Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/08/17

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Subject: [Leica] Summer travel observations
From: Andrew Morang <>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 21:59:43 -0500

My wife, daughter, and I recently returned from a vacation in Europe.  I =
took two Leica bodies, an M3 and M2, to record scenery and take the =
obligatory family photos. =20

Here are some photographic observations from my trip.  We visited =
several places where I expected people to be vigorously taking pictures: =
 Chamonix and Mont Blanc, France, Lugano, Switzerland, Venice, Italy, =
and Athens, Greece.

The Americans appear to have completely abandoned serious photography. I =
saw them use point and shoots and video cameras held in one hand, often =
while they were jumping around or walking or eating.

The Japanese were a bit more serious.  Almost all members of Japanese =
tour groups had cameras.  Most carried point and shoots, but some of the =
gentleman had huge camera bags full of fancy equipment.  One fellow in =
Venice had twin F5 Nikons.  I guess he wanted to be sure not to miss =
anything important.

The Europeans were more interesting.  Some of the older German gents =
were using elegant Retinas, Voitlanders, and other chrome rangefinders =
from the 1950s.  Some of the eastern Europeans had Practikas and other =
Eastern block cameras.  On the Adriatic ferry boat, there was a large =
Polish student group, and some of the kids took pictures of each other =
with Zorkis.

I did not see any Leica cameras whatsoever, anywhere.

I did not see any Contax cameras anywhere. =20

In Venice, I met a store keeper with a Hasselblad, but that was the only =
medium-format camera I saw in a month of visiting popular tourist areas.

As for film, it looks like Fuji print film now outsells Kodak in Europe. =
 The most common E-6 film was Fujichrome.  I did not see any Kodachrome =
for sale anywhere.  What's wrong Kodak, have you lost the ability to =
market effectively?  In Switzerland, Fuji film was about the same cost =
as in the U.S., a pleasant surprise considering the high price of =
everything else in Switzerland.  I bought two PX 625 mercury batteries =
in Lugano.  I was pleased to see that many European camera stores still =
stock black and white film.  Here in the U.S., it is harder and harder =
to find black and white emulsions.=20

Sad to say, serious photography seems to be a dying hobby.

Andrew Morang
Vicksburg, Mississippi USA