with reflex is a virtual impossibility - although, I know acurate focusing is less important than it is with a longer lens. I think if you'll look around, particularly looking back a few years, you'll find that most news shooters used their Leicas for the wide angles up to maybe a 50, and Nikons from 50 or 105 terms of news work, that can be the perfect combination.

At 08:09 PM 3/26/98 -0500, you wrote:



>I couldn't agree more.  I recently bought my first Leica.  It's something

>I've wanted since I was a child back in the fifties and saw my uncle's M3.

>It's a unique camera and I love it.  Thank God, I've had no problems with

>mine yet.  I love shooting with it and I feel that it's a unique piece of

>photographic equipment.


>However I don't think it's the be-all and end-all of 35 mm cameras.  I still

>love my Nikons and I don't plan to give them up.  I think there are certain

>applications where the Nikon is a better choice than the Leica and I

>certainly think that the Nikon is a better "system camera" than the Leica.

>For example, why go to all the fuss and bother of separate viewers for ultra

>wide-angle lenses.  With the Nikon, you just pop it on and look through the

>viewfinder and you see what's coming through the lense.  Your viewfinder is

>never obstructed as it occasionally is with the Leica.


>And when you add all those gizmos to the Leica to force it to perform like

>an SLR, you're defeating it's most essential quality, it's unobtrusiveness.

>As for the Noctilux, I refuse to buy a lense that costs as much as a good

>used car when for a few hundred dollars I can buy a f1.2 50mm Nikkor which

>is only slightly slower than the Noctilux and has none of it's drawbacks.

>All apertures on the Nikkor show great resolution edge to edge.


>I've carried my venerable Nikon F3's and my FM2n with me to dozens of

>countries in Europe and Asia and never had a mechanical problem.  What'

>more, I know that if I were to lose a body or lense through negligence or

>theft, I can go into any camera store in any major city and many small

>villages and replace the equipment at reasonable cost, new or used.


>In my humble opinion, an M6 with one or two lenses is all that's needed.  I

>believe I read somewhere that HCB only ever shot with a 50mm lense.  And I

>would wager that if he were taking the same pictures today, he would use a

>Nikon.  I think he loved good pictures and not buying and talking about



>Bruce S.

>-----Original Message-----

>From: dannyg1 <<dannyg1@IDT.NET>

>To: <<>

>Date: Thursday, March 26, 1998 12:54 PM

>Subject: [Leica] We're not alone - quality problems



>>Nathan Wong, a staple of the CIS photoforum, had this to say on USENET



>>" I've heard of a lot of brand new Leica M6's having

>>quite a few problems over on CompuServe. Of course they were resolved by

>>Leica, but they were there when the owner opened his box. I know you can

>>make the statement that even cars have problems when new, but I've never

>>had a camera break down when bought new (used is another animal

>>altogether!). The problems ranged from a frame counter that didn't work,

>>even after numerous repairs, to the rangefinder being off! If that's

>>handmade quality for you...forget it! I'll take my mass produced Nikon



>>Apparantly the recent quality control problems are being experienced and


>>outside of this list and it's interesting that the problems reported seem

>identical across



>>Danny Gonzalez






<bold><italic><bigger>B. D.</bigger></italic></bold>