Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/10/02

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Subject: [Leica] So much for superiority of Leica lenses?
Date: Sat, 2 Oct 1999 08:56:39 EDT

In a message dated 10/2/99 10:53:20 AM, writes:

<< Now you are shelling out top money for top


and buying COSINA lenses [and lauding them].

Why don't you sell your Ms n'stuff and buy Nikon

F60s, with their budgetary lenses. They are

Cosina also but most Nikon owners look the other

way and blush.  >>

I have to admit that the thought crossed my mind how ironic this situation 
is. For all the years I've been in photography I've heard people talk about 
the superiority of Leica lenses. Often folks hold the lenses up as the reason 
they shoot Leicas (they certainly must be the reason people shoot R Leicas). 
And yet, what happens? Someone offers a cheap alternative and the Leicaphiles 
flock to it? 

In fairness most of the excitement centers around the Voightlander 15mm -- 
admittedly a very special case. Leica users have the opportunity to buy a 
focal length they probably could never justify if they had to pay Leica 
prices and it's a special purpose deal, almost a toy it seems for many Leica 
users. So, anyway, I guess the excitement can be excused.

Still, there does seem to be at least some enthusiasm for the other focal 
lengths as well. What does that tell us? It's hard to say since I don't see 
the same acceptance of using funky old screw-mount Nikkors or Canons. Maybe 
the Voightlanders and Ricohs are just better lenses.

In the end, I think what this tells me is there is an interest in and a 
market for alternative rangefinder products. I've said before and I'll say 
again. The time is ripe for Minolta or some other innovative Japanese company 
to produce a competent, manual focus, interchangeable lens rangefinder with 
modern electronics. 

Bob (rangefinders for the rest of us?) McEowen