Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/09/30

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Which one is the Leica?
From: "Anthony Atkielski" <>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 19:17:02 +0200

From: Alexey Merz <>
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 1999 15:12
Subject: Re: [Leica] Which one is the Leica?

> As a scientist who uses high-end Zeiss, Leica, and Nikon
> microscopes nearly every working day, *I* know from experience
> that in microscopes and cameras, optical differences between
> lenses *do* make real world differences in one's results.

One need not be a scientist to know that.

> I also know that when you compare two pieces of equipment,
> it is wise to hold all other variables as constant as
> possible.

Yes.  Of course, you have to specify the meaning of "constant" in terms of the
amount of variation that you'll tolerate, since nothing is ever absolutely

> You SAY that it is necessary to "specify the acceptable
> tolerances for 'sameness'". But you did no such thing;
> instead you posted two photos taken HANDHELD at different
> times of day - with different lighting, different subject
> contrasts (etc., etc.).

That's because I considered the comparison fun, not a matter of life or death.

> So the MOST you can say is that when shot sloppily, the
> two cameras produce similar results.

Not quite.  You can say that, when tolerances are broad, there is no difference
in results between the two cameras.  I suppose one could colloquially refer to
wide tolerances as "sloppiness."

> Thus under those conditions, for a valid comparison, you'd
> need a SAMPLE of PAIRED images, or a much LARGER sample of
> UNPAIRED images to say anything meaningful about whether
> one lens is better.

I agree.

> What IS clear is that YOU do not care about technique or
> the (technical) quality of your results enough that you will
> see "meaningful" differences between the two lenses.

I spend most of my time taking pictures, yes.  Lab tests tend to bore me after a

> So stop prattling about whether there are differences
> between the lenses, and take some pictures that you like!

I don't think I've been the major source of prattle on the topic.  I just
offered the comparison.

If it consoles any of those who feel threatened by my comparison, I was looking
at some other slides taken by the T5 today at short range and there is very
marked vignetting in the images.  I'm not exactly sure what type of vignetting
it is, though (there is no hood or anything to cause it).

  -- Anthony