Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/12/30

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Subject: [Leica] Re: Apples and Oranges
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 12:05:05 -0800

Well... I look at it like this. It all depends upon what kind of
photography you like to do, and how you like to do it. Kinda like cars. My
BMW will carry me nicely on reasonable roads, but an SUV is needed for off
road stuff.

Some photographers like to do everything themselves (me) and others want a
computer to do it for them.

Many subjects allow the photographer to figure everything out in due time,
and others require split second decisions.

Sports, wild animals, action, etc, photography can be enhanced by a good
computer camera and AF lens system.

Good thinking person pictures at f/1.0, f/1.4, etc. (Bokeh), 'scapes with
calculated (or viewed) DOF covering exact distances, dusk/night double
exposures, street life photography, do not need the computer and AF.

I personally do not take photographs that would benefit from AF. I
PERSONALLY want to pick the exact focus point. I PERSONALLY want to pick
the exact exposure after visualizing what I want the result to look like.

We have a Canon EOS 1n here in the office. We cut a hole through the back
door and put in a six megapixel sensor. We want to use this camera totally
in the manual mode. This in not always easy. No f/stops on the lens for
instance. No DOF scales. There are so many buttons, modes, dials, screens,
that I never know if it will do what I told it to do. My Leica cameras are
simple and straight forward. Frame, set exposure, focus, photograph, repeat.

I don't want an EOS or F5. I have absolutely NO USE for any of the
thousands of modes/options other than simply manual. And these cameras do
not do manual very well.

So I, and I believe many many thousands of others, would be really
disappointed if Leica changed their charter, and did a "me too" on the
computer camera. A computer in the camera is OK (the R8 has one) so it can
be used when P&S or other computer nicety is needed. But Leica should never
eliminate the basic "manual mode" photography. Real lenses with f/stops and
DOF scales, real shutter speed dials, a real manual setting.

IMHO, unless Leica retains the "Leica" genus, they will be finished.


At 02:11 PM 12/30/98 -0500, Dan wrote:
>Of course you know that you'll no doubt be flamed, but this very thing was
>something Bob Bedwell and I discussed earlier this week. For many people,
>not just action photographers, but people with failing eyesight and other
>physical restraints, AF is a godsend.
>Someone had said that when the only tool you have is a hammer, all problems
>start to look like nails... well, I agree that there are many photographic
>problems out there, and one single solution, i.e. Leica, cannot solve them
>I can remember taking shots of  the football games in highschool with an old
>Rollei TLR- I can appreciate the modern fast focusing cameras for their
>ability to be there when it happens, and I can also appreciate the leisurely
>pace of the old Leica LTM cameras for their qualities.... Rest assured,
>Peter, you aren't alone in the way you think+ACE-
>( Personally- I think if Leica is smart, they'll have an R9, AND an AFR-1 
>Best of both worlds :)