Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/01

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Subject: Re: [Leica] 35mm = amateur
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Sat, 02 May 1998 00:21:07 -0500

At 06:46 PM 5/1/98 -0400, you wrote:

>>To be perfectly honest, I think 35mm cameras are for journalists and
>>amateurs. 'Quality' is not their strength. 
>>Jan Faul
>I would love for some of our erudite Leica users to respond with examples
>of 35mm photographers who don't fit into the categories of journalist or
>amateur.  I know some of you know a lot more than I do about Leica history.
> Direct your replies to:
>Thanks!  Tina
>Tina Manley, ASMP


Darkroom Photography had an article by Fred Maroon who talked about
architectural photography. And how National Geographic chose his Leica
pictures (SLR by the way) over his 4x5 work because the quality was better. 

Now before anyone goes off half-cocked, the reason for it is that he can
use much more extreme lenses in 35mm and depth of field is much deeper at
wider aptertures. So you can do things with 35mm you just can't do with
large format. 

The various types of cameras are tools for different purposes. That person
must be pretty limited in experience. And on top of that, to equate quality
with resolution and lack of grain, well, that's kind of like a musician
saying "My work is better than yours because I play scales on a Bechstein
and you play Beethoven on a Steinway."

Ansel Adams used 35mm. His stuff was pretty darn good. Ernst Haas created
new worlds for color photography with 35mm and Kodachrome. Bill Allard, Sam
Abell. Jim Stanfield, Alex Webb, Gene Smith, Eli Reed, Bruno Barbey, etc,
etc. Many, many others have proved this person is wrong. Need we say more?

Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

Maintenance-free: When it breaks, it can't be fixed