Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/03

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Subject: Re: [Leica] 35mm = amateur
From: Donal Philby <>
Date: Sun, 03 May 1998 19:46:20 -0700

Tina Manley quoted Jan Faul:

> >To be perfectly honest, I think 35mm cameras are for journalists and
> >amateurs. 'Quality' is not their strength.

I don't know quite how to direct a response to that forum, but here is
my response if you would like to pass it on.  

I am always amazed at such silly comments.  It is like saying, a
screwdriver is only for amateurs, a pro mechanic would use a wrench.

My problem with medium and larger formats is that they make it very
difficult to capture the "quality" I like--content.  Compare a David
Muench book with Art Wolf's book (all 35) called Light on the Land. 
Detail versus spirit.  The mechanics of operating MF and LF (I use all
three formats regularily) are so demanding, they limit content.  So in
my opinion, "quality" is not the strength of large format.  I have
hardly ever seen a photo that really touched me that wasn't shot on 35.

Leicas are, perhaps, the ultimate compromise--the finest lenses combined
with the freedom to move and explore. 

- ---
Donal Philby
San Diego