Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/30

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Subject: [Leica] RE: Hasselblad or 21mm
From: "BIRKEY, DUANE" <>
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 9:10:17 -0500

I sold my 3 lens Hasselblad kit to buy Leica.  For me, I found few 
practical advantages of having the Hasselblad and it costs too much for 
long or wide lenses.  It's certainly not handholdable and forget 
available light work.  It weighs too much and isn't very portable unless 
you have an assistant or a pack mule to carry it for you.  Remember I 
live at 9200ft and when I go out into the highlands to do 
photography.....  I'm anywhere between 10,000 and 13,500 ft.   So air is 
a little thin and it's a bit more work lug it around.  Much of my work 
either get's reproduced at about 8 1/2 x11or smaller or ends up being 
duped for slide presentations

I rarely print personal B&W images larger than 11 x 14 and 35mm allows me 
to get many images I'd never get with a Hasselblad.  I had a Fuji GS645 
that was a great camera as long as allowed yourself to be limited with 
one lens...... it drove me nuts.  If you really want to make prints big, 
buy a basic 4x5 camera and a couple lenses.  I've got a crown graphic and 
several lenses.  I got the body for $75 and used or even new 4x5 lenses 
are quite reasonable.  You'll have more control and it will give you more 
discipline, but  you'll re-discover why you bought M-cameras after a few 
days lugging it around. 

For me, I like to have the widest range of lenses available so I can 
photograph something in many different ways.  Certain choices of 
foreground and background material as well as subjects will dictate what 
lens you will need to get the shot you want.  I normally travel with a 
20-35 zoom, a 50 macro and a 80-200mm.   But that depends on your 
personal vision, style and subject choice.

Personally.... I've got a M35, 50 and 90 and I'm saving money to buy a 21 
ASPH, so I think the 21mm  would be a wise choice....but it depends on 
you.....  I've met guys whose primary lens is a 20, I know others that 
never use one.  Either way, I'd recommend you finish your M kit before 
starting a medium format one.

Duane Birkey

HCJB World Radio
Quito Ecuador