Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/11

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Subject: Re: [Leica] David Douglas Duncan
From: "adrian bradshaw" <>
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 21:54:01 +0800

I think you make some sensible points - but I better not publicly agree wit=
you since I have a vague recollection you said something complementary abou=
Nikons or Canons or some other anathema of the true Leica faithful (g).

By way of a tip to those who love fine photography, Leica users and those
unmentionable N and C words (and by way of irritating the zealots) I want t=
share something from one of my favourite photo books: 'Great Treasures of
the Kremlin' (first published 1960) by a certain David Douglas Duncan (yes
he of the special edition special edition Leicas - the M3Ds, the ones that
make the MPs look common ol'garden). Well in this beautiful large format
edition of huge Leica photos, a groundbreaking book in the history of colou=
publishing as well as photojournalism, I note DDD's comments on equipment
(and he was very particular about what he used - namely only the best):
<<All of the photographs were taken on Kodachrome with two Leica M3D camera=
fitted with Canon, Nikkor and Zeiss-Biogon lenses.(........) The plate
engravings were made by Jan Schwitter in Basel, Switzerland , who ignored
two terribly broken legs (skiing) to stand beside me for hours while forcin=
qualities from my films which surpass my most ambitious dreams for 35mm

Such was the quality of the photo reproduction that when he showed official=
who had helped him on his first four trips some of the four-color engravers=
proofs they 'expressed surprise and enthusiasm over the quality of the
reproductions - and immediately revoked my permission for using cameras in
the Kremlin'. as they were scared he would beat their own efforts to produc=
a large format photo book then in progress. Nevertheless they let him
'unofficially' continue and he went on to make a beautiful book.

So what does this all prove? Everything and nothing - whatever your reactio=
just check out the book and enjoy the photographs of one of the greatest
Leica photographers ever.  The pages are approx 12" by 15" and the double
page spreads are quite amazing even by today's standards. I got my copy in =
s/h book store in London for =A34.