Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/07/10

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Subject: [Leica] re: what put you over the top?
From: Dave Jenkins <>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 16:52:00 -0400

Kyle Cassidy (I think) wrote:

. . .there are only two reasons why anybody gets a leica:
1) they're so good they can use it effectively in their work to produce
images that endure for years
 2) they make enough money at their day job to buy one and they  want to
impress other photographers they meet at national parks

Although I've bought (and sold, I'm sorry to say) several Leica outfits
over the 33 years I've been in photography, none of the reasons for
owning Leicas given so far fit me.

I bought my current Leica and intend to stay with it because I want to
become a better photographer.

By most standards, I'm fairly accomplished. I've done advertising,
corporate, editorial, travel, portrait and wedding photography, an
award-winning book -- even baseball cards! Until video swept it away
around 1990, I made most of my living shooting, writing, and producing
slide-based audio-visual programs for businesses and non-profit groups.

I began using the Canon EOS system in 1993, after 13 years with Olympus,
and have found it an excellent working tool. It makes everything easy.

Too easy. Too slick.

The theme of an article by Carl Weese in the July, 1995 issue of
Darkroom & Creative Camera Techniques (now Photo Techniques) kept
working its way around in my gut: "It's better to be an auto-focus and
auto-exposure photographer than to use an auto-focus and auto-exposure

As digital threatens to sweep the craft of photography into the the
dustbin of history, I find myself drawn increasingly to the mechanical
and chemical and away from the electronic. By the standards of many
people, including, I hope, my clients, I'm a success as a photographer.
By the standard given above, I have a long way to go. I believe my Leica
will help me get there.

Dave Jenkins