Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/12/23

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Leica, Alpa, Miranda, Nikon story
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 15:32:24 -0800

At 02:24 PM 12/23/98 -0700, someone wrote:
>"'Leica may have invented 35mm but Nikon made 35mm ubiquitous!"

In 1960, at Brooks Institute of Photography, I had three roommates. George
Nakamura, Thomas Ignatious Haynes (Iggy), and Pete Peterson. Besides the
normal 4x5 view camera assignment work, we had to produce weekly "everyday
life" photographs using a roll film camera. I had an Alpa, George had a
Miranda (screw mount), Peterson had a Leica M (I don't remember which), and
Iggy had a new Nikon F. We all photographed similar things in similar
places (we worked together on assignments a lot.) The Leica, Alpa, and
Miranda produced great photographs, anywhere, anytime. Always sharp. The
Miranda was very impressive. Our work had to be turned in as mounted 11x14
B&W prints. The Alpa had an advantage because the standard lens was a Macro
and I could easily shoot close-ups. Peterson had a 21/4 SA. The Nikon was a
disaster. Even on a tripod, we couldn't get a sharp photograph below 1/125.
We guessed that it was camera shake from mirror bounce and shutter start-up
torque. One of our other student friends had a Hasselblad 1000F (FP
shutter), which also wouldn't take sharp photographs below 1/125. The
shutter torque in this thing could lift the camera and tripod off the
ground. As a sidebar, he ended up putting his thumb through the FP shutter
while changing backs. Also, there's a lever on the front of the Nikon F
body that I think I remember being a self timer. It fell off. We all sat
around and talked cameras a lot. We were always checking-out everyone
else's equipment. The order of ruggedness and usefulness were, Leica, Alpa,
Miranda, Nikon. We all (including Iggy) deemed the Nikon a total disaster.
All of us, except George, have never had anything to do with Nikon since.
During the late 60's, George worked for a commercial photographer that had
Nikon equipment so he got used to using it and has continued. The rest of
us, having to buy our own equipment, gravitated to Leica.

I'm certainly not sorry. Had I not sold my Alpa equipment and purchased
Leica equipment, I would not know all of you on the LUG. This is indeed, a
great benefit. The LUG completes the Leica experience.

Happy holidays to all,