Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/05/11

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Subject: [Leica] 24mm viewfinder
From: Erwin Puts <>
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 23:59:21 +0200

I use the 24mm a lot. As an aside: I was very opposed to any angle of view
below 28mm, as it seemed to wide for me with too much empty space. Then of
course any European is familiar with the work of Jeanloup Sieff, a famous
fashion photographer,who works with a Leica M and 21mm (old and new I
presume). I met him at an exhibition a number of years ago in Cahors,
France.  Some of my pictures were exhibited there too. But he could not
convince me, notwithstanding his excellent work.
Many years later I met the designer of the 24mm lens at Solms and he
persuaded me to use it. Must be a very influential type! I did and got
hooked. Quality wise and from a perspective point of view.
I would not recommend using the 24mm without a finder. I know it is
expensive and feels cheap. The square glass and the intricate ray path
inside the finder account for its price, not the look and feel.  In order
to frame a subject you might do without the finder. You get a rough idea of
what the picture area will be. And when shooting from the hip this might
suffice. To appreciate the perspective of the 24. the relationship of
foreground and background and the relative proportions of the subjects to
be photographed the finder is a must.
I tried to envision the perspective without a finder (just looking through
my M6 HM) and got very unexpected results. Of course in time you
accommodate,but in my view the finder is a must for controlled photography.