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

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Subject: [Leica] Leica-Users List Digest V3 #334
From: Doug Herr <>
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 22:57:09 -0400

On Tue, 29 Sep 1998, Jim Brick wrote:

>I agree with you Doug. But I question your statement about desiring APO
>optical imaging. I looked at your work at the BALUG meeting here in Palo=

>Alto and nearly everything I saw was stunningly sharp. It leaped right o=
>of the film. I think APO and internal focus would translate into "heavy.=

Jim of course you're right, APO and internal focus would be heavier.  The=

f/6.8 Telyts are an excersize in minimalism, and any other features would=

nessesarily make them less hand-holdable.  What I meant and should have
said is that the APO/internal focus lenses are certainly superb tools but=

are not suitable for the more active subjects requiring a hand-held camer=
 That Leica has chosen to emphasize technical (near) perfection,
sacrificing image-making of a more dynamic nature made possible by the
hand-held camera, runs counter to a large part of my notion of what a Lei=
is.  Technical excellence is and always should (IMHO) be part of what
"Leica" means but the lack of a hand-holdable long lens erodes my image o=
a Leica as a tool for making dynamic photographs.

My yearning for APO image quality comes from those all-too-frequent
occasions when I can't get close enough to the animal and I imagine I cou=
salvage the field work if I could only enlarge 20% of the original image =
full frame.  Kodachrome 200 is grainless, right??  I wish!  In practial u=
the additional detail provided by an APO lens would probably be lost due =
the micro-motions of the hand-held camera.  But if I'm going to lose some=

sharpness I'd like to start with as much as I can.

I've always been extremely satisfied with the sharpness, contrast and col=
quality of the 400 f/6.8 and 560 f/6.8 Telyts, and even after using 'em f=
nearly 20 years I'm still amazed at how responsive and capable the SL/400=

combination is.

Doug Herr