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 19:40:13 -0500

At 05:26 PM 7/29/98 +0200, you wrote:
>Eric Welch wrote:
>> I think this is too sweeping a condemnation of 35mm. 
>I'm not condemning 35mm, on the contrary. I prefer it to larger formats

You are right, condemnation wasn't a good choice. But I think the
differences between 35 and MF have advantages going either way.

>>Could you describe the Canon experience ? I am happy we agree on the
>>'not every lens' precision anyway.

Sure. I was at the Missouri State Fair with a fellow photographer from my
paper. We both started shooting around 5 a.m. in the cow/sheep/pig barns.
Light at that time of day was quite marginal. I wandered around for about
three hours, and so did he. Me shooting with my Leicas (24 Elmarit, 35
Summilux, 90 Summoicron 180 Elmait) and he with his L series 20-35 and
80-200 2.8 lenses. Now the differences would be obvious, Leica single focal
length lenses vs. Canon zooms. It's ovbious there would be some difference.
But wait...

He took our film back. Fujichrome 400 pushed two stops. Ran it all in the
same processing runs. (Wing Lynch can take 9 rolls at a time). 

When I came back the next day, he looked up at me and said, "Now I know why
you use Leica. Your stuff looks great, and mine is unuseable."

Note, he didn't say he could see the difference. His stuff was no good in
comparison! My stuff looked gorgeous. The kind of light I was shooting in
is what Leica speed lenses eat up. His Canon lenses let him down. Now he
could have used flash and saved the pictures, but flash isn't an option in
many situations.

That's just one experience. But I can name several other photojournalists I
know (one at the St. Louis Post Dispatch and one who became a graphics
editor at the Dallas Morning News) who used Leicas one time, and were
hooked, because there was such a significant difference. And their exact
words..."Now I know why you use Leica."
- -- 

Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive.