Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/24

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Subject: Re: [Leica] audio gear , leica gear
From: Alan Ball <>
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 14:23:20 +0200


I can agree, as long as it stays "part" of the pleasure. I would even
argue that this 'handling sensuality' might be the main single
differenciator between Leica products and the competition, and that a
lot of the extatic comments on the so-called 'Leica glow' of the images
are an excuse to indulge in the usage of the hardware. I end up shooting
more pictures with more pleasure than with other tools, and therefore
produce more images that I can share with others. Also the knowledge of
using "the best" simply kills any FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt)
while using the hardware: if the image is bad, it is your fault, and
your fault only. If it is good, well it is not only Leica's fault :-)

I do not agree 100 pct with the analogy with the audio gear (or cars, or
watches, etc), because photography implies an element of active
production on the user's side. Might rather compare "us" to rock
guitarists prefering a Sixties Les Paul to some mass produced
alternative or a classical musician dreaming of a Steinway full length
piano, even though that Yamaha is very good. A very good musician might
produce fantastic music with very low end equipment, but that low end
equipment will not do full justice to his talent. And an average (rich)
violin player will stay average with a Stradivarius, but he will know
(and we will know) it is not the intrument's fault. He will also know he
is holding the best tool in the world and that might bring consolation
for not being the best musician...

Friendly regards

Nathan Wajsman wrote:
> Part of the pleasure of owning Leica is just to handle
> the lenses (the 75mm Summilux is a sensual experience!) or look at the M
> bodies. I have no illusions about ever reaching the level of a
> Cartier-Bresson, Salgado, or our own Ted Grant. But my photos are not bad,
> and if having a Leica adds to their quality and to my pleasure in my hobby,
> I make no excuses for spending the money. And in general, I do appreciate
> good craftmanship in other things too, at least the ones I care about.