Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/06/21

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Handled the MP - Patina
From: Martin Howard <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2003 12:21:43 -0700

Dan C wrote:

> Why would people be proud of their tools looking ugly?

I think many would disagree with you.  "Ugly" is an aesthetic judgement 
and thus personal (and social) and subjective.  I think the M5 is one 
seriously ugly camera -- many disagree with me.

The reason people are proud of "ugly" tools (in this sense meaning 
worn) is because they show use.  They bear the mark of the people who 
have used them.  The effort of use, the care, the technique, has left 
physical imprints on the tool.  The physical manifestation of this 
history, what you refer to as the "uglyness", has a symbolic function: 
it shows the tool's usefulness to its owner, it shows the owner's care, 
skills, and dedication in tool ownership and in their exercise of the 
craft for which the tool is used.

If someone takes pride in what they do, and do it with care, they 
typically also take pride in their "ugly" (i.e., worn) tools used in 
pursuit of that activity -- because they serve as physical 
manifestations of that sense of pride of craft.

It's the difference between something that says "a camera" and 
something that says "this is a camera that has been lovingly used and 
maintained by someone in a pursuit.  And that someone is me".


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