Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/06/29

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica like a what - 15 years of progress &c
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 07:42:16 -0500

At 05:16 PM 6/29/98 +0800, you wrote:

>metering sounds I have seen indicates it is a direct copy of the Nikon FA 
>approach (though not of course of the hardware), from the number and 
>positioning of the zones to the accounts of how university researchers 
>developed algorithms based on the analysis of thousands of photographs.

Of course, when the goal is the same thing, it's going to sound alike. The
F5 is similarly described (thousands of photographs in memory - just more
RAM) and I suspect that if any copying is going on, maybe it's the
marketing people? :-) Nah, that would be plagiarism.

>in this litigious world I better not quote!) whilst boutiques catering to 
>collectors, wealthy tourists and the carriage trade (for want of a better 
>term) have taken over most of what remains of the market: bad signs for 
>the health of Leica Camera AG IMHO.

Interesting, though unscientific. We shall see.

>got it - and what precisely can you 'get' with an R camera that cannot be 
>got, usually easier and more reliably (IME) with an AF wunderplastik 

Better looking pictures. Ask Ted and his editors. If the camera feels
familiar, and kind of disappears in your concentration so you can
concentrate on the picture and not the many modes (moods?) of the camera,
the pictures coming back will be better. Just like the M6 is better for
many things - not the lenses necessarily, though they are great, but the
way it works. Whose going to argue with that? Each camera appeals to
different photographers for different reasons. Pros who use the R8 are just
fitting that principle.

>By the way doesn't the weight of the R stuff seem just a bit excessive to 
>you? Why for example are all the latest lenses heavier and bigger than 
>the ones they replace? Any idea - is it perhaps to make the R8 just look 
>less gargantuan?

Could be. I thought the 180 Apo Elmarit was lighter. Is it heavier?

>Tomorrow I shall be joining the 1,000 plus press corps covering the 
>Clinton visit and shall estimate the proportions of brand usage, just for 
>the heck of it. Glad to have avoided this crush so far - after leaving 
>the employ of Reuters I have been happy to be away from these rabbles!

You certainly won't find many photojournalists, yet,  using Leica. For some
of the reasons you mention, and the price. But there are some out there,
and it will grow as fancy cameras get more expensive and less "simple."
Photojournalists are about the most traditionalist of photographers, as I'm
sure you know. Simple is good. If they can catch on to the fact that the R8
fits that better than anything else, those who can afford it will.
- -- 

Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

Capt'n! The spellchecker kinna take this abuse