Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/08

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Subject: Re: [Leica] "State of the Art"
From: "David W. Almy" <>
Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 12:11:06 -0400

John McLeod wrote:
...If state of the art means fast auto-focus, motor drives, and matrix
metering, then, sure, Nikon and Canon are the leaders...I am convinced
that these technologies cause us to photograph differently, and not
necessarily better, except for a select set of conditions when speed and
auto-calculation are everything.  For many photographers, these state of
the art capabilities can be detrimental to their photography....

Truer words were never spoken. The comparatively limited feature set
built into Leica's cameras generally force the photographer to think and
exercise more control over the process than with other maker's products.
The result often is an incentivized abrogation of control -- the
computer happily decides for you, so you let it and hence, to some
degree, the computer becomes the decision-maker/photographer. Except in
action photographs, the benefits of this "state-of-the-art" are mixed.
In action photography, using the latest autofocus, etc., Nikon and
Canon win decidedly -- no great surprise there. But there's a lot more
to photography than sports. I would be curious to see the mythical "100
best photographs of the autofocus age" (the last six years?) and know if
these shots indispensably utilized these latest technologies, or whether
the mind's eye of the photographer still is the predominant variable in
the creative process.

And besides, Leica still has the best glass.


David W. Almy
Annapolis, Maryland