Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/01/21

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Subject: [Leica] Why I bought a Leica
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 10:20:02 -0800

 From 1959, I used Alpa for 35mm photography. In 1969, I visited the Alpa 
factory in Ballagues Switzerland and, after numerous visits, got to know 
the owners (Samuel and Benjamin Bourgeois) quite well. In 1972 (or very 
close to it) my wife was going to go to Europe with me and I wanted her to 
have a small camera that would be easy to carry and use. The Leica CL just 
came out so I bought a CL with 40 & 90 lenses. This was the first Leica in 
the house.

About four years later, and after editing my Alpa and CL photos, I was 
dismayed about the fact that all of the Alpa lenses (Alpa didn't 
manufacture lenses) exhibited a different color balances. I had warm, cool, 
neutral, etc. slides. So I decided to sell all except my Alpa 10D and 
50/1.9 Switar (sentimental reasons.) So my Alpa 11e and 24, 35, 90, 100, & 
150 lenses plus the CL and lenses were sold.

I seriously looked for a new SLR that I liked. I looked at Canon, not Nikon 
(bad experiences years earlier), Minolta, Pentax, etc. Just at that time, 
the Leica R3 became available. What sold me was the dual meter. Both spot 
and averaging. So I bought an R3 and 24, 35, 60, 135, and 250mm lenses. The 
camera and lenses proved to be so good, I bought a second body. I used them 
extensively until the mid 80's when the R4sP came out. I sold the R3 bodies 
and bought two R4sP's. Then an R6 joined the group. Then the R6 and one 
R4sP left and were replaced by two R7's. which is what I currently have on 
the reflex front.

A number of years ago I bought an M2. Then sold it and got two Classic .72 

So, the reason I ended up with Leica was the dual meter in the R3. Nothing 
else. In 1976, I was unaware of the Leica cult or whatever you want to call 
it. I was image oriented. Taking pictures. The craft of photography. A spot 
and averaging meter in the camera was great. No brand stigma other than an 
aversion to Nikon. which still remains, except for LF Nikkor lenses.


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