Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/07/17

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Autofocus vs Manual
From: Doug Herr <>
Date: 17 Jul 2001 11:00:40 -0700

On Tue, 17 July 2001, Barney Quinn wrote:

> I'm a do it the hard way kind of guy. I learned on a 4x5 speed with sheet
> film, holders, dark slides, etc. The whole nine yards. I firmly believe
> that anyone who learns this way will be a much better photographer for it.
> But, not everyone (like my wife ) is going to survive being pushed into the
> deep end of the pool. They'll get frustrated and find something else to do.
> I favor automation becasue it can make photography accessable to a woder
> range of people, and I think that the more people we have buying film,
> cameras, printers, software, etc, the better it is for all photographers.
> What do you guys think?
> Barney

I'm with you, Barney.  If I wanted to keep Photography (with a capital "P") an elitist club I'd insist on everyone coating his/her own emulsions, calculating the slit width and spring tension for focal-plane shutters, etc.

I used to think that beginners should only use manual cameras and I still think using a camera manually will lead toward better technique more than reliance on automatic features will, but if the technical stuff destroys a beginner's enthusiasm for photography we've lost that person's vision.

Doug Herr
Birdman of Sacramento
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