Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/31

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Subject: [Leica] GG focusing.
From: Bryant <>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 14:35:59 +0000 ()

Hi Luggers,

    Once you've got your tripod all set up, the camera bolted to it's top,
have metered the highlights and shadows of the scene, locked the DOF preview
lever and checked DOF (on a straight GG screen, without bothersome RF prism
wedges), locked up the mirror, set the self timer, a question comes to mind:

    Why are you using a Leica?  For only a *little* bit more weight, you could
be using a 4x5 view.  With it's attendant swings and tilts, it offers far more
control of the plane of focus and perspective than our fixed lens small
format Leica.  A good big negative beats a good little negative any day.  

    We're missing the point here.  The big deal is that the Leica, especially
the M, is a portable, "miniature" camera.  For much of the 20th century, that's
what they were called. 

    A Leica has 36 tries at a good picture.  The View, 1.  It's much easier to
move around with the hand held Leica.  It's a system for dynamic subjects.
It's much easier to take with you.  I drop a body in one pocket, a lens in
another, a meter and extra roll of film in a third, and I've got a camera.
You can't do this with 4x5!  My favorite tripod for the M, FWIW, is the Leitz
table top tripod.  I tend to use it as a chest pod, it allows me to halve
my shutter speed and get equivalent sharpness compared to straight hand
holding.  Still, most of my pictures are hand held snaps.  If I get 1
shot per roll I like, I'm happy.  The view camera guys can't afford such
a low success rate.  Moral: Don't treat your Leica like a view camera.
Make the equipment fit the subject.

    Granted, my Olympus stylus does all this in a single pocket, but it suffers
from "A computer programmer sitting in a cubicle in Japan" making my
decisions, a terminal condition.  I don't use it any more. 


Replies: Reply from Nathan Wajsman <> (Re: [Leica] GG focusing.)