Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/07/29

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Subject: RE: [Leica] potential image quality
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 07:44:51 -0500

At 07:33 AM 7/29/98 +0200, you wrote:

>fought on the wrong battlefield. Personally, I LOVE Leica, but not for the 
>reasons that come back in most of the posts. Unless you use your Leica like 
>a Hasselblad or a view camera, you are not fighting the optical battle. And 
>if you are using your Leica the heavy tripod/f5.6/ISO25 way, why are you 
>not using the larger formats which bring a REAL imaging advantage ? I do 
>not believe available revenue is a dominant constraint in this list, so   
>owning and using different systems and formats must be quite common. I find 
>it masochistic to annihilate the portability of 35mm...

I think this is too sweeping a condemnation of 35mm. First of all, it can
be treated like a view camera (a la tripod) and it is also flexible for use
as you say. That's an advantage, not a disadvantage. Sure it doesn't give
the same sharpness ("clarity") as larger formats when enlarged much at all.
Yet over and over and over again, people are won over to Leica from other
camera lines because of the image quality. And not just when on a tripod.

You can argue 'til you're blue in the face that there is no difference
unless it's on a tripod, and those of us who have a different view on it -
also based on experience with our use of our cameras - are not going to be
convinced. We know that the Leica lenses have different performance
characteristics than other lines. I find a quite unique look to Leica
pictures - in the main, not every lens - and I have taken pictures in nasty
conditions that lesser lenses fall down in and get great pictures. Not just
Leica vs. Sigma, but Leica vs. Canon L series. That's my experience (and
the guy who owns the Canon). If yours is different, then that's fine.

I have identified Leica users in National Geographic without any reason
other than the pictures in the magazine to know what they use. Not just
once. Granted, that's the best repro on the planet for magazines. 

If someone cannot see a difference, then are they not wasting money on
Leica? I know they feel good in the hand, they offer pride of ownership,
they last a long time, and have for the most part great resale value. None
of which would compel me to own Leica. On the other hand, other people have
other reasons to own it besides me. I own them because I use them
professionally, and they do the job better than any other cameras/lenses.
For me.
- -- 

Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

The secret of the universe is @*&^^^ NO CARRIER