Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/27

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] potential image quality
From: Erwin Puts <>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 20:39:59 +0200

Alan wrote:
>I am sure you and Zeiss are right  with the shortlist of necessary
>behaviours in order to get the best possible image out of Zeica (or
>Nicapentolta or Sigma) lenses. i am also sure this list cancels 99 pct of
>the usefulness of 35mm compared to larger formats.

You are mixing up two totally different lines of discussion.
The 35mm format and its uses (the art of the snapshot, the fixing of
shadows, capturing the fleeting images of a constantly changing world) is
not the topic of the maximum image quality debate.
What I am trying to tell is this: the Leica is excellent as a tool for this
kind of picture taking (after all they invented it or at least made this
approach viable and HCB elevated it to an artform). No discussion here.
Trying to evaluate the potential image quality of a lens while practicing
this art however is not possible.
I am confining myself to evaluating the optical quality as it is. And then
you need to go to some length (as evidenced by the Zeiss listing).
I would like to make a careful and forceful distinction between the
evaluation of the optical qualities of a Leica lens and the methods and
knowledge needed to get at these qualities and the appreciation of the
Leica camera system as a superb tool for making pictures with emotioal and
visual impact.
Both approaches are not necessarily opposed but one (picture taking) is not
equal to the other (lens evaluations). But knowledge of lens performance
adds to the visual impact of picture taking (as exemplified by the