Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/04/29

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Subject: [Leica] Re: List philosophy (LONG)
From: "Gareth Jolly" <>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 20:39:45 +1000

Bear with me guys.  This response is a bit long, but I do get to the point.

Michael wrote:

> This was one of the best contributes to this useless
pressure-plate-discussion. so let's save network bandwidth for real
important topics,

in response to Buzz's rhetorical question

>Is it possible that we can all agree that those of us who believe we have
pressure plates which scratch film will have them polished or replaced, and
that we can get on to other topics?

While I entirely agree with Buzz's comments (my M6 is being repaired at the
moment), I think that one of best contributions is actually Philip's:

>I am also very grateful to the LUG for the many constructive reports
>about this problem. I feel that this is one of the beneficial services
>of the LUG - it makes people aware of common problems with Leica gear.
>Now I know to check for scratching with a roll of film if I purchase a
>2nd hand (or new!) camera *before* it damages my precious negatives.

Don has also made similar points, as have a number of others - explicitly or
by implication.

I've thought about posting something along the same lines, but resisted
because it's time to move on.  We have to agree to disagree.  No one is
going convince anybody by endlessly re-iterating the same points.

This thread has been continued well beyond its use by date.  Largely because
everybody has been trying to get in the last word or a jib or (in some
cases) trying to end this thread by weight of email.

Including me, I suppose, by this email.

But Philip does raise an important point about the function of this list.

The film scratching thread - while many might ultimately have found it
tedious - was probably one of the single most useful threads recently

You may not like that, but it's true.

It's true because it drew the attention of a number of users to a latent and
subtle problem in some M6s, which people might not otherwise have known
about, and possibly also drew the problem to Leica's attention.

The thread took off, first because everybody was trying to nail down a
cause.  Few initially thought it might be the Leica.  Then, it accelerated
as a number of people reported the problem.  Then, refining the diagnosis,
isolating the problem, reporting the solution, QC, jibs against the thread,
responses etc.  It's fair to say, though, that grew largely at first because
it was relevant to a lot of people.

Self evidently, there were a number of people on the list who checked their
cameras, found the problem and went and did something about it without
directly responding to the thread.  There are a few posts which indicate
this.   And that's great.

Is this not one of the very functions this list should serve?  How many
subscribers to the list would not know about the problem but for the thread?

Ok, so it wound up being a lot of emails.  So what.

So, the thread wasn't of interest to some people without the problem.  So
what.  Not all threads are interesting to all people.

And 'noise'.  Well, what is it?  After spending some time on the list, I
think the list is less on Leica cameras as things of interest to Leica
photographers - embracing scanners, printers, social things to do with
Leicas, great photographers, travel, stories etc

I think that's great too. I think they contribute to the richness of the
group.  The annoyance which people express is, I think, disproportionate to
actual number of truly off topic emails.  The reality is that the list is
big.  There will always be a lot of traffic - most of which is reasonably
focussed and on topic, at least according to my definition.  Get rid of the
'noise' and I suspect you'll still be deleting a huge number of emails, but
with a far less interesting and colourful list.

And, we shouldn't be shouting people down for their contribution.

And, whether the list is deteriorating?  I don't know.  I haven't been here
long enough.  But naturally enough it will change as the composition of the
list changes.  There will also be a natural ebb and flow of ideas.  Just
when I thought the list was lapsing into an extended discussion of obscure
old lens and bodies (sorry, guys, doesn't interest me much), we had an
interesting and stimulating discussion on street photography techniques
prompted by a LUGers nearly missed girl on moped photo.

And if you find the discussion uninteresting?  Well, raise an issue.  Talk
about something you want to talk about.  Direct a thread somewhere you find
interesting.  If discussion was interesting once, it must have come from
somewhere.  Seize your destiny.

Sorry people, but most of the whinging is actually coming from people
whinging about the whinging, if you do a count back.

Cheers, guys and gals.  I'm off to do some photography... (just
anticipating, Ted)

Gareth Jolly