Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/07/05

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Subject: Re: [Leica] ideal SINGLE lens for M6HM
From: csocolow <>
Date: Tue, 06 Jul 1999 00:00:04 -0400

Harrison McClary wrote:
> Mark,
> Even though I own and use extensively a 70-200 Canon zoom, I agree with
> what I think you are saying about zooms being "a key to mediocrity".  For
> me, also, they are the same.  I find myself getting very lazy when using
> the zoom...need closer just turn the ring...sometimes is a way of getting
> a photo easy instead of thinking about composition and such.  Back when
> shooting news I never used zooms...always shot primes.  Had 3-5 cameras
> on my person at times and always seemed to have the right lens when
> needed because I was able to "see" in the focal lenghts I was
> shooting...can't say I can do that with a zoom so I find myself "hunting"
> for the right length more often.
> Don't know if this makes sense or not, but just the way I
> "see"...probably ought to just get on with it and go back to all primes,
> but dern it is nice to only carry one lens where I used to have 3.....
> More power to those of ya'll who think in zooms.
> Best regards,
> Harrison McClary


On this one I disagree with you. When I did daily news photography I,
too, used a gaggle of cameras all with fast prime lenses. Today, I use
my Canons with 17-35 f2.8, 28-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8 for various public
relations and commercial/editorial jobs. I love using and working with
them. Certainly they're not Leica glass (on topic) but they have their
place and they are high-end optics as you well know. 

What I really like about the zooms is the opportunity they afford to
varying framing. For example, when I'm photographing someone during an
interview (for a local magazine that runs several photos of the subject)
I can work hyper tight horizontals and verticals and then zoom back to
allow hands in photos or even further to allow a sense of the person's
space. This, of course from relatively the same tripod position without
having to change lenses, disconnect and reconnect synch cords, remember
if the body I"m switching to is set for the right synch speed. etc. 

I might add that I've fallen in love with Really Right Stuff's plates
used in combination with the Arca B1. It makes it so easy to switch from
the 70-200 with a plate mounted on the lens's tripod bracket to the
28-70 where the plate is mounted on the camera.

- -- 
Carl Socolow