Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/02/21

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Subject: Re: [Leica] return of the LUG police ?(was: Leica lenses)
From: Alan Ball <>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 09:51:06 +0100


You are wrong in many of the points you put forward in this post. You
have NO idea of the quality of the work of posters who do not relate day
after day the details of their last series of pics. The fact that
someone is a 'professional photographer' does not mean anything as to
the relevance of his/her judgement on 90 pct of the matters discussed
here. NOTHING. 

A sentence like, QUOTE "Basically, these two types have no life and look
to the LUG (or whatever list) to supply them with stimulation that is
missing from their life outside of the network" UNQUOTE, is inacceptable
here. Again, YOU have NO idea of other people's lifes. 

But if it seems interesting for you to find the "ones that seem to have
no life outside of the list", this charachteristic could be objectively
measured by the number of daily posts coming from each contributor
through the weeks, the months and even the years. The final image that
such accounting traces is very instructive and does not conform at all
to your conclusions !

This list, probably like other lists, is a living model. Each
contributor is an independent entity of equal rights. At the same time,
there are interactions between us that end up creating networks and
sub-networks of affinities, sympathies and antipathies. Some of you have
met in the flesh once or sometimes or often. They relate to each other
with more intimacy and tend to react on a "us" against "you" fashion.
Those of "you" that I have met in the flesh have become to my eyes "us".
This is normal.

What is less normal is the collective pressure one of those "us" groups
exerts against newcomers who do not fit in their mould. In the 14 months
I've followed this list, I've seen the same pattern developing against
such individuals. Some of them very articulate and interesting, others
probably less so. But the collective exerting the pressures in the name
of "us" is usually more or less the same, and the end result is almost
always the unsubscription of the anticonformist individual. Feelings get
hurt in the process, I can assure you.

I a not a lugomaniac, but enjoy the information that gets conveyed here.
I like enthusiasts, and leicaphiles are very enthusiastic. I do not like
sectarian behaviours though. And "we" should sometimes me more careful
in trying not to behave like a sect.

Now, to breakfast and to work (work on sunday helps get me nearer the
180mm apo-elmarit)!


Jim Brick wrote:
> Of the more than 700 members of the LUG, a mere handful participate in
> discussions. The personalities of these people become vividly apparent.
> Some people will argue anything, just simply for the sake of arguing. Some
> will argue that, no matter what proof anyone has, their own viewpoint is
> the only viewpoint possible. Basically, these two types have no life and
> look to the LUG (or whatever list) to supply them with stimulation that is
> missing from their life outside of the network. This is unfortunate because
> tones of typing and sentence structures have no human presence. It's just
> someone's or something's meaningless words appearing on a screen.
> This list contains many many professional photographers. People who make
> their entire living via everyday photography. And they use Leica equipment.
> It is pretty obvious that Leica makes outstanding equipment. The testimony
> of professionals, still using forty year old equipment for their bread and
> butter, is significant.
> Professionals have learned, that it is how it looks "on the light table" is
> what counts. If you are competing for work, or a stock pick, or whatever,
> it still all boils down to "what it looks like on a light table." Of the
> partici[ating professionals (on this list), we have heard, time and time
> again, that their Leica images "stand out" on a crowded light table. Which
> is why they use Leica.
> Erwin can tell us the engineering and numerical data behind Leica lenses.
> But even that is useless if your slides are passed by for some others.
> So it is not just the equipment, it is the "eye" of the photographer as
> well. But a good photographer will be an "outstanding" photographer, if the
> equipment that they are using, will work in a way that art directors and
> AD's choose, time and time again, over the competition. So having
> "confidence" in the equipment is a great help as well.
> Putting the package together, is it any wonder that the professional
> photographers that we have on board, and here's where I'm going to get into
> trouble as my feeble mind will miss someone... Ted, Donal, Harrison, Eric,
> Tina, Michael, Fred Ward, Henning, Tim, Jeremy, Carl, ... and many many
> more (this is off the cuff folks), are OUTSTANDING in their field, and
> command the utmost respect from the professional photographic community?
> My personal opinion is that is the "whole" package that makes these folks
> stand-outs. Not any one item. Like a catalyst, each element works to help
> the other elements, providing a whole, greater than the sum of the parts.
> MTF numbers, lines per MM, film brands, AF, all the technical stuff, alone,
> just doesn't do it. It's the person behind the equipment AND the
> capabilities of the equipment that add up to outstanding photographic
> abilities.
> So arguing about which brand lens is better than which other brand lens is
> a meaningless exchange of drivel. We all know that Leica makes lenses that
> can hold their own in any photographic situation. And are the ONLY act in
> town in many situations.
> So it is my philosophy, that when mindless arguments, of meaningless words,
> appear on my screen, I push delete. By acknowledging a "going nowhere"
> subject, is a total waste of time.
> Of course, if totally erroneous data, is put out as fact, the fallacy
> should be corrected. And then dropped.
> But human nature, as it is, leads one into these forayers, before one knows
> they are there. At that point, one should simply stop, because it is simply
> feeding a lifeless entity.
> Jim