Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/09/14

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Subject: [Leica] what and when...
From: Godfrey DiGiorgi <>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 22:26:30 -0700

Thanks for the note, Joe. 

>I also like your useage of wide-angle lens for the Rangefinder and
>telephoto for the SLR.  How did that process develop and why?

It's pretty simple really:

An SLR is hardest to focus with a wideangle lens in dim light, 
particularly if the lens is somewhat slow. A rangefinder camera has an 
upper limit on the accuracy of the rangefinder focusing mechanism which 
limits how long and how fast a lens can be focussed accurately, and long 
lenses with a rangefinder camera require more complex viewing 
arrangements: it's more difficult to provide an accurate view due to 
parallax. Conversely, SLRs are a doddle to focus with long lenses and 
rangefinders are a pleasure to focus with slow, wide lenses regardless of 
the lighting conditions to a great degree. So it's only natural to use 
the RF camera and the SLR camera for what they do easily and well.

The other simple reason is that most of the photography I enjoy most is 
of subjects that just don't require more than a 35 to 50mm lens, and I 
don't need the SLR's advantages in long lens focusing and accurate 
framing for such work. Why carry the weight and extra mechanical 
complication when you don't need it? In my casual, walking around 
photography, a 40mm lens and a 15-21mm lens are ideal, and I would prefer 
to walk around with as light a kit as possible. Sometimes, I eschew even 
the wider angle lens and just carry the 40.