Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/08/06

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Leica M versus R for Scenics
From: Jim Laurel <>
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 1998 13:51:26 -0700

Thanks for the excellent post.  I found your comments very valuable and
relevant to my next shoot, a summit climb of Mt. Adams for MSNBC.  In my
test hikes around Mt. Ranier with the equipment, I also found that the long
teles were only minimally useful and, like you, ended up shooting mostly
with the 353/50/90 lenses.  The 21 also has great perspective for certain

It's not only the weight, but also the bulkiness that makes the M the better
choice for me.  I can fit the M6 with 35/50/90 lenses in the Lowe Pro Off
Trail waist pack, which is small enough that it doesn't inhibit your leg
movement or crush your waist the way the larger waistpacks do.

Still gotta have an SLR for those surrounds, though.  Drat.

- -----Original Message-----
From: Robert G. Stevens []
Sent: Thursday, August 06, 1998 1:06 PM
Subject: [Leica] Leica M versus R for Scenics

Hi list members:

After just returning from a week of Holidays in Grosse Morne National Park
in Newfoundland, I have come to a few conclusings on the suitability of the
M and R systems.

Grosse Morne National Park is a fairly large National Park in Newfounland
that features some of the oldest mountains in North America.  It consists
of a few small villages from which you can center and plan your daily hikes
up the many trails.  The trails range from very easy to very hard, the
hardest being a four day hike through the mountains. The most difficult of
the normal trails is the hike up Grosse Morne Mountain, about 16km and 800m

Back to the Leica topic.  On the first few hikes of about 7km and 14km, I
took my R7 with four lenses and a tripod in a Lowepro ProTrecker backpack.
All the gear weighed probably about 30 pounds or 15kg.  After these hikes I
found I was exhausted and very sore.  I also noted that I used the 35mm
lens the most, probably followed by the 28-70.  I had taken the 70-210 out
to use, but found it just did not fit the bill.  I had also not used the
macro lens and the tripod only once.  

On my next hike of about 12km up a mountain to a lookout for sunset
pictures, I decided to take a waiste pack with the M6, three rolls of film,
50mm Elmar-m, 35mm Summicron-m, 90 mm Tele-Elmarit,39mm
polarizer,microfibre cloth, and a gitzo walking stick/monopod.  This all
weighed probably under five pound.  I made it up the trail without any
problem and the the lenses were perfect for the scenics I was taking.  On
the way down in the dark, we even met a large bull Moose on the side of the
trail!  Too bad it was too dark to take a picture, as I did not carry a
flash with me.

The next day I did the hike up Grosse Morne with the M gear, and though
exhausted by the summit, I had made it.  I know I would not have made it
with the R gear.  Once up there, I did not miss the long telephotos, as in
the mountains, there is a bit of haze and if you pick a section to
photograph with a tele, it will not be very sharp, as it must shoot through
the haze.  I even got a shot of some flowers with the 35mm Summicron and
was surprised how close it focused.

The moral of the story is not to burden yourself down with unnecessary
equipment when doing scenic and tourist type shots.  Take the energy you
save by using the M system when possible and use it to walk longer, see
more, and get more pictures.


Robert Stevens