Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/05/20

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Subject: [Leica] NYC impressions
From: Nathan Wajsman <>
Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 09:03:58 +0200

Just returned from my first trip to New York since I moved from NJ to
Belgium 5 years ago. I had with me my Domke 803 with two M6s and an
assortment of lenses. Some loose impressions:

- - New York is an ideal place to prowl with a Leica, and I envy the
LUGgers who live there or have a chance to go there more frequently than
- - it is a wide-angle sort of place; I had brought the 90mm and 135mm
lenses but did not use them at all. The lenses which I found most useful
were the 24mm, the 35mm and the 15mm Heliar.
- - the city is a stupendous explosion of life and energy. You can really
feel the old adage (Calvin Coolidge, I think) that "the business of
America is business". The light levels from all the billboards and neon
lights on Times Square is such that shooting at night was no problem
even though I had left the Noctilux at home and was using  200 speed
film (Kodachrome or Agfa Scala). Incidentally, half of all billboards
seem to be ads for various companies, most of which will be out
of business within months.
- - New York is definitely cleaner than I remember it; it also feels safer
and I did not worry at any time about my Leicas or other possesions
(keep in mind, though, that due to a very tight schedule I was mostly in
midtown and never made it further south than 34th Street).
- - it is also way more expensive than I am used to, partly because I now
look at it from the perspective of a European visitor and the high
dollar. I visited B&H (their new superstore is a major tourist
attraction and a must-see) but did not buy anything except a couple of
Domke inserts. I handled the Hexar RF there--it is a very tempting
proposition, my M lenses fit beautifully on it and it handled nicely.
But again, it is more in NYC than in Germany right now. A pint of Sam
Adams in a bar near Penn Station was a shocking $5...

I was in the city only for about 48 hours and spent most of the
Wednesday and Thursday in meetings, but I did manage to shoot a couple
of rolls of Kodachrome and 1.5 roll of Scala. I had the pleasure of
meeting one of the area LUGgers, Andrew Jordan, in person. One of the
side benefits of my new job in Switzerland is that periodic trips to NYC
are part of it, so I hope to have the opportunity to meet some more of
you in the future.


- --
Nathan Wajsman
Overijse, Belgium and Zurich, Switzerland


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