Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/01/31

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Now, Nathan's Rationale
From: "Leonard J Kapner" <>
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 07:52:17 -0800


I haven't handled a Digi 2 yet, but I am vaguely intrigued in the same way
as Nathan described in his rationale for remaining with Leica film capture
for now.

As he is, I am a confirmed Leica M and R system owner-user. My first Leica
was a IIIg with collapsible 50 'Cron given to me in 1956 by my father, and I
have added to my store gradually over the years, as my skills broadened, my
needs for flexibility increased and Leica began offering more interesting
options, including apochromatics, aspherics and usable reflexes.

I own and do use other 35mm cameras from time to time, but for my serious
photography, I almost always choose some combination of Leica equipment. It
may be only the increased confidence in my tools, but when I use Leica my
yield seems better: more "keepers", sharper images, snappier colors (when I
shoot color), more interesting compositions, more "moments" than with the
other brands I've owned. The exception is Rolleiflex TLR. There too, my
yield is better... I confess I do use Nikon AF, mainly because my young
grandchildren are "faster" than I am...

I guess I'm at the point in my life and photographic journey that I just
pick and use the tool that I conclude is going to work best for the problem
I'm trying to solve. If I don't know what I'm likely to encounter, I'll
usually default to a day kit consisting of an M6TTL .58 with latest version
28, 35, 50 and 90 'Crons, E100VS for color, Tri-X for B/W (and lately T400CN
for ease of scanning). Sometimes an R8 with 35-70 VE, 19 and 180 E'rit go
along in a separate bag. I also carry and use a small Gossen digital light
meter for incident readings, when I need them.

Oh, and sometimes a Canon SD10 or Contax T3 in my cargo pants pocket for

So, for the moment I am committed to film technology, but I am curious about
digital and willing to play a little to get some experience with new media
and explore the differences and limitations they present in my own little
corner of interest, which is very different from that of a working

Thanks for listening...


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- -----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Nathan Wajsman
Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2004 2:39 AM
Subject: [Leica] Re: digital Leica (WAS Beth Keiser Shoots B&W 4x5
ForCampaign Coverage)


I own six Leica bodies (2 CL, M6, M7, R8, SL) and 5 R lenses and a total
of 7 M/CL lenses, 4 of which are Leica. So my devotion to and investment
in the brand is beyond question. The only 35mm non-Leica I own is a
Voigtlander Bessa R2 which plays third violin in my M outfit. I am
willing  to spend outrageous amounts on new Leica lenses because I enjoy
using them and I can see the difference in my negatives and slides.

But...when it comes to digital, it is a different story. I have no
overriding need for it but have been thinking of getting a digicam to
have my own experience and make my own assessment. If I were to buy a
digicam, it would have to be light, the size of an M, so I am not
interested in a DSLR. When the Digilux 2 was announced, I was not scared
of the price; I was prepared to accept that if I wanted Leica quality in
the digital world I would need to pay a higher price than for a Canon or
Olympus. But when I handled the Digilux 2 I concluded that Leica had
missed the boat. They are asking several hundred Euro more than Canon or
Olympus are charging for the comparable G5 and 5060W models, and what do
you get for this? A Leica lens, OK, and somewhat better handling. But
for me to pay this kind of price difference for a digital Leica I would
need to see more of Leica's strong points in the camera. Specifically, I
would want an optical viewfinder, coupled to the focusing mechanism, and
of a quality at least comparable to that on my CLs. Instead, I get a
garish electronic viewfinder which I found totally impossible to use for
any fast action.

So, in this case I agree with BD: for your extra $1000 you get a
slightly better lens, the red dot and not much more. 

I am sticking to film for now.



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